Shopify Full Review: An E-Commerce Website Builder
With Shopify you will create your dream online store for a reasonable price compared to what it has to offer. You’ll be getting unlimited storage, products and bandwidth with any plan. That’s not all! You’ll also get security; SEO tools and you can even create a blog for your store.
In 2004, Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake wanted to open Snowdevil, to sell snowboarding equipment online. Unpleased by the existing web-building apps, Lütke decided to build his own. Shopify is not just another web-building site; it's one of the best e-commerce web builder.
You don't believe me?
Check out some of Shopify's following stores:
1. SkinnyMe Tea
3. Taylor Stitch
5. Yoga Rebel
There's a lot more…
But that's not what's important. Why don't you read and see what Shopify is all about and how it became a successful e-commerce web builder.
Who Is It For?
Mainly Shopify is for beginners who want to start an e-commerce website, or even for business owners who wish to minimize costs; it's easy to use, and it includes a variety of features and templates. I mean, you can become a multimillion-dollar company like Harry's Razor.
While there are three main Shopify plans, there are two more, the Lite plan and Shopify Plus for entrepreneurs. The Lite plan costs $9/month for anyone who wants to sell products via social media.
On the other hand, the Shopify Plus plan is for $2000/month. I KNOW! It's not cheap, but it's for enormous online stores.
The good news is you can try Shopify for free for the first 14 days. The bad news is there's no going back after purchasing your plan, meaning there's no refund.
There is three premium Shopify plans as follows:
|Basic Shopify||Shopify||Advanced Shopify|
|Additional Languages||NA||Up to 2||Up to 5|
|Price per Month||$29||$79||$299|
Like any other web-building service, the plans' price decreases as you register for a longer time.
Unfortunately, there's no money-back guarantee but don't forget there's a 14-day free trial.
You can pay using anything! Apple Pay, PayPal, Amazon Pay. We're sad to tell you there's a transaction fee (1-2% depends on the plan) if you use a payment method other than Shopify Payments. Shopify Payments takes care of your store's payment and accepts the main payment methods. To be honest, it's better than going through a lot to pay through a third-party app, plus you'll benefit from multiple currencies if you're selling internationally.
Ease of Use
Using Shopify is as easy as pie! You won't be creating your website quickly, but there's a simple interface and plenty of e-commerce features to help you make the perfect website.
You can start by choosing a template, so you don't have to worry about designing it. There's an online store to add the features you need. To make it better, online payments are handled for you, and you can sell your products through different platforms like Facebook.
No need to panic if you don't know something. Shopify helps with anything you need. You can even hire an expert to help you with programming.
Don't forget that you can try it for free for 14 days and if you didn't like it you could go in a different direction.
We all might need some help from time to time if there's something we don't understand. You can contact a Shopify agent on various platforms as they are available through their 24/7 phone support and live chat, or through their email, social media, online tutorials, help center, and finally, their community forum.
If you're using the Advanced plan, you get your own support agent, but support is still available 24/7, even for the cheapest plans. The help center is full of articles. Sadly, it takes a long time for them to respond, but that may be due to the large number of users.
Shopify stores are secured automatically. Phew, that's one thing you don't have to worry about.
SSL Certificate & PCI complaint
To be more specific, there's an SSL certificate included in every plan and a PCI DSS compliant (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). So, Shopify will make sure everything is safe, no need to think about it.
TLS 1.2 or Transport Layer Security is "an encryption protocol used to secure communications over the internet," as Shopify defines it. Since 2018, Shopify has used the 1.2 protocol to protect their users' websites and make it safer for their customers.
An extra security step you can take when creating a website is two-step verification. This means you'll need a password and a code sent to your phone to access the website.
Two-step verification makes it harder for third-parties to access your account.
One disadvantage of Shopify is that it doesn't include backup, but you can use a third-party app like Rewind for automatic backup.
Apps & Features
Yes, we've mentioned that you get unlimited bandwidth, storage, and products, but there's more. Firstly, there are over 1200 applications in their store. How else would it be the best for creating the website of your dreams? Some of these apps are for free, while you have to pay for others, so be careful you don't want to spend a lot.
You can also create a blog for your store. Not only will it include categories and a comments section, but there's also SEO for your blog. However, it's missing a few features like blogging analytics and social bookmarking, so it's not as advanced as other websites because it focuses on e-commerce.
To analyze the website's traffic and know your customers' interests, you'll need an analytical tool. Guess what? Shopify includes its own analytics tool to give you an overview. However, you can always use a third-party application like Google Analytics, which provides you with a more detailed analysis. The downside? There's no analytical tool for your stores' blog. Moreover, you can benefit from sending emails to your customers, but this might require some coding. Don't worry, though; you can always rely on third-party apps from their app store, including Campaign Monitor or Privy.
We're not done yet!
All of their plans come with abandoned cart recovery that you can manage. Whatever you want to do to encourage customers to buy can help increase customer loyalty.
Also, Shopify offers a Point of Sale (POS) app that syncs automatically and helps you issue refunds, sell gift cards, and more. It can also keep track of your inventory and orders; this way, you don't have to monitor your computer all the time. You'll have to register for one of the premium plans to use it, but you'll get a free credit card reader with it.
I told you there are plenty of features… cause once again, we're still not done!
While you can create a multilingual website on Shopify, you might need to do some coding. That shouldn't be a problem since you can hire an agent or use third-party apps like Weglot Translate or Langify. Shopify added multi-language themes to simplify creating a multilingual store. Plus, international shipping option, along with an automated tax amendment by country, but you'll have to do your own taxes.
Just a reminder, if you use Shopify Payments, you'll benefit from multiple currencies.
Shopify makes shipping easier for you. You don't need to find your own courier; they are partners with DHL, UPS, etc. But you can manage shipping options on your own. How? You can control and edit the settings any way you want; this includes order value, location, printing shipping labels. And if you're using the Advanced Shopify plan, you can unlock the calculated shipping rates feature.
If you're looking for a cheaper shipping option, there's a drop shipping option through a third app you can download from the store. I told you there are plenty of apps on their store!
If you want your site to be ranked on top, it's essential to use certain SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tools. No one bothers to go to the second page of a search engine to find what they're looking for; instead, they would rephrase their keywords to find what they want. Useful SEO tools get you more traffic, hence more sales.
Fortunately, Shopify offers various essential SEO tools, including customized URLs and titles, but it's missing keyword support. You'll end up with an organized website with a blog related to your business. Additionally, there's a free version of the SEO Image Optimizer in their app store.
Selling across multi-channels is very important; it'll help grow your business. How? Simply by reaching out to more people through different channels. Shopify lets you sell your products on Amazon or eBay, and most importantly, through social media platforms. On the bright side, most of them are free.
All in all, Shopify is a great e-commerce web builder with a lot to offer. I mean, not every web builder gives you unlimited storage, products, and bandwidth. You won't even have to worry about security or have a hard time creating your site. All you need to worry about is selling your products!
We highly recommend you try it… it's for free for the first two weeks!