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.
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.
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.
Customer support is available 24/7 via phone, email and live chat if the merchant has questions to ask.
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.
There is a considerable variety of themes to choose from in Shopify theme store.
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
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 that are growing
- ‘’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.
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.
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.
- Unlimited Products
- 2 Staff Accounts
- 24/7 Support
- Unlimited Products
- 5 Staff Accounts
- 24/7 Support
- Unlimited Products
- 15 Staff Accounts
- 24/7 Support
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Friendliness & Helpfulness
Functionality & Features
Ease of Use
Themes & Templates
Choice of Themes
Quality of Themes
Apps & Plugins
Choice of Apps & plugins
Quality of Apps & Plugins