Are you looking for an eCommerce platform that is easy to use and can grow with your business? If so, then Shopify may be the right platform for you.
In this Shopify review, we will explore the pros and cons of using Shopify for your online store.
Whether you are just starting out or are looking to switch platforms, read on to find out if Shopify is the right solution for you.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is the most popular e-commerce platform. Using Shopify, you can create an online store without coding.
Shopify gives you an easy way to create online stores at affordable prices, and you won’t have to invest in getting different developers to work on your store.
Apart from building an online store, you can also use Shopify to maintain the store.
Right now, over 800,000 online stores are using Shopify. It has outperformed all its competitors when it comes to features.
While using Shopify, we found that though Shopify is quite popular, but it is not built for everyone. You need to have prior knowledge about websites and their designs to develop an online store.
You don’t need core coding skills, but you will need prior technical knowledge related to websites.
Shopify lets you build a stunning eCommerce store with beautiful templates at a minimal price.
For Whom Shopify is Most Suitable?
We would say anyone can use Shopify, but you will have the upper hand if you have worked on websites earlier.
Shopify might seem complex for a first-time user, and you may have to experiment before developing the final store.
Shopify has over 3000 Apps to handle different aspects of an online business. From Inventory tracking to Shipping, a specific Shopify tool is available in Shopify.
You can use Shopify for any sized store, and you can scale your store at any point in time.
You can create an eCommerce platform with just Shopify and its addon apps. You won’t need any third-party extension until you have any specific requirements.
Ease of Use
In any website/e-commerce builder, ease of use plays a vital role.
Shopify has a very clean and straightforward user interface. As mentioned above, it is suitable for beginners.
We have gone through dozens of feedbacks from different Shopify users, and we concluded that “User might take some time to get familiar with the Shopify components and after a few attempts, they might create their desired store layout.”
Shopify Plans & Pricing
Shopify has three major plans, but recently they have introduced their lite plan. Let’s discuss them in detail:
Shopify Lite Plan
It is the cheapest Shopify plan available. You can add products or a small e-commerce platform corner on your website or Facebook page in this plan.
For every transaction, you will be charged a 2% transaction fee. However, if you use Shopify payments, there won’t be any transaction fees.
As mentioned above, you will be only able to add products to your websites and Facebook pages; therefore, you won’t get Shopify hosting.
Here you can’t use the Shopify platform; you will be provided with the basic Shopify features. However, you can use the POS (Discussed below) Lite app for offline sales.
This plan is ideal for individuals with a vast fan-following on social media. With minimal cost, you can do good business.
Basic Shopify plan
It is the cheapest plan to use the Shopify platform to build an eCommerce store.
We found this plan most efficient, and everyone who is going to step into eCommerce for the first time should opt for the Basic Shopify plan.
This plan costs $29 per month. It comes with all the features you need to build your eCommerce store.
You can add unlimited products to your Shopify store. Facebook and Pinterest modules are also provided with this plan so that you can sell directly on your social media handles.
For Offline Sales, you get Shopify POS System.
We suggest you go with plans, and as your business expands, you can switch to higher plans.
This plan is ideal for beginners who want to build a complete online store on a limited budget.
The name is quite weird, but it is one of Shopify’s plans. It will cost you $79 per month.
In this plan, all the basic Shopify plan features are included, and on top of it, it has the following:
- Gift Card Creation
- Professional Reporting
- Shopify POS Support
With this plan, you will also be charged a 2% transaction fee if you use a third-party payment platform, whereas, for Shopify Payments, there won’t be any transaction fees.
This plan is ideal for users who have the following:
- High Sales Volume Estimates
- Physical store locations
- Gift Cards and Discount Offers.
- Business Analyaisis Team
- Minimal Team Members
This plan will cost you $299 per month. In this plan, you have all the features such as:
- 15 Staff Accounts
- Report Building
- Third-Party Shipping Rate Calculator
- Eight store Locations for POS
- Internation Pricing can be Added
This plan is ideal for users who have the followings:
- Large Scale Grown Businesses
- A large number of transactions.
- Multiple Store Locations
- Different Teams managing Stores
- Detailed Business Reports
Shopify has dozens of elite features that make it the most efficient and popular e-commerce platform. Some of the significant features that we have closely looked into are as follows:
You might be aware of the fact that “62% of users don’t like to buy from a website that doesn’t have appropriate mobile layout.”
Shopify takes care of all such aspects and provides professionally designed, clean, stylish, and attractive themes.
On Shopify, you get a Shopify Theme Store with 10 Free and 64 Premium Themes. All the premium themes range from $140 to $180.
From the Shopify Theme Store, you can filter out themes based on different industries, their appearance, and their style.
All the Shopify themes include the following basic features:
- Search Engine Optimization Compatible
- Customizable Sections
- Regular Theme Updates
- Multi-device Compatible
- Built-in Fonts and Color Palettes
- Hundreds of Stock Photos
- Multiple Social Media Tools Support
Besides these basic features, every theme will be packed with a set of unique features. You can explore them even with the Basic Shopify plan.
Organic sales play a vital role in business growth. Using SEO techniques, you can increase the organic traffic on your Shopify store. With the help of the clean and professional Shopify themes, you can convert those visitors into your customer.
Shopify supports multiple SEO tools; you can pick any of them as per your requirements. At every step, Shopify will give you relevant SEO popups.
Shopify provides a built-in marketing tool where you can do email shout-outs. However, while trying Shopify, we found that the built-in Marketing tool isn’t effective. We tried third-party apps, and Shopify does support some third-party email marketing tools. A few of them are:
- Constant Contact
- Campaign Monitor
Unfortunately, the very popular email marketing tool MailChimp isn’t supported in Shopify. This could be a deal-breaker for some of the users. However, you can have a workaround to use Mail Chimp on Shopify.
Using all these marketing tools, you can grow your business, automate marketing campaigns, and reach new customers.
Performance Analysis Tools
Shopify has a built-in reporting tool that captures different activities performed by the users on your websites. Using the reports, you can do a business analysis to understand your most performing and least performing products in the store.
Besides that, you can also understand how your users interact with your website and develop strategies to convert more users into customers.
Apart from the built-in tool, you can also connect your e-commerce store with google analytics and monitor the performance there.
Shopify has a built-in Shopify App store that contains over 3000 Apps that users can use to optimize their store and to boost product sales.
Apps from various niches are available, some of them are paid, and some are available for free. You can pick as per your convenience.
Since Shopify is a complete eCommerce platform, it offers you complimentary hosting. During our tests, it was discovered that Shopify hosting is pretty much enough to boost your store’s online presence.
Your website’s load time might increase with the number of apps you will use. So, it is recommended to pick the Shopify Apps wisely.
Shipping can sometimes be a headache for you as Shopify Store Owner, but things have been much more manageable with Shopify Shipping settings.
You can add Shipping Details on your website so that user can monitor their order status in real-time. With the Advance Shopify Plan, you can use third-party shipping calculator tools to estimate the user about their order’s shipping cost.
Some of the most popular courier companies are working in partnership with Shopify to provide easy shipping for the store owners.
In Shopify, you can also install third-party shipping apps at your convenience.
On Shopify, you have the support of over 100 payment gateways. Some are PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay.
Shopify also has its Payment Gateway, and if you use it, you won’t be charged with the transaction fee. In contrast, almost all other third-party payment gateways come up with different transaction fees.
Shopify supports internal currencies. Some of them are:
- Australian Dollar
- Japanese Yen
- Pound Sterling
- US Dollar
Your Shopify stores are compliant with all the PCI (Payment Card Industry) guidelines.
On your Shopify, you are not restricted to physical products only. You can sell your digital products. But there is something you must be aware of.
Whenever your customer buys a digital product, to download it, they have to install an Additional Application, “Shopify Digital Downloads.”
Taxes are something that we must be aware of. Shopify has a built-in automatic tax calculation tool that takes care of the basic tax calculations on orders using the Default Sales Tax rates.
It is still recommended to check the Taxes regularly so that you don’t end up in a bad situation.
Shopify POS is an application designed to track their store transactions even when they are away from their system.
Shopify POS gives you the liberty to sell gift cards, issue refunds, create notes regarding orders and accept credit cards on the go.
Shopify POS syncs instantly with the Store inventory and transactions. Of course, it is not available for free. You can avail of the app with the Basic Shopify plan, i.e., $29 per month.
With the Basic Shopify Plan, you also get a free credit card reader that can be used at stalls, fairs, and markets.
Shopify has hundreds of apps to make your job easier when it comes to product management. You can easily track your stock levels, monitor orders. Besides that, you can also update product listing regularly.
There are automatic flags such as “Out of Stock” that you can apply for items where stock levels have gone down to Zero. For different product variants, you can set various attributes details.
Shopify Product Management is more than enough to help you handle your full-grown online store.
Apart from Clean UI and elite features, Shopify offers top-notch support. Irrespective of the plan, Shopify provides similar support to all its users.
On Shopify, you can reach support using three different modes:
- 24/7 Telephone Support for Instant Solutions
- Live Chat Support
- Email and other social media Support
All these support channels of Shopify are highly active, and we, in our testing, found that, in most cases, the queries get resolved in 24 hours.
Besides that, customer service executives are well aware of the issues faced by the users, so you don’t have to spend hours explaining your problem.
However, Shopify might take a few minutes to connect you with customer support executives due to the vast customer base.
Shopify is a compelling eCommerce Platform. It caters to the needs of all categories of users. Irrespective of your business size, this tool will help you scale more.
You don’t have to spend time coding; you can simply create a stunning eCommerce store using the templates of Shopify.
Shopify Supports multiplatform selling. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about your social media users. It has a Shopify App store that contains more than 3000 apps.
On top of all this, shopping plans are exceptionally well priced and offer a great price to performance value. However, Shopify must introduce a free plan for users who want to try out Shopify. You can anyway avail the 14 days trial period.
Overall, the Shopify platform is perfect for all your eCommerce needs. We highly recommend it.