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Shopify Review For 2020: Features, Pricing & Competitors

Shopify Review

If you have an online business, chances are you're selling something. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates consumers spent $513.61 billion online in 2018. This is a 14.2% increase on 2017 sales.

You have a products to sell, but how do you display your products in a clean, professional and functional way? 

There are plenty of options when it comes to ecommerce platforms and online shopping carts. We want to help you make the right decision for you and your business. 

One of the biggest brands in the space is Shopify. In this Shopify review we’re going to look at pros, cons, features and competitors. By the end of this Shopify review, you’ll know if it’s the right choice for you.

Free for 14 days

Value for Money

3.5/5

Reasonable value for money. Their basic plans are o.k, but it's the additional apps & the transaction fees levied by 3rd party payment gateways. They offer a 14-day free trial.

Support

5/5

Support via various channels. Community forum, 24/7 phone & live chat support, social media support, video tutorials, email support, help center. Shopify Plus users get access to an advanced specialist support.

Ease of Use

4.5/5

Very easy to use. The powerful ecommerce tools are within an easy to use, clean & simple editor.

88% of users would recommend Shopify to a friend.

Effectiveness

4.5/5

Shopify provides a great solution for both new & experienced business owners. The range of included features is great, plus the app store allows you to add even more functionality.

We Like

We Don't Like

What Is Shopify?

Shopify is a web application that allows you to create your own online shop. Shopify powers over 800,000 businesses and provides users with a wide range of templates that can be customized to meet each businesses branding requirements. It allows users can sell both physical or digital goods. 

Shopify makes it possible for people with little technical skills to create an online store and sell their products.  

Shopify is a hosted solution, so you don’t have to buy software or arrange web hosting. 

Users pay a monthly fee to access the software and they can customize their stores.  

How Shopify works

  • Pick a Shopify plan that suits you – budget and features.
  • “Point” your domain ( get one from a registrar like GoDaddy or NameCheap) to your Shopify store. You can also buy one via Shopify, if it’s easier for you.
  • Choose a template (design) for your store. You can edit a free one via the drag/drop tool or purchase a premium one.
  • Add your page content, products, payment options, etc.
  • Your shop is good to go!

Shopify Review: Features

  • 10 professionally designed free themes & 64 premium themes, ranging in price from $140 to $180 each 
  • 8 free e-commerce templates

All themes include: 

  • Customizable content sections on the home page
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Drop-down navigation support
  • Free theme updates
  • Mobile-friendly design
  • Social media icons
  • Built-in styles and color palettes
  • Free stock photos by Burst

Shopify’s Sales Tools and Features:

  • Shipping
  • Apps
  • Product management
  • Dropshipping
  • Payment option
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Product management
  • Tax
  • Multi-channel integration
  • Digital selling
  • POS

Included web hosting

Shopify Features: The Breakdown

Web Hosting

Web hosting is included in the Shopify package.  

Point-of-Sale (POS)

Their POS hardware lets you use Shopify to sell in physical locations, if you have an iOS or Android device. You can purchase barcode readers, tills, receipt printers etc.

You do need to be on the ‘Shopify' plan or higher to get the most out of point of sale. On the ‘Lite' and ‘Basic' plans, they don't: 

  • allow you to register shifts
  • facilitate PINs for staff
  • provide you with support for any hardware
  • allow for multiple selling locations

Importing to Shopify

You can import your product data from a CSV file. This makes migrating products so much easier.

Accepting multiple currencies

You can easily display prices in multiple currencies, as long as you’re using their built-in payment gateway, Shopify Payments.

Abandoned cart recovery 

This is available on all plans. This feature helps you sell products to people almost bought, but didn’t complete their purchase. 

It allows you to:

  • view a list of people who've abandoned their carts and manually send an email
  • Set up Shopify to automatically send an email to people who abandoned their carts 

Shopify's SEO features

Helps you manage the on-page SEO, like changing page titles and meta descriptions, adding headings, 301 redirects and alt text. Shopify’s SEO features are robust.

Shopify’s App Store

In addition to the inbuilt features, you have access to over 3200 apps in the store. This gives you lots of options, not only when it comes to adding functionality to your store, but also integrating it with other platforms and tools.

Shopify Mobile App

Shopify has two main apps to manage your store on your mobile device, ‘Shopify' and ‘Shopify Point of Sale.' 

With the ‘Shopify' app you can view and fulfil orders, view reports, add/edit products and communicate with your team members via an order ‘timeline'.

The ‘Shopify Point of Sale' app is for users who want to use Shopify at point of sale. Use it to take card payments in person, text receipts to customers, track inventory etc

Is Shopify Right For Me?

Shopify is a great choice for anyone who has something to sell online and an internet connection! The apps can add specialized features, such as shipping tools and inventory tracking.

Shopify stores are extremely scalable and they are multipurpose in nature. So, it’s doubtful that you would outgrow the platform. Even if you’re new to ecommerce Shopify will work for you, as it’s so easy to set up.

Shopify also offers offline solutions too. So if you have a brick and mortar business you can integrate it with the operation that you already have.

Shopify Vs Competitors

Shopify vs BigCommerce

BigCommerce is one of Shopify’s main rivals. BigCommerce has the most built in features of any ecommerce builder. So you don’t have to use apps as you do with Shopify. It has great SEO and fantastic multi-channel selling. However, it’s not as easy to use as Shopify, so there would be much more of a learning curve.

Shopify vs WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform. You create a store using WordPress. It’s a flexible and powerful option, with better tools for complex stores. WooCommerce is more challenging and less beginner-friendly than Shopify.

Shopify vs Squarespace

Squarespace is a website builder that offers good ecommerce functionality. Squarespace is beautifully designed and built for creatives. Again there would be more of a learning curve than with Shopify.

Shopify vs SamCart

SamCart is a great alternative for both digital and physical  products. SamCart offers monthly recurring subscriptions, 1 click up sells, single payment or payment plans, and free trial payment options. It's particularly suited for selling courses, software and ebooks. So, it's definitely worth checking out if you sell these things.

Shopify Review: Pricing

Shopify offer 5 different packages:

  • Shopify Lite: $9 per month – add ecommerce to a Facebook page or an existing website. 2% transaction fee, unless you use Shopify Payments.
  • Basic Shopify: $29 per month – cheapest plan to build your own store. Includes all the essentials. 2% transaction fee, unless you use Shopify Payments.
  • Shopify: $79 per month – good for growing businesses. Includes features such as gift card creation. 1% transaction fee, unless you use Shopify Payments.
  • Advanced Shopify: $299 per month – for large businesses who want to scale. Includes advanced reports and third-party calculated shipping rates. 0.5% transaction fee, unless you use Shopify Payments.
  • Shopify Plus: custom pricing – Ideal for large-scale businesses with large budgets. Request a custom quote.

Shopify Customer Reviews

“Shopify is better than any other platform we’ve played with, and we’ve played with them all.” Jonathon Bayme, CEO OF THEORY11

“With Shopify, we know that every week we can do what we need to do and it’s not going to break….” Justin Hiltz, EXECUTIVE AT JOHNNY CUPCAKES

“Shopify has helped me grow my business amazingly. It’s been a pleasure because everything has been easy” Corrine Anestopoulos, FOUNDER

“The best thing about Shopify is that it’s made me not have to worry about anything that has to do with ecommerce” Chris Tsang, FOUNDER MINDZAI

“Without Shopify, there’s no way we’d be where we are today. Shopify is our secret  weapon….” Craig Dalton, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF DODOCASE

Frequently Asked Questions About Shopify

Is Shopify safe and legit?

Shopify is safe and legit. As a publicly traded company with huge investments in software & security engineering, they are reputable and successful.

Is Shopify safe to order from?

Shopify is one of the most popular and safest ecommerce platforms in the world.

Can you really make money with Shopify?

Yes, there are many entrepreneurs who have profitable stores on Shopify. 

What exactly does Shopify do?

Shopify is a subscription to a software service (SAAS)  that makes it easy for you to create an online store. 

Why should I use Shopify?

Shopify is one of the best options available to people who want to create an online store and sell their products. It’s scalable, has hundreds of built-in features, and many additional apps.

Is Shopify Worth It?

Shopify is a solid ecommerce builder. Great performance, a huge number of apps (for even more  functions!), a range of affordable pricing plans, and a great selection of features. It’s a very scalable platform.

Shopify has awesome sales features and customer reviews. Suitable for beginners it’s the perfect choice for new and established business owners.  

As  you customize your store and add apps, the cost  will rise too. However, by this point your income will be rising too. 

In conclusion, we recommend Shopify as a great all-around ecommerce website builder. We use it here at The Screw and you can try it out for yourself with their 14-day free trial.  Just click the box below and get started

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