Shopify is an extremely popular ecommerce platform that is used by thousands of online merchants. A quick search on major search engines will yield countless of Shopify reviews. So if you are ready to see if they platform can help your online business, here is an unbiased Shopify review with pros and cons.
Their shopping cart is arguable the best ecommerce platform available on the market right now. Founded in 2005, the platforms hosts over 200,000 online stores and Shopify has helped their merchants’ process over $12 billion in sales.
Shopify review – Is Shopify good for me?
Due to the flexibility of their platform, Shopify is good for individuals and businesses that are looking for a simple solution to sell products online.
It is ideal for anyone looking to start selling online fairly quickly.
Small and medium online stores will benefit most out of everything that their platform has to offer. Their simple customization tools are very attractive to many users.
It is not good for larger online stores. Certain features are limited and may negatively impact the needs of larger stores.
Pricing and fees
- Price: $9/month to $179/month+
- Setup Fees: None
- Bandwidth Overages: None
- Transaction Fees: Up to 2% or waived
- Products: Unlimited
- Bandwidth: Unlimited
- Storage: Unlimited
Shopify offers an enterprise level plan package called Shopify Plus. The monthly price is customized to fit the needs of your business, usually ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 per month. Their enterprise does not charge any transaction fees.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial that allows you to try out their platform without any commitment to stay beyond the trial period. You can try the free trial here.
Ease of use
One of the main reasons of why Shopify is a dominant platform is because it is the easiest hosted shopping cart to use to build an online store. The admin backend and the customer front end are both user-friendly and provide improved navigation options.
Their platform has just about everything to get you started with very little effort.
It does not require a technical background to be able to build an online store with Shopify. If you plan on making design changes, you will have to learn basic HTML and CSS.
And if you run into a problem, you can always get in touch with their technical support department.
Shopify gives you simple tools to:
- Add products with multiple variations – color, size, etc.
- Add product tags and various search engine optimization settings to rank higher on search engines.
- Publish products at a specific date and time.
- Create multiple product collections to organize your inventory.
- Configure tax settings using multiple options.
- Configure flexible shipping rates and options.
- Integrate with fulfillment and drop shipping services.
- Point a custom domain name to your web store.
- Accept payments through various payment gateways.
- Translate your online store in multiple languages – English, Spanish, French, etc.
Shopify brings simplicity to design. You can create a stunning store with very little effort.
They offer both free and premium themes. There are a total of 151 ecommerce themes, but only 23 are free of charge. All themes are responsive across multiple devices.
Their premium ecommerce themes are priced anywhere from $100 to $180, which is fairly reasonable.
Most of the design functions can be completed using the theme editor page. Here, you will be able to edit your store design with minor HTML and CSS tweaks, edit language files, and duplicate your design.
The thing that I found neat is the ability to upload your own theme. Most other platforms do not give you the option to upload a theme of your choice.
Point of sale system
The coolest thing about Shopify is the fact that their platform has a built-in point of sale system. This feature allows you to sell online, as well as a physical retail location at the same.
Basically, their POS system connects to your online store and you will be able to track various store statistics directly from your store dashboard.
So if you plan on selling online and in-person, this feature is going to come in handy.
On top of all of their built-in features, Shopify has the largest ecommerce app store. Their app store features both free and premium third-party widgets and plugins that will add extra functionality to your online store.
Since their app store is overly extensive, you will be able to find just about anything that you are looking for, from setting up marketing campaigns to improving the default reporting statistics.
Here are their most popular apps:
By now you should know the importance of mobile ecommerce. If shoppers are unable to access your store from a mobile device, it will be very difficult to keep up with the competition.
Thankfully, all of their ecommerce themes are responsive across multiple devices such as mobile devices, tablets, and laptops.
Mobile ecommerce is already built into the platform from the gecko. Your customers will be able to shop on your store from nearly anywhere in the world. Once a customer visits your store using a mobile device, your store will automatically adjust to the proper size that is best suited for a mobile device.
A Shopify mobile app is also available so that you can manage your store and fulfill orders on the go.
Support and resources
Every Shopify review is going to have a unique view of their support department and ours is not any different. Any experienced merchant can tell you the importance of a reliable customer support. Anyone can run into a problem down the road and it is always a good idea to have support that you can get in touch with throughout the day and night.
Their support department is truly amongst the best. It is open 24/7 via phone, live chat, and email ticketing. On top of their human support, Shopify gives you access to an active support forum where you will be able to connect with other Shopify store owners and developers.
Prior to writing this Shopify review, I was able to see how reliable their support department really was.
I called a Shopify Guru several times throughout the day and night to see how good they really were. The response time for each interaction was incredible, probably the fastest out of any other hosted ecommerce platform. The Guru was very knowledgeable and answered my questions in detail.
They also pointed me to several guides and tutorials so that I can quickly find an answer to my question in the future. I would say I was satisfied and it takes a lot to satisfy me.
Hosting, security, and backup options
Since Shopify is a hosted ecommerce platform, you do not need to purchase a separate web hosting account. I do recommend purchasing a custom domain name from a company like NameCheap.
Their hosting servers are monitored 24/7 and guarantee an uptime of 99.9%. Hosting is optimized for an online store so you can expect nothing but the best.
Shopify is also Level 1 PCI compliant, so you do not have to worry about the security of the data being transmitted through your online store. Each plan will also entitle you to a free shared SSL certificate that you can use to encrypt data.
The speed of Shopify stores will depend on various factors such as the amount of content and images that are uploaded. However, a basic online store that is built on Shopify loads in about 1 to 2 seconds on average.
We all know that bad things can happen. Sites can crash. Thankfully, all of your business information, products, customers, and orders are automatically backed up using their secure data centers on a daily basis.
Finally, all Shopify members will receive instant upgrades, so you do not have to worry about missing newly released features.
- Shopify is the easiest hosted ecommerce platform to work with.
- They have an extensive app store in the event that you need additional store features.
- Their ecommerce themes are responsive across multiple devices.
- Customer support is available 24/7 and can be reached via phone, live chat, and email ticketing.
- Everyone loves Shopify and their reputation speaks for itself.
- Checkout pages can be translated into multiple languages and currencies.
- Transaction fees can be as high as 2%, depending on the plan selected. These fees can be waived by using their payment gateway.
- Their themes utilize a template markup language called “liquid.”
- Some of their cheaper plans limit certain features (things like real-time shipping rates and abandoned cart recovery).
Is Shopify good for my ecommerce store?
Finding the perfect ecommerce platform is a very daunting task, especially with all of the options available. You will never find a platform that is absolutely perfect without any setbacks.
Even with all of the competition out there, Shopify has managed to maintain a solid reputation. Their platform has proven that it can host stores of all sizes.
If you are looking for a shopping cart that is easy to use and comes with a simple store launch process, you might want to consider using Shopify for ecommerce. Since their cart is popular, it will also be very easy to find a developer to build a store for you.