Shopify the most popular online-store building tools currently available. Shopify is a web application that allows you to create your own online store. It’s filled with tools for launching a website within minutes. It provides you with several templates that can be customized and system allows physical or digital goods to be sold.
Shopify Review is a hosted ecommerce platform that allows anyone to setup an online store with hosting and support included. As a fully hosted, web-based platform, Shopify specializes in simplicity and ease of use. And despite lacking in some of the advanced features, Shopify’s platform provides the basics that can support most merchants. Shopify comes with all of the basic features you need to set up a store. Advanced functionality often requires add-on applications
Shopify represents one of the cheaper ways into selling online, with its starter plan, “Shopify Lite” costing $9 pm and allowing you to sell an unlimited number of goods. However, it’s important to note that this plan does not actually allow you to build a fully-functional, standalone online store.
- One area where Shopify really excels at is its themes and design. Shopify provides you with a Theme Store where you can pick and choose from their collection of themes (either free or paid) amongst different industries (clothing, jewelry, furniture, art, etc.), so you can design your website accordingly. Shopify provides 9 free templates to use– each comes in two or three different variants to choose from. Shopify invites professional theme designers to create themes for Shopify.
- In addition to Shopify’ score functionality, there is also an app store which you can visit to obtain apps (free and paid). Shopify is very flexible and has all sorts of tools to meet your needs and to extend the functionality of the online store the way you want them to. They offer you a large App Store where you can choose from over 1,400 different Apps (free and paid) for you to add into your store. The tools include accounting, customer service, inventory management, marketing, reporting, shipping, social media, fulfillment, etc. and your other business processes.
- Shopify allows you to turn that side of the business over to the pros and just let them worry about hackers and a whole sort of issues that come with hosting an online store.
- If you find yourself in need of support, then Shopify has one of the best support teams in the industry. Regardless of which pricing plan you decide on, the company provides you 24/7 full customer support, which includes phone support as well as chat or email support. Another great form of help offered by Shopify is the access to a relevant support system directly through their website, including user forums, tutorials and FAQ’s.
- Shopify states that over 365k individuals have built online stores using the platform, which makes it a relatively safe.
- It has a clean, easy-to-use interface.
- It provides a decent range of free and attractive templates
- The point-of-sale options are excellent and standalone feature.
- There is a simple PayPal integration available.
- Adding custom fields such as text boxes or file upload options, whilst doable, is unnecessarily complicated.
- You can’t avoid transaction fees if you use a third-party payment gateway.
- Creating drop down menus and adding items to them is a fiddlier process than it should be.
It is impossible to customize the structure of your website’s template without touching the code. Also, you need a “Shopify expert” to do any customization because code changes involve handling Shopify’s own programming language (Liquid), in addition to HTML and CSS.
There are five Shopify plans to choose from:
- ‘Shopify Lite’ – plan for $9 per month
- ‘Basic Shopify’ – plan for $29 per month
- ‘Shopify’ – plan for $79 per month
- ‘Advanced Shopify’ – plan for $299 per month
- ‘Shopify Plus’ – fees are negotiable
Key features to watch out are:
- staff accounts – these allow you to give different members of your team different permissions.
- real time carrier shipping, which is only available when you are using the most expensive ‘Advanced Shopify’ plan.
- Unlimited bandwidth to use
- Unlimited number of products
- Unlimited online storage
- Support via Chat & Email.
- One staff account (in addition to the owner’s account)
- The ability to sell physical or digital goods, in different categories of your choosing and shipping rates / methods of choosing
- a wide range of themes to choose from.
- integration with PayPal
- blogging functionality
- import / export of customer data
- content management functionality
- good search engine optimization (SEO) options – it’s easy to add relevant keywords to the products and the site pages
- integration with MailChimp
- to edit CSS and HTML
- a ‘buy now’ button that you can use to sell goods on an existing blog or site of your choice
- point-of-sale integration (more on that below)
- the option to create multiple staff accounts how many you can create depends upon the plan you are using).
- Pinterest integration
- 24/7 Support system
- Discount code engine
- Online store and Blog
- Two staff accounts (plus the owner’s account)
- Advanced report builder
- Real-time carrier shipping.
· POINT-OF-SALE APPLICATIONS
One particularly worth mentioning feature offered by Shopify which deserves a special mention and makes it stand out from its competitors is its point of sale (POS) option and kit. These let you use Shopify to sell not just online but in physical locations too – as long as you have an iOS or Android device. The full POS kit includes a card reader, barcode scanner, cash drawer and receipt printer – you can buy them individually or as a package. There are a several applications for POS: for example, they allow you to sell in a pop-up shop, from a stall in the market, at an event or even in a permanently located retail outlet etc.
However, it is easily one of the best eCommerce site developers available in the market right now. You need to understand that it is pretty complex to get an eCommerce set up and Shopify does this very easily. Shopify caters to a broad range of industries, such as art & photography, clothing, accessories, electronics, food & beverages, furniture & household, sports & recreations, toys & games, Shopify understands that their core strength is to allow you to develop and manage a website, and they understand that they can’t build all the different business tools in the world for you.
This flexibility and the ability for Shopify to grow with your online business is one of the unique aspects. You can start off with fewer features and tools, and add more and bolt them on to your online shop as you grow Shopify is one of those platforms that you should think of investing in them, especially with their 24/7 phone and live chat support.
It makes a lot more sense to let them deal with the technological aspect of things, so you can focus on other aspects of your business and develop it.