Have you ever wanted to start an e-commerce business but didn’t know what platform to use? We know your pain! We were there once, but what we found is the hands-down best platform to use to sell your products is none other than Shopify. In this post, we will take you through a detailed review of Shopify so you can assess if this company is the right fit for you.
This post will cover everything from their features, apps, functionality, and pricing plans. So let’s dive in and embark on the world’s largest e-commerce platform!
Shopify – An Introduction of the Powerful Platform!
Shopify is the most straightforward web application that allows users to build e-commerce stores that enables them to launch products to customers worldwide. With over one million users in over 175 countries, Shopify is a well-established and highly regarded website builder. Equipped with all the necessary designs and marketing tools that an online seller needs to launch, advertise, and sell products, it’s no surprise its presence is global.
Shopify originally started in 2004 when both founders were frustrated trying to find an e-commerce platform that had the tools necessary to start an online store. They officially launched Shopify in 2006 and has made it their mission to make sure that Shopify users don’t need to be a tech wizard to design, optimize, or handle their store. Shopify offers you a range of user-friendly themes, templates, tools, and apps with advanced functionality, giving you everything you need to thrive online.
Plans by Shopify
Shopify is one of the most flexible and reliable platforms out there, and they offer three different plans depending on the type of business you are trying to start.
Offered at $9 per month – this plan is for anyone who wants to sell products without maintaining an online store. So if you want to sell your products on social media or embed a Buy Button on a website or blog, you can do so with this plan. This plan comes with Shopify’s standard features for point of sale and Buy Button sales channels, their Overview dashboard, and their Finances report. However, Shopify Lite does not allow you to build an online store.
Offered at $29 per month – This is the most affordable package for people to get started and allows you to sell an unlimited number of products. If you want to start a store with many different products, this is the best plan for you. They give you two staff accounts and even include an abandoned cart recovery in this plan as well as phone support.
Offered at $79 per month – This plan has everything Basic has and more. This plan is best suited for a growing business that needs more features, such as Acquisition reports, Inventory reports, Behavior reports, and Marketing reports. This plan also includes a lower credit card fee for all purchases made on your website (only 2.6%).
Offered at $299 per month – This package enjoys all the services and features offered by Shopify and even a lower credit card payment rate. This plan comes with 15 staff accounts and access to an advanced report builder and third-party shipping rates.
Offered at Personalized Budgets – Tailored for high volume sellers and large businesses with Enterprise-grade solutions, you will only need this plan if you have a staff of over 15 and need more flexibility for your store.
Features – What Makes Shopify Special?
You’ve seen the different plans they offer, but in this Shopify review we’ll show you it is more than just a company with flexible pricing plans.
The number one thing that the developers kept in mind when creating Shopify was making sure it was user friendly. With absolutely no coding expertise needed, you can upload multiple products to your store and design your website in a myriad of ways with relative ease.
Shopify effortlessly integrates all the necessary tools needed to build a website and gives your store a clean and highly professional look. If you are looking to add advanced features to your store then you can always go to Fiverr and hire an affordable freelancer with Shopify set-up experience.
The themes Shopify offers are pre-built frameworks for designing the layout of a website. Their pre-built themes are catchy, and they have multiple different types of themes, depending on your type of store. You may differentiate your theme by design or niches like electronics, Home Décor, boutique, and more. You can even pick a theme based on more technical features like:
- Customization or Personalization
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media Integration
- Freely available optimization resources
- Language Switch
Their themes are responsive, meaning regardless if your user is on their smartphone or desktop, your webpage layout will adjust accordingly. Shopify offers ten free themes to all its users, or you can purchase one of the 64 premium themes they have available.
Although they offer a variety of pre-built themes, all of their themes can be edited to your liking. Their drag and drop feature allows you to edit their theme templates to customize your page to your liking.
Shopify App Store
Shopify has a very dynamic app store that lets you install a variety of apps to your site to enhance the functionality and features that you might need according to your business needs. There are hundreds of free and premium apps that you can use to achieve your goals, whether that’s email marketing, landing page building, heat map analytics, and more.
In our Shopify review, we wanted to explore not just e-commerce but dropshipping in particular. Dropshipping is perfect for anyone who prefers not to hold any inventory when starting their e-commerce website. To do dropshipping on Shopify, all you have to do is add products to your site and dropship them with automated and manual apps. They even give you features so that you can set your shipping preferences, calculations, and more.
It also allows you to install the app for integration with your desired dropshipping supplier to automate the process by automatically forwarding the orders to your dropshipping supplier or manually handle one by one.
Shopify offers proper management of your product, like creating variations based on size, color, material, and weight. These management features allow you to handle your product display and inventory properly.
Payments Gateways are an important and highly crucial part of any business. Hence Shopify enables you to receive payments from customers through Paypal, Amazon Pay, Stripe, etc. It allows for up to a total of around 100 payment gateways and accepts payments in all the popular currencies.
SEO & Marketing Tools
SEO and Marketing tools are the leading players in generating traffic to your website that leads to sales. Shopify offers you many tools to optimize your digital marketing efforts.
Some of the Marketing tools include:
- Analytics Tools: It gives you reports, similar to Google Analytics, about the performance of your site
- Email Marketing: Apps such as Segundo, Constant Contact, etc. can be easily implemented to handle email marketing efforts.
- Multi-Lingual: Some of the themes or plugins like Langify can be downloaded to create multi-lingual stores effortlessly.
PROS & CONS
Every website building platform has Pros and Cons, and in our review we found that Shopify is no different.
- Advanced Functionality and Features for self-driven online businesses
- More than 1000 apps in the Shopify app store to download and add new functionality to your site
- Shopify allows you to work directly with them to get hosting
- They offer a 14 day Free Trial
- Ten free themes and hundreds of free apps to help you get started on a tight budget
- Advanced inventory management and sales automation and order fulfillment
- Integrates with almost all Dropshipping Suppliers apps
- It allows you to sell on multiple channels like Facebook, Instagram, eBay, and Amazon.
- Highly dedicated customer support team
- They charge a transaction fee for payments put through the app
- Their blog section offers minimal customization
- Switching themes can distort the content and don’t always reformat easily
- You will have to buy some apps to automate the dropshipping process
Shopify is a full-fledged advanced e-commerce platform that offers value to its customers and allows them to start their business with minimal costs. It is built specifically for building online stores and has a solution for all the different problems associated with running an online business. They continuously are optimizing their user interface and releasing new apps that will enable you to solve technical issues and add functionality and features.
It has all the necessary tools to launch and maintain an online business, ranging from simple themes to advanced optimization and automation apps.
It can also be integrated with all the popular dropshipping suppliers that will allow you to expand your business like Ali-express and DHgate.
If you are serious about building an online store, then you’re going to want to use Shopify.
Let the hard part of your business be finding the right products to sell and let Shopify handle the rest.
Considering they offer a 14-day free trial as well as free customer support, there is no risk in giving this platform a try.