With big eCommerce sites out there like WooCommerce, or BigCommerce, Shopify has certainly captured the interest of many businesses around the Globe. Its attractive pricing and easy to use platform makes Shopify one of the best e-commerce software to date. But, is it the right fit for you?
You already have the products and know where you want your business to go, but you still need to choose the right platform that will work for you. Fortunately, I’ve put together a list of pros and cons to help you determine if Shopify is THE one for you.
+ Shopify can definitely make your work easier. It promises an easy to use modern interface and give you solutions that provide everything you need from end to end. Starting a business is definitely hard work, but Shopify can help you piece your business together and run it smoothly.
+ It has different pricing plans for you to choose from. With ‘Shopify Lite’ which will only cost of $9 per month, you can already start selling your products online. There’s also the highest pricing plan – ‘Shopify Plus’ which offers advanced features like reports, security, and fulfilment.
+ Let’s face it, not all of us can design a website. The great thing about Shopify is that it has a lot of free and premium templates available to choose from. If you have a knowledge in CSS and HTML, you can edit your site however you want it to be. Also, all templates are fully responsive!
+ Shopify doesn’t cage you in. You can definitely explore and extend Shopify’s functionality with the use of third-party apps. Some of these apps are free and some you’d need to pay an additional amount. I’d say they are worth it especially if they will help you sauce up your store. If you feel you don’t need data capturing apps or accounting apps, it wouldn’t hurt your store if you decided not to get these apps.
+ Online shopping means you’ll have customers using credit cards. Good thing Shopify has a built-in payment system which means you won’t have to worry about transaction fees. Sydney Cleaning Company owner Danny Huang notes that as a user of Shopify – he was able to have credit card integrations setup on his Shopify website within a day of launch, allowing him to starting taking on new clients sooner.
+ Shopify’s customer support is available 24/7. You can either contact the company by email or phone and even live chat! This is certainly a huge plus for us!
+ It lets you sell online and in person. One of its key features is POS (Point-Of-Sale). While managing your inventory online, you can still sell in a pop-up shop or a market stall. How great is that?
+Easy management of product descriptions and category page descriptions. These types of content are critical for SEO success, and for delivering a great experience for your shoppers. Shopify makes it easy to manage and create all types of eCommerce content.
+ While the Lite plan won’t give you a fully functioning online store compared to higher plans, Shopify still allows you to use its features on a different website. How? They have a ‘Buy Button’! This allows you to integrate Shopify on another platform or website of your choosing.
+ Blogging. Yes – you read that right. Shopify also offers blogging features. You can have one or more authors on your store and the tags can be easily set. It is fully integrated into your site and you can even add more pages!
With the many great things that Shopify can offer, there is still a downside to it.
– Unless you choose a higher plan such as ‘Shopify’ and up, you won’t have access to key features such as reporting, gift cards, point-of-sale, and staff accounts.
– It’s important for you to know that the built-in payment system on Shopify is available only in some countries such as: Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong SAR China, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, United States. No need to worry! Shopify will allow you to use a third-party payment gateway. It has over 100 payment gateways for you to choose from that would best suit your location.
– POS is great but, this feature is not available on a plan lower than ‘Shopify’ plan. While the ‘Lite’ and ‘Basic’ plans let you sell in person with the use of a card reader, you still won’t be able to facilitate staff pins and register their shifts.
– Shopify is geared towards eCommerce, which isn’t the only way to run an online business. Many companies offer affiliate programs so you can make money blogging on a free platform such as WordPress so you don’t need to pay Shopify’s fees.
– Website templates available in Shopify are clean and modern. But if you want to use the premium template, you might need to contact a third-party developer to assist you with customising the template properly.
– It’s not yet clear if Shopify’s phone support is available everywhere as the support numbers available are for North America, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand and there’s no ‘any other country’ option apparently.
– While you can import posts from other platforms, blogging expert Amilia from The Blogventures notes that Shopify’s blogging feature is somewhat limited compared to platforms such as Wix or Duda. Also, the blog layouts are not that flexible as one will expect from blog platforms.
There are still many pros and cons that we can discuss as Shopify is continuously developing and upgrading. I must say that’s one of the things that a lot of people like about Shopify! Even with a long list of features being limited to some of the plans, Shopify still works well for many. As with all ecommerce platforms, they will have positive features and some drawbacks – but the key is building an overall valueable website and product offering and this will drive your success. Invest some of your time in building your knowledge through an ecommerce course, so you can make the best use of whatever platform you use.
It truly really just boils down to finding what you and your business needs to climb that ladder of success.