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Shopify Review: Is This eCommerce Platform Really That Good?

If you are looking to set up an online store, finding a platform that can deliver all the features you need is key. We’ve written this Shopify review to help you determine whether it’s the right choice for you.

With its user-friendly setup, built-in marketing tools, and wide array of beautiful themes, Shopify has become an industry leader in the world of eCommerce. If you’re looking for a fast, simple, and affordable way to launch a small online store, this is a solid solution.

In this Shopify review, we’ll discuss some of the platform’s best features and show you how to use it. We’ll also share pricing details. Let’s get to it!

Shopify Review

What is Shopify?

Shopify

Shopify is an online platform that enables you to build an eCommerce site without any coding experience.

Shopify is a self-sufficient system that supplies everything you need to launch a basic online store without additional software.

It’s extremely popular, especially in North America, where it backs almost one-third of all eCommerce sites.

 

Some key features that make Shopify popular with many retailers are:

  • All-in-one solution. With Shopify, you don’t need to worry about finding separate hosting for your site. This minimizes the technical aspects you have to deal with.
  • Ready-made designs. Even if you’ve never created a website before, Shopify makes it easy to design your online store with customizable pre-built themes.
  • Marketing tools. Shopify includes various promotional and search engine optimization (SEO) tools to help you reach your audience, such as dedicated blog pages, analytics tracking, Facebook Ad campaigns, and $100 worth of credits towards Google Ads.
  • Integrated payment and checkout. Shopify’s built-in payment system lets you accept various payment forms. Its fast checkout process is also optimized for mobile.
  • Social selling. You can use Shopify to sell your products via Instagram and Facebook so that customers can purchase products directly from their feeds.
  • Amazon and eBay integration. Shopify lets you sync your inventory with the world’s largest online marketplaces to reach more potential customers.
 

When compared with other eCommerce solutions such as WooCommerce, Shopify’s native feature set is impressive. While its competitors may offer more flexibility for some users, there’s definitely an advantage to bundling everything you need in one platform.

How to create an online store using Shopify

Usability is a key factor to consider when choosing a platform to build your online store. To demonstrate this element, we’ve included a brief, basic tutorial in our Shopify review.

Step 1: Sign up for a Shopify account

To get started, head to Shopify.com and click on the Start free trial button. Enter a unique name for your store and fill in your contact details.

shopify trial

As soon as you complete the signup process, you’ll land in your account admin area. From here, you can customize your store, add products, set up payment options, and more.

By default, your online store’s domain name will be the name you enter during the account creation process followed by .myshopify.com. You can register a custom web address if you want to, but this is completely optional.

Step 2: Design your online store

Next, you need to pick a design for your new eCommerce website. First, go to themes.shopify.com. Here you can browse different templates, then pick the one you like.

An example of the sort of designs that are available.

Choosing a Shopify theme

Preview each theme by clicking on View demo, and click on Add Theme to select it. You can always change it later if you need to.

Once you choose a theme, Shopify will redirect you to your Themes page. Here, click on Customize. This will open the website editing interface, where you can make modifications such as uploading your logo, incorporating background images, choosing a color scheme, switching fonts, or repositioning certain elements.

Customizing a Shopify theme

Click on the Save button once you’re happy with your changes. Note that premium themes have more customization options than free ones. You can also hire a Shopify expert to customize your site for you if you prefer.

Step 3: Add your first product

Once your eCommerce site looks the way you want it to, you’re ready to start using it to sell products. To add one, click on Products in your admin dashboard, then click on the blue Add product button in the middle of the page.

You’ll then see a screen where you can add details about your item, upload images, and set your pricing.

Adding a new product in Shopify

Enter the shipping options for your product, then click on Save when you’re done.

Step 4: Configure your settings and launch your online store

Before your site goes live, head to your Settings page and follow the instructions in each sub-section. Make sure to review your payment options, taxes, and shipping information, and to add your business details where appropriate.

Shopify's general settings

Once you’re ready, navigate to Online Store → Preferences. In the Password page section, uncheck Enable password page, then click on Save. Your online store should be live and ready for customers.

How much does it cost to use Shopify?

Shopify does not currently offer a free version. However, there is a free 90-day trial with no credit card details required, so you can test it for yourself without having to worry about being hit with a surprise bill later.

If you’re ready to commit to using Shopify for your online store, you can choose from three plans:

  • Basic Shopify: $29 per month, includes all the basic features and two staff accounts
  • Shopify: $79 per month, includes more advanced reporting, higher shipping discounts, lower transaction rates, and five staff accounts
  • Advanced Shopify: $299 per month, includes everything above plus fifteen staff accounts, up to eight retail locations, and third-party calculated shipping rates

There are also a few alternative plans available. Shopify Plus is a solution for large enterprises. You’ll need to contact sales for a quote.

Shopify Lite enables you to add simple buy buttons to your existing website or Facebook account for just $9 per month. This option is meant for those who want to sell products online but don’t want to launch an entire store. However, note that with this solution you’ll miss out on the platform’s marketing, website creation, and design features.

Also, keep in mind that these prices are just for the use of Shopify itself. You’ll still need to account for payment gateway transaction fees.

Shopify review – is it worth it?

To sum up our Shopify review, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of this platform:

Shopify review: pros and cons
Pros Cons
All-in-one eCommerce solution, including web design and marketing features Although the entry-level plan is relatively affordable considering the features it includes, Shopify may become expensive as you scale your business
User-friendly interface that is easy to pick up, even without prior website building experience Shopify doesn’t offer as much flexibility for more experienced users who may want to incorporate custom code or unique functionality
Access to 24/7 expert support, as well as community forums where you can ask questions

Taking all these points into account, is Shopify worth considering? For most people, the answer is yes. The choice of free themes is excellent, and the built-in features are sufficient for most merchants. It’s not surprising that Shopify is the go-to solution for many social media savvy retailers.

However, Shopify may not be right for you if you require more advanced functionality. In fact, there are several more affordable alternatives to Shopify such as Magento or WooCommerce, which come with more robust features. It’s worth comparing these platforms to make an informed decision.

Shopify review: conclusion

Shopify is the ideal solution for many first-time merchants as well as those looking for a hassle-free, elegant eCommerce platform that’s incredibly easy to use. Although it may not be as flexible as some of its competitors, it’s still a solid option for most store owners who value simplicity and modern design.

In this Shopify review, we covered some of the platform’s key features, including access to pre-built themes and marketing tools. We also walked through how to set up a basic online store, and the pricing plans available for this solution.

Do you think Shopify is worth the hype? Let us know in the comments section below!

Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. With some simple fixes, you can reduce your loading time by even 50-80%:

 

Layout, presentation and editing by Karol K.

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