Shopify Review by UPQODE

upqode | Oct 30th, 2020

Today, Shopify is considered one of the market leaders in eCommerce. It is also the most well-known tool for launching your online store. Next in our Shopify review, we’ll be exploring the platform’s selling features, pricing, templates, and answer other important questions.

This eCommerce website builder is designed to help you build a scalable online store and have access to numerous built-in features, and endless apps. Shopify makes it possible for you to sell your products directly from your website, and on social media and multiple marketplaces.

Shopify was established in 2006 to help people build a hassle-free eCommerce platform where you can launch your online business and be able to sell, manage, and ship your products.

Whether you’re starting a business and you don’t have a website or without eCommerce experience, or if you’re in search of a way to expand your business, reading through myShopify reviews available on the web can be of help.

Today, Shopify has exploded thus becoming a well-known tool in the world of eCommerce. As of 2019, Shopify has reached 175 countries with over a million merchants using this platform

How does Shopify Work? Who Can Use it?

The Shopify platform offers users a ‘hosted’ solution. That means that Shopify runs on its servers, so you won’t have to install software or pay for web hosting.

To use this platform you’ll need to pay a monthly fee and, provided you have an internet connection and a web browser, you can operate your online store from anywhere.

Shopify main page

When using Shopify, the essential things you’ll need to create and market your online stores. It can be a blog, a payment processor, email marketing tools, and templates are offered ‘outside the box.’

Even then, you still can customize your online store depending on your more specific requirements by adding apps — or by use of a custom code.

The thing with Shopify is that anyone can use it, whether you’re a larger business or a beginner. What you’ll need to get started is an idea, products to sell, and an internet connection and soon you’ll have your store up and running in an instant.  Plus, using Shopify for your online stores makes it extremely scalable.

Shopify Review: An in-depth look at the best ecommerce platform of 2020

So, what makes Shopify stand out above the rest? Let’s find out.

Shopify Pricing

This eCommerce platform charges users in four ways:

  • If using Shopify as your preferred online payment provider, you will be charged to process transactions at 2.9% + 30¢. This fee will reduce slightly whenever you upgrade: for an advanced Shopify plan the cost is 2.4% + 30¢. Also, in-person payments will cost you much less.
  • It charges a monthly fee starting from $29 going up to $299. The more expensive Shopify plans offer extra features and even larger shipping discounts.
  • When you opt for another payment provider, you’ll be charged a percentage in addition to what the payment provider charges. Shopify fees start at 2% and keep decreasing to 0.5% for their advanced plan.
  • When you use Shopify POS hardware, you’ll have to pay a one-time fee amounting to $656 to get the whole package and includes a receipt printer, an iPad stand, card reader, and a cash drawer. You can also purchase these individually. So, if you prefer having the basic card reader only, you can get it at no cost with a Shopify account.

These prices are the same for the entire industry and are what you’d expect.

Shopify pricing

Since Shopify is your payment provider and your site builder that’s why it charges both a monthly subscription as well as payment processing fees. Even then, the extra costs are still worth the extra value provided by Shopify.

Ease of Use

Shopify is among the easiest eCommerce builders on the market. Also, it’s believed to be among the easiest tools to use when it comes to business apps.

Also, note that even though it lacks the drag-and-drop function, Shopify offers you other tools that you can use to customize the layout of the key pages. This can be the case as you design your website’s home page — besides it’s easy for you to tweak the layout by using its integrated theme editor.

How to use Shopify

Shopify offers you an online store structure that’s already working. Therefore, rather than build a store from scratch, you’ll simply adjust the existing pieces and fine-tune them to suit your design goals. In essence, the core of Shopify’s platform works at once.

Also, since you’ll be choosing from ready-made templates, you won’t need to possess any design skills either. What’s more, the templates have an automatically responsive design. Therefore, your website will be optimized for tablets, mobiles, and desktops.

Again, online payments are catered for, meaning that you don’t have to handle sensitive credit card information on your own. Plus it allows you to directly sell products to your Facebook contacts and other platforms.

Shopify Customer Support

Shopify offers you comprehensive customer support and you can get in touch with the company 24/7 by phone, live chat, or email. To get phone support you’ll have to request they call you back.

This option is far better compared to the support choices provided by some competitors, for instance, key competitor Squarespace does not offer any phone support.

Shopify help Center

Shopify offers you the answers you seek fast. And their customer support experience is correct, fast, and helpful – for both developers and store owners.

Shopify has a huge database of email, FAQs, phone support, and chat support with knowledgeable representatives on the other end.

As you focus on growing your online store – knowing that you always have someone behind you with answers is worth Shopify’s subscription alone. And this is an aspect that makes Shopify stand out over its competition.

Shopify’s Email marketing

A crucial part of running your online business is email marketing. That’s because sending e-newsletters to an existing mailing list is important to generating sales.

On recognizing this, Shopify in the recent past launched a new feature called ‘Shopify Email. ’ It allows you to carry out email marketing and even create e-newsletters ‘in the box’.

All in all, this feature is a basic email marketing option that lets you send branded e-newsletters. And this means that you won’t have automation features offered on Aweber and Getresponse as yet.

Despite this, Shopify Email can prove useful for some merchants, more so those who prefer to manage all areas of their online store from a central point.

What’s more, this feature is reasonably priced and allows you to mail a maximum of 2,500 subscribers at no charge and a $1 fee will be applied for every additional 1,000 subscribers.

Site Customization

This platform offers something that’s remarkably rare when it comes to software. The provider developed a tool that’s particularly easy to use plus it has the flexibility you need when setting up your online store. Often most tools can only achieve either of these. Thus they can either be limited and easy to use, or they’re complex and flexible.

As your business grows, you’ll be able to transform your online business however you like. Even though you are likely to start by using one of their pre-built themes, you can build your own theme from scratch.

Theme featuress

Later on, you’ll want a template that represents your brand and gives your brand’s unique feel. Once you’re ready, hire an eCommerce website design agency with experience with Shopify. This is because they can build the whole site for you.

Shopify Themes

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level and need a tool that offers you complete flexibility, then Shopify has a solution for you; Shopify Plus. This version can scale with you regardless of how big your online store gets.

Running Your Shopify Store from Your Mobile Device

The Shopify platform offers users two main apps that you can use to run your online store on your mobile device: ‘Shopify Point of Sale’ and ‘Shopify’ 

The Shopify app allows you to view and fulfill orders, view reports, add or edit products, and communicate with employees via the order ‘timeline’.

As for the ‘Point of Sale’ app, you’ll be able to Shopify’s POS system. Therefore, it allows you to take card payments personally, text receipts to your customers, track inventory, and so on.

Besides the store management apps, Shopify offers an app known as ‘Ping’ that makes it easy to share your product details and even answer customer queries as you chat with them over Apple Business Chat or Facebook Messenger.

Also, this platform offers you other apps, which consist of a delivery app (that helps drivers as they deliver your products), a business card designing tool, a logo-making app, and an ‘entrepreneur articles’ application.

You can access some of these apps depending on whether you are using iOS or Android. From all the apps we’ve mentioned above, the ‘Shopify’ app is the most used by the vast majority of sellers.

Blogging in Shopify

One important way you can increase traffic to your site is through blogging — therefore it’s crucial for anyone operating an online store. Supportively Shopify offers a built-in blogging tool that lets you create the content you need to help make your site appear in search results.

Even then, this blogging functionality isn’t as sophisticated as some blogging-specific blogging platforms have to offer— especially WordPress. Some of the omissions consist of Yoast-style SEO and content versioning plugin.

Shopify Blog

Also, as concerns categorization of your posts, Shopify blog posts only allow the use of tags. Besides, there are no categories offered (typically professional blogging tools allow the use of both).

Even then, Shopify’s built-in blogging feature is by and large fine and can meet most users’ needs perfectly well. Also, you can — with some configuration — you can link it to the Disqus commenting tool, which is useful.

Like with several other Shopify features, if you aren’t satisfied with the blogging offering you can opt for an app that can help with this. One option you could investigate in this regard is DropInBlog. It lets you use more WordPress-style functionalities for instance categories, SEO post analysis, multiple contributors, and product embeds.

Shopify Themes

Shopify offers users dozens of themes that they can choose from. Of these, some are paid with a price range from $140–180.

But you can still get lots of incredible free themes. Also, the free Shopify templates look as if they were built by professional website designers. As you create your website on Shopify, you should search through Shopify’s theme store to pick out one that you like.

Choose a Shopify Themes

When you opt for a paid theme, you’ll get a professional-looking website for a small fee that can easily support your store until you’ve grown enough to easily buy a customer-built template that perfectly represents your brand.

Paid Themes

Through accessing the Shopify theme store and the ease of setting up an online store on Shopify, you’ll be able to build your whole site without having to hire a site designer and web developer. As such cutting, those costs can go a long way, especially for a new online store.

Dropshipping with Shopify

Most potential Shopify users will often be wondering how this platform facilitates dropshipping.

When it comes to dropshipping, you’ll be taking an order and then sending it to your supplier, and they’ll deliver the products to your client. That means that you won’t be making or storing any products. Therefore, in effect, your e-commerce site acts as some sort of middle man.

Fortunately, Shopify provides you with a wide range of dropshipping applications that let you easily source as well as sell goods from different suppliers.

Dropshipping Applications

Dropshipping is popular among merchants because it comes with low upfront costs plus it is easier to manage. This is especially true for smaller businesses that have little space, less time, and a limited budget.  What’s more, it helps free up your time so you can focus on improving your store, engaging with customers, and marketing your business.

Although Shopify supports dropshipping, it doesn’t have a built-in feature for this. Rather, you’ll have to set up a dropshipping app. Also, Shopify often recommends Oberlo since it helps you discover goods to sell on your Shopify store. Other apps are Printful, AliExpress, and Spocket.

As such, when you use it with the Shopify POS, you’ll be able to centralize all aspects of your online as well as in-store orders. This way it will be easier for you to manage your inventory and staff.

Shopify App Store

Shopify offers you an amazing App Store. Here you’ll find different apps for nearly every extra feature you’d ever want to have in your store. For instance, Facebook Messenger, email abandonment, or recurring billing.

This is one thing that sets this platform apart from the other eCommerce tools.

Shopify App Store

Shopify’s apps store is also the best place for you to look for third-party applications that can integrate with Shopify. Here you will find a total of 2000+ apps. While there are numerous integrations on the market that you could try, Shopify has selected the best so you can have the best user experience.

This means that you’re a few clicks away from adding an advanced app to your Shopify store. This is like getting a whole new tool for your online store that integrates perfectly with Shopify. This feature makes Shopify the only eCommerce tool that has an app store that comes with high-quality and many apps.

Accepting Multiple Currencies on Shopify

Another crucial feature for your business is being able to show prices in several currencies. This is especially important for sellers who want to sell in different territories. Being able to display prices and making checkout easy in local currencies will only improve your sales rates considerably.

Payment on Shopify

Also, different from many other renowned e-commerce solutions, Shopify will allow you to do this. That’s provided you use Shopify’s built-in payment gateway, the Shopify Payments.

Also, unless you’ve opted to use a third-party app or the Shopify Plus plan, your customers will need to manually use the currency selector for them to choose their ideal currency.

(You can even install Shopify’s free ‘geolocation’ app that can detect a customer’s location and then show a currency suggestion. But, what might even work better for you is having a completely automatic currency conversion.)

Payment on Shopify

Note that a currency selector is currently accessible in two themes (Brooklyn and Debut). However, if you don’t want to use any of these themes, you’ll have to insert a code into your online store for you to create one.

Also, keep in mind that multi-currency payment will not work with Shopify’s ‘Buy Buttons.’

Even with the above limitations, you might find yourself opting for third-party apps to manage multi-currency payments. One app worth looking into is Bold Multi-Currency.

All in all multi-currency selling on Shopify is a good option for sellers who want to do this. However, there are a few improvements that can be made to this functionality.

For example, Bigcommerce makes it a lot easier for you to sell products in multiple currencies without having to use currency selectors. Plus its Buy Buttons also support multi-currency payments.

Shopify Security

This eCommerce platform has built-in security, adheres to all the required regulations. Also, it updates your site to help keep everything operating safely. Still, you could add more apps to give you extra peace of mind. However, always ensure that you regularly backup your site.

Unlike platforms like WordPress, your Shopify store is automatically secure. That means that you won’t be responsible for handling your site’s security. Shopify manages all security against cyber threats, fulfills the compliance requirements, and runs updates that allow for the safe handling of online transactions.

Shopify Security

This will make your life as a seller a lot easier compared to when you have to handle all of these requirements yourself.

Note that all Shopify plans have SSL security. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security will encrypt data shared between your customers and your website. This is essential as it helps protect sensitive information like payment details from hackers.

Also, note that Shopify complies with Level 1 PCI DSS requirements. PCI DSS is the acronym for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards which was established to control security standards for handling debit and credit card details.

The good news is you don’t have to handle this since your Shopify store is by default PCI compliant, so you’ll start selling right away.  

Since Shopify will automatically manage everything security for you, you don’t have to worry about this. That way you can only focus on growing your business. That being said, we recommend that consider creating regular backups of your business website, in case something happens.

Tip: One way you can create a backup is through exporting CSV files, and this might not be as fun. If you prefer another option, we recommend that you get a backup system from the Shopify App Store. Like Rewind, that can automate this undertaking thus freeing up your time.

Shopify Review: Pros and Cons

Our Shopify review won’t be complete unless we have a comprehensive look at the pros and cons. Here are Shopify positives and drawbacks that you can expect when you choose to use this platform. 

Shopify Pros:

  • Great themes selection: Shopify offers an amazing selection of themes you can choose from. Therefore, you are bound to find a theme that’s perfect for you regardless of your preference.
  • Speed and Shopify Load Times: As you build your ecommerce site, you’ll need it to be secure and fast. These two features often attract expensive hosting packages. Also, fractionally longer the load times will push your paying customers to your competition. And this will cost you potential sales. Fortunately, Shopify makes sure that they don’t.
  • Great Design: This platform is mainly about great designs, and you can choose from the many templates they provide, both paid and free ones. These templates will have your site looking professional and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Security: Your Shopify site is ultra-fast and is totally secure for processing payments and managing sensitive data.
  • Easy to use and Beginner-friendly: This platform is extremely beginner-friendly, which makes it easy for beginners to easily launch their online stores without having to worry about encountering any problems.
  • Integrations and Add-ons: Shopify offers many add-ons that allow you to expand the set feature if you need to. This means that you won’t need to hire a coder for this. Shopify’s easy interface means that you can easily add on new functions and features within your site.

Shopify Cons

  • The Cost: Both Shopify monthly fees and individual transaction processing costs (when you don’t decide to run Shopify Payments). Also, you should consider these as you compare different packages before launching your store, more so if you plan to sell in larger volumes.
  • Uniquely Coded: Although you can make Shopify do pretty much anything you want. If you have to check its back-end, you’ll have to deal with proprietary coding. And, this will mean that you’ll need to work with someone who understands Shopify’s jargon and can do the job. This, in turn, will increase the maintenance costs thus leading to delays in running your store.

The Current Number of Users and Why This Matters

The Shopify eCommerce builder was launched in 2004 in Canada. Fast forward to 2020, the company today has more than 1,000,000 users. Again, between 2016 and 2019, Shopify generated sales worth $319bn.

These numbers are important because as you’re looking for a hosted solution for building an online store, you’ll be putting a large amount of trust in that company providing it.

In the past, there have been occasions where similar services have closed down. And this has resulted in serious problems for users, who then ended up migrating their online stores to a different provider on short notice.

Since Shopify has a large market share and user base this should make the possibility of the company facing financial difficulties less likely. This then reduces the probability of your Shopify store suddenly disappearing. Therefore, the Shopify platform is legitimate and safe plus it’s unlikely that it will be going anywhere.

Shopify Review: Is Shopify Worth It?

If you’re in search of an all-in-one eCommerce builder for launching an online store, and you plan to add products and grow – with a primary focus on marketing and growth, then Shopify can be an excellent fit for you.

This quality eCommerce solution is perfect for those with little or no coding experience. It’s extremely easy to use, plus with the numerous themes it offers, you’ll find a theme that works perfectly for your brand with ease. And as you focus, you’ll easily launch your store in a weekend. 

When you decide to use Shopify, you have several plans to choose from. Also, you have an option to get 14 days of the free trial. Shopify’s basic plan goes for $29 a month. Despite its name, this plan offers many perks that are sufficient for people who are new to eCommerce.

What’s more, Shopify is a great option for dropshipping, for both brick-and-mortar stores and even small stores. By using dropshipping integrations such as Oberlo and Amazon’s FBA, you’ll be able to run a profitable online store and not have to handle shipping or keep stock.

Also, when you use it with Shopify’s POS, you’ll be able to centralize all your in-store and online orders. It will make it easier for you to manage your inventory and staff.

Shopify Review FAQs

Will I lose what I’ve done if I upgrade after a free trial

Not to worry – provided that you’ll be upgrading to one of the Shopify premium plans before the free trial period lapses, all your online content can be carried over. The 14 days will give you lots of time to decide whether Shopify is the right option for you before you invest in it.

What’s the difference between Wix and Shopify?

Wix, like other platforms such as Weebly and Squarespace, is a site builder that provides eCommerce functionality. Whereas Shopify is purposely built for eCommerce. That means that if you’d like to launch an online store, then it’s your best option.

However, if you would rather have a website with an option to sell a few goods on the side, then Wix eCommerce is worth exploring.

Can you launch a multilingual Shopify store?

Certainly, Shopify offers you a wide selection of themes, which have different languages built in. So, if you can code, you’ll be able to translate your online store’s content yourself. But, the easiest way to create a multilingual Shopify online store is through the use of apps like Weglot or Langify Translate.

What’s the best Shopify alternative?

For the larger stores, the top alternative for Shopify is BigCommerce – which is an extremely powerful app with similar fees to Shopify. For the smaller businesses, we suggest you look at Wix eCommerce. It is a cheaper option, it`s easy to use, and has some great marketing tools to help your business succeed.

Is it better to sell on Shopify or Amazon?

You can successfully sell on Shopify or Amazon or both. It can be based on your type of business, your marketing plans, as well as your business goals. That’s because they are two very different platforms.

The Amazon marketplace allows you to sell products for a fee. Shopify is an eCommerce platform that can integrate with your inventory, a shopping cart, design, orders, and customer management.

Although the Shopify platform is a bigger commitment, it offers you more versatility and freedom. Also, you can sell in both places if you prefer to do so.

Is Shopify legit and safe?

Simply put yes. Shopify has industry-leading security with audited software and it’s a publicly-traded company.

Note that Shopify is software and a tool. Therefore, you still have to put in the time to find products, a market, and even sell whatever goods you plan to sell. Also, Shopify is a legit and safe way of making the process much easier.

Is the Shopify platform any Good?

Yes, the Shopify platform is a great eCommerce solution for many online store owners. However, like any company, there are some tradeoffs. There are a few disadvantages listed above. Despite this Shopify is today’s market leader in the industry for a reason.

Filed under: Ecommerce

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