ActiveCampaign Vs Shopify – Which Is Best For Your Business?

by Sam 

December 15, 2020

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ActiveCampaign vs Shopify - which of these tools is right for you?

You’re going to find out in this side-by-side comparison post.

Both tools provide quite different functions, are used for different purposes, and often complement each other through seamless integration.

At its core, ActiveCampaign is an email marketing and automation platform. You use the platform for tasks like running email campaigns, automating your sales processes, building your email list, and managing your audience.

Shopify is popular amongst ecommerce business owners as the go-to tool for building online stores, managing inventory, and selling online to anyone.

If you’re having a hard time trying to figure out whether you should use one or the other (or both together!), you’re in the right place.

This ActiveCampaign vs Shopify review will show you exactly what both platforms are used for and how they compare to each other.

Let's take a dive and go over both platforms.

ActiveCampaign Vs Shopify - Summary

ActiveCampaign is an email marketing and automation platform created in 2003 that provides powerful tools to run automated email campaigns and effectively manage your audience. Shopify is a popular e-commerce platform that gives you the tools to start, manage your online business, create an online store and sell to anyone.

Take a look at the photo below to see relative popularity over one year for these two tools. As you can see, Shopify is a juggernaut compared to ActiveCampaign as far as public interest:

ActiveCampaign Vs Shopify

ActiveCampaign Vs Shopify - Side By Side Review

In the section below, you’ll find a side-by-side comparison of ActiveCampaign vs Shopify structured using a horizontal layout so you can compare both platforms based on their differences including features, pricing, ratings, and more easily.

NOTE: you’ll be able to view the side-by-side horizontal layout below on a desktop, not mobile.

ACTIVECAMPAIGN™

ActiveCampaign is an advanced email marketing automation tool.

How we rated ActiveCampaign

Overall Rating

Ease of Use

Value for Money

Pricing

Customer Support

What is ActiveCampaign?

ActiveCampaign is an email marketing platform with powerful automation capabilities, landing page creation tools, and CRM tools to send personalized messages to your audience, run incredible email marketing campaigns, nurture your email list and automate your marketing processes to save time. 

Who is ActiveCampaign for?

ActiveCampaign was built for individuals, small and large businesses, or companies to send better-automated emails, nurture their leads, and provide an incredible, optimized email experience. The platform comes with powerful automation tools to run automated email processes, save time, and make more money for your business. If you're looking for the best in email marketing, go with ActiveCampaign.

Notable feature: a ton of intelligent tools to run automated email marketing campaigns and grow your business online.

ActiveCampaign Pros and Cons

Pros
  • 14-day full trial
  • Best in class for email marketing
  • CRM is great for pipeline development
  • Affordable pricing for the value
  • Best email automation features
Cons
  • Clunky user interface and email editor
  • Not friendly to affiliate marketing links
  • Not beginner friendly
  • Customer service is not great on the "Basic" plan
activecampaign dashboard

ActiveCampaign Pricing - How much does it cost?

ActiveCampaign pricing options start at $15/month - $229/month

Lite Plan - $15/month - pay $9/mo (billed annually) and comes with basic email marketing features for 500 contacts

Plus Plan - $70/month - get automation maps, built-in CRM, and custom audiences for 500 contacts.

Professional & Enterprise Plan Plan - $159/month to $279 per month - unlimited and custom features.

ActiveCampaign Annual Discount: You pay $9, $49, $129, $229 per mo (billed annually) for each of the plans above respectively.

ActiveCampaign Pricing Info

Free 14 Day Trial Available

$1 Trial For 14 Days

No Credit Card to Start

Freemium Account

Monthly Subscription

Annual Discount

Cancel Anytime

30 Day Money Back Guarantee

ActiveCampaign Features

Landing page builder

Visual editor

Landing page templates

Sales funnel templates

Complete page hosting

Mobile responsive pages

A/B Split Testing

Funnel builder

Share funnels

Custom webhooks

Email Auto-responders

Affiliate tracking software

Membership Sites

Behavioral Adaptive Marketing

Included subdomain

Use your own domain

Checkout forms, shopping cart

Full website builder

Video marketing tool

Customer Helpdesk

Calendar scheduling tool

Agency Portal

ActiveCampaign Integrations

Editor's Note: ActiveCampaign was built to help you manage your email marketing campaigns and automation and you can connect to 290+ third-party apps to get results with email marketing for your business.

Email Marketing Integrations

Actionetics

ActiveCampaign

ConvertKit

Aweber

MailChimp

HTML forms

+ many more

Other Integrations

Zapier + Webhooks

Membership software

Checkout software

Analytics

Webinar software

SMS / Texting software

Bot software

Calendar tools

Custom integrations / API

+ many more

ActiveCampaign Affiliate Program

Yes, you can become an ActiveCampaign affiliate partner and earn a 30% recurring monthly commissions. Sign up and join the program here.

Company Information

Owner / Founder: Jason VandeBoom

Location: Chicago, USA

Customer Support: help@activecampaign.com

Founded: 2003

Website: Visit Website

What we love about ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is an affordable, email marketing automation tool and one of our favorites amidst the many good options out there (In fact, it’s the tool we use for our own business). With features such as a drag-and-drop email editor to create beautiful emails with ease and a smart sales CRM to manage and nurture your leads. You also get better, smarter marketing automation features to build smart automated workflows with few clicks, nurture your contacts, and enable a better experience for them. 

Shopify Logo

SHOPIFY™

Shopify is the #1 ecommerce store building platform in the world.

How we rated Shopify

Overall Rating

Ease of Use

Value for Money

Pricing

Customer Support

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an online platform that allows you to create online stores without knowing how to code or design. With over 800,000 online stores built, Shopify is the #1 leading ecommerce solution for many entrepreneurs to launch and manage their online stores with ease. Shopify is a simple, elegant ecommerce solution.

Who is Shopify for?

Shopify is built for entrepreneurs, e-commerce sellers, drop shippers, and anyone who wants to sell products online. It is your ideal, go-to platform for starting and running an ecommerce business. You are able to design your online store with various themes (paid and free) and there are plenty of customization options. You also get dedicated hosting for your store and you can collect payments with ease using 3rd party payment gateways.

Notable feature: a platform to build e-commerce stores, showcase your products, and sell online.

Shopify Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Best in class for ecommerce stores
  • Shopify's app store gives you added store functionality
  • Affordable prices compared to competitors
  • Full 14 day free trial 
  • Easiest way to start an ecommerce store
Cons
  • UI/UX are not great experiences
  • You need 3rd party apps for added functionality
  • The visual page builder is limited
  • Limited functionality compared to a full LMS
shopify dashboard

Shopify Pricing - How much does Shopify cost?

Shopify pricing options start at $26/month - $2,000/month.

Basic Shopify Plan - $26 per month - sell unlimited products with a 2% transaction fee charge (if you don’t use Shopify Payments).

Shopify Plan - $71 per month - grow your business with features like gift cards, abandoned cart recovery, and 1% transaction fees.

Advanced + Shopify Plus - $266 - $2,000 per month - get advanced features to scale your business along with 0.5% transaction fees.

Shopify Annual Discount: You get a 10% discount on annual plans, a 20% discount on biennial plans, and Shopify Lite is only $9 per month.

Shopify Pricing Information

Free 14 Day Trial Available

$1 Trial For 14 Days

No Credit Card to Start

Freemium Account

Monthly Subscription

Annual Discount

Cancel Anytime

30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Shopify Features

Landing page builder

Visual editor

Landing page templates

Sales funnel templates

Complete page hosting

Mobile responsive pages

A/B Split Testing

Funnel builder

Share funnels

Custom webhooks

Email Auto-responders

Affiliate tracking software

Membership Sites

Behavioral Adaptive Marketing

Included subdomain

Use your own domain

Checkout forms, shopping cart

Full website builder

Video marketing tool

Customer Helpdesk

Calendar scheduling tool

Agency Portal

Shopify Integrations

Shopify supports direct integration with a variety of third-party tools which include Google Sheets, Salesforce, QuickBooks Online, Mailchimp, Wave, Gmail, ActiveCampaign, ClickFunnels, Slack & many more.

Email Marketing Integrations

Actionetics

ActiveCampaign

ConvertKit

Aweber

MailChimp

HTML forms

+ many more

Other Integrations

Zapier + Webhooks

Membership software

Checkout software

Analytics

Webinar software

SMS / Texting software

Bot software

Calendar tools

Custom integrations / API

+ many more

Shopify Affiliate Program

Shopify pays you a one-time 100% affiliate commission for the first and second month for new customers.  Join the Shopify affiliate program here.

Company Information

Owner / Founder: Scott Lake, Tobias Lutke

Location: Ottawa

Customer Support: support@shopify.com

Founded: 2004

Website: Visit Website

What we love about Shopify

Shopify is one of our favorite platforms to build and launch your ecommerce business. First, you get a ton of beautiful and mobile-responsive store themes (free and paid) to design your ecommerce store. You can customize any theme you choose using a drag and drop editor. Shopify gives you a built-in blogging platform to run a blog and explore content marketing. Also, you get detailed reporting (advanced plan only) for your business. 

What Stands Out For Us When Reviewing ActiveCampaign Vs Shopify?

Here’s what stood out for us when comparing ActiveCampaign to Shopify, two platforms for running various parts for your online business.

For the most part, these tools are not competitors, but actually compliment each other perfectly, although in some cases you might be struggling to decide which would be the best for your business..

First, ActiveCampaign is widely known as an email marketing and automation platform. You get tools to collect leads, build landing pages, grow your email lists, run automated email campaigns, do SMS marketing and that's not all.

You also get an in-built CRM to save time managing your audience and sales processes.

Overall, when it comes to powerful email marketing and automation, you don’t need to look any further than ActiveCampaign.

On the other hand, Shopify is a popular ecommerce platform that provides you with tools to create an online store, showcase your products, and sell online.

It is probably the no. 1 choice for most ecommerce business owners for building their store and managing their ecommerce business.

Their selling point is that you can build your online store and start an ecommerce business on the platform without coding skills, design skills, or the help of a developer.

Overall, Shopify is more popular with ecommerce business owners who need a platform to build their store and sell products online.

Which is best for marketing automation?

When it comes to marketing automation capabilities, Shopify is nowhere near ActiveCampaign.

ActiveCampaign is a powerful automation platform with features to run automated email campaigns. You can build automation workflows with their in-built visual workflow builder while combining actions, conditions, and triggers to create desired workflows.

This feature also works in collaboration with the built-in CRM to automate your endless sales, and audience management processes.

Shopify offers none of this in their email marketing tool and is fully focused on being the go-to tool for online commerce.

WINNER: With top-notch, superior capabilities compared to Shopify, ActiveCampaign is the clear winner in the marketing automation category.

Which has the best CRM solution?

ActiveCampaign has an impressive CRM in its software that does a beautiful job of managing your audience and sales processes in one dashboard.

Using ActiveCampaign saves you the extra cost of getting an external CRM software. The built-in CRM helps you to segment your audience the right way and also track and score leads to get more sales fast.

And you can build sales pipelines and work with the marketing automation functionality seamlessly. If you’re hoping to hop on Shopify for CRM reasons, sorry to disappoint but Shopify doesn’t have a nativeCRM, although you might be able to find one in the Shopify App Store.

WINNER: Again, ActiveCampaign wins this category by having a built-in CRM with its software.

Which Is Best For Email Marketing?

From template designs to drag and drop editor, Shopify Email provides the tools that help you connect with your customers and build lasting customer relationships through email marketing.

And the good news is you don’t need much technical experience to use these tools. Shopify helps you create simple, good-looking email messages customized for your brand.

If you don’t want to build your emails from scratch, you can take advantage of their growing collection of email marketing templates (including newsletters, product collections, sales, and more) and pick one for your brand.

Next, you can edit the template to suit your brand, preview to see how it will look, and send it to your customer list from your domain name to build brand trust. And lastly, Shopify provides you with analytics tools to analyze and track email campaigns performance, and see reports to improve your marketing efforts. That's all you get from Shopify.

On the other hand, ActiveCampaign is best-in-class for running email campaigns. You get a fast and easy to use drag-and-drop editor with useful options to build emails easily.

And you also get plenty of templates too, if you don’t know how to build emails from scratch. ActiveCampaign provides 30 professional, mobile-friendly email templates and flexible content blocks.

They also give you the option to import your templates just in case you don't like the ones they provide.

WINNER: ActiveCampaign comes with an intuitive drag and drop editor and multiple templates and is my favorite when it comes to creating your email messages for your campaigns.

Which is best for ecommerce?

Shopify is the top choice for ecommerce. The platform helps you bring your business or business ideas online by providing the powerful tools you need to create an ecommerce site, find customers, get sales, and manage your daily business activities.

The platform has empowered independent business owners and has been used by 1,000,000+ businesses to make $200 billion+ in sales. Shopify has tools for you to sell your products to anyone, anywhere (website, social media, online marketplaces, in-person, and more).

And they let you market your business by providing built-in tools to create, execute, and analyze marketing campaigns. Finally, you get a dashboard to see your sales reports and insights you need to identify what's working and what's not.

Unlike Shopify, ActiveCampaign isn't an ecommerce platform so you can’t run your entire ecommerce business on it.

They do however give you an ecommerce dashboard where you can monitor your ecommerce business after you integrate with your favorite ecommerce platform. You'll be able to see how your sales were impacted by your marketing channels on the ecommerce dashboard.

This dashboard will also help you identify the growth strategies and marketing channels that work best for you by showing you six metrics such as total orders, revenue, repeat customers, average order value, abandoned cart recovery rate, and more.

Even better, the dashboard lets you filter these metrics by currency, all stores, and different timeframes.

WINNER: As a top solution for creating an online store and running your ecommerce business, Shopify wins this round and remains the favorite solution with tools to create online stores and sell to anyone.

Which Is The Best Price For The Money?

Both platforms provide a free 14-day trial so you can try them risk-free before upgrading to a paid plan.

ActiveCampaign is priced based on the number of subscribers you have and gives you four plans: Lite, Plus, Professional, and Enterprise.

Shopify has three plans (Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify) and they come with a range of features for running your ecommerce business for as low as $29 per month (on the basic plan).

WINNER: This one depends on what you want. Both tools are quite affordable for the value they give you and the functions they provide.

In summary, who wins the ActiveCampaign vs Shopify debate?

Final Thoughts - Which Is Better, ActiveCampaign, or Shopify?

The truth is these tools are probably better together.

Shopify is best-in-class for ecommerce stores, and ActiveCampaign is best-in-class for marketing automation, so if you’re looking to scale an ecommerce store with email, this could be your perfect marketing stack.

It all comes down to your use case.

If you are an ecommerce business owner and need an easy to use platform to run your online business, Shopify is right for you.

But if email marketing and automation is what will help you scale your business, ActiveCampaign should be top on your radar.

In summary, both platforms are amazing at what they do. And the best part is they can be seamlessly integrated and used with each other to enjoy the best of both worlds. So if you have the budget to afford both platforms, go for it.

My Most Trusted Resources

I've negotiated special discounts and trials using my links to the right. Every tool or app recommended has my full trust and has been personally tested by me. I consider these three resources to be FOUNDATIONAL to any online business. 

bluehost review

Bluehost

#1 for Hosting Websites & Blogs. Get a free domain and discount here.

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HighLevel

#1 for Landing Pages & Sales Funnels. Get a 2 week free trial here.

ActiveCampaign

#1 for Email Marketing and automated email follow-ups. Free Trial here.

About the author 

Sam

Hey! I'm Sam, owner at ChillReptile.com. I'm a 9-5 escape artist marketing geek, sales funnel freak, blogger, and affiliate marketer.

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