Ease of Use10/10
Support 10/10
Features 10/10
Pricing9/10

Recommended For
Add-ons
Great design
Great load times and speed
Set up over a weekend
Custom domain name
Websites Using Shopify
Pipcorn
BioLite
BugMonk
HELM Boots

Typical Customers
Large enterprises
Mid-size businesses
Small businesses
Freelancers
Training Options
Documentation
Live Online
Videos
Webinars

Support Options
Chat
Knowledge Base
Email/Help Desk
FAQs/Form
24/7
Phone Support
Commonly Used As
Retail POS System
Shopping Cart

Shopify

An eCommerce platform, Shopify allows setting up an online store and selling products online. Using Shopify POS, merchants can sell their products in person. It helps you start, grow, and manage your business. It’s a subscription-based software that permits anyone to set up an online store and products. 

Today, Shopify is a leading eCommerce platform crafted for all-sized businesses. With over 3,882,345 live websites running successfully, this eCommerce platform is maintaining its top position in the eCommerce world. Because of its popularity, it’s accepted as a safer option for launching a new online store. 

To check whether it’s best for your business, let’s check out its complete review.

Shopify Advantages Shopify Disadvantages
Much easy to use and beginner-friendlyNo free plan available, just a free trial.
Fully-hosted, so you don’t need to worry about server costs and maintenanceFor using external gateways, additional transaction fees are applicable.
When handling sensitive data, the platform is very secure.However, the plans are very accessible; the price can go up before your business becomes ready to scale. 
Low monthly feesTransaction fees
A fantastic selection of themes to choose from.Customization is limited to platform and theme capabilities.
Various Shopify partners can offer support. It’s not B2B friendly.
Various options for 3rd-party integration from their store. As you would be dealing with proprietary code, you can’t mess with the store’s backend.
Highly engaged communityYou may need to wait longer for tech support response.
It’s optimized for perfect website speed and SEO. 
Support of multi-channel retailing, offline, online, social. 
Various 3rd-party integrations from their store. 

Why use Shopify?

  • Social selling features include Facebook Shop, Buyable Pins, and Facebook Messenger. 
  • Retail POS
  • Buy Button
  • Online Store
  • Amazon Integration

Shopify in Essence

An all-in-one eCommerce solution, Shopify doesn’t demand any technical proficiency, design skills, or significant investment to sell goods or services. It’s made available to everyone globally so anyone can develop a successful online store. 

The platform provides 100+ optimized themes for your site, permits you to accept online payments, and integrates with 3rd-party apps so you can extend your toolkit without making your website slow. 

On the backend, Shopify holds a Storefront Renderer infrastructure that speeds up the website making it load 2.97 times faster than the average.

Moreover, it has built-in SEO features that assist you in optimizing your site for search. Using this eCommerce platform is as easy as registering on their website, following a simple setup process, and customizing it to your choices with its highly intuitive interface.

Shopify eCommerce Platform is Best Suitable For

Shopify is a robust platform that’s crafted to be used by anyone. It stands uniquely because of its user-friendly and versatile traits.

Shopify fits almost all businesses because of its easy usability, third-party integration, affordable pricing, scalability, and offline support. 

Shopify is recommended for:

  • Amazing design
  • Integrated retail POS
  • Social selling features
  • Great load time and speed
  • Third-party apps integrations
  • Amazon Integration
  • SEO features

A perfect Shopify user is someone who is either new to the eCommerce space, developing a business with a low budget, or both. They would benefit from the platform’s low pricing, user-friendliness, and complete features kit.

On the contrary, an eCommerce expert holding years of experience in the industry and needed funding may still benefit from the advanced plan of Shopify.

Build Your Own eCommerce Store

Hire Shopify Developers

Is Shopify Good for Beginners?

A “Shopify Expert,” there is no such thing as you don’t need the expertise to set up an online shop within minutes and even less for running it. 

Let’s check out a few reasons to check if Shopify is suitable for beginners.

  • You don’t need to pay for web or domain hosting to get your website live. Shopify offers all the core functions of a site that you don’t know. 
  • Moreover, you don’t have to design your site from scratch and think about what a site should look like. Shopify holds an intuitive online store builder. 
  • It’s needless to fret about optimizing your site’s theme, code, or features as they are all crafted to be optimized for both SEO and speed from the start.
  • Emerging as an external payment processor is not necessary. Shopify already holds a payment platform that permits your customers to pay with Paypal and credit card.
  • Product catalog management is as easy as setting a few rules. They will automatically organize.

Shopify is targeted toward newbies who don’t hold any technical skills.

Shopify Pricing 

The cost of Shopify is not restricted to the plan you pick. There are premium features, themes, and third-party apps that you will probably need to keep your store efficient. 

If you are trying to set your budget for your online store, it’s advisable to look for the additional features you will need to run it perfectly. 

Shopify Plan – What’s Best to Start?

The basic plan starts at $29/month that offers everything you need to set up a perfectly functional online store. You will upgrade your plan as your business grows. 

Although, if you are experienced and developing a particular company, then you would be more likely to pick a more advanced plan from the beginning to grow more quickly. 

Let’s check Shopify’s various options:

The 14-Day Free Trial

Shopify comes with a 14-day free trial option that unlocks all its features. So, you are free to test the platform and decide whether it suits the best to your business or not. 

To start with a trial, you need to create an account, and once you decide to cancel it, you can do that by canceling your trial account. 

Shopify Lite

If you have a blog or website, the lite plan will be better for you as it allows you to implement a catalog of products for just $9/month.

You can include a lite POS app for offline sales and accept credit cards. Also, you can add as many products as you want. 

It works with Squarespace, WordPress, Tumblr, and other platforms where you decide to hold your online presence. 

Shopify Basic

This option is recommended the most for anyone who needs to launch a new online store. It comes with the essential features to host your site with a custom domain name, accept payments, and manage the technical backend of your store. With a $29/month price tag, you get access to

  • The Point Of Sale (POS) system for offline sales.
  • Multilingual and multi-currency support.
  • Unlimited products.
  • Shopify’s online store module.
  • The Facebook and Pinterest modules permit you to sell directly on Pinterest and Facebook.
  • Sales channels on social media and marketplaces.
  • Shipping support.

Shopify Standard

The standard plan appends more features that will assist you in managing your business efficiently. It offers access to features, like

  • A lower fee from Shopify payments.
  • Shipping discounts up to 88%.
  • The caliber to append international domains and pricing.
  • Standard analytics reports track your business performance, opportunities, and weaknesses for improvements.
  • A higher number of staff accounts to expand the size of your team.

This plan is worthy despite being double and even more priced than the basic plan; this plan is excellent. 

Advanced Shopify

The most expensive plan at about $299/month, expands on the key features that will permit you to grow and scale your business ahead. 

  • You will get access to a custom report builder that holds advanced features to track nuanced metrics, collect more data, and emerge with insights that will potentially assist in scaling your business. 
  • It includes advanced reports to segment your customer base, optimize your store, and attribute revenue to your sales channels.
  • Up to 15 staff accounts to handle your business that’s sufficient for developing a decent-sized brand.
  • It arrives with 3rd-party calculated shipping rates that are more accurate. 

This Shopify plan is around quadruple of the standard plan and 10x more expensive than the basic plan just for the analytics. 

Even if your eCommerce platform is user-friendly, you always need good support to stay unstuck.

The best part is that Shopify offers all the users the same support service with whatever plan. They all get access to the same support channels:

  • 24/7 live chat support for quick solutions. 
  • 24/7 phone support for getting fast help.
  • Email and social media for requests and education.

If you fail to connect with support, you can browse their help center and get the solutions to the most common problems. 

Shopify’s Web Security and Backups

When you choose Shopify to set up your online store, you don’t need to worry about updating your platforms, websites, and apps or implementing advanced technical security protocols. Shopify is always accountable for this.

Moreover, the service covers the missed factors, such as credit card details, frauds, or privacy settings.

Shopify also offers two-factor authentication (2FA) to secure your account from undesired logins, which is highly recommended. 

The only factor to take as a warning is backups. In an emergency, when you look to recover your data, Shopify stays with you to let you export your data as a CSV file before you take a risk.

Although, you can install a dedicated backup tool for such cases from the app store.  

Shopify App Store and Third-Party Integrations

When including in-built features is a matter of concern, Shopify is always there to help you put. Because of this, there’s an official app store for you from where you can install a 3rd-party app that may go perfectly with your tech stack. 

It depends on your business whether you need to install a third-party app. But, approximately 80% of the merchants using Shopify have installed at least one such app. 

If you want to expand your store, there are a few apps that you should install. 

For example,

  • Remarketing apps craft retargeting ads specifically created to trigger sales from the customer base. 
  • Email marketing software for creating automated autoresponders and flows, sending newsletters, marketing campaigns, and segmenting audiences. 
  • A CRM to implement a sales team and manage customers.
  • Social selling apps take products to Instagram and Facebook to sell on their platforms. 

Shopify is a vast eCommerce platform that never runs out of options; that’s why it is preferred the most. 

Shopify Review: The Setting Up and Launching A Business Experience

When you create an online store, it’s as simple as the Shopify registration process and giving it a name. 

Before starting the development and customization of your business, you just need to complete two forms relevant to the products you will sell and your address; for the rest, Shopify is there for you.

After completing your registration, you will see a homepage and all the options on its left. 

Here, you will all start to build your eCommerce business. 

Themes and Store Design

shopify-theme

Three kinds of Shopify themes you can use:

  • Free themes are quite simple and enough to create an engaging website to sell products.
  • Premium themes come in varieties that can cost you within $150-$300.
  • Custom themes that you craft and code yourself and add your brand products. 

Adding and Editing Your Products

You will find adding products to Shopify quite easy. All it demands is to click on the “products” in the left bar and start adding the products’ information, including

  • A captivating product title
  • An engaging product description
  • High-quality product images
  • Inventory
  • Pricing plans 
  • Shipping options
  • Tags, and product type
  • The vendor

Also, you can add different product variants to offer your customers the chance to choose the product’s color, size, or material. 

Shopify permits you to add up to three option types and 100 values. You can always install an application to expand such numbers also. 

Also, you can add products in bulk by importing them into a .csv file. You need to jump on to the product’s dashboard, click import, and then drop the .csv file with all the product’s info. 

Managing Product Categories and Collections

Once you upload enough products, you should manage and categorize them to ease your life. 

On Shopify, you can make “collections” of products with specific conditions. Then, you just need to click on “Collections” and “add new.”

Then write the title and description, and import the collection image. 

It’s an intuitive way to add your products and is very helpful to keep the catalogs organized without tweaking things and editing manually.

Shipping Features of Shopify

You will get the “Shopify Shipping” service for product shipping that permits you to:

  • Offer local pickup and delivery rates.
  • Set up flat rates, free shipping, weight-based, and price-based rates.
  • Print shipping labels.
  • Offer real-time shipping quotations from local postal services. 
  • Offer preferential rates on shipping.

As long as you are based in Australia, North America, and the UK, you will get Shopify Shipping; else, you would have to pay an extra monthly fee, pay annually for the plan, and have the “Shopify Plus” plan or more.

If you what to consider dropshipping, Shopify is the only option. It permits adding dropshipping apps, such as AliExpress or Oberlo, to instantly offer and sell the products without struggling with the inventories or sourcing the products. 

Setting up Your Payments

Shopify permits you to accept credit cards using their “Shopify Payments” service and many 3rd-party payment providers. Also, you can accept Paypal. Various payment options are there.

Moreover, manual payments, such as cash on delivery or bank transfers, are the best options you can provide. With Shopify, you will get a plethora of options. 

Shopify Payments and the Transactions Fee

The easiest way to accept payments online is Shopify Payments. It fully integrates with your store, diminishing the requirement of setting up a third-party gateway to the merchant account. Moreover, you don’t need to input credentials as well. 

With Shopify Payments, you can handle your business and finances easily in one place. 

Shopify Payments permits you to:

  • You can set up all major cards automatically when your Shopify store is up and running. 
  • Choose your card rate according to your Shopify plan. And, you can change as per your requirements. 
  • From the Shopify admin, you can track your pending payout schedule and payout balance. 
  • In payment fees, you can view how much you will get from any order or charge as payments are connected to their corresponding orders. 
  • Based on your location, you don’t need to bear any additional transaction fees above the card rate. These include Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia. 
  • The best thing about Shopify payments is that you will be free from Shopify’s subscription transaction fees. Only store owners who use a 3rd-party payment processor. 

3rd Payment Provider for Credit Cards

When you are not using Shopify Payments and still want to accept credit cards, you can use an option from the available 100 optimized 3rd-party payment providers to accomplish this task. 

When you use a payment method other than Shopify Payments, manual payments, or POS, you will be charged transaction fees. 

Now, Shopify supports two different sorts of credit card payment providers:

  • Direct providers 
  • External providers

In case you are using a direct provider, your customers can accomplish their purchases directly on the online store with no need to pay a 3rd-party checkout. Or, if you are using an external provider, your customers need to complete their purchases on a checkout page that is hosted outside of the online store, which can risk it and make it less converting.

Although, you can always activate or even change a payment provider in your Shopify settings. 

Shopify POS

Shopify’s Point of Sale (POS) it’s an app that permits you to receive payments in person and offline that’s especially useful if you run a brick-and-mortar store and need to integrate it with your online presence. 

Shopify POS app holds the caliber to sync with your orders and inventory across all digital and physical channels. While also permitting you to manage your orders from the application. 

All the plans support the POS app, so you don’t need to fret about upgrading to get access to it. Every Shopify user can use it. 

Does Shopify accept PayPal?

Of course! You can easily integrate Shopify with PayPal. Once you open a store, you will get a PayPal Express Checkout account and receive an email asking you to open your Paypal business account to claim the money. 

What Are The Manual Payment Methods?

You will have an option to accept non-automatic payments. Shopify will permit you to manually process those sales by sending an invoice marking an order as paid and send your payment details. Moreover, it won’t charge any additional transaction fees. 

These manual payments can include

  • Cash on Delivery (COD)
  • External Credit
  • Gift Card
  • Store Credit
  • Bank Deposit
  • custom
  • Cash
  • External Debt
  • Money Order

This works well when a customer doesn’t need to pay using a credit or Paypal especially when you sell high-priced products or services that need some thought.

Automatic Tax Calculation

Based on your location, you need to include tax rates in your costs. The best part is that Shopify holds the caliber to handle all the sales tax calculations and can also set tax overrides for exceptional situations. 

Shopify will add the default tax rates automatically if you live in a country such as the US, as they update it overtime frequently. Although, you may need to check and make sure that the current rate is the exact percentage applicable to you. 

Still, the rest of the paperwork part is your responsibility. 

Built-in Marketing Features

Creating a Blog Post on Shopify

eCommerce businesses can perform better content marketing. If you need to start publishing content to magnetize visits and leads. Shopify holds a built-in option for that.

On the menu’s left bar, you will find “blog posts” under the tab “sales channels”. Next, start creating blog content for your audience, for that you will need to write a captivating title, the excerpt, and then the content. 

Furthermore, you can add the feature image, edit it as you want it to appear in the SERP, add an author, and craft categories. 

Although, you may also need to customize your blog even more and add extra features. 

For that, you would need to install 3rd-party plugins from the app store. 

Email Marketing

If you are all set to pay for email marketing, but also want to send a newsletter, then you can take the help of the “Shopify Email” email tool.

Also, you can use this in-built feature to collect leads and send branded newsletters. It’s a basic email marketing tool, but you would also need to use proper software, such as Active Campaign to craft email workflows and segmentation.

This way you can start collecting leads faster so that when you are all set to invest in email marketing, you will already hold a good-sized list to begin your campaigns. 

Moreover, all plans involve a cart recovery function to send emails to the cart-abandoning buyers that are the best backup one can have when you are still developing your business before scaling. 

Social Media Integrations

You may need to develop your social presence and sell your products on various other platforms. 

Shopify can help you with this. It can connect your product catalog with Instagram Shopping and Facebook Shop so your customers can purchase from there also without visiting your site (only in the US). 

The Facebook channel also permits you to craft marketing campaigns directly from Shopify. This is how you don’t need to log into the platform and post everything manually. 

Is Shopify Good for SEO?

Shopify is extremely SEO-friendly and permits optimization even if you are not an expert. 

Its structure organizes your website into categories that enhance search results. 

Furthermore, Shopify permits building a blog with low effort, helping to attain the SEO benefits. However, you will also need to ensure that your site structure and content are optimized to lead to more searches. 

Also, you can use various SEO integrations. 

Compared to others, Shopify is the most SEO-friendly platform you can use. 

Shopify Analytics and Reports

Selling online is one thing, but knowing the current position of your business and reviewing it routinely is another aspect. Shopify is again there to cover up this either. 

On the dashboard, in the report section, everything happens. Here you can find various sorts of professional reports, like

  • Customer reports
  • Search data reports
  • Sales reports
  • Marketing reports
  • Abandoned cart reports.
  • Finance reports

Using the advanced report builder, you can get all the data you may need being an online store manager. Also, you can go deep into your gross sales by mentioning the product title, channel, month, taxes by rate, traffic, payment method, and track any metric you want.

Here, the objection is the limitation of the plans. 

With the Shopify Basic plan, you will not get access to any data, but with the standard plan, you will be able to see some essentials, like sales or traffic data. 

You are left with only one option to upgrade to the Shopify Advanced plan that’s only worth it if you want to analyze the data to expand your business. 

Examples of Online Stores Using Shopify

Ratio Coffee

Ratio Coffee

An appealing Shopify store, Ratio Coffee holds a balanced color palette and a seamless scrolling system that exhibits its products’ elegance. The catchy phrases, video background, and simple CTA button attract visitors to be a part of the Ratio Coffee community. 

Rhone

Rhone

Developed by a team of professionals with athletics passion, Rhone permits browsing the products easily and pleasantly as it includes a nice layout and high-quality images. The bold font and light-colored background magnetize the customer’s attention to the products. 

Modern Market

Modern Market

This store offers a huge collection of photographers’ designs and tools, like legal forms, Lightroom presets, page templates, and more. 

The modern market site’s clean and minimal design is enhanced with captivating photography. Every product is exhibited with a description and instruction page, plus a video that explains further how to use all the items. 

Modkat

Modkat

A Brooklyn-based company, Modkat strives to resolve some of the cat owners’ issues through modern design. 

The easy-to-navigate and simple website list the products with top-quality images. Its collections are easily browsed and described in detail with easy checkout. 

Hauser

hauser decor

An online retailer, Hauser offers high-quality house decor items that can improve every home and turn it into a warm and cozy spot. Moreover, it uses a drop-down menu to ease browsing through its big product selection. In all the full-width images, the brand has exhibited an engaging black CTA button in all the full-width pictures that make it convenient for visitors to buy on the spot. 

Major Pros and Cons of Shopify

Here are the benefits and drawbacks you should know if you choose Shopify as your eCommerce platform. 

Advantages of Shopify

  • Secure: It is safe for processing payments and handling sensitive data. 
  • High Speed and Rapid Load Times: When you develop an eCommerce website, you need it to be secure and fast, and these features usually arrive with expensive hosting packages. But, with Shopify, you will get it in its basic plan. 
  • Great Design: Shopify is known most probably for its good designs that come with both free and paid plans and will make your site aesthetically pleasing looking. 
  • Low monthly fees: Monthly fee of Shopify is more affordable than other options, such as WordPress.
  • Easy-to-navigate and Beginner-friendly: It is beginner-friendly, so if you are a newbie, you can expect no issues while using it. 
  • Plugins and integrations: Various plugins are available in the app store that will help you enhance the feature set as per your need. 
  • Variety of Themes: Shopify comes with a good pick of themes to choose from.

Disadvantages of Shopify

  • Long response time: Sometimes, at Shopify, the tech support will leave you waiting for about half an hour, which doesn’t sound good when someone needs quick solutions. 
  • The Cost: Shopify charges the monthly subscription, the premium themes, and processing fees for the individual transactions (if you don’t use Shopify Payments). 
  • Has proprietary code: While Shopify allows the users to do whatever they want, in case you want to explore the backend, you would have to deal with its proprietary coding.

Frequently Asked Questions about Shopify for ecommerce

  1. Does Shopify include web hosting?

    As termed as a cloud-hosting eCommerce platform, Shopify includes web hosting. It states that users don't need to sign up for any external web hosting service, given that everything is handled perfectly at just one spot. 

  2. Is Shopify a good platform for beginners in ecommerce?

    Of course! Shopify is the most user-friendly eCommerce builder that assists beginners and small business persons set up and running their online stores quickly.  Shopify allows even the non-techies with no eCommerce experience or coding knowledge to develop an online store faster. 

  3. Can you sell digital products and services on Shopify?

    Yes, one can sell digital products and services at no extra cost using the “Downloadable digital assets” app available in the store. 

  4. Can you run a multilingual ecommerce store in Shopify?

    Shopify permits you to build your store multilingual. You will just need to craft a separate URL for your translated content for your consumers to see the translated version.
    You can consider one more option to include third-party apps, such as Weglot, to translate your online store.
    Moreover, if your store is on Shopify Plus, your store will automatically set your customer's region or country and currency depending on their IP address. So, it also incorporates multicurrency. 

  5. What is the difference between a content management system (CMS) like WordPress and Shopify?

    WordPress is an open source content management system and is meant mainly for building websites and blogs. To make it ecommerce compatible you need to use WooCommerce. On the other hand Shopify is a dedicated ecommerce platform that makes it super easy for businesses to launch their own ecommerce website.

Conclusion – Is Shopify the Right Tool for You?

Shopify has something that makes brick-and-mortar owners make their businesses run online. And this makes it stand uniquely in the eCommerce world. 

Shopify is one of the best-hosted eCommerce platforms for a few reasons like it’s easy to navigate and comes with various visually appealing themes. Also, it permits the users to pick as many third-party integrations options as they want that may suit your business and help it grow immensely. 

However, Shopify holds a couple of disadvantages that may affect your Shopify experiences, such as the transaction fees that you need to pay for using third-party integrations or a long response time by the tech support team. Such cases may make you go with other alternatives. 

Even because of such cons, Shopify is widely known as an all-in-one solution that makes your eCommerce experience more accessible, especially for novices.

We are a leading Shopify development company that has a great ecommerce development team offering services globally. So, if you are planning to shift your ecommerce website to Shopify or launching a new store then get in touch with us.

Author

I am an eCommerce consultant, a member of the Forbes technology council with a decade of experience in the ecommerce development segment. My expertise can make your business overcome any obstacles while you are dealing with the Magento ecommerce platform!