Overall Rating: 4.5/5
- Offers more than 100 beautiful and professional looking responsive templates.
- Large app store – over 1400 apps to extend your store’s functionality.
- Provides SSL encryption.
- Multi-payment options available.
- You can sell digital products.
- Customizable email for order conformation.
- 24/7 support available – phone, email and live chat.
Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Shopify is an eCommerce company that gives the ability to its users to create their online stores.
It came into existence in 2004, and since then 400,000 stores are active on their platform with more than $34 billion processed in sales. It’s a huge number, right?
In addition to that, online stores of some of the big brands like Tesla and Redbull are made on Shopify that adds up to its credibility.
Shopify is ideal for businesses of any size (small, medium and even large). They have a team of professionals that take care of all the technical stuff and maintenance of your online store so that you can focus on sales.
They also have a huge app store which offers more than 1400 tools to extend your store’s functionality. So overall Shopify is a great online store builder and it’s completely worth to invest your time and money on it.
So overall Shopify is a great online store builder and it’s completely worth to invest your time and money on it.
1) Pros of Using Shopify
- Ideal for any (small, mid or large) sized business.
- Templates are beautiful and mobile responsive.
- You can also have discount coupon functionality.
- Multi-payment options – PayPal, Credit Cards, BitPay for Bitcoins, etc.
- Sale of digital goods allowed.
- Offers SSL encryption at no extra cost.
- Product presentation is remarkable. You have a zoom function, picture gallery and video options available.
- It allows you to tweak your own custom code into the template.
- You can export order data into a CSV file.
- Great in terms of Search Engine Optimization.
- Mobile app available.
- Support is everywhere – phone, email and live chat.
2) Cons of Using Shopify
- You need to know Liquid (Shopify’s own coding language) if you want to customize your site extensively.
- They charge a transaction fee of 0.5-2% depending upon the plan (unless you’re using Shopify Payments option).
- If you want to make your store multi-lingual, then you’ve to look for a 3rd party integration.
- They don’t allow you to use a custom URL structure.
- You do need to have a little bit of technical knowledge for operating your store nicely.
3) Ease of Use
Shopify boasts its dashboard to be the easiest and simple to use in entire industry. What I found is, however, their dashboard looks simple and beautiful, but it’ll take a couple of hours to get inside your mind.
What I found is, however, their dashboard looks simple and beautiful, but it’ll take a couple of hours to get inside your mind.
Building an online store is not a really easy process. You have to spend enough time to understand the functionality and working of an online store.
You’ve to set payment channels, cart features, social integration, marketing tools, SEO, etc. Shopify is really good at that. It guides you through each and every process so that you can do it effectively.
It gives you the ability to have a staff login (if you have a team for managing the store), to create web pages and blog posts, set different payment channels, manage inventory, etc.
4) Hosting (Speed & Security)
As most of the top website builders do, Shopify also hosts your website on its own servers which are optimized especially for hosting Shopify powered sites.
It offers an unlimited amount of bandwidth, that means you don’t have to pay extra dollars if you’re getting lots of traffic.
Customer information and payments are encrypted using SSL encryption at no extra costs. In addition, they also boast a 99.99% uptime on their blazing fast servers, which seems to be 100% true.
Overall, Shopify does great work in hosting.
5) Mobile Website
As mentioned in the pros section, Shopify offers you mobile responsive templates.
That means whatever you create on your desktop screen, Shopify automatically creates a mobile/tablet version of the site for you. Or you can say, any screen version.
If you want to manually customize the template by adding your custom code, Shopify gives you that ability.
But you need to learn Shopify developed coding language called “Liquid” or you need to hire an expert.
6) Shopify App Store
Shopify offers you an extensive number of add-ons/apps (more than 1400) to enhance your store’s functionality.
These include marketing tools, automation tools, integration with facebook store, customer service, live chat functionality, selling digital products, etc.
Note: Not all the tools are free.
Blogging has become the most important tool in terms of internet marketing. It helps you to drive traffic to your website, improves the overall SEO and the domain authority of the website, helps to get more conversions, etc.
Shopify has taken care of all that and it offers a tremendous set of tools that help you incorporate your product-related blog.
You can embed social sharing options, newsletters and much more using those tools.
One down point of blogging at Shopify is that it doesn’t allow you to customize the URL structure. It uses subdirectories such as /sample-page/ or /blog/product/.
Although it doesn’t have that much effect on SEO, still /sample-post/ structured URL are considered to be more SEO friendly.
Shopify offers you more than 100 beautifully designed responsive templates for your online store.
As they are responsive, you don’t need to worry about other screen sizes. Shopify automatically does that work for you.
If you want to customize the template, you can always add your own custom HTML & CSS.
But if you want to customize it extensively, like adding your own feature to the store, then you need to have the knowledge of Liquid, a coding language developed by Shopify itself. If not, you have to hire an expert.
They have different support channels like phone, email and live chat (24×7). Their support team is quite responsive and they’ll never disappoint you.
Here’s the Shopify pricing –
11) Who Should Buy It?
In terms of eCommerce functionality, Shopify is really advanced. So if your primary focus is to create an online store, then Shopify does it MUCH better than Wix, Weebly or Squarespace.
But here’s another competitor, BigCommerce. What now?
See, both of them are pretty much similar and are really powerful. But if you’ve to choose only one, I’d like to give you a piece of advice.
If you’re looking for all-in-one eCommerce solution with lots of functionalities and you’re a little bit techie, then go for Shopify.
But if your demand is an easier and less expensive eCommerce solution, then BigCommerce might be best fit for you.