What is Shopify? Why should you consider it as your ecommerce platform? This Shopify review guide answers this question and provides guidance on all you need to know about the Shopify ecommerce platform.
When you start an ecommerce business, choosing the correct ecommerce platform to run it can be challenging.
There are many platforms out there and numerous things to consider when looking for the right ecommerce platform.
You have to consider scalability, payment processors, shipping options, startup costs, SEO, integrations, performance, security, and more.
Nonetheless, all ecommerce platforms are not created equal. And some provide more features and functionalities needed to start, operate and grow an ecommerce business.
One of such ecommerce platforms is Shopify!
Shopify comes out of the box with an incredible set of features and functionalities, making it a leading platform for ecommerce.
As the second more popular ecommerce platform globally, Shopify is available to any business regardless of size.
If you want to know if Shopify is the right ecommerce platform for you, you have come to the right place.
This guide will inform you of all you need to know about this platform and if Shopify is the right platform to create your online store.
- Ease of Use
Shopify is one of the most scalable and easy-to-use ecommerce platforms available. Its affordability, flexibility, and customer support make the platform ideal for any business.
With enhanced marketing features, mobile-friendliness, and improved SEO tools, if you’re serious about ecommerce, then Shopify is highly recommended.
One snag in Shopify’s awesomeness is the transaction fees it charges if you don’t use Shopify’s payment platform.
– Highly scalable platform
– Easy and straightforward to use
– Flexible and integrates with many apps
– Top-notch customer support
– Mobile-friendly themes
– Transaction fees can be off-putting
– URL structure not flexible
– Rigid content marketing capabilities
What Is Shopify?
Shopify is an ecommerce platform (software) that allows you to build an online store for your ecommerce business.
As one of the dominant ecommerce platforms available, hundreds of thousands of online stores run on Shopify.
In fact, Shopify is the second most popular ecommerce platform right after WooCommerce.
If you’re a small, medium, or large business, you can run your ecommerce store on Shopify.
Likewise, if you’re a startup or existing business, Shopify is equally suitable for you.
Shopify provides various themes and add-ons that you can use to customize your online store to tell your brand’s story.
One of the major goals of Shopify is to provide an ecommerce platform that people with little to no knowledge of web development can use.
This means you can create your online store on this platform without web design or coding skills.
Tobias was not satisfied with the ecommerce software options on the market at that time.
So, as a computer programmer, he developed one from the ground up to suit his needs.
And the outcome of Tobia’s custom ecommerce software is the foundation of what we now know as Shopify.
Consequently, today, Shopify is the top leading ecommerce platform for many businesses across the globe.
The Shopify ecommerce platform powers over 800,000 online stores worldwide and has more than 3,000 employees.
The company generated over $2.9 billion in revenue in 2020 with a gross merchandise value (GMV) of almost $120 billion.
Benefits of Using Shopify
If you are searching for an ecommerce platform to create an online store quickly and effortlessly, Shopify is truly one of the best platforms to consider.
Moreover, the benefits of using Shopify for your ecommerce platform are wide-ranging.
Let’s take an analytical look at some of them:
1. Easy Onboarding (Setup & Use)
If you are looking for a straightforward and effortless platform to create your online store, you should consider Shopify.
This is a no-fuss ecommerce platform that is very easy to set up and use for any business type.
Not to mention, Shopify provides a complete solution to creating an online store and running an ecommerce business.
With this platform, you do not have to worry about the technicalities associated with your store’s development or hosting environment.
Shopify provides the software and the hosting infrastructure that you need to get your online store up and running.
It also has a user-friendly and intuitive administrative interface, with a very compelling user-interface (UI).
2. Effortless to Customize
When building an online store for your ecommerce business, you need to customize different aspects to suit your requirement.
This is where the customization ability of any ecommerce platform matters the most.
And Shopify provides you with the ability to customize your store to suit your unique business requirements, preferences, and needs.
It allows for easy app integration, which means you can install many apps and add-ons to boost your store’s look, feel, and functionality.
As a result, you can enable extra functionalities and features to your online by integrating additional apps for specific functions or requirements.
3. Stunning Themes
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen an ugly-looking Shopify store. Frankly, the majority of online stores running on Shopify look awesome.
This visual appeal is due to the long variety of themes and templates available on the Shopify ecommerce software.
Shopify has a wide range of professionally design themes and templates that you can use to enhance your online store’s look and feel.
Furthermore, developers and designers can customize the themes to give your store a super-rich interface for an exceptional user experience.
4. Secure & Reliable
Security and reliability are among the top-most concerns for any ecommerce business.
Unlike self-hosted ecommerce platforms such as WooCommerce, you can rest assured with Shopify.
And this is because Shopify is a cloud-hosted ecommerce platform that is managed by the Shopify team.
So Shopify’s highly experienced technical team goes to great lengths to ensure their platform secure and reliable.
Information security across customer data, payment details, product, brand assets, etc. were taken into consideration when Shopify was designed.
As such, data security and protection are taken very seriously by the company.
5. Exceptional Marketing Apps
Marketing is the rejuvenating serum of any business – both online and break-and-mortar.
Shopify understands that online stores on its platform won’t compete globally without efficient and effective marketing.
As such, the platform provides several marketing tools and processes to give your online store an edge.
Not only is your ecommerce business powered by the leading ecommerce platform, but you also have a marketing advantage compared to others.
With its basic version, you will still get some SEO features and advanced ecommerce analytics.
It also has many powerful marketing tools, including discount coupons, gift cards, targeted email marketing, store statistics, etc.
And this is in addition to access to hundreds of third-party marketing apps designed to enable your store to market better and sell more.
6. Speed & High-Availability
Shopify is speedy, and your online store will run smoothly and load very fast on this platform.
Being one of the most outstanding ecommerce platforms in the world, the infrastructure of Shopify achieves high-availability.
So you can expect your online store to be reachable 99% or more at any given time.
The software and hardware powering Shopify are also optimized to provide you with the best performance ever.
Consequently, this advanced optimization makes your platform super fast. Thus enabling your customers to browse through your store without performance degradations.
How Much Is Shopify?
Shopify is not free to use. The platform offers a 14 days trial period, after which you’re required to subscribe to a paid plan to continue using it.
There are three subscription plans available – Shopify Basic, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify.
The Shopify Basic plan costs $29.00 per month, and you pay 2 percent + $0.30 for every transaction.
And the Shopify plan $79.00 per month with 1 percent + $0.3 on every transaction.
To enjoy the Advanced Shopify plan, you have to pay $299.00 per month with 0.5 percent + $0.30 of every transaction.
These plans offer a wide array of benefits, but you have to subscribe to a higher plan if you want more features and benefits.
However, the lower Shopify Basic plan is not limited, as it comes with everything you need to get a small online store up and running.
So you can always start this basic plan and gradually scale up to higher plans as you grow.
With Shopify, credit card payments also attract additional charges. And you will also pay more when you are not using Shopify Payment – the payment system of Shopify.
How Does Shopify Work?
Shopify is a cloud-hosted solution, which means it runs on its own managed web hosting servers.
Since it runs on its servers, you do not have to install any software or purchase web hosting.
As a cloud-based software that runs on a monthly subscription, you cannot own a copy of the product.
The monthly subscription gives you access to an instance of the Shopify ecommerce software.
And through this instance, you can build out your own store with an administrative panel to manage the store.
Through the Shopify administrative panel, you can add products, manage your store information, process orders, provide customer service, etc.
Setting up and using Shopify is very easy, and the platform has a very short learning curve.
Consequently, you do not need to be tech-savvy to get your online store setup-up and running.
Equally important, Shopify has a wide range of themes and templates you can choose from.
Some of the themes are free, whereas the others you can purchase through the theme store.
Particularly, these themes allow you to customize your store the way you want.
With the editing tools that Shopify offers, you can customize any theme you choose to fit your brand and tell your story.
Shopify has an impressive record of 99.98% uptime, which means you will not experience any crashes or downtime.
Every subscription plan on the Shopify platforms includes reliable and secure web hosting for your online store.
Detailed Shopify Review
This section of the Shopify review will take a deep dive into different data points.
I will be through everything you need to know about this ecommerce platform.
Shopify is the preferred choice of many businesses – small, medium, or large – over 800,000 of them.
These businesses find the platform very easy to use because of its optimization, speed, security, and more.
Here the key things you need to know about the Shopify ecommerce platform:
Shopify Review – Shopify Pros (Advantages)
Let’s start with the good news and put into consideration the advantages and pros of using Shopify.
Shopify is one of the most scalable ecommerce platforms available.
When running an ecommerce business, your goal is to grow the business and expand it to its maximum possibility.
Whether offline or online, there should always be room for growth in any business.
When building an online store, you want to make sure the store’s infrastructure has enough room for growth and expansion.
Shopify is highly scalable, and it has different plans to accommodate growing businesses.
For businesses starting with the lower plan, you can always upgrade to a higher plan to align with your business growth.
2. Ease of Use
Using Shopify is straightforward and almost effortless.
The platform is designed for everyone with or without experience as you don’t need to have web development knowledge to use the platform.
Shopify empowers you to get your online store up and running with just a few clicks.
In addition to having great templates and a core system, Shopify is highly flexible.
It gives you full access to great features, such as seamless integrations with different apps.
While Shopify has its own app, you get to leverage third-party apps across payment processors, shipment options, and more.
Moreover, you can also sell different products on the platform – both physical and digital products.
4. Great Support
Unlike open-source ecommerce platforms such as WooCommerce or OpenCart, Shopify provides all-around clock support.
You can reach Shopify’s support team 24 hours a day for assistance with any issues you’re experiencing.
5. Responsive and Mobile-Friendly
Shopify comes with mobile-friendly themes and templates.
The platform is also highly responsive and fits seamlessly on screens of different mobile devices.
Undoubtedly one of the most scalable ecommerce platforms available, Shopify is easy to use and flexible to accommodate your needs.
You’ll find SEO advantages with its mobile-friendliness and achieve success knowing a first-class customer support team backs you.
And as your ecommerce business grows, scalability is easy-breeze, and with few clicks of the mouse, you can expand your store to meet demand.
Shopify Review – Shopify Cons (Disadvantages)
The spirit of fairness also requires this Shopify review to point out the various shortcomings of the platform.
There’s nothing like a perfect ecommerce platform. The key thing is finding the most suitable one that aligns better with your business requirements.
Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages and cons of using Shopify.
1. Transaction Fees:
Shopify charges transaction fees on every transaction that takes place in your store regardless of the plan you choose.
Some users find these transaction fees on sales they generate as a drawback affecting one of the best ecommerce platforms available.
However, most users don’t have a problem with this, given the level of value the Shopify platform brings to the table.
Nevertheless, the higher the plan, the lesser the transaction fee, but the difference is not much.
You will only be completely free from transaction fees on the platform if you use Shopify Payments as your payment processor.
Unfortunately, the Shopify Payments’ payment system is not available everywhere.
2. The Structure of URLs
Shopify’s URL structure of regular pages and blog posts is not great for search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is critical to every online business, and this is one aspect of SEO that your business would greatly benefit from.
3. Difficulty in Creating Good Non-Ecommerce Content:
Creating regular content is pretty hard on this platform, especially for content marketing purposes.
Shopify allows you to create a blog and different pages, such as information pages or landing pages for your product.
Nevertheless, you will find it a bit tasking to get these non-commerce content to look the way you want.
And their SEO potential is not as robust as the capabilities you can get from an ecommerce platform such as WooCommerce.
Shopify’s transaction fee is seen as a major drawback by some users. While many users are not bothered by it, given the value Shopify offers.
Historically Shopify has been lagging behind ecommerce platforms such as WooCommerce for SEO.
However, the platform has been gradually improving its SEO tools, making it easier for users to engage in content marketing.
Shopify Review – Shopify Pricing and Costs
Shopify has different plans, allowing you to choose an option that best suits your business and budget.
First, Shopify provides a 14-day free trial, and you do not need to put in your credit card details to access the trial period.
This means there is no pressure or risk to sign up. All you need is an email, and you will have two weeks to test the platform.
When the free trial period is over, you have the option to switch to a paid subscription. Shopify has five different subscription plans, which are:
1. Shopify Lite
The Shopify Lite is the lowest plan which enables you to sell on any website hosted anywhere.
This plan costs $9.00 monthly and allows you to add ecommerce functionality to your existing website or Facebook page.
With Shopify’s Lite plan, you can start selling on websites built on WordPress, Tumbler, Squarespace, HTML, or any platform.
The transaction fee on this platform is 2 percent unless you use Shopify’s payment system – Shopify Payments.
2. Basic Shopify
After the Lite plan, Shopify offers its Basic Shopify for $29.00 per month.
The Basic Shopify plan is competitively priced against other leading cloud-hosted ecommerce platforms.
It provides all the basics you need to get your store set up and running.
Likewise, there’s a 2% transaction fee on this plan if you’re not using Shopify Payments.
The Shopify plan costs $79 monthly, and it is ideal for growing businesses.
The package also offers great features like the creation of gift cards, international domains, and pricing.
And if you use a payment processor other than Shopify Payment, you pay an additional 1% transaction fee.
4. Advanced Shopify
The Advanced Shopify plan comes with many features not obtainable via the Lite, Shopify Basic, and Shopify plans.
And with a $299.00 per month price tag, this plan is great if your business is doing very well and wants to scale things up.
It offers many advanced features, including third-party calculated shipping rates, advanced reports builders, etc.
The transaction fee on this plan is 0.5 percent if you opt not to use Shopify Payment as your payment processor.
5. Shopify Plus
This plan is for enterprise-level and larger-scale companies and businesses.
Large brands such as Staples, Heinz, Lindt, among others, run on the Shopify Plus plan.
It is a customizable plan starting at $2,000.00 per month with no fixed pricing.
When it comes to features, Shopify outperformed many other ecommerce platforms out there.
This platform has many great features to help you take your online business to the next level.
Let’s consider some of the most amazing features of this platform:
1. Store Management
Shopify allows you to manage your store more efficiently and gives you insight into your customers and how they shop.
If your dropshippers, you’ll love Shopify as it allows for easy setup of dropshipping businesses.
The platform’s store management features allow for the creation of customer accounts, refunds, customer groups, fulfillment centers, and more.
2. SEO and Marketing Tools
Shopify has many marketing and SEO tools that you can use to push your business to your targeted audience.
It supports good SEO practices such as customizable titles, H1 tags, meta tags, and more.
Together with providing you with Google Ads credits of $100 after spending $25 with Google.
The platform allows for product reviews, discounts, gift cards, selling on Facebook, social media integration, and more.
With Shopify, there is no limit to the type or number of products you can sell.
Shopify empowers you to sell physical and digital products.
You can also add unlimited images to product listings, and it supports videos and 3D assets too.
You can easily manage your product inventory.
For instance, if you need to import or export products in CSV file format, Shopify handles it effortlessly.
You can also organize your products by type, season, category, sale, and more.
And with subscription ecommerce booming, Shopify also allows you to offer subscriptions to your customers.
4. Dashboard, Analytics & Reporting
Shopify comes with an actionable and user-friendly dashboard that you can use to manage your orders, sales, traffic, and more.
It also offers Google Analytics, traffic/referral reports, product reports, and export reports.
And there are third-party apps available to provide more metrics and insights across all reporting parameters you require.
5. Mobile App
Shopify’s mobile application is there to make things much easier for you when on the go.
With the mobile app, you can fulfill one or more orders with just a click.
You can also use the app to keep track of what is happening in your store, including orders, products, inventory, customers, and more.
Most especially, you’ll find the mobile app useful if you have a field team that answers pre-sales questions on the go.
Shopify Ease of Use
The ease of use is an important parameter for consideration when research ecommerce platforms.
Think about it for a second; no one wants to invest time and money into a cumbersome ecommerce platform.
You don’t want to subscribe to an ecommerce platform that you cannot quickly onboard and start using.
Shopify understands that an ecommerce platform should not be a pain point in your ecommerce journey.
Consequently, they’ve spent a lot of time and resources constantly improving their ecommerce software.
As a result, Shopify offers one o the best user interface (UI) of any ecommerce platform.
With its simple, clean, and smooth UI, you can expect a streamlined and stressless user experience (UX).
The next result is that setting up an online store on Shopify is simplistic at best.
And if you’re a beginner, you’ll fall in love with Shopify since you don’t need to be tech-savvy to use it.
All the means you need to build and create your store are easily accessible, and users applaud Shopify for being very simple and smooth.
Notably, users also found the platform much easier to use than other cloud-hosted ecommerce platforms such as BigCommerce and Wix.
So if you don’t have front-end web design or back-end web programming experience and want to start an ecommerce business, think Shopify.
Shopify Review – Shopify Performance
Imagine a potential customer clicking on your Google or Facebook ads only to wait and wait for your web page to load.
Your online store’s speed and performance are very critical to success.
Online shoppers want responsive websites that respond within two to four seconds maximum.
Your customers should browse through your store and add items to their shopping cart without delay.
If your online store’s performance is poor, you’ll surely see a significant deep in your conversion rate.
Any online store’s performance depends on two major things – the first is the platform the store is built on, and the second is the themes, plugins, and extensions you are using with the platform.
Fortunately, the former is not an issue with the Shopify platform.
Shopify is well-optimized to provide your customers with a smooth and fast shopping experience.
Indeed, this is why Shopify powers over 800,000 online stores and counting.
Despite having that many stores, Shopify is still fast with impressive high availability.
It comes fast out of the box as it uses reliable fast, load-balanced, and clustered web servers across the world.
And to further increase your online store’s performance, avoid using unnecessary apps and extensions.
It would be best if you only worked with the core tools you need.
Likewise, you can also use a content delivery network to improve your online store’s performance for a better user experience.
Shopify Integrations and Add-Ons
Shopify is versatile and flexible enough to allow for third-party integrations and add-ons.
For instance, by default, Shopify allows you to offer different product variations (i.e., styles, colors, sizes, and more) without any issues.
However, you do not need to depend on Shopify’s default features to accomplish most objectives.
You can install third-party apps or plugins to increase the functionality and features of your online store.
Interestingly, over 80 percent of stores on Shopify use third-party applications and add-ons to achieve integrations.
You can find many third-party apps on the Shopify app store, and integrating these apps with your Shopify store is straightforward.
But be mindful that there are different add-ons for different purposes.
These add-ons come in handy, as you can use them to add more functions to your store.
For example, you can integrate the Hubspot plugin into your store to boost its traffic and increase sales.
These add-ons are there to help you solve one issue or the other.
However, avoid the temptation of installing too many add-ons on your site to prevent slowing down things.
Shopify Review – Shopify Apps
Indeed, Shopify’s versatility empowers online stores to accomplish a wide range of functions through Apps.
While you can use this ecommerce platform to sell digital products.
However, if you want to sell personalized products, you will need an app for that function.
Shopify’s allowance for the integration with add-ons and third-party apps comes in handy when you least expect.
With Shopify, you can sell your products via different channels such as Amazon, EBay, Walmart, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
However, these channels don’t come pre-loaded by default. You’ll have to install the appropriate apps to expand your online store’s functionality.
Some of these apps are free, while you have to pay for others.
For example, you can download and install the Ebay app free of charge, but you cannot run it without an EBay Stores account.
EBay Store accounts costs between $24.95 and $349.95 per month.
You can also add the Walmart Marketplace app to your store if you want to extend your reach and sell on Walmart.
Setting up the Walmart Marketplace app free of charge, but you need to be approved before you can begin selling.
After the approval, you can run everything in Shopify without paying any monthly fees (on Walmart).
Furthermore, Shopify also allows you to add Google Channel to your store.
It also allows you to add different payment gateways such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal.
Shopify Themes & Templates
Shopify offers a wide array of themes and templates that allow you to customize your online store as you see fit.
Many of the themes and templates available on the Shopify platform are free of charge.
Whereas more advanced themes and templates are available for a paid fee.
You can find a template that suits almost any ecommerce niche, ranging from fashion, gadgets, health, food, accessories, and more.
No matter your business size, there is a theme and template available on the Shopify platform for you.
Most of these themes and templates were designed with mobility in mind and, as such, are mobile responsive.
They are mobile-friendly and can fit into the screen of any mobile device.
You can also customize the color and layout of the theme you choose.
If you want to get the most of your store, especially for large stores, you should purchase premium themes.
However, it is worth noting that some themes are not mobile-friendly, and you should always go for a template with a mobile-friendly design.
Shopify Security and Backups
Security is vital for ecommerce business, and Shopify is one of the most secure ecommerce platforms available.
It’s not fun seeing your website hacked by malware or your customer data stolen by cybercriminals.
While it’s not fun, there might be legal and reputation liabilities involved, which are certainly not pocket-friendly.
So you want an ecommerce platform that is highly secure and protected for all forms of security vulnerabilities.
Shopify takes security and vulnerability updates very seriously, which it regularly maintains in the background.
Unlike other self-hosted platforms like WooCommerce or OpenCart, all security updates, patches, and maintenance are done for you.
Furthermore, Shopify complies with all six categories of PCI standards, which are:
- Protect cardholder data
- Maintain a secure network
- Maintain an information security policy
- Regularly monitor and test networks
- Implement strong access control measures
- Maintain a vulnerability management program
And as a platform that runs on Level One PCI compliant servers and Shopify is a highly secure environment.
Shopify also has a backup system, which comes in handy when needed to restore lost data.
You can always back-up your site before applying any major changes and trying new apps or plugins.
If things don’t go as planned, you can always restore the backup and return your store to normal.
In fact, it is best you back up your site regularly, even when you do not want to make any major changes.
You can also add more advanced backup solutions from the app store to make things much easier for you.
With a backup solution such as Rewind, you can always restore your site when you delete content mistakenly.
Shopify Hosting Options
One of the most wonderful features of Shopify is that it includes web hosting.
Shopify, unlike self-hosted ecommerce platforms, comes with web hosting, which is a great benefit.
As a result, you do not have to worry about signing up for an external web hosting service with this ecommerce platform.
Shopify saves you the hassle of searching for a reliable hosting platform to host your online store.
With a network of highly optimized server infrastructure, Shopify was designed with ecommerce in mind.
And the net result is clustered high-availability servers strictly for the sole purposes of powering ecommerce websites.
As a cloud-based ecommerce platform, not only do you not have to worry about hosting, you also don’t have to worry about other ancillary services.
For example, the Shopify plan provides you with unlimited email forwarding, domain name registration, and a content delivery network (CDN).
You ordinarily would get these services from two or more service providers but can avail them on the Shopify platform.
If you want your online store to be on the first page of search results related to the services of the product you sell, then you should take SEO seriously.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing online.
Initially, there are many complaints about Shopify’s SEO tools as low grade and ineffective.
However, over the years, everyone would agree that Shopify has made some SEO improvements.
Especially with third-party App supporting the effort.
And it’s worth noting that many SEO ranking problems have more to do with poor optimization than the platform itself.
Nevertheless, there are still a couple of SEO downsides with Shopify, and some of them include:
- The URL structure of Shopify is not 100 percent customizable. For instance, there are “/products/” in the URL of product pages.
- Creating sub-categories with this platform is not that easy, which is not good for SEO
- The Robots.txt file is auto-generated, which makes it impossible to customize.
- There is a little limitation in creating non-ecommerce content.
Regardless of those few drawbacks, Shopify’s SEO capabilities have improved over the years and are much better positioned today than it was several ago.
I suspect we’ll see constant improvements in Shopify’s SEO tools and processes over the next full years.
As we mentioned earlier, Shopify comes with many great themes and templates.
The majority of the themes and templates on this platform are mobile-friendly.
A mobile-friendly theme and template mean it’s optimized for display on mobile devices with different screen resolutions.
And this is an essential feature in any ecommerce platform, as it makes it easier for users to browse your store and shop through their mobile devices.
Shopify Customer Service
When it comes to customer service, Shopify’s customer support team is second to none.
Shopify has a multi-channel customer support strategy. This includes email support, phone support, written documentation, live chat, webinars, video tutorials, and a community forum.
You can reach Shopify’s team whenever you want, and they can help you resolve any issues you are having with the platform.
The vast documentation they have will also help you to resolve your issues by yourself.
Shopify is surely one of the best platforms to build your online store if you are running a dropshipping business.
This platform houses many online stores that offer dropshipping products.
Shopify is great for dropshipping, so it is the number one choice of many dropshippers.
It allows for easy integration with dropshipping apps such as Oberlo and Spocket, making dropshipping straightforward.
Ordoro is another great dropshipping plugin available on Shopify, and it has many interesting features that customers like.
Similarly, Oberlo also has an incredible success record, as many users love the app for its ease of use and functionality.
Shopify Sales Channels
With a multi-channel integration option for sales, Shopify allows for easy integration with different platforms.
What does this mean for your ecommerce business?
It means that you can expand your sales reach and push your products and services through other sales channels.
Shopify allows you to set up and manage a wide range of sales channels, including:
- Facebook: A dedicated area on your Facebook where customers can purchase your products.
- Buy Button: With this sales channel, you can embed ecommerce functionality through “buy buttons” on any blog or site.
- Messenger: Shopify allows you to sell directly on Facebook Messenger. You can also use this platform to notify your customers about their orders and shipment.
- Amazon: In one location, you can manage your Shopify products and amazon listings, thanks to the Amazon app.
- Instagram: With this app, you can make your Instagram posts shoppable.
There are also some third-party apps such as eBay and Walmart that you can use to expand your online business’s reach.
Shopify has comprehensive POS functionality and hardware. This is one key feature that separates Shopify from other ecommerce platforms.
With the POS hardware, you can use this platform outside the web vis-a-vis offline.
You can use it to sell in a physical location with your Android or iOS device.
For example, if you’re at a trade show event – you can take others for your online store through the Shopify POS.
You can also integrate the POS with different hardware such as receipt printers, tills, barcode readers, and more.
You can use this Point of Sale (POS) in different situations such as an event, pop-up shop, retail outlet, and market stall.
Shopify Ratings and Reviews
There are many positive reviews of the Shopify platform. It has captured the heart of many online business owners.
Shopify has helped many to start and grow their online businesses, providing users with amazing experiences all the way.
Some satisfied users said the platform provided them with everything they need to get their businesses set up and running.
To its credit, beginners are happy with this platform because of how easy it is for them to use.
Shopify’s search function works and makes sit easy for your customers to search and locate products on your online store.
Also, your customers can search for articles, pages, blog posts, other content, and more.
Shopify Store Settings
To use properly use Shopify, you need first to set it up correctly. The setup involves different procedures, which you have to do step-by-step.
Some of the setup processes involve setting up your payment processing options, discounts and coupons, taxes, shipping options, and more.
Let’s take a quick look at the crucial aspects of the Shopify store settings.
1. Payment Processing Options
The primary and default payment processor of Shopify is Shopify Payments.
However, Shopify allows you to integrate more than 100 other payment gateways across the globe.
If you recall early in this Shopify review, using a payment process other than Shopify attracts a transaction fee depending on your subscription plan.
Whichever payment option you choose, setting it up is not an issue.
To get started, go to Settings > Payments from the admin side of the platform.
You can activate Shopify Payments by clicking on the Complete Account Setup (if no credit card payment processor is already set up) or by clicking Activate Shopify Payments (when you have set up a credit card payment provider).
The next step is to enter your banking information and the necessary details about your store and then save the changes.
Setting up your taxes on Shopify is also pretty easy and straightforward.
To set up your taxes, here are the simple steps you need to follow:
- You should set up the countries where you ship your products. If you’re using Shopify POS, you can set the tax rates based on the country and state they are using the device.
- If you are in a country that uses registration-based taxes (such as the USA and UK), you should put in your sales tax identification to collect taxes. Those in regions that use location-based taxes can put a specific rate for the country or use the default rates.
- Those selling digital products should also set up taxes that apply to their digital products.
Notably, the setup process for taxes on this platform differs from one region to another.
The type of product you sell determines your tax rate. You can see the comprehensive guide on tax setups here.
3. Discounts and Coupons
Shopify allows you to offer your customers discounts and coupons.
You can offer them discounts on certain products or all products in your store.
And you can easily do this by:
- Going to Discounts on the admin panel
- Click Create Discount on the Discount page.
- There is a dialog for entering the new discount code in the discount code section. You can also click Generate Code to generate the discount code randomly. At this stage, you can either make the discount a percentage or a fixed amount of money.
- After that, select the products, specific product, or category to use the coupon.
- The Customer Eligibility segment allows you to choose who can use this coupon: specific customers, specific groups of customers, or everyone.
4. Shipping Options
Shipping and delivering ecommerce orders can be tricky. And if you’re not using the right systems, you can end up with an inefficient and expensive process.
One thing Shopify does very well for its users to provide them with highly reliable ecommerce logistics.
This is not to be taken for granted because with other platforms, you have to go out there and find solutions yourself.
Shopify provides a wide range of shipping options for you, and you can easily set up shipping rules on this platform.
No matter the configuration – free shipping, flat rate, region or country-based rates, etc. – Shopify makes it easy.
You can do the settings from the platform’s admin panel for product collections, specific products, or the whole store.
However, the shipping fun starts with the live shipping rates.
Shopify will connect your online store with carriers such as UPS, FedEx, USPS, etc., and present you with the right shipping costs during the checkout.
Nevertheless, not everyone can use live shipping, as it is only available in some countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Australia, etc.
You can also purchase discounted shipping labels from Shopify’s admin panel when fulfilling orders.
All you need to do is printout the label and put it on the parcel, which will save you money compared with buying directly from the courier.
When it comes to dropshipping, Shopify is one of the top ecommerce platforms dropshippers love.
Out of the box, Shopify allows you to connect your online store to a variety of dropshipping providers such as Amazon, Rakuten, Shipwire, and more.
As stated earlier, one of the best dropshipping solutions on Shopify is Oberlo, but you need to add it through Shopify’s App Store.
5. Email Marketing Automation
Shopify provides email marketing automation capabilities that you can configure as you see fit.
If you know how to write software code, you can do this with a bit of coding.
However, do not fret. If you don’t have coding skills, you can visit the Shopify app store and find third-party apps that provide email marketing capabilities.
You can make use of some third-party apps such as Klaviyo, Segundo, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, Privy, etc.
Did you notice that one of the best email marketing tools – MailChimp – is not on the list?
Well, that is because this platform used to allow integration with MailChimp, but it did not quite work out.
If you want to MailChimp, you will have to use a third-party app such as ShopSync or Zapier to connect the two of them.
You can use these email marketing apps for your email marketing automation.
They allow you to schedule emails, making the entire process much easier for you.
6. Analytics and Reporting
Analytics and reporting tools provide valuable information provides information as to how your online store is doing.
It’s no use spending all the time, money, and effort to grow your online store with access to meaning metrics against key performance indicators (KPI).
So you definitely don’t want an ecommerce platform that doesn’t provide you with some dashboard, analytics, and reporting tools.
These tools will show you the results of your effort. You learn how people interact with your store, what is not working, and what you need to improve.
Luckily, Shopify comes with a built-in analytics tool to provide you with an overview of your store’s general performance.
Furthermore, Shopify also allows for the integration of Google Analytics, and you can use this tool to view more detailed information about your store.
With Google Analytics, you can analyze your customers’ behavior, track sales, view traffic sources, and more.
Shopify Website Examples
With over 800,000 online stores using Shopify, there are many great online stores on the platform.
In this section of this Shopify review, we’ll take a look at some online stores running on the Shopify ecommerce platform.
1. Manitobah Mukluks
Manitobah Mukluks is clear proof that you can make something amazing on this platform.
This company is specialized in making high-quality, durable boots to keep you warm in the winter.
And its Shopify store doesn’t just look amazing; it’s stack with numerous great offers.
The store is visually appealing, and it contains only high-quality, professional images.
They also have some videos to help shoppers make seamless buying-decisions.
2. Death Wish Coffee
Death Wish Coffee is another successful store on the Shopify platform.
This store has a design that will catch the attention of many coffee lovers.
It offers coffee in different flavors – meeting the needs of different coffee drinkers.
You can also learn more about their products on the homepage and see why this store is different from other coffee sellers.
Pipcorn has one of the most attractive designs on this platform. The online store is simple but very attractive.
It has fantastic animations that would even make you want to stare at the site for minutes.
The site is highly interactive and mobile-friendly. It has a consistent design, and it provides users with an amazing customer experience.
4. The Great Cookie
The Great Cookie is another online store that runs on the Shopify platform with a unique approach.
This online store is dedicated to selling cakes and cookies.
This store has a very colorful layout with an attractive finish. It has HD images to give you a clear picture of its brand.
5. Press London
We have another fascinating store on the Shopify platform – Press London.
This store has a colorful minimalistic, and straightforward user interface.
The brand also has a very strong USP that is making waves in the ecommerce world.
Next up is Minaal, and it specializes in making minimal, durable, city and travel bags and accessories.
Their online store is swift and very easy to navigate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Shopify. Let a comment below if you have any specific questions about the platform.
Shopify Review – Wrapping Up
Shopify is certainly one of the best ecommerce platforms available.
This ecommerce platform’s success is not by mistake. Shopify is a tested and very successful ecommerce software.
And I highly recommend it if you’re starting and want to focus on growing your business instead of worry about technicalities.
The Shopify platform provides you with everything you need to get your online store up and running.
And I mean – everything! Shopify is an ecommerce platform and ecosystem that makes ecommerce happen!
It has all the required features you need to run a successful ecommerce business. And it makes the entire process simple, smooth, and fast.
While Shopify has its downsizes, as noted earlier, the platform’s positives greatly outweigh the negatives.
And with so many third-party apps turning Shopify from a platform to an ecosystem, you’ll find solutions to most drawbacks.
What are your thoughts and experiences with Shopify? Leave your commentary below with your thoughts on Shopify.