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Shopify Overview - An All in One E-commerce Solution

Shopify is a cloud-based e-commerce solution that allows businesses to set up their online store and sell products online without the hassle of needing to hire a web developer.

Shopify is feature-rich and suitable for any business. The professional UI and integration options have made it the platform of choice for many businesses, including popular brands such as Hasbro and Heinz.

Table of Contents

  1. How Does Shopify Work?
  2. Features
    a. Reliable Web Hosting
    b. Templates
    c. Shopify Add-ons
    d. Integration with Other Marketplaces
    e. Print on Demand
    f. Shopify Payments
    g. Shopify Blogs
    h. 24/7 Customer Support
  3. What Can I Sell on Shopify?
    a. Pricing and Packages
  4. Pros and Cons
  5. Is Shopify Suitable for My Business?

How Does Shopify Work?

Shopify is a cloud-based platform that users pay a monthly subscription to use. The software is very intuitive and focused on making it straightforward to set up your online store.

Features

Shopify comes with a range of features that make it easy to get your shop up and running. Let's look at some of these features in more detail.

Reliable Web Hosting

Shopify includes secure and reliable web hosting for your store. The platform boasts an excellent uptime of 99%, and you won't have to worry about hackers as the site includes a free SSL certificate, making the payment process safe and secure for both you and your customers.

Templates

When setting up your store for the first time, you'll be able to choose from a wide range of templates. There are free options and premium options available for those looking for more flexibility.

The majority of the themes look very professional, and there are various editing options available to make the appearance of your store more suited for your brand.

When it comes to customizing your theme, Shopify makes use of an intuitive drag and drop interface. If you have some web design experience, then adding some personalization through the use of code is also an option.

Shopify Add-ons

Shopify's Marketplace features over 3,000 add-ons. The standard Shopify platform is somewhat lacking in terms of features. You'll likely need to add a few add-ons, such as shipping software, payment gateways, or marketing software.

Integration with Other Marketplaces

If you're already selling products on another marketplace, Shopify may offer integration, making it easy to sync your products to multiple platforms.

Notable integrations include:

  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Etsy

Shopify also gives you access to Shopify POS (Point of Sale). Shopify POS lets you easily complete in-person transactions and process payments. Your POS system can be synced with your online store, meaning that your inventory is updated regardless of whether you make a sale in person or online.

Shopify works great for print on demand.

Integrating your store with a print-on-demand platform will allow you to design and sell merchandise without additional costs. Print on demand can be useful for building your brand or simply for testing products before printing them in bulk for a lower price.

The best integrations for print on demand are:

  • Printify
  • Printful
  • CustomCat

Shopify Payments

If you do decide to use Shopify, it's recommended that you set up Shopify payments. Shopify Payments allows you to sell products without having to pay a 0.5-2% transaction fee. More expensive packages also benefit from reduced processing fees for your customers.

Shopify Blogs

Adding a blog to your store can not only help improve your site's SEO rankings, but it can also be a handy tool for expanding your brand's identity.

Shopify is one of the few e-commerce solutions that comes with built-in blog functionality.

For most Shopify users, the blog functionality will work well, but it can be pretty basic in terms of customization.

If you plan on your blog being an integral part of your site, then Shopify may not be for you. Alternatives such as integrating a WordPress blog with WooCommerce can give more flexibility; however, a slight learning curve is required.

Another option is to use BlogFeeder to link your WordPress blog to your Shopify store.

24/7 Customer Support

Shopify gives all of its user's access to a dedicated 24/7 customer support team. Customer support is available through phone, email, or live chat.

The platform also has an extensive FAQ section which can help you troubleshoot minor issues that you are having with your site.

What Can I Sell On Shopify?

Shopify users can sell almost anything but you can't sell anything illegal, and some products are prohibited; these include:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • In-Game Currency
  • Firearms
  • CBD
  • Fireworks

Pricing and Packages

Shopify offers a few different packages depending on your business requirements; the table below shows some of the most notable features of each package:

For a full overview of the packages on offer, see the official Shopify website.

Pros and Cons

While Shopify is an excellent option for e-commerce, it does have some drawbacks; here are some pros and cons of the platform.

Pros

  • Ease of use: Shopify is accessible to the average person. No web development knowledge is needed to create a stunning site with Shopify. The process of adding products, running sales, and keeping track of your income is straightforward.
  • Professional Themes: The platform offers a wide range of free themes. Premium themes are also available for anyone looking for more options in terms of customization. All themes are fully responsive, meaning they will work on both desktop and mobile devices without extra work.
  • Great for Dropshipping: Shopify offers many options for dropshipping. Integration with plugins such as Spocket and Oberlo allows you to expand your product base and ship items directly to customers without the need to store inventory.
  • Lots of Support Options: Great range of support tools.

Cons

  • Limited Functionality: While Shopify comes with almost all of the features required to build an online store, some users may be looking for specific features that are not available on the platform.
  • Add-Ons are Expensive: Some more advanced features come as add-ons, which are not free. Many practical features are pretty expensive and make the platform unsuitable for anyone on a smaller budget.
  • Transaction Fees: Shopify takes 0.5% to 2.0% of all of your sales as a transaction fee. As mentioned earlier, You can get around this through the use of Shopify payments. However, it would be nice to see Shopify offer free transactions regardless of the payment method used.
  • Expensive: Shopify's monthly fees are pretty high compared to making your site through another platform. The basic plan costs $29/month, the standard plan is $79/month, and the pro plan is $299/month.

Is Shopify Suitable for My Business?

All in all, Shopify is an excellent E-commerce solution for anyone looking to sell online. Its easy-to-use interface and range of features make it one of the best eCommerce solutions on the market.

The main downside to Shopify is that it may be considered expensive for those who are not already generating a good amount of income from their business.

Users who have experience using other platforms such as WordPress and WooCommerce may find that the platform doesn't cater to some of their more specific needs.

If you're considering Shopify, It's a good idea for you to sign up for the 14-day free trial. You won't have to enter any credit card information, so don't worry about getting billed if you forget to cancel the free trial.

During your free trial, you'll be able to test every aspect of the platform.

When testing the platform, make sure that Shopify can cater to all of your daily needs. Look for any advanced features you may need.

If you are sure that Shopify is a good fit for your business, take a while to examine each of the pricing options, as you may not need some of the features included in the more expensive plans.

Take a look at our article on Squarespace for key details about one of Shopify’s primary competitors and learn which platform is better suited for your business. For any additional questions or support, please complete the contact form below and our team will be happy to help you determine the best website builder for your specific business needs.

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