Is Shopify Right For Your Store?
A list of eCommerce platforms won’t be complete without the inclusion of Shopify. In fact, Shopify reviews dominate the search for eCommerce site builders. To date, there are over 2 Million websites using Shopify for content and product management. It’s used by all types of people and for almost any product imaginable. Shopify is known for ease of use since users don’t need to code anything.
You can find almost any type of online store hosted in Shopify. From novelty items to enterprise products, Shopify has processed and sold it all. But is the Shopify website builder really worth your money? In this post, we will discuss Shopify’s specs, designs, payment gateways, and more.
Shopify PROS and CONS
For starters, here’s a quick look on the platform’s advantages and disadvantages:
-It can be connected across various selling platforms like Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Instagram.
-Impressive inventory system that stands out among competitors
-Best for both beginners and veteran online store owners
-Very scalable, especially for stores planning to expand their product line in the future
-Availability of offline features
-The content wouldn’t adjust well whenever you switch themes
-The storefront has to be created between the dashboard and editor, a hassle for some.
-There are platform transaction fees as a percentage of the sales.
Shopify won’t be famous without its reliable features. If you’re looking for a streamlined platform where you can manage products, collect payment, do taxes, and everything, a little hassle wouldn’t hurt. Here are some of the platform’s features that make it stand out among its competitors:
Add-ons and apps. To date, Shopify has over 1,200 apps for any functionality that you need. You no longer have to source add-ons outside the platform. Some are free while others come with an additional monthly charge.
Multi-channel integration. Shopify can be connected to Amazon, eBay, Instagram shop, and Facebook. Aside from having a separate online store, you can spread the sales stream in different platforms.
Payment gateways. Standing out from its competitors, Shopify has over 100 payment gateways that you can set up for your store including its own Shopify Payments.
Easy shipping. Shopify does a great job in helping you manage international shipping. They have partnerships with major logistics providers like DHL Express, USPS, Canada Post, and UPS.
Abandoned cart recovery. Shopify will allow you to set up an email system that will automatically send whenever a customer leaves the cart without checking out.
Shopify has tons of features, but like any website builder, it can’t house all the needed functionality of its users. You can enjoy the platform’s core features aside from the hyper-specialized product tools that web developers can use.
Shopify themes and designs
Currently, Shopify offers 10 free website templates together with more than 50 paid themes. All of the free designs are contemporary but there’s no doubt that spending for a dedicated theme would be beneficial. Their premium themes are priced between $140 and $180. A bit expensive, but worth it if you’re looking for a design that matches your product perfectly.
All of Shopify’s themes are mobile responsive, meaning your customers will have total ease of navigating the store across devices. This feature is very crucial in online stores. In fact, around 40% of overall eCommerce sales were processed via mobile gadgets. In Shopify alone, purchases via mobile gadgets soared to 64% back in 2017.
Another great thing about Shopify is that all themes are multilingual. Take note, though, that editing the website’s theme can be done in two ways: the editing interface and the dashboard. For basic aesthetics, you can use the editing interface while the dashboard is for technical stuff.
Product and inventory management
One of the most exciting parts of Shopify is its product management and inventory tools. All of their packages have unlimited product slots paired with dozens of shipping, sales, and tax add-ons.
Some of the add-ons in Shopify is free, but most comes with a certain fee. Although you’re going to spend more, it’s worth the bucks if you want to skip the hassle of setting up a third-party software.
You can also tweak the shipping settings to customize the shipping costs for either international or domestic orders.
What about the ever-boring taxes? Don’t worry, Shopify won’t leave you hanging by a thread. Aside from the Shopify fees calculator, the platform also provides computation and reports for you. No need to do the math on your own. Still, Shopify advises that you consult with a tax accountant, especially if your store is large.
Shopify payment gateways and shipping
When it comes to online payments, you’ll want for nothing with Shopify. You can set up a host of payment gateways, credit card processors, and even a Bitcoin payment gateway.
One thing is for sure: once you sign up with Shopify, your store is automatically configured to accept PayPal payments. Also, they have the Shopify Payments where you can set up major credit card providers in a breeze. Using Shopify’s proprietary payment processing, you’ll be spared from transaction fees.
Currently, Shopify supports a number of currencies including USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, SGD, JPY, and AUD among others. All of these are protected by the 3D Secure feature where the bank becomes liable if any payment is fraudulently or wrongfully processed.
When it comes to shipping, Shopify will make everything easy for you. They have partnerships with courier providers like Canada Post, USPS, UPS, and DHL Express. You no longer have to source your own courier service unless you wish so.
To make sure that you’re making profits, Shopify will let you set shipping fees based on the weight, destination, and order value of the product. Also, Shopify supports drop shipping which makes it a one-stop pick for online store owners.
SEO and marketing
I won’t say that Shopify has the fanciest suite of marketing and SEO tools. Still, they have the essentials to get the basics covered.
For the SEO part, you can edit the product description, title, page title, and meta description. Shopify also comes with a built-in blog feature that you can utilize to improve the online visibility of your store. And in all fairness, Shopify runs a clean and crawlable code. Sad to say, they don’t allow FTP access for those who want to perform in-depth SEO. Still, you can play around the available tools and take it from there.
As for marketing, Shopify will not disappoint. You can create landing pages, marketing campaigns, and capture emails aside from monitoring sales. There’s also a choice to integrate Facebook Ads and Google Ads to name a few.
Also, the fact that you can connect your Shopify stores to other eCommerce platforms is a big plus. You only own one store but you’re enjoying the benefits of three or four.
You can have peace of mind that your sales and products are safely housed in Shopify. Their payment gateways are PCI compliant and all credit card processors are guaranteed to be secure. Shopify also provides SSL certificates for all stores, although not always dedicated.
Since Shopify is already hosted, you can count on the platform to be speedy. And if issues arise, you only have one point of contact for everything.
Shopify does the job of keeping hackers off your store and resolving issues even before it takes its toll on your sales. In fact, they even have a bounty program that encourages the public to report bugs in exchange for monetary compensation.
In case you encounter issues with your store, you can contact Shopify 24/7. You can access contact points through the Shopify help center. The level of contact will depend on the package you choose.
If you want optimal attention, we suggest that you avail the Shopify Plus. Whenever you have issues, you’ll be assigned with a dedicated merchant success manager. They will help you with issues concerning your store, from basic troubleshooting to technical setup.
You can already start using Shopify for as low as $29 per month. You can always upgrade to a more expensive package to enjoy more features.
|PACKAGE||BASIC $29/mo||SHOPIFY $79/mo.||ADVANCED $299/mo.||SHOPIFY PLUS $2,000/mo.|
|Annual sales limit||-||-||-||-|
As you see, Shopify’s pricing isn’t a far-cry with what its major competitors like BigCommerce and Volusion offer. Also, the product allowance is unlimited in all of the packages – a big plus for on-budget users.
Take note that if you opt out of Shopify Payments, you’ll be charged with a transaction fee. Nevertheless, I can’t think of reasons why one would prefer other payment gateways besides special needs.
You can always try Shopify for free for 14 days and see if it suits your preference. Considering the features and pricing range, Shopify is more than reasonable for almost every product niche possible.