RFDM Solutions Blog

by RFDM Team RFDM Team No Comments

Shopify vs WooCommerce for Online Cannabis Sales

The RFDM Team shares their knowledge of the pros and cons of Shopify vs WooCommerce for online cannabis sales to help you decide which is the best fit for your business.* View our most recent WooCommerce CBD Website Design here

Shopify has been booming since the legalization of marijuana in Canada. It is powering both government and private online cannabis retailers. In fact, the company saw 100 orders per minute across the country on October 17, 2018, the day pot became legal. As more and more cannabis retailers seek to take their business online, they are faced with the question of which Ecommerce platform to choose. Two of the biggest platforms are Shopify and WooCommerce. The main difference between the two lies in their ownership and out-of-the-box features. Shopify is a subscription-based complete Ecommerce website/store package, while WooCommerce is an open-sourced Ecommerce plugin designed for WordPress, an open-sourced website-creation software. When considering Shopify vs WooCommerce for online cannabis sales, there is not a right or wrong way to go necessarily since each have their pros and cons. However, your business goals and needs should draw you more to one platform than the other.

Shopify Pros

1.       Quick time-to-launch. You don’t need a developer to get your business website going since Shopify provides you with web hosting and quick-start store themes and includes numerous out of the box features, such as coupon codes, inventory tracking, SEO, point of sale, an SSL certificate, and abandoned cart campaigns, just to name a few.

2.       Offers a range of plans customized for start-up to enterprise-level businesses.

3.       Based in Canada and therefore not subject to US federal law.

4.       Legitimized by the Canadian government. Shopify is currently the Ecommerce platform of choice for British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and Prince Edward Island for the government’s online cannabis sales.

Shopify Cons

1.       While Shopify itself is currently cannabis-friendly, many of the payment gateways it provides are not (e.g., PayPal and Stripe). Cannabis-related transactions are labelled as “high risk,” especially in the US where recreational marijuana is still illegal in most states. Therefore, there are few options and some negatives involved for processing credit cards online for Shopify cannabis stores:

o   Transaction fees – Shopify takes up to 2.9% plus 30 cents per each credit card transaction unless you use “Shopify Payments” powered by Stripe, which currently won’t process any cannabis-related transactions.

o   You will mostly likely have to create redirects at checkout to cannabis-friendly payment processors, which may result in lower conversion rates.

o   You can integrate a custom option but this will require custom development.

2.       Overall vulnerability:

o   You are subject to Shopify’s rules and regulations regarding products and payment providers as well as their subscription-based pricing, all of which could change at any point in time.

WooCommerce Pros

1.       Free to use – no monthly fees (for the basic WooCommerce plugin – extensions are extra).

2.       When comparing Shopify vs WooCommerce for online cannabis sales, WooCommerce features cannabis-specific WordPress plugins, such as ones that integrate proper information on your products such as aromas, flavours, effects, and THC and CBD amounts.

3.       Faces similar challenges regarding payment gateways that will process cannabis transactions; however, there will be no credit card transaction fees collected outside of those charged by the payment gateways used. Additionally, some cannabis-friendly payment gateways offer WordPress plugins that don’t require a redirect for payment, likely increasing conversion rates and eliminating the need for custom development.

4.       You will personally own the content you create on the platform.

WooCommerce Cons

1.       Requires more initial web development after selecting a theme.

2.       Requires paid plugins for many of the features that are included with Shopify. When comparing Shopify vs WooCommerce for online cannabis sales, the cost of using WooCommerce can rack up quickly when purchasing domain, hosting, plugins, and implementing features such as SEO, checkout enhancements, and extra payment gateways.

3.       Must be on top of WordPress maintenance – updating version, themes, plugins, etc.


To sum up, for Ecommerce businesses that want to own their intellectual property and/or want the flexibility of a highly-customizable web design, we would recommend a WooCommerce/WordPress platform. For Ecommerce businesses that want a quicker start and don’t want to worry about purchasing hosting or involving web developers, Shopify’s platform is no doubt the way to go.

However, even deciding if you will pick Shopify vs WooCommerce for online cannabis sales may lead to a whole host of new challenges which require solutions. If you’re interested in either a Shopify or WooCommerce solution for your business, whether you need to start from scratch or just need some website touch-ups or back-end integrations, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


RFDM Solutions does not endorse the sale of cannabis or any other narcotic, online or otherwise, where it is prohibited by law. The information contained in this article is purely for the use of legal businesses who are licensed by the relevant authorities.

by David Bayly David Bayly No Comments

Differences between Deluge in Zoho Creator and Zoho CRM

Functional Differences between Deluge in Zoho Creator and Zoho CRM.

Hello again, welcome back. Before I begin, I would like to start off with a clarification. In my previous article, I was examining Deluge as used in functions and workflows in Zoho CRM. Upon review, I realized that recursion is entirely possible within Deluge in Zoho Creator, just not in Zoho CRM. This brings us to our second topic…

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by Ryan Foster Ryan Foster No Comments

Zoho CRM and GetResponse Integration Options

RFDM Managing Director Ryan Foster reviews three options for a Zoho CRM and GetResponse integration and discusses their pros and cons

A Zoho CRM and GetResponse integration is a way for small and medium businesses to get all the power of enterprise level CRM and marketing automation suites like Salesforce and Pardot at a fraction of the cost. There are a number of options for the Zoho CRM and GetResponse integration, depending on what your needs are. We did quite a bit of research and testing while solving this problem for a client. I’ve listed the options we tried below in terms of the lead workflow from the website to Zoho CRM to GetResponse, as well as the pros and cons of each option. If you have any questions about any of these options, we’re happy to share our experience and hopefully save you some time. Please fill out our contact form or phone us if you’d like to be in touch.

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by David Bayly David Bayly 2 Comments

The Zoho Developer’s Guide to Loops in Deluge

Ten Things I Hate about You – A Love Letter to Deluge

by David Bayly, Senior Developer at RFDM

Week 1: No Loops in Deluge

For many CRM projects, you will need to do custom scripting for customer use cases. Thankfully, Zoho has an inbuilt scripting language called Deluge. Deluge brands itself as “the programming language for non-programmers”, and this will become very evident once you’ve worked with it. In the following weeks, I’m going to cover 10 things I hate about Deluge, cases where I encountered them, and the solutions I came up with to deal with them. This week, we will focus on the Zoho developers and their bizarre decision not to include support for loops in Deluge.

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by Cathleen Melendez Cathleen Melendez No Comments

The Shopify Zoho Inventory Integration: 9 Things to Know Before You Start

RFDM Developer Cathleen Melendez shares her perspective on the many challenges of integrating your Shopify store with Zoho Inventory

Shopify is a clean, straightforward Ecommerce software that thousands of businesses utilize to grow and manage their sales. Zoho Inventory is a great addition to a company operating through Shopify for better stock control, order fulfillment, and inventory management. Fortunately, these two tools can be integrated to make your business even more powerful and productive. The Shopify Zoho Inventory integration is an awesome tool when configured properly. Avoid complications by setting up the integration correctly, and you’ll have an easy-to-use, efficient system of managing your Shopify store’s inventory as well as processing orders. Here are 9 things to keep in mind when setting up your Shopify store sync with Zoho Inventory to ensure a smooth setup:

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