Shopify is one of the leading cloud-based ecommerce software platforms that is designed for small and medium-sized businesses. Among the many online store builders that are available, Shopify ranks as one of the best that you can find.
But are they really that good?
The features and versatility of Shopify is what makes it a popular choice for people wanting to start an online shop. With this tool, you can create an online store, pick a design theme, customize the layout, upload products, manage inventory, process checkout transactions, adjust shipping taxes and generate sales reports.
Try Shopify for free for 14 days, no credit card is required. Shopify’s cheapest ecommerce software plan is 9.00 per month.
This Shopify review (2016 update) is based on what real people say about Shopify on Twitter, and this will help you decide if you should buy ecommerce software from Shopify, or not.
Shopify has been in business since 2006. The original developers designed this software for their snowboarding business, which needed a better online shopping cart than what was available on the market at the time. Their mission is to make commerce better for everyone.
Fast forward one decade later, Shopify now has over 243,000 active stores with 14 billion dollars worth of sales. Shopify has a team of over 500, working in 4 offices across Canada. The software is hosted on Shopify’s secure data center in Ontario, Canada.
Shopify is an ecommerce software designed to help retailers manage an online store. With this tool, you can create an online store, pick a design theme, customize the layout, upload products, manage inventory, process checkout transactions, adjust shipping taxes, and generate sales reports. The software is hosted on Shopify’s secure data center in Ontario, Canada.
Shopify has been in business since 2006. The original developers designed this software for their snowboarding business, which needed a better online shopping cart than what was available on the market at the time. Fast forward one decade later, Shopify now serves more than 200,000 online merchants.
Shopify 2.0 rolled out in April 2013 and this version continues to be the latest release as of the time of this writing. The updated version maintained most of the original features that user loved but there were also a few new additions and improvements. It came with smarter analytics, better reporting tools, a cleaner backend, a new live theme editor, plus improved admin search and filter functionalities.
Among the many online shopping cart programs that are available, Shopify ranks as one of the best that you can find. However, that’s not to say that it has no downsides. If you’re thinking about using Shopify to launch an online store, then do proper research to know about the good and bad before making a final decision.
Add-ons and Integration
Shopify offers several third party integration options that make it easy to add more functionality to your online store. For starters, it works well with Google Analytics. Therefore, you can monitor statistics such as conversion rates, traffic sources, and more. Analytics reports can be exported for further analysis or sent via mail to your marketing team or bookkeeper.
Shopify provides social media integration on sites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr. Customers can browse products without leaving Facebook and you have the choice of adding “Buy Now” Buttons on sites like Pinterest. Alternatively, simply use one of the numerous third party social media integration tools that work with Shopify.
Some of these add-ons automate the process of disseminating. So, when you add a new product, launch a promotion campaign, post a new blog article, or share any other bit of news, the message is distributed with just a few mouse clicks across all the social media networks you have established.
What’s more, Shopify integrates with apps such as eCommHub, Inventory Source, and Ordoro, making it easy to set up a drop-shipping business.
From PayPal to IDEAL to Bitcoin, Shopify offers versatile payment options to allow you to operate a business that caters to customers worldwide. In total, the checkout process integrates with 70 leading payment gateways.
The checkout process is very secure as well. You can accept payments via PayPal, credit card, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. All card transaction information remains protected since Shopify encrypts checkout pages with a 256-bit SSL certificate, which is the same level of security that banks use.
Sometimes running an online business requires merchants to charge customers for VAT and shipping. Fortunately, Shopify handles state and country taxes automatically based on the customer’s location. Online storeowners can easily adjust shipping rates and vary charges by weight, location, and other specified parameters.
Templates and Design
Like most shopping cart programs, Shopify providers online storeowners plenty of design templates to customize their websites. There are more than 100 professional themes from which to choose. You’ll still have full access to HTML and CSS coding for your store, though, which makes it easy to tweak the design and website layout to your liking. Furthermore, Shopify is mobile friendly so you don’t have to do anything extra to make your online store easy to use on tablets or smartphones.
As an added bonus, every subscription (except the “Lite” starter plan) features a website builder to help you launch your online store in no time. You have the choice of buying a domain name and hosting your entire online store on Shopify servers as well. The “Basic” and other higher plans also include a full featured content management system that allows storeowners to manage a blog.
Marketing and SEO Support Features
Shopify is more than just a checkout program that processes sales on an online store. Online merchants have a variety of marketing tools at their disposal when using ecommerce software. Once customers sign up, you can send them messages of special offers or new products using the MailChimp app. So, whether you’re sending marketing blasts, newsletters, or abandoned cart notifications, there are customizable email templates to keep your messages appropriate and relevant.
If you’re offering a quality service or product, positive reviews can help to inspire confidence amongst prospective buyers. Taking that in mind, Shopify allows customers to send feedback comments on your e-store, which can help convert people who are on the fence into customers.
As an added marketing function, you can use this shopping cart to optimize your online store to rank well on organic search results. It supports best SEO practices such as the use of H1, title, and meta tags.
SKU and Inventory Management
Shopify is a great app to use when looking for a software solution that will bridge the gap between online and offline sales. Besides processing online transactions, this ecommerce software can be used as a Point of Sale app on iPad or iPhone to process in-store payments. The Shopify POS can manage your entire inventory. It tracks stock counts, record sales, and automatically stops selling when inventory runs out.
All your data is stored on Shopify’s secure network. There’s no limit when it comes to the number and type of products you can sell regardless of the chosen plan. Uploaded products may be sorted according to SKU values, size, color, materials, weight, price, among other categories. When moving data, you can simply import or export reports on products, inventory levels, sales and more in CVS format.
In addition, Shopify Mobile provides easy access to your store’s backend while you’re on the go – just login into your mobile management app from any Internet enabled mobile device. The intuitive dashboard allows you to process orders, manage inventory, or email customers instantly right from your phone or tablet.
Help and Support
Shopify offers 24/7 support and multiple ways to get in touch with the customer service team. When in need of technical assistance, you can make a call, open a support ticket, or chat live with a customer care representative. To find answers to frequently asked questions, simply visit the Shopify Knowledge base.
It has plenty of articles and video tutorials that help beginners to make the most out of this digital ecommerce tool. Alternatively, you can browse Shopify discussion forums for more insights on common topics.
Is Shopify a good ecommerce software? Shopify is by far one of the most well rounded ecommerce software solutions for retailers who want to offer top notch services when managing an online store. However, this tool is not entire perfect. Some of the few complaints that customer have raised include:
» Transaction fees apply when using external payment gateways, with rates going as high as 2% per transaction. However, take note that Shopify Payments are exempt from transaction fees.
» Shopify doesn’t offer a one-page checkout process.
» Lower plans do not offer real time carrier shipping.
When it comes to positives, Shopify offers users many reasons to smile. Some of its best features include:
» More than 100 attractive free themes
» Full control over HTML and CSS to personalize your online store
» Domain registration and full web-hosting services (if you’re not technically-savvy and don’t want to mess around with those)
» SEO and mobile friendly functions
» Built-in blogging and email marketing capabilities
» Level 1 PCI compliant network infrastructure, which is crucial if you want to accept payment via credit cards online
» Extensive customer support
» Seamless integration with third party apps
With all of these benefits, it’s evident that Shopify 2.0 is an asset that any serious online store should leverage. If you’re still on the fence on whether to settle for this ecommerce software over another option, then take advantage of Shopify’s free trial. The trial period lasts 14 days and you don’t even have to provide your credit card details when signing up.
Shopify frequently asked questions
What Is the Purpose of Shopify?
Shopify is an ecommerce platform to help you take your store online. It allows you to sell your products from a highly-organized online platform where you can manage inventory, accept credit card payments, and track orders, among many other things.
Do I Need to Install Shopify?
No, there’s nothing to install since Shopify is a ecommerce software that’s cloud hosted directly on the company’s highly-secured servers. This means that it will work across all operating systems and you won’t need to maintain any web servers or fiddle with the backend of things in order to set it up.
Can I Use My Own Domain With Shopify?
Yes, you’re encouraged to use your own domain since that brings across a level of professionalism to your customers. Take the following steps to set up your domain on Shopify’s servers: 1. Sign-in to your Shopify account, 2. Go to Online Store, 3. Click on the “Domains” section in admin panel to register a domain
What Currencies And Countries Are Available In Shopify?
Shopify is available in almost all countries and all currencies.
What Languages Does Shopify Support?
Email communications, checkout system, etc. are available in most languages. Only the administrative panel is in English.
What Happens When I Get A New Order?
If you get an order, you’ll get notified through email or text. After which, you can sign in to your Shopify account to check the details of the order such as where to ship your products. Once the order has been delivered, you can change its status to “Shipped” within Shopify. If you have a payment gateway integrated, you’ll have control on how money changes hands between you and your customer.
What Payment Methods Can My Customers Use?
Shopify allows all kinds of payment including credit card, money orders, and cash-on- delivery.
How Much Will It Cost To Set Up Shopify?
You can set up Shopify in minutes with free 14-day trial version. After the completion of the trial, Shopify provides you with different plans for different needs. Just select one that caters to your business requirements.
What are the best Shopify alternatives?
Shopify is a leading, if not the leading, ecommerce software platform but if you need to shop around and compare online store builders the best Shopify alternatives are Bigcommerce, 1ShoppingCart, 3dcart and Volusion.
Shopify plans & prices
Shopify offers a range of plans for starting your online store, from their Basic plan where you can sell with your own online store, Pro plan to take your business to the next level and their Unlimited plan where you get to experience the best of Shopify. For latest and most up to date prices visit Shopify’s website.
|Plan name||Transaction fees||Number of products||Monthly price|
|Lite Plan||0 - 2.0%||Unlimited||9.00|
|Basic Plan||0 - 2.0%||Unlimited||29.00|
|Pro Plan||0 - 1.0%||Unlimited||79.00|
|Advanced Plan||0 - 0.5%||Unlimited||299.00|
Best Shopify alternatives
People share their opinions about companies on Twitter each and every day. We monitor tweets about Shopify and apply a sentiment analysis algorithm that classifies these tweets as positive or negative. Every review is from a real person opinion. We use this information and output an approval rating score, which is based on real people, positive and negative, opinions about Shopify on Twitter
Shopify Reviews on Twitter
Shopify vs Competitor Ratings
Uh oh! What the heck?!! @Shopify sites are telling me to authenticate with Google. Not good. What’s going on? /cc @ShopifySupport
I entered to win the @SyghtGlasses business giveaway from @Shopify! https://t.co/v02oasAVuw
Love this! @Steelcowgirl @TheSharkDaymond @cowgirliamstore @NateHolzapfel @Shopify @melo4242 https://t.co/xMfdcdH7Bx
I am in love with the @Shopify blog. Such amazing information.
Had an awesome time connecting with merchants at the @shopify booth. Gotta love seeing brands leveraging digital. https://t.co/TWsBelm6QE
I entered to win the @SyghtGlasses business giveaway from @Shopify! https://t.co/zV0chTc7GA
Build a Business You Love [Marie Forleo B-School Giveaway] — https://t.co/ZkBckp852t @Shopify