Shopify Review: Pros & Cons of utilizing Shopify For eCommerce

Shopify Review

There are plenty of choices for running a web-based store &#8211 Shopify is a brand-in-one ecommerce solution which i&#8217ve accustomed to run several online retailers &amp consult up with clients since 2009. Here&#8217s my Shopify review &#8211 with 6 pros and 6 cons of utilizing Shopify for the online shop.

You should check out Shopify&#8217s current Plans &amp Prices here.

EDIT 01/02/2017: This Shopify review was initially printed 7/13/2013 and re-printed frequently with updates throughout to mirror additional featuresOrprices/opinion. In 2016 through 2017, Shopify has improved on several fronts, particularly with a significantly improved checkout process. Enjoy!

However, a little bit of intro. There&#8217s plenty of choices for running a web-based store, and the selection of best platform might have just like big of an impact on your company as selecting a structure or place for an actual store. It&#8217s and not the finish all the business &#8211 however it certainly could make or break your company &#8211 and may either expand your chance or seriously kneecap your company.

What’s Shopify?

Shopify belongs to several turn-key ecommerce (also known as &#8220hosted ecommerce&#8221) solutions that gives all you need from finish to finish (without the product and business know-how) to put together and begin selling your products(s) around the world as opposed to you putting all of the pieces together yourself (see Shopify&#8217s plans here).

It&#8217s kind of like getting a contractor to construct your home, over to be the contractor and hiring sub-contractors yourself. You&#8217re still in charge, however, you allow the contractor use their expertise to help make the project happen.

You will find benefits and drawbacks towards the approach &#8211 that is what we should&#8217ll enter into. But essentially realize that Shopify competes mainly with BigCommerce and Volusion &#8211 the 3 which provide turn-key search engine optimization, which competes with non-turnkey solutions (like establishing your personal store with WordPress).

Which located solutions kind of compete and integrate with ecommerce &#8220marketplaces&#8221 like Amazon . com, eBay and Etsy. I authored much more about how Shopify could work with Etsy here.

Shopify also offers a &#8220Buy button&#8221 functionality that enables you to employ Shopify as Reason for Purchase (POS) / Inventory option &#8211 and let customers click to purchase your products anywhere online (Pinterest, Facebook, WordPress blog, Tumblr, etc). I&#8217ll be searching less at this &#8211 and much more at Shopify&#8217s full online shop package. You will get the Buy button only included in the Lite Plan, however it competes with PayPal instead of full online shop options.

Seem sensible? Awesome. Let&#8217s dive in to the actual Shopify review.

Pros of utilizing Shopify

There are plenty of Shopify online reviews &#8211 usually with user-generated reviews according to anecdotes and private experience. That&#8217s fine however i have a different approach. I&#8217ve labored with Shopify not just like a storeowner but additionally like a consultant to stores running on Shopify additionally to stores running on platforms varying from custom made platforms to WooCommerce and a large number of others. There’s no such factor like a &#8220best&#8221 choice &#8211 only the best choice for the store according to your sources and objectives.

Knowing that &#8211 here&#8217s things i discovered to be pros of utilizing Shopify &#8211 not only to comparison to BigCommerce along with other direct competitors, but additionally being an overall ecommerce solution.

Built-in Speed &amp To safeguard Hosting

Listed here are the outcomes of the Speed Test on Shopify Store:

Shopify Review Speed Test

Among the challenges of running a web-based store is you have dual needs out of your hosting: you really need it to become screaming fast and you really need it to become super secure if you’re processing charge cards.

For each extra tenth of the second that the customer waits for the page to load is another they might perfectly leave and see your competition. Actually, most research has shown that individuals is only going to hang on to 4 seconds for any site to load before departing &#8211 which will get even tighter for ecommerce sites.

Around the switch side, you should also route your customer&#8217s charge cards through extra layers of security to stay PCI compliant and process charge cards. Many stores delegate payments to some third-party vendor (for example PayPal or Google Wallet), but that connection could be slowed in case your store isn&#8217t setup right.

An exciting-in-one solution like Shopify enables you to definitely turn that side from the business to the professionals and merely allow them to be worried about online hackers, caching, compliance, along with a whole selection of issues that include hosting a web-based store. Shopify can perform such things as pay bounties to security researchers to compromise-proof their systems.

Since Shopify can handle speed &amp security in a &#8220global&#8221 platform level &#8211 they are able to get it done especially well: provide 100% SSL, maintain their sites screaming fast, and integrate with payment providers well to be able to always will get compensated, and clients are never awaiting their page to load.

All Of The Necessary Features

All The Necessary Features

Regardless if you are building your personal ecommerce solution or looking for an all-in-one solution, getting all of the bits of a web-based store together can really be considered a bit challenging.

Sure, you are able to strip the simplistic lower to getting an item as much as buy, and allowing anyone to pay and provide you with their information &#8211 but to get it done right &#8211 you&#8217re likely to want additional features on the top.

You&#8217re likely to want integrated payments you &#8216re likely to want a good way to include and take away products you&#8217re likely to want so that you can personalize the feel of your store and also you&#8217re certainly likely to wish to have solid, simple to implement Analytics to trace everything (something which Volusion causes it to be difficult to implement).

Whenever I’ve run stores for clients or myself previously, Shopify had everything I desired to operate an incredible online shop &#8211 without having to be nickel and dimed in upgrades or overlooked to dry with no key feature.

Great Customer Care

Shopify Call Customer Support for Shopify Review

After I contrast my encounters between building an ecommerce store myself (with something similar to WordPress + WooCommerce) and running it with something similar to Shopify &#8211 customer care is among my why you should opt for something similar to Shopify.

When you’re building it and running yourself to it &#8211 you’ve got no one to go to, except $$$ developers and frequently unresponsive online forums. With Shopify &#8211 you receive solutions fast. And all sorts of my customer care encounters with Shopify happen to be really fast, correct, and useful &#8211 from both a developer and store owner perspective.

There is a huge database of FAQs, email/chat support&#8230and phone support &#8211 having a real, knowledgeable repetition on the other hand.

When you’re centered on running your web store &#8211 this safety internet of always getting someone at the back with solutions is essentially well worth the Shopify subscription cost alone. As well as on this time Shopify especially shines.

Marketing

What good is definitely an online shop if you’re able to&#8217t get anybody to appear? That&#8217s what marketing is perfect for &#8211 and it is something which Shopify really excels at. Shopify doesn&#8217t provide the fanciest marketing tools in the world (included in the primary package &#8211 they provide more within the Application Marketplace) &#8211 however they do range from the essentials &#8211 plus they make certain they are doing the necessities very well. For instance, Search engine optimization:

Shopify Category &amp Product Content Editor

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For marketing campaigns (for example email, AdWords, etc), Shopify enables you to definitely rapidly and simply create squeeze pages, that is a key differentiating factor between other all-in-one platforms (and a few DIY platforms).

As well as for Search engine optimization &#8211 Shopify creates 100% crawlable, clean code. They enables custom Title tags, and meta descriptions (see screenshot) &#8211 even on collections, additionally with other essentials like Search Console, sitemaps, and preventing the perennial ecommerce bug bear&#8230duplicate content (for Search engine optimization geeks, they will use canonicals).

While they don&#8217t allow &#8220root&#8221 or FTP access, being an Search engine optimization consultant, I&#8217ve always had the ability to implement even technical products via their front-finish code editor. Or &#8211 they really curently have all of the advanced technical products accomplished for me (e.g., Schema, SSL, Canonicals, Sitemaps, etc) so will be able to concentrate on such things as content strategy.

Should you&#8217re searching to have an all-in-one platform that does good marketing for Search engine optimization, AdWords, and other things your sleeve &#8211 Shopify is a superb choice in my opinion.

Design

Shopify Review Design Options

I believe so good web platforms must always offer a minimum of 3 amounts of personalization: first, it ought to look fine as they are second, it ought to be easily improvable without getting to use and professional artist or developer.

WordPress is a great one with this &#8211 it appears great as they are it’s a lot of custom styles available and apply it is able to be wielded with a professional designer to produce a through the roof-finish website.

Shopify has this ability too, and that i provide a huge pro to Shopify for your. Shopify runs off a style system. It’s free styles bundled as they are to select from, and a multitude of custom-built styles to buy through their marketplace. Additionally, as you can tell within the screenshot above, Shopify makes its theme system available to ensure that an artist or developer can personalize it and make any kind of shop you would like &#8211 regardless if you are a small niche boutique or perhaps a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

If you’re just beginning, you are able to get by all right having a free theme and upgrade as possible justify/require it.

Add-Ons (Shopify Application Store + Buy Button)

Screenshot of Shopify App Store for my Shopify Review

Shopify has a lot of features built-in, but no platform may possibly accommodate all of the features required by storeowners &#8211 so Shopify required a webpage from Facebook, Apple, Android, and began an Application Store.

Shopify offers the platform and all sorts of core features, and enables developers to provide hyper-specialized items that wordpress plugin seamlessly to Shopify&#8217s platform.

Many are compensated and a few have the freedom. The Chimpified Application is my personal favorite example though. Not every retailers need or do e-mail marketing, however, many like it. It&#8217s not really a core feature of Shopify &#8211 but MailChimp (an incredible e-mail marketing company) built an Application that integrates MailChimp seamlessly with Shopify. It&#8217s free, and awesome.

With this particular setup &#8211 you don&#8217t need to bother about locating a developer any time you desire a certain feature, since it&#8217s most likely within the Application Store&#8230and will always be cheaper and can work just as marketed.

Furthermore, Shopify has truly committed to their Buy button. On a single hands, it&#8217s a little confusing to market product outside of your site. However, it adds lots of versatility for brands which have a name all over the web &#8211 or retailers that simply don&#8217t wish to setup a complete online shop on the domain.

Not every platforms possess the scale to drag this off properly, but Shopify does &#8211 and they’ve a company team of developers that particularly creates developing newly discovered apps and getting new developers to resolve problems. The Application Store is a big pro for me personally with Shopify.

Cons of utilizing Shopify

Its not all platform is ideal though, along with a Shopify review wouldn&#8217t be complete without since the cons of utilizing Shopify to have an online shop. Let&#8217s dive in to the 6 cons of utilizing Shopify for ecommerce.

Prices

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Shopify Pricing for Shopify Review (2016)

For those who have a little online shop &#8211 Shopify will probably be more costly than BigCommerce at the start, and obtain less expensive while you grow. The kicker isn&#8217t the $5 difference &#8211 it&#8217s the transaction charges that Shopify charges (that are on the top associated with a charge card feed). They justify it everything about the they disappear while you grow &#8211 however it still represents a barrier to entry for Shopify.

They improve a few of the prices by providing the &#8220Get Began&#8221 option at $14/mo &#8211 but in my experience the transaction charges seem a disadvantage of utilizing Shopify, especially because you can ‘t be sure regarding your product sales or profitability in the beginning.

If you prefer a small online shop &#8211 and intend on remaining small, then you might like to also take a look at BigCommerce (just don&#8217t opt for Volusion due to their Analytics issues). But otherwise, it&#8217s not really a deal breaker for many online shop proprietors &#8211 but is really a disadvantage to understand and arrange for.

In 2014, Shopify has restructured their prices consistent with new industry business models. To place their prices in context which help you choose between competitors (like Bigcommerce &#8211 review here or Volusion &#8211 review here), here&#8217s a rundown of four aspects of prices you should think about.

First, your monthly cost &#8211 the sticker cost you have to pay each month for any certain degree of features. Shopify&#8217s plans begin with the Lite Plan at $9 USD monthly and increase after that, for instance. But observe that the Lite plan’s just for Buy button sellers. Really, I&#8217d state that Shopify starts at $29/mo and rises.

Second, your platform transaction charges &#8211 the extra fee you have to pay to some platform like a percent of sales. Shopify accustomed to charge these on all of their plans, but no more does. Settled to those when mix-evaluating.

Third, your charge card charges &#8211 these was once pretty standardized &#8211 and typically are still. However, Shopify lately setup their very own POS &amp processing network which means you don&#8217t need to go through a third party processor. Which means charges visit Shopify as opposed to a processor like PayPal or Authorize.internet. It may be confusing, and you will find some lock-in issues to think about with Shopify. But make sure you’re evaluating apples to apples.

4th, your add-on charges &#8211 they are third party apps, plugins or items of software that you could purchase to create your store better. These is one-time purchases, but may they elope transaction charges. Shopify includes a huge application store. Most are free, however, many are compensated. Make sure to plan for these when planning your store.

Prices is &#8220con with caveat&#8221 for Shopify. The built-in charge cards &amp no transaction charges are huge, but monthly cost &amp add-on charges can also add up. Essentially, Shopify is slightly pricier than Volusion &amp slightly less expensive than Bigcommerce typically (however, everything depends upon your instalments, apps, etc). The cost variations are close enough that you ought to be evaluating according to features &amp service.

Shopify, like several located platforms, will probably be consistently more costly every month than the usual self-located store you take yourself. However, self-located stores (like WordPress + WooCommerce) generally have really $$$ development needs occasionally &#8211 particularly if you&#8217re managing a bigger setup.

For those who have some technical understand how along with a smaller sized shop, Shopify prices is going to be costly. If you wish to concentrate on running &amp marketing your store (and like known monthly costs), then Shopify&#8217s prices will really be considered a an amazing value. You don&#8217t need to hire developers or perhaps a technically savvy Search engine optimization consultant to consider proper care of such things as Google Merchant Center or Schema.

Hacking around personalization

Shopify Editing Screen for Shopify Review (2016)

I made the purpose earlier that the pro of Shopify is it looks good as they are, has great custom styles available, and is able to be fully customized with a developer/designer.

How to the disadvantage of the personalization setup &#8211 they will use a distinctive setup to personalize their styles versus using something similar to PHP for his or her templates. It&#8217s an enormous plus somewhat, however for somebody that likes to tweak things without having done a complete-on personalization, it may be annoying.

I&#8217m accustomed to tweaking WordPress templates since they’re in PHP &#8211 that is a common language and a lot of forums and support, as the Shopify Liquid setup is foreign in my experience and then any other first-timers.

It’s fairly straightforward to get, plus they provide amazing support within the Shopify forums, however i consider it a disadvantage to need to understand Liquid to tweak my store&#8217s theme.

Content Marketing

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Shopify Blog Functionality for Shopify Review

Content marketing is a big marketing medium for ecommerce. You are able to boost you organic traffic, increase social shares, increase your brand, and educate your clients. In my experience, blogging software is essential to have an online shop.

Shopify includes built-in blogging software&#8230but it&#8217s and not the finest &#8211 particularly if you are spoiled for WordPress. It will get the task done, also it&#8217s much better than it&#8217s competitor&#8217s options, but is certainly something I&#8217d like to see enhanced.

Shopify Jargon

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Every ecommerce platform will have a learning curve, however i discovered that Shopify includes a slightly steeper curve simply because the jargon the utilization is slightly off. Whether or not this&#8217s their Liquid theme setup, using &#8220collections&#8221 over &#8220categories&#8221, or many other small edits &#8211 I’ve found their store setup to become not quite the way i&#8217d set some misconception.

It&#8217s not really a huge disadvantage &#8211 but other solutions like BigCommerce are a little more straightforward using their &#8220user experience.&#8221 This disadvantage is a lot improved though using the discharge of Shopify 2 (as observed in the first setup video below) &#8211 but remains.

Lock-in

Big Decision

Lock-was something I needed to use in my Shopify review, though it may be a disadvantage for those-in-one ecommerce generally. Here&#8217s the offer &#8211 should you ever choose to move your store to a new platform &#8211 it&#8217s not really smooth. This will make selecting an ecommerce platform especially tricky as you have to organize for future years &#8211 and not simply consider costs at this time.

For me, Shopify is definitely an amazing platform to develop with. They’ve the size, features, support, and prices to pay for you regardless if you are a completely new 1 product shop &#8211 or if you wish to function as the next Amazon . com.

However, should you ever wish to leave, the very best you can get will be a CSV export of the product information. Anything else &#8211 gone. It&#8217s exactly the same with BigCommerce, Volusion and any &#8220hosted ecommerce platform&#8221, however it&#8217s still a disadvantage to think about when searching to have an online shop platform.

Initial setup

The final disadvantage of utilizing Shopify for the online shop is the initial setup process. Using the discharge of Shopify 2 &#8211 Shopify has certainly made initial setup of the online shop much simpler &#8211 however it still isn&#8217t a &#8220just add water&#8221 step-by-step. It&#8217s easy in this way, however i think they oversell it a little. It takes some technical know-how (especially to obtain your website name redirecting properly).

For anybody who buys into Shopify looking to make profit fifteen minutes will probably be disappointed. This is because takes much more time, and needs a little bit of technical understanding is the fact that Shopify does still do it, and doesn&#8217t permit you to scrimp &#8211 plus they don&#8217t make real decisions for you personally. However &#8211 to gather the final disadvantage &#8211 here&#8217s a relevant video tour from the Shopify backend to be able to discover for yourself.

Shopify Review Conclusion

If you’re searching to have an all-in-one ecommerce solution for the online shop, and you’re searching to develop and add products &#8211 and you’ve got some technical know-how, then Shopify is a great fit for you personally.

You can examine out Shopify (see their plans here).

If you’re searching for something a bit cheaper, and a bit simpler to put together &#8211 i then would also consider BigCommerce (see their plans here &amp see my Bigcommerce review here). Take my ecommerce platform quiz here that may help you decide.

If you’re a brand searching to have an enterprise solution, I authored about my knowledge about Shopify Plus &#8211 Shopify&#8217s enterprise solution here.

For those who have any comments, questions, or encounters &#8211 tell me within the comments!

EDIT: Because of the remarkable quantity of junk e-mail this publish attracts, I&#8217ve disabled comments. Speak with me via Twitter!

Shopify

Shopify is really a located ecommerce platform that enables anybody to put together a web-based store with hosting and support incorporated.
Shopify Review
Date Printed: 01/02/2017
If you’re searching to have an all-in-one solution for the online shop, Shopify is a terrific way to go.
4 / 5 stars

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