Shopify is a full ecommerce solution that empowers you to sell products online, the platform allows you to easily manage products and orders, customize the look of your store and accept payments - all within a matter of few clicks.
All types of merchants
Overall, there definitely is a reason why Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce solutions nowadays. It is a perfect platform both for those who have no technical coding skills and for those who just want a simple and convenient interface. Shopify is easy to manage and work with. Variety of features make the management of products and orders as easy as a piece of cake - the merchant can track everything on an overview dashboard which showcases key analytics, such as sales, orders, and online store visitor data. Shopify’s Interface is customisable and can be easily altered to the needs of each individual merchant with help of additional apps and themes. It is highly secure due to the fact that it uses 256-bit SSL certificates and meets PCI Data Security Standard, so the details of orders and transactions are completely safe. The performance and speed of this platform are one of the best in the market - all the resources are compressed and all the redirects are minimised to ensure the smoothest performance. The question of pricing is rather subjective, as there are various pricing plans available and it also highly depends on how many custom apps are being purchased in the store. Customer support is available 24/7 via phone, email and live chat if the merchant has questions to ask.
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Overall, Shopify provides a rather stable performance and considerable speed, which is absolutely crucial for those who want to establish and maintain their ecommerce business online. Little details like loading time might not be considered as very important by a non-tech person at the first glance, but it is one of the most important components of retaining a customer on the site. In a study done by Akamai, almost 50% of respondents expect a site to load in as quick as 2 seconds or less. If the site is not loaded within 3 seconds, the respondents who participated in a survey revealed that they are most likely to abandon the site in such case. This might not only hurt the sales of a site but also bring the traffic down considerably. Shopify's loading speed is great - all the possible resources are compressed and all the redirects are minimised to ensure the speediest performance. Another as equally as important component of a successful ecommerce business is a sound and stable performance. The Shopify as a platform has 99.98% of uptime which is not far from the ideal 100%, and that means that the service is down for about 8 minutes and 45 seconds every month.
One of the strongest sides of Shopify definitely is their customer support system. The customer support staff of Shopify can be reached through email, live chat or via phone 24/7 which makes Shopify stand out amongst its competitors in terms of quality customer service. For an e-commerce business, it is crucial to have a smoothly working interface, even though there are many technical measures to ensure that, if there are some errors on a sight or some questions on a merchants side, professional customer support staff is here to help whenever. Resolution times really depend on the severity of a problem experienced. Easy questions might be solved within minutes via phone call, whereas more difficult cases might take a couple days of emailing Merchants should not expect custom solutions, but all the problems are usually addressed in a timely manner. Not to mention, Shopify also provides the possibility for merchants to share their experiences and ask questions on community forums on Shopify.
Overall, Shopify takes the convenience and merchants experience very seriously, so ease of use and functionality here is crucial. This platform is very beginner-friendly, as even merchants with zero technical knowledge can easily manage their store. The merchant can add unlimited products, discount codes, customize the look of their store accounts, create staff accounts and much more. Many very handy features such as shipping preferences, tax information, checkout settings can be adjusted to the needs of every individual. Also, the merchant can easily evaluate how their business is performing by accessing analytics and financial reports which are easily attainable. The dashboard menu is clean and simple to use, it is not overhauled and everything seems to be positioned in the right places for the convenient use. The trial version lasts 14 days which is more than enough time to get used to the functions of a platform.
There is a considerable variety of themes to choose from in Shopify theme store. There are somewhere 10+ of free themes and 55+ of paid themes available. The quality of both paid and free themes is good. Easy changes can be performed, however, in-depth customisation might be quite challenging. Shopify has its own coding language (Liquid), and if a custom design solution is needed it might take some time and skill to ensure that. The majority of themes are quite expensive in comparison with prices on other platforms. Shopify promotes quality engine search optimisation and has guides on how to optimise custom themes for SEO. Majority of pre-existent themes have a hierarchical and readable structure, which plays a big part in user experience and acts as a stable ground for quality SEO solutions.
There is a large variety of apps in Shopify store for different types of merchants, from drop shippers to even those who sell in physical stores. With Shopify point of sale (POS), for example, the merchant is able to sell in a physical store or pop-up setting. There is a variety of apps which are created to enhance the functionality of a Shopify as a platform and to add the features which might be missing for some. Most of the apps are developed by third-party developers and are rather costly. Majority of them have a monthly charge, which when accumulated for several apps can even exceed the monthly Shopify subscription price. Shopify also has several apps of their own, and they are free of charge. Most often the functionality of them is seen as inferior to third-party apps. A good example of this would be an app created for customer reviews - it allows the merchant to collect reviews by displaying the form on a product page. However, if for example, the merchant would prefer to send out an email to a customer for the same purpose, an additional app would be needed to do so, and that would result with one more monthly payment.
Depending on the user - prices of Shopify services might be seen as subjective. Prices do not differ very highly from other ecommerce platforms on a market, and for the services provided - Shopify could be seen as quite an investment. Merchant has to be ready to pay a monthly subscription fee, transaction fees for every order made, and if he or she decides on purchasing additional apps and themes that also adds up to the final price. Unless the merchant is using Shopify Payments which is only available in a small number of countries, transaction fees are inevitable and vary per plan chosen. There are three subscription plans available which offer different solutions for different types of merchants - from small business owners to large corporations.
Shopify was founded in Canada, back in 2004 by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake to later become one of the biggest international e-commerce platforms nowadays. Shopify allows merchants to manage their e-commerce businesses with ease by providing them with a possibility to customise their platform to their needs. The urge to establish such a company as Shopify was backed by the unsatisfactory experience of Tobias and his colleagues when using the existing e-commerce platforms of that time, while they were establishing their online snowboarding equipment store Snowdevil.
Shopify as a platform provides the merchants with the resources needed to successfully manage an e-commerce backed business. You can choose to run your existing website with Shopify, or create a new domain with them. Shopify offers a variety of customisable options which allow the merchant to optimise the experience to his needs. For example, the design for your shop can be picked from preexistent templates and themes and with freedom of HTML and CSS coding, it can be fully customised. The shopping security is guaranteed both for you and your client - up to par with PCI Data Security Standard, Shopify uses 256-bit SSL certificates, so the details of orders and transactions are completely secure.
Shopify has three subscription offers - ‘’Basic Shopify’’ which is aimed at rather small businesses, ‘’Shopify’’ which is set for businesses which are growing, and ‘’Advanced Shopify’’ which is customised with scaling in mind. All of them offer different features and have different pricing plans. For every individual transaction made, Shopify charges a small fee - however, there are no additional bandwidth or set up fees, and if Shopify Payments gateway is being used, there are no additional transaction fees included. With Shopify, the product range in the shop can be easily managed - Shopify allows the user to set different variations on their products, to organise them in a desirable way and track the inventory left. There is no limit set on how many products can be sold with Shopify. Also, the merchant can always check the analytics to see how the business is performing. All the information can be also accessed by a mobile app that syncs the data between the app and a store. If there are any problems or general questions merchant can always turn to 24/7 customer support.
Overall, Shopify is a multifunctional platform which provides the customer with many resources needed to successfully start, develop and maintain e-commerce business with just a few clicks of the mouse.