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Shopify Review

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Shopify is a popular ecommerce system which makes it easy to sell products and services online. It’s rich with features and incredibly easy to setup. Promising high standards and happy customers, Shopify has frequently been ranked as the best ecommerce system available today.

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  • Features
  • Pricing
  • The Good
  • The Bad

Shopify Features

Shopify Store Design

Templates: Users can access over 100 free templates through Shopify.
Customizable Design: Users can customize and design their own templates or purchase templates from premium third-party developers.
Easy Interface: Shopify’s interface isn’t drag and drop, but it’s extremely easy to use and configure even if you have no previous web design experience.
Simple Setup Process: You can create your Shopify account and launch your online store in just a few minutes.

Shopify Compatibility

Add-Ons: One of the best parts of working with Shopify is the built-in app store. Shopify’s app store makes your site compatible with many other popular websites, including social media sites and picture sharing sites among many others.
Social Media Support: Social media support is available through Shopify add-ons from the app store.
Blog Creation: Content marketing is a core element of any online business’s strategy. With content marketing, you can boost traffic and social shares and increase your brand’s presence online. Shopify lest you easily create and manage a blog, although it’s not nearly as good as something like WordPress.
Mobile Support: All Shopify packages include ‘Shopify Mobile’ for extensive mobile support.

Shopify Payment Options

Multiple Payment Options: Shopify supports over 50 different payment options, including VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, American Express, and most other popular payment systems.
Abandoned Shopping Cart: Abandoned Shopping Cart alerts are available at an additional price, which helps you recapture sales that would otherwise be lost.
Upselling: Upsell customers on additional products throughout the checkout process.
Refunds and Returns: Shopify currently does not have an integrated refund or return system in place.

Additional Shopify Features

AdWords and Paid Advertising: Shopify includes support for AdWords and other paid advertising systems, including the creation of unique landing pages.
Advanced Security: All transactions are encrypted using 128-bit security for utmost privacy and security.
SEO Friendly Structure: Shopify uses canonicals to prevent duplicate content penalties and all product URLs feature search engine-friendly keywords.
Daily Deals: Incentivize customers to check back frequently to find daily deals and other special promotions.
Tech Support: Shopify’s tech support professionals are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week over email, live chat, and toll free phone. Users can also browse a database of FAQs, answers, and more on the Shopify website.
Starter
$14/mo
1GB Storage Space
25 Products and Unlimited Bandwidth
2.9% + 30 cents for credit card transactions
No Theme Editing
Basic
$29/mo
1GB Storage Space
Unlimited Products and Bandwidth
2.5%+ 30 cents for online credit card transactions
2.7% + 0 cents for swipe credit card transactions
Professional
$79/mo
5GB Storage Space
Unlimited Products and Bandwidth
2.5%+ 30 cents for online credit card transactions
2.4% + 0 cents for swipe credit card transactions
Unlimited
$179/mo
Unlimited Storage Space
Unlimited Products and Bandwidth
2.25%+ 30 cents for online credit card transactions
2.15% + 0 cents for swipe credit card transactions

The Good on Shopify

Easy Setup Process

You can launch your online store within minutes of opening your Shopify account. It’s incredibly easy to setup Shopify even if you have never built a website before in your life. The interface is self-explanatory and any other questions you might have can be answered by Shopify’s tech support experts, who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for toll-free tech support. Once you’ve created your Shopify account, you can choose from over 100 website templates or create your own design.

Full Control Over Website Design

If you’re a more experienced web designer – or have hired someone who is – then you’ll be pleased to note that Shopify gives you full control over website design. You can choose to install one of over 100 themes available, or you can branch out and do your own thing with a completely custom design for your online store. Many other ecommerce platforms pigeonhole customers into a certain theme or design setup, so this flexibility is refreshing.

Excellent Security

Customers and business owners enjoy 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption at every step of the transaction process. Shopify is also Level 1 PCI compliant, which means it adheres to strict Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. Your Shopify store is protected with firewalls, system passwords, strong access control measures, and other industry-standard security features. Don’t be one of those companies that has to email customers warning of a data leak.

Multiple Payment Options

Your customers use all different types of payment methods. When an ecommerce store doesn’t accept a certain payment method, it could mean thousands of dollars in lost revenue for your business. Shopify accepts multiple credit cards and payment options, including American Express, VISA, MasterCard, and PayPal. Over 50 different payment options are accepted in total, including newly popular payment methods like Authorize.net and Google Checkout.

Modern Design Options

All ecommerce platforms constantly tweak their themes to reflect the latest design trends. Shopify, however, has consistently been ahead of the curve in terms of design options and capabilities. Its websites are designed to look modern and trendy. Of course, this all depends on which theme you choose and how you customize that theme (if at all), but it’s possible to create an awesome-looking website even if you have no design skills or programming experience.

Comprehensive Tech Support

Shopify’s toll free tech support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience. You can contact tech support over phone, email, or online live chat. Tech support is available to answer any questions you might have, including everything from site design to billing. Those who want to avoid talking to real people can also peruse a vast knowledge base which includes FAQs, tutorials, and other valuable information.

14 Day Free Trial

Ecommerce systems typically don’t offer free trials. Shopify is one of the few that does. Shopify 14 day free trial lets you access all of the system’s features in exchange for an email address. Companies that offer free trials are typically confident that you’ll like their services.

SEO and Online Marketing Compatibility

Online businesses that ignore SEO are shooting themselves in the foot. SEO is an effective long-term way to drive free traffic to your business. Some ecommerce platforms totally ignore SEO, but fortunately, Shopify puts a major emphasis on SEO and online marketing. All your store’s product pages are designed with search-friendly URL s and 100% clean crawlable code. The end result is increased search engine traffic for your business. Canonicals are used to prevent duplicate content penalties.

Unlimited Bandwidth and Unlimited Products

Some ecommerce platforms restrict plans based on bandwidth and product numbers. A basic plan may include 50 products and a small amount of bandwidth, while a larger plan may allow thousands of products and unlimited bandwidth. On Shopify, you don’t have to worry about how much bandwidth your store will use or how many products you can launch: all plans above the ‘Starter’ plan come with unlimited products and unlimited bandwidth.

Clean and Easy Design

Shopify doesn’t treat customers like babies. It expects you to know at least basic computer skills in order to use the platform. That being said, it’s extremely easy to use and requires absolutely no coding knowledge to design an awesome-looking website. All sites are based on themes, and you can apply free themes from Shopify, create your own theme, or download themes from third party designers.

The Bad on Shopify

99.4% Uptime

Obviously, 99.4% uptime is nowhere near as good as 99.9% uptime. If you’re a larger store, that extra .5% of downtime can have a noticeable impact on sales. To put that 99.4% uptime figure into perspective, it’s approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes of downtime each month – that’s not an insignificant total, especially in a world where many web hosts promise 99.9% uptime or even 99.99% uptime. If your online business is generating sales around the clock, then having 4 hours of downtime every month can add up to thousands of dollars in lost revenue every year.

Beware of Additional Fees

At first glance, Shopify pricing packages look more affordable than most other ecommerce platforms. However, the company charges additional fees for many of its services. All credit card payments on any plan, for example, come with at least a 2.25% fee + 30 cents for online transactions. Compared to competitors like Big Commerce, Shopify is more expensive for smaller stores and cheaper for larger stores.  Ultimately, it’s up to you to do research and determine how much value you’re getting from each plan.

No PHP Template Customization

Shopify is a great-looking ecommerce platform that offers a number of modern and professional designs. However, if you want to design your own template, then you may run into complications: Shopify uses a unique theme creation system that doesn’t involve standard PHP. If you’re used to coding in PHP with platforms like WordPress, then this can be a shock. Shopify’s Liquid setup is straightforward and offers plenty of tech support options, but it feels foreign when you first start using it.

Our Verdict On Shopify

Shopify is one of the world’s most popular ecommerce platforms for a reason. With four different pricing packages, hundreds of themes, and a large app store, Shopify has everything you need to kickstart your business online. While competitors like Big Commerce may offer cheaper pricing at lower levels, Shopify really provides value for larger online businesses and enterprises. Plus, it offers a free 14 day trial that lets you personally experience the platform.

 

About Johnson Hur

After having graduated with a degree in Finance and working for a Fortune 500 company for several years, Johnson decided to follow his passion by embarking on a path to the digital world. He has over 8 years of experience with large companies setting marketing strategy and he likes to workout in his spare time.

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