In this Shopify review, I examine one of the most popular digital shop builders currently and present an in-depth analysis of its primary advantages and disadvantages. Is it appropriate for you or your company?
Today, there are several tools for constructing online shops, so deciding which one is appropriate for your company may be challenging. Shopify is without a doubt the most well-known ecommerce platform available at the moment, but is it the perfect choice for you?
So, in this review, I’ll help you find out. I’ll go over the platform’s pricing, templates, and selling features in detail, and by the conclusion of the piece, you’ll know whether Shopify is the ideal ecommerce solution for your project or if you’d be better off using something else.
Let us begin with a critical question. What exactly is Shopify?
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an ecommerce website builder that allows users to create their own online store.
It really is that simple—you don’t need crazy tech skills, an unlimited budget, or to pay anyone to make your concept a reality. As a result, Shopify is a quick and inexpensive solution to creating your online business.
Is Shopify the Right Platform for you?
Shopify is a good alternative if all you need is a basic store. It loads rapidly and is easy to configure. All you have to do after signing up for an account is follow the on-screen directions to establish your store (here are some popular Shopify stores).
You may choose a style that fits your brand with reasonable simplicity because of the huge collection of free and paid themes. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, there are lots of qualified partners who can assist you. The one-click selling and social network selling capabilities make it simple to get started.
Are you a business owner looking to grow revenue without becoming bogged down in administrative duties? Are you just getting started with technology? For those who do not want to deal with the technical parts of having an online business, Shopify is the finest solution. It even features a blogging platform, allowing you to communicate news and updates with your audience without requiring a separate platform.
However, numerous studies demonstrate that it performs poorly in terms of search engine optimization (SEO). New brands may find it difficult to establish a presence in search engines in order to attract potential customers.
The fact that Shopify uses URLs like “collections” severely restricts your information architecture. Yes, there is always pay-per-click advertising, but this can quickly pile up and put a major strain on any budget.
Shopify Features: Top 8 Features of Shopify
Except for Shopify Lite, all of Shopify’s plans include crucial built-in functionality for creating, managing, and using an online store. Shopify Review
- Store design
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Payment processing
- Mobile support
- Inventory management
- Email marketing (Try GetResponse Now)
- Reporting and analytics
With Shopify’s professionally designed and configurable themes, anyone can construct a great storefront using the theme editor that is fit for most industries (on or off OS 2.0). The theme editor is simple to use and allows you to make significant changes to the look of your business with little effort.
Shopify, in my opinion, has some of the most current and professional-looking themes, with over 100 configurable free and premium variants.
I customized what I needed using the design features. However, because I am not a coder, modifying the codes in the themes was not an option. Once you understand how to utilize Shopify, it’s simple to access the fundamental design features. Allow yourself plenty of time if this is your first effort.
☑️Abandoned Cart Recovery
The abandoned cart recovery feature is available to all Shopify members, including Shopify Lite, and is extremely valuable for online sellers who are suffering from a cart abandonment rate of 69.82% on average.
You can design the store to automatically send a default or personalized email to shoppers who abandon a cart in order to encourage them to return and complete their transaction.
Examining abandoned cart data can also assist in identifying possible reasons why shoppers do not complete their transactions. For example, if the majority of people abandon their shopping carts after repeated attempts to pay for an order, your checkout process could be the issue.
This feature is only available to customers that shop through your Buy Button sales channel, online store, or wholesale channel. Shoppers who abandoned carts via social media or Shopify POS will not receive a recovery email.
However, there are a few apps that can be installed on your Shopify business to prevent this from happening.
With its built-in blogging tool, SEO Shopify makes it simple for subscribers to undertake content marketing and improve on-page SEO. However, it falls short of the complexity of platforms such as WordPress, specifically in terms of the ability to utilize subcategories and keyword optimization. Shopify’s other built-in SEO features make it a solid preference among many e-commerce firms. Besides on-page SEO, the following fields can assist you with your SEO efforts:
- Meta descriptions
By modifying the robots.txt file, Shopify gives you complete control over adding meta tags to URLs and specifying which URLs are searchable. When you update the URL of a page, it also invites you to install 301 redirects to avoid losing search rankings.
The content delivery network (CDN) aids in image loading, allowing for a 1.3-second average page load time. This can assist you in gaining favor with the search engine ranking gods. Shopify’s themes’ free SSL and mobile-first design also help, because Google prioritizes safe and mobile-friendly sites when ranking search results.
One minor shortcoming in the SEO setup is that you cannot modify the file name of an image to make it more SEO-friendly directly on the shop. You must reload the image with the new SEO name, which can take a long time if you want to optimize the file names of many photographs.
Shopify Payments, which is embedded in the platform, allows you to effortlessly accept credit card payments, purchase orders, and their payment methods. It also includes anti-fraud features.
Subscribers should utilize Shopify Payments because it is convenient and secure. You can also avoid paying transaction fees in addition to the standard processing costs charged by credit card providers and payment platforms like PayPal.
The integrated payment gateway in Shopify simplifies and consolidates the entire procedure. You don’t have to worry about the exorbitant fees that platforms like PayPal demand, or about integrating various payment partners for the convenience of your users. Shopify Payments is a one-stop solution that handles all of your needs at a low cost.
Shopify makes use of mobile devices in two ways:
1. The Shopify app for Android and iOS allows you to manage your store on the go. You can add or change products, examine reports, view and fulfil orders, and collaborate with team members.
2. You can process payments for in-person purchases using the Shopify POS app. To process cash and credit card payments, all you need is a suitable mobile smartphone. If you don’t want to enter the card information manually, Shopify sells POS gear such as card readers.
To facilitate multichannel selling, Shopify features inventory location functionality in all of its tiers. Inventory can be tracked and transferred across different locations, or it can be simply synced with your Shopify store. Because it is incorporated into the platform, there is no need for integration and no additional expense to you. Furthermore, if you have a Shopify plan or higher, you may perform an ABC analysis to see which products sell the most.
However, the built-in inventory management system is somewhat simple. It does not manage B2B transactions, track fulfilment, or handle drop-shipping orders. Other sales channels are also considered extensions of the internet store rather than separate stores. You’ll need an order fulfilment app to combine all of your orders, as well as a drop-shipping tool like Oberlo.
If your firm is largely focused on your online store and you have limited inventory, Shopify’s inventory tools can help.
If you prefer to keep everything on one platform, Shopify Email is the most basic yet effective way of delivering, managing, and evaluating email campaigns.
It was less complex to use than systems like PayPal and Klaviyo. Because it’s built within the Shopify Admin, you can expect faster load speeds, easier tracking and analytics, and more—all in one dashboard.
It isn’t as sophisticated as specialist email marketing tools like Constant Contact or Subsequent, but it is still very successful. Shopify Email allows you to design newsletters and automate the delivery of welcome and upsell emails based on triggers.
Segmenting your consumers can also help you raise your open and click-through rates. The best part is that you can transmit it via email.
☑️Reporting and Analytics
I generated several useful reports from the Shopify dashboard for the following:
- Marketing data
- Abandoned cart
- Consumer behavior
The Analytics page is available on the admin site. It collects information on orders, key sales, and online store visitors. Quickly review your store’s performance across all sales channels and any date range you want.
These, however, were not available with the Basic or Shopify Lite plans. Those only provide top-line statistics about basic financial information, such as sales and revenue, discounts, refunds, and tax reports, without delving into bottom-line statistics like net income.
Through Products Analytics, you can also see:
- Net sales
- Net sales by channel
- Sales breakdown
- Net units sold by source
- Proportion of first-time customers versus returning customers
Shopify: Pricing & Plans
Shopify offers a variety of plans from which to choose the one that best meets your needs and budget.
To begin, Shopify offers a 14-day free trial in which you do not need to enter any payment information, so there is no risk and no pressure to sign up. You only need an email address to try out Shopify for free for two weeks.
- Shopify Starter: $5 per month – allows you to integrate ecommerce into social media platforms, messaging platforms, or an existing website. When you use Shopify Payments, you will be charged a 5% transaction fee.
- Basic Shopify: $29 per month – the cheapest plan for creating your own store; includes everything you need to get started. 2% transaction fee if you do not use Shopify
- Shopify: $79 per month – for growing businesses, with features like gift card creation. Unless you use Shopify Payments, you will be charged a 1% transaction fee.
- Advanced Shopify: $299 per month – for large businesses looking to grow; includes advanced reports and third-party calculated shipping rates. Unless you use Shopify Payments, there is a 0.5% transaction fee.
- Shopify Plus: custom pricing – designed for large-scale, enterprise-level businesses with large budgets. There are no set prices; rather than, you request a custom quote.
The three main Shopify plans are Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify. These are the foundation of what Shopify provides and include unlimited products, discount code creation, abandoned cart recovery, and multichannel integration.
In addition to these, there are two other plans: Shopify Starter and Shopify Plus.
Instead of requiring you to build a store from the ground up,
- Shopify Starter allows you to sell through social media platforms and messaging channels such as email or WhatsApp.
- Shopify Plus is the polar opposite, providing a customized package for brands that make big bucks and require the highest level of professional support.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Shopify?
Pros of Shopify
- Scalable: The store can be managed by multiple users. Its ordering and stock management features were also very valuable to me.
- Multiple sales channels: Shopify allows me to sell through outlets other than my internet site. It requires back-end integration, but most of these integrations are free, so it is a significant aid in generating sales.
- Mobile-responsive themes: Shopify has 91 mobile-responsive themes.
- Strong customer support: Shopify goes above and beyond to ensure that customers have all of the assistance they require, including 24/7 support via live chat, email, and social media. Self-sufficient individuals can find a wealth of information in the community site and help center, including FAQs, substantial documentation, video lessons, and much more.
- Design flexibility: Shopify themes are extremely adaptable at the code level utilizing the Liquid code, and they include social network icons, free updates, and free stock photographs from Burst. It’s also search engine-friendly.
- Extensive app store: Choose among 4,050 free apps ranging from store design to product sourcing and selling. You can also choose from a selection of roughly 3,000 premium apps and plugins.
Cons of Shopify
- The biggest learning curve is that it takes some time to get the idea of using the editor, and blocking can be difficult. I needed a few hours to set up a business, primarily because I had to go back and forth between the back end and the front end to make product and aesthetic changes.
- Few built-in functions: Shopify includes key tools for creating an online store, but you must install numerous apps to obtain vital functionalities, such as the ability to sell digital items or engage in drop-shipping.
- More expensive than comparable competitors: Big Commerce comes with more built-in functionality, such as one-page checkout. Adding one-click checkout to Shopify may cost an extra $9.95 per month.
5 Best Alternatives to Shopify
We understand that every business is unique, so if Shopify isn’t checking all of your boxes, we’ve compiled a list of the finest Shopify alternatives for you to consider. Take a look at the figure below for a quick overview of the main possibilities, or read on for more information.
Top 5 Shopify Alternatives you can try now
Wix is primarily a website builder, with ecommerce plans starting at $27 per month, giving it a more affordable option. But that’s not the only reason it’s tough competition for Shopify. It also has some excellent sales capabilities, is second in our easiness testing, and ranks first in design functionality, alongside Squarespace and BigCommerce. It doesn’t have the capacity to handle larger stores like Shopify, but it’s still perfect for small stores that priorities branding.
- • The monthly prices for Business Basic are $23, Business Unlimited are $27, and Business VIP are $49 each. There is no free trial period.
- Customer service alternatives include a callback service that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Squarespace, another website builder/ecommerce hybrid, is famous for its outstanding themes and ability to give customers near-complete creative flexibility. It’s not unexpected that it ranks high in terms of design usefulness, but it also ranks near the top in terms of value for money. Even better, it takes the top spot for usability, with the greatest score of any platform we examined. Believe us when we say that it will definitely make your stuff shine!
Price: Personal: $16 per month, or $12 per month if paid annually; Business: $26 per month, or $18 per month if paid annually; Basic Commerce: $30 per month, or $26 per month if paid annually; Advanced Commerce: $46 per month, or $40 per month if paid annually; Enterprise pricing is also available.
Free trial period is 14 days, with the option of a one-time seven-day trial extension.
Options for customer service: Email is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week; live chat is available Monday through Friday.
Big Cartel is a fully hosted ecommerce platform and website builder created exclusively for makers, designers, and tinkerers types of businesses you’d find on Online store. Big Cartel provides customized templates, domain name registration, and marketing solutions.
While you can customize the style and feel of your site, Big Cartel restrict sellers to five images per product. Payment and integration options are extremely limited, making scaling as a multichannel firm much more difficult.
Pricing is determined on the number of things sold, so it can become rather expensive as your business and product collection expand.
- Five products are free; 50 products are $9.99 per month; 250 products are $19.99 per month; and 500 products are $29.99 per month.
- There is no free trial period.
- Options for customer service: Every day, email is available.
BigCommerce is one of Shopify’s key competitors because it was created to assist large and rapidly growing stores reach their full potential. BigCommerce boasts the most built-in functionality of any ecommerce platform, which means you won’t have to rely on apps like Shopify. BigCommerce has excellent SEO and multi-channel selling capabilities, but it is not as simple to use as Shopify.
- Standard: $29.95 per month; Plus: $79.95 per month, or $71.95 per month if paid yearly; Pro: $299.95 per month, or $269.96 per month if paid annually; Enterprise bespoke pricing.
- 15 days are included in the risk-free trial period.
- Customer service options include phone, email, and chat help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Volusion didn’t do as well in our research, but it does have outstanding analytics tools and payment gateways, as well as pricing that is fairly similar to Shopify. However, it lacks blogging options, so keep that in mind when making your decision.
- Monthly cost: $29
- The free trial period lasts 14 days.
- Customer assistance alternatives
In final result, our review reveals the Shopify to be very useful because it provides a user-friendly interface that allows you to easily set up your online store. The Shopify team also provides excellent customer service to its customers.
In terms of Shopify pricing, the company’s offering is somewhat more expensive when compared to other platforms. Additionally, some basic plug-ins that you will need to add will charge additional charges. Our Shopify review ratings place it at the top of the scale for its key features. In terms of Shopify pricing plans, some features scale up with the pricing tiers available, as explained on Shopify’s pricing page.
Overall, the Shopify features discussed above can greatly assist you in easily setting up your e-commerce store. It can also provide sales and marketing tools to aid in the promotion of your products and the acquisition of new customers.