Are you looking for “how to set up an online store?” If yes, then you’ve stumbled on the right page. Here we are writing a full Shopify review with detailed features. So, continue reading this article and within few minutes, you’ll have the answers.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a fully hosted e-commerce platform which lets you

  • Build an online store
  • Sell across multiple channels
  • Manage your online store

Whether you want to start an online business or turn your retail store in into an online store, Shopify can help you with that.

Shopify lets you create an ecommerce website powered by robust tools that can help you find customers globally, help drive sales, increase web traffic, and manage your day-to-day activities everywhere.

According to Shopify, over 1 million businesses in 175 countries around the world to make over $200 billion USD in sales have been supported using Shopify.

How does Shopify work?

The main objective behind Shopify is to make people able, to create online stores themselves without any coding or designing skills.

Shopify is a website builder, hosting the websites on its own web servers, saving you from the hassle of installing any software or buying web hosting.

You need to pay a monthly fee for the setup and as long as you have access to the internet and a web browser, you’re good to go and can manage your store anywhere.

Shopify also offers add-on applications to support the functioning of eCommerce sites by providing features like payment processing, inventory management, shopping cart features, handling of shipping, and more.

You can even customize your store based on your requirements with an option to add custom code.

Features

Themes – Shopify provides 9 free e-commerce themes. If the free themes don’t fascinate you, you have 64 more e-commerce themes in the paid version, ranging from $100 to $180

Mobile-friendly– Shopify includes a built-in mobile e-commerce shopping cart, allowing users to browse and buy from your online store using mobile or tablet.

Shopify is also adding functionality to Shopify app for a better experience.

Point Of Sale – Shopify also offers a feature called the point of sale (POS) system which lets you do in-person selling.

Recently Shopify has added a new retail kit to the mix, which consists of a tap and chip card reader and a retail stand for the iPad.

So, not just online, you can sell from your physical store, face-to-face also. And as this is integrated in your Shopify backend, everything from inventory management to prices will remain synced.

All this can be done online but if you wish to sell more offline then you can consider buying PoS hardware

Custom HTML and CSS code – Shopify gives you full access to your store’s HTML and CSS code, allowing full customization of each aspect of your online store.

SEO – Shopify supports search engine optimization best practices like customizable H1s, write title, and meta tags as well as product tags.

Inventory management – You can add unlimited products to the list, track products’ availability based on demand with Analytics provided by Shopify

Free SSL certificate – Shopify provides a free 256-bit SSL certificate.

All pages, content, credit card, and transaction information is protected by the same level of security used by banks.

Flexible payment processing options – You can accept credit cards with Shopify, over 100 payment gateways, free or flexible shipping, automatic taxes based on your location.

Abandoned cart recovery – This feature helps you follow up with visitors who left the checkout process unfinished.

Contact information provided by customers who didn’t complete the buying process is stored in abandoned checkout.

Though Shopify sends abandoned cart saver mails to customers in 2 fixed time intervals, but it can be customized too.

Customer tracking – You can learn about customer and their shopping habits and use this information to set up marketing campaigns targeting right customers, predict inventory demands and plan your sales.

Reports & Analytics – You can see real-time and recent activity on your online store. You can run email marketing campaigns and track them, view product reports, export reports, and traffic reports along with an option to integrate with Google Analytics.

For more insights, you can break down views of sales by month, week, day, or even by hour chunks during a single day.

Important marketing metrics such as conversion rates, add-to-cart data, abandoned carts, and completed checkouts are just a click away.

Ecommerce Features

Add/manage products – You can easily add products to your Shopify’s ecommerce store with the simple Shopify interface.

If you have lots of products or you have a big online store, you can import all your products by importing a CSV file.

Organizing products – Shopify has an option called “Collections” which can be assigned manually to products for grouping.

Using this grouping, Shopify will create a page for each collection showing all grouped products.

Payment processors and transaction fees – Shopify has more than 100 payment gateways, which is more than any other alternative.

Shopify even has its own payment system – Shopify Payments (powered by Stripe)
Also, if you use another payment option other than Shopify Payments, then you will be charged extra transaction fees – 2%, 1% or 0.5% based on your plan. Also, as Shopify Payments is not available in every country, it’s better to use it if you can.

Shipping – eCommerce shipping can be an exhaustive task and therefore, demands an efficient system that would save both time and money.
Shopify comes to the rescue here too.
You can start shipping as soon as you get your first order with built-in Shopify shipping in your Shopify account.

You can track the status of shipments and all the shipping costs are on the same bill as your monthly subscription.
Additionally, you can calculate your shipping costs here.

Dropshipping – With dropshipping, your e-commerce site can be considered like a middle-man where you take an order, send it to a supplier, and deliver the goods to your client without making or storing any products.

Pricing

Shopify pricing comes at five levels-

Lite: $9 per month

Basic Shopify: $29 per month

Shopify: $79 per month

Advanced Shopify: $299 per month

Shopify Plus: pricing varies depending on requirements

  1. Lite: $9 per month
  2. Basic Shopify: $29 per month
  3. Shopify: $79 per month
  4. Advanced Shopify: $299 per month
  5. Shopify Plus: pricing varies depending on requirements

but mostly the three plans in the middle are focused more on in advertising. You can explore Shopify with a free 14-day trial, with no credit card required. Your free trial will automatically get canceled at the end of 14 days; you’ll have to purchase a plan to activate it again.

Shopify’s pricing plans are billed on monthly basis. While there are no contracts to sign, if you choose to purchase a full year-long plan, you can save 10%. If you purchase two years at a time, you’ll save 20%.

Key difference between plans and which plan you should choose

Shopify Basic plan starts at $29 – which isn’t cheap but comes with a good range of associated tools –

  • Unlimited number of products
  • Unlimited file storage
  • Ability to sell digital products
  • Manual order creation
  • Website and blog section
  • Shipping label discounts
  • Retail packaging if needed (with additional charges)
  • Sell through social media channels

If you want more features like personal reports, Fraud analysis, or option for Gift cards, you’ll have to go up the price ladder and choose the “Shopify” plan which offers the most features as in Advanced Shopify for $79 per month.

Pros and cons of Shopify

Pros-

  • Sell products across multiple channels – Shopify lets you make use of different sales channels to help increase sales. You can sell on Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest, Mobile apps and even in physical locations with built-in POS system (explained in
    Features section)
  • Shopify “Buy Button” – You can add a shopping cart to any of your existing website with this button
  • Supports over 100 payment processors worldwide – Also supports over 100 payment processors worldwide
  • Sell both digital and physical products – handle both digital and physical products
  • Shopify POS – You can integrate your integrate your physical store with Shopify POS(Point-of-Sale) feature
  • Security and backups– Shopify take care of security and meets all 6 categories of PCI standards making your shopping experience not just wonderful but ultra-secure too.

Cons-

  • Advanced features and add-ons are available at a higher price, so you need to set your budget if you decide on spending $26 a month and then with addition of each app, price goes up only.
  • Shopify doesn’t offer email hosting meaning you can’t host a domain-based email address like info@mystore.com. To overcome this, you can set up email forwarding using 3rd party email hosting connection so every time someone sends a mail to info@mystore.com, it’ll get forwarded to your Gmail or yahoo.
  • No drag and drop interface

Why will you select Shopify

Shopify is an ecommerce beast and comes loaded with features which will surely help your business grow to surprising extent.

It’s ease of use and convenience to create an ecommerce site within a week makes it more tempting as a solution.

Shopify Alternatives

There are some Shopify alternatives that you can look at-

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is the strongest alternative to Shopify as it has similar pricing, ease-of-use and have feature set like Shopify’s. BigCommerce offers more important things in its basic plan than Shopify’s basic plan like professional reporting, built-in rating and review system, automatic currency conversion, etc. : BigCommerce performs better when it comes to SEO and also doesn’t charge any transactional fee like Shopify but BigCommerce will move you to a higher pricing plan as you hit certain thresholds in your sales.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce The main reason you’d want to choose WooCommerce over Shopify could be if you need a multilingual website and a lot of flexibility. WooCommerce offers better SEO than Shopify. But overall Shopify would weigh more because of its user-friendliness.

Wix

Wix and Shopify’s offer several common features, one of the evident difference is that Wix offers an entirely free plan whereas Shopify has a 14-day trial. But Wix’s free plan won’t let you sell anything or connect a domain. Also, though both Shopify and Wix charge transactional fee if their own payment gateways (Shopify Payments and Wix Payments) is not used but Shopify will take a percentage of your sales if you use a third-party payment gateway unlike Wix

FAQ

Is there a setup fee?

No. There are no setup fees on any of our plans.

Can I cancel my account at any time?

Yes. If you ever decide that Shopify isn’t the best ecommerce platform for your business, simply cancel your account.

How long are your contracts?

All Shopify plans are month to month unless you sign up for an annual or biennial plan.

Do you offer any discounted plans?

Yes, we offer a 10% discount on annual plans and a 20% discount on biennial plans, when they are paid upfront.

Can I change my plan later on?

Absolutely! You can upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time.

Do I have to sell the same products in-store as I do online?

No, you can choose exactly what products to sell online, in-store, or both.

Can I use my own domain name?

Yes. You can purchase a domain name within Shopify, or use an existing one that you own. We also provide a free myshopify.com domain name to all stores on sign up.

Do I need a web host?

Shopify includes secure, unlimited ecommerce hosting on all plans except Shopify Lite. You can also use the Buy Button to add ecommerce to any existing website.

What does Shopify POS do?

Shopify POS is an application for iOS and Android devices that you can use for transactions in a physical store or pop-up setting. Find products, process orders, take payment, swipe credit cards, produce receipts, and control it all from your iPad or mobile device. All the background management of your store is done from your Shopify admin, which you can access using any browser.

Can I merge my Shopify online store with Shopify POS?

Yes. Your Shopify online store automatically synchronizes with Shopify POS, and you manage your entire business from one dashboard. Product or inventory updates that you make in your Shopify admin will instantly take effect in Shopify POS.

Summary

Shopify acts like a bridge between physical stores and online businesses, with no additional knowledge of coding required, yet with an option for customization if you’re a developer and would want to personalize.

Shopify is a great option because it’s both simple and customizable.

If your main focus is e-commerce then it is certainly one of the best options available as Shopify makes growing sales, managing ecommerce website easy with a user-friendly setup.