Technology Only

Thinkific vs Shopify (2024): A Complete Comparability

17 min read
shopify vs thinkific

Thinkific vs Shopify: Which platform do you have to be utilizing to develop your small business? On the floor, it’d appear to be an odd comparability. In spite of everything, whereas each instruments are SaaS platforms designed for entrepreneurs and enterprise house owners, they serve totally different functions.

Shopify is a commerce platform, permitting firms to promote just about any product (digital or digital) by a spread of various channels. Thinkific is a course constructing platform, particularly meant to help educators promoting digital assets to college students.

After all, there are some overlaps. After experimenting with each instruments in depth, right here’s my full comparability overview of Shopify and Thinkific.

Fast Verdict

When to Select Shopify over Thinkific

Select Shopify in case you’re on the lookout for a complete web site builder and commerce instrument, able to supporting gross sales on any channel, for any form of services or products. Shopify comes with customizable checkouts, advertising and marketing instruments, cost processing options, and a number of integrations to discover. Plus, it has a strong content material administration system included.

When to Select Thinkific over Shopify

Decide Thinkific in case you’re particularly seeking to promote on-line programs and academic assets, or construct a thriving digital neighborhood. You need to use Thinkific to monetize memberships in your content material, create a novel setting for college kids, and even construct your individual web site. Plus, the built-in promoting instruments are glorious, with options for numerous cost strategies, and automatic tax calculation.

Shopify Execs and Cons

Execs 👍

  • Plenty of gross sales instruments for subscriptions and different merchandise
  • Highly effective web site and page-building instruments
  • Wonderful advertising and marketing options and integrations
  • Large app marketplace for increasing retailer performance
  • Highly effective cost processing and checkout instruments
  • Improbable backend setting for retailer administration

Thinkific Execs and Cons

Execs 👍

  • Improbable course and neighborhood creation instruments
  • Wonderful templates and drag-and-drop editors
  • Wide selection of ecommerce options
  • Analytics, reviews, and helpful insights
  • Built-in instruments for rising gross sales
  • Plenty of integrations and add-ons accessible

Comparability Desk

Shopify Thinkific
Core options Every part from complete web site and web page constructing to advertising and marketing instruments, enterprise administration apps, analytics and reviews, and built-in cost processing. You can too create your individual weblog, promote subscriptions and digital merchandise, and promote offline by way of Shopify POS.  Highly effective course creation and neighborhood instruments for on-line educators, in addition to an internet site and web page builder, ecommerce instruments, and analytics. You can too design your individual branded cell app for a further payment. 
Pricing Customers can get began with Shopify for simply $5 per 30 days. Nevertheless, the extra superior plans, with web site constructing instruments begin at $39 per 30 days. Transaction charges are additionally included on each plan.   You may get began with Thinkific free of charge, if you wish to create a single course or neighborhood. Paid plans begin at $49 per 30 days with entry to extra neighborhood options and gross sales instruments. 
Internet design and templates Shopify provides an enormous vary of templates and themes to select from, together with paid and free choices. The web site builder is straightforward to make use of, and each web page is extremely customizable.   Thinkific gives entry to a spread of themes and templates for each web sites and programs. The constructing instruments are additionally extraordinarily simple, with drag-and-drop parts. 
Ecommerce Shopify permits firms to promote on any channel, together with in-store with their POS answer. It helps a spread of cost strategies, computerized tax calculation, and provides highly effective monetary reviews.   Thinkific provides complete ecommerce instruments, with cost processing for a number of sorts of cost, computerized tax calculation, and cross-channel promoting choices. 
Course builder The one methods to create a course with Shopify is to promote subscriptions to gated content material, or add an app for course creation to your present on-line retailer by the app market.  Thinkific provides highly effective course creation instruments with quizzes, graded assignments, multi-media classes, dwell webinars, and neighborhood options. 
Apps and Integrations Shopify integrates with marketplaces, social media platforms, Google analytics and extra straight. There’s additionally a strong app market with dozens of add-ons to select from.   Thinkific integrates with web site constructing platforms, gross sales and analytics instruments, and advertising and marketing platforms for automated e mail and SMS advertising and marketing. 
Buyer help Shopify provides a strong assist heart, and many on-line assets for self-help. There’s additionally the choice to contact the group by way of chat or e mail.   Thinkific provides a spread of highly effective instructional assets, together with guides and “Accelerator” applications. Plus, you may attain out to the group by chat, e mail, or cellphone. 

The Total Options

Fast Verdict: Shopify stands simply forward of Thinkific when it comes to total options, just because it’s a extra versatile answer for on-line promoting.

You possibly can promote any product (digital or bodily) by Shopify, and leverage a spread of gross sales channels. Plus, there are infinite instruments accessible that can assist you handle your small business, run your retailer, and construct your model.

Whereas Shopify and Thinkific won’t appear too comparable on the floor, they do have overlapping options. As an example, each platforms will assist you to construct your individual web site, join together with your neighborhood (or prospects), course of a spread of various cost choices, and even promote subscriptions.

Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at the core options of Shopify and Thinkific.


Ease of Use

Templates and Design


Shopify is a complete ecommerce platform, designed to empower firms to promote merchandise, and providers in any nation, by just about any channel.

You need to use Shopify to promote merchandise you create your self, dropshipping merchandise, and POD merchandise, in addition to subscriptions, digital downloads, and extra.

Plus, Shopify is right for omnichannel gross sales, due to its integrations with main marketplaces and social media channels. There’s even a Shopify POS answer, which empowers firms to promote merchandise in-person, and sync their stock between on-line and brick-and-mortar shops.

shopify homepage - shopify vs thinkific

The important thing options of Shopify embody:

  • A strong web site builder: Shopify has a improbable web site builder, with an easy-to-use editor, so you may customise each side of your web site. There are dozens of premium and free themes to select from, in addition to useful page-building instruments for particular person web site elements.
  • Versatile gross sales options: When you can’t construct a course straight on Shopify, you may nonetheless create neighborhood environments, and promote “subscriptions” to content material to your prospects on a recurring foundation. You can too promote something you want, from digital downloads to bodily gadgets.
  • Cost processing: Shopify has its personal devoted cost processing answer “Shopify Funds”, which helps just about any cost choice, from credit score and debit playing cards to on-line wallets, reward playing cards, and extra. You possibly can even create invoices.
  • Branding instruments: If you happen to need assistance creating your individual model, you may entry a spread of useful instruments from Shopify. You should buy your individual area, create customized belongings with Shopify’s design instruments, and even design your individual free emblem.
  • CMS: The content material administration system constructed into Shopify provides you full freedom over creating several types of pages and content material. You can also make sure pages non-public to subscribers, and design a weblog with built-in search engine optimization options.
  • Buyer engagement: If you happen to need assistance connecting together with your purchasers or neighborhood, Shopify provides a spread of choices, from built-in e mail advertising and marketing to Shopify Inbox for chat. Plus, there are buyer insights instruments to assist phase your viewers.
  • Analytics and reporting: Shopify’s superior reporting instruments make it straightforward to trace the whole lot from stock and tax info to your hottest services. You possibly can even create customized dashboards, or use pre-built report templates.

Shopify additionally has a large app market, the “Shopify App Retailer”, the place you could find infinite integrations for the whole lot from course constructing instruments to advertising and marketing, bookkeeping, analytics, and gross sales apps. This implies you may simply broaden the performance of any web site.


Ease of Use

Templates and Design


The place Shopify’s essential focus is on commerce, Thinkific’s is on on-line training. Thinkific is likely one of the hottest course creation instruments in the marketplace at this time.

On the platform, firms create on-line programs from scratch, or utilizing template, construct studying communities, and even design their very own branded cell software for college kids.

You can too construct web sites to assist market your small business, leverage automated tax instruments, and entry a spread of options for rising and scaling your organization.

Thinkific’s core options embody:

  • Course creation instruments: Course creation instruments are on the coronary heart of Thinkific’s platforms. You possibly can design programs that includes a spread of various types of content material, from quizzes to movies. Plus, you may determine precisely the way you wish to ship classes to college students.
  • Web site builder: Thinkific’s easy web site builder makes it straightforward to create knowledgeable “storefront” in your on-line course. There are not any coding expertise essential, and firms can select from a spread of various customizable templates and themes.
  • Cost processing: Thinkific ensures firms can take funds for his or her programs utilizing any methodology of their selection. You possibly can settle for debit and bank card funds, and reward playing cards, ship invoices to prospects, and settle for funds in a number of currencies.
  • Group options: If you wish to construct an lively neighborhood round your course, Thinkific Communities provides the whole lot you want. Options vary from dwell classes, to occasions, teaching choices, and members-only unique content material administration.
  • Cell app builder: Whereas Shopify’s web sites are cell responsive, Thinkific goes a step additional by permitting you to really create your individual branded app. You possibly can even belief Thinkific to handle creating and managing your app for you.
  • Analytics and reviews: Behind-the-scenes insights and reviews on Thinkific assist you to maintain monitor of your gross sales, your high-performing programs, and different priceless knowledge. You possibly can even monitor the efficiency of your college students.
  • Enterprise LMS: Thinkific’s enterprise LMS answer comes with entry to an revolutionary portal for creating branded studying environments, single sign-on, and API options. Plus, you get entry to limitless admin accounts and SOC2 compliance.
  • TCommerce: TCommerce from Thinkific is the all-in-one gross sales processing answer that mixes cost processing, with automated tax calculations and even order bumps, so you may improve gross sales with “upsell” methods.
  • Advertising and marketing instruments: Though there aren’t quite a lot of advertising and marketing instruments included as-standard with Thinkific, you may create a customized area, and leverage affiliate promoting instruments on the premium plans. Plus, there are many advertising and marketing integrations accessible.

Like Shopify, Thinkific additionally provides a complete vary of integrations to select from to assist elevate your small business. You possibly can join the platform to e mail automation instruments, advertising and marketing apps, gross sales options, and accounting apps too.

Pricing Plans

Fast Verdict: Thinkific is the one platform on this comparability to supply a free plan.

When you can entry a demo of Shopify, there’s no free package deal.

Thinkific’s free plan consists of entry to 1 course, 1 neighborhood, 1 administrator, and limitless college students.

Though it’s straightforward to get caught up on the lookout for the “least costly” answer whenever you’re shopping for instruments to develop your small business, it’s value remembering that value isn’t the whole lot. Be sure to think about the precise vary of options you’re getting in trade in your subscription.

Thinkific Pricing

Thinkific does make it simpler to get began in case you’re on a finances, due to its free plan. You possibly can create 1 course, 1 neighborhood (with 2 areas), and have 1 administrator on a free Thinkific account. This plan additionally consists of cost processing, coaching academy entry, app integrations, the drag-and-drop course builder, and web site constructing instruments.

The premium plans for Thinkific embody:

  • Primary: $49 per 30 days: All of the options of Free, plus limitless programs, 5 areas per neighborhood, a customized area, affiliate promoting, coupons and reductions, e mail and dwell chat help, and free entry to the Accelerator program.
  • Begin: $99 per 30 days: All of the options of Primary, plus 10 areas per neighborhood, assignments, bundles and add-on packages, memberships and cost plans, dwell classes, superior course constructing choices, and web site code enhancing.
  • Develop: $199 per 30 days: All of the options in Begin, plus 3 communities with 20 areas per neighborhood, 2 directors, no Thinkific branding, bulk pupil emailing, API entry, and precedence e mail and cellphone help.
  • Broaden: $499 per 30 days: All of the options of Develop, plus 10 communities with limitless communities, 5 directors, customizable checkout, no transaction charges, and precedence help on all channels.

There’s additionally the Thinkific Plus enterprise plan, which incorporates entry to a branded cell app (accessible for an additional price on different websites), and help for limitless directors. You additionally get a service degree settlement, 3+ separate Thinkific websites, bulk promoting instruments, e mail white-labeling, and a devoted buyer success group.

Shopify Pricing

shopify pricing - shopify vs thinkific

Shopify provides barely fewer plans to select from, and there’s no free plan. You can attempt Shopify for 3 days, then entry the service for 3 months, for $1 per 30 days.

The core plans embody:

  • Primary: $39 per 30 days with fundamental reviews, as much as 1,000 stock places, SSL certificates, 2 employees accounts, cost processing, running a blog, advertising and marketing instruments, the total web site builder, and entry to apps and integrations.
  • Shopify: $105 per 30 days for all of the options of Primary, plus skilled reviews, 5 employees accounts, multi-channel world promoting, transport reductions, and different superior instruments.
  • Superior: $399 per 30 days for all of the options of Shopify, plus 15 employees accounts, a customized report builder, entry to import tax instruments, and reward playing cards.

There’s additionally the Shopify Plus plan for Enterprise customers, which comes with all of the options of Superior, plus extra customization choices, API entry, uptime ensures, and devoted buyer help and safety. Notably, all of those plans embody cost processing charges, and you should pay an additional transaction payment in case you don’t use Shopify Funds.

There’s additionally a useful “Starter” plan for $5 per 30 days if you wish to simply add ecommerce performance to an present web site, or promote by social media and messaging apps.

Web site Design and Templates

Fast Verdict: Shopify’s website-building instruments are much more superior and complete. They arrive with a variety of templates and themes to select from, in addition to a number of customization choices, so you can also make your model stand out.

Although Shopify and Thinkific may serve barely totally different audiences, they do each enable firms to construct their very own distinctive web sites.


Thinkific’s web site constructing instruments are a bit of fundamental, however they’re simple and user-friendly, glorious for newbies.

You possibly can entry a spread of customizable web site themes, and even add your individual HTML and CSS code into the combination. There are instruments for creating a spread of gross sales pages, and implementing your individual area. Plus, you may add distinctive performance to your web site with the Thinkific app retailer.

The general web site builder may be very straightforward to make use of, with the whole lot you should succeed included, reminiscent of weblog performance, so you may increase your on-line presence.


Shopify’s web site constructing instruments are additionally very simple, however they’re much more complete. There are tons of choices for customizing the whole lot on each web page, whether or not you’re experimenting with sections, including buttons to gross sales pages, or embedding movies and different content material.

You possibly can design virtually any form of web site, from a portfolio to a subscription-based web site. Plus, running a blog instruments come built-in into the expertise, together with search engine optimization options, so you may make sure you stand out on-line. Plus, Shopify provides instruments that can assist you construct branded belongings in your web site too.

As an example, you may create a free emblem, purchase a customized area, and extra. With regards to themes, there are infinite choices to select from, starting from free themes to premium choices.

shopify alure theme example
Shopify Attract Theme Instance
Shopify Themes and Templates
Shopify Themes Library

Ecommerce Options

Fast Verdict: Shopify comes out on prime when it comes to ecommerce options, just because it permits firms to promote a wider vary of merchandise, in a wide range of alternative ways. You possibly can combine Shopify with a number of gross sales channels, and even promote in-person with POS instruments.

Each Thinkific and Shopify supply creators and entrepreneurs the chance to promote their merchandise on-line. Thinkific solely focuses on the sale of digital services, reminiscent of teaching, programs, and webinars. Shopify permits firms to promote something, on just about any channel.


Thinkific’s ecommerce instruments are comparatively straightforward to make use of, and fairly complete. You possibly can create coupons and reward playing cards for purchasers, in addition to particular offers and bundles for various teams. There’s additionally the choice to create touchdown pages to spice up your possibilities of gross sales.

The “TCommerce” service from Thinkific is on the coronary heart of its ecommerce answer. This answer permits firms to take funds from credit score and debit playing cards, in addition to instruments like Apple Pay and Google Pay. There’s additionally purchase now pay later choices accessible.

You possibly can upsell prospects with order bumps, course of funds rapidly and securely, and even routinely calculate taxes on all your gross sales.


As a devoted commerce platform, Shopify does supply much more performance for ecommerce. You possibly can promote any product you want; nevertheless you want. Shopify’s in-built cost processor helps all types of funds, from debit and bank cards to reward playing cards and cell wallets.

Plus, you may promote offline with the Shopify POS system, and combine all your on-line and in-store stock info in seconds. Shopify helps the sale of digital and bodily merchandise, in addition to recurring subscriptions.

Plus, there are numerous instruments that can assist you run your retailer extra successfully, from tax and VAT calculation instruments, to built-in transport and achievement providers. There’s even the choice to ship deserted cart emails from Shopify to scale back your possibilities of misplaced gross sales.

Course Creation

Fast Verdict: Thinkific is the clear selection for course creation, with its devoted templates and artistic instruments. You’ll be capable to create assignments, drip programs, quizzes, and even complete communities the place college students can join with their friends.


If you happen to’re on the lookout for course creation, Thinkific is clearly the best way to go. Not solely does it supply a web based course platform, full with user-friendly templates and customization instruments, nevertheless it makes it straightforward to create highly effective programs from scratch.

You possibly can drag and drop elements into your programs, take a look at college students with assignments and quizzes, and even monitor their progress.

There’s additionally the choice to create scheduled, cohort, and self-paced programs, host dwell classes and webinars by your neighborhood channels, and ship completion certificates to college students. Plus, for an additional payment, you may create a devoted cell app in your college students.

Thinkific additionally has improbable neighborhood instruments, so you may interact your college students consistently and improve potential gross sales.


Sadly, Shopify doesn’t supply any of those options straight.

You possibly can create non-public pages, and promote entry to web site content material to prospects by subscriptions. There’s the choice to create pages and weblog posts which might embody video and audio information. You possibly can’t design quizzes or assignments.

One factor you are able to do with Shopify, is entry integrations and add-ons that provide their very own course-building instruments. There are tons of choices on the Shopify app retailer, though utilizing a few of these options might incur a further payment.

Apps & Integrations

Fast Verdict: Shopify provides the widest choice of add-ons, apps, and integrations by its app retailer. There are lots of of choices to select from. Plus, Shopify permits firms to attach their retailer and web site to social media and different instruments in a few clicks.

Thinkific Apps

If you happen to’re on the lookout for a strategy to align all your digital instruments, each Thinkific and Shopify supply extremely versatile platforms. Thinkific’s apps and integrations cowl the whole lot from e mail advertising and marketing instruments like ActiveCampaign, to promoting and conversion apps.

thinkific app store - shopify vs thinkific
Thinkific App Retailer

Shopify Apps

Shopify does supply much more integrations to select from, starting from revolutionary instruments for accounting and bookkeeping, to web page builders and even course creators.

Plus, the platform routinely integrates with Google Analytics and Meta Pixel, in addition to numerous social media platforms and marketplaces for omnichannel promoting.

shopify app store - shopify vs thinkific
Shopify App Retailer

Buyer Help

Fast Verdict: The customer support choices for Thinkific are extra intensive. There are instructional assets such because the Accelerator program, on-line assist facilities, and choices to contact the group by way of cellphone, dwell chat, and e mail.

If you happen to need assistance constructing your on-line presence, each Shopify and Thinkific supply a spread of choices. With Shopify, you may contact the group straight by chat or e mail, however there’s no cellphone help choice. There are numerous priceless on-line assets accessible, reminiscent of guides, movies, and blogs. Plus, you may rent a Shopify Skilled for further assist.

Thinkific provides a wider vary of instruments to select from. There’s the Accelerator program to get you began (included in most plans), in addition to numerous FAQs, guides, movies, and on-line assets. You possibly can entry Thinkific’s Fb neighborhood, or discuss on to a options skilled too.

Plus, on prime of chat and e mail help, Thinkific provides cellphone help too. Though that is solely accessible on sure paid plans.

Thinkific vs Shopify: The Verdict

In the end, Thinkific and Shopify are each extraordinarily highly effective platforms with a lot of priceless instruments to supply enterprise leaders. They each enable firms to promote merchandise on-line, create subscriptions, and even design web sites and distinctive pages.

Thinkific is meant primarily for on-line educators, seeking to promote digital merchandise and construct on-line communities of scholars. Shopify, then again, is a complete commerce platform, permitting companies to promote any form of product on a number of channels.

The fitting choice for you finally relies on your small business mannequin.


Does Shopify Combine with Thinkific?

Sure, you may combine Thinkific with Shopify by the Shopify app retailer. This lets you promote programs straight by Shopify, whereas accessing all the course creation and neighborhood instruments supplied by the Thinkific model.

Can I promote a course on Shopify?

The one methods to promote programs on Shopify is to supply subscriptions to premium, gated content material, or you may add a course creation instrument to your Shopify retailer, like Thinkific. Shopify doesn’t have its personal native course creation platform.

After you join your Thinkific account to Shopify by the Shopify app retailer, you’ll be capable to entry all the programs in your Thinkific platform by Shopify. You possibly can then record these programs in your ecommerce web site, like some other digital product.

Is it value Beginning a Shopify Retailer?

If you happen to’re seeking to get began on the earth of ecommerce, beginning a Shopify retailer may very well be a wonderful choice. Shopify is straightforward to make use of, and it helps a spread of omnichannel promoting options, so you may improve your income over time.