In this Shopify review 2016, we have covered all the essential points of Shopify, which a new eCommerce user need to know. Read on to find out why it is better to choose Shopify for your eCommerce store.
Shopify is a web application that enables you to create your eCommerce store. It provides you more than a few templates that can be tailored to meet the branding needs of individual users, and the system facilitates digital or physical products to be sold. One of the vital ideas behind Shopify is that users with less design or technical skills can create a store without taking any help from a web developer or a design agency. However, people who are familiar with HTML and CSS will be contented to come across that Shopify facilitates you to edit both, allowing you quite a degree of control over the design of templates.
As Shopify is a hosted solution, you don’t need to worry about buying web hosting or installing software onto servers. The idea is that everything you need to build and run your store happens ‘out of the box.' Shopify state on their website that the number of stores powered by them to date is 243,000.
There are 4 Shopify Pricing Plans to choose from:-
1) Shopify Lite - $9: This plan facilitates you to sell your products and services on social media, in person or on an existing website without having your online store.
2) Shopify Basic – $29: This plan allows you to sell an unlimited number of products with your own online store. The limit storage in this plan is 1GB.
3) Shopify Pro – $79: Shopify Professional plan provides more storage space i.e. 5 GB. It provides greater insight into your online store, making analysis more convenient.
4) Shopify Unlimited – $179: Shopify Unlimited plan allows you to sell an unlimited number of products with no storage limits attached. It offers “Real-time carrier shipping”, with which shipping is handled by a third party.
There is also a ‘Shopify Plus’ plan – an ‘enterprise grade’ solution which is designed more for big businesses in mind rather than the average user; it offers advanced features regarding security, APIs, and fulfillment.
Key Features of Shopify
Shopify Themes & Designs
One area where Shopify truly excels is their themes and their design; the company offers some of the most proficient looking themes of any eCommerce platform. The themes are available in the Theme Store. Shopify offers both free themes as well as paid themes, with the paid ones ranging from $80 to $180.
Once you have found the perfect theme, you can effortlessly modify the look and feel to your heart's delight, simply by opening the template editor and editing your theme until you feel it’s accurately what you are in search of. If you have created a theme that you would like to use for your store, then you can upload your own theme. Simply go to the Theme pages and scroll down until you find the upload theme button, then just add your own theme.
Shopify Buy Button
The Buy Button sales channel lets you simply add eCommerce to your website, email campaign or blog by embedding a Buy Button that is connected with your Shopify checkout. You can make use of Buy Buttons to:
- Sell your products on WordPress, Squarespace, and Tumblr, on your own website, or wherever you have already built an audience online.
- Add Shopify eCommerce, which includes product pages, an embedded cart, and secure checkout, to your existing website. No matter where you sell your products, you can keep track of orders through your Shopify admin.
- Match any webpage's theme by modifying the format and style of your Buy Buttons and embedded cart. Both are fully responsive, and offer your customers a better experience on smartphones, tablets and computers.
If you are a small to medium-sized retail business owner and searching for software that is inexpensive and intuitive, look no further. Shopify has created a POS system that can handle reporting, CRM functionality, and gift cards, and which offers free 24/7 tech support and many added integrations. The system facilitates you to manage both your offline and online sales and inventory control all in one, centralized location.
Not only does Shopify Point of Sale (using iPad) enables you to manage all your sales transactions under one convenient location, effective this will save you a lot of time from managing different systems. Even the most tech-phobic person in the world could not be overwhelmed by this software. Give it a try before buying, by all means, but I don’t think you will be disappointed. Shopify POS is only going to get better with time, and you can take that to the bank.
Shopify Facebook Store
Facebook store by Shopify enables you set up a webstore in Facebook, with relative ease. This can be an outstanding tactic for improving engagement with Facebook fans, increasing your sales and boosting traffic to your regular webstore.
There are three main ways a Shopify Facebook Store can assist you to build your business. Consider which one is most significant in your overall strategy.
- Enhance brand awareness via typical social indicators (likes, shares, etc.).
- Boost sales by putting your products where your customers already are.
- Create an online store with fewer resources and fewer time than building out a custom webstore.
Shopify Plus is an extension of Shopify’s robust infrastructure that over 100,000 online stores depend on. It is the same as general Shopify however it’s packed with more features, more service, more customization and best of all more support! Shopify Plus is designed with the growing and big merchants in mind.
As your business grows, you will need to grow your eCommerce store, and Shopify Plus is here to assist you to scale your businesses. In addition to all the standard features on the Shopify platform, Plus clients also gain access to advanced features, exceptional benefits, and exclusive service. Shopify’s “white-glove” approach offers priority services like:
- A Personalized Support phone number and email address for critical, time-sensitive issues which can be accessed 24/7.
- Fully branded experience from home page to checkout, the checkout page will remain on your main URL.
- A Dedicated Account Manager for day to day questions and to update you bimonthly on new apps and features that you may benefit from.
- Ability to accept subscription billing and mix cart (subscription + single item purchase).
- Discounts on select apps from the Shopify App Store.
Shopify SEO & Marketing
If you have an incredible store but your customers are unable to discover it, then chances are you will be very dissatisfied with the sales figures. Shopify offers excellent features for both SEO and Marketing. Thanks to intuitive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features your store will be found on all major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
If you truly wish to customize your store even more then the company offers customizable H1, title, and mega tags. Furthermore their URLs are all SEO friendly. The company has also connected with Google with the intention of giving you $100 when you spend $25 on advertising with a new Ad Words account and the moment you sign up with Shopify you also receive a $50 credit for new Facebook Ads accounts.
Security is taken very seriously in eCommerce, and hence, they have created their shopping cart platform as well as their hosting to be Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, in other words, your data is secured. All pricing plans offer 128-bit Free SSL certificate at no added cost.
While data security is very significant to retailers, many also worry about their store always being accessible, and Shopify provides their customers with a 99.94% uptime assurance. Additionally, the company creates secure backups of all your data, so even if your store should for some reason disappear, it will be backed up and ready to be restored within minutes.
Shopify's support is very wide-ranging - you can contact the company 24/7 by email, live chat or phone. This is superior to the support options offered by some competitors - for example, Squarespace doesn't provide phone support at all, and Volusion doesn't make it clear what hours their support desks are manned. BigCommerce offers a similar level of round-the-clock support, however.
One thing I would say having used Shopify support in the past is that if your inquiry is of a particularly technical nature - i.e. if you want to code something and need help - then you may not get the answers you're looking for from phone, live chat or email. You would be better off posting a query in a forum and hoping a Shopify developer gets back to you on it. This could be improved a bit I feel - it would be nice if, for relevant queries, Shopify offered some way to contact their developers directly for technical advice.
- With its 'Lite' plan, Shopify represents one of the cheapest ways to start selling online using a hosted solution
- It has a clean, easy-to-use interface
- There are no transaction fees if you are happy to use Stripe
- The point-of-sale options are excellent and help Shopify stand apart from its competitors
- It provides a good range of free, responsive templates
- Simple PayPal integration
- You can extend Shopify's functionality easily thanks to a huge range of third-party apps (although note that you will have to pay to use many of them).
- Shopify state that 200,000 users have built online stores using the platform, which makes it a relatively safe bet that the company (and thus your online store!) is not going to disappear any time soon
- The Shopify Buy Button facilitates you to make use of Shopify with an existing website built using another platform (for example WordPress, Squarespace, Wix or Jimdo).
For an overview of how Shopify works, you might also like to watch the below video walkthrough.
Overall, Shopify really is an eCommerce platform that has everything that you need.
You can effortlessly add products, grow your business, utilize premium reports when the best package available, and get the full-on security that you need to keep your store and your shoppers safe.
Even if you are not sure about the monthly cost, it could be worth using Shopify from the beginning. With Shopify, everything is already in one easy-to-use system, proven every day by all the successful stores running on the Shopify platform.
I strongly believe that whether you are just starting out or want to grow your existing business, Shopify is a wise choice.