One of the largest confusions faced by aspiring E-Commerce store owners is — the ideal eCommerce platform to build the online store. The first platform that comes to mind when you are planning to build an E-Commerce store is Shopify. It has helped to power more than One Million online stores. Before choosing Shopify, you should make sure its functionalities align with your requirements.
You might also be wondering, why is Shopify so ubiquitous in the E-Commerce world? Is it worth spending money on Shopify? Let’s break through all the facts about Shopify. Taking my Shopify store experience into consideration, I have written a comprehensive Shopify Review. To understand Shopify’s strengths and limitations, refer to this article as an ideal resource. It teaches you how to make critical decisions with Shopify without making a mistake. Make sure to read the entire article for a clearer understanding of Shopify.
|Total Employees||10,000 (2021)|
|Total number of stores||1,000,000 +|
|Countries used||over 150 countries|
|Total revenue||US$4.611 billion|
Is Shopify User-friendly?
Shopify shines out when it comes to ease of use. The process of setting up and operating a Shopify store is quite easy. People with no technical background can effortlessly set up and operate Shopify stores. You can add the products to your E-Commerce store within a few simple steps. There are numerous Shopify themes available if you want to change the look and content layout of your store. You don’t even need to know any code to change the theme of your store. Let’s find out how easy it is to use Shopify, section by section.
How does Shopify work?
The Shopify platform allows individuals to set up their online store in a few easy steps. It comes with all the required features inbuilt to launch and run an online store. If you want to start an online business from scratch, I would say Shopify is the ideal platform for you. No matter how large or small your business is, Shopify has a plan that fits your needs.
Additionally, Shopify comes with a 14-day free trial so that you can evaluate whether it suits your needs or not. The online store owners can also customize the store with numerous free and paid themes available within the platform. All of these functionalities make Shopify simple to comprehend and utilize for everyone.
How to Start a Shopify Store?
The real question now is how to get started with your Shopify store. Well, It’s really simple to get started using Shopify. One of the perks of Shopify is, It comes with a 14-day free trial. It also helps you to become acquainted with all the features before paying.
You just need to follow the given steps below to successfully start your Shopify eCommerce store.
- Create a Shopify account by making use of their free trial.
- Customize your online store using multiple free and paid themes available within the store.
- Add all the products you want to sell in your online store.
- After you have successfully added the products, you’ll need to set up the delivery options and payment gateways.
- After you design your website, the most important factor is to market your products on different platforms. Shopify has all the necessary apps required for marketing your products.
- In terms of setting up and running a Shopify store, it can be done very quickly and easily with a few simple steps.
Adding Products to the Shopify store
Adding products to the store is such an easy task in Shopify which includes only a few easy steps process. All you need is brief details about the product like weight, volume, size, color, and a product image. Mentioning all these details will increase the trust of the store. Only a few simple steps that need to be followed to add products to the Shopify store.
Content layout in Shopify
When it comes to content layout in Shopify, free themes aren’t as adaptable to modern customization approaches. It does not allow drag-and-drop editor alternatives, as it still uses a WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) editor. The new updates of paid Themes, on the other hand, give you access to different content layouts. It offers the extra content layout modification required for the online business, similar to what other websites do.
Verdict: By considering the above aspects, I will say Shopify has an easy-to-use interface and features. So Shopify wins the game with ease of use when compared to the ease of use.
Are Shopify Themes Customizable?
People usually prefer Shopify due to its incredible features and its ability to make its usage as simple as possible. This statement applies to customization as well. You can use the Shopify store’s themes to customize the store according to your requirements. There are thousands of ready themes and templates available in the theme library. You just need to use them and replicate the design in your store. You need to follow a few simple steps to apply the ready themes and templates to your store.
Shopify has thousands of ready themes and templates, yet it is quite difficult to customize each section of the theme. Since you have to follow a series of steps to customize Shopify themes. Theme customization services can be done by a person who has a technical understanding in which they need to undergo multiple processes given below.
In order to do the advanced customization in the Shopify themes, you need to follow the different set of steps.
Verdict: Although Shopify has many free themes and paid themes. It is difficult to customize the themes and content layouts. Shopify needs to find a way to improve in this aspect of customizing the store.
Shopify Plans and Pricing
Shopify has five plans in total with different pricing and features. They are
- Shopify Basic plan– $29
- Shopify regular plan- $79
- Shopify Advanced plan– $299
- Shopify Lite plan- $9
- Shopify Plus plan- $2,000
Out of five, the first three, i.e Basic plan, Regular plan, and Advanced plan, are the most widely used plans. All three plans support a fully-fledged online store with all important features.
|Features||Shopify Basic plan29$||Shopify Plan||Shopify Advanced plan|
|Manual order creation||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Free SSL certificate||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Abandoned cart recovery||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Inventory locations||Upto 4||Upto 5||Upto 8|
|Third-party calculated shipping rates||–||–||Yes|
International online business features
|International market management||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Market domains and sub-folders||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Duties and import taxes||–||Yes||Yes|
The two other plans, Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus, are designed to cater to different types of entrepreneurs. The features and pricing of these plans are discussed below:
Shopify Lite plan: This plan of Shopify is for entrepreneurs who are looking to turn their existing website into an online store by adding a buy now button. It is also preferred to use Point of Sale. Just like other plans, this plan also has a 14-day free trial. The pricing of the Shopify Lite plan is $9 per month. This plan includes some of the necessary features like Shopify Admin access, Overview dashboard, Shopify POS, Finances reports, Order management, Custom discounts, discount codes, etc.
Shopify Plus plan: This plan is preferred by enterprise-level businesses. The highlighted features of Shopify are Unlimited staff accounts, Advanced Shopify apps, Lower Transactional Fees, Custom Automations, Omnichannel Capabilities, and many more.
Shopify Plus plan pricing starts at $2,000 and it can be negotiable for large businesses.
I feel Shopify offers decent pricing plans for the features they are offering.
Verdict: Therefore, Shopify’s cost is fair, and it has quality features. The best part about Shopify is that almost features are present in all the plans.
Shopify Features that Help to Increase Your Sales
A Shopify store can serve as a one-stop-shop for all of your E-Commerce needs. With Shopify, you have access to all the functionality you need to boost sales and improve the appearance of your website. Hence this is the most preferred platform for starting an E-Commerce website. Now let’s go into detail about the features that make Shopify a top-rated one.
Shopify App store
Shopify has a vast set of third-party apps in its Shopify app store. They have advanced functionality for every feature, like store design, marketing, conversion, customer service, sourcing products, store management, merchandising, fulfillment shipping, etc. They include both paid and free apps in the Shopify App Store.
Shopify has its own payment gateway called Shopify Payments. Payments are handled through this gateway to eliminate the use of third-party apps. There will be transaction fees associated with every payment gateway, i.e. of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. Shopify payments come with the exception that it will not support all countries. If your business is in other countries that Shopify payment does not support, you can use other popular gateways like Stripe, Paypal, Facebook Pay, Amazon Pay, and Apple Pay. There will also be credit card processing costs, third-party payment processors, and subscription transaction fees from Shopify.
Shopify offers extra functionality called Shopify Point Of Sale, which allows you to sell your products through physical stores, markets, and pop-up shops. This helps to maintain your inventory, it will synchronize your sales online as well as POS. Additionally, Shopify POS sells retail hardware straight from their hardware shop for use in physical establishments. In this way, Shopify supports small businesses to get established in the market.
CSV import and Export of Data
When you have a huge list of products to update in the store, it is quite difficult to do it manually. So Shopify has CSV import and export of data from the store. Exporting and Importing data is quite simple when you have an understanding of Shopify API. CSV import and export feature is a must-have feature for all E-Commerce features as it saves a lot of time and manpower. You can also rely on some third-party apps in the Shopify app store for the import and export functionality.
Shopify has this feature called product variants which helps with maintaining the products according to variations. You can keep different sizes and colors of the same product and adjust the cost accordingly. This option helps you to correspond with your product inventory, fulfillment, and shipping. This is a great time saver option for someone who has more variants of products.
The best thing about Shopify is it supports Dropshipping. Dropshipping involves listing the products on the website and fulfilling the orders through third-party suppliers. Shopify consists of all the necessary features like adding products, payment gateways, and Dropshipping apps required for a dropshipping business model.
Shopify has multiple certified third-party apps which makes dropshippers work easy. You just need to download the best dropshipping app from the Shopify app store and log in to the app. You should add the products you want to sell in your store to the dashboard. You can also customize those products in your store. Once you are done with all these steps, You just need to import these products to your Shopify store. It seems simple, right? Yes, Shopify offers straightforward procedures to launch a dropshipping business.
If you have an international business, the currency is the major issue faced by many customers. Often times there may be chances of losing customers due to default currency. Shopify comes into the picture in this case. Shopify offers to sell your products to international customers in their own currency. Sounds wonderful, right? Well, Shopify offers this feature of numerous currency selections, which makes it simple to attract consumers from outside. Multiple currencies only work if you use Shopify payments gateways. If you are using a payment gateway other than this, you need to use a third-party app for multi-currency functionality.
The steps you need to follow to use multiple currencies options are as follows:
Shopify admin > Settings > Payments > Add country
Shopify Page Speed
Nowadays, impulsive brains drive the majority of online purchases. When customers can browse the store without glitches or page loading issues, this helps to stay on the website for a long time. So page speed majorly impacts the sales of the store. Shopify loads all of its pages incredibly quickly, which is one of its best qualities. It provides the finest user experience for the customers, encouraging them to return to the store. Additionally, Shopify features the greatest mobile view of the store. It makes it simple for people to engage in shopping through mobile phones.
Abandoned Cart Recovery
Shopify has this special feature called Abandoned cart recovery. It makes it easier for store owners to find the customers who have added products to their carts but left after changing their minds. Store owners can attract those customers by sending them notifications in their mail with discounts and coupon codes. The best part about this feature is that it is available for all the plans, whereas on other platforms you need to pay more for the same feature. It is the best feature to retain your lost customers through a quick reminder.
Verdict: Shopify excels in its sales tools which help get customers and help businesses meet their sales goals.
Automatic Tax Calculations
The biggest challenge of selling online is that you would be selling worldwide, and every country and state has its own tax rates, which you have to add to your products at final checkout; otherwise, you will have to pay those taxes out of your pocket. You can’t always calculate those taxes yourself; that’s where Shopify comes in. Shopify automatically applies tax rates for most territories which is a great deal for any online seller.
You can also override to set up taxes for territories on your own. The one thing you should remember is that Shopify won’t be helping you with sales taxes. You should register your business with a federal or local tax authority to have them handle sales taxes for you.
SEO and Marketing Tools Make Shopify Stand Out
Shopify provides a wide range of marketing tools, including SEO tools, blogs, email marketing, Google Smart Shopping, Facebook ads, etc. Due to Shopify’s end-to-end marketing capabilities, these features make it unique. Let us explore each of Shopify’s marketing features in more detail.
Shopify offers Email Marketing to all the plans for free. It has the functionality of Email Marketing wherein store owners can send 2,500 emails per month for free. In case you have already used 2500emails and want to send more, you will be charged $1 USD for every 1,000 emails. Apart from that if you prefer premium functionalities you can always prefer third-party apps from the Shopify app store.
Some of the well-known apps for Email Marketing are Segundo: Email Marketing, Omnisend Email Marketing & SMS, Klaviyo: Email Marketing & SMS, Automizely Email Marketing and Upsells, Pop Up, and Email Marketing. You can choose any one of these according to your requirements.
Shopify provides some of the best-inbuilt functionalities that make it possible to perform SEO practices. It lets you alter title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs for blog posts, webpages, products, and collections easily. You can edit the alt text of the images which helps to rank better on google. Shopify is also good for using advanced SEO tricks like crawling URLs, including 301 redirects, Content delivery network in themes, etc. The platform is generally effective at making best SEO practices.
Shopify has an inbuilt blogging feature which is the most essential feature. It helps to drive traffic to the website and build credibility in the market. Shopify doesn’t have premium blogging features like blog categorization. If you need advanced features in blogging again you need to use third-party apps from the Shopify app store. Some of the trustworthy apps for blogging are LayoutHub ‑ Easy Page Builder, Bloggle: Blog SEO & Blog posts, DropInBlog ‑ SEO Friendly Blog, etc.
Social Media Integrations
Shopify allows you to have social media integration with multiple platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. This is the best way to promote and sell your products through social media platforms. You should have a business account on social media and need to follow certain steps to integrate your store with social media with your store. This is one of the amazing features that Shopify offer and is good to have any online store.
Shopify helps you to create and run marketing campaigns. It helps in setting up the daily budget for ads and helps to reach the right audience. Shopify has this feature called Google Smart Shopping which helps to set the daily budget for your Google ads. You can also use Shopify to choose the targeted audience to run the Facebook ads. Shopify has the feature of performance overviews for tracking your campaigns from all channels.
Verdict: In the marketing feature Shopify, have almost every feature except advanced blogging options. Shopify needs to work on the blogging feature to become the best of all platforms.
When it comes to Analytics, Shopify has advanced Analytics which helps to understand your store activity through the reports. Shopify includes Financial Analytics, Product Analytics, acquisition reports, inventory reports, behavior reports, marketing reports, Order reports, Sales reports, Profit reports, etc. The best part about these reports is they are available for all the Shopify plans except Shopify lite. Shopify Lite users can access only the Analytics page, Financial Analytics, and Product Analytics. This way Shopify is better than other platforms for understanding the store activity and performance through unique reports.
How Secure is Shopify?
When it comes to security Shopify takes care of your store. Shopify provides free SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) encryption at 256-bit. It helps to safeguard your store’s data and internet connection. Shopify takes care of your store in terms of hosting. Hence you just need to take care of the Shopify admin password. Shopify handles the entire System, so there is no need to update the software or the plugins. Hence, Shopify is a secure solution.
Shopify Customer support
Shopify has an excellent customer support system along with many guides and resources online. Shopify has 24*7 customer support via phone call, live chat, and email. They have a large amount of educational content on their website, such as step-by-step guides, informational content, etc. From this, we can conclude that Shopify offers excellent customer support.
A Quick Recap of Shopify features Review
|Ease of use||4|
Comparison with Other Platforms
We have researched the three best alternatives to Shopify. You can choose these platforms if you feel Shopify is unable to fulfill your requirements.
Shopify vs Squarespace
- Check our detailed, Squarespace vs Shopify comparison.
When comparing Shopify with Squarespace, there are a few major differences you need to consider. A general thumb rule is that Squarespace is used for generalized content and creativity-based websites. Whereas Shopify is best suited for e-commerce requirements. Both Shopify and Squarespace offer a 14-day free trial. The pricing of the Squarespace plans starts at $16 to $49. Whereas Shopify plans start with $9 to $2000.
With regards to functionalities, Shopify has most of the required features. But in Squarespace, you need to go for third-party apps for minimal features. If you are more conscious of the features, you should choose Shopify. You can choose Squarespace if your focus is more on content and needs more versatility in content layout.
Wix vs Shopify
While comparing Wix with Shopify, we can understand that Wix users are more than Shopify. Though they both have quite distinct goals, both platforms have unintentionally started competing. The main objective of Wix is to create a content-based website. Whereas Shopify’s main objective is to build an online store. They also offer a free plan with fewer features. When it comes to pricing, they have unique plans for basic websites and E-Commerce websites. E-Commerce website prices range from $27 to $59. In contrast, Shopify plans range from $9 to $2000 and include the majority of the functionality. So in short, if you are emphasizing more to build a content-based website, then you can choose Wix. In case if you are interested to build an E-Commerce website choose Shopify.
Big Commerce vs Shopify
Both BigCommerce and Shopify are used to build E-Commerce websites. The decision between these two will rely on your needs. Shopify is easier to use than Bigcommerce. With regards to pricing, both Shopify and Big Commerce provide pricing that is practically the same. However, Big Commerce limits some of the features in their standard plan.
You can benefit from BigCommerce’s zero transaction costs for all plans when it comes to fees for transactions. Whereas in Shopify you need to use Shopify payments to avoid transaction fees which are not supported for all countries. When it comes to customer support Shopify wins the show. By considering all these points above, you can choose the platform according to your needs.
Pros and Cons of Shopify
Every product comes with a number of advantages and disadvantages. Likewise, Shopify has pros and cons of its own. Let’s have a quick review of Shopify’s pros and cons.
Pros of Shopify
The advantages of Shopify are as follows:
- Shopify’s interface is simple, Hence it is easy to use.
- It comes with a vast number of functionalities at a reasonable price.
- It has a lot of free and paid themes that help design the website.
- It has its own app store wherein all apps are approved by Shopify.
- Shopify has a lot of inbuilt marketing and Sales features.
- Shopify supports its customers equally without discrimination of the plans chosen.
Cons of Shopify
The disadvantages of Shopify are as follows:
- Shopify’s themes are quite difficult to customize.
- The pricing of the Shopify store may be too high for someone just getting started.
- There are no advanced features when it comes to blogging.
- They charge more for transaction fees on third-party apps like Paypal, Stripe, etc.
Conclusion: Shopify Reviews (2023)
Here is my in-depth review of Shopify. As you have already gone through the full article. Shopify needs to improve on certain points to become the best of its kind. You are now aware of the capabilities and pain points of the Shopify platform. So many of you may be wondering Who should choose Shopify? It is the best choice for anyone looking to start a fully-fledged E-Commerce store at an affordable price. Take advantage of Shopify’s 14-day free trial to get a better grasp of the platform’s functionalities.
FAQs On Shopify
Yes, Investing in Shopify is definitely the best decision because it offers vast features at a reasonable price. Its easy-to-use interface makes it simple to use and doesn’t require extensive technical knowledge.
Shopify is an E-Commerce platform wherein individuals can build their fully-fledged E-Commerce store even without any appropriate technical skills.
Yes, Shopify is a good option for beginners as it doesn’t require you to know any coding skills. You can also refer to Shopify’s massive resources or guides to understand how to use the platform.
Selling on Shopify is profitable. You just need to know how to implement the strategies to make money through an E-Commerce store.
Shopify is a Canadian multinational company founded by Tobias Lütke and Scott Lake in 2004.