Customers today are increasingly becoming tech-savvy. As a result, they would expect that businesses find a way to make services and products available online.
Luckily, platforms like Shopify give you the tools to take your products to your online customers.
Shopify is a Canadian e-Commerce platform that was founded back in 2006 by Scott Lake, Daniel Weinard, and Tobias Lütke. And, retail point-of-sale systems and online stores were the focus behind the development of the platform.
The online store managment platform has improved since its birth, and by the end of 2014, the platform earned $105 million, which was double what it raised the previous year. Also, after the company went public in 2015, it was reported to have raised over $131 million in its IPO.
Now, whether you sell in-store, on social media, out of the trunk of your car, or online, you have a platform that can come in handy for you.
So, let’s review one of the industry finest shall we?
What is Shopify?
This e-Commerce platform is one of the world’s leading multi-channel, cloud-based commerce platforms that function for both medium and small-sized businesses.
As a merchant, you can use the online store management platform in setting up, designing, and managing your stores. Plus, these functionalities cut across multiple sales channels like pop-up shops, brick-and-mortar locations, marketplaces, social media, mobile, and of course, web.
The platform also provides you with an amazing single view of your business, plus a powerful a back-office.
Additionally, scalability, as well as reliability, are behind the build of the online store management platform. As a result, you have access to an enterprise-level technology that fits your business no matter the size.
Currently, the e-Commerce giant has over 600,000 merchants in about 175 countries. Plus, the platform has the trust of brands like Kylie cosmetics, GE, Nestle, and more.
The online store management platform comes with a wide range of tools and features that help you building and operating an online store as well as sell your products in person.
Also, the platform has many features which are used by over 120,000 stores around the world. Plus, you get access to tools that are designed specifically for offline retail.
Shopify is quite scalable and specializes in more than just e-Commerce. The platform also specializes in POS, design, user experience, payments, Mobile Apps, Google Pay, Shipping, and Dropshipping.
Well, that’s not all!
The platform also covers areas like customer service, applications, API, marketplace, hardware, Retail, Finance, software engineering, marketing automation, and AR/VR.
Pros of Using Shopify
Knowing what the online store management platform is isn’t enough information for you to make a decision.
So, let’s go through the benefits you stand to gain by using this e-Commerce software.
Built-In Security & Speed For Hosting
While managing an online store, one of the challenges you tend to face is having dual needs from your hosting. On the one hand, you need your store to have tight security when processing credit cards, while on the other hand, you need the store to be extremely fast.
Fortunately, the online store management platform integrates with payment providers. Plus, the platform also has built-in speed checkout that lets customers make payments with minimal load time.
To get all the vital aspects of an online store can be a daunting experience. And, this challenge comes whether you are shopping for an all-in-one solution or trying to build your e-Commerce solution.
As a result, to make sure you have everything in place, you need the right features.
Is it integrated payments or an easy way to remove and add products? You’ll want to be able to customize the appearance of your store and still have a solid and easy to manage analytics to keep track of everything.
Luckily, while running a store on Shopify, you get access to the right features for an excellent online store. Plus, you don’t have to be dimed and nickeled in upgrades or be lacking in essential features.
Awesome Customer Support
When building and running an e-Commerce store by yourself, you tend to have no one to turn to. Plus, some online forums might not be quite as responsive as you want them to be.
However, Shopify gets you the support you need as fast as possible, whether you are a store owner or a developer.
Also, the platform has an extensive database containing FAQs that are quite helpful.
What’s the point of having an online store if you can’t get people to visit it? Well, that’s where marketing comes in – and the online store management platform excels in this aspect.
Shopify lets you create meta descriptions and custom Title tags for each category page, which helps with your SEO. Also, for your marketing, you can build customized landing pages.
The platform develops a complete crawlable and clean code for your SEO. Hence, the online store management platform does a pretty good job when it comes to marketing for Google Ads, SEO, and so on.
With online stores, you’ll want to be attractive right out of the box. Plus, you might want to be able to improve on that look without having to get a professional developer or graphic designer. Interestingly, Shopify uses a theme system.
With this system, you have access to numerous free themes, plus a wide range of custom-built themes that you can buy on the platform.
Additionally, the online store management platform built its theme system in a way that you can customize it easily. Plus, you can create any shop you want to, whether it’s a multi-million dollar enterprise or a tiny niche boutique.
Starting up on the platform, you can go with any of the free themes available and later upgrade to a paid theme.
Shopify App Store
The online store management platform has a wide range of built-in features needed by store owners. However, to accomodate even more features, the platform started an App store.
The Shopify App store has all the platform’s core features. Plus, developers can deliver hyper-specialized products that plugin easily to Shopify.
The App store also provides paid and free Apps, and it gives you flexibility if your brand has an online presence.
Cons of Using Shopify
No platform is perfect though, and it wouldn’t be right if you don’t know the cons of using Shopify.
So, let’s dive into the cons of using the online store management platform as an e-Commerce solution.
Shopify is slightly pricier than you might want.
The platform’s basic plan goes for $29 per month while the average plan starts from $79 per month. Also, the advanced plan goes for $299 per month.
Now, that’s quite pricey, especially if your business is at its early stage.
Rather than making use of PHP for templates, the online store management platform uses an entirely different set up for customizing its themes. And as a first timer on the platform, it might be a daunting experience for you.
A huge marketing medium for e-Commerce businesses is content marketing. With this tool, you can increase your social shares, educate your customers, grow your brand, and boost your organic traffic.
Though the online store management platform comes with a blogging software built in the platform, it only provides a surface layout for blogging.
Shopify has a lock-in feature that permanently deletes your online store. As a result, migrating from to another online store from the platform might be a struggle.
Steep Learning Curve
It’s okay for e-Commerce platforms to have a learning curve. However, Shopify comes with a somewhat steeper curve because of the jargons used on the platform.
Features of Shopify
Shopify comes with a wide range of features that help you manage your online store. With the platform, you have access to multiple slaves channels, payment gateways, a fully customizable website, blog and online store, and more.
Let’s dive right into these features, shall we?
Multiple Sales Channels
The online store management platform allows you to add a product once and sell it through various channels.
Selling a single product on different sales channels used to be a daunting experience. However, Shopify makes it easier by giving a single platform with multiple sales channels.
Shopify Payment Gateways
With Shopify, you can use a third-party payment gateway to receive payments from your customers.
The platform can be integrated with more than 100 payment gateways to accept credit cards from anywhere in the world. Some of the supported gateways include Paypal, Stripe, Authorize.Net, amazon payments, and more.
Shopify provides with tools that help your online store have an attractive appearance. This feature is possible with the over 100 professional themes available on the platform.
Also, Shopify gives your online store a built-in mobile commerce shopping cart. Hence, your customers can buy and explore your products from any tablet or mobile device.
You don’t need to worry if you’re not a professional in building your online store. Shopify has Experts that can help customize your store from scratch.
Another interesting thing with this feature is that it allows you to use Shopify as a blogging platform. You can categorize and publish articles, moderate comments on your blog, encourage discussion, and create lookbooks.
With Shopify, you can manage your store efficiently.
You can learn about your customers and have an idea of their shopping behaviors. Plus, you can get their order history and contact info any time you want.
With this management feature, you also have access to customer accounts, customer groups, fulfillment centers, order fulfillment, drop shipping, refunds, and email templates.
Additionally, you can manage your store on the go with Shopify’s app. Right from your smartphone, you can manage inventory, contact customers, fulfill orders, and update your store.
Shopify gives you analytical tools that provide with an overview of the performance of your business.
The platform has an actionable dashboard for your traffic, orders, and sales. Hence, you can make better decisions for your business.
Also, you have access to reports on products, so that you know which product is selling and which isn’t. Plus, you can export these reports for further analysis.
Furthermore, you can Google Analytics with your online store to track referrals, visits, and sales.
Pricing Model of Shopify
Shopify offers three pricing plans that bill you monthly. However, you can have a 14-day free trial to help you test-drive the platform.
So, what are these pricing plans?
This plan gives you access to all the necessary tools you need if you are starting a business.
The Basic Shopify plan goes for $29 per month and has features like:
- An online store
- Unlimited products
- Two staff accounts
- 24/7 support
- Sales Channel
- Manual order creation
- Free SSL certificate
- Discount codes and;
- Abandoned cart recovery
Also, you pay an additional 2% fee when you use other payment providers asides Shopify Payments.
The Shopify plan is suitable if you already have a business and you want to grow it.
The plan goes for $79 per month and gives you access to all the Basic Shopify features plus:
- Five staff accounts
- Gift orders and;
- Professional reports
Also, you have an additional 1% fee when using other payment providers asides Shopify Payments.
Advanced Shopify Plan
The Advanced Shopify plan gives you access to advanced features that can help you scale your business.
The plan goes for $299 per month and gives you all the features of the Shopify plan plus:
- Advanced report builder and;
- Third-party calculated shipping rates.
Additionally, you only have a 0.5% additional fee if you go with other payment providers other than Shopify Payments.
To get the full power of Shopify, you need to take note of a couple of technical details.
Luckily for you, these details are highlighted below.
When Shopify being web-based and having a Mobile App, the platform supports devices like:
- Windows and;
Shopify has three monthly pricing plans. So, you can go through their features and see the one that suits your preference.
Shopify is quite scalable. Hence, the platform has an extensive customer base that covers:
- Small businesses
- Medium businesses and;
- Large enterprises
Shopify has a help center that contains a wide knowledge base. On this page, you can find information on ways to sell, set up and run your store, and more.
If you can’t find what you are looking on this page, you can easily contact the Shopify support. All you need to do is to fill in the required information, and just like that, you’ll get the support you need in no time.
To Wrap It Up
Shopify as an e-Commerce solution provides you with the flexibility that can help you grow your business.
The platform gives you the tools you need in building beautiful online stores. Hence, making Shopify one of the most easy-to-use solutions for both small and large businesses.
While Shopify comes with its flaws, it provides you features like theme templates, 24/7 support, Shopify POS, and more.
Fortunately, the platform has a 14-day trial that you can use in seeing how the system works and decide if it’s what you want.