Shopify is a dropshipping website builder that is widely used among e-commerce entrepreneurs. It has various plans and plug-ins for sellers to choose from and enables sellers to build a Shopify store that best suit their needs. It also has features including customizable templates and secure Shopify payments for better eCommerce experience.
No wonder there is a saying goes llike: Shopify has something for everyone.
However, Shopify also has its drawbacks. In this guide, we will discuss the uses and cons of Shopify. Whether you just start or have been running an online store for years, you can find something helpful in this guide.
Overview Of Shopify
Shopify is an online platform for e-commerce entrepreneurs. It was founded in 2004 by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake as a simple shopping cart solution for small businesses.
Over the years, it has grown into a comprehensive platform offering web hosting, store management tools, payment gateways, and much more.
Shopify is a fully-featured eCommerce platform that enables you to create an online store quickly and easily.
It provides you with all the necessary tools for building and managing an eCommerce website including product listings, checkout pages, inventory management system and analytics. Therefore, even beginners can build an online shop by themselves, without knowing any coding knowledge.
Features Of Shopify
Shopify provides users with a comprehensive suite of tools, features, Shopify apps, and services designed to help them build and maintain an online store.
- Security: With the 256-bit SSL certificate provided by Shopify, your customers’ data are safe and secure.
- Customization: With customizable templates, you can design the store with ease to best fit your brand’s look and feel. You can also create personalized experiences for customers with tailored product recommendations and discounts.
- Mobile commerce ready: Shopify knows how people love shopping on their phones, so all Shopify templates and integrations are mobile-friendly.
- Shopify APP store: There are thousands of APPs to choose from the Shopify APP store, helping you add extra features and functionality to your store.
- Abandoned cart recovery: With the help of this feature, you can send out emails automatically with a click and encourage the customers to complete their purchase.
- Multiple payment options: Aside from the Shopify Payment, Shopify supports multiple payment options including credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay and more.
How To Set Up A Shopify App Store
You can also follow the following steps to set up your Shopify Store.
1. Create a Shopify account and select a Shopify selling plan.
2. Choose the theme for your store and customize it to fit your brand.
3. Add the products to the store, including pictures, descriptions, and prices.
4. Set up Shopify payment options.
5. Configure the shipping rules according to your needs.
6. Promote your Shopify store through social media channels or paid ads.
7. Analyze sales data using real-time analytics tools provided by Shopify.
Shopify Paid Plans and Their Difference
Shopify has three main pricing plans suitable for a range of business types.
- Basic at $19/month
- Shopify at $105/month.
- Advanced at $399/month
These three plans are different in the following aspects:
- Credit card rates: The Basic Plan comes with a higher credit card rates at 2.9% + $0.3 if the customer pays online, and 2.7% if in person. However, Shopify Plan charges 2.6% + $0.3 and 2.5% repectively. Those who subscrie to Advanced Plan, enjoy a low 2.4% + $0.3 rate if the payment comes from online, and 2.4% if paid in person.
- Reports: The Basic Plan provides seller with basic reports, while Shopify Plan subscribers can enjoy the professional report feature. Advanced Plan sellers can further custom their reports to better suit their needs.
- Inventory locations: Everyone subscribing to these three paid plans can have up to 1,000 inventory locations.
- Shipping discount: Basic Plan provides up to 77% shipping discount, but if you upgrade it to Shopify or Advanced Plan, you can enjoy up to 88% shipping discount.
- Staff accounts: You can have only 2, 5 and 15 staff accounts respectively in these three paid plans.
Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Shopify Store
When setting up a Shopify store, one must know some tips and tricks to make the most of it. Here are some of the top tips for maximizing success with your online store on Shopify:
- Ensure to create an engaging website with appealing visuals, and the website should be easy to navigate and optimized for search engines.
- Use product reviews, customer feedback, and advanced analytics to make necessary changes or improvements to your store.
- Use marketing tools like email campaigns and social media ads to promote your products and reach a larger audience.
- Consider using third-party apps to offer additional features on your store, such as product reviews, loyalty programs, and more.
- Take advantage of the available discounts and promotions to incentivize customers when they purchase products from your store.
Comparison Between Other Ecommerce Platform And Shopify
When choosing Shopify for your online store, it is essential to compare it against other options to make the most informed choice. Here is a comparison between Shopify and other eCommerce platforms:
- Shopify provides its users with customization options more than most other platforms. For example, exploring in the Shopify theme store can give you a lot of insight on building a customizable store which suits your needs.
- Shopify offers features such as secure payment processors, intuitive inventory management tools, and other marketing resources.
- Shopify also offers a comprehensive set of features at an affordable price point, which makes it an excellent option for entrepreneurs on a budget or small business.
- Shopify has built-in analytics that will help track the store’s sales and growth.
Like any other tool and service, learning and understanding the Pros and Cons of Shopify and how this can affect your business is vital.
Reasons Why You Should Learn About The Benefits and Disadvantages of Shopify
Shopify is known to have an impressive track record, and it is a secure, affordable platform and an all-in-one eCommerce store builder suitable for beginners and advanced users.
There are also different reasons why you should get Shopify this year to start your online business.
But why is it essential to learn Shopify’s benefits and disadvantages?
- Learning the benefits may lead you to Shopify features you might not know existed.
- Knowing the disadvantages ensures that you are ready to handle ease-of-use problems that may arise.
- The benefits and disadvantages of Shopify help you to visualize what is being paid for, which allows you to see the value of what you have paid.
- It can also provide more ways to compare with the other platforms. For example, you may find other eCommerce platforms with the same disadvantages as Shopify, or the benefits make it stand out.
Pros Of Using The Shopify Platform
E-commerce business is now the latest trend to reach many people with the help of building an online store. Business owners create online stores to get more potential customers or reach their target customers. Shopify is one of the options when it comes to creating online stores. Easy to navigate and offers many Shopify pros for building your online stores.
Here are the Shopify pros:
For entrepreneurs interested in creating an eCommerce business with Shopify, the platform offers a free trial that allows users to test out the features and services of Shopify. During the trial, users can customize their store, process orders, and gain access to the analytics features of Shopify.
Easy To Use
No need to be savvy in creating an eCommerce site or to know to code. Shopify allows you to use its drag-and-drop option easily.
This eCommerce platform is known for being user-friendly. Its interface is easy to navigate and has created many successes for many online businesses.
Secure Shopify Payment Gateways
Shopify provides users access to secure payment processors like Stripe and PayPal. It means that customers can confidently make purchases in your store, knowing their information is safe and secure. Additionally, Shopify includes fraud detection tools that help protect merchants from fraudulent orders and chargebacks.
Shopify provides users with real-time analytics to track sales data and customer behaviors. With this information, entrepreneurs can make informed decisions about their products and services and pricing strategies, making it easier for entrepreneurs to optimize their own online stores for maximum success.
Shopify POS is a point-of-sale app with accompanying hardware allowing entrepreneurs to take offline stores. With Shopify POS, entrepreneurs can offer customers in physical locations an easy and secure checkout experience.
This feature is handy for those businesses looking to expand their reach beyond the internet and into physical spaces. You can also use Shopify POS to sell almost anywhere, including brick-and-mortar stores, pop-up shops, and markets.
SEO And Marketing Resources
Shopify provides users access to marketing resources like email campaigns and social media integration. It makes it more convenient to reach more customers and promote their products.
Additionally, Shopify offers advertising credits that can boost traffic to your store through Search Engine Optimization.
The Shopify platform allows you to create landing pages and sync your marketing campaigns. You can also create coupon codes, store credits, and limited discounts, which will help to attract more potential customers.
Customer Support Availability
When any issues are encountered when using the platform, you will need reliable people to assist their users. Shopify offers a 24/7 support team that will attend to your needs at any time of the day. You reach them through email, live chat, or their hotline.
Supports Different E-Commerce Business Categories
Whether you have a physical store, or run a dropshipping, wholesale, or retail business, the Shopify platform is the ideal choice. Just specify the kind of products that you would like to sell and add to your store, and Shopify can take care of the rest.
Choose The Variety Of Themes
A better and more attractive look for your store has a higher chance of retaining visitors or potential customers. You can choose from a wide range of Shopify’s themes from different business categories made especially for them, whether you are selling drinks, food, fashion items, etc.
Security And Hosting
You don’t need a separate hosting provider to keep your online store working because Shopify is a self-hosted platform.
APPs And Plugins Available
Shopify offers users access to a host of third-party APPs and plugins. Shopify APPs and plugins help expand your capabilities, allowing store owners to make their stores more dynamic and engaging for visitors or potential customers.
Store owners can offer additional features like product reviews through these apps and plugins found in Shopify APP store.
Allows You To Customize
Although Shopify themes are available, there are some instances that they won’t appeal to your taste or preference. Shopify provides an easy way to customize themes and templates with its customizable builder.
Growth of Online Store
The aim of every business is the growth of the business, no matter what size it could be. Shopify is an eCommerce platform committed to seeing the online store’s growth. With its user-friendly features, boosting the online sales of your store can be easy.
What Are The Cons Of Shopify?
Like any other tool or service, Shopify has downsides.
We’ll explore the cons of using Shopify for your e-commerce business so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you.
Shopify Is Not Free
Once the free trial ends, you will need to pay for the subscription. You can choose from Basic, Shopify and Advance Plan, ranging from $19 to $399 per month.
Shopify offers many features, but many are only available with more expensive plans.
Additional payment will be required to use the premium features. However, this should be fine if handled correctly because it helps generate revenue. It can also be considered an investment in the long run of your e-commerce business.
Transaction Fees and Payment Processing
Shopify charges a transaction fee per sale. However, there are no transaction fees for eCommerce businesses using Shopify payments. But, if you choose a third-party payment provider, there are additional fees, depending on the plan. It will be 2%, 1%, or 0.5% for the Basic, Shopify, and Advanced plans.
While Shopify provides users with a range of customizable templates, it does limit how much you can customize your store. You’ll need a designer or developer to change the look and feel of the website.
Also, only a few web developers are familiar with the software comparing to traditional website builders such as WordPress.
Therefore, many Shopify users may need help with the process of customizing the Shopify themes or may need to spend long hours learning how to set everything up.
Product Search and Filtering
One of the biggest cons of using Shopify is its product search and filtering capabilities. Shopify doesn’t offer advanced navigation options like faceted search or multi-level menu structures, making it difficult for customers to find the products they seek quickly.
Additionally, for Shopify stores with many product variations, creating a practical search experience for customers can take time.
Shopify Is Not Forever
Shopify is a great way to start an eCommerce business, but other solutions exist. If you want to move your store to a different eCommerce platform, this will take a lot of effort.
While Shopify is easy to use, you may find a different platform better suited for your needs after gaining more experience running an eCommerce business.
Geotargeting Is Not Ideal For Shopify
Geotargeting is an essential feature for many online stores, as it allows them to provide custom offers or create discount codes depending on the customer’s location.
Unfortunately, Shopify does not offer a geotargeting solution and does not have integrations with third-party providers that do. This means entrepreneurs looking to run geotargeted campaigns or offer discounts codes based on location cannot do so with Shopify.
Limited Free Themes Offered And Expensive Paid Themes
There was an instance when Shopify offered many free themes, but it has become fewer over the years. They are trying to make a profit from the sales of Shopify’s themes. Only 11 free themes are available for installation, offering three different styles. The price for premium Shopify themes also increased, ranging from $150 to $350.
Difficulty And Limited Scalability For Growing Businesses
For businesses looking to grow, scalability can be a significant challenge. As businesses become more extensive, they require more resources and support to stay successful.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that offers entrepreneurs a wide range of features to help them build and maintain their online stores. Still, it has limitations when scaling for larger businesses. While Shopify suits small businesses, larger businesses may need more features to support their growth.
However, Shopify has launched its ShopifyPlus, starting at $2,000/month, and provding all-in-one solution especially for high-volume businesses.
Challenges With Content Marketing
Blogging, Search Engine Optimization, and social media content are vital components of content marketing. Since the Shopify platform is more often used for ecommerce selling, it may not be a good choice for those who wants to start a blogging business.
Difficult To Exit In Shopify
When it comes to leaving Shopify and transitioning to another eCommerce platform, the process can be more complicated than expected. It is challenging to exit Shopify and move to another platform because your data on Shopify cannot be transferred directly.
Though you can always export a CSV file for the orders and products of your online store, but there will be no direct transfer for the site’s content and design.
Lack Of Third-Party Integrations
One of the drawbacks of using Shopify for your business is the lack of access to third-party integrations. Businesses must use manual methods or third-party software to set up automated campaigns such as email marketing, social media ads, etc.
While Shopify offers some integrated apps and services, it’s not nearly as robust as other e-commerce platforms when integrating with outside services.
High Abandonment Rates Due To Poor Checkout Experiences
One of the disadvantages of using Shopify is that it can lead to high abandonment rates due to poor checkout experiences. This means that customers may abandon their carts during the checkout process, leading to lost sales.
Online businesses must ensure that they have a streamlined and optimized checkout process. It includes using a single-page checkout, offering multiple payment methods, and including clear shipping information. Additionally, businesses should regularly test their checkout process to ensure it works properly.
Limited Support And Documentation Resources Available
While Shopify does provide a 24/7 customer support team, there are still some areas where users may find themselves lacking in assistance.
Additionally, the amount of documentation and tutorials Shopify provides can be inadequate regarding more advanced topics or issues that require troubleshooting.
Lack Of Multilingual Support
One of the main drawbacks of using Shopify is the lack of multilingual support. Businesses must use manual methods or third-party software to set up automated campaigns in different languages.
Additionally, Shopify does not offer any translations for their themes and templates, which can be a significant issue for businesses looking to expand into international markets.
As such, businesses should consider other platforms if they want full multilingual support for their online store.
Additional Costs For Advanced Features
While Shopify offers many features, many are only available with more expensive plans or require extra payment to access premium features.
Entrepreneurs need to understand the costs they will incur before signing up for any plan to ensure their store remains profitable in the long run.
Slow Loading Times For Pages With A Lot Of Content
One of the downsides of using Shopify for your eCommerce store is that it can lead to slow loading times for pages with a lot of content. This can be an issue because customers may become frustrated if they have to wait too long for a page to load fully, leading them to abandon their carts, resulting in lost sales.
Businesses must ensure that their web pages are optimized for speed and performance to help prevent this issue. It includes optimizing images, minifying code, caching data, reducing redirects, and more. Additionally, businesses should regularly test their website’s speed and performance so they can identify any issues quickly.
Controls Your Data
All the information related to transactions and customers is stored on Shopify’s servers, not yours. You can’t take it if you move your store or back up your data. In Shopify, all the data must be transmitted through them, but when switching to other self-hosted platforms, you will be entitled to the console for your online store, which provides you complete control.
Unable To Integrate Other CMS
Shopify is an excellent tool for creating an eCommerce website. However, it does not allow you to integrate other content management systems (CMS) with your store. If you need to add other types of content, such as blogs or dynamic pages, you must use Shopify’s blogging feature or build an entirely different website page. This can be inconvenient and time-consuming for businesses that need to have a more comprehensive online presence.
Final Thoughts On The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Shopify
Shopify is an very user-friendly platform for entrepreneurs looking to create their online store. It offers many easy-to-use features in the Shopify dashboard and help online sellers to boost their sales quickly without any coding skills.
However, its drawbacks should also be taken into consideration before deciding to use Shopify to build your online store.
For instance, all Shopify plans charge on a monthly basis. Shopify themes, third-party integrations and the transaction fees Shopify charges can also accumulate to a greater cost.
Though designing a shopify website do not require any coding skills, if you need to integrate more advanced functions, Shopify is limited in customization.
Therefore, before making decisions, make sure you have fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of Shopify, and find out if it is the best option for your online business in the current stage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Type Of Themes Does Shopify Offer?
A: Shopify offers free and premium themes, with 11 free themes available for installation. Each of these themes comes in three different styles, and the price range for premium themes can range from around $150 to $350.
Q: Is There An Option To Integrate Other Content Management Systems (CMS)?
A: Shopify does not allow integrating other CMS with your store. If you need to add other types of content, such as blogs or dynamic pages, you must use Shopify’s blogging feature or build an entirely different website.
Q: What Steps Are Necessary To Export Data From Shopify?
A: You can export a CSV file for the orders and products of your online store, but there will be no direct transfer for the site’s content and design. Additionally, many third-party apps and integrations may not be supported on the other platform, making the transition more difficult. It is essential to take extra care to ensure you understand any limitations before signing up for a Shopify plan.