Shopify Review 2020

One of the most well-known ecommerce platforms for SMBs, Shopify is a top-rated solution that has everything a merchant needs to set up shop online and even offline.

By Dusan Vrljes

In addition to allowing you build an online store, Shopify has social media selling tools and it integrates with marketplaces like Amazon.

The solution also has payment capabilities that enable merchants to accept credit cards directly from Shopify — i.e. no third party accounts required. With their payments offering, “payment details are clearly synced with orders, making it easy to see how much you’ve been paid without ever leaving Shopify.”

Credit card rates range from 2.9% + 30 cents to 2.4% + 30 cents depending on your Shopify plan.

Which Shopify plan is best to choose from?

It depends on your requirements. The option that’s the most sensible for anyone who wants to launch a new online store is $29 / month. It lets you in on all the features you might need, and also handles the payments and the technical back-end of your store.

If you want to, you can hook up a custom domain name to your store (either buy it through Shopify or import from a third-party domain registrar). If not, your store is going to be available under something like YOURSTORE.shopify.com.

As part of the $29 / month price tag, you get access to:

  • Shopify’s online store module (the thing you came here for);
  • the Point Of Sale (POS) system (allowing you to collect payments offline through an iPad);
  • the Facebook and Pinterest modules (sell directly on Facebook and Pinterest);
  • Shopify Buy Button – allowing you to add a custom “buy button” on any website (not necessarily your online store).

Here, it’s also worth mentioning the Shopify transaction fees. Whilst not part of the pricing, if you’re not using Shopify Payments, you’ll be charged their subscription transaction fee on every order processed in your store. To learn more about Shopify transaction fees, visit the Shopify site.

What is the Shopify ecommerce platform?

Shopify is one of the leaders in the ecommerce space and the most popular tool for creating your own online store. Its popularity, which is growing from day to day, stems from its user-friendliness, the ample choice of templates and their overall flexibility, the SEO features it offers, and of course, the fact that you don’t need any technical knowledge to use it. 

Their mission is to build a hassle-free platform for setting up your ecommerce business where you can sell, ship, and manage your products.

Shopify is used in 175 countries and as of 2019, there are more than a million merchants who are using this platform. 

No matter if you’re just starting out (and have no website or ecommerce experience at all), or if you’re looking for a way to take your business to the next level, our Shopify review will definitely be of help!

The question is: is Shopify really as great as the marketing material says? Is it really the most beginner-friendly platform out there? Let’s find out!

Shopify Review Conclusion – Is Shopify the Right Tool to Set up your Online Store with?

Shopify is a renowned online application where you can create an online store. There are a few guidelines you need to follow in terms of what kind of products can be sold, but other than that, if your product isn’t too outlandish, you don’t need to worry about fitting the criteria.

There are a few plans you can get on Shopify, and you also have the option of getting a 14-day free trial. The basic plan costs $29 per month, and, despite its name, there are many perks that come along with it which are completely adequate for beginners in ecommerce.

Shopify is a go-to for ecommerce for a reason – it’s one of the bested hosted platforms, it’s quite easy to navigate through, there are plenty of visually appealing themes to choose from, and you have the option of including many useful third-party integrations that will help your business immensely and improve the customer experience.

There are, however, a couple of disadvantages that might impact your Shopify experience, like the transaction fees that come with third-party integrations or the long response time by tech support that’s been reported by users.

Still, we can say that, overall, Shopify is one of the greatest hosted ecommerce platforms out there. It’s an all-in-one solution that’s bound to make your ecommerce experience easier, especially if you’re just starting out.

A rundown of Shopify’s major pros and cons

No Shopify review would be complete without a comprehensive list of pros and cons. So here are the benefits and drawbacks you can expect if you decide to use Shopify. 

Pros of Shopify Ecommerce Platform:

  • Speed and Load Times: When you build an ecommerce site, you need it to be fast and secure – two features that most often come with expensive hosting packages. Even fractionally longer load times can send your paying customers on to the next site, costing you potential sales, and Shopify makes sure they don’t.
  • Security: With Shopify, your site is ultra-fast, while being totally secure for handling sensitive data and processing payments.
  • Great Design: Shopify is largely about great design, and you will quickly find there are plenty of templates available, both free and paid, that will leave your site looking aesthetically pleasing whilst also professional.
  • Beginner-friendly and easy to navigate: Shopify is extremely beginner-friendly, so if this is your first time using a platform of this nature then you don’t need to worry since you probably won’t encounter any problems.
  • A great selection of themes: Shopify has a good selection of themes to choose from, so regardless of your preferences, you’re bound to find one you like.
  • Low monthly fees: Shopify’s monthly fees are more affordable than some other options out there like WordPress.
  • Add-ons and integrations: There are plenty of add-ons available for Shopify, so you can expand the feature set if you need it. That means you probably don’t have to worry about hiring a coder just yet – the easy interface means you can quickly bolt on new features and functions within your site.

Cons of Shopify Ecommerce Platform:

  • The Cost: Shopify costs money, both monthly and in terms of individual transaction processing fees (if you don’t choose to operate Shopify Payments). You need to take account of these when comparing packages to get your store off the ground, especially if you intend to sell in volume.
  • Long response time: Sometimes, the tech support team at Shopify will put you at a 30-minute hold time, which is not that great if you’re someone who likes to get quick solutions.
  • Uniquely Coded: While Shopify can be made to do pretty much whatever you want out of the box, if you do have to explore the back-end, you’re going to be dealing with proprietary coding. In a nutshell, this means that you need someone who knows what they’re doing and has the time to learn how to work with Shopify particularly, to get the job done. This can increase maintenance costs and result in delays in managing your store.

 

Other Shopify FAQs

Is Shopify the Best Platform for Ecommerce?

Shopify is certainly a great place to start if you are looking to set up your own ecommerce site, and it’s suitable for businesses of any size, catering to a wide range of industries.
Whether it’s the best for you will largely depend on your requirements, including your budget. There are many alternative ecommerce platforms out there, including WooCommerceMagento, and Bigcommerce, so research about them too before you commit fully.

Which Ecommerce Platform is the Best for a Small Business?

Shopify is ideal for small businesses that typically have limited resources, especially in regards to time and money. With Shopify, small business owners can set up their online store and have it up and running in no time. There is no need to learn or know any code beforehand and with so many design templates to choose from, small business owners can literally build, style, and launch their online store all on their own without any help.
You’re also given a selection of price plans to choose from that suit every budget, so it is an attractive choice for those that are just starting out and want to minimize costs.

Is Shopify a Good Platform for Beginners in Ecommerce?

Yes. Shopify is one of the easiest ecommerce builders to help beginners and small business owners set up and run their online store for the first time.  Shopify is user-friendly and even those with no prior ecommerce experience or coding knowledge can create an online store fairly quickly.

Which Ecommerce Platform will Have a Greater, more Relevant Audience Reach?

Regardless of what ecommerce platform you decide to go with, whether it be Shopify or Woohoo, your audience reach will largely depend on how your website is marketed and not the technology it is built with.

What is the Difference Between a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress and an Ecommerce Platform like Shopify?

A content management system (CMS) is designed to build and manage dynamic web pages within a website e.g. a blog or corporate website. An ecommerce platform, on the other hand, is designed to sell goods online and process payments.
There are plugins available that will allow site owners to manage ecommerce activity within a CMS like WordPress.

Which is the Best Mobile/Responsive Ecommerce Platform?

Most of the ecommerce platforms on the market are responsive so they have the capabilities to handle mobile and tablet customers, including Shopify.

Why Use Shopify or any Paid Ecommerce Platform over a Free Ecommerce Platform?

Whilst there are many free ecommerce platforms out there, Shopify is designed for convenience and is ideal for business owners who have little or no knowledge and/or experience in ecommerce. For those who are considering a free ecommerce platform, be sure to assess other costs such as:
– Domain name
– Web hosting
– SSL certificate
– PCI testing and certification
– Ongoing software and security updates

We truly hope that you found our Shopify review helpful and informative. What’s your opinion on the topic? Ready to give Shopify a go? Share your thoughts in the comments below!