Shopify integration with eBay: your choices
Using shopify for your eCommerce store has gained in popularity hugely over the last couple of years, and is now the go to choice for many businesses wanting an effective eCommerce offering. Shopify is easy to use, quick to get up and running, and can be expanded with countless extensions making it an attractive offering for many. One way you can expand your store is by integrating with eBay to add an extra sales channel. But what integration options are there that keep your eCommerce setup future-proof and flexible?
Should I use Shopify?
The eCommerce landscape is constantly evolving and Shopify is a highly competitive and popular choice. The number of live stores has increased by 200% since the start of 2020. and now sits at over 200,000. Ultimately it's not as versatile as a self hosted solution (see my blog post on the best eCommerce framework for more about self-hosted vs SaaS eCommerce frameworks) , but with low startup costs, quick setup without the headache of finding and managing your own hosting, and strong functionality in countless extensions, Shopify is a front runner for many store owners.
The rapid increase in take up of Shopify since the start of 2020 probably reflects peoples reaction to the pandemic in wanting to get online quickly, with minimal upfront time and money investment. The pandemic afterall saw an unparralleled increase in online spending and many people, for obvious reasons, wanted to take advantage of that. So there's a definite attraction to Shopify, but what are the down sides to consider?
You can't host Shopify yourself, and this means there's always going to be an ongoing cost to use it, with this cost increasing as your store grows. In addition you'll also be charged transaction fees for every sale, and many extensions also have an ongoiung cost. So you could quickly end up with monthly costs that far outstrip the those of an open source framework you hosted yourself such as Magento, Shopware or WooCommerce.
If you're thinking about using Shopify for your store, I would suggest looking carefully at all costs involved, and how they would scale as your store grows. Make an informed decision based on your business right now, but also for future growth forecasts and see if the numbers work. If profit margins for many of your products lines are low, then Shopify may not be the right choice for you.
How can I integrate Shopify with eBay?
There's a few different options you can look at to integrate your Shopify store with eBay. Previously I've looked at the benefits of using external services with your eCommerce store, but the basic idea is that the less you rely on additional functionality sitting inside your eCommerce framework, the less critically you depend on it. This means that if you do find a business requirement in the future to move to a new framework, the easier it will be. So here, I'll just be looking at more versatile solutions that support more than just Shopify meaning you can better future proof your eCommerce offering.
Seller Dynamics is a versatile solution that support Shopify and Magento, and allows inegration with both eBay and Amazon. There's a monthly cost which scales according to total sales value, but it seems reasonable starting at £85p/m up to £100,000 annual gross sales. There's also a free trial, so even though there aren't many reviews around it's likely worth a look.
Supporting a host of eCommerce frameworks and integrations with many different sales channels including eBay and Amazon, Channable offers a highly versatile solution for eBay integration with your Shopify store. It's a solution that can come with you, whatever eCommerce framework you might decide to move to in the future. Pricing is a little higher than Seller Dynamics at around £100 a month to start, and is feature-based rather than sales based. They also offer add-ons to give extra functionality that might not come with the package you choose. Could be more expensive than other options, but they do have overwhelmingly positive reviews so you know others have found the service to fit their needs well.
BaseLinker offers a similarly wide range of integrations to Channable, with many eCommerce frameworks and many marketplaces including eBay, Amazon and Etsy. It supports Shopify, but oddly it does seem to lack Magento 2 integration. BaseLinker has very positive reviews, and the starting price point makes it highly accessible to all at just £9p/m for up to 100 orders, and £29p/m for up to 500. Pricing is based on order count, and how many product lines you carry with the maximum listed price only going up to 10,000 monthly orders, and 100,.000 product lines. So it may not handle stores with many product lines and typically lower value average orders, but for higher value sakes and lower product count, the price point and positive reviews make this a pretty attractive option.
Feedonomics perhaps has a little more of a US focus supporting channels like Wallmart and Macy's but it still supports all the main eCommerce frameworks including Shopify, and integrates with eBay, Amazon and others like Etsy. The vast majority of reviews are positive, and some big name brands such as Samsung, Dell and Puma have chosen Feedonomics. They don't openly advertise their pricing, and instead will quote when you submit a form. This immediately makes me think the soluition is going to be priced well above the competition, but being the choice of some truly global brands, they're likely at least worth a look. They have overwhelming positive reviews, but I would advise caution if cost is going to be a key decision making factor for you.
Have a look at the solutions I've covered here and bear in mind that there are others. If you don't mind your eBay integration tying you down to your Shopify store and so impacting your ability to easily change eCommerce frameworks in the future, then you might want to take a look at the official Shopify app.
If you're still not sure which is the best solution for your business, then you might want to enlist the help of one of the high-quality and experienced developers we list at Developer Connection. Developers from a number of different eCommerce frameworks including Shopify list with us, and they'll be able to advise you on the best approach for your particular store, as well as do the actual integration with eBay.
See you next week!