Shopify is the leading e-commerce platform that allows entrepreneurs to start their online stores fast and free. Moreover, Shopify is easy to use, so knowing specific nuances, you can easily manage your store, even if you have never had any website building experience. That is why in this article, we’ll dive into its pros and cons to identify if the third world’s popular CMS is suitable for your online shop creation.
Shopify keeps your online store running smoothly while you’re focused on selling and growing your business. If you have an e-commerce business based on an online store, its backbone can become Shopify.
Shopify store builder key statistics and costs
There’s a reason Shopify is such a popular platform. We didn’t add it to our list of the best website builders, as it is a bit limited in its options. But it is a great CMS, and perhaps the biggest reason is that building your first store has never been more accessible. And there is some good news for those who’re aiming to open up a store on Shopify:
- Shopify revenue grows 47% year on year
- The number of Shopify shoppers increased by 52% from 2019 to 2020
- Shopify businesses saw a 50% increase in online sales in 2019, compared to 21% for the global e-commerce market as a whole:
Advantages and disadvantages of launching an online shop on Shopify
Let’s dive deeper into using Shopify for building an online store. Here are honest reviews of every of its valuable properties.
No technical skills needed
Shopify is straightforward to use and doesn’t require any technical skills from the user.
A leisurely start to sell digital products
Shopify is ready for anything you can throw at it – you can sell physical products, digital products, services, or whatever. Of course, you can actually sell digital products on WordPress too, but in Shopify, it seems more manageable.
Simple integration with Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest shops
If all you want to do is sell products on social media like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, then you can do it with the affordable Shopify Lite plan at $9/month. You can sell your products through multiple channels, not just an online store.
Shopify allows users to leverage other potential sales channels to increase sales. Here are some of the supported channels with easy product integration:
- Sell on Facebook – sell your Shopify products on your Facebook page.
- Sell on Amazon – connect Shopify with a professional Amazon seller.
- Sell on Pinterest – sell your products directly through Pins.
- Sell on mobile apps – sell Shopify products in the apps you develop.
- Sell in person at brick-and-mortar stores – Shopify helps unify all of your products and inventory with an embedded POS system.
Shopify even lets you integrate their system into your existing chain of stores. And Shopify is fully hosted, so you don’t need to worry about server issues or maintenance.
Store management through the app
Shopify gives you mobile apps for iOS and Android – so you can manage your store on the go:
Shopify payment system
No transaction fees needed if you use Shopify Payment — Shopify’s own payment processing module.
Lots of plugins
More than 2000 applications and plugins are available in the Shopify app store. It means you’ll be able to integrate your Shopify store with countless third-party services, as well as add new features with the click of a button. But can it beat 59,000 WordPress plugins available?
Shopify online shop management disadvantages
Everything is paid
For example, if you want your customers to leave reviews and ratings for your products, you have to pay for these features additionally through extensions.
No full control
You are not entirely in control of your store. Your store is hosted on servers owned by Shopify, which means that if they decide to close your store, they can. Most likely, this will not happen if you do not violate any of their license agreements.
There are additional payment processing fees above standard credit card processing rates unless you use Shopify’s native payment module. The Shopify Basic plan for $29/month comes with the minimum set of features required to run an online store. But useful advanced features such as reporting, fraud analysis, gift cards, and real-time shipping rates are only available on higher-tier plans. While you can get many useful add-ons from the Shopify app marketplace, many are not free.
For example, the Exit Offers app costs $9.99 per month, and Intuit QuickBooks costs $29.99 per month. You may have to pay $15 extra per month if you need the Retarget App. While these apps offer great features, using all of them will definitely increase your overall spending.
Hard to customize themes using the native PHP language
The Shopify platform uses a proprietary PHP language called Liquid. All themes are encoded in this format. Unfortunately, this makes it harder to customize your theme if you don’t know how to code in Liquid or don’t want to hire a developer who knows how to code Shopify themes.
Several Shopify reviews from developers mention that Liquid is an easy-to-learn language, but there are lots of entrepreneurs who are not comfortable fiddling with the code.
No email hosting
Shopify doesn’t provide you with email hosting, although web hosting is included with all Shopify plans. Unfortunately, this means you cannot host a domain-based email address like email@example.com.
What you can do is set up email forwarding. This makes it so that whenever someone contacts firstname.lastname@example.org, the email will automatically be forwarded to your regular email address, like Gmail or Yahoo.
Shopify’s built-in payment processor only allows you to sell from certain countries, and you’ll have to pay a transaction fee if you’re using third-party payment gateways.
Best brands on Shopify
Some people think Shopify is only suitable for small businesses. But Shopify provides you with everything you need to run a successful online store for a major brand. Below are a few examples:
What type of business does Shopify suit best?
The wide range of apps that Shopify offers makes it one of the most versatile e-commerce platforms on the market. So if you’re in the mood to start an online shop — go deeper into the e-commerce development guide and just do it.
All in all, you can sell most family-friendly products on Shopify. Merchants’ standard products include paintings, antiques, bags, cameras, pottery and ceramics, stamps, T-shirts, wine, furniture, toys, books, car parts, baby products, stationery, and photo prints.
Although, some businesses are prohibited from using the Shopify platform, including:
- Any business that infringes on rights of intellectual property
- Regulated or illegal products and services such as gambling and pharmaceuticals
- Investment and lending services, virtual currency, and adult content and services
- Video games or virtual world credits
- Selling a performance of any social media actions – lies, comments, etc.
- Multilevel marketing and pyramid schemes
- Tickets for events
The platform is ideal for entrepreneurs who want to open their online store with minimal investment in a short time frame. In addition, using Shopify provides access to various themes and widgets to help automate many processes and increase key business performance indicators. Shopify is a bit limited, and some of its cons probably won’t let you make your business successful. Nevertheless, we consider WordPress the best CMS for creating an online shop. Contact us — and we will explain why.