When you start your own online business, everyone recommends you Shopify. But have you ever delved deeper into it? Is it worth it, or is hype going on in the market?
Well, having a clear understanding of your e-commerce platform is mandatory. After all, you’ll be purchasing a plan for it.
That’s why, to ease your effort, we have come up with a detailed, researched-baked review on Shopify. Here we’ll be talking about every nitty-gritty functionalities of Shopify you need to know before purchasing a plan. So, stick with us till the end to know more about it.
Shopify Overview (2023)
|Total Revenue||$4.611 billion (As of 2022)|
|Total Online stores||3.9 m|
|Category||Subscription-based e-commerce platform|
|Country Reach||175 countries|
Shopify Features Ratings (Out of 5)
|Ease of Use||4.5|
|Themes and Designs||4.2|
Shopify Pricing, Fees, and Payment Gateways
Unlike other e-commerce builders in the market ( Bigcommerce, Shopify, Wix, Squarespace), Shopify has different pricing plans with different advantages. The more your budget increases, the more you benefit from the advanced built-in features. So, let’s delve deeper and see which plan fits your business.
|Suitable For||Newbie business||Mid-level business looking forward to scaling up||Enterprise-level business|
Shopify Basic Plan
Shopify’s basic plan is the first choice of every newbie business. At a very minimal price, it offers you thousands of premium options, including- A standalone online store, unlimited product adding options, staff/employee accounts (Up to 2), Multi-channel selling, Inventory locations(up to 4), creating manual orders, Discount codes, gift cards, and vouchers, Shipping Discount( up to 77%), Abandoned Cart Recovery, Analytics, and reports, Fraud analytics, International commerce.
But at the same time, it has a few drawbacks that discourage users from purchasing this plan. These are- No third-party calculations shipping rates, No E-commerce automation, and No custom pricing.
For mid-level businesses, Shopify Plan should be the perfect option. This plan includes all the basic plan features with five staff accounts, inventory locations (up to 5), and eCommerce automation.
When it comes to the Advanced Plan of Shopify, it never disappoints the users with its premium features ( Add up to 15 staff accounts, inventory locations ( up to 8), and Control over international pricing strategy). That’s why it’s pretty much appropriate for enterprise-level businesses.
Not done yet! Shopify also offers two more alternative solutions to the users – Shopify Starter and Shopify Plus.
This is one of the best solutions for newbies. If you want to explore the online business world but at the same time don’t have any brand/website, this plan has got your back. Just add a product image and description/ services. That’s it; you are ready to sell!
Though you won’t benefit from other built-in features of Shopify in this plan, it’ll surely come in handy if you want to try your hand out in online selling.
It costs you around $5/month, and it’s worth it as you will get additional features like order management analytics, support, and so on.
Now, if you want to sell 3x faster, unlike Shopify’s traditional plans, go for Shopify Plus. Say goodbye to all those time-worn features with Shopify Plus. Though it’s a bit more expensive($2000/month) than other plans, it’s worth it. Here you will get to manage your whole business. It’s the one-stop solution for those who want to scale their business within a short period.
It offers more personalized b2b customization increasing your conversion rate up to 16% higher. Also, you’ll save more time and money by automating complex processes, campaigns, discounts, etc.
Shopify Free Trial & Special Offer
Shopify also offers a free trial where you don’t need to give your payment details to start using Shopify. But recently, they have reduced the duration of their free trial from 14 days to 3 days. But they also announced a special offer for their new users. In this new offer, you can choose any of the Shopify plans and use them for three months at $1/mo.
They have introduced this offer because, in the free trial, you won’t be able to sell any products or start your business apart from creating an online store. But with this offer, you can take advantage of all the features of Shopify at the lowest price possible. After this offer expires, you can choose to pay annually and save 50% instantly on Shopify, which is also a great offer.
Our Recommendation: Which Plan to Choose?
As per our research, Shopify’s basic plan is the most economical choice for everyone. It offers hundreds of advanced built-in features(including abandoned cart recovery) relevant to scaling your business at a very minimal cost.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a newbie business or a mid-level business; this plan is suitable for everyone.
Now, remember that if you purchase any plan on a yearly basis, you’ll save upto 50% on every plan. So, choose your purchase accordingly.
But before opting for any plan, check out 14 days free trial option to acquire all the functionalities of Shopify.
Does Shopify Charge Any Transaction Fees?
You’ll have to pay extra transaction fees if you use other payment gateways except for Shopify Payment. For instance, if you use a debit/credit card to make the payment, Shopify will charge you an extra amount on your monthly/yearly plan. The more you pay for your plan, the less you have to pay as transaction fees –
|Basic plan||Shopify Plan||Advance plan|
|2.9%+30 cent USD online2.7%+0 cent in person||2.6%+30 cent USD online2.5%+0 cent in person||2.4%+30 cent USD online2.4%+0 cent USD in person|
Shopify Payment Gateways
A seamless payment process is important to provide customers with a better shopping experience. Shopify offers a variety of third-party payment gateways to its users, including Paypal, Metapay, AmazonPay, ApplePay, and so on.
You can also use Shopify’s own payment processor to accept payments in the simplest way possible. It automatically eliminates the extra hassle of setting up a third-party payment processor and makes it easier for both the seller and customers.
Here note that Shopify payment is only available in a few countries. So, if you don’t belong to these countries, you should go for other payment gateways offered by Shopify.
Moreover, Shopify also accepts other payment gateways like cryptocurrency via Crypto.com, Coinbase commerce, Bitpay, Depay, etc.
Shopify Marketing Features
|Built-in SEO tools||4.6|
|Abandoned Cart Recovery||4.5|
|Shopify App Store||4.6|
|Email Marketing feature||4.5|
|Reporting and analyzing tools||4.8|
Shopify SEO Features
When it comes to online selling, organic traffic matters a lot, and here SEO comes into the scene. Shopify offers effective SEO functionalities to increase your store visibility to your potential customers. With these SEO features, you can change page titles, meta descriptions, product descriptions, etc.
Other advanced SEO functionalities include –
- Every Shopify store has a default robot.txt file that constantly updates the crawlers and boosts your store visibility.
- You can add specific keywords and a page’s main body content in ALT tags.
- Shopify generates a sitemap.xml containing all the links to your products, primary images, pages, blog posts, etc.
Multi-channel Selling Feature
Shopify helps you boost your business reach via multi-channel selling features. Promote your business and sell products on multiple channels, including various social media platforms ( Facebook, Instagram).
Apart from that, you can also check out where your potential customers are hanging out and use that platform as an online marketplace.
Abandoned Cart Recovery
As per the study, e-commerce businesses lose almost $18 billion in abandoned carts. So, it doesn’t matter whether you have a start-up or an enterprise-level business; you must have an abandoned cart recovery option.
Thanks to Shopify. Unlike other ecommerce builders, it offers this must-have feature even in its basic plan. This feature will help you review your abandoned checkout, manually and automatically email a customer link, abandoned checkout email reports, etc.
Shopify Built-in Blog Features.
E-commerce marketing is incomplete without content marketing. And, when it comes to content marketing, Blogs do wonder!
Fortunately, every Shopify store has built-in blogging options to build credibility and a community around your services/products. Not only that, but if you want to update your customers with the new launch, this blogging feature is a perfect option to reach out to them.
Moreover, you can optimize those blogposts with specific keywords to get visibility to your potential customers. So, use this feature and boost your conversions.
Shopify App Marketplace
If you are unsatisfied with the built-in features of Shopify, you can integrate more relevant apps (from the Shopify app marketplace) to ease your selling process. Over 6,000+ apps are available (both free and paid) here so that you can customize your business the way you want.
Facebook channel, Google channel, Shopify Email, Shopify Inbox, and Buy Button Channel are the most popular ones in the Shopify App Marketplace.
Other leading apps, including Mailchimp, Snapchat Ads, Klaviyo, Spocket, and Carro, are also available in Shopify App Marketplace.
So, the Shopify app store is a one-stop solution for your business issues.
Email Marketing Feature
As you have decided to sell online, you must plan properly for the email marketing campaigns. And Shopify email is a good fit in this case.
With Shopify Email, you can customize design emails, launch campaigns, etc. The best part is you don’t need to be a coder or an expert to navigate Shopify Email. You just have to connect your customers with this app, and you are good to go!
If you use this application, you’ll get 10,000 emails free each month; after that, you will have to pay $1 for every 1000 emails. Fair enough!
Reporting and Analytics Tool
Without effective feedback, it’s impossible for someone to grow their business. Keeping that in concern, Shopify has integrated a built-in analytics tool to help you keep track of your monthly/annual performance.
Anyone can access these analytics, and if you have an online store, you’ll benefit from live view. Not only that, if you go for higher plans of Shopify, you’ll benefit from more reports, including inventory reports, marketing reports, order reports, customer reports, profit reports, and so on.
And one of the best aspects of this feature that makes Shopify stand out among the crowd is – if you upgrade your plan to a higher level, you’ll access all the advanced reports from the first day you joined Shopify. Great, right?
Shopify Selling Features
|Point of Sale feature||4.2|
|Multiple Language Selling||4.2|
Multi-Currency Selling with Shopify
Now selling will be easier than before as Shopify has integrated a multi-currency selling feature in its selling functionalities.
All you have to do is to enable the “selling in multi-currency feature” option and add a currency selector in your online store.
But before that, do check out your “customer experience”, as Shopify offers two-currency values in this aspect.
With this feature, you’ll be able to add different and supported currencies as per your choice to globalize your business. Again, it depends on your monthly/annual plan. The more your plan goes higher, the more you get benefitted from its advanced functionalities.
Boost your customer experience through Shopify POS. Starting from omnichannel selling to smart inventory management to staff management, Shopify has integrated every nitty-gritty aspect of its POS.
With Shopify POS, you can sell anywhere, even in your brick-and-mortar shops. All you have to do is to set up the Shopify POS app, select the hardware and set up your payment methods.
Shopify Dropshipping option is one of the best ways to reduce your headache of stock management and shipping hassle.
Stay away from all these annoyances and invest your time in marketing.
In this method, all you have to do is to take orders from your customer and send them to your dropshipping sellers. That’s it. You are done!
On the one hand, it reduces all the inconvenient hassles, and on the other hand, it saves inventory, shipping, and packaging costs. Also, you can experiment with multiple products to determine what works for you and what does not and scale your business accordingly.
Shopify Multi-Lingual Selling Option
If you want to globalize your business, you must opt for a multi-lingual selling option on Shopify. You can set multiple languages to create different URLs in your store. When customers visit your page will show them the content in their local language.
Remember, except for Shopify Lite, other Shopify plans offer you up to 20 different languages in a single store.
But the main drawback you will face with this feature is that it won’t change the product URLs in the translated language.
Shopify Shipping and Delivery Option
A seamless shipping and delivery option is necessary to grow your business. Customers always want an anti-hassle shipping method. So, before launching your business, you need to be clear about which shipping method you’ll integrate to offer a better shopping experience to your customers.
In Shopify, you’ll get three methods: Shipping, Local Delivery, and Local Pickup. Do analyze your business and select one as per your choice.
Now, if you want to avoid all these hassles, check out for Shopify Shipping to save money and time.
Once you start scaling your business, managing product inventory becomes an issue. But you are free from this problem with Shopify’s product inventory management system. This feature helps you to keep track of your stock, export and import stock via CSV file, multi-manager inventory, and hide out-of-stock products.
But if you want direct notification of your low stock, check out Shopify’s App Marketplace to integrate the advanced application into your online store.
Product Restock Alert
As a business owner, you can’t miss one single lead. So, keeping them in your pipeline is mandatory for your business growth. But once they find their products out-of-stock, it decreases their shopping experience. Even they might leave your page.
Now you can send them continuous alerts once you restock the products in your store. You’ll get multiple apps in the App Marketplace to make the process easier. They will retrieve your lost sales and nudge them to buy your products.
So, if you are already a Shopify seller, don’t forget to try it.
Shopify Themes and Designs
A well-designed store attracts everyone. It’s the first thing a customer looks at while visiting a store, and Shopify didn’t compromise on this feature.
On Shopify, you have full control over designing your website with 70+ different themes (both paid and free). The range of paid themes starts from $180 to $350. No matter what industry you belong to, Shopify Theme Store has a range of premium templates, including clothing and fashion, Jewelry, Electronics, etc.
These templates have been customized by renowned designers like Pixel Union and Clean Themes. So, there’s no drawback to these themes.
Moreover, Shopify allows you to customize templates as per your choice. So, no worries, create your customized store the way you want.
Well, you don’t need to be an expert or a programmer to build a Shopify Website. Just choose your preferred template, add eye-catching products and start selling.
Also, Shopify has its website builder that gives you full access to your website and the HTML/CSS used by your e-commerce website.
Additionally, Shopify has a templating language called Liquid that makes your website more engaging and attractive to your potential customers.
Ease of Use
“It’s very very easy to use”- this is the ultimate thing we got to know after interviewing several Shopify users. Shopify has a very basic and easy-to-use interface. Like other e-commerce builders, you will get a menu bar on the left-hand side. Select one as per your need and set up your store within a fraction of a second.
In a nutshell, Shopify is a very easy-to-use platform, and if you are a beginner, Shopify is a perfect suit for you.
Tax on Shopify
Though the tax norms and regulations change frequently; you still need to pay sales tax to the government. Shopify can help you out in this case. It automatically updates your sales tax. You must connect your business with the local tax authority and use Shopify tax reports to make things easier.
Shopify Pros & Cons
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using Shopify.
- You don’t need any technical skills to get started with Shopify. But there are also advanced features that developers can use to add custom features to their Shopify store.
- You can sell physical products, services, and even digital products with your Shopify store.
- Shopify has amazing themes which you can use to design your website, so you don’t have to start from the beginning to design your website.
- You can start selling across social media channels like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram within a few minutes with the Shopify starter plan, which only costs $5/mo.
- Shopify offers a 90-day special offer that allows you to use the features of the starter plan or basic plan at just $1/mo for 90 days. This offer is for only new users, and you can use it instantly after your 3-day free trial finishes.
- Shopify does not give you complete control of your store, meaning they can delete your store & its data whenever they want if you do anything wrong that goes against the Shopify license agreement.
- Shopify has a few free themes. Most Shopify premium themes have outrageous pricing, which is more than Shopify’s subscription plans.
The Shopify team is super active in providing enough support to its users. You can connect with them via emails, live chats, and phone calls. Its award-winning supporting team is active 24*7 to solve your queries.
If we compare Shopify with other leading eCommerce businesses like Squarespace, it doesn’t offer phone call support to its users. So, Shopify takes leads in this case.
Also, Shopify offers a range of documentaries and videos to clear all your doubts. You may also check their blogging page to stay updated with every change they make.
Why Should You Go For Shopify?
- It offers a starter plan at $5 that’s super efficient for beginners to try their hand out on online selling.
- Abandoned cart recovery option
- Email marketing feature
- Ease-of-use interface
- Automatic tax calculation feature to save your time.
- Efficient multi-currency and omnichannel selling feature to skyrocket your growth.
- Fully customizable and responsive homepage designing
- 14 days free trial ( no debit/credit card needed)
- If you pay annually for your plan, you will get a 50% discount on your purchase.
Drawbacks of Shopify
- Shopify Payments is only available in specific countries.
- If you integrate other payment options, you have to pay extra for your plans.
- Advanced features are accessible only when you install apps from the Shopify marketplace. Sometimes this process might seem a bit tricky for newbie business owners.
- Shopify’s customer support system is pretty basic. It could have been better if Shopify had made things simpler.
- Overall, Shopify is more expensive ( paid themes+paid apps+monthly/annual plan) than other ecommerce-builders available in the market.
Shopify and Its Rivals
|Pricing Plans (per month)||$29-$299(Shopify starter at $5)||$29.95-$299.95||$16-$46||$23-$49|
|Number of Templates||70+||120+||110+||1000+|
|SEO features||Effective but you may face problems of duplicate content||Highly effective||Remarkable SEO features.||Excellent fit for every website|
|Built-in Email Marketing Functionality||Yes||No ( via third-party apps)||Yes||Yes, its free plan also offers an email marketing tool.|
|Ease of Use||Easy||A bit difficult||Minimalistic but could be improved||Very easy and user-friendly|
|Business Globalization||Not for international level growth||A perfect fit to grow your business||Ideal for big brands||Not a perfect match for large businesses|