Shopify Reviews 2015 – Grow Your Online Sales

Last updated on February 17, 2015

Shopify Review Highlights

  • Beautiful & Professional Designs – makes your store look great (helps you sell more!)
  • Comprehensive e-commerce tools (with 1,100+ Apps in their App Store)
  • 24/7 support (phone, online live chat, email) – get help at any time
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There are a number of Shopify reviews and we’re the first ones to admit, choosing the right e-commerce online shop builder is tough.  A lot of reputable online shop builders give you all sorts of tools and it’s confusing – which one is the right one for you?

In our minds, if you are starting a new online business, or just bringing an existing business to the online world, Shopify is definitely a builder to create your online shop (we’ll explain why below).

Shopify is a leading online shop builder, and is currently powering over 150,000 online shops.  Take a look at these examples here and you can see what Shopify can do for you.

It doesn’t matter if you are just starting a new online shop, or bringing an offline store online to grow your business, the last thing you want to do is troubleshoot technology.  Shopify can help you save time so you can focus on other important aspects of your business.

One key thing that we think Shopify has done exceptionally well, is invite other vendors (such as theme designers or online tools providers) to integrate their services and products into Shopify, making Shopify a 1-stop-shop for all the tools you’ll need to create a successful online shop.  We’ll give you more details below.

The best thing about Shopify is that it’s made me not have to worry about anything that has to do with the e-commerce portion of my business – Chris Tsang, Mindzai Toys (



  1. Shopify offers you over 100 beautiful and professional templates (themes), so your online shop can look great.  If you have an online shop, your shop has to look good.  Why?  It builds credibility and trust right off the bat.  It’s the same idea as a brick and mortar store – it has to look clean and professional to encourage visitors to stay and have a look around.Shopify provides you with a Theme Store where you can pick and choose from their collection of premium themes (either free or paid) across different industries (clothing, jewelry, furniture, art, etc), so you can dress up your website accordingly.  One thing we appreciate is that Shopify invites professional theme designers to create themes for Shopify.  These themes are quality-checked by Shopify, so they are fully compatible with Shopify.  This allows you to choose from a broad range of professional designs so your website will look good.
  2. Shopify is very flexible and has all sorts of tools (Apps) to meet your needs and to extend the functionality of your online store.  They offer you a large App Store where you can choose from over 1,100 different Apps (free and paid) for you to plug into your store.  The tools include accounting, customer service, inventory management, marketing, reporting, shipping, social media, fulfillment, etc and these apps can help automate a lot of your business processes.  This is really one of the biggest strengths about Shopify – Not only do they give you a way to build an online store and handle payments, they also offer you helpful tools you need for other important aspects of running a successful business.  You probably won’t need all of them, so you can pick and choose the apps that you need.  These apps are fully integrated into Shopify, so you don’t have to mess around with different systems and try to make them “talk” to each other.  Just plug and play – which will save you a lot of time and work.
  3. Shopify offers you a true 24/7 anytime support.  You can reach them at any time through phone support, online live chat or email.  They even provide you with 4 international phone numbers so you can choose the number that fits your region.  If you’re running a business, you need immediate access to support when you need technology troubleshooting – Shopify provides this for you. [More details on Shopify’s Support below]

  1. In addition to a monthly service fee, Shopify charges its customers a 1% – 2% transaction fee for their lower plans.  This transaction fee is removed if you are using their “Unlimited” plan [more details on Shopify’s pricing plans below].  What this means for you, is that Shopify will charge you 2% of the sales value if you are using the Basic plan, and 1% of the sales value if you are using the Professional plan.  While this might sound high initially, let’s put this in perspective.To illustrate, the cost to you is $1 or $2 for every $100 in sales that you make, or $100 or $200 for every $10,000 in sales.  This fee is intended to cover the technology it takes for Shopify to power your sales.  More sales usually mean more visitors, and more visitors use up a lot of bandwidth (think of it as power it takes for Shopify to allow your visitors to look around the store).  While this transaction fee is in addition to the monthly plan fee, we would still be very excited if we sold $10,000 per month in products and would gladly pay $100 or $200 to Shopify to power and manage the transactions for us.Moreover, if you started to make more sales, you can always upgrade to the “Unlimited” plan to completely remove the transaction fee.  One thing you should appreciate about Shopify, is that they are very transparent in their fee structures.  A lot of other large online shop builders are well known for charging hidden fees, so you get a big surprising bill that you can’t calculate at the end of the month.  With Shopify, you can actually calculate how much you owe them based on the agreed up on monthly plan, and also based on how much sales you’ve made (which you know). [Update – See how by using Shopify Payments, Shopify will waive all your transaction fees]
  2. Although Shopify offers you over 1,100 apps to extend the functionality of your online shop, a lot of the apps are not free and they charge you a monthly fee for you to use them.  Naturally, this might be concerning due to increased monthly costs.  For example, integrating Freshbooks (a leading accounting / booking software) to your Shopify store is $31.99 per month.However, consider it this way.  If you need to manage accounting, this means that you are making a good number of sales, so you’re going to need to manage your accounting anyway.  You can either sign up for an accounting software elsewhere, and manually export your sales information and import them into your accounting software (you know there will be a few glitches along the way, and in most cases, nobody will step up to help you because it’s “not their problem”), or you can hire a bookkeeper for a lot more than $31.99 per month.  Or, you can use one of Shopify’s apps to make your life easier – because the apps are fully integrated with Shopify, so there is no manual work to make the different systems communicate properly.  Everything is integrated and you don’t have to lift a finger to deal with bookkeeping.Will the cost add up if you need several paid apps to extend your online shop’s functions?  Yes.  Will it save you time, headaches and money over time?  Yes.  We’ve all tried to pinch dollars when running businesses.  But don’t be “penny wise, pound foolish”.  The apps are here to make your life easier, so you can focus on other important aspects of your business.
  3. If you know code (HTML and CSS) and want to customize your website (or hire a programmer), it’s not as straight forward as in addition to editing through HTML and CSS (the basic codes), Shopify also uses their own coding language called “Liquid”.   What this means is that if you want to hire someone to quickly make modifications, you might have to hire a Shopify Expert who knows Liquid to help, which won’t be as cheap as a normal programmer.  Of course, this assumes that you want to make customizations.  What you can do is keep with the basic premium themes first, and as you start to make more sales, then consider making customizations.


[Update to Video – In the video at the 7 minute 30 second mark, we discussed Shopify’s pricing and their transaction fees.  Now, through Shopify Payments, Shopify will waive all your transaction fees]


Shopify is ideal for you if you want to launch an online shop, or if you already have a physical store, but want to continue to grow your business by selling your products online.

Shopify caters to a broad range of industries, such as art & photography, clothing & fashion, jewelry & accessories, electronics, food & beverages, home & garden, furniture & household, sports & recreations, toys & games, etc. (See Shopify examples here)

Basically any sort of gadgets or widgets or physical products that you can sell, Shopify can help make this an easier process for you.

Dealing with technology isn’t easy, and technology is not the only thing in running a successful business.  So allowing platforms such as Shopify to help you manage the technology side of things, while you can focus on other parts of your business (such as marketing, product development, customer relationships building, administration, etc), Shopify can make your already hectic life a bit easier.

[UPDATE (Sept 2013) – Shopify launched their Point of Sale (POS) System.  So if you have an offline retail store, you can now integrate your entire sales system with a Shopify online store!  You can effectively turn an iPad into a sales terminal, using it to help your customers browse through your product catalog, handle credit card transactions, and even hook it up to your cash register.  A bold move from Shopify, which moves it closer to being a “true” commerce service provider.]


Shopify gives you tools to build your online store.  It’s not magic, so you will have to commit a few hours to learn the basics, but once you do that, it’s pretty smooth sailing from there (don’t forget you also get 24/7 online or phone support from them).

Shopify gives you the tools to:

  • Insert product images, descriptions / details
  • Manage your inventory
  • Organize your products into categories (easier for your prospective customers to find what they need)
  • Discount code engine
  • Creating webpages and blogs
  • Track customer and order details
  • Accept payments from 50 different payment processors in different currencies
  • Set up customer accounts (so your customers can log in into their private accounts to manage their personal information such as address, credit card information, so it’s easier for them to buy next time)
  • Sort your customers by location, money spent, etc, so you can better understand where your customers are from and their spending behaviors, so you can market better to them
  • Manage multiple staff login – so if you have staff helping you, you can grant them different permission levels to help you manage your online shop

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The overall theme from Shopify, is that they can do the “heavy lifting” for you, so you can focus on other parts of your business.


As mentioned in the “Pros About Shopify” section above, Shopify offers you over 100 premium themes for you to dress up your online shop.  Having your online shop look professional and elegant builds trust and credibility.  As vain as that sounds, it’s true and it works.

Imagine yourself walking into a store that looks mediocre or messy – does it inspire trust?  Most likely not.  Shopify offers you a lot of professional themes to help you built trust, and sell products.

Shopify Reviews

Some of the themes are free, and some are paid.  For the paid themes, they range from $80 to $180.  While this might sound pricey at first, just remember that it is a 1-time payment (no need to pay monthly / recurring fees), and an investment to making your online shop look professional with the end goal of keeping your visitors on your website and improving your chances of making sales.

After all, you don’t really need to invest in a paid premium theme yet if you have a tight budget.  There are plenty of free themes to start off with.  Once you start to get more sales, you can always upgrade to a paid theme later on.


Did you know that for an average e-commerce store, 2 out of 3 of your potential customers actually place products into the checkout cart, then forget to complete the purchase process as they get distracted by emails, people, random things?  This is actually true according to statistics and if this happens to you, you will be losing a lot of potential profits.

What a lot of advanced shopping cart provider offer is the ability for you to discover who these people are, and follow up with them to remind them to purchase the products that they added to the shopping cart.

Shopify also offers an abandoned checkout cart recovery service to you as part of their Professional and Unlimited plans (more details about the plans below).

This tool enables you to automatically track and email these potential customers to follow up and remind them to complete their purchases.

Shopify Reviews - Abandoned Checkout Recovery

The way this tool works is that it will “remember” the email addresses that were inserted during the check out processes, and Shopify will automatically email them after a number of hours of your choice, with links hat are  unique to each one of them, and bring them directly back to the shopping cart with their products already added to the cart, for them to complete the purchase with relative ease.

This entire process is automatic, and statistically, you will see a meaningful increase in your sales without having to lift your finger.  

These potential customers were ready to purchase but got distracted, so this is a quick and easy win for you to remind and help them to complete their purchases.  This tool is readily available with Shopify.


As mentioned above, Shopify offers you an extensive number of Apps (over 1,100) so you can add more functions to your online shop, and automate a lot of business tasks.

The tools are not just sales & marketing tools, they also include additional tools that help you manage administrative tasks such as inventory management, fulfillment, shipping, customer service, bookkeeping, etc.

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While Shopify already includes basic functions for a lot of these areas, if you need more, these Apps can help you.

As discussed above, while these apps do have monthly fees, they’re well worth it if you need those functions to save yourself time (and pain).

For example, you can add live chat functions to your site to improve customer service and answer pre-sale questions, add customer review / rating widgets so your visitors can see what people are saying about your products (peer reviews can influence shopping behavior), or automate inventory / fulfillment process so you don’t have to manually process orders all day long.

You can pick and choose which app you want to use, so if you don’t need the app, you don’t have to use it. You have full control over that.

The apps are there to streamline your business, so to save you time and headaches, allowing you to focus on other parts of your business (or life).


An e-commerce shop builder is not complete without mobile features – and Shopify does not disappoint here.

Shopify includes free, built-in mobile e-commerce shopping cart features so your prospective customers can browse and purchase from your store directly from their mobile phones.

Shopify Reviews

The mobile e-commerce settings are set up in a way that it works great with mobile phones such as iPhones, Androids, Blackberry or other smart phones.

Not only does Shopify present your online shop professionally on a mobile phone, it also allows you to manage your store on a mobile phone.  You can check your sales statistics, customer data and manage your sales orders on your mobile phone.  This way, you are always in touch with your business even if you are not in your office.


Shopify Customer Support

Shopify has one of the best support team in the industry.  You can reach them 24/7 through the phone, online live chat, or email.

shopify reviewsWhen you’re running a business, the last thing you want to do is troubleshoot technology yourself.  This is why having a 24/7 support team to support you is so important, and you get this from Shopify.

Shopify Tutorial Resources

Shopify offers you a comprehensive knowledgebase and manual so you can find a lot of answers in there.  They include screenshots so you can see exactly how to solve the issue you are experiencing.

If that doesn’t work, you can always call, live chat or email their dedicated support team for further help.

Shopify Community Forum

Shopify also has a large discussion forum where you can find a lot of questions that were previously asked and answered.

The forum works well because not only can you post questions to Shopify’s support team, you can also get real input and tips from other Shopify users (real business owners).  This is an invaluable way to grow your business and get tips that are working for other Shopify users.

Further, they also offer an Ecommerce University which gives you access to their learning center (guides to sell more online), which is a nice touch.


As part of your monthly plan, Shopify will host your online shop for you and gives you unlimited amount of bandwidth.  So in theory, if you have 10 million visitors per month, you won’t get charged a penny more than your monthly plan.

The good thing is that they manage the entire hosting process for you so you can focus on other important parts of your business, such as marketing, products or just enjoying life!

Shopify Reviews

Shopify takes care of all the security upgrades for their servers and do all the technical details to ensure your website is always up and running, and doesn’t get hacked.

They also provide you with top notch security to ensure that your customer data is secure.  Your online shop will be Level 1 PCI compliant and the shopping cart also includes an SSL certificate that uses industry standard 128 bit encryption technology (the same level of encryption used by large banks) to keep your store’s information secure.  You can also mention this to your visitors so they know it is safe to purchase from you.

Shopify also backs up your data automatically.

All these e-commerce hosting benefits are all included in your monthly plan with Shopify.  As mentioned before, Shopify is good at taking care of all these technological details and tasks from you, so you can focus on other things.


Truth be told, if you’re looking for something free, Shopify won’t be able to provide that.

But if you are looking for a solid, robust, flexible online shop builder that can actually help you grow your sales and manage a lot of administrative business tasks for you, Shopify is a good candidate to consider.

If you’re going to build a business, the key consideration is value – does the price of having the online infrastructure and 24/7 live support justify your investment in Shopify?

Based on what we’ve covered above, you can get a sense that using Shopify can range from $14 per month for their Starter Plan, all the way to $179 per month for their Unlimited Plan.  You get more features and tools as you move higher up in their plans, and the credit card rate also reduces (which makes sense as you are subscribed to a higher monthly plan).  Click here to see Shopify’s detailed pricing plans.

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When you look at the “Credit Card Rate” in the table above, this utilizes Shopify Payments system so won’t need to hire a separate financial transaction services provider such as PayPal to manage your sales transactions (more details on this Shopify Payments here).  The primary advantage here is that you can manage all your finances and transactions within the Shopify platform, so you don’t have to log into yet another service provider.  Setup time is also kept to a minimum as the payment system is built in already.

Shopify’s credit card rate is pretty similar to what PayPal charges you in transaction fees (PayPal starts at 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction as well, then goes lower if you start to ramp up sales).

The “Swipe” fee which ranges from 2.7% down to 2.15% per “swipe” relates to using Shopify’s Point of Sales (POS) system which enables you to power your offline store, or even host pop-up stores to process sales away from your computer.  More on our discussion on Shopify’s POS here.

If you consider the pricing of Shopify’s plans, just the Abandoned Checkout Recovery tool that comes with the Professional and Unlimited plan is worth a lot of money every month.  Imagine this automated tool being able to recover hundreds (or thousands if you have a large store) of dollars every month automatically.  [See how Shopify’s Abandoned Cart Recovery tool works to make you more money here]

If you want more flexibility, Shopify’s apps can also “extend” your shop’s functionality, which helps your website grow as you scale up your business.  If the app you choose is a paid app, it will also have its own separate monthly fee.  So just keep this in mind.

Overall, the saying that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” really holds true here.  If you want something cheaper, you’ll receive an inferior experience, less tools, less support, and that’s not something you should aim for if you are serious about your business.

Even though Shopify is not the cheapest option around, it definitely provides you with a high-end online shop solution, flexibility to grow with your business, 24/7 support (which is so valuable when you run a business), and pricing transparency (a lot of other online shop builders have hidden charges).

Shopify also comes with a risk-free 14 day trial for you to test for yourself.  If you don’t think it’s suitable for you, you can always walk away before committing.

Overall, as online business owners ourselves, we can definitely appreciate investing the right amount of financial resources to receive help and convenience.  Investing in the right tools to grow your business is not something you should take lightly.  In our own experiences, investing in tools resulted in saving us a lot of time, money and resources.

You only have 24 hours per day, and as a business owner, you have to juggle between operating your business and life.  Investing in tools can make your life easier so you can focus on other important aspects of business and life.  This is one of the secrets to growing your business, and maintaining a personal life to remain sane.


Overall, we feel that Shopify is a very strong e-commerce online shop builder.  Specifically we are impressed with 2 unique things:

  1. Premium store front themes – your online shop will look professional, which is a key ingredient in attracting more visitors and keeping them on your website to increase sales
  2. Shopify Apps – to add more / extend functionality to your online shop as you grow your business

Shopify understands that their core strength is to allow you to build and manage a website with a secure shopping cart, and they understand that they can’t build all the different business tools in the world for you.

So what do they do?  They invite professional designers and services providers to integrate their designs and apps / tools with Shopify.  You have access to designer-caliber store front themes, and a broad range of fully integrated apps to help you manage and automate a lot of your business (this means less work for you).

This flexibility and the ability for Shopify to grow with your online business, is one of the unique aspects that we’ve grown to appreciate, and I hope you do as well.  You can start off with less features and tools, and add more and bolt them on to your online shop as you grow.

[Update Sept 2013As mentioned above, Shopify’s Point of Sale (POS) system will also help you grow your offline retail store (if you have one), or help you process sales away from your computer (such as a pop-up store). Start using your iPad as your mobile store catalog and payment terminal, while synchronizing all your data with your online store – a “true” business commerce setup!]

Keep in mind that to have success with your online shop, you need a very strong, capable and flexible online platform / infrastructure to support you.  Shopify is one of those platforms that you should consider investing in, especially with their 24/7 phone and live chat support.  It makes a lot more sense to let them deal with the technology aspect of things, so you can focus on other aspects of your business.

Shopify offers you a risk-free 14 days trial to see for yourself if they fit your needs. So there is no financial risk to you to try them out.

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Jeremy Wong
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About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.


About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

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97 Responses to Shopify Reviews 2015 – Grow Your Online Sales

  1. andre February 9, 2015 at 3:27 PM #

    Hi jeremy,

    Nice article you have here. Moving on, how do you feel about the difference in monthly plans. Lets say, between the basic and the professional. It seems that the price gap between the two are vast, yet with little difference in features. Please advice.

    Thanks : )

    • Jeremy Wong February 10, 2015 at 3:35 PM #

      Hi Andre,

      Good question. I think one of the decision factors I would make is based on the number of products you are selling, and how much traffic / visitors you get to your site.

      We have another discussion article here that addresses this.

      With the Professional plan, you can upload up to 5 GB worth of files and with the Basic plan you get 1 GB in space. So the more products you have, the more product images you would want to upload. So as you increase your products you sell, the more space you need. Increasing the number of products also may imply (at times) that you are growing, which is a good thing it that’s the case.

      Another thing to consider is that with the Professional plan, you get the Abandoned Cart Recovery tool. Statistically, almost 70% of customers who add products to the shopping cart do not end up purchasing – that’s a really significant portion of sales that an online store is potentially losing!

      So the Abandoned Cart Recovery tool can help you recover a portion of those sales by following up with your prospective customers to “nudge” them to purchase. And all this takes place automatically without you having to do any work!

      Hope this helps!


  2. John January 22, 2015 at 2:48 AM #

    Hi there

    Great site! So helpful.

    I have a site that was built with a very basic website builder, over the years we have added a forum (vbulletin program) and a classified program (panjo). We are using the forum to advertise our products (showing how to use them) and the classifieds as the “online shop” it looks old fashioned.

    My questions:
    Could Shopify reproduce the pages and info from my website? Can I move Vbulletin forum onto the “new Shopify site”? the Forum has over 2 years of information so I don’t want to start a new forum again from scratch

    we are looking to open a retail business in a year or 2 so the upgrade later to POS with Shopify sounds appealing



    • Jeremy Wong January 22, 2015 at 4:57 PM #

      Hey John,

      Thanks for your note. I’m not entirely sure if you can drop in your forum into a Shopify platform but my guess is that it will be very difficult to do so, if at all, unless you adapt the forum codes to work with Shopify’s platform.

      I completely understand that you don’t want to re-do everything all over again, but maybe it’s worth consulting this matter with some Shopify experts, who are experts in building out and everything related to integration with Shopify.

      Good luck with your business and hope this points you towards the right direction!


  3. genco January 13, 2015 at 7:39 PM #

    I stumble upon your page.. its helpfull.

    I have looked at the comparison charts as well.

    i am looking to open a dirt cheap online store for a company based in south america.. will ship all over the world

    no more then 5-10 different items

    dunno how to build a site… all i can do its drag and drop..

    whats your recomendation. Thanx

    • Jeremy Wong January 14, 2015 at 7:25 PM #

      Hey Genco,

      Shopify is a really strong ecommerce builder so you can give them a try if you want to check them out. They have a 14 day trial period where you can try them for free.

      If you want something a lot easier, but not as comprehensive as Shopify, check out either Wix or Weebly. We have a comparison chart here that highlights some other ecommerce builders and Wix and Weebly are definitely much easier to use (drag and drop).


  4. Jason January 12, 2015 at 11:47 AM #

    Great review, very thorough. One point I’d add is how active the Shopify user community is. If there is a problem you encounter, or a question that you are looking for answers to, it’s not hard to find another shopkeeper that may be able to help you out. From their own user forums to reddit or even just posting a question on Twitter, one of the best things about Shopify is it’s community of users.

    • Jeremy Wong January 13, 2015 at 11:21 PM #

      Great tip Jason! Thanks for sharing!


  5. Andrew Wright January 6, 2015 at 2:29 PM #

    Jeremy, first, let me add my compliments to others here about your fine review and helpful responses to various queries. Thanks for those.

    But I have an unanswered additional question on the subject of digital product sales, if you would kindly help?

    I am planning to sell, from the UK to international customers, instructional videos which will be 60 minutes long and accompanied by printed transcripts. I know you wrote below that the Unlimited Shopify package is supposedly just that, but am I asking too much of the system?

    Also these videos will be in series to make a package of 48 hours total. Does this make the idea impossible? Alternatively could they be issued on a subscription model, e.g. 2 per week?

    Finally (!) will customers around the world know whether they will be able to receive the products without corruption, before they buy?

    I’ll be grateful for any advice you can give, for which I’ll be happy to make a contribution!

    Andrew Wright

    • Jeremy Wong January 9, 2015 at 4:29 PM #

      Hi Andrew,

      Glad our discussions are helpful to you!

      Regarding the the videos that you have in mind, do you mean that you will actually deliver the raw video files to your customers? Or will they just be able to access some sort of membership area to view the videos (and not download)?

      If you are letting your customers download the videos, and given that they are quite extensive, I’m not entirely sure if Shopify is okay with that. You might want to double check with their support team to see if their platform can support customers downloading 1 hour long videos.

      But what I’ve seen some other people do is subscribe to Amazon hosting and save their (very) large media files there. They then provide links for people to download the large media files there.

      Hope this points you in the right direction!


      • Andrew Wright January 15, 2015 at 3:46 AM #

        Hi Jeremy and thanks for your kind reply.

        I’ll look into the Amazon option as you suggest and speak to Shopify themselves, too.

        Best wishes


  6. LeAllyson Meyer December 18, 2014 at 6:40 AM #

    I chose Shopify for my ecommerce business in February 2014. I have been selling my handmade products on Etsy for six years, and wanted my own website as well. Shopify is great. I was able to import my Etsy products fairly easily. I pay $29 per month to Shopify for unlimited products. Stripe, the Shopify payment system, works great and I also use PayPall there so my customers can choose which way to pay.

    There is much more for me to learn on Shopify, and I am not looking at the best apps to use to help increase my business, such as abandoned cart recovery, reviews, etc. Anyhow, I have sold about $2500 in products on Shopify since February, and my Etsy store is going strong with many more sales. However, considering that I have to attract traffic to my Shopify site on my own, I am thrilled. Customer service and help at Shopify is excellent. They have lots of educational tools, plus their blog is a wealth of information for ecommerce stores.

    I was looking at your reviews of WIX with some goofy idea that I would save money each month by using their ecommerce platform, but after reading your thorough information, I think staying on Shopify is the answer for me.

    Thanks for all the information you provide to us Jeremy.


  7. Tiarra December 17, 2014 at 11:30 PM #

    I’m about to launch my online clothing and shoe boutique with about 60-75 products. I was looking through the reviews or shopfiy and bigcommerce and I’m not sure which to choose from. I want as much tools as I can get, I want it to be easy to use and I want to be able to use my cell phone to run my business so and app for the site would be perfect. What has better features, tools, and the easiest to use? And with all the information i have provided which do you think would be more beneficial for me?

    • Jeremy Wong December 18, 2014 at 9:01 PM #

      Hi Tiarra,

      It’s really hard to say as each platform has its own pros and cons when it comes down to each individual tool. You should check out our discussion comparing Shopify and Bigcommerce here.

      At the end of the day, it’s worth signing up for trial accounts with both online store builders to see which one you enjoy using more. It’s really a personal choice (such as which user interface you prefer, which tools one builder has that’s better than the other for you).


  8. Stephen December 2, 2014 at 8:50 AM #

    Hi Jeremy, Great review about Shopify. I am starting an ecomm site to sell costume jewelry. I currently have a wholesale business selling to most US department stores. While this is a high volume business at the wholesale level, I’m not really sure what to expect volume wise with an ecomm site selling directly to the consumer. I can envision (and hope) that this business could be fairly significant. I am not experienced with building ecomm sites at all, but am not afraid of technology. In your opinion, is Shopify the best platform to start this ecomm business with, or am I better off just hiring someone to build my website from scratch? I would appreciate any thoughts you might have.


    • Jeremy Wong December 3, 2014 at 10:44 PM #

      Hi Stephen,

      First of all congrats on running a successful wholesale business! It sounds like you are expanding your revenue sources so that’s really awesome.

      There are certainly pros and cons of hiring someone to custom build your site for you, or using a platform such as Shopify which enables you to build your own site. It really depends on your available resources (time and financial).

      Shopify is built so that users can build their own ecommerce stores, but I have seen some merchants using Shopify and hiring experts to build their stores for them.

      So perhaps you can sign up for a free trial, and give it a go to see if it’s something you are capable of using (they’re relatively simple to use). If you wan to hire someone to help you, Shopify has a group of “experts” available to hire (see our discussion here).

      Overall I think Shopify is one of the best hosted ecommerce solutions available right now.


  9. Iris November 28, 2014 at 2:16 PM #

    Thank you for your great reviews!

    Does shopify integrate with for example ebay, Amazon or Facebook Shop?

    Many thanks,


    • Jeremy Wong November 29, 2014 at 2:28 AM #

      Hey Iris,

      Shopify does have Apps that help you integrate with Amazon and Facebook (also see our discussion about Facebook stores here)

      For eBay, Shopify only has an app to help you import your products from eBay, but won’t integrate with your eBay store.

      If you haven’t seen Shopify’s App Store yet, click here.

      Hope this helps!


      • Iris November 29, 2014 at 9:56 PM #

        Many thanks Jeremy!

        I’ll go for a trail with Shopify and do some playing around ;-)

        Take care, Iris

  10. Kathy November 21, 2014 at 10:33 AM #

    I am an artist and sell my original artwork, notecards, calendars and small prints. I do not have a big inventory and do most of my selling around Nov – Jan. Is Shopify for me? Or am I too small?

    • Jeremy Wong November 21, 2014 at 6:56 PM #

      Hi Kathy,

      I don’t think you are too small for Shopify at all. Shopify does have the ability to cater to very large enterprise level businesses, but I’ve also seen smaller businesses use them successfully.

      The most important part is whether you find them a good fit for you! Try signing up for a 14 day free trial and play around with their tools. It’s important that you enjoy using their interface as it’s definitely a time and energy investment to build out an ecommerce store.

      If you don’t think it’s a good match for you, there are also other ecommerce platforms you can consider.


  11. Marion November 5, 2014 at 5:07 AM #

    Hi Jeremy
    Thanks very much for your comprehensive review of ecommerce websites. I hope to start a website selling about 25 products and after reading your reviews am leaning towards Shopify. However I want my website to contain pages of information and advice as well as showcasing products- is this possible with Shopify?
    Thanks again.


    • Jeremy Wong November 5, 2014 at 7:58 PM #

      Hi Marion,

      yes Shopify will be able to help you do those. You can create product pages and also “normal” pages where you can insert information / advice.

      Shopify has a 14 day free trial period, so you can quickly find out if their tools are right for you!


  12. Steve November 3, 2014 at 1:10 PM #

    Hi there

    I am about to start selling a product and need a website to sell it on as well as showcase it. It will only be the one product but in a few variations. I’m undecided between squarespace and shopify.

    I am based in the U.K and plan on selling both nationally and internationally. The website needs to look good and very professional. What do you recommend?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Jeremy Wong November 3, 2014 at 5:16 PM #

      Hi Steve,

      I think both Shopify and Squarespace will be able to help you accomplish your goal of selling in the UK and around the world.

      The key difference between the two is that Shopify has a lot more advanced features, as well as a huge App store that you can bolt on even more functions should you need them.

      Squarespace has less functions (but good enough to build a very functional store) and does not have an App store for you to add more features.

      Both builders have really good looking responsive design themes. But with Shopify, you can buy a premium theme if you want to (at least you have that choice) where as with Squarespace, you only have what they offer.


      • Steve November 5, 2014 at 4:35 AM #

        Thanks for your reply Jeremy.

        Is the $29 a month plan on shopify good enough to meet my needs?

        Also I am not the best technically on computers so out of shopify and squarespace which one is the easier to get a decent looking website form?


        • Jeremy Wong November 5, 2014 at 8:00 PM #

          Hi Steve,

          I think either one of Shopify or Squarespace will be just fine. In my view, Squarespace will probably be a bit easier for you to use as it doesn’t have as many advanced tools as Shopify (that is if you are pretty afraid of technology!)

          But what you can do is sign up for free trials with both Shopify and Squarespace, and test out which one suits you better. Both have 2 weeks worth of trial period so there’s plenty of time for you to decide!


          • Stephen November 7, 2014 at 2:35 AM #

            Hi Jeremy

            Thanks for all your advice, your website has been such a great help.


  13. 5Star October 25, 2014 at 8:33 AM #

    Hi there, I’ve been with Shopify for a little over a year now and to tell you the honest truth I’m beginning to get frustrated with their (html) coding website building template thing! I feel like it’s kind of holding me back from becoming a successful online business! Basically all I want to do is to customizes my theme/store to accept paid membership and at the same time have a regular membership for other customers as well. I also wanted to have a boutique for customers and to add music to my store. is their any (html)codes or template/theme codes you can help me with for any of the features I want to add to my store, I would greatly appreciate it! Someone please help before I give up!:-(

    • Jeremy Wong October 25, 2014 at 11:00 AM #

      Hi there,

      It sounds like you are heavily customizing your Shopify store. Generally speaking, to do be able to customize your store to however you want to, you’ll need to be pretty proficient in coding. There just isn’t an easy way around that especially if you want to alter some of the default functions of the theme you are using.

      If you need more help, there are dedicated Shopify experts that will be able to help you modify your theme.

      We have more discussions here about where to find these experts and how they may potentially help you here.

      Good luck!


  14. Zujay September 2, 2014 at 4:31 PM #

    Hi There! What can you tell me about app prices range? Are There fair? Is it possible, for instance, add external apps or integrate a Gmail corporate domain account to shopify platform?

    Do they have a live chat app to add, and is it the payment system secure enough?

    Thanks you so much!!!!

    • Jeremy Wong September 3, 2014 at 1:02 PM #

      Hi Zujay,

      For the paid premium apps, it really depends on the service provider (as some of them are independent of Shopify) and what level of service you need (which plans you pick).

      So it’s a pretty broad range and you can check them out if you visit Shopify’s app page.

      In terms of linking your Gmail to your Shopify website, you don’t need an app to do this. You just have to go to your Gmail set up and configure it to connect with your Shopify account. Here is some documentation from Shopify that can help.

      Yes I believe they have a live chat app – just visit the app store and you’ll see!

      Yes – Shopify’s payment system is very secure. They’re powering over 100,000 stores at the moment!

      – Jeremy

  15. A Jones August 29, 2014 at 9:03 PM #


    I am launching a Jewellery line (was my new years resolution) & I’m considering starting my e-commerce website. I have so far researched Shopify, Square Space & Supa Dupa.

    I am very new to the e-commerce experience, yet I’m attracted to Shopify as reading through your comments It’s suggests its more of a “Less worry” alternative to running a business on-line. As appealing as Square Space & Supa Dupa are, Am I right in thinking I will have to focus less on complicated area’s with Shopify?

    I also had the impression that Shopify offers the best & most professional e-commerce experience.What are the advantages of running a business through shopify over other e-commerce providers?

    The hefty monthly price I read has its advantages as Shopify provides more than other alternatives that its competitors. (24/7 Customer Care, free apps). I am happy to pay if its an overall EASIER experience than other e-commerce providers.


    Aled :-)

    • Jeremy Wong August 30, 2014 at 1:44 PM #

      Hi Aled,

      I haven’t used Supa Dupa before so can’t really comment about how good they are.

      In terms of Shopify vs Squarespace, it really depends on what you need from the ecommerce store builder.

      Squarespace has a lot of good basic ecommerce tools that will enable you to build a pretty good, basic online store to sell products. But Shopify has much much more flexibility and tools that are dedicated purely for selling products online.

      Squarespace also offers 24/7 support, but they don’t have phone support, which Shopify offers (so that’s one of the reasons why they have a higher monthly fee as well).

      Further, as you pointed out, Shopify has a lot of apps that you can bolt on to your store to do a lot more things (such as product fulfilment, integration with accounting software, etc). Just note that not all of them are free, as there are some premium apps which do have a fee per month, but if applied appropriately can actually free up a lot of your time over time!

      – Jeremy

  16. Rodney August 26, 2014 at 4:00 PM #

    Aloha from Hawaii…..

    My question is this, after reading all what shopify has to offer I was wondering if I should start up 2 great ideas at the same time with shopify. I am new to this and kind of stuff and i’m worried if I should start out doing 1 for now and the 2nd business idea later. What is your opinion on that? Thank you!

    • Jeremy Wong August 27, 2014 at 1:48 PM #

      Hi Rodney,

      In general, I’m a huge fan of focusing on one thing at a time, as in my own experience anyway, trying to do 2 things at a time is pretty distracting, especially when it comes to testing out businesses in the beginning.

      For what it’s worth, that is my advice!

      – Jeremy

  17. David August 25, 2014 at 7:52 AM #

    Hello I run a guitar company and I go through ipage for the site but was wondering if I can still integrate shopify into it and also if shopify is good for musical instruments. Thanks in advance

  18. Andy C August 21, 2014 at 8:35 PM #

    Love the reviews. So concise.

    My wife and I have a online shoe business. We currently use Product Cart and are looking to switch to a more functionally rich and user friendly platform. I think we’ve narrowed it down to BC or Shopify. I have read your comparisons and understand the differences and similarities of each. What wasn’t really touched upon was integration with accounting software and 3PL (fulfillment) software platforms.

    Do you have any insight or experiences with those two aspects? Our goal is to have as little daily involvement with sales and fulfillment as possible. We want to focus our energy on Customer service, marketing and product development. To be quite honest, Our dream is to be able to work/travel anytime we want and still be able to run our business as long as we have internet access. Thoughts? Anything you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!

    • Jeremy Wong August 23, 2014 at 6:33 PM #

      Hi Andy,

      If you visit Shopify’s App Store, there are a number of fulfilment services providers that integrate with Shopify stores.

      As for Bigcommerce, their App marketplace also has a few service providers, but not as many as Shopify.

      – Jeremy

  19. Andy July 30, 2014 at 9:30 AM #

    This is a great review of Shopify by yourselves. Just a query though that we run a Magento website at the moment, and it isn’t really bringing in the income, would you recommend starting again with a Shopify version or getting a web designer to overhaul our magento site. Thanks again

    • Jeremy Wong July 30, 2014 at 3:52 PM #

      Hey Andy,

      If you are using Magento Go, I’m sure you know that they will be terminating the program in about half a year. If you are looking for a new online store builder, check out our discussion article here.

      In terms of bringing in more income, while the store design has an impact to a certain extent, there are also a lot of considerations such as if you are generating sufficient qualified leads to your website to shop, if people find value in your products at the right price points, etc.

      So just overhauling a store design may not fix the core issue. Just something to think about!

      – Jeremy

  20. Jerry July 22, 2014 at 8:15 PM #

    I am a little confused on the credit card charges. Assuming I purchase your Premium Package, I will be charged 2.15% for each swipe plus a 2.9% plus .30 for the bankcard charges. Is that correct?

    • Jeremy Wong July 23, 2014 at 3:23 PM #

      Hi Jerry,

      If you subscribe to Shopify’s Unlimited Plan, and use their Shopify Payment system (our discussion here), every time someone purchases a product from you from your online sotre, the credit card fee will be 2.25% + $0.30 per transaction.

      If you are using Shopify’s Point of Sale (POS) system, selling your products offline in person, each “swipe” using their POS system is 2.15% of your total transaction amount.

      Just to be clear, these transaction fees will have to be paid by you regardless if you use Shopify Payment, or using any other transaction services provider such as PayPal. It’s just a service cost that enables you to receive payments from credit cards.

      Hope this helps!

      – Jeremy

  21. Julie June 29, 2014 at 4:10 PM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    It is my first time to come across your site and it was very interesting reading your product to help people build their online shopping. I have handy-craft products to sell online. Do you think I should use Shopify…Squarespace seems to be less expensive that Shopify

    • Jeremy Wong June 30, 2014 at 5:12 PM #

      Hey Julie,

      It really depends on what features you’d like to use to run your online store. Shopify has much more comprehensive ecommerce tools than Squarespace, and it also has an App Store just in case you need even more advanced features down the road.

      So while Squarespace can build you a pretty good, functional store, Shopify has much more depth to grow with your business as it gets larger!

      – Jeremy

      • Julie July 2, 2014 at 4:26 PM #

        Hi Jeremy,

        I tried the 14 day trial on Shopify and will definitely use it. Im away so cant wait to get home and start taking pictures on my product and have my shop done up.


  22. Trish June 11, 2014 at 8:06 AM #

    Loving your detailed reviews! I am trying to compare Squarespace vs Shopify. I currently have 50 products (handcrafted jewelry) & will be increasing my inventory. Shopify seems really expensive. Do you think Squarespace would be a better choice?

    • Jeremy Wong June 11, 2014 at 12:27 PM #

      Thanks Trish! Glad you are finding them helpful.

      In terms of Squarespace vs Shopify, I think the key is to consider whether you will need more tools to support your online store in the future.

      If you think you just want something simpler, just the ability to add images, take payment, then something like Squarespace will work just fine (you can see our discussion on Squarespace’s e-commerce tools here).

      But I’d encourage you to take a browse through Shopify’s App store, as it can trigger a lot of ideas regarding what you might be able to bolt on to your store later on as you start growing your business.

      The major advantage with going with Shopify is that you have so much more flexibility down the road as your business grows, to add more automation (sales marketing, administrative, fulfillment, etc) to your business so that it can free up your time.

      For sure, some of the apps cost money, but you don’t have to add them right now, and only if you find the need to do so later. If you find the Apps helpful, the monthly fees for the tools will save you a lot of time and headache.

      So it really depends on where you envision your business going!

      – Jeremy

      • Trish June 17, 2014 at 10:51 AM #

        Thanks Jeremy!!

  23. Tannya May 21, 2014 at 8:20 PM #

    I use to sell things, why would I use Shopify? I am not very tech savvy, I own a consignment shop but would like to sell our higher end pieces online. It all seems very similar to me….

    • Jeremy Wong May 22, 2014 at 1:48 AM #

      Hi Tanya,

      Wix and Shopify are very different builders. Shopify is focused purely on helping users build a very simple, or comprehensive online store. So they are a dedicated e-commerce builder.

      While Wix has e-commerce tools, e-commerce it is not their focus. So if you are using Wix and you are satisfied with their existing tools, then don’t change anything.

      But if you want more sophisticated e-commerce related tools and don’t find what you are looking for in Wix, then consider checking out Shopify.

      Hope this helps!

      – Jeremy

  24. Patrick Mak May 4, 2014 at 10:10 AM #

    Hi, Jeremy and Connie,
    Thank you so much for your professional and expert advices. I like to know whether Squarespace can offer e-commerce in digital products/services? I am planning to charge my clients to download e-books, softwares from my website. Moreover, will the tools Ecwid solve the problem that I reside in Hong Kong/China and need to use payment service that accepts RMB/HK$? If yes, is it easy to deploy the EcWid to Squarespace?
    Thank you.
    Best regards,

    • Jeremy & Connie Wong May 5, 2014 at 11:26 AM #

      Hi Patrick,

      Yes, Squarespace’s own e-commerce tools allow you to sell digital products. However, I don’t think Stripe (Squarespace use them to power their shopping cart) is available to Hong Kong residents yet.

      So an option, as you mentioned, is to use Ecwid, which also allows you to sell digital products and they allow you to integrate over 40 different payment processors to over 175 countries. So I’m pretty sure you will find a payment processor that can accept RMB and HK$.

      It looks like it’s pretty straight forward to install Ecwid with Squarespace. See this.

      – Jeremy

  25. dan smith April 27, 2014 at 8:44 PM #

    I agree with your review. I launched my iPhone wallet case company with Shopify this year. The system is easy for a non programmer to use. The plug-in apps (Yotpo, Justuno, etc) add great functionality. Customer support is very helpful. I recommend Shopify 100%

    Dan Smith

  26. brandon April 21, 2014 at 11:43 AM #

    Can you tell me if I can sell digital downloads on Shopify?
    How would the transaction be completed? Would client receive a one-time use link to download audio file?

    Thank you!

    • Jeremy & Connie April 21, 2014 at 12:54 PM #

      Hey Brandon,

      Yes you can. You have to add an (free) app from Shopify’s App Store to enable you to sell digital products (ebooks, images, audio files, etc)

      People would add your product to the shopping cart, pay you, then your Shopify store will automatically send your customer a download link through email.

      Hope this is helpful!

      – Jeremy

  27. Mike April 10, 2014 at 10:55 PM #

    Your site has been very helpful. I have a store that has potentially over a thousand items, maybe upwards of five thousand items eventually. They are going to be organized into categories and may require many level of navigation. Does Shopify have any limits in that sense?
    Does Shopify have the capability to handle a store of my size (I haven’t been able to find any examples)?
    Squarespace also seems like a good option, and way more cost-effective. Could they be a viable alternative?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Jeremy & Connie April 11, 2014 at 10:13 AM #

      Hey Mike,

      There no limits to how many products you can upload into Shopify, but do note that they do have storage limits (which limits things such as how many images you can upload, for instance). As of today, you get 1GB of file storage space for the Basic plan, 5GB for Professional Plan, and unlimited file storage for the Unlimited Plan.

      If you plan on having over 5,000 products for your business, I’m assuming you will most likely enroll in the Unlimited Plan? So in terms of storage space I won’t be too concerned about it.

      In terms of Squarespace e-Commerce, they’re great, but won’t be suitable for you if you have thousands of items to sell. They’re great if you have perhaps 30 or so products, but if you have such a high amount like what you plan to do, you will need something more powerful such as Shopify to help you scale up your business.

      Hope this is helpful!

      – Jeremy

  28. Allan March 23, 2014 at 7:28 PM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Great info everytime! I’d really like to see a Shopify (updated) and a Magento Community Version (MC) (updated) competitive comparison review. But with your expert opinion, which is the better option? I am on MC, using a server, but do not have on hand, a team of tech experts to help whenever problems arise. As the business grow, I appreciate MC’s functionality but heard Shopify matches the functionality in terms by adding the Shopify apps, and the costs of these apps would be even out by the server requirement cost for MC? I like the fact that Shopify now has a ONE payment/dashboard gateway which makes it easy for customers and admin alike, 24/7 support (would they revert to non 24/7 as their marketshare grows?), but end of day is we do not own the platform like we do MC (ownership is a pretty big thing haha), and I read that’s because they are able to execute version upgrades seamlessly with this model of us not owning the software platform? Torn between the two but want ultimate ecommerce success at the end and the correct ecommerce platform that will help bring us there. Your thoughts please.

    • Jeremy & Connie March 25, 2014 at 10:27 PM #


      I haven’t used Magento before so I can’t quite compare both, or comment on Magento. I know that they are quite large and they have come up with a hosted version of their platform.

      But in general, Shopify has the apps to grow along side with your business if you need more functionality. Some of the apps are free and some are paid, but I guess the way I look at it is that if one is looking around for apps to automate or systemize certain functions, that suggests that the business growing and re-investing profits into systems is always a good thing!

      – Jeremy

  29. Sneedy March 19, 2014 at 4:06 PM #

    Thanks so much for these excellent reviews. Do you have more specific information on the kinds of issues encountered with large e-commerce sites built in, say, Wix, use the Shopify app?

    We’re thinking of building an informational site in Wix, and selling products later (6-12 months or more). Trying to understand whether it would make sense to move to the Shopify app and then eventually migrate wholesale to Shopify.

    In order to plan, we’re wondering

    – What are the thresholds – in volume, catalog size, overall traffic, etc – at which the Shopify app a) should be used instead of Wix native e-commerce funtions; and b) at which we should move to Shopify proper?

    – If we are using Shopify proper instead of the Wix/Shopify app, would we necessarily have to use separate domain names? In other words, is having two separate sites avoidable, or would it be better to move everything to Shopify and abandon Wix?


    • Jeremy & Connie March 19, 2014 at 10:25 PM #

      Hi Sneedy,

      I think the best solution is to have everything on one site, so it’s a matter of finding the right Shopify template that can work with your needs.

      To be honest I don’t know if there are any limitations to the Shopify app that Wix offers. But if you are looking for a good drag and drop builder that also has a solid e-commerce function, and not a “pure” e-commerce builder like Shopify, I’d suggest checking out Squarespace e-commerce and also Weebly e-commerce.

      Both platforms have really grown their e-commerce functions and at the same time, allow you flexiibiliy to build non-store related pages.

      – Jeremy

  30. Amir March 8, 2014 at 6:14 PM #


    Is shopify are the only website builder that provide the option for integrated POS?

    • Jeremy & Connie March 9, 2014 at 12:56 PM #

      Hi Amir,

      I’m sure there are some other ones out there. But as far as the e-commerce online store builders that we’ve discussed in our website, Shopify is the only one that has this feature.

      – Jeremy

  31. John L. February 24, 2014 at 8:56 AM #

    I have read your reviews of both Squarespace and Shopify. I’m trying to figure out which would be better for setting up my online store to sell products from my bee farm. I have been harvesting honey to sell and also to make honey wine for sale with other products that will be coming about made from the bees wax, maybe 20 total within the next 2 years. It seems from your reviews that both will work, but for starting out which would be best to get my business going and growing?

    • Jeremy & Connie February 24, 2014 at 9:10 PM #

      Hi John,

      I think both will work, but the key advantage of using Shopify is their App Store. While Squarespace’s e-commerce tools are sufficient for you to power your store, Shopify can give you access to so much more in terms of marketing tools, sales, shipping, inventory management, etc. We discussed their app store in a dedicated section above, and I also mentioned it in my video overview.

      This is just a forward looking thought that if you do plan to scale your business to a much larger size, where you are handling a lot of inventory and customer service, Shopify has tools to help support that.

      Hope this helps!

      – Jeremy

  32. Darcy February 13, 2014 at 4:37 PM #

    Right now I have 1shoppingcart. I pay $69/month and I don’t take full advantage of everything because I find it complicated. I would love to use aweber for auto responder/email etc. Does Shopify or weekly or squarespace integrate well with aweber? I teach weekend classes periodically mostly and that is what I need a shopping cart for.
    Also, I do plan to have a membership site in the coming months. What would be the best shopping cart for that?

    • Jeremy & Connie February 14, 2014 at 3:31 PM #

      Hi Darcy,

      Shopify and Squarespace allows you to integrate it’s platform with Mailchimp (which is similar to Aweber). Weebly doesn’t have any e-commerce integration with auto responders yet.

      With Shopify, you will find this “add-on” in its App Store. For Squarespace, this is included across its plans.

      – Jeremy

  33. Peace February 6, 2014 at 3:53 PM #

    Like most people, I was doing a lot of research on ecommerce building & saw a lot of biased info until I stumbled upon yours.

    Woooow! Your reviews are amazing and insightful. The fact that its not biased makes it 100x better.
    Well done.

    I have 2 questions:

    1. With Shopify, can I transfer over my domain name?
    (I own one already and need to use it)

    2. To clarify, Shopify is a website builder but specifically for those building a site for selling?
    (So like WIX without the better ecommerce system?)

    • Jeremy & Connie February 7, 2014 at 9:14 AM #

      Hi Peace,

      1) Yes you can use your own custom domain name with Shopify. Their “Support” page has the instructions on how to do this – located under the “Popular Questions” section under the search bar.

      2) Yes, Shopify is a website builder specifically to help you build an online e-commerce store to sell products. They are one of the best e-commerce online store builder in the market today!

      Hope this helps.

      – Jeremy

      • Peace February 7, 2014 at 11:27 AM #

        Hi Jeremy,

        My apologies; out of excitement from findoing your site and enjoying the review, I asked questions I could have easily gone on Shopify to get answers for..
        Apologies if you felt like I wasted your time.

        I do have 1 ACTUAL question though;
        After spending a few hours researching about Shopify, its ins & outs & also came across its competitors Volusion & Sellr?

        Have you heard of them? What do you think?

        Volusion seems to offer more than Shopify… for less!

        • Jeremy & Connie February 7, 2014 at 3:58 PM #

          Hi Peace,

          No problem. We haven’t used Volusion before so can’t share any experiences there. But we did just receive a feedback from a reader on our post here and he didn’t have a good experience with Volusion.

          But I suppose each website builder will have happy and in some cases, unhappy customers for their own unique reasons and experiences. We’ve always encouraged our readers to sign up for a trial period and invest some time into testing the builders. This is the only way to know for sure and reading what other people are saying (including our website!) is only going to get you so far!

          – Jeremy

  34. Stacey January 30, 2014 at 10:50 AM #

    Hey there-I am looking to develop a website to advertise for a counseling office private practice but also would like to eventually expand the business to be able to advertise for paid workshops, a blog tied to the business, as well as potential to sell products related to workshops, self-care, relationship-building, psycho-education , life management, and promoting the use of personal and global affirmations in various formats/products. Which drag and drop website builder would work best for a start-up like mine? I’m starting very small and need to keep costs low in the beginning so would like a website I can slowly build up over time without switching to a new provider.

    thank you for your input. Your reviews have been VERY informative and your ability to respond to queries is very valuable.

    • Jeremy & Connie January 30, 2014 at 11:19 AM #

      Hi Stacey,

      I think that since you are starting small and will be building our your site in stages (which is a good approach!), I’d recommend either using Squarespace or Weebly. Both also has e-commerce options so you can upgrade to those plans whenever you are ready.

      Squarespace has really nice templates and so their end product (your website) tend to look more polished. Weebly has one of the easiest / user-friendly user interface out there. So I’d suggest you give them both a try and see which one suits you better!

      – Jeremy

  35. Qasu January 28, 2014 at 2:56 AM #

    you guys are doing a great help with your reviews good job.. 1 thing i need to know after creating my e-commerce store on shopify. can i create my store APP for ios and android stores.
    if i can..! then how can i link my apps with my shopify store?
    Or if i cant create then how people find my store on there mobile apps store? i can explain more if you cant understand my words.

    • Jeremy & Connie January 28, 2014 at 11:33 AM #

      Hi Qasu,

      I think Shopify and the custom mobile App that you want to create will be separate. So you will have your App developed yourself or with the help of a programmer. Then what you can do is promote the App through your Shopify online store to encourage people to use the App. Or, you can promote it within iTunes or other platforms though I’m not entirely sure how to do that.

      Hope this helps! If anyone else has any thoughts, feel free to share!

      – Jeremy

    • Amir January 28, 2014 at 1:19 PM #

      Good point Qasu,

      I wish Jeremy and Connie will add to their blog best App builder reviews.

  36. David Gibson January 25, 2014 at 12:58 PM #

    Does Shopify have any method to get people to your shop or to get the items high in the search engines?

    • Jeremy & Connie January 25, 2014 at 7:44 PM #

      Hi David,

      I don’t think any specific website builders can get any pages or products to the top of the search engines by themselves. Getting good ranking for your website requires you to work on your onsite and offsite SEO and it takes time and consistency in order to achieve this! Imagine if it was too easy, then everybody can rank well, but there can only be 10 search results on the first page of search engines!

      – Jeremy

  37. FashionistaDC January 22, 2014 at 9:34 AM #

    I’m so happy I found this blog b/c it’s filled with a lot of good information; and of course I have a small business question. I currently have a Wix ecommerce store, but Wix doesn’t allow me to have the following options for my customers: Register (create account), Login/My Account, and a Customer Loyalty program. While I love the ease of managing my Wix site by myself and their monthly eccommerce price. I’m just not too sure where to go. Maybe Sqaurespace, but I’m not too sure if they offer what I need or should I just go with Shopify? I just fear that I won’t undestand the techy stuff if I go with Shopify. I appreciate any advice you can offer as I will take this into consideration when making my final decision. Thanks!

    • Jeremy & Connie January 22, 2014 at 9:52 AM #

      Hi there,

      I don’t think Wix or Squarespace has a loyalty program built into their platforms. But I know that Shopify has Apps in their app store that allow you to create loyalty programs. We talked about their App store in our review above. The Apps really allow you to extend your store’s functionality.

      Just visit the App Store (click here), and type in “Loyalty” in the search bar and you’ll see them!

      – Jeremy

      • FashionistaDC February 6, 2014 at 7:05 AM #

        Thank you so much, and thanks for being so responsive. :-)

  38. Amir January 21, 2014 at 6:09 PM #

    Hi Jeremy,
    you guys are doing a great job with your reviews, I really enjoy following your site.

    I am about to open a new small retail store with an online store as well. I haven’t decided yet if to go with weebly for the online part and to use a different vendor for my retail store or to go with shopify for both retail store + online store.
    of course I want to stay on a low monthly payments but I also would like to have a good tool in my hand to grow the business with time.
    I like the fact that shopify can provide me with POS in reasonable market price but I still don’t understand what am I paying for when it comes for their monthly $49. that’s expensive. with square merchant services you pay only per sale, but as we all know, they don’t have a good customer service and they hold your money since they are working in a high risk market.

    can you advise which system will be more beneficial for my case (new retail store + online)?
    I am not asking for financial advise but for the practical advise.
    * I want also to be able to change my online interface seasonally and to post new arrivals and sale (to have the freedom to interact directly with the online store site).

    Thank you for your time.

    • Jeremy & Connie January 22, 2014 at 8:57 AM #

      Hi Amir,

      I think the thing about Shopify is that they allow you to integrate your offline and online systems, instead of having them separated and trying to reconcile your business data. Think of it as backend integration and support. If you change your backend data, such as pricing, inventory levels, etc, everything is sync’d up allow you more time to grow your business. (if you haven’t see our thoughts on Shopify POS yet, see this)

      At the end of the day, I think that if you are investing to grow your business, it’s worthwhile to consider it. Or, you can consider just using Square in combination with Shopify and see how that goes. Then when you are ready, test out the Shopify POS and see if it’s worth the investment for you. Or, you can jump right in and start using Shopify POS for a few months. In my mind (just my own opinion), investing a few hundred dollars to grow a business is well worth it. I understand that having a skinny budget is reality for most (I’ve been there!), but as most established businesses will advise, that investing in your business and in yourself is a must if you want to grow!

      Hope this helps.

      – Jeremy

  39. May December 30, 2013 at 4:30 AM #

    Hi Jeremy, thanks for the great review! I’d like to ask your opinion on something please. For a simple eCommerce website for a small business I’m torn between whether to use Shopify or GoDaddy’s Quick Shopping Cart. I’ve played around in the trial feature Shopify offers and so far, it seems fine. However, it’s a bit expensive especially when starting out. GoDaddy’s Quick Shopping Cart (Deluxe Plan) is $14.99 whilst Shopify’s Basic Plan is $29 (and then there’s the 2% transaction charge on top of that), so GD is actually much cheaper (unless I’m missing something). But I’ve heard mixed things about both services from all the comments and reviews I’ve read.

    So for a small business just starting out, is it better to spend a little more for Shopify or go for a cheaper alternative? I’m really not sure which one to go for.

    Thank you!

    • Jeremy & Connie December 30, 2013 at 7:57 AM #

      Hi May,

      Great question. I haven’t used GoDaddy’s Quick Shopping Cart before so I can’t quite comment on that platform.

      Overall though, I would suggest that you use the platform (whether it’s Shopify or GoDaddy) that you feel the most comfortable with. Also consider that when you grow bigger, if GoDaddy can scale along side with your business, and provide you with more needed features as your business grows. I know for Shopify they have a lot of different built in tools, and all sorts of powerful add-on’s (their apps market) which can power small businesses to very large businesses. One thing great about Shopify is that they are built to be able to handle and scale with growing businesses. It’s not a coincidence that they are one of the best and fastest growing e-commerce platforms out there.

      As for the 2% transaction fee, that is waived if you use Shopify’s own payment services to manage your transactions.

      So while I completely understand that managing your monthly budget / cash flow is important (believe me I’ve been there as well!), try to take a long term view and use the platform that you think you are most comfortable with and has the necessary tools to enable you to succeed. Starting off with the right food is very important. Switching platforms later on is a very time consuming and draining process!

      – Jeremy

  40. Simone December 14, 2013 at 8:59 PM #

    Question, I looked at Shopify and Weebly. I want to use it for my ebooks that will be downloaded.
    1. Does Shopify work with ejunkie?
    2. Does the downloader they use (app) use pdf, epub or mobi?

    • Jeremy & Connie December 15, 2013 at 1:39 AM #

      Hi Simone,

      With Shopify, they have a free app in their app store where you can use to sell digital products. So it’s probably preferable to use this option as then you should be able to use their reporting option in the Shopify dashboard to track your sales and related activities. With e-Junkie, it’s a very lean digital product tool but then it doesn’t integrate into Shopify’s system.

      I think both e-junkie and Shopify’s digital product app will handle all digital formats.

      – Jeremy

  41. Melanie December 12, 2013 at 3:01 AM #

    Hello Jeremy & Connie, thankyou for this informative article on Shopify. Is Shopify suitable for selling downloadable software products? Pros, Cons? If not suitable then which platform would you recommend for selling downloadable software products?

    • Jeremy & Connie December 14, 2013 at 5:02 PM #

      HI Melanie,

      Yes you can sell digital products with Shopify. You will have to install a free app in order to do this and so just type in “digital download” in their App market to find it. It’s a free app and you just need to bolt it on to your site and you’re ready to go!

      – Jeremy

  42. K J Carney November 23, 2013 at 5:14 PM #

    Hi Jeremy – I have painstakingly built a large e commerce WIX website. Although I know there are some factors which I still need to address I am asking for some advice on the option to add Shopify to my six site.
    Can you tell me what the benefits might be adding the Shopify app to the site rather than using the built in WIX e commerce.
    I find the built in e commerce shop easy to view and use and from an owners point of view – easy to edit and update.
    I am having a few problems with the WIX mobile platform and also things can be a bit all over the place on an iPad from time to time.
    But my main problem is load time – any suggestions here?
    Appreciate your time – Thanks

    • Jeremy & Connie November 24, 2013 at 5:14 AM #

      Hi K J,

      If you have a really large e-commerce website, I’d recommend that you consider switching your entire website over to Shopify, which is a dedicated, pure online store builder.

      While using the Shopify App for Wix might help give you more e-commerce tools / flexibility over the existing set of “default” Wix tools, at the end of the day, it’s better to use the platform itself rather than through app integration.

      But it really depends on what your current situation is. If you’re finding that the Wix tools are sufficient, then just leave it as is. But if you find that you are growing and need more sophisticated tools from Shopify, it’s worth while to consider migrating over to Shopify. It will be a bit of work to do the migration (pretty much rebuilding your site), but it might be worthwhile over the long term.

      Plus, you can still run your store that’s built on Wix, while you are building your new Shopify store.

      As for your question about iPad, the themes from Shopify are all responsive. So the interface will fit really well with all mobile devices.

      – Jeremy

  43. Terry Lee Oeffner November 2, 2013 at 4:53 AM #

    Hi Jeremy and Connie,
    Thank you for providing unbiased and unpaid reviews of these website builders. After spending hours reading and researching and trying to decide who to use for my new business I stumbled across your site. I only wish I had found it sooner.
    The trouble with Googling “Website Builder Reviews” is that most reviewers are paid by the website companies they are reviewing. You have to look closely to find a disclaimer but when I found it I realized their reviews had to be biased.
    I have decided to use Shopify to launch my new patent pending product because of your review. In fact I had originally ruled them out because they charged a transaction fee, but when I found out that there is none if you use their payment gateway I changed my mind. I am very nervous about trying to do this on my own but I am determined to do it. Believe me I am no computer expert.
    I was wondering also if you offer advice or help for novices like me.
    Thank you again for your reviews and helping me make this decision.
    Best Regards,

  44. janet August 7, 2013 at 3:11 PM #

    hi, i am creating an e-commerce store and was originally considering shopify.
    i’ve used weebly in the past for my personal website, not e-commerce.
    then i met wix.
    can you see where this is going?
    then i realized that wix and weebly both offer e-commerce options.
    wix has beautiful themes, as you’ve mentioned.
    weebly is more plain.
    shopify seemed more confusing, ’cause i love drag and drop.
    do you have an article or opinion about this?
    weebly or wix i think i could figure out myself.
    shopify i’m not so sure.
    but, i do want professional, as this e-commerce idea of mine is my 401k. :)
    thank you

    • Jeremy & Connie August 7, 2013 at 3:21 PM #

      Hi Janet – thanks for sharing.

      It’s probably true that Wix and Weebly are easier to setup than Shopify, but Shopify does employ drag and drop to a certain extent. It’s just that they really build their tools around e-commerce, so the feel of things when you are in their editor will be a bit different from Weebly and Wix.

      What you can do is just sign up with Shopify for a trial account and see how you do. If you find it a bit challenging, then you should also check out Squarespace which has a really good set of e-commerce tools as well. See our Squarespace e-commerce review –

      Squarespace’s templates are responsive and they they also employ drag and drop technology for you to build your site.

      Hope this helps!

      – Jeremy

  45. Howard Steele June 18, 2013 at 3:02 AM #

    I think that specialized website builders like Shopify are a great option for those who do know what kind of a website they’re going to build. Since these usually offer the richest feature sets for a particular website type, as they are initially tailored especially for e-shops.