Shopify is a website and service that you have likely experienced in your day to day life whether you realized it at the time or not. While you may have been confused of its meaning, Shopify is an easy to understand concept with a low barrier to entry. In this article, we will discuss what Shopify is, some of the services it provides, and pros and cons when compared to other services.
What is Shopify?
In short, Shopify is an eCommerce website which provides a platform for small businesses and individuals alike to share and sell their products through the Internet. If you have heard of WordPress or SquareSpace for creating personal websites, Shopify operates along the same lines but specialized specifically for selling products and services. Although it is easily usable by complete novices, its features cater to experienced eCommerce professionals as well!
Shopify does charge for its services, although a two week long free trial is available to test out the website. This trial gives you full access to the features a full paying user will experience, and you can even complete and profit from sales before even beginning your subscription! If and when you decide to continue using the platform after this trial is over, there are three primary tiers of services available: Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify. These will each be discussed in further detail below.
This is the entry level, base version of Shopify. It allows you to add the functionality of Shopify’s services to your existing website. This means that this plan includes everything you need to get started but is limited to the amount of users and analytics available to you. Shopify basic is available for $29/month, a great deal for the functionality it will provide to your website.
This is the base level of Shopify, perfect for small businesses of few employees. This tier provides full website hosting, meaning you do not need to have an existing website to use it. Many premium features are available, including up to 5 staff accounts, 5 retail locations, abandoned cart recovery, and gift cards. This level is available for $79/month.
The most premium and fully featured version is in the Advanced plan. This takes all of the features from the base version and improves upon them. 15 staff accounts are available, up to 8 locations, a fee of just 0.5% per sale, international domains, and more, making this tier desirable for large, established businesses looking to get their foot in the door for an online marketplace. It is available for $299 per month, which may seem steep initially but easily pays itself off over time because of the low charge per order.
Shopify Plus is the enterprise e-commerce platform for larger businesses or businesses looking to scale. It offers advanced reporting features, higher priority customer support, capacity to handle higher order volumes, and more.
Pros of Shopify
There are many pros to using Shopify for your personal or business website, a few of which are listed below.
The Shopify App Store gives users access to many features beyond those included in the base account. While some apps do cost money, many are completely free and will step your website up to the next level. Shopify itself will allow you to customize and post your website online, then handle the processing of payments and shipment information for customers; third-party apps will take this to the next level with many additional features.
Shopify is simply the most widely used and best supported eCommerce provider for businesses and individuals. This is potentially its largest benefit over other options, as there are so many ways to get help with your website. Their specialized Academy offers courses on how to run an eCommerce site, and it is available to all accounts. The blog they continuously update has tons of useful tips about what methods to use to promote your business, and they employ dozens of specialists to aid you with any troubles you run into.
If they can’t help you, we would be more than happy to help you out.
3) Ease of Use
Shopify requires some getting used to, especially for people new to running websites. That being said, it is by far the best option available. The barrier of entry using Shopify is orders of magnitude lower when compared to coding and creating an eCommerce store from scratch.
Cons of Shopify
1) Learning Curve
As discussed above, starting a website through Shopify will require work, especially with those unfamiliar with technology. Trial and error is a necessity, but support will be there every step of the way to help you in the best way they can.
2) Additional Steps Required
Shopify is simply a platform to launch your business off of. While they will provide a high quality, reliable website for your services, this alone won’t guarantee that people will come and actually buy products. Shopify will set you up for success better than anything else, but extra work is required to become successful.