Hey, are you considering launching your own
online store with Shopify? Stick around till the end and we will show you all the pros
and cons of Shopify. Welcome to WebsiteToolTester, where we review
ecommerce platforms so you don’t have to! Shopify claims to have processed a whopping
$82 billion dollars worth of sales for their store owners and they are growing rapidly. On paper, it looks like a solid platform to
build your ecommerce business upon. Stay on while we uncover the good, the bad and the
ugly! Shopify comes with several plans you can choose
from. Unlike some competitors, their plans don’t
limit the products you can sell or the traffic you can get. Instead, they limit their plans based on available
features, account members and payment fees. For example, the ‘Basic Shopify’ plan
is a good choice for you if you don’t need more than 2 account members and won’t be
using Gift Cards as a promotional tool. They have a 14-day trial period for you to
check out the tool. Be aware that they don’t offer refunds after you’ve made the payment. As you can see their templates are stylish
and modern-looking. They are fully responsive, so rest assured
they’ll look good on any device. There is a big variety of themes, but only
a dozen of those are free. The rest will cost you extra. But if you want something 100% tailor-made,
you can also develop your own theme. Let’s check under the hood. As you can see, Shopify’s backend is neat.
Personally, I find it very intuitive and easy to navigate thanks to the simple but well-structured
left-hand sidebar and clean design. Let’s see how to add and manage your products. Click here to see a list of all your products.
If you want to edit an existing one click on the name. But let’s add one from scratch. You only
have to click ‘Add Product’ and fill in all the item information: title, description,
images, pricing and so on. There are also options to manage your stock
and to add product variants like colors or sizes. From this section, you can manage your orders.
You can see the orders’ status, if the customer has already paid, and the fulfillment situation. To see further details click on an order. For example, you can leave notes and comments,
check the Shipping Address and mark the order as fulfilled. Pretty straightforward.
Now, let’s check out the available payment methods! As you can see, Shopify offers dozens of payment
processors. I’ve never seen a provider offering so many alternatives. You can also connect other online payment
processors like PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay or even accept payments in BitCoins. Keep in mind though that unless you use Shopify
Payments, you’ll be charged an extra transaction fee that varies from 0.5 – 2% according to
your plan. That’s why we highly recommend you use Shopify’s own payment system! And finally, offline payment methods like
cash on delivery or bank deposits are also available.
Let me show you how the shipping works. You can define shipping zones by country.
You can add more than one country to a region and exclude states. Shopify even allows you to buy and print shipping
labels for your orders so you don’t have to get them from the post office. But the most exciting shipping feature is
the real-time shipping rates calculator that allows you to connect with several carriers
and offer shipping costs in real time during checkout.
Now let’s explore the always exciting world of Taxes. My favorite thing here is that Shopify simplifies
managing taxes. For each shipping territory, you can define a default tax. You can decide to show prices with or without
taxes, and add taxes on shipping rates too. If you are based in the US, you can let Shopify
do the heavy lifting as it has a feature to automatically calculate your store taxes.
Sweet! Some say Shopify’s SEO is bad and some say
it’s good. Personally, I think this depends more on your SEO skills. Shopify makes it easy for you to optimize
your product and collection pages. Change the title, meta-description, and URL easily. Sadly you can’t customize your URL structure
completely. As you can see here there’s always an extra string that you can’t edit. But I would say that 95% of all store owners
will be just fine with the SEO options on offer. And if that’s not enough you can
install additional SEO apps. As we already mentioned, you can add apps
to further expand your online store’s capabilities. Some are paid, some are free. Some are good
and some aren’t that good. But generally speaking, it’s a great way to get features
that Shopify doesn’t provide. For example, extra-reporting features, additional
SEO options or email marketing solutions. Shopify opens other sales channels for you.
For example, they integrate Facebook, Instagram, eBay, and Amazon. If you are looking to use dropshipping, Shopify
makes it especially easy with their Oberlo app. For brick and mortar store owners there is
the Point of Sale system to sell your products too. Your physical and online sales will integrate
seamlessly. Just install the Shopify PoS app. Shopify offers support 24 hours by phone,
chat, and email. In my experience, Shopify’s support has
been generally good. It could be faster, but they’ve never taken days to answer my questions. I also think they have an excellent knowledge
base with hundreds of YouTube videos and useful articles.
So that was it, we had a detailed look at Shopify’s system. But let’s summarize
the main pros and cons of this ecommerce beast: I liked:
– Its ease of use, modern-looking templates, available payment methods, and their app store. But I think they could improve the following:
Shopify has a couple of SEO limitations. They don’t offer refunds and you may be charged
with extra transaction fees. As you’ve seen, there’s a lot of really
good about Shopify, a few things you could call bad but we definitely couldn’t find
anything ugly. You’ll find further information in our detailed
review. Just click here. I hope you liked this short summary and if
you have any questions, just leave us a comment, I’ll be glad to answer them! Thank you!