When it comes to creating online stores, Shopify sits on the podium with gold around its neck. It makes the process of building an ecommerce website accessible to anyone while also arming them with powerful tools used by industry leaders. In short, Shopify simplifies design and maximises control.
Read on as we run you through the basics of Shopify, explain if it could help you, and give a nod to some handy articles that talk about the platform in far more detail.
Shopify is an online platform that allows you build your own online store. Easy and extensive aren’t words that usually live together, yet Shopify manage to marry the two.
It offers hundreds of stunning, customizable themes that are just waiting to be transformed into someone’s new online storefront. It’s all the features and apps, though, that really set Shopify apart.
In 2006, Shopify opened its doors to try and help others open theirs. Over a decade later and they now help power 600,000+ ecommerce merchants who have collectively amassed $72 billion in sales. Pretty impressive stuff.
The company came about when founders Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake tried to open their own online store only to be left frustrated by the lack of quality ways out there to do so. From that, Shopify was born and since then they’ve not looked back.
Think of Shopify like a puppet, you have the storefront, which everyone sees, but any interaction your customers have from there is controlled by you (a.k.a the puppeteer).
You’ll spend most of your time pulling strings in Shopify’s comprehensive ‘back-end’, where you have total control over products and inventory, orders and payments, and analytics and finances.
You can also work on your site’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so it ranks highly on the likes of Google, create discount codes and featured products and, of course, access a wealth of help and support, should you need it.
On top of that, Shopify boast an app store fit for a king with added plugins available for everything you could possibly think of.
You can build pretty much any kind of online store with Shopify, but it’s really for those who are – or at least aspiring to be – big sellers.
Shopify’s pricing plans range to suit wherever your business is on its ecommerce journey. World-class management tools and design will allow you to scale up quickly and effectively.
Those who want to build a website with a few products on the side may want to check out our website builder comparison chart, but if you’re eager to sell and grow, and want a powerful platform, Shopify’s as good as it gets.
If you couldn’t tell already, absolutely! We spend our lives using and testing both website and ecommerce builders. From our thorough research we can confirm that Shopify really is the top dog.
It gained a whopping 4.7 stars out of 5 overall, acing three of our tests that look at its features, how easy it is to use, and the help and support on offer.
It was the features and apps that stood out in particular. Shopify provides tons of payment options, multi channel integration (so you can sell across physical stores, social media and marketplaces), an abandoned cart recovery feature, and so much more.
What’s the difference between Shopify and Wix?
Wix, similar to Squarespace and Weebly, is a website builder that gives you the ability to sell online. Shopify, is purpose built for online stores. If you want a website, and at some point may want to sell through it, then you’re better off with Wix, but, if you’re serious about selling, then Shopify’s the one for you.
How much does Shopify cost?
This is the one area where Shopify falls down. Its main three pricing plans are $29, $79 and $299 a month respectively. There are two plans either side of this (Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus), but these are for selling on social media or enterprise-level businesses respectfully.
All pretty reasonable, but if you’re not careful, the extras can rack up. Shopify have themes and apps at added costs and charge you a transaction fee should you not opt to use its own payment gateway. The more you put in, however, the more you tend to get out.
Are there any other options out there?
Yes there are, and at risk of sounding like we’re preaching Shopify to the high heavens, it’s not for everyone. BigCommerce is another serious player in the ecommerce sphere that offer the vast majority of tools you need to scale your business at no added cost.
The pair pretty much stand head and shoulder above the rest when it comes to ecommerce functionality. If you’re looking for that website builder/ecommerce blend, though, Wix is the best out there.
Who are we?
As our name suggests, we’re experts in website builders. We are the leading authority and resource for information around getting online. You can want a website from anything as simple as advertising your CV, to building an ecommerce empire, and we’ll point you in the right direction.
We’ve spent hours, days even, research and testing website builders to put together hundreds of detailed reviews and comparison articles. We’ll tell you all about the top platforms out there and which ones best suits your individual needs best.