Those who want to sell online and combine that with a physical store can find all they need to manage both options with Shopify. Shopify has set the pace in e-commerce with a website builder, point-of-sale hardware, and customer chat options. Shopify manages 427,676 websites and more than 5,300 businesses use Shopify plus.
- It has incredibly high scores for customer satisfaction
- It has marvelous features
- The inventory system is the best on the market
- You can call across a multitude of channels
- It enforces its transaction fee unless you use Shopify payments
- It takes a while for content to reformat after you switch themes
- App pricing escalates as you add extra features to your store
Pros of Shopify
- It has incredibly high scores for customer satisfaction. Independent testing left Shopify with a 4.7 out of five stars in reviews. The two five-star reviews regarded sales features and customer scores. Shopify did better than all competitors in this test and is recommended as the best all-around e-commerce builder on the market.
- It has marvelous features. The themes are professional and high-quality but the best part is they are packed with super cool features in a mobile-friendly templates and responsive design. Features include customizable content sections from the home page, SEO (search engine optimization), social media icons, and free stock photos from the company Burst.
- The inventory system is the best on the market. Shopify’s sales features and tools are everything a business owner could want. It includes apps, plugins, shipping, payment options, digital selling, and abandoned cart recovery. Even dropshipping is included; similar to what BigCommerce offers. Abandoned cart recovery is necessary for anyone with an online store as it sends a reminder to those with an abandoned cart to purchase the items in the cart. This is known to increase sales. Shopify’s product management tools sync inventory across all online and physical stores through its POS system, so you can control your stock from one place. It also integrates payment options.
- You can call across a multitude of channels. Shopify is essentially an online store builder. It allows you to sell beyond your online store with them. You can use Shopify to sell across your entire social media network including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as other channels like Amazon and eBay.
Cons of Shopify
- It enforces its transaction fee unless you use Shopify payments. Transaction fees for third-party vendors can be expensive but you can’t control who your customers trust. Many use a wide variety of payment gateways to do business online. Shopify somewhat penalizes you for customers’ choices and that can affect your bottom line.
- It takes a while for content to reformat after you switch themes. Updates to themes don’t occur automatically, so that can be frustrating when a business owner wants to update products and promotions. After all, time is money.
- App pricing escalates as you add extra features to your store. Some business owners may want or need additional features to make their online store stand out. While Shopify has loads of apps to choose from, it’s good to remember that each costs money and that can add to a substantial cost.
What are the best features of Shopify?
Several of Shopify’s positive attributes make it a solid option for many business owners. Some of its best features are listed below.
Ease of use
The company has a simple interface that is easily understood, clean and so easy to use that a beginner could set up an online store quickly. It has drag-and-drop functionality and comes with questions and prompts that take people through the beginning process. There is no guessing about what to do next. It’s a hassle-free solution.
The testing resulted in 21 percent of people found Shopify easier to use than its main competitor.
The themes are professional
All of Shopify’s themes have numerous features and are mobile responsive. Their design puts your store in the same quality as larger, more expensive shops. The only drawback is Shopify only has 10 free themes. You can buy others but the cost ranges between $140 and $180 each.
The fact that all of Shopify’s themes are mobile responsive is a huge deal because studies show that 62 percent of customers won’t come back to your store if they have a negative experience with your website on their mobile phone.
It has SEO and sales tools
SEO is what helps customers find you on the web. Tools offered by Shopify include blogging tools, built-in email marketing options, and with the Shopify app store, there are many different add-ons available.
Shopify’s reporting tools tell you how people are responding to your website and help you decide what changes to make. It includes an analytics tool that tells you how much your store has in returning customer rates, sales, and other real-time information.
The abandoned shopping cart options go further than just sending a reminder email. The customization for emails is great, as is the addition of discount codes to lure customers back to your store.
What are the benefits of Shopify?
It is a true all-in-one merchant support system
Shopify isn’t just a website-building tool, it covers all of your sales channels. Its POS services, marketing and SEO services, and management services benefit both your online storefront and your physical store. Business owners can manage all their revenue streams across all their channels, plus their physical store, from one location.
The inventory management system that syncs all products across all channels is a wonderful tool that lets you know what you’re running low on and what is selling the best.
It has great customer service
Shopify has more ways to get answers than many of its competitors. With the video tutorials, the help center, and 24/7 phone and live chat support, along with all the other ways to communicate, business owners are not left to figure out things on their own.
It allows you to sell anywhere
Shopify is large enough that it can support you selling in other countries, across languages and currencies, across multiple social media channels, across third-party channels like Amazon and eBay. Better yet, business owners can manage all this from their tablet or phone because Shopify’s platform is responsive.
It is scalable
Business owners aren’t pushed into paying more than they can afford. It has more affordable plans, to begin with, and even offers a free trial so you can test it out before purchasing a plan.
What are the disadvantages of Shopify?
It charges transaction fees
While this isn’t unusual, it is another expense. Shopify doesn’t charge transaction fees if you use its POS system, but charges between .05 to 2 percent per transaction if you use a third-party payment gateway. The transaction fee cost depends on the plan you purchase. The more costly the plan, the lower the transaction fee.
Free themes are limited
Shopify lets you pick from 10 free Shopify themes. Although they are highly customizable, it would be nice if they offered more variety for free. The themes that business owners can buy are more expensive than those in other website builder programs like Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace.
How is security at Shopify?
One of the benefits of Shopify is it completely takes care of security. That means it runs updates, is responsible for complying with all requirements for dealing with online transactions, and implements protection against cyberthreats. You do not have to deal with any of that.
Everyone with a Shopify plan has Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security. In layman’s terms, that means data going back and forth between your website and your customer is encrypted so their information is protected. This is important for protecting confidential information like credit card details.
Shopify is Level 1 PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant. For the business owners, that means your store is automatically compliant under Shopify’s certifications so there is nothing more for you to do.
How much does Shopify cost?
Shopify has three plans that allow business owners to set up an e-commerce site. Below you’ll find a look at Shopify pricing:
- Shopify Lite: This lite plan has a $9 monthly fee, but it doesn’t let you build an e-commerce store. This plan allows you to sell through a website you already have or by Facebook. It also lets you use the Shopify POS app in your physical store.
- Basic Shopify Plan: This plan costs $29 per month. Under this plan, you get everything you need to run for an e-commerce solution.
- Unlimited number of products, including digital products
- Sell across multiple channels
- Ability to create customer discounts
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Shopify: This plan costs $79 per month and is meant for a growing business. It includes everything in the basic plan plus:
- The ability to create gift cards for customers
- Professional reporting
- Advanced Shopify: This plan costs $299 per month. This plan has advanced features such as an advanced report building and third-party apps calculated shipping rates.
- Shopify Plus: This is a customized price plan that offers high levels of professional support and services such as managing order management. It is meant for those doing massive amounts of business.
What kind of customer support can users expect?
Shopify has multiple ways of offering customer support, which is why customers gave it a five-star rating in that area. Support includes:
- Social media support
- 24/7 live chat and phone support
- Email support
- Advanced specialist support
- Community forum
- Help Center
- Video tutorials
Shopify experts staff the Help Center as the first stop for those seeking information. It has an abundance of information that helps you through the process of creating and managing an online store.
Why is using Shopify better than hiring a web developer?
First, it is cheaper. Besides paying a web developer, you will need to pay hosting fees and other fees associated with building a website from scratch. Second, what your web developer builds may be outdated within months. Then, you will need to pay them to make changes.
Shopify gives you control over your website and allows you to easily build it and make changes without additional costs outside of what you are paying for your plan.
Do I have to start all over when I go from a free trial to a plan?
All the work you do within the 14-day trial plan will carry over when you upgrade to one of the premium plans from Shopify. So, no, you won’t have to redo your site as long as you upgrade before the trial period is over.
Is Shopify easy to cancel?
Unlike other sites, it is easy to cancel Shopify if you find it doesn’t work for you. Shopify subscribers can cancel their accounts at any point in time without any restrictions. You simply find the cancellations under “plans and permissions” under your store’s settings. Then scroll down to close your store.
Realize that when you do that, you are giving up your website and all sales features. The good thing about Shopify is everything will be saved for 30 days in case you change your mind and choose to reopen.
Is there any way to save money on Shopify costs?
Yes, there are a couple of options to save money on Shopify subscriptions. The easiest way is to pay for your plan upfront. There are one and two-year plans available and paying for the subscription upfront rather than monthly saves you 10 percent on the one-year subscription and 20 percent on the two-year plan.
Those who opt for higher-tier plans will also find savings in transaction fees using third-party payment gateway vendors. You will need to do some calculations to see if the higher-tiered plans are worth it.
Does Shopify work with iOS and Android?
Yes, both operating systems will work with Shopify.
Will Shopify and WordPress work together?
Yes. There is a Shopify WordPress e-commerce plugin. Business owners love the combination saying it’s easy to buy and manage a domain name and drive conversion rates with the two solutions working together.
Shopify is a great platform for those who want to sell across channels or have both an online and a physical store. Store owners who want to dropship or who have only an online store benefit also from all its features and shipping options.
Those who don’t sell products but focus on services or things like art or other similar products, may not benefit as much because Shopify is geared toward selling and shipping physical inventory.
The fact it has its own merchant POS system, a simple buy button, as well as marketing tools, makes Shopify a good value for businesses or startups that want to reach more people and do more sales beyond their community.
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