Collection of Expert Shopify Reviews

Last updated on November 1, 2016
Best-ecommerce-builder--software-Shopify-2014

Shopify Builder

5.0

5star-white
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What do we think about Shopify:

  1. Beautiful & Professional Designs – makes your store look great (helps you sell more!)
  2. Comprehensive e-commerce tools (with 1,100+ Apps in their App Store)
  3. 24/7 support (phone, online live chat, email) – get help at any time
See our detailed review of Shopify here

What do other experts say about Shopify:

Shopify’s is a real, robust shopping cart system. No other website builders are close.

PROS

  • Shopify integrates with over 70 Payment Gateways. Most ecommerce website builders will cover the basic payment gateways: PayPal and Stripe. But Shopify goes far beyond that.
  • Shopify has its own, built-in payment gateway (Shopify Payments). Merchants offers two huge advantages: you don’t pay any transaction fees and it’s completely integrated with the Shopify admin.
  • The iPhone app notifies you when new orders arrive, helps you track analytics and keeps you connected with customers.
  • Shopify allows you to set up customer accounts.  And while customer accounts may seem like a simple feature, it’s actually quite complex to pull off. You’ll be unlikely to find another website builder that offers it.
  • Taxes are easy with Shopify. For example, I’m Canadian and taxes can be a little confusing when you’re selling to the US. But Shopify setup default tax rates for me.
  • Shopify has a very large app store that significantly extend the functionality of your store. Shopify has the most developed app store I’ve seen in a website builder and it’s an invaluable tool for extending your store beyond the built-in Shopify functionality.
  • Shopify has lots of solid themes to choose from.
  • Most Shopify themes are mobile friendly. And with mobile ecommerce growing at such a quick rate, this will be a big win for most stores!

CONS

  • Shopify’s website builder is limited. I think it’s important to be clear about this. Shopify is a great ecommerce builder and a limited website builder.
  • Stylistically there’s plenty you can do to customize the colors and fonts used in themes. But unfortunately there seemed to be very little you can do with the structure of the templates (without diving into the code).
  • If you are just running a very basic ecommerce website with a few transactions each month, Shopify might be a little too much functionality and cost for you.

Review points are paraphrased from sitebuilderreport.com

Shopify does a remarkable job of making life simple for the ecommerce new comers who need constant guidance and simplification, whilst offering more a range of more advanced options and features for seasoned ecommerce professionals.

PROS

  • Shopify is extremely quick and easy to set up, creating your store within minutes.
  • The updates of Shopify 2 greatly expand the potential of Shopify, bringing new features and capabilities to merchans on a variety of levels.
  • Migrating your store from a host of other platforms, or uploading products from a CSV file is incredibly easy.
  • The wide range of themes on offer can be customized in terms of colour, font, images, and even more thanks to theme HTML, CSS & JS access.
  • Customer and sales trends and insights can be gathered via the admin panel
  • The new admin panel is incredibly easy to use, understand and navigate, allowing you to upload products, make blog posts and create customer discounts in no time at all.
  • Enhanced abilities including partial-refunds, improved search filters and SEO friendly meta descriptions help round off Shopify’s robust platform.
  • Customer support, discussion boards and even specially hired Shopify professionals are al on hand to provide assistance.
  • Google Shopping integration is easier than ever before, thanks to Shopify’s introduction of product bar codes.
  • No third-party hosting required.
  • A 14-day free trial helps you get used to things before committing your payment details.

CONS

  • The two cheapest price plans each come with a 2% transaction fee, whilst the third offers a reduced 1% fee. These fees, alongside PayPal fees and Shopify’s original monthly subscription, amount to quite a hefty sum, which will no doubt eat into any profits. [Note: If you use Shopify Payments, the transaction fees are waived]
  • Shopify offers just 19 free themes, with the rest of the selection ranging in price from between $80 and $180.
  • An FAQ page within the admin panel, or an optional guided tutorial would greatly benefit merchants who are only just exploring the world of ecommerce.

Review points are directly quoted from websitebuildercritic.com

You can be selling in a matter of hours on a platform that could last you years.

PROS

  • Minimal set up effort/cost.
  • Pleasing themes that use responsive designs.
  • Easy to use admin screens including order management.
  • In built marketing/SEO tools like coupon codes and editable meta-descriptions.
  • No PCI compliance concerns.This a requirement for any merchant that takes credit card payments. If you have a website that takes payment, you’ll need to pass regular audits and self-assessment questionnaires. You may also need to complete an audit to begin taking payments. Shopify gets around this by hosting your checkout on their own server at checkout.shopify.com. It’s still branded to match your site so most customers won’t notice.
  • No hardware/hosting worries.
  • Access to a superfast platform, beneficial for user experience and SEO.
  • Competitive pricing, especially if you use Shopify Payments.

CONS

  • Sometimes hard to add unusual/custom functionality.
  • Some retailers consider the transaction fee high.
  • Multi-currency can be troublesome.
  • You may find it hard to build content heavy sites in Shopify.

Review points are directly quoted from wemakewebsites.com

Shopify 2 is proof that good things come to those who wait. They’ve created a great shopping cart solution, and freed their time up to provide exceptional customer service to their users.

PROS

  • Easy to Use – This is by far the most frequent glowing review that I’ve read about Shopify. They’ve really nailed the “simplicity” thing. I am yet to try another shopping cart that is easier to use than Shopify. Kudos on this one.
  • Gorgeous Themes – I couldn’t agree more with the online chatter about this one. Shopify’s themes are really nice. And they just keep getting better.
  • Excellent Support – A lot of people are raving about Shopify’s customer support, which is a rarity in this industry. Most shopping cart providers fall short on the customer service end, but Shopify seems to be doing well.
  • Full-control over HTML/CSS.
  • Unlimited bandwidth.
  • Offers a CDN (Content Delivery Network).
  • Automated backups.
  • Mobile-friendly.
  • Good track record for server uptime.
  • Compatible with many payment gateways.

CONS

  • Add-Ons Can Get Expensive – Some users are a bit upset with how expensive the add-ons can become. Since Shopify is focused on minimalism right out the box, most store owners have to buy add-ons to increase the functionality of their store.
  • Transaction Fees – There are quite a few customers complaining about Shopify’s transaction fees, which is understandable. Nobody wants to pay out a percentage of their sales, especially when they’re already doing it with their credit card processor. Keep in mind that Shopify Payments users are exempt from transaction fees.
  • Checkout Redirects to Shopify.com – When someone wants to pay for the product that they bought from your store, they will be redirected to the Shopify domain (checkout.shopify.com). It’s possible that seeing the domain change may scare off some customers, but I haven’t seen any studies to verify the claim.
  • Designers Don’t Like Liquid Templating Language – Some hardcore designers and developers are complaining about Shopify’s use of Liquid Templating. Apparently there’s a slight learning curve, and designers prefer to work with something that they already know.
  • No Real-Time Shipping in Lower Plans.
  • No one-page checkout.
  • Can’t create custom checkout URLs/fully customize checkout pages.
  • Room to expand internationalization.
  • No Discount Codes in Starter or Basic Plans.
  • No Ability to Issue Gift Certificates – Users can create one-time use discount codes instead.
  • Limited to 100 Product Variations – Apps like the Product Customizer can help you get around that for a small monthly fee.

Review points are directly quoted from merchantmaverick.com

Probably the best for anyone who wants to use one product to sell online AND in a physical location.

PROS

  • Shopify represents one of the cheapest ways to start selling online using a hosted solution
  • No transaction fees if you are happy to use [Shopify Payments]
  • It has a clean, easy-to-use interface
  • It provides a good range of free, responsive templates
  • The point-of-sale options are excellent and help Shopify stand apart from its competitors
  • Simple Paypal integration
  • There are 165,000 active Shopify stores online, which makes it a relatively safe bet that the company (and thus your online store!) is not going to disappear any time soon.

CONS

  • Shopify Payments (Stripe) only allows you to sell from certain countries – US, Canada or the UK. If you want to sell from another country you will need to use a payment gateway.
  • You can’t avoid transaction fees if you use a payment gateway.
  • Implementation of the abandoned cart saver could be a bit better.
  • Creating drop down menus and adding items to them is a fiddlier process than it should be.

Review points are paraphrased from stylefactoryproductions.com

No matter how fast your business and requirements grow, with Shopify you don’t have to be afraid of moving to another platform and restarting everything from scratch.

PROS

  • Adding products as well as setting up the payment and shipping options works absolutely painless
  • Makes both ordering and paying easy for your clients.
  • Their layouts can be modified to a large degree without any programming knowledge.
  • You can also use it to do content marketing via a blog and also add content pages.
  • Shopify can be handled by an absolute beginner while at the same time providing a great looking, cutting-edge online store.
  • New templates and apps can be installed with one simple click via their app store. If you should miss a function that doesn’t exist, it’s possible to create it since Shopify has a powerful template language called “Liquid.”
  • Importing & exporting product data available. Product data can be imported from Magento, eBay, WordPress and CSV. This saves a lot of time and makes moving previous web stores to Shopify easy. Exporting a CSV-file is also possible.
  • Shopify offers e-commerce analysis reports in its “Professional” plan and higher; product reports, order reports, and more are available (you can see how orders vary from month-to-month, for example). Moreover, it’s always possible to integrate Google Analytics.

CONS

  • Of course, quality has its price. Shopify is not the cheapest solution.
  • 1% a transaction fee. But you can bypass this fee by signing up for Shopify payments, which is their own payment gateway.
  • You won’t be able to set up a multilingual store out of the gate. However, there are bilingual template and app that allow you to create a biligual website with additial fee

Review points are paraphrased from websitetooltester.com

Almost everything you need to run your own online store is taken care of by a distinct feature.

PROS

  • It literally takes minutes to open and create a basic store; and from there it is easy to create something absolutely stunning.
  • One of the most complete dashboards or control panels I have ever seen. You can manage your website content, products, orders, discount codes, and sales reporting all directly in your dashboard.
  • One of the biggest App Stores out of all ecommerce solutions.
  • Formidable content management system (CMS) that make managing your site content very simple
  • Security is taken very seriously in ecommerce and therefore they have created their shopping cart platform as well as their hosting to be Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, in other words your data is secured. All pricing plans offer 128-bit Free SSL certificate at no added cost.
  • One area where Shopify really excels is their themes and their design; the company offers some of the most professional looking themes of any ecommerce platform.
  • Inventory management is an important part of running your store, and Shopify has you covered in this area too.
  • Built in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features your site will easily be found on all major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.
  • Shopify has one of the best customer support in the industry. Regardless of which pricing plan you decide on the company has 24/7 full customer support, this includes phone support as well as chat and email support.
  • Shopify offer Shopify POS. This includes everything you need to sell your products offline, both on the software and hardware side.

CONS

  • Independent Transaction fees struction can get a little confusing. Shopify offer both in-house and third party payment processor. Each gateways comes with their own transaction fees.  I strongly advice that you familiarize yourself with these before signing up, as you might otherwise be surprised at just how much is charged as a fee.

Review points are paraphrased from ecommerce-platforms.com

Shopify is part of a group of turn-key ecommerce solutions that provides everything you need from end to end.

PROS

  • One thing that I found Shopify to do especially well: keep their sites screaming fast, and integrate with payment providers well so that you can always gets paid, and customers are never waiting for their page to load.
  • Shopify had everything I needed to run an amazing online store – without being nickel and dimed in upgrades or left out to dry without a key feature.
  • Great Customer Support.
  • Shopify allows you to quickly and easily create landing pages, which is a key differentiating factor between other all-in-one platforms.
  • For SEO – Shopify creates 100% crawlable, clean code. They allows custom Title tags, and meta descriptions. If you’re looking for an all-in-one platform that does good marketing for SEO, AdWords, and anything else up your sleeve – Shopify is a great choice in my experience.
  • Shopify makes its theme system available so that a designer or developer can customize it and create any type of shop you want – whether you are a tiny niche boutique or a multi-million dollar enterprise.
  • Shopify comes with a ton of features built-in, but no platform can possibly accommodate all the features needed by storeowners

CONS

  • Shopify is slightly pricier than Volusion & slightly cheaper than Bigcommerce as a general rule (but again, everything depends on your payments, apps, etc). The price differences are close enough that you should be comparing based on features & service.
  • Shopify “Liquid” setup is a bit foreign to me and any other first-timers. I still consider it a bit of a con to have to become familiar with Liquid to tweak my store’s theme.
  • Shopify comes with built-in blogging software… but it’s not the greatest – especially if you are spoiled for WordPress.
  • Every ecommerce platform is going to have a learning curve, but I found that Shopify has a slightly steeper curve just because the jargon the use is slightly off.
  • If you ever decide to move your store to a different platform – it’s not going to be smooth. It is a con for all-in-one ecommerce in general.
  • Shopify has definitely made initial setup of your online store much easier – but it still isn’t a “just add water” step by step. For anyone who buys into Shopify expecting to be making money in 15 minutes is going to be disappointed. The reason is takes a bit longer, and requires a bit of technical knowledge is that Shopify does do it right, and doesn’t allow you to cut corners.

Review points are paraphrased from shivarweb.com

Connie Wong

About Connie Wong

Designing and creating your website (especially your first one) is not a simple task. If you're a designer like me, then you're already way ahead of the game. But what if you're one of the 99% of business owners who are not technical or creative? I want to share my website design expertise with you to help you build a professional looking website to grow your business.

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Connie Wong

About Connie Wong

Designing and creating your website (especially your first one) is not a simple task. If you're a designer like me, then you're already way ahead of the game. But what if you're one of the 99% of business owners who are not technical or creative? I want to share my website design expertise with you to help you build a professional looking website to grow your business.

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