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When talking about the e-commerce industry, Shopify has been a ubiquitous name here. You probably landed on this page because you are confused about Shopify as a website building tool and whether it is the best for your business or not. This blog will help you ease your problem by giving a complete analysis of the Shopify website, the benefits it entails, and its drawbacks. Make sure you read it till the end to make a wise choice about your business.
In an era of technology and a variety of options where even before buying a product of daily use, people compare it to the other ones just to get the best one, why won’t they do the same for an e-commerce platform?
But, choosing the right e-commerce platform can be a bit challenging because there are a plethora of things to consider for it, and in this dilemma, hearing the buzz about Shopify seems a tempting option but is it really worth it? Let’s find out.
WHAT IS SHOPIFY?
Founded in 2006 by Tobias Lütke and Scott Lake, Shopify is an e-commerce platform or a web application where merchants can build and customize an online store and sell in multiple places. It helps businesses of all sizes sell physical and digital products. This application lets non-technical users build an online store by themselves because you don’t need to know to code for that! Well, that doesn’t mean it completely ignores the interest of developers, as it bestows full access to CSS, HTML, and Liquid.
Shopify is a SaaS (software-as-a-service) eCommerce solution, which means it includes everything you need to create a website. This all-in-one e-commerce software powers over 1 million merchants and has generated over $155 billion in sales.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Shopify is a web application that unifies all your commerce into a single platform by hosting your online store. This means that you are relieved from the problem of buying web hosting or installing software, all you need is to pay a monthly fee for using it!
The themes it offers (which you are free to alter or replace in any way you choose) aid in organizing the layout of your store’s presentation. Furthermore, it provides payment processing, enabling you to accept and receive payments for the goods you sell.
Shopify provides five pricing plans, available with the following monthly fees:
- Starter — $5 per month
- Lite — $9 per month
- Basic — $29 per month
- Shopify — $79 per month
- Advanced — $299 per month
- Shopify Plus — custom pricing
Before choosing a plan that suits your business, you can try Shopify free for 14 days, with no credit card required. There are some other significant things as well that are worth mentioning here:
Duration of contracts: All Shopify plans are month-to-month unless you sign up for a yearly, two-year, or three-year plan.
Discounts: Shopify offers a 50% discount on yearly plans, a 20% discount on two-year plans, and a 25% discount on three-year plans when they are paid upfront. Their 50% discount only applies to the first year of yearly subscriptions for new stores in the U.S. and Canada only.
The flexibility of plans: You can upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time. Also, if you ever decide that Shopify isn’t the ideal e-commerce solution for your company, you can simply cancel your account.
BENEFITS OF USING SHOPIFY:
Now let’s take a look at the benefits entailed by using Shopify:
Convenient usage: It is very convenient to use Shopify, even for the non-technical audience. You need not install any software for it, a web browser and access to the internet are the only things you need. It offers a user-friendly interface that can build a professional-looking website without any coding.
Attractive themes: Shopify offers a decent selection of templates that look great for any website. They display nicely on every device, in case you don’t like any of the free themes, there’s a wide range of premium themes to choose from.
Availability of abandoned cart saving on all plans: This feature of abandoned cart saving helps you identify visitors who nearly bought something from your store only to change their minds at the last moment. After knowing who these users are, you can send them an e-mail with a discount code that encourages them to complete their purchase.
Automatic tax calculations: The greatest burden on a merchant while selling online is the calculation of tax rate. They end up making sales at different tax rates, something you have to reflect in the pricing of the products, and that’s where Shopify enters as a rescue by working at the tax rate automatically for the merchants in the USA and Canada.
Built-in e-mail marketing: In addition to letting you build an online store, Shopify lets you host a mailing list and send e-newsletters at a very affordable cost.
DRAWBACKS OF USING SHOPIFY:
Let us now see the drawbacks of using Shopify:
Pay extra to use a third-party payment gateway: If you do not wish to use the Shopify built-in payment processor, you’re charged a transaction fee on each sale which can make things more expensive, especially in the countries where Shopify Payments isn’t available like Canada, USA, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Japan, etc.
Professional reporting costs extra: Professional reporting is only available on high-tier Shopify plans which is a major drawback of this application.
Limited product options: Shopify is more restrictive than other platforms in the case of product options. There’s a limit of three. If you require more, you will have to pay more for the same or use a different platform.
Adding custom fields is hard: Adding a custom field is quite hard in Shopify because you either need to add some code on your site or pay extra for that.
Buy an app to obtain a key feature: Some key features that one expects to be built in Shopify are either missing or a bit inadequate, so you will often have to resort to using an app to gain the functionality you need.
The platform is ideal for e-commerce for a reason: it’s among the best-hosted platforms, incredibly user-friendly, offers a wide variety of aesthetically pleasing themes, and allows you to incorporate many helpful third-party integrations that will benefit your company and enhance the customer experience.
However, there are a few limitations that could compromise your Shopify experiences, such as the price of third-party integration transaction fees or the allegedly poor tech support response times. However, we can still claim that Shopify is among the top hosted e-commerce systems in the market. It will definitely make your e-commerce journey simple, especially if you’re just getting started.
Now that you know everything about Shopify, you can decide whether it is worth buying for your business or not according to your needs.