"Shopify is an eCommerce website builder backed by powerful tools."
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0 Ease Of Use
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Pros
  • Large suite of marketing tools to grow your website
  • You’re able to sell online, offline, and through multiple marketplaces
  • It has a built-in payment processor
  • Supports unlimited products on every plan
Cons
  • It charges you for 3rd-party payment processors
  • The basic plan doesn’t have access to pro reports
Company Background

Shopify Inc. is a Canadian multinational e-commerce company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. It was founded in 2004 and combines marketing, payment processing, robust inventory and listing features, and deep integrations to offer a best-in-class solution. It’s ideal for people just starting and enterprises with millions of dollars in yearly revenue.

Plans & Pricing

Shopify has three core pricing plans that most customers take advantage of. It also has smaller plans with limited functionality and enterprise plans that are customized to meet the needs of larger brands.

Basic Shopify
$29/mo
14-day FREE trial
Shopify
$79/mo
14-day FREE trial
Advanced Shopify
$299/mo
14-day FREE trial

Basic Shopify

Basic Shopify is $29/mo and it has a payment processing fee of 2.9% $0.30. If you don’t use the built-in payment processing tools then it adds another 2% per transaction. It comes with the core features such as an SSL certificate, two admin accounts, multichannel selling, abandoned cart recovery, and discount codes.

Shopify

The middle tier costs $79/mo and reduces the processing fee to 2.6% +$0.30 and 1% for external payment processors. It expands the feature set with professional reports, multilingual support, and manual foreign exchange rates.

Advanced Shopify

The Advanced plan is $299/mo and further reduces payment processing to 2.4% +$0.30 and 0.5% for external transactions. It gives customers access to an advanced report builder, third-party shipping rate calculation, up to eight admin users, and the ability to sell in up to 5 languages. As far as eCommerce website builders go, Shopify is comparable to other solutions. The additional charge on external payment processors can add up quickly when you’re doing a considerable amount of sales.

Features & Functionality
General Features

Shopify has a solid collection of features to build eCommerce websites, extend their functionality, and market to customers across multiple channels. You’re able to and map a custom domain use unlimited bandwidth, get access to financing through Shopify Capital, and use robust analytics tools.

Optimized checkout

The Shopify checkout experience has been optimized through over 2.5 billion transactions. It combines speed and conversion-boosting layouts on desktop and mobile to ensure you get more sales.

Shopify Ping

Shopify Ping is a live chat solution that allows you to answer customer questions in real-time. You can also add products directly into the chat and create a seamless checkout experience. It connects with other messaging apps so you can manage all of them from a central location.

Free stock photos

Shopify has a platform called Burst where you can access thousands of royalty-free images to use on your store, blog, or anywhere else you choose. It has a useful search function and is organized into multiple categories so you can find what you need quickly.

Multichannel sales

The platform supports selling in multiple places including Facebook, Instagram, Walmart Marketplace, eBay, and Amazon. Even though you’re selling in multiple places, inventory management is centralized.

Products Listing and Inventory Management

Shopify has one of the most robust inventory tracking and listing features available. You can list unlimited products on all plans and create multiple variations of each product. The options are limited to three so you can’t get too deep into the weeds but it should be adequate for most users. Like with the drag and drop builder, some plugins allow you to add more than three options to your product variants. Finally, the central dashboard gives you a clear overview of your inventory, sales, and web traffic.

Payment Options

The platform has a payments processing feature that you can take advantage of but you will need to pay transaction fees. Additionally, it has integrations with many third-party payment solutions like PayPal and Stripe but you have to pay an additional fee on top of the base transaction fee on top of the standard rate.

Safety

As expected, Shopify has robust security for its merchants and end-users. It’s level 1 PCI DSS compliant. Additionally, all stores have a 128-bit SSL certificate – the industry standard – to encrypt information sent between browsers and your store. You don’t have direct access to credit card information and don’t save it in your store backend so even if something goes wrong, no one will be able to access customer credit card data.

Features
  • Number of templates
  • Drag & Drop Editor
  • Free Stock Photos
  • SEO tools
  • Social media integration
  • Visitor statistics
  • Third-party apps
  • Data security
  • Multi-lingual website
  • Inventory management
  • Payment options
  • Returns & Refunds
  • Shipping management
  • Mobile - friendly
Design

Shopify has over 70 professional-looking templates designed by teams like Pixel Union and Clearleft. They serve as a starting point for your eCommerce website. Each one has multiple page layouts and post formats to help you get the look you’re happy with.

The templates can be fully customized to match your vision. You’re not limited to just the colors and the layout. You can go deeper and edit the HTML or CSS to get a pixel-perfect design. Unfortunately, Shopify isn’t a drag and drop editor but you can use one of the thousands of apps in the marketplace to get that functionality. The only drawback is that many of Shopify’s themes come with a fee so keep that in mind.

Features
  • Number of templates
  • Mobile compatible templates
  • Add HTML code
  • Blog
  • Portfolio
  • Design flexibility
  • Drag & Drop Editor
  • Multi-lingual website
  • Fully customized
Multimedia Automations
Features
  • Free Stock Photos
  • Video Plug-Ins
  • Audio Plug-Ins
Marketing

Shopify doesn’t hold anything back when it comes to helping you market your website in the most effective way possible. It has tons of integrations with marketing tools through its app store. There are also SEO tools that’ll let you easily optimize your website, supports a blog, has built-in email marketing, a deep Facebook ads integration, and a native tool named Kit. Kit serves as your marketing assistant and can help convert customers and make marketing recommendations.

Features
  • SEO tools
  • Social media integration
  • Widgets + Apps
  • Abandoned cart tools
  • Newsletter tool
  • Monetization
  • Product reviews
  • Visitor statistics
  • Promotions & Discounts
  • Advertising credits
Hosting
Features
  • Number of sites
  • Free custom domain
  • Space
  • Bandwith
Ease of Use

Shopify didn’t become one of the most popular eCommerce website builders in the world by being difficult. Even though it doesn’t have a drag and drop builder, it still has an easy-to-use interface. The menus are clearly labeled, options are in visible places, and if you’ve used a website builder before then you’ll be right at home.

Customer Support

Shopify has a strong customer support ecosystem that uses human teams and on-demand resources. It also allows customers to help each other out within the forums. The live support agents are knowledgeable and responsive.

24/7 Help & Support
24/7 Help & Support
24/7 support is available across multiple channels
Phone Support
Phone Support
Available in English 24/7 for Basic plan customers
Live Online Chat
Live Online Chat
Live chat is also available 24/7 to all customers
Email
Email
Email support is available to all customers 24/7
Video Tutorials
Video Tutorials
Variety of video tutorials on the website and YouTube
FAQ
FAQ
Ask a question and a list of possible solutions appear
Final Word

Shopify is one of the most robust eCommerce website builders. It brings together all of the important features you’ll need without breaking the bank or charging you a tax for success. You get access to strong marketing tools, robust inventory management, multiple professional-looking templates, and optimized checkout pages. It has a lot going for it but there is an additional charge for using third-party payment processors and you need to pay more for advanced reports. If you can get past that then the 24/7 support, strong community, and proven platform will help you grow your eCommerce business much faster.

Daniel Ndukwu
Author: Daniel Ndukwu
Daniel is a small business owner at large helping his peers navigate the challenges they experience on a day to day basis. His philosophy is simple, if it isn’t broken you can still make it better.