Shopify Review | Is It the Best Online Store Builder for You?

The best all-around ecommerce platform out there today.

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4.7 out of 5


500 thousand sites

Starting from


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Best for

Best All-Around Ecommerce Platform

shopify - best for ecommerce
Overall rating

5 out of 5 stars

Shopify is the best ecommerce platform on the market today. It’s designed to help people build their own, scalable online store with hundreds of built-in features, and tons of apps. You can sell products directly on your website, and across multiple marketplaces and social media.

What are the Pros and Cons of Shopify?


  • Sell across multiple channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Amazon and eBay
  • Brilliant inventory system which helps you manage your store
  • Came first in our research for sales features and customer score


  • You have to create your storefront between the editor and dashboard, meaning you must flick between the two.
  • The only platform to enforce its own transaction fee with Shopify Payments
  • Content doesn’t automatically reformat if you switch to a different theme

Overview of Shopify

Shopify is an ecommerce website builder that helps everyday people and businesses build their own online store.

But before we get stuck into Shopify, let’s just clarify what an ‘ecommerce website builder’ actually is:

An ecommerce website builder is an online platform that helps people with varying levels of technical competency build their own ecommerce website.

  • You don’t need to know how to code
  • You don’t need to spend a fortune hiring a web developer
  • You don’t even need to wait for your IT guy to make changes or updates

Amazing, right? Now that’s cleared up, we can get to all the juicy details!

Best all-around ecommerce platform

4.7 out of 5

Top Choice
Ease Of Use

4 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

4 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

5 out of 5 stars

Website Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

4.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3.5 out of 5 stars

Shopify’s Capabilities

Shopify is used by all types of people, from budding entrepreneurs to multi-million dollar businesses.

Harry’s Razors is just one example. It’s an ecommerce shaving company that has built an incredible online store using Shopify, and it’s going from strength to strength! Here you you can see some of the little things that make it so successful.

Shopify’s well-designed themes, powerful management tools, and world-class apps help its users grow from small-time retailers into ecommerce empires.

That’s all well and good, but we don’t want to just take Shopify’s word for it. We created our own tests with in-depth research to discover exactly how good Shopify was compared to other online store builders out there.

After speaking to the public, you told us what was important to you. So, with your help, we’ve gone away and tested the best ecommerce platforms on the market. Now we can tell you exactly how good each one really is.

Try Shopify For Free Today

How Easy is Shopify to Use?

Ecommerce website builders often struggle to combine power with ease of use. Shopify has married the two perfectly.

After testing it ourselves, we got everyday people to give Shopify a go. We asked them to build their own ecommerce website and score how easy (or difficult) they found certain tasks.

Well, the results are in… and they’re glowing!

People loved the sheer simplicity of Shopify’s interface. It’s clean, clear, and simple to use.

shopify dashboard
Shopify’s dashboard provides a gentle slope into designing your own ecommerce website.

Here’s just a couple of things people really liked:

“It was so good, really easy. It was just very user friendly. It guided you through the important areas, the most being the inventory. The questions at the beginning, adding a product, subtle prompts – everything was just very clear.”

“All in all, it was a really easy approach to creating an online store. I had complete control over how and what I want placed within my site, with the benefit of being able to change anything as and when I wanted.”

We crunched the numbers and the stats match their words. On average, people found Shopify:

  • 14% easier to use than BigCommerce
  • 12% easier to use than Squarespace eCommerce
  • 9% easier to use than Wix eCommerce

Shopify Customer Satisfaction

On top of testing how easy Shopify is to use, we wanted to know what people’s overall thoughts were.

We asked Shopify users how likely they’d be to recommend Shopify, and their answers were almost unanimous.

88% of people would recommend Shopify to a friend who’s looking to start selling online.

Try Shopify For Free Today

Shopify Sales Tools and Features

Shopify’s sales features are the best around. It has all the core tools you need, from analytical tracking and payment gateways to multi-channel integration and abandoned cart recovery.  

Not only that, Shopify has more than 1,200 apps.

This means if there’s a particular feature you need that Shopify doesn’t have, you can be sure of finding it in the app store, either as a free add-on or an extra monthly charge.

shopify app store
Shopify’s app store has everything you need. You can search for a specific app, or browse a category to find the top rated one that fits your needs.

Below we’ll cover some of the key sales features Shopify offers…

Multi-Channel Integration

48% of people begin searching for a product on marketplaces, such as Amazon – it’s now more important than ever to diversify your revenue channels.

Shopify allows you to integrate your online store with some of the biggest online channels out there. You can connect to a Facebook store, Instagram shop, and marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.

Being able to sell across multiple channels puts your products in the shop window. It’s like owning four brick-and-mortar shops, but only paying for one – why wouldn’t you want to sell in multiple locations?

Abandoned Cart Recovery

Abandoned cart recovery is where your website automatically sends your site’s visitors an email if they leave your online store without checking out.

It may not seem important, but the reality is more than 3 out of 4 online shoppers leave a website without completing a purchase. Just think of the money you could be missing out on!

You can set your Shopify store to generate abandoned cart emails, so you can rest assured you’re getting the best possible chance of making each and every sale.

shopify ecommerce stats
Shopify's sales features are proven to boost ecommerce performance.

Payment Options and Transaction Fees

Shopify supports more than 100 different payment gateways. These include household names like PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay and Apple Pay. It also has its own payment gateway: Shopify Payments.

Just like processing credit or debit card payments in physical stores, each payment option comes with a transaction fee. Think of this like paying entry to get into a bar – you need to pay in order to go inside and get a drink (or in this case process a payment!)

If you use Shopify Payments, Shopify waives this fee, so you only pay for the transaction using an actual debit or credit card. Should you opt for another payment gateway, however, you will be charged an additional fee by Shopify. This comes through on your monthly invoice.

On top of that, Shopify Payments also allows you to sell in multiple currencies. Shopify will automatically adjust the currency your site shows based on the customer’s location, and amend the price of products according to current exchange rates. The currencies Shopify Payments currently support are: GBP, EUR, USD, CAD, AUD, HKD, NZD, JPY and SGD.

For these reasons, it’s better to use Shopify Payments. If you want more information on payment and transaction fees, Shopify provides further details here.

3D Secure is another crucial feature. This protects merchants when processing credit card transactions that may be fraudulent, meaning that, should anything go wrong, the bank is liable, not you.

Shipping Options

Shipping – especially for international businesses – can be tricky. Shopify does a great job here, providing everything you need to complete your customers’ deliveries efficiently and effectively.

From free shipping to customer experience, to partnering up with vetted shipping providers, Shopify has it all.

Shopify has partnerships with USPS, DHL Express, UPS and Canada Post. This saves you the hassle of having to go out and source your own courier.

Shopify also allows you to amend shipping rates based on weight, order value or location, print shipping labels for deliveries and returns, and supports dropshipping too.

Try Shopify For Free Today

How To Build An Online Store – Don’t know how to get started? Read our 11 easy steps here.

7 Best Ecommerce Platforms – Check out Shopify’s competition for the title of best ecommerce website builder.

How Good are Shopify’s Themes?

Shopify has 10 free themes, with 50+ more ranging from $140 to $180. Its themes are all mobile responsive, meaning they will automatically adjust to fit mobile and tablet screen sizes.

Mobile responsiveness is crucial in today’s ecommerce landscape. On Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2017, mobile sales accounted for 64% of Shopify users’ overall ecommerce sales.

Good to know: We strongly recommend installing the G AMP app – rated an impressive 5/5 by fellow Shopify users – to ensure that your pages don’t just look great on mobile, but they load quickly, too. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMPs use stripped-back html code to stay as ‘light’ as possible – think of them like a diet version of your regular pages. A faster experience will make your users happy, and boost your chances of ranking well with Google. Remember, a one second delay in page response is thought to mean a 7% reduction in conversions!

Its storefronts are also multi-lingual, so you can get them automatically translated into different languages. The languages currently available are English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese.

shopify themes
Shopify’s themes are clean, well-designed, and fully mobile optimized to help bring your products to life.

Customizing Shopify Themes

When you select a Shopify theme, it’s important to work out what features you need. It’s far easier to find a theme that has the features you need built-in than it is to shoehorn them into another!

Most customization is done through Shopify’s editing interface, while other edits are done via the dashboard. Confused? Here’s the difference:

The editing interface is where you can change your site’s aesthetic. This includes things like where your logo appears, what your text says, and how you align your images.

shopify editor
Shopify’s editing interface lets you see exactly what changes you’re making to your storefront, and how they’ll look.

The dashboard is more technical. This is where you’ll add products, create discount codes, and change your theme. You can change themes at any time, but bear in mind you will need to reformat your site’s content.

One major plus point with Shopify is its images. Product images are vital to sales, and Shopify has its own image editor which lets you crop, resize and add filters to images.

It also has free stock images for more generic banner photos and/or backgrounds.

Good to know: Need some help building and customizing your website’s pages? We recommend downloading the DragDropr app to make the process a whole lot easier and quicker. DragDropr seamlessly integrates with Shopify to allow you to create, change and edit 50+ landing pages and 200+ content blocks (such as product videos and contact forms) using a simple drag and drop editor, without having to do a single bit of manual coding. All of its content is responsive, meaning it will look great across all devices.

Choose Your Shopify Theme

Shopify Help and Support

Shopify offers 24/7 phone and live chat support, and can also be contacted through email or social media.

Your main resource for help, however, is Shopify’s excellent Help Center.

shopify help center
Shopify’s Help Center is a fantastic resource packed full of useful guides and tutorials.

If you opt for Shopify’s Plus plan (we’ll talk more about that in a second), then you’ll receive your own dedicated support agent, known as an MSM (merchant success manager).

They act as your personal point of contact, and are intended for enterprise-level businesses who may have a more complex set-up process.

Shopify Pricing – is it Good Value for Money?

Truth be told, if you’re looking for something free, Shopify won’t be able to help – you’re better off checking out Big Cartel.

But, if you’re looking for a robust yet flexible online store builder that can help you grow your sales and manage administrative tasks, Shopify is a great choice.

Shopify offers a 14-day free trial alongside three core pricing plans: Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify.

Plans range from $29 to $299 depending on the amount of tools and support you need. The price also changes if you subscribe on a monthly or annual basis:

Shopify Pricing Plans Monthly ($/month) 1-Year ($/month) Savings (%) 2-Years ($/month) Savings (%)
Shopify Basic $29.00 $26.10 10% $23.20 20%
Shopify $79.00 $71.10 10% $63.20 20%
Advanced Shopify $299.00 $269.10 10% $239.20 20%

Choose Your Shopify Plan

Think of it as loyalty discount. The longer you commit to Shopify, the more money you save.

Now, let’s get into what you actually get for your money – are Shopify’s plans good value?

shopify pricing

If you consider the pricing of Shopify’s plans, the Abandoned Cart Recovery tool alone – which comes with the ‘Shopify’ and ‘Advanced Shopify’ plans – is worth the step up in price.

Outside of Shopify’s three main plans, it also has a Lite plan, at $9 per month, and Shopify Plus, which you can get a bespoke quote for.

Shopify Lite lets you sell through an existing site – like a personal blog – or even through Facebook. Shopify Plus is designed for enterprise-level businesses and takes care of order management, giving you and your team more time to focus on marketing your products.

Still not sure which plan to go with? Why not sign up for a 14-day free trial and see how you get on?

Try Shopify For Free

Shopify Pricing Review – see a much more in-depth discussion on Shopify’s pricing plans, including how they compare to PayPal.
Shopify Plus Review – what we think of Shopify’s enterprise-level ecommerce plan.

Shopify Review: The Verdict

From powerful management tools and well-designed themes to world-class apps and features, Shopify really is the best all-round ecommerce website builder on the market.

Shopify is designed for big businesses and small ones who have aspirations to grow. Its analytical and management tools help you keep track of everything, and there’s a ton of features that can help you scale up quickly.

Its pricing plans may seem expensive compared to other products out there, but for what you’re getting, they’re good value for money. Besides, if you’re really serious about selling, your profits will make the monthly fee feel like a drop in the ocean.

From our research, Shopify had the best sales features and customer score of any builder.

All in all, we can’t recommend Shopify highly enough. But don’t just take our word for it sign up for a 14-day free trial today and try it yourself.

Try Shopify For Free

Shopify FAQs

Website trends are constantly changing, and what’s in today may be outdated tomorrow. Shopify ensures it keeps on top of any and all changes, updating features and releasing new apps constantly, so you can make sure your site stays ahead of the curve.

You don’t want to be forking out hundreds (maybe even thousands) for a web developer to perform updates every two years. With Shopify, you’re in total control.

Don’t worry – as long as you upgrade to one of Shopify’s premium plans within the 14-day free trial, all your content will be carried over. Two weeks should give you plenty of time to decide if Shopify’s the right product for you, before committing to investing in it!

Good question. Wix, similar to other platforms like Squarespace and Weebly, is a website builder that offers ecommerce functionality. Shopify is purpose built for ecommerce, meaning that if you want an online store, it’s your best bet.

If, however, you want a website and just the option to sell a few products on the side, Wix eCommerce is definitely worth exploring further.

Website Builder Expert aims to provide you with honest data. That’s why we conduct our own research and obtain direct, personal insight. Click here for further information.


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  • Avatar
    Callistus President
    Hi there, Just came across shopify. I have set up an account and will be testing it for the next 14 days. Quick question. My main market is in europe (Spain). Can the system do translations between english and the other european languages, especially spanish? And can the description be displayed in the host country i am in...spanish?
    1 reply
    • Lucy Carney
      Lucy Carney
      Hi there, thanks for your comment. I hope you're enjoying your free trial with Shopify! The easiest way to translate your Shopify store would be to use a translation app from the Shopify app store (like Weglot Translate or Langify, for example). Both of these let you automatically redirect your store to your visitor's preferred language, and you can translate your store into one or more different languages (including Spanish). I hope this helps, and best of luck with Shopify! Best, Lucy
  • Avatar
    I am very new to web building. Do I need a business license to sell my products?
    1 reply
    • Lucy Carney
      Lucy Carney
      Hi Bernadette, First of all, welcome to the web building world! That's a great question, and I'm really sorry to say I can't actually give you a definite answer. It depends totally on what you'll be selling, and exactly where you're selling from. It's definitely worth checking with your local authorities to make sure you end up with the right license, (if you need one at all!), as there are various types of business license depending on your business type, size, and location. I'm so sorry I can't give you a more concrete answer, but here's Shopify's Business License Guide in case that's any help! Best of luck, and thank you for reading, Lucy
  • Avatar
    Great info! Thanks for all the research.
  • Avatar
    This blog post is just super amazing. It has simplified everything shopify. I have used a few shopify apps such as the social review app, the SEO doctor & the RetailTower app and they have been very useful. Thumbs up guys.
    1 reply
    • Hannah Whitfield
      Hannah Whitfield
      Hi Awaff, Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment, and so glad you found this helpful! Cheers, Hannah
  • Avatar
    Is this for product ecommerce only or service industry? Most of the stuff I see is good for selling products.
    1 reply
    • Charlie Carmichael
      Charlie Carmichael
      Hi Bret, Thanks for your comment. While Shopify is usually used to sell either physical or digital products, you can also sell services. There are some downsides to service sales on Shopify - like customers not being able to cancel an order. But you can always make them aware of this so they can email you cancellations messages and then you can make the amendment in backend of Shopify yourself. Hope that helps clear things up! Charlie
  • Avatar
    Luzviminda Rosimo
    I've been using shopify for almost three years now and i'm really happy with the platform, the only small issue is with checkout and post purchase upsells which can be solved using apps like carthook. I also co-founded a shopify store setup/design agency we have a lot examples of stores using shopify in our homepage, feel free to check it out at Great article by the way !
    1 reply
    • Lucy Carney
      Lucy Carney
      Hi Luzviminda, That's great you've been with Shopify for so long! I'm so glad you're happy with the platform and have found the bet way for it to work for your business. Please do share the article if you know of anyone who might enjoy it - thanks for reading, Lucy
  • Avatar
    Neha Dua
    Really Great Article. Complete detailed information shared about Shopify store. Its really beneficial for them who are planning to choose Shopify or already using Shopify for their existing websites.
    1 reply
    • Natasha Willett
      Natasha Willett
      Hi Neha, Cheers for the comment, it's great to hear that you enjoyed the article. Natasha.
  • Avatar
    Hi! If this article is amazing! Now I know everything I need to know about shopify! I have one question though! How good is shopify if you want to sell only online products? Not physical stuff. Like is there any apps that can email gamecodes to the custumer automatically after the pruchase and if so, how much does it cost or is it free?
    2 replies
    • Avatar
      Hi! If this article is amazing! Now I know everything I need to know about shopify! I have one question though! How good is shopify if you want to sell only online products? Not physical stuff. Like is there any apps that can email gamecodes to the custumer automatically after the pruchase and if so, how much does it cost or is it free?
      1 reply
      • Charlie Carmichael
        Charlie Carmichael
        Hi Ming, Thanks for your comment. Shopify is a great option to sell both physical and digital products. In terms of selling gamecodes, Shopify have free ecommerce apps such as 'CodesWholesale' which allow your customers to purchase a code before getting it emailed to them. Hope that helps! Best of luck, Charlie
    • Fred Isaac
      Fred Isaac
      Hi Ming, Shopify is very strong when it comes to selling digital products. There's a guide on it you might find useful -
  • Fred Isaac
    Fred Isaac
    Hi Bernard, the great thing about Shopify is you don't have to choose. There's great integration between the two. This page might be of interest:
  • Avatar
    Hello. Great article. I'm in the process of starting an online shop (merchandise, printing). Can I start say for example 3 designs and say 10 pieces of tees for each design? I just want to make sure I don't need to mass-produce. Thanks.
    1 reply
    • Fred Isaac
      Fred Isaac
      Hi Joey, yes definitely! Shopify is great for small stores all the way up to big businesses. However, if you're only selling three tee-shirt designs, you might value the simplicity of Wix. Good luck!