Hello, future online shop owners! Today we are going to talk about the ecommerce platform, Shopify. Stay tuned for the advantages and disadvantages of this software and hopefully by the end of this overview you will know whether or not Shopify is for you.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows you to create your own online store and sell to customers all over the world. The site was created in 2006, when the owners couldn’t find an easy-to-use ecommerce software for their store, so they decided to build their own. Today, tens of thousands of online stores are powered by Shopify, including such big names as Tesla Motors and General Electric. Not too shabby, eh?
To get started, you just create your online store — don’t worry, you don’t have to be a techie to do this! — and upload your inventory. Then, you start selling to people all over the world! Shopify allows you to take all major credit cards, PayPal, money orders, and more. The company continues to add new payment methods regularly.
What is so great about it?
Number 1: You don’t have to be an awesome techie to set up shop. The Shopify setup is really easy. First, you choose a template. The hardest part about this is that there are over 100 templates to choose from! Next, you customize it. Basically, you just play around with the theme settings and make any changes to the font, logo, colors, etc. After it looks the way you want it to, launch it! It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Number 2: You get your own guru. With the setup of your shop, you also receive a guru to help you out by giving advice on properly setting up your shop, selling products, etc. Not only that, but your guru will help you advertise! All new Shopify stores can receive a $100 credit for additional advertising on Google Adwords so you can promote your shop on Google.
Number 3: You can sell to anyone in the world if you choose! With Shopify, you aren’t really limited on languages or currencies. Besides the fact that you can write your shop in any language you want, you can also collect in other currencies. Shopify supports local currencies and tax rates, so you can live in Canada and sell to someone in Bangladesh. Pretty cool, huh?
Number 4: It’s really easy to categorize your inventory. Like any major online retailer, you can categorize your inventory into “collections”. For example, you can put a t-shirt into the “tees and tanks” category and the “sales” category.
Number 5: It’s also really easy to categorize your customer base. You can put your customers into groups based on whatever factors you want — where they are located, how much they spend, etc. Not only will this give you a better idea of who your customers are, it will also allow you to target certain groups for marketing emails.
Why isn’t it great?
Number 1: The really good plans can get pricey. For example, as you move up from one plan to the next, you get significantly more space and lower credit card fees, along with other features, but you will have to pay quite a bit more. For companies like Tesla, this doesn’t matter much, but for shops with high inventory but low prices, this could be significant.
Number 2: It redirects customers from Shopify for checkout. One major complaint about Shopify is that it redirects to another site during the checkout process. This may or may not scare your customers off from buying, but it’s definitely something to note if you are considering using Shopify.
Overall, Shopify is very well loved among its customers. Try as I might, I was hard pressed to find complaints from Shopify’s thousands of screaming fans. Okay, they weren’t screaming, but they were singing its praises.
How much is it?
There are four different levels you can choose from:
The Starter Plan costs $14 a month. It features unlimited bandwidth, 25 products, 1 GB file storage, and 2.9% +30 cents in credit card fees.
The Basic Plan costs $29 a month. It features unlimited bandwidth, unlimited products, 1 GB file storage, a discount code engine, and 2.9% +30 cents in credit card fees.
The Professional Plan costs $79 a month. It features unlimited bandwidth, unlimited products, 5 GB file storage, a discount code engine, abandoned cart recovery, and 2.5% +30 cents in credit card fees.
The Unlimited Plan costs $179 a month. It features unlimited bandwidth, unlimited products, unlimited file storage, a discount code engine, abandoned cart recovery, real-time carrier shipping, and 2.25% +30 cents in credit card fees.
Now that you know what Shopify is all about, I hope that you can decide for yourself whether or not it is the best ecommerce platform for you. Please let us know in the comments if you have ever used Shopify or any other ecommerce platform and what you thought of it. Have a great day!