Kajabi vs Shopify: Which Platform is Better?

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I’ve used both Kajabi and Shopify for over 4 years. If you’re deciding between these two, here’s your answer:

Choose Kajabi if you’re planning on creating courses, memberships, or any other digital product.

Choose Shopify if you’re planning on selling physical products.

If you want to sell both digital and physical products, then you can integrate Kajabi into Shopify or vice versa.

Shopify Logo

Key Takeaways:

  • Kajabi is the top choice for creating and selling digital products
  • Shopify is the better option if you only plan to sell physical products

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Kajabi vs Shopify: Quick Comparison

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Website Builder
Templates and Blueprints
Email Campaigns
Live Video Streaming
Native Checkout

What Is Kajabi?

Kajabi is a sophisticated digital product creation, sales, and marketing platform.

It’s described as an “all-in-one” tool, so whether you’re creating courses, communities, email campaigns, or more, you can do it all without having to use third-party software.

What Is Shopify?

What Is Shopify?

Shopify is one of the largest and most well-known platforms for e-commerce.

It includes all the tools necessary to create an online store for digital and physical products, plus a whole host of marketing and shop management features.

How Are Kajabi and Shopify Similar?

Kajabi and Shopify are actually very different platforms, but they do share a few similarities.

Both platforms are subscription-based. Therefore, you pay on a monthly or annual basis to use them.

Secondly, their interfaces are modern and user-friendly. Both feature “drag-and-drop” building tools to create web pages, products, and more.

Both platforms are designed for e-commerce, so each platform has plenty of features to help you market and sell your products.

Key Differences Between Kajabi and Shopify

The biggest difference between the two platforms is that Kajabi is geared up to allow you to create and sell digital products such as courses and coaching sessions.

Shopify, on the other hand, is solely focused on e-commerce and chiefly selling physical products.

You can sell digital products on Shopify, but you cannot create them using the Shopify platform – you must use a third-party app (like Kajabi) to do so.

You also cannot sell physical products on Kajabi unless you use a Shopify account and connect it with Kajabi by adding the “buy” button.

Kajabi vs Shopify: Pricing

Kajabi vs Shopify: Affordability

Both platforms have three main plans to choose from:

PlatformLow-Tier PlanMid-Tier PlanTop-Tier PlanDiscount for Paying Annually

Both platforms have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

With Kajabi, you can get a 30-day free trial. Shopify has a three-day free trial, and after that, you can pay $1 for the first two months.

Winner Is Shopify

While the two platform’s top-tier plans are priced the same, Shopify has a much more affordable entry-level plan. 

Furthermore, Shopify’s annual discount is more generous than Kajabi’s and provides a longer introductory offer.

Kajabi vs Shopify: Page Builder and Templates

Kajabi Page Builder and Templates

One thing that makes Kajabi such a pleasure to use are the thoughtful and comprehensive templates.

If you’re building a website, landing page, or blog, you have loads of fresh-looking, modern designs to choose from. 

Pick one that aligns with your purpose or choose one you like the design of and customize it for your needs.

Pick one that aligns

Kajabi also provides full-funnel blueprints. 

These are ready-made campaigns for specific purposes. 

For example, giving away a freebie, launching a product, and more.

Everything can be quickly and intuitively edited by using the drag-and-drop editing tool. Here you can swap out the images, add or remove page elements, and customize the look to fit your brand.

Kajabi also provides full-funnel

When creating funnels, you use the workflow interface. 

This lays out all the steps in a visual way so you can see how everything fits together. 

To edit a step, all you do is click on it to open up the editing tool. 

Workflows do take a bit of getting used to, but when you understand how they work, it’s smooth sailing from then on.

Shopify Page Builder and Templates

Shopify Page Builder and Templates

Shopify calls its templates “themes,” and it has a range available for you to pick from. Themes tend to be suited for different types of e-commerce, so it becomes easier if you find one designed for the products you sell.

The downer is that there are only 12 free themes available. 

The rest you have to pay for, and since they cost from $180 upwards, they aren’t cheap.

Shopify calls its templates

Shopify’s editing tool also utilizes “drag and drop,” but there is a LOT going on. 

There is a left and right menu bar with many options, so it’s not always the easiest to find what you want.

That said, when you do “get it,” the editing process becomes a lot smoother because the tool works well.

drag and drop

Furthermore, Shopify provides templates for automation workflows. 

These are “plug and play,” meaning that they are fully set up and ready to use.

Winner Is Kajabi

You get a lot more flexibility with Kajabi’s templates

Rather than have templates only for websites, you have the advantage of having fully developed campaign blueprints at your disposal.

And unlike Shopify, you don’t pay anything extra for the templates. All are included in your usual subscription fee.

Kajabi vs Shopify: Course and Community Creation Features

Kajabi Course and Community Creation Features

Kajabi Course and Community Creation Features

Most people pick Kajabi for the sophisticated digital product creation tools it provides. After all, it was designed for this purpose, and it excels here.

You have all the features required to build high-value courses with lessons, modules, video and audio content, assessments, digital downloads, and more. 

Coaches will also appreciate the tools specifically designed for them. 

This includes a native live streaming feature and a smart booking calendar and scheduling app.

And that’s not all: Kajabi has a great communities feature where you can create dedicated Facebook-style groups on the Kajabi platforms. 

The big advantage here is that you can monetize your communities in many different ways.

Shopify Course and Community Creation Features

Shopify Course and Community Creation Features

Shopify is not a platform where you can create digital products, and you will be unable to directly find any features from Shopify to do this.

However, you can sell digital products such as courses or digital downloads, but here’s the catch – you must create them on third-party software and then use Shopify to sell them.

For example, Shopify directly integrates with lots of third-party apps that will supply a digital download link after a customer completes a purchase on Shopify.

Winner Is Kajabi

This is a no-brainer. Kajabi was made for the purpose of creating and selling digital products. 

Whether you’re creating a course, webinar, coaching session, community, or more, Kajabi will let you do it with ease.

Kajabi vs Shopify: E-Commerce Capabilities

Kajabi E-Commerce Capabilities

Kajabi E-Commerce Capabilities

If you want to sell digital goods using Kajabi, you’re onto a winner. 

The platform is fully equipped to let you create “offers” and then sell them using one of Kajabi’s many marketing methods.

Offers can be single items such as a course, digital download, or access to a community; or you can bundle multiple items to create a wider offer.

digital goods using Kajabi

However, Kajabi does not directly support the sale of physical goods. 

You can sell physical goods, but you must first integrate with – yep, you’ve guessed it – Shopify! 

This means you need to have a paid Shopify account if you want to use Kajabi to sell physical goods.

Shopify E-Commerce Capabilities

Shopify E-Commerce Capabilities

Considering Shopify was built for e-commerce, it’s safe to say that it provides all the features you need for a successful store.

Whether you plan to only sell via social media, have a full e-commerce store, dropship, sell print-on-demand, or more, Shopify can handle it. 

Really, it doesn’t matter what type of e-commerce you plan to do, Shopify will have a solution for you.

e-commerce you plan

Importantly, the platform supports large-scale e-commerce so that you can grow your business here without worry. 

Plus, you can sell anywhere in the world and across a number of sales channels, so you’re not restricted to how and where you sell.

Winner Is Shopify

Although Kajabi excels in selling digital products, there’s no doubt that Shopify was built for e-commerce and provides a way to easily sell any type of product. 

Whether you want to sell a handful of products or go full-scale and have thousands of items in your store, Shopify is the platform to do it on.

Kajabi vs Shopify: Payment and Checkout Tools

Kajabi Payment and Checkout Tools

Kajabi Payment and Checkout Tools

Kajabi does not have its own checkout tool. Instead, you are required to integrate with Stripe or PayPal in order to take payments. 

If you wish to use a different payment gateway, you can use Zapier to connect one.

As mentioned above, you can also add the Shopify Buy button. 

This can be added to any of your Kajabi-created web pages and can be done directly without the use of Zapier.

Kajabi provides a number of payment options, including one-time payments and subscriptions. It also features several sales aids like upsells, order bumps, and coupons.

Shopify Payment and Checkout Tools

Shopify Payment and Checkout Tools

Unsurprisingly, Shopify has its own checkout allowing you to take payments without the use of a third-party app (although you can also connect them if you want to). 

This streamlined checkout is one page and features time-saving aspects such as address autocomplete.

Your customers can also pay with “one-click,” which results in a smoother checkout process and reduces the likelihood of abandoned carts.

Shopify additionally provides the option for customers to pay for large purchases in installments. 

The checkout is also customizable for your brand and provides options to include upsells, free samples, donations, coupon codes, and more. 

Winner Is Shopify

Kajabi’s payment options are quite limited, and having to use Zapier with other payment gateways adds another layer of complication to the process.

Shopify, on the other hand, has refined its checkout down to a fine art and includes all the bells and whistles you could ever want to convert shopping carts into completed transactions.

Kajabi vs Shopify: Marketing Features

Kajabi Marketing Features

Kajabi certainly didn’t cheap out with its marketing tools and features. You have everything at your fingertips to create converting campaigns using a variety of methods.

The platform’s key marketing tool is the funnel builder. Here, you can design funnels for just about any purpose. 

And through the workflow editor, you visually see your campaign laid out from start to finish. Rather than just being restricted to web pages, the funnel also lets you incorporate emails, too.

Its email marketing software is template-rich, so creating them doesn’t take long. Then, you have the ability to create timed email sequences, send email blasts, and personalize them with videos, images, action buttons, and more.

Its email marketing software

Additionally, you have the ability to build full websites, single landing pages, and even a blog if you wish. 

Enhance your web pages by adding forms, call-to-action buttons, countdown timers, pop-ups, and more.

Shopify Marketing Features

Shopify Marketing Features

Like Kajabi, Shopify boasts a sophisticated email marketing tool. It also includes great-looking templates and a variety of options to make your emails stand out. Create full email campaigns and automate the process from start to finish.

Additionally, the platform also includes the ability to create a blog and embed lead-capture forms onto your store’s website.

Shopify boasts

One major advantage is that Shopify has seamless integrations with all the major social media platforms. 

Therefore, if you plan to run ads or showcase products on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc., you can make sales conversions more likely thanks to Shopify’s “one-tap” checkout.

Winner Is Kajabi

While we really like Shopify’s seamless social media integrations, we feel that Kajabi has a more rounded and flexible offering when it comes to marketing tools. 

We love having the ability to create multi-channel marketing campaigns, and the versatility of its sales funnels allows you to try out different marketing methods to see what works best.

Kajabi vs Shopify: Automation

Kajabi Automation

Kajabi Automation

Kajabi’s automation capabilities are quite advanced and allow you to remove a fair number of repetitive admin tasks. 

You can assign individual automations to the following items:

  • Funnels
  • Email campaigns
  • Events
  • Forms
  • Offers
  • Course lessons

For example, subscribing or unsubscribing individuals from email campaigns is one such automation, and providing access to a course is another.

Email campaigns

Automation can also be applied to your Kajabi workflows. This is a little more complex to achieve, but the end result is a fully automated marketing campaign from start to finish.

So if you want a fully automated series of emails, this is where you would map it all out.

Shopify Automation

Shopify Automation

Shopify calls its automation “Shopify Flow,” and this works a little like Kajabi’s workflow tool. 

You add triggers and events, which then create the automated process.

Shopify Flow

The flow tool is pretty hard to get to grips with since it’s not the most visually-friendly interface out there. 

And if you want to make full use of it, you must integrate it with third-party apps such as marketing software. 

When you do get the hang of it, you will find you can automate all your email marketing, inventory management, and CRM.

To make things easier, Shopify does provide templates for common time-consuming tasks such as customer rewards, review requests, high-risk order reviews, and more.

Winner Is Kajabi

Shopify’s automation is highly sophisticated, but it isn’t particularly user-friendly. For most, automation can be a tough nut to crack, so the easier it is to accomplish, the better.

Kajabi’s automation setup is smooth and makes sense. And if you do get stuck, its help guides and on-page prompts are quick to set you back on the right path.

Furthermore, Kajabi’s automation does not require the use of third-party apps. Everything can be done using Kajabi alone, which in turn, makes the process a lot simpler.

Kajabi vs Shopify: User Experience

Kajabi User Experience

Kajabi User Experience

Kajabi has gone to great lengths to make the platform as user-friendly as possible, and it shows.

The interface is clean and well thought out. 

Everything makes sense in terms of where it is placed, so it doesn’t take long to find what you are looking for.

When you first log on, Kajabi provides helpful prompts, enabling you to learn the platform as you use it. 

Plus, its help center is one of the best we’ve seen, so if you get stuck, you’ll no doubt find a helpful guide to walk you through the issue.

Navigating the platform and using the editing tools is seamless, glitch-free, and, dare we say it – fun!

Shopify User Experience

Shopify User Experience

There’s a LOT to Shopify, and it can quickly get complicated, especially if you integrate the platform with a number of third-party apps.

At the basic level, the platform is pretty easy to navigate and learn, but once you start getting into the editing tools and all the available options, you can quickly lose your way.

That said, the platform operates well: the features work smoothly and without any noticeable issues.

If you do get stuck, there’s the help center, but we’re not impressed with this (more on that below), so it may be better to get a hold of a customer service agent to assist you.

Winner Is Kajabi

Kajabi is definitely the easier of the two platforms to master and the most pleasant to use, especially since you’re given so much guidance to help you along.

Sometimes, platforms can become too complicated for their own good, and in some cases, Shopify does appear to overcomplicate certain features, particularly automation.

Kajabi vs Shopify: Customer Service

Kajabi Customer Service

Kajabi Customer Service

If you’re on the Basic plan, you get the following support options:

  • Live chat support between 6 AM – 5 PM, Pacific Time
  • Email ticketing service

If you upgrade your plan, you then get access to live chat 24/7.

Email ticketing service

All plan subscribers are provided with a free 30-minute call with a Kajabi onboarding specialist. This is designed to help you get started on the platform and have your questions answered.

Lastly, the Kajabi help center is excellent. It’s so simple to find what you are looking for, and each article contains video walkthroughs, GIFs, and images as well as text. Anyone can follow these articles since they are extremely beginner-friendly.

We actually found that most of our queries were answered just by using the help center.

Shopify Customer Service

Shopify Customer Service

Shopify provides 24/7 live chat, email ticketing, and phone calls to its customers regardless of which plan they are on.

Shopify does have a help center, but it’s pretty awful. Searching for a topic brings up lists upon lists of articles, and clicking through to a specific article brings up yet more lists. 

The articles are information overload, with walls of text and very little visual guidance.

We gave up using it because it very rarely brought up the information we needed.

Winner Is: It’s a Draw

We love that Shopify provides around-the-clock customer service through a variety of contact methods. However, its help center is dreadful and needs a lot of work.

On the other hand, Kajabi’s help center is fantastic and usually sorts out your issue. However, we wish the platform provided 24/7 support to all its subscribers.

Kajabi vs Shopify: Final Verdict

It’s really tough to pick a winner because the platforms are so different from each other. If we had to pick a favorite, it would have to be Kajabi because its features and tools are so well thought out. 

However, this platform obviously isn’t going to work for you if you want to sell physical products.

So we say:

  • Choose Kajabi if you want to create, sell, and market digital products
  • Choose Shopify if you want to sell physical products

Frequently Asked Questions

Like Shopify, Kajabi is a sales platform but chiefly for digital products (that you can create in Kajabi). Shopify, on the other hand, is purely a sales platform for physical and digital products.

Shopify is better than Kajabi for e-commerce. Shopify is a pure e-commerce platform and, therefore, has better selling tools than Kajabi, such as a dedicated checkout and inventory management.

Kajabi is better than Shopify for digital products since it has features that allow you to create, market, and sell them. Shopify lets you sell digital products, but you must create them on third-party software.

If you compare the two platform’s lower-tier plans, Shopify is a lot cheaper than Kajabi. However, their top-tier plans both cost the same.

You can use Kajabi with Shopify by adding the Shopify Buy button to sell physical products on your Kajabi web pages and funnels.


About Authors

  • Samuel Fletcher

    Samuel Fletcher is a entrepreneur with over 15 years in online course development. With an in-depth understanding of online course platforms, including Kajabi, Thinkific, LearnWorlds, and more, he has not only created courses on these platforms but has also assisted others in their course creation journeys. Beyond his hands-on experience, Sam is a passionate blogger, online business mentor, and a proactive contributor to community initiatives. His commitment to excellence and belief in dedication, perseverance, and unwavering commitment drives his success. Recognizing the gap in unbiased, quality information about online course platforms, he co-founded SupplyGem. In addition to his leadership role, Samuel serves as a Technical Writer at SupplyGem, sharing his expertise with a broader audience. Moreover, he's an active member of professional associations such as the Association for Talent Development (ATD), The Learning Guild, and others, underlining his dedication to continuous learning and industry advancement.

  • Dr. Angelia Cline, Ed.D.

    Dr. Angelia Cline, Ed.D., has over 20 years of extensive editing expertise and a commendable academic foundation from William Carey University. Besides her position as a Chief Editor for SupplyGem, she is also an Instructional Designer. Dr. Cline manages the Learning Management System (LMS) for a large team, skillfully converting SME knowledge into engaging courses. With over 12 years of teaching experience, she has demonstrated her aptitude across various subjects and educational settings. At William Carey University, Dr. Cline achieved an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, a Master’s in Teaching of the Gifted and Talented, and another in English Language and Literature. She also secured her BA in English from The University of Southern Mississippi. Her proficiencies range from research and differentiated instruction to educational leadership.

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Disclosure: I am an independent Kajabi Affiliate, not an employee. I receive referral payments from Kajabi. The opinions expressed here are my own and are not official statements of Kajabi.

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