With 4.36 million websites using Shopify to host their online stores, Shopify is indeed an amazing platform. Most people looking forward to migrating or starting their business on Shopify are searching for a Shopify Review to learn more about it.
While many reviews claim it is one of the best ecommerce platforms out there, but is it the right choice for your business?
Shopify can have multiple features, but since your business will have different needs, it is essential to know if it can work for your business too.
To make it less hassle for you, I have shared my experience with Shopify in detail. This article will cover all the aspects and features of Shopify in detail.
So, let’s get into the details and figure out if Shopify is the best choice for you!
Note: To write this review, I have experimented with a new store to provide beginners as well as expert users with an honest review. However, as I already have a store Shopify, I made minor changes to my new store to demonstrate the process. You can check out our demo store here. (password: Demandsage)
Shopify Review: A Quick Verdict
Shopify is one of the best options for shifting your business online. It is easy to use and has many built-in features that help customize your website.
You can use customer support, mainly the help pages, for guidance to build your store from scratch. All the plans of Shopify come with unlimited storage and bandwidth, allowing you to add an unlimited number of products to your website.
However, as you scale up your business, you may have to upgrade your plan and add numerous Shopify apps for advanced features, which may cost you some good dollars.
Note: These ratings are based on my experience with the platform and may vary from other Shopify users.
|Ease of Use||4.7/5|
|Free Trial||3-day free trial|
|Pricing||Starts at $39/month|
|Best For||Small to large businesses|
|Templates and Design||4/5|
|Marketing and Sales||4/5|
Shopify Pros and Cons
Before we get into the detailed review, here are the pros and cons of Shopify.
- Easy to set up your store online.
- 24 by 7 customer service.
- POS system enables to sell the products offline.
- More than 6000 app integrations are available.
- Abandoned cart recovery option available.
- Free translation on the Shopify payments app.
- Provides assistance in marketing.
- Suitable only for e-commerce sellers.
- High-tier plans are costly.
- Free access to only a limited number of themes.
- Transaction fees are charged on every transaction.
- Overwhelming number of features can confuse the beginners.
Here’s an essential list of Shopify key terms to keep you educated on Shopify technical terms.
Shopify is an ecommerce platform that helps users create their own online store with the help of the drag and drop options. There are a variety of templates and themes available to choose from to customize your website. You can sell physical as well as digital products on Shopify.
>>Check out my article to know more about the platforms that let you sell digital products online.
The platform is suitable for beginners as it does not require any coding skills. It is also a great option for advanced users who have used other e-commerce platforms and have coding knowledge. They can edit the storefront with the help of the CSS and HTML files available on the store’s backend.
Apart from that, one of the points of Shopify that impressed me significantly is that you can manage online and offline stores with the same platform. I have explained the Shopify POS system in detail in my article ahead.
Does Shopify Offer Value For Money? (Pricing Structure)
Shopify offers three different plans: Basic Shopify and Advance.
Before we get into the details of the plans, here’s some good news for you – You can get a Shopify free trial for three days and then claim 3 months plan by just paying $1 every month.
We have already done a detailed Shopify pricing breakdown that will help you understand different pricing options and plans to choose from.
Besides, here’s a table for the pricing of Shopify to help you select the ones that best suit your needs.
|Plan||Monthly Pricing||Yearly Pricing|
|Basic Plan||$39 per month||$29 per month|
|Shopify Plan||$105 per month||$79 per month|
|Advanced Plan||$399 per month||$299 per month|
Apart from that, you can go with the Shopify Plus plan if you are looking forward to growing your brands and scaling up your sales. Also, the plan is suitable for business owners who already have set up their online store and are migrating to Shopify.
>> You can read our comparison of Shopify vs Shopify Plus to clearly understand their differences and features.
In addition to the plan prices, Shopify also charges the sellers for each transaction. This transaction fee varies for all of its plans and applies to payments made through credit cards, debit cards, and online transactions.
However, no transaction fees are applicable if the payments are made through the Shopify Payments App.
Note: To get more details on the transaction fees and other extra charges on Shopify, you can check out our article about how much Shopify charges per sale.
How does Shopify Work?
Shopify is basically an e-commerce platform that runs on its own servers. You can simply create your online store with the help of Shopify, and it will be hosted on its servers.
All you need to do is get started with one of the plans of Shopify. If you are a new user, start with the 3-day free trial and then pay $1 for three months for any plan.
Now, you can create your online store from any corner of the world with access to the internet and a laptop.
Note: You can also use the Shopify mobile application to operate or set up your store. However, I recommend you to go with the web version as it is more stable, flexible, and provides a better user experience.
You will get all the apps and integrations required in one place on the Shopify app store. Once you have set up your store with the help of drag-and-drop features, templates, themes, and integrations, you will have to proceed to set up the payment process, CMS, hosting, etc.
The platform allows users to connect their shop with multiple social media channels, existing blogs, websites, and much more.
Shopify User Interface & Ease of Use
I found the Shopify interface very easy to use and navigate. Beginners and people without technical knowledge can easily use it to create their online store. Besides, if you are facing any difficulties in the process, a wide range of tutorials and resources are available on the website.
You can set up your complete website with the help of the drag-and-drop options. Further, I played around with the store to get good at it, exploring the options and the menus available, and was able to adapt just within one day.
Additionally, several Apps can be integrated with the Shopify store to make the tasks easier and automatic.
Presently, Shopify has around 157 Themes. Of these, 12 themes are free, and the remaining 145 are paid. Select the theme that suits your industry and pocket best from the Theme library.
The number of themes available on Shopify is comparatively lower than its competitors, like Wix, which has over 880 themes. We already compared Wix and Shopify, and you can read the comparison to see the differences.
However, what I liked about the Shopify themes was that the platform provides you with themes for your different requirements.
You can choose from various industries and use filters like features and catalog size to find the theme that caters to all your needs.
I opted for a free theme named ‘Sense’ and discovered that even the free themes are fully responsive and include all the required features for a small business or individual seller.
However, if you are unsatisfied with a free theme, you can opt for a premium theme that may cost you somewhere between $170 to $380. These premium themes are aesthetically pleasing and come with some additional features.
If you are a beginner, you might be looking forward to starting with free themes. Hence, I have created a list of top free Shopify themes to help you select the one that may suit your niche and store.
Next, let us take a tour through all the basic features of Shopify that are available on all the plans.
1. Store Editor
The store editor can be easily used by sellers experimenting with other website builders or e-commerce platforms. However, if you are very new to the entire setup, you may need to learn the workings of the platform and explore the options available in the menus.
The learning curve for setting up my store on Shopify was very smooth.
Further, the store editor provides numerous options, like themes, navigation, preferences, etc., to customize your website according to your needs. But, if you can still not achieve your customization goal, you can hire a developer directly or use the Shopify Expert Market.
2. Shopify Apps
Shopify Apps act like rescuers. If you need to add a new feature to your store, there is always a Shopify App for it.
With over 8000 apps available in the Shopify App Store, you can browse them according to your category or directly search for them in the search box.
However, if you are worried about the safety and security of your store, then here’s the news: Shopify claims that these apps have to pass through 100 checkpoints before entering the Shopify App Store. Hence, Shopify takes care of your store security, and no malicious apps are listed on the app store.
So, you can choose the apps that fit your needs from the App Store without stressing about security.
Besides, if you are a beginner, I would recommend you customize your website with the help of free apps available in the app store, just exactly like I did.
But if you opt for a paid plan on the app, you will have to pay monthly for the selected plan of the App.
Shopify provides tons of checkout options and lets you customize the checkout page. So, to manage the checkout process of your orders, navigate to the settings and click on Checkout from the right side menu on the settings page.
Here, analyzing from the shopper’s perspective, you can make the changes in your checkout settings, making it easier for the shoppers to complete the process. Also, there are around 27 apps available on the Shopify App Store that can help you provide discounts, gift cards, loyalty, reward coupons, post-purchase surveys, etc.
To access the Shipping and delivery option on Shopify, open the settings from the dashboard and then click on the Shipping and delivery option on the settings menu.
Setting up the shipping and delivery for your brand can be a hassle if you are a beginner. However, you can take the help of the tutorials available on Shopify.
With Shopify, you can opt for domestic or international shipping as required. Plus, you have three options for domestic shipping: shipping, local pickup, and local delivery.
Apart from that, you can save up to 77% on Shipping with the basic plan and up to 88% with the Shopify Advanced plans. The top packages come with the USPS priority and mail cubic pricing system.
With the USPS parcel system, you can select the cubic pricing system and provide the shoppers with up to $200 shipping insurance on the selected purchases made through the Shopify payments app.
Above all, you can also integrate popular shipping apps like Ship Station, Easyship, etc., with Shopify.
Shopify is one of the top e-commerce platforms when looking forward to starting your dropshipping business.
Dropshipping is an online business model where you take customer orders and then ask the manufacturers or suppliers to fulfill the order on your behalf. You must look after the marketing and advertising part and accept the orders.
Shopify provides all the required tools and features to set up a dropshipping business, and the fun part about dropshipping is you do not have to invest a single penny in the products until you receive an order.
There are almost 472 dropshipping Apps like Aliexpress, etc., that you can easily integrate with your Shopify app. These third-party providers make it hassle-free to start your dropshipping business.
Bonus: Here is a list of the best dropshipping suppliers you can consider while starting your business.
6. Analytics and Reporting
While exploring the Shopify Analytics option, I was impressed by the detailed insights it provides its users with. You can get insights into almost every performance parameter, like total sales, orders received, conversion rates, returning customer rates, top-selling products, average order value, and much more.
It can be overwhelming as a beginner; however, in the long run, you will be able to understand the tactics and the strategies that work best for your store.
The basic plan comes with the basic reports, and the Shopify plan has the standard reports and analytics, while the advanced plan comes with the advanced reporting system.
You will also be able to change and plan the strategy for the next month or next week and experiment with your products by analyzing consumer behavior, top-sold products, sales patterns, profitability, and traffic sources.
7. Abandoned Cart Recovery
Shopify allows the sellers to recover the carts abandoned by the customers. This feature helps you email customers who have abandoned their carts and provide them with a discount or a better deal.
And the best part is you get this feature at just $5 per month, which is quite affordable compared to its competitors. Squarespace provides this feature with a plan of $65 per month, while BigCommerece offers it in a monthly plan of $105.
While learning about the abandoned cart recovery of Shopify, I came across the fact that you can provide different offers based on the steps the customer has left the cart. This means with the help of conditional formatting, you can send personalized emails or messages to customers who have:
- Just browse the products on the site but have not added them to the cart.
- Have just added the products to the cart but have not started the checkout process.
- Abandoned the cart during the checkout process.
That’s a cool tactic to regain the lost dollars on the abandoned carts.
SEO and Marketing Tools on Shopify
Your job is not done just by setting up your shop. The next step you must work on is marketing and advertising your shop and products. And what if I tell you that Shopify provides tools for this, too, and you don’t have to hustle much in the process?
Shopify comes with a wide range of advertising and marketing tools that help you to boost your online presence. It helps you in creating your online campaigns and automating the marketing process.
Cherry on the top is you can integrate various apps for social media marketing, email marketing, SMS marketing, and much more.
But it doesn’t stop here; the platform also helps you with search engine optimization, eventually improving your product visibility. I found Shopify’s SEO features were quite better than the other site hosting platforms. It allows you to easily add and change your product’s titles, descriptions, etc.
Plus, at the end of the products page, you can optimize the meta title, title of the page, and the URL for your product. This step is crucial as it boosts the visibility of your products on different search engines and helps you rank your product for the specific keywords you have used.
The platform also handles the loading time, redirects, and SSL certificate. Hence, you will not have to worry about these parameters as a beginner or an intermediate user. (These features make Shopify stand out among other website builders.)
I almost forgot to add the new site speed report that provides insights into the time required for your website to load and tips to optimize the speed.
Can You Migrate Your Store to Shopify?
Businesses on other platforms can migrate to Shopify easily and smoothly. Shopify has made the process relatively straightforward and user-friendly. However, processing and importing large amounts of data can become complicated if you have tons of data stored.
Therefore, you can get help from Shopify experts in such cases. You can hire one on an hourly basis or according to your requirements. You will be able to directly contact the expert through messages to explain your work and decide on the pay.
Shopify POS is one of the features that make the platform stand out from others. The point-of-sale features help Shopify sellers manage their online and offline sales.
It is available on all the plans of Shopify, and anyone can take advantage of the feature. If you plan to use the Shopify POS system, you must use hardware like a barcode scanner, card reader, printer, receipt, etc.
You can connect these hardware to your Shopify stores through tablets or smartphones. You can also use ‘Shopify Go’ for the purpose. It looks just like a smartphone, comes with a card reader and barcode scanner, and connects with your Shopify store. Get to know more about Shopify POS with our detailed review here.
Shopify Customer Support
Shopify customer support is available 24/7 through email, live chat support, or through phone.
At the same time, the platform also provides the users with help materials that are available in 21 languages. I found a solution for every speed breaker that came my way while creating my online store through the Shopify help center.
However, I preferred videos most of the time because I was bored reading all the text on the help pages. I really wish that Shopify could add images to demonstrate the steps. Nevertheless, my queries were solved by their videos.
Apart from that, the virtual assistant is pretty good at providing links to the help pages that can solve your queries. It provides you with a short answer, plus you get the links to the help pages that may solve your queries.
Here’s a screenshot of the virtual assistant’s response to my query.
On the other hand, there’s a drawback in the support system of Shopify. You cannot speak directly to technical support when you need help with coding or other technical stuff.
I was pretty disappointed at this as we wanted some help coding for the home page. But the good news is there is a Shopify community where you can join the discussions and groups to clear out your queries.
Above all, if you are still unable to get through a problem, you can hire a Shopify Expert. Shopify provides an option to hire help based on the problem you are facing, and they will assist you by solving your issues. You can hire one for creating a store, store development, migrating your store on Shopify, etc.
Is Shopify Right for you?
Shopify is right for you if you want to start an e-commerce shop and grow your business online. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate user, or expert, the platform will cater to all your needs.
Plus, the advanced features available in the advanced plan with Shopify apps are an all-in-one package for the business that has grown over the years. You get assistance in every step, from adding your product to the store to sales and marketing.
However, if you are a new user, starting with the basic plan is recommended, as the advanced tools will be difficult to understand and deal with. You can switch the plans as your business grows and become more familiar with the Shopify features.
If you still wish to try out other platforms, you can check out some of the top Shopify alternatives in the section ahead.
How to Get Started With Shopify?
Now that you know how the Shopify platform works and details about its features, let us look at how to get started with the actual process.
I have provided a step-by-step guide that will guide you in setting up your store.
- Create a Shopify store with the help of a free trial
Visit the Shopify website with the help of the link provided. Log in to Shopify with the help of your Emal ID and Password.
- Select a domain
Your Shopify store will come with a Shopify domain. However, if you need a custom domain, you can also connect your Shopify store to the custom domain.
If you are a beginner, I recommend starting with the Shopify domain and setting up your online store completely before you purchase a customized domain.
The platform allows users to buy a third-party domain with the help of the third-party registrar. On the other hand, if you already own a domain, you can connect it with your Shopify store and redirect the traffic to your store.
- Design your Store
Once you complete the required formalities, you must design your store. You can create an eye-catching storefront with more than 100 themes and thousands of available templates.
The drag-and-drop option makes designing easier, and you can create the desired storage within hours by eliminating and adding the elements to your website.
You can also use your brand pallet to customize the colors and fonts on your website and add your brand logo.
- Add key pages to your store
The next step to make your Store more functional is adding the other required pages like the ab0ut page, product pages, privacy policies, etc. You can also add the blog pages to publish the content regularly.
- Add products
Once you have planned and created proper pages, you can add your products according to the pages and categories. Make sure to add appropriate titles and meta descriptions.
Also, make a point to add aesthetic images to attract your audience’s attention.
- Add the required apps and integrations
The next step is to add the required app for that extra touch in the design of your website or for additional functionalities that make your catalog appear more appealing. You can select from a wide range of apps available on the Shopify app store.
- Set up the payment method
Once you are done optimizing your website, you will have to set up the payment method. You can choose from the options available according to your target audience and make the checkout process more straightforward.
- Set up shipping method
The next step is to set up the shipping options you want your audience to choose. As explained earlier, Shopify provides various shipping options, and you can choose ones according to your needs.
You can also integrate Shopify with other delivery services to make the process more affordable and quicker.
- Set up Taxes
Your product prices will include taxes as applicable in the country you are selling your goods in. Hence, according to the standard law and requirements, make the required tax settings and save the changes made.
- Launch your website
Once, you are done with all the store setup, launch your website. If you are using the free trial of Shopify, you will be asked to pick a plan before launching your website.
After subscribing to a Shopify plan, you can remove the password from your Shopify store, and it will then be visible to the public.
Note that your site will be visible on the search engine only after you have launched your store.
- Work on sales and marketing
Launching your website is not the last step. You will have to connect the sales channels like social media, email, etc., and work on the marketing and advertising of your products and store.
You can run campaigns, send advertising emails and SMS, and market your store on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and other social media apps.
>>For a detailed guide on how to sell on Shopify, you can check out our comprehensive guide to start selling on Shopify. This guide includes a step-by-step procedure to set up your store and sell your products on the platform.
Shopify Alternatives: Does it Beat Other Platforms?
Here are some of the best Shopify alternatives you can look for.
1. Shopify vs Squarespace
As seen earlier, Shopify is suitable just for e-commerce businesses. Still, Squarespace is the right option for you if you are a blogger, or freelancer, or even if you want to create a website for your small business. This is because Shopify is an ecommerce platform, while Squarespace is a website builder.
Apart from that, when speaking of affordability, hand-down Squarespace is the clear winner, with its highest plan costing $49 per month if billed annually and $65 per month if billed monthly. This is way less than Shopify. Furthermore, with our Squarespace promo code, you can save additional on your plan or opt for a Squarespace free trial!
Check out Shopify vs Squarespace for more details and insights about how they compare against each other.
2. Shopify vs Wix
Wix is again a website builder with an e-commerce plan for users who want to start their online business. Wix also offers a free plan, which is not suitable for setting up your online store.
Apart from that, when speaking of affordability, here, too, Shopify loses, but the higher prices justify the unlimited storage of Shopify. On the other hand, Wix provides just 50GB of storage with its e-commerce plan.
However, if you are a beginner, using Wix for building your website will be much easier, but you won’t get access to all the features available in Shopify.
Moreover, if you just want to start your online business without paying much and in a hassle-free way, then Wix is a better option for you.
Head over to the detailed review on Wix. We have provided comprehensive insights about the platform.
Bonus: We have an exclusive Wix promo code that you can check!
3. Shopify vs WooCommerce
WooCommerce is also an ecommerce platform just like Shopify, but it works in integration with WordPress. WooCommerce helps WordPress user customize their website for selling their products. The integration makes the site more functional and allows the users to further customizations.
On the contrary, Shopify does not require integration with any other platform and is a standalone website builder with better security than Wix, as Wix is an open-source platform.
>> Check out our detailed comparison for further insights into Shopify vs WooCommerce.
Shopify is undoubtedly an unbeatable option when looking forward to starting your e-commerce shop as a beginner. Plus, the free trial and $1 per month offer makes it worth trying.
Once you have exhausted your three-month discount, you can use our exclusive promo codes to get the Shopify plans at discounted rates.
Shopify is actually worth it with its user-friendly interface, drag-and-drop options, and customizable features. The platform includes everything you need to start your online business. Additionally, the platform is reliable and secure as all the security factors are taken care of by Shopify itself.
One of the significant disadvantages of Shopify is that the higher plans available on the platform come with higher costs. Plus, the users must pay the transaction fees on all the transactions made by the customers with any payment method except the Shopify payments app.
If you are looking forward to setting up your own business and creating a brand, Shopify is definitely a better option than Amazon. With Shopify, you can customize your website and provide a personalized touch to your store with the help of themes, templates, and other Shopify Apps. On the other hand, Amazon allows its users just to list its products, and you cannot create your brand on the platform.
For each transaction your customer makes, Shopify charges 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction on the basic plan. However, for the Shopify plan, the transaction fee is 2.5% + $0.30; for the advanced plan, the transaction fees are 2.4% + $0.30.
Most of the Shopify stores are new startups, and just like most of the new startups fail, so do the Shopify stores. However, some of the top reasons Shopify stores fail are a selection of the wrong niche, lack of proper strategy and plan, insufficient efforts in advertising and marketing, and lack of knowledge in working with the platform.