Shopify Review

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.

Highlights
  • Plenty of storefront customization options
  • Massive selection of powerful themes and apps
  • Friendly 24/7 customer support via multiple channels
Best For

All types of merchants

Shopify Fees

How Much Does it Cost? Compare Transaction & Plan Fees per Month

Plan name
$1,000 sales
$5,000 sales
$10,000 sales
$25,000 sales
Basic Shopify
$49/m
4.90% from sales

$1000 sales

$129/m
0.98% from sales

$5000 sales

$229/m
0.49% from sales

$10000 sales

$529/m
0.20% from sales

$25,000 sales

Shopify
$89/m
8.90% from sales

$1000 sales

$129/m
1.78% from sales

$5000 sales

$179/m
0.89% from sales

$10000 sales

$329/m
0.36% from sales

$25,000 sales

Advanced Shopify
$304/m
30.40% from sales

$1000 sales

$324/m
6.08% from sales

$5000 sales

$349/m
3.04% from sales

$10000 sales

$424/m
1.22% from sales

$25,000 sales

Overall Ratings

Overall
7.5/10

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.

Speed & Performance
7.5/10
Customer Support
9.2/10
Functionality & Features
8.5/10
Themes & Templates
7/10
Plugins & Apps
7/10
Pricing & Fees
5.7/10

Screenshots

Dashboard Overview

Pros & Cons

Overview of Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

Shopify focuses on the security and customer experience very strongly. Sensitive information like customers names, addresses and credit card information are safe with Shopify. Shopify takes care of PCI compliance and SSL certificates can be additionally added by a merchant. Shopify ensures the smoothness by loading pages quickly.
Variety of Features

 Shopify provides its merchants with a convenient interface, app and theme store to create a truly custom experience. There are hundreds of free and paid themes on the Shopify Theme Store available to upgrade the appearance of the shop. Not to mention the App store has solutions for accounting, loyalty programs, social media, analytics, and many more! There are tons of apps available in the Shopify app store!
One of the biggest pros of Shopify is its outstanding customer support. Customer service representatives are available 24/7 and may be accessed via phone, email or web chat. Not to mention there is a Help Center which is filled with tutorials and answers to commonly asked questions. If there is any ambiguity about how E-commerce works in general, Ecommerce University will provide the merchant with ebooks, video series and webinars about how to successfully sell online. In addition to all of that, there are also special forums in which community shares their tips and experiences with Shopify.
Shopify provides mobile-friendly solutions both for merchants and customers. Merchants can easily track the performance of a business through a smartphone screen, whereas customer can enjoy sleek usability as all Shopify themes are mobile-friendly and have a built-in mobile shopping cart.



Shopify provides its users with an actionable dashboard of sales, orders and traffic to make the right choices for the business. The merchant can also get familiar with traffic and product reports which can be easily exported to analyse.

Cons

Depending on the client - Shopify can be rather expensive. Unless the merchant is using Shopify Payment which is only available in a number of countries, transaction fees are inevitable and vary per plan chosen. The plans themselves might be found expensive by some users, plus the costs will rise up if the merchant decides to use paid Shopify themes or apps.
Many users deem Shopify’s blogging solution as inferior to Wordpresses. Blog posts are hard to export, and there is a very small choice of editing tools to work on them. In the day when content marketing is absolutely crucial, this might be seen as a major con.
Even though Shopify provides a ton of various templates, they are not so easy to customise without touching the code. Shopify has its own programming language (Liquid) and in addition to HTML and CSS changes, it might be rather challenging to change the code. If the merchant does not have a background in coding, a professional consultation will probably be crucial.

Plans & Pricing

Choose The Best Plan For You

Basic Shopify
$29
Monthly Price
2.0%
Transaction Fees
0% with Shopify Payments
Payment Gateway Fees
2.9% + 30¢
Online Rates
2.7% + 0¢
In-Person Rates (POS)
Shopify
$79
Monthly Price
1.0%
Transaction Fees
0% with Shopify Payments
Payment Gateway Fees
2.6% + 30¢
Online Rates
2.5% + 0¢
In-Person Rates (POS)
Advanced Shopify
$299
Monthly Price
0.5%
Transaction Fees
0% with Shopify Payments
Payment Gateway Fees
2.4% + 30¢
Online Rates
2.4% + 0¢
In-Person Rates (POS)
Features Included
Bandwidth
Unlimited
Staff Accounts
5
Number of Products
Unlimited
File Storage
Unlimited
POS Package Price
$49
SSL Certificate Price
Free
Fraud Analysis
Gift Cards
Coupons
Professional Reports
Support Available
24/7 Chat Email Telephone Tutorials
Free Trial
14
Days
Features Included
Bandwidth
Unlimited
Staff Accounts
10
Number of Products
Unlimited
File Storage
Unlimited
POS Package Price
Free
SSL Certificate Price
Free
Fraud Analysis
Gift Cards
Coupons
Professional Reports
Support Available
24/7 Chat Email Telephone Tutorials
Free Trial
14
Days
Features Included
Bandwidth
Unlimited
Staff Accounts
Unlimited
Number of Products
Unlimited
File Storage
Unlimited
POS Package Price
Free
SSL Certificate Price
Free
Fraud Analysis
Gift Cards
Coupons
Professional Reports
Support Available
24/7 Chat Email Telephone Tutorials
Free Trial
14
Days

Interesting Facts

Some Cool Stuff in Snap Overview

$63 Billion
Revenue
600,000+
Customers
3,000+
Employees
Tobi Lütke
CEO
Ottawa, Canada
Based in

Speed & Performance

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.

Uptime
Score:
7/10
When owning an e-commerce business every minute of the website being down might cost the business money. Ideally, the uptime for any website and especially the e-commerce based one would be 100% with no outages. Shopify has 99.98% uptime which could be regarded as slightly above average. It means that the monthly downtime is somewhere around 8 minutes and 45 seconds, and yearly this website is down for approximately an hour and 45 minutes. However, not only the overall downtime of the site should be taken into consideration, but also the parts of the service which might not be properly working from time to time. For example, customers might not be able to check out, a merchant might have a hard time to log in, some of the orders might not be showing up properly - little things like that might happen, and they might bring the overall experience down.
Incident Frequency
Score:
7/10
Incidents with platform performance can bring down not only the productivity of the site, but also form rather negative perceptions from customers, if experienced on their side, so it is crucial that e-commerce platform would run as smooth as possible. During the testing period, two service disruptions and five outages were recorded. Problems with admin dashboard were noticed - there were times when it was loading poorly, and apps were not working properly. Also, delays in analytics and data reporting were noticed. Other service disruptions could be described as inaccessible storefronts and errors with the checkout system. Taking all of these disruptions into consideration and combining them with their frequency the service could be regarded as above average. 

Speed
Score:
8/10
High site speed and flawless performance are crucial for any e-commerce business to retain a customer. A couple of different stores were tested to check out on how well Shopify is optimised for speed. Servers responded quite quickly, but there were some components that could be altered to ensure better response speed. For example, there could be fewer HTTP requests, and JavaScript together with CSS could have been minified. Not to mention, add expires headers are crucial for a smooth running site as they let the browser know whether to serve a cached version of the page or not. The websites tested have static components without a far-future expiration date and this might slow down a site considerably. On a contrary, important steps such as compressing resources and minimising the redirects are taken into consideration on Shopify based sites - which adds up to a speedier performance.

Customer Services & Support

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.


Support Availability
Score:
10/10
Ecommerce businesses rely on a smooth performance very highly. With money and time spent on advertising strategies and marketing ideas, it is very important that everything from a navigation menu to the check-out would work perfectly. Sometimes disturbances are inevitable and in such cases, strong support background should be provided. One of the best features provided by Shopify is their customer service. Customer support is available 24/7, agents can be accessed via email, telephone and live chat which gives the merchant freedom to decide on the most convenient channel to get in touch if there are some kind of errors noticed.
Speed of Response
Score:
8/10
Depending on the communication channel used and the difficulty of a question in mind, various response speeds could be observed. Different channels were put up to test to see the average response time. With a relatively easy question, if a merchant would choose to contact customer support team via telephone - there would be no wait time, via email it would take somewhere around from 6 to 8 hours to resolve the issue, and if a merchant would choose to discuss the matter via live chat, agent would come up with a solution in averagely 5 minutes. With questions of a more difficult nature, it would take a little bit more. If a merchant would decide to reach out via live chat, an agent would promise to get back to them with an email on 2 out of 3 occasions. If an agent would not get back within the promised timeframe, after a follow up he or she would get back averagely in 5 hours.
Friendliness & Helpfulness
Score:
10/10
The secret of top customer support lies in several simple factors - the speed of reply, the accuracy of resolution and in a convenience to reach out. Shopify has this formula mastered and perfected. However, what makes Shopify customer service really stand out is that their agents are not only very professional and quick to reply but also extremely friendly. During the testing period, even though agents were not able to resolve an issue in one time out of three, no matter what, they’ve always tried their hardest to help and to offer various solutions to deal with a problem.
Telephone
Score:
10/10
The more communication channels are available for customer service, the better and Shopify seems to know that very well. Even though using a phone for various support questions might be regarded as old news nowadays, it is way more convenient than emailing back and forth, especially for a relatively easy question. Shopify has a great team working on the line - when contacted the staff seemed friendly, knowledgeable and were very helpful. The questions were answered right away in a respectful, friendly and professional matter. For simple questions, using the phone line is great as there is no waiting time for a reply, however, for more complicated cases, it is advised to use email or live chat straight away, as it might take some time for agents to research and come up with a solution.

Live Chat
Score:
8/10
Live chat is a great alternative for a phone call, as it is also rather quick with simple questions, but doesn’t need 100% involvement when it comes to communication. For an easy question, it would averagely take around from five to six minutes to resolve an issue. However, it is important to note that during busier periods and with more difficult cases, wait time is expected to be longer. In such instances, agents promise to get back to the merchant via email and in 2 times out of 3, they respond within a promised timeframe. All agents are very professional and friendly.
Email
Score:
9/10
Email is one of the most popular channels for customer support nowadays. It is easy to use and answers are usually detailed and helpful. Even though it might take longer to get a reply via email than it would take via phone or via live chat, this platform is the best for complicated cases or when the answer is not needed as urgently - as the merchant can leave their email and go on with their day. At Shopify, it takes somewhere from 6 to 8 hours to resolve an easy question via email. All of the agents seem to be professional, kind and friendly. They provided several possible solutions to some matters and were trying hard to resolve the issues occurring.

Functionality & Features

Free Hosting
PCI Certified

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.

Ease of Use
Score:
10/10
Shopify is one of the easiest platforms to use on a market nowadays. It is well designed for merchants who have little of technical know-how in coding. Admin dashboard is clean and easy to navigate - only the functions which are actually needed are present without overhauling the menu. If needed, shipping preferences, tax information, check out settings can be easily adjusted. The whole navigation doesn’t require any knowledge in coding, and the best part is that newly-made merchant can always try out the trial version for 14 days - which allows enough time to get used to the platform.
Functionality
Score:
7/10
Shopify is renowned for its convenience and features. With no technical knowledge, the merchant can add unlimited products, discount codes, create staff accounts to successfully sell online. There is an access to financial reports and analytics to track down the performance of the business. Abandoned checkout recovery is another useful feature which sends automatic emails to customers who leave your store without completing the checkout. Also, for the convenience of the merchant, Shopify is also available on mobile to keep you up to date with everything no matter where you are. With many useful built-in features, there are also a variety of apps available in the app store to customise the experience of every merchant.

Themes & Templates

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.

Choice of Free Themes
Score:
5/10
Quality of Free Themes
Score:
8/10
Choice of Paid Themes
Score:
6/10
Quality of Paid Themes
Score:
9/10

Apps & Plugins

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.

Choice of Free Apps
Score:
6/10
Quality of Free Apps
Score:
7/10
Choice of Paid Apps
Score:
7/10
Quality of Paid Apps
Score:
8/10

Pricing & Fees


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.

Plans Pricing
Score:
8/10
Shopify is a reasonably priced platform for all the services it provides. The subscriptions plans themselves are not expensive - there are three different price levels for different needs and an additional solution for those who sell on social media - which is the cheapest. However, it is important to note that when transaction fees, apps and themes also counted in the sum can considerably increase.
Transaction Fees
Score:
3/10
For every sale made, Shopify applies a transaction fee of a certain percentage which depends on the plan the merchant has chosen for his or her business. Transaction fees may be escaped if Shopify payments are used which are available only in certain countries such as Australia, Canada, U.S., Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand,United Kingdom and Singapore.
Other Fees
Score:
6/10
Additional splurging might occur when visiting app and theme stores - as a majority of themes and apps are paid, the costs might add up. Both themes and apps are rather costly. On the other hand, Shopify does not have any bandwidth or inventory fees which leaves it at an advantage against some apps in the market.

What is Shopify

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.