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Shopify Review 2021 – All Pros And Cons From Real User Reviews


Learn about the pros and cons of using Shopify for launching your online store with detailed feature reviews and real user feedback.

Shopify Offers The Most Comprehensive Collection of Ecommerce Tools and Features

You know Shopify is an eCommerce powerhouse, and you have heard that people use it to make money selling products.

But, how do they do it, and why Shopify?

If you are interested in realizing your passion project through the frame of a global eCommerce network, there is no better platform than Shopify.

Read on, and find out why and how Shopify can help your dropshipping business shine in the sea of overpopulated business model, sync your online store with your in-person sales, and facilitate sales growth no matter the size and goals of your business.

In this article, you will realize the benefits of the tools and support Shopify provides and how you can utilize them to expand your business under your specific needs.

What is Shopify?

This eCommerce giant provides a platform for more than a million online stores across 175 countries, with reports showing as much as 3.6 million online stores detected on Shopify.

Shopify is the industry leading eCommerce platform provides more than a million online stores

Shopify is the industry-leading eCommerce platform with over 3,000 employees and reports for September the 30th 2020 showing $6.12 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities.

Shopify is an all-in-one hosted eCommerce platform that will equip you with the tools you need to set up, run, and attain your online store, selling your products to the world.

The eCommerce software offers a suite of payment, marketing, shopping, and customer engagement services for online retailers.

It allows people who have no coding or design skills to build their store without the developer's guidance through a wide range of customizable themes that can make your branding and products distinct and noticeable.

Shopify customizable themes

How Does Shopify Work?

Because Shopify is a hosted eCommerce solution, you don't need to purchase web hosting software to run it as it operates on its servers.

You can manage your store from anywhere with internet access, but you don't pay a copy of the product, instead, you pay a monthly fee to use it.

Once you pick a Shopify plan that fits your budget and feature requirements, you can buy a domain from domain registrars or you can buy one in Shopify.

Shopify plan that fits budget domain
Source : Quora

Choose a theme and design the store fitting of your brand, whether it's a free one you edit in the editor, a premium one you purchase, or the one you build with assistance from a designer.

Now, you can add your products, product descriptions, product photos, payment options, and more.

The other default features Shopify provides for your store right off the start are a payment processor, blog & email marketing tools, additional Amazon, eBay, or Facebook channels, customer support tools designed to solve any technical difficulties.

Shopify sales channel overview
Source: Acquireconvert

Overall, Shopify supports the store owners in the initial store set-up and customer search, throughout the selling process, and handles any hassles with expert assistance.

Shopify Features Review

1. Ease of Use

The set-up process

Although the set-up process in Shopify is easy and requires no technical background to master it, the software is extremely powerful in providing all-around eCommerce functionality.

Developing a customized solution with specific needs is easily accessible to anyone while setting up your store in just one weekend won't be a problem for anyone looking to jumpstart their selling process.

With up to 5K plugins and apps, Shopify is far ahead of any of its competitors when it comes to the sheer volume, but these are strategically structured and categorized so there is no confusion.

You can manage a variety of sales channels from the software's interface, including your online store, tab on your Facebook page where the visitors can browse and order your products, Messenger conversations where you can sell directly, provide order and shipping notifications, and respond to customers.

Benefits of Selling on Facebook
Source: Webhostingsecretrevealed

Other channels that you can easily navigate through with Shopify's coherent dashboard include the buy buttons for websites and blogs, as well as the Amazon listings, and shop-ready Instagram posts.

All this functionality is strategically-framed into a standard menu design with features on the left and the fully-customizable editor on the right.

The backend part of the software is highly intuitive and easy to digest visually, while the live chat support and tutorial functions are always quick-responding, attentive, and knowledgeable.

Shopify experts

If you want to change the content and look past your template's possibilities, you can hire a proven Shopify expert if you are not a great programmer yourself.

Compared to a majority of big eCommerce platforms, Shopify has thousands of experts at your disposal at any time, with trusted agencies and freelancers ready to build your business.

Shopify experts
Source: dckap

Shopify experts are master designers, developers, and consultants, specially-trained and equipped with the expertise to build a successful brand, business, and online store for you.

Although they are not employed by Shopify, each expert (freelancer or agency) is hand-picked by value-driven professional entrepreneur criteria.

Beginner-friendliness and community rating

Shopify's simplicity and beginner-friendliness have been additionally reassured with by far the biggest community rating of 5/5, which is where its biggest rivals like BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Volusion, and many more fall behind significantly.

Every operation in Shopify can be done in just a couple of clicks, and if you are still confused with the technicalities as a beginner, there is extensive documentation and beginner guides to help you navigate.

Overall, the interface is very straightforward, allowing you to transcribe your intended design into the editor fast with features that are easy to navigate.

2. Templates, Design, and Flexibility

Free & premium themes

Shopify provides over a hundred sleek, professional-looking templates, not a single of which lacks high quality and responsiveness.

Both free and premium themes are fully mobile-responsive which is high-preferred in the Google search results.

Out of the 100+ available, a moderate 9 are the free templates while the rest are premium options.

Shopify Free & premium themes

Although the premium themes can be costly if you are on a tight budget, they more than pay off in the long run with lots of personalization, flexibility, and freedom they offer.

The premium themes range from $140 to $180, but you have other options if you want a specialized theme.

Find your niche 

You can ask one of the Shopify experts to design one exclusive to your needs or utilize access to an external marketplace like ThemeForest for cheaper theme alternatives.

Shopify experts external marketplace

Shopify's library offers everything from the minimalistic designs perfect for showcasing products to more flamboyant, flashy options.

If you aren't sure about your choice, you can check their product recommendations and trending themes for inspiration.

If you do know your niche, you will find stunning small inventory, furniture, electronics, food & drink, art & photography, and many more design categories.

Shopify design categories

You can also choose a descriptive category like fun & lively, big & beautiful imagery, grid-style layout, video & 3D for products, and so on.

You can add your logo, background image, customize the color and fonts so that they meet your criteria for a larger or a more moderate product catalog.

Add logo customize on Shopify
Source : Quora

Narrow down your choices by searching for themes by industry.

Shopify meets the eCommerce platform design criteria of offering captivating designs on two fronts, with the first being the default one.

Customization

While the out-of-the-box designs are crisp and expertly-designed, you can always have a specific taste that requires customization which is where Shopify excels at.

Shopify specific designs Customization
Source: Colorlib

You can easily improve the ready-made designs without assigning the help of a professional developer or designer.

The theme system in Shopify is such that you can employ a designer or developer to shape your design into a niche boutique, enterprise company, elegant store, and any other look.

Whatever niche online store you're scouting the templates for, you still need your vision for the store to come alive as you want it, and you can use the best website design examples to inspire you to utilize Shopify's tools imaginatively.

As primarily an eCommerce tool, Shopify doesn't offer the drag-and-drop functionality like some of its DIY rivals.

While the drag-and-drop editor does allow you to create better-looking static pages, Shopify does compensate with the other tools that allow you to customize the layouts of your homepage and other key pages.

Customize the layouts of homepage and other key pages
Source: getshogun

The Shopify interface doesn't have a photo-resizing functionality, which makes for a bunch of different-sized photos when you upload them on your product page.

You can get around this by coding your templates to display the photos in a certain ratio if you have the required coding knowledge.

For someone, the variety of different industry designs will outweigh the lack of features like the photo-resizing function, while others may value it more, which is why you have to consider your business from customers' needs perspective which you can satisfy if you use the best eCommerce website builder first.

Besides a minor setback like that, Shopify's user interface is very clean, straightforward, and won't give you any major learning difficulties, while the theme selection is rich, versatile, catered towards any industry, and offers you either complete freedom for customization or the ability to assist yourself in the process with an app or professional designer.

3. Shopify Ecommerce Features

Import and export

Besides allowing you to easily add products to your online store, many Shopify reviews praise the software's capacity to support larger Shopify stores through the features like the CSV import.

Shopify CSV sheets example
Source: consultva

You can also import and export a large number of products and product information between Shopify and another system, as well as customer lists, orders, and reviews.

For importing posts from a blogging platform such as WordPress, you can copy and paste the content, use the Shopify API, or integrate with a third-party app like Blogfeeder.

Product options, information & variants

The intuitive interface allows you to add any product information like the titles, descriptions, images, videos, prices, and so on are easily accessible and it takes just a couple of clicks.

Shopify product page
Source: Community.shopify

Create up to 100 different product variants of a single product, with 3 different product options available for each.

If you are selling hand-made watches, for example, you can set up three product options such as style, color, and material.

Shopify will then generate the necessary combinations automatically, with the limitation set at 100 combinations which you can extend by editing your theme's source files or by using a third-party app.

Shopify generate the necessary combinations automatically
Source: excelify.io

While some eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce make it easier to sell a product with more variants, Shopify will be enough for supporting most Shopify stores.

Additional features

Install a free native Shopify app and sell digital products like documents, images, and videos.

Shopify Additional features digital products
Source: outlane.co

If you want to open up a subscription store and facilitate recurring payments, you will need to hire a developer with coding knowledge or install an app, which can be quite expensive and hard-to-find in any other eCommerce tools.

For the users to leave feedback when purchasing products, you'll have to add the custom fields by adding a code or installing an app.

If there is one drawback to Shopify when it comes to eCommerce features, it's that the custom fields are available out-of-the-box in tools like BigCommerce.

You will never get into the position of having to cancel out-of-stock orders, and managing your stock will be effortless with the stock-keeping unit.

Free stock keeping unit generator
Source: community.shopify

Overall, Shopify is an eCommerce solution with flexible importing and exporting options, thorough product info adding capabilities, expertly-designed automatic and manual collections and categories that save time, and a free digital products app.

4. Shopify Categories  

Product categories in manual and automated collections

The software handles product categories and collections expertly.

Add products to a collection manually or use the automated collections to save time with larger product ranges.

Shopify Product categories in manual and automated collections
Source: Help.shopify

When you set up rules dividing the products into categories by their product titles, tags, and up to 60 selection conditions so that each product falls into the right category.

Specify which products need to meet all conditions or just a few.

Specify which products need to meet all conditions or just a few
Source: avada.io

An important thing to remember for the automated collections to work is that you need to be consistent with your naming of the product titles and tags so that the system recognizes repeating patterns and groups the same ones together.

You can create up to 5000 automated collections in Shopify, but you can't change a manual collection into an automated one.

You can work around converting a manual into an automated collection by adding tags to the products in your manual collections.

Editing the automated collections

Shopify Editing the automated collections
Source: community.shopify

After, you create a new automated collection and set that tag as a condition, and delete the original manual collection.

If you have a collection with more than 60 conditions, you can continue using it, but you can't add any conditions while it's over the limit.

You can edit or delete the existing conditions.

You can group the products you sell into collections to make it easy for customers to navigate the product they are looking for.

You can categorize clothes into different sizes, for men and women, products into different sizes and colors, items on sale and discount, seasonal products like holiday-related product variations, and so on.

Shopify product variation feature
Source: Help.stylehatch

Product recommendations

Add a section to your product pages that displays an automatically-generated list of recommended products.

Product recommendations will become more relevant and accurate with time as the system identifies more order and product information.

The recommendations are based on the products that are commonly purchased together or products that are related in some fashion.

If you use Shopify POS to sell in-person, you can add a product recommendations tile to your smart grid or view recommended products in the cart.

POS product recommendations
Source: shopify.com

The use and benefits of automated collections

Automated collections are usually preferred because the future products get added automatically and you save a lot of time.

They are especially beneficial for larger product selections, or if you have seasonal and rotating inventories.

If you own a clothing store, and you tag all your products with seasonal tags such as spring, fall, then your seasonal attire can be automatically included in the matching collection.

Unless you edit the product details so they don't match the conditions or change the collection's conditions, you can't remove products from an automated collection, which is one drawback of this system.

Manual collections will naturally require more maintenance and work, but they can be a good fit for smaller collections of specific products.

Shopify Manual collections feature
Source: sunbowlsystems

The manual collection only includes the products that you choose individually, so the products always stay the same until you add or remove them.

Dividing products into categories and adding different tags through manual and automated collections will help your customers navigate the product they are after, receive recommendations if they are indecisive, and lead them towards the best buying option for their requirements without wasting time in a search.

5. Payment Processing

With over 100 payment providers, Shopify has the largest payment processing offer than any other eCommerce software, and these include all the big names like Stripe, PayPal, Authorize, etc.

Shopify Payment Processing
Source: help.shopify

Shopify Payments

Also, they have their payment system Shopify Payments that is powered by Stripe.

Shopify's built-in payment system automatically sets you up to accept all major payment methods, and people can operate their Shopify stores if their country is among the list of supported.

Shopify frees you of the hassle of setting up a third-party payment provider or merchant account and entering the credentials into Shopify.

Shopify Payments is available to a specific list of countries that can provide the owners of Shopify stores with the processing benefits, and these include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Japan, Spain, and a dozen more.

Shopify payments Providers
Source: Websitetooltester

Transaction costs for different payment gateways

You don't have to pay any transaction fees at all, but there is a credit card rate that will vary depending on the country, but you can expect to pay between 2.4% and 2.9% if you are in the USA for each transaction.

The credit card rate in other countries tends to be significantly lower.

However, Shopify will charge extra transaction fees if you don't use Shopify Payments, with 0.5, 1%, and 2.0% depending on the plan.

Manual Payments can be enabled in many countries Shopify Payments encaptures with cash on delivery, bank deposits, money order.

Shopify Manual Payments with cash on delivery
Source: avada.io

Also, you can use a third-party payment gateway for processing card transactions.

There is a transaction fee ranging from 0.5% to 2% depending on the plan you choose for the third-party payment gateways.

Shopify payments
Source: Websitetooltester

Alternative payments

If you already have a third-party payment processor like Square, then Shopify can turn out more expensive than other options.

Shopify Payments facilitates their POS & processing network so you don't have to go through a third-party payment gateway and this way the fees go through Shopify rather than PayPal, for example.

While Shopify Payments saves a lot of time and hassle if you don't already have a payment processor, it can add some costs if you do.

There are several ways for customers to pay online without using a credit card, including Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, but you can accept alternative payments like cryptocurrency.

Shopify alternative payment Options
Source: learn.quickpayment

With Shopify Payments, you can enable Shop Pay and allow your customers to save their shipping and payment information for faster checkout.

Certain payment providers like PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay provide accelerated checkout buttons that users can provide their Shopify stores with.

Shopify allow customers to save their shipping and payment information for faster checkout
Source: Help.shopify

Overall, you should consider the country you reside in as well as your customers to identify the payment processor with the fees, opportunities best suited to your needs. Whatever processing option suits you the most, Shopify will have one of the biggest selections of that payment gateway, just like it dominates with over a hundred different payment providers.

6. Shipping with Shopify

The set-up

Shopify increments from a flexible shipping system that can save a lot of time and money.

What you can find in every notable Shopify review is the general easiness of the set-up process.

Set up your free shipping rates, flat rates, country or region-based rates, weight-based rates, price-based rates, real-time shipping rates, and more.

Types of shipping rates

Converting the flat into the free shipping rates is achieved  by setting the shipping costs to $0, while setting the shipping rates at $0 for products over a certain price is done through price-based flat rates.

Price-based shipping rates allow you to set minimum and maximum cart values for your flat shipping rates, so you can set flat shipping rates for products under $70 at $6 and $10 for the orders over the $70.

Weight-based shipping rates are calculated on the same formula, while the calculated shipping rates are provided by the shipping carriers or apps that users add to their Shopify stores.

When the customer is at checkout, the shipping app or carrier directs their suggested calculated shipping rate to you, based on the customer's cart information.

Shipping carriers use specific order information when calculating the shipping rate, such as origin, destination, weight, value, shipment box dimensions, dimensional weight, and the requested speed of delivery.

The benefit of the calculated shipping is that you can renounce the exact cost of the order's shipping rates directly to the customer.

Depending on your chosen plan and location, you can add certain shipping carriers directly to your shipping settings.

Multiple shipping options at checkout
Source: Coummunity.shopify

If you want to receive the calculated shipping rates through an app, the carrier you ship through needs to use an app to integrate with Shopify, or you need to set up a more advanced shipping system.

Apart from being able to set up the basic shipping rules based on the weight or price, you can create zones and cover groups of countries simultaneously.

Create Shipping zones and cover groups of countries simultaneously
Source: avada.io

Live and discounted shipping rates

The system equips their users' Shopify stores with the live shipping rates with carriers providing live estimates at checkout, based on the shipping distance, weight, and the number of boxes your items require.

Your store connects with a carrier and receives accurate shipping costs during the checkout.

Live shipping rates are available in certain countries like the USA, the UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and a few more.

Live shipping rates are available in certain countries
Source: Help.printful

To provide you with real-time shipping quotations and preferential rates by collaborating with postal companies like USPS, UPS, FedEx, and so on.

Save a lot of time and money by buying discounted shipping rates from Shopify's backend.

When fulfilling orders, you need to print the discounted shipping rates and stick them on the parcel after you have specified the product weights.

Shopify shipping rates calculator
Source: Instructify

Order processing and fulfillment in Shopify are done by a dropshipping provider, while the generously discounted shipping labels and the Shopify Advanced plan discounts highlight the reasons for this eCommerce model being listed among the leading shipping solutions in the industry.

7. Demand Generation and Sales Channels

If you want to explore other options for selling your products outside the Shopify stores, this eCommerce software allows a couple of different sales channel alternatives.

The Facebook channel

You can display your Shopify products on your Facebook page where the users can browse and buy through the products section.

Shopify products on Facebook page
Source: Acquireconvert

If you make changes to the products on your Shopify store, the same adjustments will be displayed on your Facebook page.

To set up shop on your Facebook page, you need to be located in a country where the Facebook Shop feature is available, use a shopping template, have a valid Shopify admin email address, admin role on your FB page with the account published.

The Instagram channel

The Instagram sales channel allows you to sell to your customers by tagging your products and make your Instagram posts purchasable.

Add shop now button to facebook page
Source: Socialmediaexaminer

Through the Instagram Shopping feature in the Facebook channel, you can create a shop on your IG profile and tag your Shopify products in the posts and stories.

The customers can view all your products through the View Shop option or they can click on posts to view specific products, and then make a purchase on your online store through the View on Website option.

The Amazon channel & buy buttons

To sell on Amazon through Shopify, you need to create a Professional Seller account on Amazon Seller Central, with Amazon charging a monthly subscription rate and per-item fees for selling.

When you activate the Amazon sales channel, all product orders placed on Amazon will automatically sync with Shopify.

The Amazon channel & buy buttons
Source: pagefly.io

With Amazon being the world's largest online marketplace and Shopify being the most diverse all-in-one solution for starting a profitable online store, it's important to take a closer look into these synced platforms and decide whether your online retail needs to cater more to Shopify or Amazon.

The buy button functionality allows you to embed the buy buttons on a website or a blog with merchants receiving an embeddable product card and checkout that can be placed on any type of website.

Shopify generates the embed code enabling you to embed products or collections, embed shopping cards and provide a mobile-friendly shopping experience, and customize the colors to match your branding

Buy button add product
Source: Shopstorm

Messenger and other channels

Sell directly to customers in Messenger conversations, allowing them to browse, access order and shipping notifications, and ask you anything in real-time.

The Messenger sales channel is free for all Shopify merchants, and you can create strong, personalized relationships with your customers through it.

To begin, add the Messenger channel in Shopify, connect to your Facebook Business Page, and place the products you wish to sell.

Add the Messenger channel in Shopify
Source: apps.shopify

Other options for the owners of Shopify stores looking to expand their reach include Pinterest, eBay, BuzzFeed, Wanelo, Apple Business Chat, Walmart Marketplace, and more.

Shopify offers a diverse selection of sales channels that you can access directly through the software or purchase through its app store, each of those keeping your stock, inventory, and any product updates synced with your Shopify store.

8. Shopify Online Marketing Features

While you will often see in a Shopify review that their marketing features are praised, they are not so notable as a part of their main package, but, rather, through the use of the App Marketplace.

Shopify Email

Recognizing that sending e-newsletters to your email list is crucial for increasing the sales of your online store, Shopify has added the Shopify Email feature.

Shopify Email will allow you to send branded e-newsletters, especially valuable for merchants looking to delegate all aspects of their online store from one place.

Shopify Online Marketing Features
Source: Smallbiztrends

The feature is very cheap, coming in at $0 for 2.500 emails per month with each additional 1000 emails being $1.

Marketing automation

Shopify allows you to access the marketing automation features like email marketing through integrations with channels such as Kit which can provide you many beneficial features through integrations with other apps.

Create and manage marketing campaigns for promotions through Shopify's Marketing page, which also includes guidelines to improve your marketing strategy.

Shopify Marketing automation
Source: Shopify

When creating a marketing activity in Shopify, you can save it as a draft and publish it when you are ready, so you are prepared for your marketing activities in advance.

You can run a Google Smart Shopping campaign and display your Shopify products to a wide customer base on an ongoing basis, or set up abandoned checkout recovery emails and automatically remind visitors to return to your online store and complete the purchase.

Shopify app smart campaigns
Source: Storegrowers

The abandoned cart recovery will allow you to gain greater control over the emails you send, whether or not you use push notifications and more.

Also, you can edit, pause, or delete the marketing automations you strat in Shopify.

Discount codes and gift cards

The users can add discount codes to their Shopify stores easily, with flexible codes allowing you to set fixed amounts, percentages, free shipping, and buy one get one for free type of deals.

Discount codes and gift cards
Ssource: help.klaviyo

Promoting gift cards is now available in all Shopify subscription plans, and you can share links to gift card products on social media, as well as issue a gift card for free as a reward or incentive for customers.

Shopify is an all-in-one online marketing solution that excels at promoting your online store products through SEO, Google Ads, and a variety of marketing automation features delivered through app integration that will help you expand to a wider audience consistently and generate more sales.

9. Abandoned Cart Recovery

The abandoned checkout recovery is available in the online store sales channel, as well as the buy button, the plus wholesale, while the Shopify POS or third-party sales channels don't receive the checkout recovery emails.

Abandoned checkouts are saved in the Shopify admin for three months, after which they are removed from your admin each Monday.

Payment events and manual abandoned cart emails

Each time a customer attempts to place an order, a payment event is documented in the abandoned checkout history.

Payment events and manual abandoned cart emails
Source: Optinmonster

Payment events are perfect points of reference you can use for assisting a customer in detecting the cause of payment failure.

If a customer's payment can't get processed at checkout and they contact you about it, you can view the details of the payment event and utilize the information to solve the problem.

As far as manual abandoned cart checkout emails go, you can manually email a link to a customer's abandoned cart, and the cart recovery link can be copy-pasted into any customized email you want to send.

Shopify abandoned cart email template
Source: Omnisend

Edit the abandoned checkout email template by adding a logo or a brand-appropriate color scheme.

Why the emails aren’t delivered

If you activate the automatic cart recovery emails, the abandoned checkouts page will contain tooltips explaining why emails aren't delivered.

The emails won't get delivered in the following circumstances, as displayed on Shopify's support page

Recovering abandoned checkouts

Checkout and recovery email status

The checkout is documented as recovered once the customer completes the order, and they can click on the link in the email or finish it on their own.

To view the status of an abandoned order email, you need to go to orders and click on the abandoned checkouts and you will find the status for each recovery email under the email status column with abandoned checkout status under the recovery status.

Abandoned cart recovery app

Purchase the Care Cart Abandoned Recovery app for $19 per month to access beautiful abandoned cart emails, Facebook Messenger reminders, pop-ups, and cross-device carts, and everything else that will save abandoned carts.

Abandoned cart recovery app
Source: Osiaffiliate

The great-looking automated emails from this app will allow you to automate a series of 3 emails that sell, customize the templates, automatically pull through the product images of the items left in the customers' carts, include a checkout button, add a discount to your checkout button, and build your emailing schedule.

Remember the carts across devices, and record the logged-in shoppers' carts to make it easy for them to complete their orders and reduce the number of abandoned carts.

Allowing you to manually send abandoned cart recovery emails as well as set-up automated email campaigns, Shopify provides great-looking templates which you can style to fit your branding, send according to your schedule, and decrease the number of abandoned carts to a minimum.

10. Sell Offline with Shopify POS

Shopifys comprehensive Point of Sale (POS) functionality makes the software stand out among its competition, enabling you to sell in physical locations with iOS and Android devices.

Hardware assistance tools

A wide range of hardware helping tools and these include barcode readers, receipt printers, tills, will assist you in the process.

Sell Offline with Shopify POS
Source: Fool.com

Buy the hardware assistance tools directly in Shopify if you live in the USA, the UK, Canada, or Ireland, while shopping for these in other countries will require an authorized seller.

Sync your in-store and online sales

Through the POS functionality, you can sell in a pop-up shop, at an event, from a market stall, in a retail outlet, and you will need to pay $89 per month for the Shopify POS Pro add-on to get the most benefits of this sales channel.

Through Shopify POS, you will be able to launch a B2C, B2B, and every other business type anywhere and under any circumstances, and eventually join the most successful Shopify stores.

Shopify's versatile retail POS system will unify your in-store and online sales, through the use of advanced inventory features, generating purchase orders, and transferring stock based on inventory forecasts and performance.

Shopify order management
Source: Veeqo

Encourage your customers to browse in-store and buy online, and remind them of their in-store favorite products with email carts.

Also, you can bring online customers in-store and upsell them at pickup.

Even when the in-store inventory is limited or out of stock, you can ship to your customers once you refill your stock and never lose a sale.

Display your most-used apps, discounts, and products and speed up the checkout with the smart grid system that molds according to cart activity.

The mobile POS app

The mobile POS helps you eliminate lineups and make sales on the spot, with the Shopify POS app and mobile card readers moving with you so you can serve customers faster and check out anywhere in the store.

The mobile POS app
Source: logicinbound

Develop lasting brand loyalty by giving staff the ability to assist customers with online or in-store purchases.

The fully-synced customer profiles will give you quick access to notes, lifetime spends, and past orders from any location, so you can create a personalized shopping experience every time.

Fully synced customer profiles
Source: Shopify

Share exclusive discounts and sneak previews by collecting contact details and tailoring marketing campaigns with personalized marketing.

The integrated loyalty programs enable you to reward customers for shopping with you through loyalty apps.

The integrated loyalty programs to reward customers for shopping through loyalty apps
Source: Support.boldcommerce

The POS pricing 

The Shopify POS Lite plan is included in all of Shopify's monthly subscription plans and is perfect for on-the-go sales.

The POS Lite includes in-person credit card rates starting at 2.4%, mobile POS and hardware accessories, order and product management, and customer profiles.

The POS Pro will cost you an additional $89 per month per location + your monthly subscription fee, and it's perfect for brick-and-mortar sales.

The Pro plan includes everything from the POS Lite plus unlimited store staff and registers, smart inventory management, omnichannel selling features, staff roles and permissions, and in-store analytics.

Proper inventory management helps you make the smartest reorder decisions and regular evaluation keeps your business on the right track, which is why you must develop inventory methods and techniques through Shopify, as well as other functionalities.

Retail staff roles and permissions
Source: Shopify

Shopify's robust POS features will help you level-up your retail business, syncing it with products from your online store, with advanced inventory, discounts, and mobile accessibility allowing you to sell from anywhere.

11. SEO Capabilities

On-page SEO functions

Most on-page SEO implementations are easy to carry out with Shopify‘s intuitive backend.

Covering all the marketing basics, the SEO functionality allows Search Console, automatic sitemap generation, canonical instructions, personalized URLs, 301 redirects, customizable title tags, eCommerce SEO ban prevention, duplicate content, and more.

Most on page SEO implementations are easy to carry out with Shopify's intuitive backend
Source: Getshogun

You can edit the title tags, meta descriptions, blog post URLs, as well as webpage, product, and collection URLs.

Owners of Shopify stores can benefit from the automatic SEO features that will help them optimize the content.

Shopify prevents duplicate content from appearing in the search results by adding auto-generated canonical tags to pages, while automatically generating your site's sitemap. XML and robots. txt files, and themes auto-generating title tags with your store's name.

Headings will help you structure your content while customizing image alt attributes will enable search engines to recognize your images.

CMS, search engine instructions, and the redirect system

SSL encryption will secure the data you exchange with your customers while the search engine instructions will help you avoid certain pages like contact forms, ToS from being indexed by search engines.

With their redirect system, Shopify will automatically create an optional redirect from the old URL to the new one, and you won't generate 404 errors.

Shopify will automatically create an optional redirect from the old URL to the new one
Source: avada.io

Shopify comes with a  built-in content management system enabling you to generate a significant amount of traffic from the blogs.

You can create content that's separate from your products, categorize posts, adjust the meta descriptions, change author information for a WordPress blog with your Shopify site.

Shopify built in content management system
Source: uplinkly

However, you will have to install WordPress on a separate subdomain, which is technically quite complicated.

To secure your WordPress installation, you will have to use a paid plugin, which is the same for more advanced features like the ones in Schema markup that you can purchase through the Shopify app marketplace.

Shopify advanced features the Schema markup that can purchase through the Shopify app marketplace
Source: Mountainise

Third-party apps and technical support

The Schema markup integration will help you stand out in the search with product-rich snippets, allowing you to support your products, detect broken links, compress images, and more.

Image compression will improve page speed and undetected broken links can harm your rating and cause a poor customer experience, which is why Schema markup highlights your products in the Google search results, providing product data, reviews, and availability information for higher click-through rates.

Third party apps and technical support
Source: Liquify.design

A reliable support team will always be at your disposal if you have any questions or difficulties about SEO procedures.

Shopify's advantage of simplicity outweighs the drawbacks of its flexibility, as complete control over on-page SEO optimizations are not common necessities for most store owners.

Shopify will educate its users through SEO learning materials like in-depth SEO articles and SEO-focused video tutorials, and the agile system enables your store page to load fast with good uptime attaining a stable eCommerce functionality.

12. Shopify Blog and Content Generation

You will find blogging being mentioned in many reputable pieces of research and Shopify reviews as a vital component of a successful eCommerce software.

The built-in blogging tool

Shopify's built-in blogging tool allows you to create content that will ensure your website is visible in the search results.

Setting up a blog in Shopify will help you build a community around your brand and products, generate more traffic and sales.

Your online store will come with a default blog called News, but you can rename and create a blog in your style.

When creating a blog, you can add a custom template and all of the posts on the blog will be framed in the same template.

Below, you can see the quick procedure of creating a blog in Shopify

The quick procedure of creating a blog in Shopify

If you are looking to add eCommerce functionality to your WordPress and launch an online store, you can utilize the most popular open-source eCommerce WordPress plugin WooCommerce.

Editing, preview, and URLs

Apart from the blog name, you can also edit the search engine listing for a  blog and thus change the text that appears in the search results.

The best way to make sure your store is easy to find and the title is persuasive enough that new customers will click on it is to use a descriptive title.

Preview your blog's search engine listing and make the changes necessary to be discovered.

You can change your blog's web address in the search engine listing preview on the edit blog page.

Change blog's web address in the search engine listing preview
Source: Coumunnity.shopify

The system automatically generates a URL and a handle when you create a blog, and you can change or shorten the web address or leave the default one.

Keep in mind that the page title and meta description have set character limits, and if you go beyond that, your title and description will be shortened in the search results.

External links, excerpts, images

Shopify allows you to link to an external blog in your online store, no matter which of the third-party platforms like WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr hosts it.

Shopify allows to link to an external blog
Source: avada.io

It's always best to go both ways and link your online store from your external blog to encourage new visitors, and you will find the instructions for posting the store link in the blog's help center.

You can post both text and images in your blog posts, and choose to publish them immediately or set a specific publishing date.

Display excerpts from a blog post on the blog landing page that contain images, text formatting, links, and a part of your blog post content will display by default if you don't add an excerpt.

Display excerpts from a blog post
Source: avada.io

Organize your blog into categories or by subject by adding tags to your blog, so when a customer for a tag in your online store, matching blog posts will display in the search results.

Blogging plugins

For merchants looking for more blogging features, you can integrate with a commenting tool Disqus or the DropInBlog app which allows you to access features as product embeds, SEO post analysis, multiple contributors, categories, and more.

SEO Post Analysis
Source: apps.shopify

Shopify's simple blogging feature is generally considered to be equipped well-enough to meet most of the merchants' requirements and expose your brand and products to a new audience this way.

13. Reporting and Ecommerce Analytics

Key financial reports and the dashboard

Everyone can access the overview dashboard and check the key financial reports for their online store, while merchants with online stores can access the live view function.

Shopify Key financial reports and the dashboard

The dashboard and the reports cover the common reporting and analysis needs of most store owners, and you will need to export the data to a spreadsheet program, use a third-party app, or set up third-party analytics offerings to manipulate the data.

Shopifys comprehensive reporting functionality consists of multiple different categories divided based on the type of information they display, accessible to different users depending on your store's subscription plan.

Advanced reporting and scalability

If you upgrade to a more expensive plan and unlock the advanced reporting features, the additional reports will provide data from the time you started using Shopify.

If you start with the Basic Shopify plan in May, for example, and then you scale up to the Shopify plan in August, you can access the behavior and marketing reports, sales and customer reports, and everything else dating back to May and the rest of the summer.

Gain insights into your store's visitor acquisition with the acquisition reports, and record sessions over time, by the referrer, or by location.

Advanced reporting features
Source: Shopify

Acquisition reports are accessible in the online store sales channel only, and they show your website visitors, without the converted sales and order volume.

If you use the Basic Shopify plan or higher, you can access customer behavior reports, while the website cart analysis reports are available on the Shopify plan or higher.

Acquisition reports Overview Dashboard
Source: Shopify

You can find out how to market your products online and offline more successfully, sell to your best target audience, create product bundles and promotional pricing, increase your average order total with the website cart analysis reports.

With the detailed customer reports, you can gain valuable insights into the average order count, average order totals, expected purchase value of your customers. (first-time, returning, over-time, by location, etc.)

Sales by billing country
Source: Shopify

Inventory, billing, product variant analysis

On Advanced Shopify or Shopify Plus plan, you can access at-risk and loyal customer reports.

Examine key financial information for your business through the finance reports, and visit the account history in the bills section in your Shopify admin to check the bills and fees information.

Review the month-end snapshot of your inventory and track the inventory quantity and percentage of daily sales through the inventory reports.

The ABC analysis by product is available in the Shopify plan or higher and it gives each product variant a grade based on the percentage of your revenue each variant contributed to over the last 28 days.

Average inventory sold per day
Source: Shopify

The ABC analysis report helps you identify which products you should prioritize when restocking and which products you shouldn't invest in too heavily.

Other notable reports include the reports on marketing, profit, retail sales, sales, products, custom, and more.

The reporting and analytics functionality in Shopify is well-rounded and covers all aspects of the sales process, providing you with insightful data you can use to strategize and develop the best product practices that will lead to more sales consistently.

14. Shopify App Store

The owners of Shopify stores can visit the Shopify app store and obtain free and paid apps from the largest app collection of any eCommerce software that contains over 4000 apps.

Shopify App Store

Out of the box tools and specific functions

The apps will either add a specific functionality unavailable out of the box or improve the already existing feature, or connect your store to another tool like the omnichannel customer service and engagement platform Zendesk.

In the same way, an app like Xero to connect and auto-sync your store orders, provide automatic daily export, customer information import, global tax support, automated tax agencies, and more.

Xero and Shopify have the engagement solution
Source: Xero

Shopify extends the possibility of selling digital products right out of the box with a free app that allows you to sell personalized products.

Cross-channel sales & marketing apps

Apart from Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Walmart Marketplace, and other sales channels, Shopify enables you to integrate with the eBay app.

Sell your store products on eBay and manage your orders from within Shopify for free after you have created an eBay Stores account.

However, the eBay Stores account will cost you between $7.95 and $349.95, depending on the plan you choose.

If you add the Google Channel to your Shopify store, you will sync the products and relevant store information with the Google Merchant Center.

Cross channel sales & marketing apps
Source: apps.shopify

This way, your products will appear in relevant Google Shopping searches, if you meet the refund policy, terms of service, and contact information store requirements.

Every category in the app store

Also, you will find a rich selection of apps in dropshipping, sales, payment gateway, social media integration, and many more categories.

In the Shopify Expert and Shopify Partner program, you can find expert assistance for everything from the store set-up, design and sales process, and everything else.

Shopify expert assistance for everything from the store set up
Source: pagefly.io

While Freshbooks will take care of your accounting, invoicing, and bills, and Campaign Monitor will handle the email marketing, automation, reviews & pop-ups, there are other apps in Shopify that aren't free.

Unlike some rival platforms that include data capture, accounting, abandoned cart saver, multi-currency selling, and other apps, Shopify provides these services through paid-for apps like Abandoned Cart Recovery Email, Multi Currency Checkouts+, and so on.

Nurturing potential customers through the abandoned cart and other built-in email marketing tools of Shopify will allow you to connect with the leads that you can further develop a relationship with by meeting their specific needs with apps of different functions.

If you want to expand past the built-in email marketing options, you can integrate with ConvertKit for maximum results without wasting money.

Shopify provides multi currency selling through paid for apps
Source: apps.shopify

Besides these minor drawbacks, Shopify's business development team works specifically on developing new apps and employing new expert developers to solve problems, which makes this app integration machine the best in the industry.

A much cheaper alternative to finding a reliable developer is to purchase or install for free an app for the functionality you seek, as it will most likely be in the largest eCommerce app marketplace known as the Shopify app store. With a reassuring reputation and customers giving a real-life perspective through the reviews, the apps work as advertised.

15. Security and Backups

Shopify protects the buyers and the store owners with an equally high level of security regardless of the subscription plan you choose.

PCI compliance

All Shopify stores are PCI compliant by default so you can keep your sensitive business data and payment information secure.

All Shopify stores are PCI compliant by default for payment information secure
Source: Shopify

According to the standard 6 PCI compliance categories, Shopify will cover your store, maintaining a secure network, protecting cardholder data, empowering a vulnerability management program, implementing strong access control measures, monitoring and testing networks, and attaining the information security policy.

Shopify is certified Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, and the annual on-site assessments validate the compliance to continuous risk management.

Cookie consent

Shopify meets most of the EU customers' and visitors' policy laws adequately, requiring only the cookie consent functionalities through an app from the app store.

The apps like Booster:  EU Cookie Bar GDPR will allow your visitors to choose which cookies they want to run before they are applied, give prior consent to run the cookies, and allow them to revoke the consent later on.

Cookie consent functionalities through an app that give prior consent to run the cookies
Source: apps.shopify

You can also use the scripts from services such as Cookie Pro and add a GDPR-compliant banner for your website.

Store backup and SSL certificates

The SSL certificate will protect the user data from interception by third parties, encrypt the data and transmit it to the server.

You can back up your store information by exporting the CSV files from your Shopify admin, and you can combine these CSV files with a copy of your theme and other data to create a store backup or duplicate.

Download a copy of shopify theme
Source: Increasily

With the CSV file exports, you can back up products, customers, orders, gift card codes, discount codes, financial data, as well as your store's theme by downloading it from your Shopify admin.

When duplicating a store, you can transfer some types of information through the CSV file exports but the other types will require a manual transfer in your Shopify admin.

Transfer information through the CSV file in Shopify admin
Source: Gowebbaby

You can't import orders through the Shopify admin, discount codes, issued gift cards, saved custom reports, as well as visitor traffic data, but you can contact a Shopify Expert for a couple of these or use the Shopify API.

Shopify secures the sellers and the buyers at the card data entry and transaction stage, equipping the stores with data encryption tools, protection of Shopify payment transfers, server virus prevention, risk analysis tools, and security monitoring.

Shopify Pricing Plans and Fees

1. Discounts and free trial

There are five monthly subscription plans available in Shopify, and the plans range from $9 to $299.

Shopify monthly subscription plans

None of the plans include advanced marketing features like smart product search, recurring billing, eBay integration.

The free trial period lasts 14 days, but you can extend this if you need more time to complete a store.

What's good is that you can benefit from a discount of 10% if you pay upfront for one year and 20% if you pay upfront for two years.

If you're only thinking of starting a store as an experiment or you are semi-dedicated, you can always try the more fundamental free website builders to launch your eCommerce business.

2. The Lite plan

Shopify's starter Lite plan is an ideal chance for merchants looking to operate a semi-storefront with the ability to sell from an existing website built on platforms like WordPress.

The cheap Lite plan is $9 and allows you to sell an unlimited number of goods, but it doesn't allow you to construct a fully-functional store by itself.

You can set up a Facebook store, sell goods and manage inventory in a physical location, and use the Shopify Buy Buttons to sell on another website or a blog.

Online store owners and professional experts can utilize these channels to launch a small brand into the frame along with established, trusted brands after taking the small business website standards and expanding on the same for the benefit of their product.

The Lite plan enables you to accept credit cards anywhere, create wholesale, phone, or custom orders, and send invoices directly to your customers.

Shopify Lite plan is an ideal chance for merchants
Source: avada.io

3. Fully-functional storefront solutions

The Basic Shopify plan will cost you $29 and you will get 

  • Online store 
  • Unlimited products
  • 2 staff accounts
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Sales channels
  • 4 locations
  • Manual order creation
  • Discount codes
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Gift codes
  • Selling in 133 currencies
  • Selling in 5 languages

The Shopify plan is $79 and it offers everything from the Basic Shopify plan, plus

  • Additional 3 staff accounts
  • Additional 1 location
  • Professional reports
  • International domains
  • International pricing

The Advanced Shopify plan is $299 and it offers everything like in the Shopify plan, plus 

  • 10 additional staff accounts
  • 3 additional locations
  • Advanced report builder
  • Third-party calculated shipping rates
  • International pricing per variant

4. Transaction fees

In the Shopify Basic plan, you will pay 2.9% + 30 cents as a transaction fee for each online credit card transaction, and 2.7% for in-person credit card transactions.

In the Shopify plan, you will pay 2.6% + 30 cents per online credit card transaction, and 2.5% for each in-person transaction, while the fee for payment processors other than Shopify Payments is 1.0%.

In the Advanced Shopify plan, your transaction fees decrease to 2.4% + 30 cents per transaction, while the payment gateway fee for payment gateways that aren't Shopify Payments decreases to 0.5%.

Shopify Transaction fees
Source: Websitetooltester

The Shopify Plus enterprise solution will require you to contact Shopify and discuss the details of your needs, and you can expect the fees to be around $2000 per month or more.

The bits of software that you can purchase as plugins will cost you additional third-party fees, and these are one-time purchases that you can access through the app store that offers many free and paid integrations.

Learning about the platform's flexible pricing model and fee structure will help you choose a Shopify plan that fits your budget and online store requirements the best.

Shopify provides its store owners with flexible pricing plans that cater to businesses of all sizes, starting with a semi-storefront Lite plan which allows the merchants that don't want to go full in with their store to have a platform for just $9, while the Basic Shopify plan equips the store owner with core eCommerce features for $29.

Customer Support

Shopify provides powerful, knowledgeable, attentive, and responsive customer support services for store owners and developers equally.

For code-related issues, posting your experience in the forum query can sometimes evoke better results with the developer responding with a solution than the support team.

Shopify discussion Customer Support

Otherwise, Shopify's support team is among the best in the industry with an immense FAQs database, email & chat, as well as phone support that doesn't come with rival platforms like Squarespace.

All the support services operate 24/7, but you will need to request a callback if you want to access the phone support.

Shopify support services
Source: apps.shopify

What's standard practice for web application help desks is the help page research to access the support details is handled much more sufficiently in Shopify than other eCommerce platforms.

Shopify Ping is a free app that helps you manage customer messages from iOS and Android devices, allowing your store visitors to send you messages on Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, or Shopify Chat.

With Shopify Ping, the process is simplified and the app automatically delivers messages to you, that you can read or respond to from your mobile device, regardless of the platform through which the customer initiated the conversation with you.

Shopify Ping mobile app
Source: fibre2fashion

Shopify covers all the pain points you can come across as a merchant with a safety net of 24/7 chat, email, and phone support, as well as the time-saving free Shopify Ping app, allowing you to focus on store development knowing you will overcome any hurdle easily.

Shopify Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The best solution for anyone selling one product online and in-person
  • Ideal dropshipping solution
  • Abandoned cart functionality available in the cheap Lite plan for just $9
  • Abandoned cart saver functionality is cheap with the Abandoned Cart Recovery Email app offering a free plan
  • Lite program is perfect for merchants selling products from an existing website
  • Easy to use with attractive, mobile-responsive templates and a huge range of integrations
  • The reassuring user base of over 1 million customers
  • Automatic tax rate calculations for the USA, Canada, and the EU
  • Create different language versions of your site in all Shopify plans
  • Free real-time carrier shipping for annual subscription users

Pixel Union's Editions, Startup, and Launch are among the three best-selling single-product Shopify themes, and they will allow you to focus on the innovation, iteration, and refinement of your product over the rivals, turning the single-product gimmick into your advantage.

Shopify brings simplicity and accessibility of the dropshipping business model to eCommerce newcomers, allowing over a million retailers to sell a variety of products via dropshipping.

When you dropship through Shopify, the inventory is supervised entirely by your supplier, and the platform allows you to easily add a more varied selection of products and work with more manufacturers.

Apart from the built-in abandoned cart recovery functionality and many apps, you can provide the service with, you can utilize discount codes, exit offers, and security badges to prevent the customers from abandoning the carts.

The Lite plan is a perfect solution for someone looking to sell through channels like Facebook but doesn't require a full-on storefront, rather they look for a solution like Shopify to gather a wider audience for their existing website.

With a great selection of mobile-responsive themes optimized for every possible layout and screen resolution, all merchants could display their products perfectly even if the Shopify templates weren't really attractive, which they are.

Another element of what makes Shopify effective is the ability and resources to adapt to any location, with automatic tax rate calculations covering both the American and European countries and the different languages available for your store in all Shopify plans benefit everyone.

Along with the 10% discount Shopify provides for the annual plan subscription purchasers, you will also receive a free real-time carrier shipping functionality which is usually only available in the Advanced Shopify plan or for an additional $20 per month.

Other notable Shopify benefits include generous shipping discounts, a built-in email marketing tool for up to 2.500 subscribers free, coherent creation and application of product categories,  buy button and POS options for alternative selling possibilities, a built-in blog, AMP versions of product pages, and more.

Cons

  • Only 3 product options for each variant
  • Advanced custom reporting available in the Advanced Shopify plan and beyond
  • Adding text boxes, file upload options, and other custom fields is complicated
  • Shopify Payments unavailable in certain countries + third-party payment gateway fees
  • One automated follow-up email for certain sales channels with the abandoned cart saver
  • Unethical production with the dropshipping services
  • Cookie banner app is required for cookie consent and complete GDPR compliance
  • Without Shopify Shipping, you can't access the real-time carrier quotes without the $299+ plan

Whilst the options can vary from product to product, the product options limitation doesn't allow for the same product with size, color, and weight options to add the style, finish, or material, for example.

If you want to extend past these limitations, you will need to purchase a third-party app, which is the case for a couple of more Shopify features expected to come by default.

You can customize the default reports with filtering and editing tools only if you use the Advanced Shopify or Shopify Plus plan, and filtering the custom reports by tags is possible with a paid-for app.

Shopify makes adding custom fields needlessly complicated, requiring that you set up an external server first.

Inaccessibility of Shopify Payments in certain countries in combination with third-party payment gateway transaction fees Shopify charges per order can be restraining merchants from more remote places and with a lesser budget.

The abandoned cart saver only allows one follow-up email, with the abandoned checkout recovery available for the online store, buy button, and the plus wholesale channels only.

To meet all GDPR requirements, you need to follow the cookie consent policy which is only available through an integration with a third-party cookie banner app in Shopify.

The real-time carrier shipping can be accessed only in the Advanced Shopify plan, or you will need to pay an extra $20 per month on the lower plans.

Best Shopify Alternatives to Build Your Online Store

1. BigCommerce

Best eCommerce Software for Scaling your Business.

BigCommerce is the best eCommerce Software for Scaling Business

BigCommerce provides robust out-of-the-box features in its every plan, with its hosted structure and a range of templates (12 free) allowing you to sell an unlimited number of physical and digital goods.

Unlimited staff accounts and full content management functionality allow businesses of all sizes to grow their stores.

Support for over 55 payment gateways without the additional transaction fees place it a step above Shopify that charges for these services.

BigCommerce Support payment gateways without the additional transaction fees
Source: fr.wordpress.org

The drag-and-drop page builder doesn't require any coding skills while the automated image optimization through the Akamai Image Manager enables your site to load faster no matter the browsing origin and device size.

Other notable features include omnichannel selling capabilities, SEO, email marketing integrations, discounts and gift vouchers, product review functionality, 24/7 phone support, professional reporting, and more.

With an impressive client list and cutting-edge eCommerce features, it is no wonder BigCommerce is Shopify's alternative to both newbies and experienced users.

The Shopify and BigCommerce comparison shows that we could have easily changed places for the two in this review and neither would be out of place, which is a testament to both of the tools' qualities.

The Standard plan is $29.95 per month.

BigCommerce Pricing Plan

2. Zyro

#1 Online Store Builder with AI-Driven Marketing Features.

Zyro is an Online Store Builder with AI Driven Marketing Features

Zyro is a powerful website and online store builder that allows merchants to create stunning product pages easily.

Their huge template library allows anyone to find an amazing theme, and then you can customize images, text, and other website elements.

The AI-driven marketing features like Writing Tool, Logo Builder, Slogan Generator, Business Name Generator allow you to secure your improved retail ROI.

Zyro marketing features
Source : zyro

Zyro has found the missing ingredient of brick-and-mortar personalization and deployed its advanced AI resources allowing eCommerce website owners to recommend products uniquely suited for shoppers, as well as use conversational language and images.

With Zyro, you will generate the designs by your preference, recommend the most individually-tailored products, persuade sales with the most attention-grabbing CTAs, and more.

Zyro's eCommerce plan starts at $8.99 per month.

Zyro Website Plans

3. Shift4 Shop

Longest-running eCommerce Platform with the Most Free Themes in the Industry.

Shift4 Shop is the Longest running eCommerce Platform with the Most Free Themes in the Industry

Unlike Shopify, Shift4Shop has eliminated everything from the admin panel that isn't simplistic and used by the average store owner.

If you are not interested in buying premium themes, Shift4Shop is more suited to you with a wider choice of free themes than Shopify.

Shift4Shop allows you to access a variety of different financial reports, offer your customers promo codes, adjust the themes automatically to different screen sizes, preview and make pre-modifications to your web page, carry out dropshipping services, access instructions and video tutorials for the set-up process, and a lot more.

Shift4 Shop wider choice of free themes

Integrate with over 200 apps for accounting, dropshipping, live chat, and so on.

Follow the onboarding checklist and construct a marketing strategy with different SEO (Meta tags, Robots, Facebook Like Button, Social bookmarking, etc.) and email marketing tools (newsletters, autoresponders), and facilitate your growth.

The prices range from $29 to $229 per month.

Shift4Shop Pricing Plan

4. Selz

All-in-One Solution for Building, Managing, Marketing, and Promoting Online Stores

Selz is the All in One Solution for Building, Managing, Marketing, and Promoting Online Stores

The fully-featured eCommerce platform provides hosting services, a website builder, ready-made customizable themes, unlimited products and storage, built-in card processing, abandoned cart recovery, third-party apps and integrations, business analytics, and more.

The platform facilitates simple omnichannel selling capability, and it allows you to display and sell products through Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, Google Shopping with strategically-embedded widgets and buttons steering towards checkout conclusion.

The dashboard comes in a minimalistic design and a straightforward layout.

Selz Dashboard
Source: help.selz

The 25 pre-built themes are visually-captivating and customizable, and most of them are free.

You can rely on Selz to adequately handle your SEO practices, inventory, digital marketing, promotions, abandoned cart recovery messaging, tax processing, and other aspects of managing your eCommerce business.

The prices start at $29 per month and drop to $26 when billed yearly.

Selz Pricing Plan

5. Wix

Most Feature-Rich and Affordable eCommerce Software.

Wix is the Most Feature Rich and Affordable eCommerce Software

Similar to Shopify, Wix is aimed at people without coding skills who want to create and attain traffic-producing websites and sell products.

The easy-to-use interface is complemented by over 800 designer-made templates covering everything from lifestyle blogs, wedding event websites, and home repairs business to a consulting service, and more.

You can set up your website through the automated assistant system ADI or through the full user control and customization of the Wix Editor.

Wix dashboard
Source: olitt

Access more than 300 apps, add-ons, and plugins to integrate social media, live chat, accounting, inventory, payment gateways, gift cards, and other features.

Embed HTML codes, light boxes, apply fills, borders, corners, shadows, and layout-style buttons at significantly more affordable rates than Shopify.

For just $4.50 per month, Wix provides you with a custom domain, 1GB of bandwidth, 500MB of storage, and more.

The range of industries Wix covers in its versatile structure can only be matched in intensity with the capacity Squarespace offers for elegant portfolio sites and aesthetic-driven product placements, as the biggest Shopify rivals Wix and Squarespace are bound to be compared.

Wix Pricing Plan

6. Squarespace

#1 Simple Store eCommerce Solution with the Most Impressive Designs.

Squarespace is a Simple Store eCommerce Solution with the Most Impressive Designs

If you don't have significant or any coding knowledge whatsoever, and you want to keep your product catalog fairly small, Squarespace might be the online store solution for you.

A broad variety of templates and a robust website builder allow you to create the most expressive online stores.

Apart from being highly regarded for its top-tier design quality, Squarespace allows you to schedule appointments with online bookings and calendars,  collect customer emails and build lists, announce any updates or news through integrated social channels, and embed maps for customers to find you easily.

As their user base grew, both Shopify and Squarespace equipped their products with eCommerce features and content creation apps.

When you compare Shopify and Squarespace, you can find out if the all-around content-focused website builder Squarespace meets your selling criteria with the added eCommerce features, and how Shopify ranks in the style and design department in comparison to Squarespace.

Squarespace eCommerce features
Source: Pinterest

In the Basic Commerce plan, you get unlimited bandwidth, storage, pages, galleries, blogs, contributors, free domain, SSL security, checkout, customer accounts, orders, discounts, tax for $26 per month.

Also, you will receive a $100 Google AdWords credit, ShipStation label printing, and integrated Xero accounting.

For marketing, Squarespace can align your store with MailChimp, share buttons, Amazon affiliate tracking, and Google AdWords.

Squarespace allows PayPal and Stripe as payment gateways without any transactional fees, besides the payment processors' fees

If you scale up from the Basic Commerce $26 plan, you can purchase the Advanced Commerce plan for $40.

Squarespace Pricing Plan

Shopify FAQ

Can I upgrade or downgrade my Shopify plan easily?

In Shopify you can always upgrade your plan to add new features and functionality to your store.

There are notable differences between the Shopify $79 and the Advanced Shopify $299 plans, with the main being custom reports capability, lower Shopify Payments credit card rates, and third-party payment provider transaction fees.

Besides the additional 10 staff accounts and free real-time carrier shipping you get in the Advanced plan, the Shopify plan still does have a professional reporting feature.

The transition between plans is very smooth and can be adjusted in a couple of clicks.

Due to miscalculations from managers, businesses can get signed to the Advanced Shopify plan despite having a smaller amount of orders per month.

In other cases, a product can be more seasonal leading to a low period of sales off-season, so the reasonable thing is to downgrade.

Like with upgrading, you can seamlessly downgrade to a cheaper plan if the features outgrow your business needs.

Can I use Shopify on my phone?

Shopify allows you to conduct all your merchant operations and manage your online store while on-the-go.

You can add products, complete orders, track inventory levels, use and compare different sales channels, communicate with and answer to customers, keep track of all key financial reports and revenue changes.

Once your iPhone or Android software is up to date and you have assigned permissions to your staff that they need, and you will have no problems operating your store from your mobile device.

Setting up automatic software updates, assigning surface-level and order permissions to different staff members, and adjusting the preferred language in the Shopify app will go a long way in establishing a balanced mobile working setting.

What is the Shopify Exchange Marketplace?

Exchange is Shopify's marketplace that allows Shopify merchants to buy, sell, and exchange eCommerce businesses.

Merchants can list their online stores on sale through the Exchange app.

Shopify helps both parties complete the sale, allowing the buyers to browse through the ready-made online stores with accumulated high traffic, semi-automated dropshipping businesses, or premade Starter Stores.

Browse through the categories and apply filters to narrow down your store results and find a match that matches your budget, location, industry preference.

Is Shopify worth it?

Yes, it is.

It's especially worth it if you would like to have full control over your templates with just the right customization balance that gives customers enough originality that you stand out without coming across as too much or unnatural.

Through Shopify's Digital Downloads app, you can upload videos, songs, graphic art, and other digital files as products in your store.

Upon purchasing, the customer receives the link for their downloadable file, and you can personalize email templates and checkout specifically for your digital goods.

In the same way, physical products can be sold through a variety of online and offline channels with reliability.

No matter the type of product you sell, you will achieve much greater sales and customer satisfaction if you enable customer accounts.

Shopify stores password-protected customer identity, order history, and current order status information, and you can set account preferences, invite customers to create accounts, send bulk invites, reset account passwords, view customers' active subscriptions, and much more.

You need all of this to create a successful online store, just like you need an easily-accessible and rich app store and a wide range of payment options, which is hard to find at Shopify's level for the same price.

How do I cancel my Shopify subscription?

First off, you need to close your Shopify store manually.

If you are unsure about closing your store completely, you can always pause it and come back to it later, but you can't pause your free trial period and continue later.

If you still owe some bills and charges to Shopify, you won't be able to close your store.

You must contact any apps you pay a monthly fee to and directly notify them that you are closing your store, since uninstalling the apps may not prevent them from charging you even when your store is closed.

Also, you should transfer the custom domain that you bought off the third-party app, or you will not be able to use it for another store or website.

To delete a Shopify account entirely, you need to log into your account and go to the admin page, go to the settings and navigate to the Account section, scroll down and press close store in the store status section, type in your password to verify it is you closing the store, and leave a reason so Shopify can understand their customers better.

Alternatively, you can cancel your Shopify subscription and come back to it later.

This approach gives you the freedom to decide when you will re-operate and perhaps upgrade or downgrade to a different subscription plan.

To pause the store, you need to find the same store status section in the Account settings and press pause store.

Lastly, you need to confirm your billing cycle details.

Is Shopify safe and legit?

Like every other eCommerce platform, Shopify has its share of false retailers and fraudulent activity.

On the precautionary side of the defense, Shopify and other eCommerce platforms have a sophisticated vetting system and a vast supportive community of sellers and buyers sharing reviews and experiences, so anyone can recognize the schemes and patterns of fraud activity.

Shopify is designed with PCI Level 1 compliance that protects any credit card processing activity so you can securely accept payment without worrying that any sensitive data might be compromised.

Powerful and strict measures are deployed by Shopify to prevent any customer data from leaking, and some of these include limited login attempts and ensuring only developers have the access to the data necessary to run the apps.

Sturdy fraud protection system in Shopify is designed to flag potentially fraudulent orders which you can manually review before processing, along with the additional full control over the manual and automatic orders, flagging, dispatching, etc.

SSL encryption protects your store constantly, meaning that the system operates even when you are not loading any insecure scripts and suspicious data.

Admin security is handled through a secure backend designed to provide the user a privilege system for the merchants, meaning the account owners can send out staff accounts with different access levels.

Overall, Shopify allows you to authenticate, block access, assign different access levels to different staff members, and protect your store with a foolproof security system that covers all potential entry points for intruders.

Can I make money with Shopify?

With the enormous growth of the eCommerce business, many of which require minimal inventory obligations, it's never been easier to make money selling products/services on Shopify.

Due to its low startup costs and practicality, dropshipping has become an increasingly popular business model to make money, with categories like women's clothing and accessories, jewelry, home & garden, beauty showing exceptional results.

Just like dropshipping, print-on-demand businesses minimize the necessity to manage inventory while allowing sellers to customize white-label products with their designs and selling them only when the customer buys.

The advantage of the print-on-demand business model over dropshipping is the aesthetic customization, which makes a key difference for product categories where design is vital like clothing.

To make more money online, you can use the print-on-demand model to test online business ideas or new products without buying inventory, monetize your social media, YouTube, or blog audience, offer diverse products, sell photos online by placing your images on different merch for your fans.

To work around the drawbacks of handmade products the time spent and difficult scalability, a custom product can be brought out to a wider market with the help of manufacturers and suppliers.

Use domestic or overseas manufacturers through marketplaces like Alibaba or resell wholesale items by buying credible and known brands at a discount price and reselling them at a higher price.

Is Shopify good for beginners?

The cloud-based eCommerce platform not only has low startup costs but its easy-to-use interface allows you to promote, sell, and ship your products.

Shopify has made great efforts to make the set-up process as easy as possible, along with plenty of insightful articles and employee chat rooms, which is excellent for beginners.

All you have to do is fill out a sign-up form to create your account, enter the required details, fill in your business email, password, and store name.

Lastly, you fill in your name, address, country, contact number, the type of products you will sell, and so on.

After you have selected a suitable theme, you can get more information by clicking on the theme's sample image, check out customer reviews and test how the theme functions with the View Demo option.

After this, you can drop your customized logos, product photography, videos, fonts, color schemes, and finish off the design.

Finally, you can add your products and set up payments which are just as easy as the steps prior.

Shopify has a very simple set-up process along with plenty of helpful articles and support experts ready to guide you through any process regardless of your prior experience, as well as low startup costs which means creating an online store here is a low-risk investment, and these characteristics are exactly what beginner store owners are after.

Why is Shopify so great?

Shopify is a powerful eCommerce platform that helps you build your online store without any coding knowledge while providing you with enhanced social media promotion, sales, inventory management, accounting, reporting functions out-of-the-box or through integration with third-party apps.

First off, it eliminates any complexities you might associate with building an online store from scratch, allowing you to transform your retail store details into a fully-functional standalone online store.

The simple and neat dashboard makes managing your day-to-day activities easy whether you are an experienced store owner or just a newbie.

Also, Shopify has the biggest app store in the eCommerce software industry allowing you to find solutions for any retail requirements.

Shopify utilizes the popularity of trends, thus capitalizes on the growing popularity of the dropshipping business model with apps like Oberloo which cover all aspects of the process including product research, inventory management, product customization, order delegation, sales tracking, and more.

Great marketing and promotion apps like Omnisend, TrustPulse, Sumo, customer service apps like HelpCenter, Yotpo, sales apps like Recharge, Smile, Catalog Maker are just a coušple of examples of a broad range of apps from different categories available in Shopify.

The customer service team is available 24/7 and dedicated to finding the best solutions for any issues you are facing with the expertise and resources that produce great customer satisfaction.

The support channels include email, live chat, and phone.

A massive collection of free and paid-for themes allows you to explore different styles, designs, functionalities, allowing you to find the perfect theme in the art & photography, clothing & fashion, food & drinks, electronics, jewelry & accessories, health & beauty, and many more niches.

Lastly, multi-payment gateway integrations and cross-channel selling empower you to sell without any geographical, technical, or market limitations.

It is this all-inclusive quality that makes Shopify approachable and applicable to anyone, making it the ultimate eCommerce solution.

Is Shopify good for starting a dropshipping business?

An extremely user-friendly interface works together with a selection of apps specifically designed for dropshipping to create a well-rounded dropshipping powerhouse.

Integrations like Oberlo allow searching for products and automatically ordering from your vendor easy.

The combination of Shopify, Aliexpress, and Facebook are among the most profitable dropshipping solutions used by a large number of dropshippers.

First off, merchants source the products on Aliexpress (without necessarily purchasing them as inventory but ordering some of the products' samples to test the quality).

Then, they launch these products on their Shopify store and promote them through Facebook ad campaigns.

To make the most out of your Shopify dropshipping model, you should handle the fundamentals first, and this includes finding the great-performing product on FindNiche, linking to the Aliexpress product page on FindNiche, uploading products on your Shopify store through Oberlo, and running Facebook ads.

Can I import products into Shopify?

If you switched from another platform to Shopify or you want to make changes to your products on inventory, importing products is significant and useful.

Shopify converts the data from the CSV files into products.

Before importing, ensure that you have the backups for product data ready.

Importing a CSV file sorted by Microsoft Excel, Numbers, or another spreadsheet editor can cause your products to be removed from the CSV relevant image links, causing your product images to get lost.

CSV files exported from another store or the ones coming from another source need to match the CSV file format, while the product CSV s can't exceed 15MB.

Shopify advises using the Google Chrome browser if you are having trouble importing files, and the step-by-step explanation of the already simple process on their support page helps anyone navigate easily.

Alternatively, you can use the Import Store app and import your CSV files.

Shopify Review Conclusion: Is This Ecommerce Platform Right For You?

Shopify is one of the best eCommerce software for anyone who wants to use one product to sell online and in a physical location.

Considering their entry-level Lite program allows merchants to sell from an already existing website at a low price, while the abandoned cart save functionality comes free, unlike many rival platforms.

If you want a fully-functional online store that will develop further, you need to have access to a variety of marketing, eCommerce, inventory, accounting, reporting features.

Shopify provides the most choice in all categories necessary for an online store to succeed in its app store, which is only reassured by its huge user base of over one million.

The platform enables anyone to customize the templates from anywhere at low startup costs, adjusting to country-specific tax rates, currency, and languages,  while providing shipping discounts, a broad variety of sales channels, neat built-in email marketing, and blog features.

If you want to start a small online store, sell in-person, or build an enterprise brand, Shopify will have you covered.

Real Shopify User Reviews

1. Agatha F: “ Shopify is perfect if you’re starting an online e-commerce business.”

What do you like best?

“I love that the Shopify team did a great job of making it easy to set up and use. Another surprising thing is that Shopify is integrated with almost everything that exists. 

There are plenty of free and paid apps that expand functionality and make things easier. “

What do you dislike?

“The least, and probably the only thing I don't like about Shopify, is the attribution of the traffic source. 

There are different reports to give you an idea of where traffic is coming from, but based on my personal preferences, the details seem to be my poor.”

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

“Shopify is amazing to sell online, whether your store is small or large. You can keep it with only a few products, or you can scale it to thousands. 

Additional plans are also available for more detailed reports and features.”

2. Lakshmi Narayana V: “Online Business is even more Comfortable to Start.”

What do you like best?

“A perfect eCommerce product for business needs of any size, readily available with a decent set of features.

Customization is also available with the additional cost for add-on features.

Users from small or large scale businesses can purchase the application and go-online with the Shopify platform within hours.”

What do you dislike?

“You have to be using only Shopify payments features to avoid any payment processing fees in using Amazon pay or Paytm for example.

No Live customer support available for few regions. You have to drop a mail and wait for the resolution.”

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

“Clear and reliable dashboard, One can start a business within hours, Serves all the needs for starting an online retail business at one go.

Shopify makes use of a Content Delivery network, which avoids any network latency issue and provides seamless connectivity.”

3. Anisa M: “Shopify is Good for Business.”

What do you like best?

“Shopify is a quick and affordable way to create your online store. Shopify is amazing for people who don't know how to make their website. 

You don't need tech skills, you don't need a giant budget, and you don't have to hire someone to make your dream happen. 

You can sell products right off your website without all of the hassles because Shopify takes care of that for you. It has tons of built-in features and apps that make it easy to use. 

There is an amazing inventory system that helps you keep track of your items and you can sell across multiple platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Amazon Pay, and eBay. 

Shopify is a platform that provides everything you could need for website management including updates, pricing, order fulfillment, and customer communication.”

What do you dislike?

“A lot of the Shopify apps have monthly fees and you can easily lose track of how many you have if you are not careful. It can create unnecessary costs. 

Shopify could be a little more user-friendly and the formatting of the stores could be better. The website templates they provide can be hard to work with sometimes. 

If you don't read up on the pricing you might not know what you are paying for and that is never a good thing.”

Recommendations to others considering the product:

“I recommend that you look at all of the apps offered by Shopify beforehand and decide what you need before getting stuff and having it pile up.”

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

“With Shopify, I can sell my products online without having to worry about them all of the time. I can make money with my business and have a fully functioning website at my disposal.”

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