Shopify is an e-commerce platform which provides computer software for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems.
Simplified, Shopify is an online store building opportunity which facilitates the hosting, creation, launch and online transaction (e-commerce) for the sale of products on your Personal Website, Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest and Retail Store.
It leads you to establish your product platform, customize your warehouse, accept payments, track and respond to customer orders.
Of great significance also is their SEO and marketing facilities which create connections between buyers and sellers.
Shopify’s existence began in 2006, out of a need for an e-commerce comprehensive platform for two entrepreneurs for their snowboarding business.
Ten years later they are now the platform, powering over 300,000 business. Their expertise and track record in all markets and products is backed by a vast array of global Success Stories.
How Does Shopify Work?
Businesses using Shopify, are provided hosting, online store-front, managing of products and processing of orders.
These features incorporate customization of your storefront (100+ themes), shopping cart facilities, store management, marketing, product management, apps, analytics and 24/7 support.
This is however, the e-commerce aspect. Also provided are guides, videos and encyclopedia literature to increase knowledge and help in decision making.
Additional resources such as a blog, success stories, and an active forum enhance your entrepreneurial journey and are geared towards success.
The following video by EcommerceBy explains what is Shopify, how it works and marketing options to reach global clientele.
Sell Anywhere With Shopify
The use of these multiple channels from which to sell, can all be managed right from your Shopify dashboard, so running your business stays simple.
- Create and launch your personalized online store
- Web hosting, Storefront, Shopping Cart, Marketing, Store Management, Inventory Management, Analytics, Mobile Commerce & Support Services offered
- 70 Payment Gateways
- Already have a website or blog? Add a mobile-friendly and secure shopping experience
- Embed products, collections, or a shopping cart
- Sell for only $9/month
- Add an always-visible Shop section to your Facebook page
- Launch a fully integrated store on your page
- Connect & Sell to millions of Facebook Users
- Grow your reach and your community
- 150 million monthly unique visitors monthly on the U.S website alone
- Track sales & Inventory
- Showcase unlimited number of products
- Make in-person sales with a mobile device and a Shopify card reader at your retail store
- Accept any payment method
- Seamlessly integrate your retail store with an online store to increase customer base
- Sell in store with the Retail Package
- Use Buyable Pins to sell on Pinterest
- All products pinned from your Shopify store will automatically become Buyable Pins
- Customers can checkout without leaving the Pinterest App
Features Shopify Offers
Resources with Great Information
Shopify firstly ensures your business is on the part to success by providing a host of features and services. Whether they are guides, videos, podcast, success stories, encyclopedia, forums, free tools, app store, hardware store, theme store and experts.
We discuss these features one by one:
- Guides, Videos & Encyclopedia
Shopify provides comprehensive guides, videos and encyclopedia literature on all aspects of e-commerce.
This includes types of online stores, how to find products to sell online, entrepreneurship, marketing, on demand delivery, analysis and growth of your business. There are ultimate guides on legal, shipping, drop shipping and of course those all how-tos.
- Success Stories
You are not alone on Shopify. There are many entrepreneurs from all walks of life and at different degrees of success who share their success stories and journey for inspiration and guidance. A real difference that stands out tall.
Have doubts, uncertain about your next move, need an opinion? For all matters get answers or join thousands of discussions at various levels whether in marketing, accounting, manufacturing or for feedback.
- App Store
Similar to phone apps, there are hundreds of Apps available in Shipping, Accounting, Sales, Tools, Inventory, Customer Sevice, Social Media, Marketing, Reporting Sales Channels.
These are both free and paid and provide a vista of opportunities for your store’s enhancement.
- Free Tools
Shopify provides tools required for the success of your business. From a logo maker to business card generator, wholesale product search, QR code generator to various templates and more.
- Theme Store
Shopify is known and loved for its vast array of attractive templates. The theme store will help guide you to construct your site according to latest trends. Themes are also both free and paid.
These are optional paid professional services either to enhance your business or scale up. These are in the fields of photography, marketing, developers, designers. The cost in each field varies and are tailored for any budget.
Shopify’s rates are comparable to any other shopping cart platform. They recently altered their transaction fees which were previously charged across the board, but are now limited to only when an external payment gateway is used.
Additionally, now they also offer free credit card payment gateway, an e-commerce facility which allows you to accept payments from all credit cards used by your customers.
Included with this is free SSL Certificate, and the elimination of having to get approval to accept credit card payments and PCI compliance. (This feature previously came at a $30 monthly charge in addition to the monthly fee).
Their choice of 3 monthly payment plan options of Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify ensures you obtain a tailored plan to suit each budget and you pay for the facilities needed as per your business size.
Below is a comparison of their available packages with additional features such as Shipping label discount, Fraud analysis, Abandon cart recovery and more available depending on payment plan chosen.
Pros & Cons
- Simplicity of Setting up (Suitable for Non-Tech Savvy)
The greatest advantage of Shopify over any other e-commerce platform is the ease of use, implementation and no knowledge of HTML/CSS coding required.
It is considered the most user-friendly e-commerce platform available, and therefore simplifies the creating, launching and maintaining of your online store.
- 24/7 Support
Definitely, the support provided; in both technical and business aspects is outstanding. You may chat online directly with a Shopify Guru and get help with any questions or queries.
From personal experience, our average chat wait is 2 minutes!
You may also opt to send an email, they will be in touch as soon as possible or talk to them directly over the phone for additional help.
Additional support is supplied via forum discussions. You may also check their FAQ to have your questions answered.
- Blog With Up-to-date Advice and Information
There is a tremendously large list of updated blog on almost each and every subject that can help you.
The information encompasses every aspect of trading online and starting a business through Shopify.
- Beautiful Templates/Designs
Whether it is health & beauty or art, toys, fashion and sports, exclusive, beautiful and abundant themes are available to choose from.
Shopify again excels in this field since they are the leaders in template designs, both free and paid.
- 14 Days Free Trial
Shopify offers a 14 days free trial which allows you to gain sufficient time to gain the experience you need to build confidence and consider how you wish to start and begin implementation of your new business venture.
- Transaction Fees
Until recently, Shopify charged transaction fees in addition to the monthly plan. They have now removed these fees for purchases made via their payment gateway (i.e with Shopify payment gateway).
Transaction fees are charged only if external payment gateways are used. Rates are 2%, 1% and 0.5% for Basic, Shopify and Advanced plans respectively.
An example of how these fees are applicable for the Basic Shopify monthly plan; $6,000 in monthly revenue, will incur a 2% charge of $120.
While this is a nip into profits it’s on par with other e-commerce platform charges and in reality, worth it for the services offered.
- Credit Card Fees
Shopify charges one rate for all credit cards with the Basic and Shopify plans, incurring a charge of 30¢ per transaction and 2.9% & 2.6% of revenue respectively. The Professional plan also charges 30¢ per credit card transaction with a 2.4% revenue fee.
It is necessary to note these are credit card processing fees charged regardless of the payment processor used.
These rates are not the best but are comparable to PayPal’s.
If you are a small, medium or large business, your option is to fit yourself into a suitable payment option for which the features and income generated will balance these few dollars after a short period.
- Slightly Technical
We earlier mentioned that Shopify offers and provides a user-friendly interface even for the non-technical savvy.
Should you wish, however, to add deep customization, you will need a programmer/designer who is familiar with their programming software – Liquid. It is however totally optional.
Your way around this is to postpone extra customization until you’re generating significant revenue, especially since it really isn’t necessary due to the array of theme choices.
- Purchase Of Apps
As we mentioned prior Shopify provides a vast array of apps for all aspects of your business.
The downside though is that although the majority are free, some will be an additional cost to your monthly Shopify plan should you desire any paid. Our recommendation is to use free apps and consider paid apps as your customer base grows, as part of your upgrades.
Want more information? Check Shopify’s FAQ
Should You Use Shopify?
With these pros and cons in mind, your next step towards entrepreneurship will be determined by where your interest lie, your budget, goals, and preferences.
We ultimately will recommend Shopify if you desire an easy to set up, user-friendly e-commerce platform, which also offers marketing and business tutorials with a vast array of attractive templates and a support system.
The downside will be the cost for detailed customization, and apps to enhance your business.
It is worthy to consider the features, simplicity, support and wealth of information and experience being provided. They have and continue to provide the foundation for new and thriving businesses, and therefore are the best platform from which to begin or continue your entrepreneurial journey.
We suggest, using all free options until profits begin rolling in, then considering additional customizing and features as part of your upgrades.
May we add their 350,000 + customer base speaks for themselves!
Be Informed. Be Inspired. Be Motivated.