Shopify Review 2018 | Is It The Best Online Store Builder?

Last updated on November 28, 2018
Shopify review

Shopify Review Highlights

Beautiful & Professional Designs – makes your store look great (helps you sell more!).

Comprehensive ecommerce tools (with 1,200+ Apps).

24/7 support (phone, live chat, email) – get help at any time.

Shopify review

Rating

Powering
500,000+ Stores

Starting from
$29.00/month

14 Days Trial
Yes

Review by
Last Updated on November 28, 2018
The best all-around ecommerce platform out there today.

With more than one million users and $55 billion worth of merchant sales, Shopify is one seriously powerful platform.

But…

How do you use Shopify?

What makes it so successful?

Who is it designed for?

Read our detailed review to find out.

Best all-around ecommerce platform
Top Choice

4.7 out of 5

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

1

What are the Pros and Cons of Shopify?

TOP 3 SHOPIFY PROS
#1 Sell across multiple channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Amazon and eBay
#2 Brilliant inventory system which helps you manage your store
#3 Came first in our research for sales features and customer score
TOP 3 SHOPIFY CONS
#1 You have to create your storefront between the editor and dashboard, meaning you must flick between the two.
#2 The only platform to enforce its own transaction fee with Shopify Payments
#3 Content doesn’t automatically reformat if you switch to a different theme
2

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!

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.

3

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.

4

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

5

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.

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.

6

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.

7

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 Reviews

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%

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?

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.
8

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.

9

Shopify FAQs

Why should I use Shopify over hiring a web developer?

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.

Will I lose what I’ve done if I upgrade after a free trial?

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!

What’s the difference between Shopify and Wix?

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.

Found our Shopify review helpful?

Did this guide help you decide whether to use Shopify, then help to get you started building your online store? If so (or if not!) leave a comment below.

Do you know anyone who can benefit from this article? Click the share buttons below to send them this page.

You’ll be helping them, and helping us out by spreading the word about our website!

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.
Charlie Carmichael

About Charlie Carmichael

It's my job to research website builders and find out which one's really are best for your specific needs. Having tested numerous builders, I'm in a great position to help you guys not only get online, but have great success once there.

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Charlie Carmichael

About Charlie Carmichael

It's my job to research website builders and find out which one's really are best for your specific needs. Having tested numerous builders, I'm in a great position to help you guys not only get online, but have great success once there.

Leave a Reply

318 Responses to Shopify Review 2018 | Is It The Best Online Store Builder?

  1. #

    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.

    • Natasha Willett
      #

      Hi Neha,
      Cheers for the comment, it’s great to hear that you enjoyed the article.
      Natasha.

  2. #

    These reviews are rigged. Shopify is outragous, they require you to buy an app to get simple tiered pricing in your store, then take $0.30 plus a percentage for EACH sale you make… I hope I will never get to a point in my life where myself or anyone I know will need to use shopify. I would rather spend 4 years of school learning computer science, it would be the cheaper route after 2 years of using shopify. Again, the fact that they still dont have tiered pricing built into their basic or premium plans bloes me away… your customers will have to pay the same price per unit whether they buy 1 or 100

    • Charlie Carmichael
      #

      Hi Titus,

      Thanks for your comment. We can assure you that all ecommerce builders are tried and tested through the same process but we are currently in the process of a re-rating. That said, Shopify is built for businesses looking to sell a large amount of products and scale fast and, for that purpose, it’s a great solution. If you’re put off by their pricing and are only looking to sell a few products, then we would suggest a website builder with ecommerce functionality, such as Wix or Squarespace. You can read our Wix ecommerce review here.

      Best of luck,

      Charlie

  3. #

    The fee on Shopify is just ridiculous I was charged for them, and then the payment gateway literally spent so much and made nothing. NOT to mention its impossible to downgrade or cancel without a phone call.

    • Lucy Carney
      #

      Hi Irene,
      Thank you for sharing your experience, I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such problems with Shopify. If you’re thinking about switching, it’s worth checking out our ecommerce comparison chart as it has some great alternatives. If you haven’t seen this already, here’s a link to Shopify’s help center with information on how to manually close your online store. Hope it helps and best of luck!
      Thanks so much for reading,
      Lucy

  4. #

    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?

    • #

      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?

      • 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

  5. #

    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.

    • 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!

  6. #

    Thank you! Great article!

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Thanks Karina, glad you found it helpful.

      • #

        Do not use Shopify! They can shut your store down without telling you why! Their standard answer is you’re a risk!
        I opened my stores on shopify twice and got the same result. If you check online you can see a lot of people are having the same issue and shopify will not help you! I signed up for their 14 day trial, then selected a plan, entered my credit card and shopify shut down my store immediately! I had put in hours of work and in an instant everything is gone!

        • #

          George,
          I have a Shopify store I purchased as a birthday gift to myself (3/29/2018). I wanted to sell moissanite diamonds. I found the perfect store, purchased it. Did all I thought I needed to do. I attempted to use the Shopify payments as it was easiest to use for the e-com store. I was denied and said that my e-commerce store was a risk as well. I recently tried to sell on the same platform and was denied because of this supposed risk they NEVER tell you of. DO NOT USE SHOPIFY. Luckily my storefront was only $300 and I only spent another 300 in attempting to get it up and running. My store is currently closed BUT was told it stays in the system for up to a year. So far it has been closed for 2 months.

  7. #

    nice article for shopify website development

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Thank you for the comment Nikhil.

  8. #

    Hi,

    We already have a website on Opencart. Could I still be able to use shopify? or Am i better off converting it into woocommerce? We would want the website to turn into a powerful online store.

    Many thanks and kind regards,
    Viji

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Hi Viji, thank you for the comment. It’s possible to migrate from OpenCart to Shopify. Services like Cart2Cart can help with this. If you’re looking for a powerful ecommerce store, Shopify is the answer.

  9. #

    Thank you Jeremy, this indep tutorial has eased my retail startup journey. My comfort level to start my new online retail store on a scale of 1to 10 and is now at 5…this is grand and I thank you..

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Good to hear Annelorrie, best of luck building your website!

  10. #

    Great review, thanks!

    I was wondering if it is worth using both my PayPal and getting shopify as merchant solutions. Currently I use PayPal buy now button that allow the user to use their PayPal account or using a credit card ( it does take them to PayPal however and off my site)

    I was wondering if I should set up both , thoughts?

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Hi Jim, thank you for the comment. There’s no harm in trying both Shopify Payments and PayPal – keeping customers on your site for checkout can be great for revenue.

  11. #

    Thanks for your article. I bought a Shopify Store and not all the apps are free. It is somewhat user-friendly with the templates and adding products. But you also have to fine tune your site for optimizing images, and fix your page speed. It takes a bit of tweaking at times and sometimes you can things yourself, but other times you may have to get some help with a cost. But it is still worth it because you learn so much from the experience and have the opportunity to put wonderful products to your store. My web store thetrailsendboutique.net is only one example of many.

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Thank you for the comment Wendy, glad you found the article useful!

  12. #

    I was initially looking at Squarespace, but saw a comment on your board about issues with calculating California state tax. So, Does Shopify have a means to calculate federal and state taxes accurately and systematically? Does Squarespace? Or is this done through an additional add-in that you have to pay extra for?

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Hi Ginger, both Squarespace and Shopify offer support with taxes, often through app integration. Shopify has a helpful page on it here – https://help.shopify.com/manual/taxes

  13. #

    Does your site have good SEO connections–places for tags? My products are lost on Etsy.

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Hi Jacqueline, what precisely do you mean sorry? Shopify makes it very easy to add meta descriptions for tags.

  14. #

    Thanks for the info. My question is how do I get my sales data over to QuickBooks?

  15. #

    no limit for the product, right??
    shopify give me mobile app and desktop app for customer to buy on it ??
    i am in middle east , shopify themes have rtl them ??

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Hi Malik,

      You can sell an unlimited number of products on any Shopify plan.

      Thank you for the comment.

  16. #

    No matter how much products i used, right?
    Shopify can give me mobile app for customers and desktop app?!

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Hi Malik,

      Any Shopify plan lets you sell unlimited products. Shopify sites are mobile responsive, so your store should work perfectly on mobile.

  17. #

    Very helpful review. Thank you. You didn’t mention that they have auto-email order confirmation, which I think is VERY important with an ecommerce website.

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Hi Scott,

      Thank you for the comment, Shopify certainly do have a huge array of powerful ecommerce tools, thank you for flagging that!

  18. #

    Thanks for giving this valuable information about Shopify. Its really important to get good knowledge. Thanks to you for this blog.

  19. #

    Great and informative article. I have one question….. if you have a brick and mortar store where you sell your products and you want to add a website store selling say your jewelry. Is there any problem with removing products from your website that have sold from your store? Not linking POS system for the online to the brick and mortar store? This is a store located in a resort area and for 3 months a year you are so busy ringing the cash register that it will be difficult to maintain inventory. But if we use the Shopify basic or Shopify mid plan is their a fee for transactions placed in store? On our current credit card system. In essence, if we remove a product from the website how does Shopify view that? I hope I have explained this coherently and thank you in advance for your help

    • #

      Hi Justine,

      Thanks so much for your comment. Firstly, Shopify technically don’t have transaction fees for physical POS transactions. However, if someone pays by card, then there is a card charge for all Shopify plans.

      With regards to inventory management, if you have a separate credit card system that’s not connected to your Shopify inventory, then you’ll need to manage your online inventory separately. This is time consuming, but ultimately won’t have a negative effect on your online store – as long as you are able to keep it up to date.

      Sounds like you may want to take this discussion a little further though – Shopify have a great live chat option, we’d recommend you have a chat with them about your individual situation.

      Good luck and happy selling!

      Adelle

  20. #

    Hi

    I’m based in the UK and looking to set up a web site for selling for first time. I currently have Approx 1000 Rare A2 Movie Posters listed with e bay and Approx 2000 rare Dvd titles and Approx 300 board game titles listed with Amazon. My current turnover is between £30k-40K (95% through Amazon)

    I don’t want to be always reliant on Amazon and ebay and is Shopify the right way to go for an online presence. Any guidance would be welcome.

    regards

    Bernard

    • 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: https://www.shopify.com/amazon

  21. #

    What a great review. I am leaving ETSY and going to strictly Shopify, after waffling for several months. I really appreciate your work, it’s so encouraging and makes things simpler for those of us who create and make, and need to start selling!

    thanks a LOT for this,
    Kim Brakeley

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks for the comment, it’s great to hear our articles are helping people like you. We certainly feel that having their own store gives ecommerce entrepreneurs a lot more control. Bear in mind that starting your Shopify store doesn’t have to mean the end of Etsy, as Shopify offers great integration with tons of marketplaces.

      All the best!

      Fred

  22. #

    It’s important to me, to be able to sell my products on “Multi-Channel” Social Media platforms. I want my customers to be able to purchase my products using their cell phones, on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.

    Does Shopify integrate with those platforms? Is it easy to set this up on my future site?

    By the way, I love your informative website and videos. Will share with others, that are looking for information on finding the right website platform.

    Thanks!

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Hi Rita,

      Glad you find the website useful – hope it helps some of your friends too.

      Shopify can certainly help you integrate with social media platforms. It’s our top-rated ecommerce platform for a reason.

      To get started, I would browse the social media apps available in the Shopify App Store. Adding free and paid apps to boost your store’s social media functionality is pretty seamless.

      Good luck selling!

      Fred

  23. #

    Thanks for another informative website.

  24. #

    I’ve got a very basic question. Do people come to shopify to search for products in a way that is similar to what they would on ebay, etsy, or amazon?

    Do the search engines = google, spider my shipify store?

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Reid,

      I’m afraid Shopify doesn’t work in the same way as Etsy or eBay. There’s no central hub to search from as it is a website building platform rather than a marketplace.

      However, with some work on your SEO (Search engine Optimization – or on-site improvements that make your website easier to find online), then there’s no reason why your Shopify store can’t rank highly in search engine results pages for the relevant search terms.

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  25. #

    Jeremey, I have read your blog off and on for about a year now.You have a comprehensive understanding of what people require to build a web site. It has really helped me to come up with the right web site builder.

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Greg,

      Thanks for the kind feedback, it’s great to know the site has been so useful to you.

      Keep up the good work and best of luck with your website building!

      – Tom

  26. #

    Great review, many thanks for your help.
    I have a physical store as well as ebay store, also a basic website that is outdated, very active on facebook ads and promotions which works great for us.
    I was looking for a new template to refresh the website however seeing how easy to get a ecommerce site going, it seems that shopify is a great candidate, so I am considering mid level shopify service.

    Shopify eliminates the cost to purchase templates for me since they offer fairly wide range for free.

    Below is the areas I have a question,

    domain name and hosting; I have a domain already. how does this new site gets uploaded to my hosting server or it has to be hosted at Shopify servers?
    If Shopify servers, do I still have full control over my domain?
    is the domain name altered with Shopify related extensions?

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hey Max,

      Shopify certainly sounds like a good option for you! It should really help your business to grow.

      As for your domain name, as long as you’ve purchased it and it is yours, then it won’t be too difficult to connect it to your Shopify website.

      Here’s how to go about it!

      Our domain name guide might prove handy too.

      Regarding hosting, Shopify is just like using any other website builder. If you use Shopify to build your store then it will be hosted on their servers, but as long as you’ve paid for your domain, then you have full control over your domain.

      By using your own domain, you won’t have Shopify related extensions in your URL either.

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  27. #

    Want to sell Financial Modeling Software (Excel Spreadsheets) through my own website. Customers must be able to download files and pay by credit card. I am new and have absolutely no experience with websites. Would you please advise me what direction to go…. WIX or Shopify….
    Don’t want to start with one and find out later I should have used another Website Builder…
    Thanks…

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi David,

      It depends how you want to sell your products + how numerous they are.

      Wix is better suited to smaller businesses with limited product selections, whereas Shoipify has a greater scaling potential.

      Both can be used to sell digital products.

      Both platforms also offer trial periods, so you can test out both and then see which you prefer without committing any cash!

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  28. #

    Hi, we have a store front and online experience. 1. Can Shopify migrate all of our current POS customer base into their system? 2. Does Shopify have a POS system for our store front? Does Shopify provide a on the road card swipe capability?

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hello Norm,

      Let’s tackle these in order:

      1) You can import a customer database using a CSV file (Comma Separated Value File – like an excel spreadsheet, but all the data is separated by commas so that a computer can sort it easier). If you can generate a CSV database from your POS, then you’ll be able to upload your customers into Shopify.

      2) Yes, Shopify have a real-world POS you can use. Here’s some more information for you. You can use this on-the-go too – it’s a great solution.

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  29. #

    Hi
    I want to restart my designer clothes business I played around a little with it in the past but didn’t have my full range online!! How does it work with payment of clothes and me shipping them!! I need to set up and re start next week and most likely need a little help!! Can I take photos of garments with model on phone and transfer them to store?
    Regards
    Michele Russ (Barry)

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Michele,

      You can take photos on your phone and upload them through the Shopify app, or you can email them to yourself + download on a laptop then upload to Shopify.

      To accept payments you’ll need to subscribe to a Shopify plan and then connect your chosen payment gateway/merchant account with your Shopify store (think PayPal, WorldPay, etc).

      You can also set up your shipping options in your Shopify dashboard, but it depends on your actual plans. Are you shipping items yourself or are you dropshipping? Either option will require different shipping options set up by you on your Store.

      Hope that clarifies things,
      – Tom

  30. #

    Hi, I have a few questions.
    I want to start my own online business but not use dropshipping. Instead, I want to buy the merchandise myself and when a customer buys the product I would ship it to them. Would that be possible while using Shopify?

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Ana,

      Shopify isn’t limited exclusively to dropshipping, so you should have no trouble running your business as you like.

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  31. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    What’s up?! Appreciate this info!

    I’m a web developer, managed a couple of Shopify and WordPress websites. I’m quite adept at customizing everything on both of those CMS including apps/plugins.

    I’m planning to start my own business and I need your intelligent advice. I already have my Facebook page selling products for a specific niche and made quite a few sales with a community in it.

    Now, I have two options: WordPress or Shopify. I write blogs, create tournament events, betting events, and sell products. I know WordPress can do ALL those, but what about Shopify?

    I didn’t like how Woocommerce works and how indirect the fees can be, and unlike Shopify who had a very straightforward fee. But my business is not MAINLY about the products, it’s more of the community and the content which WordPress can properly handle better — in my opinion. The one thing I like about Shopify is the hosting, it’s faster than most WordPress sites (who usually have shared-hosting).

    You see, I’m confused here and asking the people around me made it even more complicated. I need your input on this. I’m not going to consider Wix and other CMS, as much as possible I wanted to stick with these two powerhouses.

    Hoping for your sincere and brutally honest response.
    Let me know if there are apps for the features I mentioned (particularly betting).

    Thanks in advance brother!

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Chud,

      I think the important thing is to know exactly what you want to achieve with your website.

      Do you purely want to sell? Or, do you want to sell as part of a wider business plan?

      It sounds like you are leaning towards the latter at the moment with your blogging, community building and event running.

      In this case, I would say it’s probably best to stick with WordPress for the time being as Shopify is equipped to be more of a pure sales platform. Yes, you can blog on Shopify, but not to the extent you can on WordPress – and, likewise, as far as I know you can’t build communities via membership areas and forums on Shopify.

      Shopify does have more straightforward fees and faster load times, and is definitely the superior selling platform in my opinion, but it is not as well equipped as WordPress in terms of wider website building, which sounds like an important part of your offering.

      That’s just my two cents though, I hope it helps,

      – Tom

  32. #

    Thanks for the review Jeremy. Very helpful to a novice like me. I also enjoyed reading your responses to all questions posted. I also intend to open an online store and now on trial period with squarelet.com (shoppy). Can I know what is the difference between Shopify and Squarelet (Shoppy)? Im based in Malaysia and selling Malaysian products but I have plans to bring my business to other markets outside Malaysia. Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Hani,

      I’m not too familiar with Squarelet.

      However after a quick check, Squarelet seems a lot more basic, especially in terms of the template designs and features on offer. It also looks like it doesn’t have as wide a support for international payment methods compared to Shopify, which might prove troublesome for you if you intend to expand outside of Malaysia with your Business!

      At the end of the day though it comes down to what works best for you, there’s no harm in trying out free trials on both Shopify and Squarelet and then going with the one you prefer.

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  33. #

    Hi, Great review and Q&A,
    I have been running an ebay store for 17 years and I feel it is time to open my own ecommerce site, the product I sell is of a technical nature and requires charts and pictorial descriptions using HTML either within the description or a seperate page, please could you advise which site would best suit my needs.
    Regards
    Steven

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hey Steven,

      I think that Shopify will probably be your best bet.

      Not only does it integrate very nicely with eBay (so you can promote your eBay listings on Shopify without having to relist everything!), but you you can also tweak on page HTML and CSS.

      You can also add images to product descriptions, which will hopefully cover all your pictorial needs!

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  34. #

    Hi! does shopify works well in countries other than US? … also, I see the prices a bit high for a begginer, which other builder can you reccomend?

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hey Barbara,

      Yes, Shopify does work outside the US – in almost every country and currency. The thing that may slow you down is your choice of payment gateway – you can find the limitations of those here.

      An alternative would be Wix Ecommerce, which is not only cheaper but also simpler to use. You won’t get as many in-depth reports of product customization options, but it is a robust and reliable ecommerce platform that is not too overwhelming – definitely a good place to start!

      – Tom

  35. #

    Hi,

    I want to set up a subscription-based retail store on facebook (monthly subscription box service for kids books/toys etc). Which of the two Shopify/bigCom would best enable me to do this.

    I also use an independant warehousing service provider, does intergration with their API come standard on the basic plans or will I have to subscribe to an app from their stores to enable this?

    I also haven’t looked at functionality, but would either of these builders allow my customers (predominantly facebook) to have “user accounts” to manage their subscriptions etc (i.e: manage order description, billing, shipping address) without having to leave the facebook environment?

    Initially I wanted to only sell through facebook and avoid having to build a build a seperate website outside of facebook.

    What would be my best bet?

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Joe,

      For selling on Facebook, I would go with Shopify. This is because Shopify is much more integrated with Facebook than BigCommerce is, and so will make your life a lot easier!

      On the API front, I would point you in the direction of this Shopify support page, which should help clear things up.

      Shopify can enable your users to buy your products directly through Facebook thanks to the two platforms’ integration. You can also enable and manage user accounts on your Shopify store. However, I’m not so sure you can combine the two, unless their is a specific app that can be approved through Facebook and allow this data and information to be collected and stored, almost like a remote Shopify account. There is a Shopify forum discussion on this topic here, and an app to possibly consider is ‘One Click Social Login‘.

      Shopify has a lot of support articles about selling with and on Facebook, so I’d definitely recommend checking out those too.

      Hope that points you in the right direction,
      – Tom

  36. #

    Great Article. I couldnt have started shopify if i looked only the bad side. Seems a lot of invesment to me. But focus is the key. I tried my own online store setup but since i was a newbie, i had audience but couldnt make sales because of my website. I decided to leave the site to a professional. Did it and it helped me increase sales and store was professional too. So i think the beauty of the site too can lead to conversions as well.

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Jazzy,

      Shopify’s learning curve can be a little steeper than other ecommerce platforms, but it’s not so severe that you can’t get to grips with it over a short amount of time.

      Hiring a professional to help you is definitely one way of quickly building your online store, but only if you have the money to do so!

      I don’t think that hiring help is necessarily in everyone’s budget, but it’s a handy thing to fall back on if you really need the support.

      Best of luck with your site,
      – Tom

  37. #

    Question about eBay and Shopify.
    I have an eBay Store already, #1. can I import all items from eBay to Shopify? #2. Once an item sells on my Shopify site, does eBay still charge me for making a sale or Shopify or both? #3. if I’m able to link both stores together once an item sells does both stores automatically update quantity left?

    Great info on your site hopefully I can find a better alternative site from eBay to do business on.

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi 37randy,

      This is actually a very common request and is relatively straight forward to do.

      Just head to the Shopify App Store (here) and search for an app called ‘Inkfrog’.
      This app will help you to fully import your eBay store to Shopify – so you won’t need your eBay store anymore.

      Regarding the charges, this is something you should be able to clarify through the Inkfrog integration as it will be this app linking th accounts.

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  38. #

    Thanks for this wonderful information, One thing that I did not understand is that, who will handle shipping cost ,me or shopify ??

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hey Mayode,

      No problem, glad the information has proved useful!

      Just to clarify, you will be responsible for handling shipping costs, but you can set your shipping rates for products in the back-end of your Shopify store.

      – Tom

  39. #

    Hi Jeremy

    It’s great review
    Am planning to create my website for travel and will have eithe Booking.com or Expedia.com as my affiliate my question is
    1. Which better websitesbulider for this Shopify, wix or what ?
    2. If I slescted Shopify what the meaning by using their buy system?

    Thanks

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Ahmed,

      It depends on how your website is going to work to be honest.

      Unless you are selling products or services directly to users then you shouldn’t need Shopify, which is a dedicated ecommerce platform.

      If you are looking into affiliate marketing, then it will be your content that drives users to your partner sites. In this case I would suggest Wix or Weebly, which are better all-round platforms and easier to host link-rich, blogging style content on.

      Hope that helps,
      Tom

  40. #

    Shopify is ok, but the lack of basic features they have deliberately not provided, forcing shop owners to purchase apps, is a bit underhanded and costly. For example, want to give a customer a volume discount… that’s $19.99 p/month…want to integrate your store with your courier… that’s a $279 p/m upgrade.. I would not recommend it to someone starting out, as the monthly costs to get a reasonable eComm store just isn’t worth it.

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi james,

      Thanks for sharing your your thoughts on Shopify, it’s always useful to have as many viewpoints in the discussion as possible.

      I agree that Shopify’s lack of volume discount and quantity breaks is frustrating and something that they need to address. I believe they were looking into adding this into Shopify 2, but it doesn’t look like it ever materialized. As you noted there are a fair few apps and add-ons that can add this feature for an additional cost but I agree that it should be built into the native interface.

      For the record, have you tried any other eCommerce store builder sites? I know that Bigcommerce can offer bulk discounts to buyers, read our review and see what you think.

      However, I would disagree with you on the costs of courier integration as there are a large number of apps that can offer this feature and are availble for much cheaper than the price you’ve been quoted. Try a search for ‘courier’ or ‘tracking’ in the Shopify App Store and see how you get on.

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  41. #

    THE main thing that people need to know about Shopify is that they support and encourage “vendors” that are totally worthless scammers. They provide “Live Chat” support that consists of a fully automatic robot system that totally ignores anything a customer asks and just responds that they need to have an email address so they can send a response. But the response (if one comes at all) is just the vendor’s same lie that the shipment is en route.

    There might be an honest vendor who is accidentally using Shopify, but no one seems to have found who that might be.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi TomC,

      Sorry to hear you’ve had such a bad experience with Shopify, it’s never ideal if you think you’re being caught out and can’t seem to rectify the issue.

      However, I would add that every time I’ve used Shopify chat support it has always been with a real person and not a bot – is this what you mean? Or are you referring to a specific vendors chat support? Either way you’ll need to add a name and email address to verify that you’re not a bot either!

      I will add though that if you think something suspicious is up with the vendor or are having trouble contacting them, I would advise you to go directly to Shopify central support and report this issue, either by chat, email or over the phone. Just follow this link and scroll to the bottom for contact options.

      Hope that helps,
      – Jeremy

      • #

        I would say this is the main thing holding me back from Shopify and glad to see someone else validate. If you read the reviews of the plugins/apps for Shopify they are riddled with slow or no response, buggy software, and what’s more no reply/explanation from the vendor.

        If there is a bug one could at least explain it’s being worked on or the issue. It’s nice to hear from the vendor and silence on so many issues is a dealbreaker. Lastly, the % of 1 and 2 stars and the honesty of the 3 stars can be over 30% negative and that’s not a good ratio for anyone in business.

        Are there any other alternatives besides Shopify and BigCommerce?

        • Tom Watts
          #

          Hi Eli,

          Thanks for joining the discussion.

          I think it’s fair to be cautious of sub-standard plugins and apps as they could very well prove detrimental to your website’s performance.

          However, I would say that star ratings can prove useful – even if there are a high percentage of 1-2 star ratings – because it shows that the community has standards and understands what they need most. Any platform as popular as Shopify will inevitably have sub-standard apps making it to the marketplace, but I would advise looking at the top charts and most highly rated apps to see if there is something that could help you out.

          As for ecommerce alternatives, depending on the scale of your shop, you could also consider Wix eCommerce. Check out the review I’ve linked to and see what you think.

          Best
          – Tom

  42. #

    Where do I find stores that are using Shopiffy?
    ebay is easy to find

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hello Rod,

      Shopify has a page that highlights some examples and you can see them here.

      Jeremy

  43. #

    Hiya Jeremy,

    I am planning to start an online business in a few months and the most likey two options for myself are an Amazon FBA business or a shopify store. (I’m still unsure what to sell of course haha!)

    Two quick questions, on shopify can I make an account with a debit card, not a credit card? Or will I need to get a credit card? (I’ve just never had a credit card before and dread having to pay extortionate interest rates).

    Also, what’s the best way to market your shopify business in order to create customers and sales?

    Danny.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hey Danny,

      To sign up to a Shopify premium plan, I think you can only pay using credit cards. Though you can contact their support to see if they can accept debit cards.

      When you use a credit card, as long as you pay your entire monthly balance, the credit card won’t charge you interest. So it’s as good as using a debit card.

      Credit card companies only start to charge interest if you don’t settle your full balance on a monthly basis.

      Marketing an online store is a beyond the scope of our website. There are a lot of other blogs / resources out there that specialize in online marketing. They would be much more qualified to answer these questions!

      Jeremy

      • #

        Hi Jeremy,

        Thank you for the reply.

        Although a credit card would concern me – only because I’ve never had one – I think I understand how they work and on that basis I could cover costs myself if I needed to, until I’ve received payment.

        However, I have been doing some reading about various website host/builders, including your comprehensive reviews. I now believe that Weebly may be the one for me. I think it not only takes care of a lot of the technical aspects that I’m not clued up about, but financially it is much more attractive for me as a total beginner in eCommerce.

        The package I would be going with would be the business or performance. The business one appears to be very good value, but then again the performance one provides abandoned cart recovery.

        When I get a new laptop next month I’ll probably make a free account just to get a feel for it. Then decide which plan to go for. In the meantime I still need to figure out what product/s to sell or a niche market to break into LOL!

        Do you think Weebly will be a good decision for me as a beginner? Also, can you give me a tip or two in figuring out what would be a good market or product range that suits me?

        Regards,
        Danny

        • Jeremy
          #

          Hey Danny,

          I think Weebly is a good “beginners” website builder as they are really to use – probably one of the easiest and most user-friendly website builder in the market today. You can see our review of Weebly here as well as their ecommerce capabilities, if you haven’t yet.

          I really like Shopify as an ecommerce builder as they allow you to scale up your business very quickly. If you do decide to go with Weebly’s Business or Performance plans, the monthly pricing is comparable to Shopify’s “Basic Shopify” plan. But, under this plan, you won’t get the abandoned cart recovery tool, which we discuss here.

          I think you’re right in that the best thing to do is sign up for a free Weebly account to give them a free test drive to see if they’re suitable for you. Just keep in mind that Shopify also has a 14-day free trial period.

          So in summary, I think Weebly is easier to use than Shopify. But Shopify has much more comprehensive ecommerce tools to “scale up” your business once you gain momentum and they have a very strong ecommerce community / ecosystem. But that’s not to say Weebly won’t be sufficient.

          Hope this helps!

          Jeremy

          • #

            Thank you Jeremy for the responses,

            I think the main thing to do as a beginner is to just jump into one or the other and figure it out as I go along.

            I’ve read all your website builder reviews and they all have pro’s and cons of course however as a start up I will probably try weebly as it’s less expensive.

            If i was to grow though, are you saying weebly isn’t capable of handling a large ecommerce store compared to shopify?

            Also, if i was to grow a successful business on weebly, what is the options for extraction/moving your business to another platform or even if you were going solo?

            Thanks

            • Jeremy
              #

              Hi Danny,

              You’re right that Weebly’s ecommerce pricing is a little cheaper than Shopify’s, but try not to let costs be the absolute determining factor for your choice of builder.

              Regarding size, it depends on how many products you plan on stocking and selling. If you’re planning on selling more than 50 products then Shopify’s scalability would probably be better suited to the job. This is because Shopify is built so that you don’t have to re-platform again down the road even if the business continues to grow. It can cater to businesses that are making a few thousand dollars as well as businesses that are selling millions of dollars in products.

              Weebly has a great ecommerce offering compared to other website builders but it is more of an all-rounder, so it comes down to your future business plans.

              But those are just my thoughts. Take a look at this ecommerce comparison chart – it might prove handy.

              Technically you wouldn’t be able to move your Weebly site as it is built on with their templates and hosted on their server. What you can do is archive the site, download it and then upload this to your new server to give yourself a headstart as this should maintain the base of your site but not posts, custom fonts, plugins and other custom Weebly elements.

              If you’re worried you might outgrow Weebly, I’d definitely suggest looking at Shopify.

              Hope that helps,

              Jeremy

              • #

                Hi Jeremy,

                I’ve since had a change of mind, again haha.

                Long story short, after contemplating going with bigcommerce or Shopify, I’ve decided that I will be going with Shopify to launch my business as it’s clearly the best platform. And because I will of course wish to grow.

                So, trying to save a few pounds from the offset, by launching with a cheap host, isn’t the best idea. I realise that now.

                It’s going to be a dropshipping business, with Aliexpress most likley being the main supplier (unless i could find a viable and reliable wholesaler in the UK).

                I am aware of the possibility for longer than average delivery times, but I plan to at least try to remedy this by only selling products that offer free worldwide shipping. I think customers are willing to wait that little bit longer if the shipping is free.

                Can I ask, I think I read somewhere that on the basic Shopify plan you have to have “myshopify” in your web address. Is this true or can I choose my own? If i remember correctly, we can buy one without “myshopfy” in it for 13 dollars a year or something like that.

                This is probably a silly question, but would you recommend writing a business plan before launching?

                Now that I’ve done my research on hosts and decided who I’m going to launch with, that’s that bit out of the way. Now I need to focus on figuring out my niche and products.

                Once again, thank you for your generous reviews and especially your kind responses on here!

                Danny.

                • Jeremy
                  #

                  Hi Danny,

                  You can use your own domain with any Shopify plan as far as I know. They also provide a free “.myshopify” domain just in case you don’t have a personal one. Here’s how to add your own domain.

                  I’d always suggest writing a business plan before launching a business – how else will you keep tabs on whether you are achieving what you set out to do?

                  If you need some inspiration, here’s Shopify’s own guide to starting a dropshipping business.

                  Hope that helps,
                  -Jeremy

                • #

                  Hi again Jeremy,

                  I just wondered if you could take a quick scan of this UK based website builder called EKM.

                  https://www.ekm.com/

                  I was on their site and within minutes of taking a peek around their site, one of their agents popped up on a live chat to ask how they could help.

                  In a nutshell, they pretty much offered right away to have one of their account managers arrange to call me so I could discuss my plans and ideas and ask any questions or queries I may have.

                  The fact that they are UK based is an attractive part of the package as there are no time differences to worry about in regards to customer support. The fact that shopify are based worries me a little.

                  Initially I was concerned that, as I have yet to make a decision on my target audience and market etc, that it would be an ineffective phone call. However the agent told me that this wouldn’t be a problem – perhaps they might even assist me in finally figuring this bit out.

                  It certainly looks like very good value. They have included just about everything you need to run a successful business. And many of the additions are thing that platforms like shopify charge extra for.

                  My first impressions are definitely good ones. They are clearly on the ball, what with their swift and prompt actions not only in popping up for a chat almost immediately, but in arranging a call with one of the account managers.

                  I’ve got nothing to lose by taking the call and having a chat with them. I gotta start somewhere, and this opening has certainly captured my interest.

                  If you could have a quick look and give me your opinion, it would be greatly appreciated.

  44. #

    Hi Jeremy, thank you for the usefull website! I am looking for an ecommerce website builder where I can sell products but allow consumers to ‘build’ and personalize/ customize their own product as well.

    Do you know if Shopify allows this or could you recommend any other website builders that could do this? Or am I better off hiring a website designer or developer?

    Thank you!

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Cis,

      If you want to create a shop where your customers can completely customize a product, you might have to hire someone to create a custom program for you to do that.

      One suggestion is to get in touch with a Shopify Expert and see what they have to say. Perhaps it could be done with Shopify and just require some heavy custom programming. A Shopify Expert might be able to better point you in the right direction.

      Jeremy

  45. #

    Thanks for the review. From what I have seen it would appear that shopify is just a commerce platform. It does not bring customers to your products just allows them to buy from you. Is this correct?

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hey Richard,

      Correct. Shopify is an ecommerce website builder and it’s probably the best in the industry at this time.

      It is the merchant’s responsibility to market the business and generate traffic to the website.

      Keep in mind that an ecommerce website is just a tool that’s just a part of your business. Just like other parts of your business, such as product development, administration, banking, managing employees, you’d have to manage those separately.

      It’s a legitimate question though. Shopify does offer some marketing tools in their App Store. But at the end of the day, you’ll have to create your own marketing strategy to generate sales.

      Jeremy

  46. #

    Fantastic review! It really made me one step closer to opening my business.
    A question though. Can you automate delivery with Shopify?
    Let’s say a customer orders something on my website and it’s automatically sent to a manufacturer in China.
    Or, connect it to Aliexpress? I pick the product, connect it to Aliexpress shop, customer orders from me and the order is automatically sent to the corresponding Aliexpress seller?

  47. #

    Hi Jeremy, I am in the process of building a shopify store and want to know how shopify’s back up works? If I accidentally delete an item or a blog etc or install an app that effects other things am I able to restore from shopify’s back up?
    Is it advised to install an additional back up app such as “rewind” to ensure I can recover things like this?

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hello Alison,

      Shopify doesn’t have a built in “backup” feature where you can recover specific versions of your website just in case you want to undo changes you’ve made to the website.

      But the “Rewind” app can help you do that. You can find it in Shopify’s App Store. It says the app will automatically backup your store (all the data, theme, etc) and you can choose which version of the backups to restore. It sounds like a really useful tool to me.

      It does cost $5 per month but I personally would get it as it’s worth every penny when you need to recover something!

      Jeremy

  48. #

    Shopify closed me down by shutting off their payment gateway without warning. They cited their terms that my business was a prohibited business which it clearly was not. I pointed that out to them and they changed their reason to business being to high risk but could not explain why it was too high risk.

    Their arrogance in my following discussions with them was shocking and despite my attempts to offer solutions and alternatives to their unacceptable action they maintained their intransigence. I have no option but to leave Shopify altogether because by closing off the payment gateway this adds an additional 2% transaction fee for using alternatives and my business is very small margin that this fee makes the business unprofitable. They have also offered no recompense or solutions or even an apology. I would not go anywhere near this company and they are the worst company I have dealt with in my entire career. I am glad to be leaving but it infuriates me to think they can mess around with peoples lives the way they do. I have heard of many others since this happened to me that have had similar experiences with Shopify. Avoid at all costs! There are plenty of alternatives and even ones that change no transaction fees if you use an alternative payment gateway.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi DSW,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us. What exactly is your business?

      I know all website builders (including ecommerce builders) monitor what type of businesses are using their platforms, and whether they violate their Terms of Services.

      For instance, if one’s website promotes counterfeit products, hate messages, illegal content, violation of intellectual property rights, etc, then platforms generally will take action to shut down the websites.

      I’m not saying that’s what you were doing at all, I’m just explaining to other readers generally that’s what happens so that they are aware.

      Jeremy

      • #

        They’ve done the same to me. I sell beauty products, you know, cleansers, moisturizers, masks… They call them “pseudopharmaceuticals”. I have very popular and reputable lines, so this is hogwash. I now have to pay !5 of my sales, plus deal with third parties for credit card processing. Shopify never mentioned this up front, happy to take my money. Only found out after my site was built, which I spent money to build. Not happy. if you’re selling beauty products, this is a problem. I’m looking for options…

        • Fred Isaac
          #

          Hi Joanna,

          Thanks for the comment. We’ve found Shopify to be pretty transparent when it comes to credit card processing fees (something you have to pay everywhere) and transaction fees. If you’re finding the fees a bit much then you might want to check out BigCommerce, which doesn’t charge transaction fees at all! You can check out our pricing review here: https://www.websitebuilderexpert.com/bigcommerce-pricing/

          Hope this helps and good luck with your business!

          Fred

  49. #

    As I read in previous comments, you can set up a personal domain name and email with Shopify…will that end up being WWW.(nameofbusiness).com or WWW.(nameofbusiness).shopify.com?

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Alyssa,

      Since Shopify only has a 14-day trial period, you’d have to upgrade to one of their premium plans if you want to continue using Shopify beyond the trial period. Once you decide to upgrade, you can connect your own custom domain name to your online store.

      In the domain name, it doesn’t have to include “Shopify”. It can be www.(nameofbusiness).com, as you mentioned.

      For more information about domain names, see our domain names guide here.

      Jeremy

  50. #

    Several of my friends and I ordered from the “TREND Harbor” website, which took payment through Shopify. We ordered items, they took our orders and payments through Shopify but never delivered our order’s, one friend ordered February 1,2017 and has not received her order, as well as others who ordered days apart, we thought we’d try to reach out to you since Trend Harbor will not return calls or answer emails, we have tried numerous times to no avail. We don’t know what else to do as it said payment was taken by Shopify with Stripe. If you could give us any info we’d greatly appreciate it. Thank you for any help you can suggest to us

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Patricia,

      First of all, sorry to hear about your experience.

      But it sounds to me that it is the business that’s operating the online store that’s the problem as they are not delivering the product that you ordered. So It sounds to me that is is not a Shopify issue as they are just a platform that enables merchants to build an ecommerce website.

      So you’ll need to sort this out directly with the store owner as Shopify doesn’t control the shipment of products nor do they have any control over the money (they only facilitate collection but they can’t control where it goes).

      Hope it works out for you at the end…

      Jeremy

  51. #

    Hi Jeremy,
    as you suggested, I opened a Shopify shop – just to close it down in no more than 2 hours! I am sorry to say, it is a complete mess. Let me explain:

    1. First, I found that there are less than 10 free themes to select.

    2. Somewhere on the page it is explained that no credit card number is needed, but after I began to build a shop, I had to select a plan and enter the credit card number in order to have access to some functions. I did not like the fact that I have to close the shop before March 9th in order to avoid receiving the invoice for March. It should be on contrary, the shop should be closed in a case I do not decide to go on with the shop.

    3. I imported my Etsy products (some 200) to find out that while products can be defined by grams, shipping has no grams option, just kilograms.

    4. Then I wanted to define the weight in a bulk, to find out that I can not do this and that I should open every item and every variation (at least 300 all together) and enter the weight one by one, even not to be sure that the listing is correctly connected to a shipping plan.

    5. Then I wanted to see the shop online and find out that there is no button how to go to my shop directly from admin panel. I accidentally pressed preview in some of the pages, to realize that every page does not have preview and that I do not know how to go directly to my online shop.

    This was just enough and I closed the shop down and I don’t know which e-commerce would be the best for my needs. Wix can not import directly Etsy products, in Weebly review I read that is not the best solution for more than 200 items, product variation can not have different price etc.

    KRegards
    Mark

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hey Mark,

      Thanks for sharing your feedback. Very helpful to see other people’s experiences!

      Shopify offers well over 100 premium themes, but yes, the free ones are limited. I suppose in my own view, I’m okay with that as once I reach a point where I want to stay with a platform, I won’t mind paying for a premium theme to upgrade the look of the store.

      Probably much cheaper than hiring a designer to customize things for me (though that does have certain advantages). In the greater scheme of building online stores, purchasing a premium theme is just a part of investing into a business I suppose.

      As for credit information, you do have to select a premium plan if you want to access more tools. The trial account do limit you to more basic tools as the advanced tools are only made available to premium subscribers (very normal business practice).

      They do offer you a 14-day free trial and it sounds like you’d prefer the trial time to be a bit longer? That’s perfectly understandable. One alternative is to sign up to their Basic Shopify plan ($29 per month) for one month, so you have another 30 days or so to fully experience with their platform with access to some more tools. If you still don’t like using Shopify, you can just cancel right away. There are no commitments to Shopify if you subscribe to their month-to-month plans.

      I guess it’s just a price to pay to fully explore whether Shopify is the right option for you. Consider an investment to discovering what can successfully grow your business for years to come?

      Jeremy

  52. #

    Great article, Jeremy. I currently have a Shopify online store and for the most part like the ease of use and general functionality. However, I cannot find a way to create a separate section- think ‘members only’- with products and/or pricing that is not viewable by the general public. I’ve researched a lot of apps/plugins, but none seem to match my needs. Do you know how this can be done without creating an entirely separate store? Thanks in advance for your time and consideration.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hello Dan,

      It’s possible but you’d have to tweak a few things. See Shopify’s tutorials on how to do it here.

      Jeremy

  53. #

    Hi,
    you gave really very useful information. But I still can not decide which platform to choose. There is no platform that gives enough time to check how it works. 14 days free is too short because we do not have time to build the store immediately, to check applications, customers statistics etc.

    Some free plans like Weebly, are not useful because you can put products online, so you can not check what is happening, if someone is interested in your products. Jimdo free plan has o statistics …

    So, I did not find a platform for now that would give me enough time to build and check without a rush how it works. It is a shame, because I lost a lot of time not only reading your excellent reviews, but much more in opening the shops to realize at the end that it is not for me. For example Wix, which I had to close even before I could check it, because it has no possibility to import products and no automatic email to buyer. So I could mention at least one important reason for every platform why I could not check them.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hello Mark,

      It sounds like you found the 14-days trial period too short because you’re testing out various different platforms all at the same time, so you didn’t to dedicate more time to testing Shopify?

      If so, try signing up to another account and investing most of your available time to testing this ecommerce builder. The trial period, to be honest, is not intended for you to build out a complete store and have everything set up (but it’s possible if you’re building a simpler store).

      If you really can’t make a decision by the end of the trial period, and if you can’t extend the trial period (try asking them), then consider signing up for just one month to complete your test. I know it’s not an ideal situation, but you’ll probably have a pretty good sense if you’d like to continue with Shopify by the end of the trial period.

      Jeremy

      • #

        Jeremy Wong,

        I was thinking exactly the same thing as Mark, that a two-week period is just not enough time to do all that you want. You make an excellent suggestion, pointing out that after the two-week period you can sign up for one month and finish the project. I think that is why I think for myself, that Shopify is the way to go. You can sign up for just one month at a time in order to discover if the platform works for you or not, and which eliminates a costly one or two year contract.

        Virginia

        • Jeremy
          #

          Hi Virginia,

          Thanks for your comment. Another idea is that after you pay for 1 month (or 2, however many months you need to figure out if Shopify works for you), you can always upgrade to their yearly plans to take advantage of their 10% annual plan discount!

          Jeremy

  54. #

    Excellent article Jeremy. I am looking at the various e-commerce platforms to start a store and shopify really seems to be the best one all around.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Thanks, Justin. In our experience, Shopify is probably the best hosted ecommerce platform in the market right now.

      Good luck with building your online store!

      Jeremy

  55. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    I really learned a lot from your review. I’m interested in this business and I am planning to put up a variety shop using this as a platform, But I am worried of two things, 1. Is this possible? having different kinds of products to sell? 2. I’m from the Philippines. Will I be successful in this business even though my country is not listed in the Shopify affiliated list?

    Your reply is much appreciated. thank you!

    • Jeremy
      #

      Ian,

      I don’t think it’s a problem at all as I heard there are a lot of online ecommerce businesses operating out of the Philippines.

      You can definitely sell multiple products with Shopify, and there are payment processors that will work for merchant located in the Philippines. PayPal is just one that comes into my mind. It fully integrates with Shopify.

      Jeremy

  56. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    I am starting a reseller business and would be selling multiple products on my site. In case I missed it in the article, is there a limit as to the number of items I can post on the site… I’m talking 100’s?

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hello Tom,

      With Shopify, I don’t think there is a limit to how many products you can sell. So if you have hundreds of products you’d like to sell, it will work just fine.

      Jeremy

  57. #

    You have given me a wealth of information! Thank you for being so helpful.

    • Jeremy
      #

      You’re very welcome, Elaine. Hopefully this points you in the right direction.

      Good luck with building your online ecommerce store!

      Jeremy

  58. #

    Thank you for sharing this very insightful article! I’ve just launched a new product. At the moment this is just an individual product but I’m looking to expand my product range in the very near future. I’m undecided whether to use Wix or Shopify since I’ll only launching a single product. I’m really liking the idea of using Shopify since I’m looking to expand my product range soon anyway. Do you know if Shopify caters for single product websites with it’s template designs? Thanks 🙂

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Scott,

      If you have the intention of launching multiple products, both Wix and Shopify will work. The benefit of using Shopify though, is that they are a “pure” ecommerce builder and have a lot more advanced tools to help you scale your online business.

      I’m not saying that Wix doesn’t have good tools, but Shopify just have more options for you down the road if you need them.

      One other thing to consider is that while Shopify is pretty easy to use, Wix is a drag and drop website builder so you have complete freedom over the design of your website. Shopify’s design / themes are a bit more “structured” and so it is not as flexible as Wix’s design interface.

      Lastly, Shopify has a huge ecosystem of designers, coders / developers for you to hire and you can also heavily customize your store if you want to (either by yourself or by hiring designers / coders). You might not need to right now, but it’s a good option to keep open especially if your business expands down the road.

      So think of Wix as a simpler website builder that gives you pretty good range of ecommerce tools, and think of Shopify as an advanced ecommerce platform that gives you a lot more flexibility and muscle to flex down the road.

      Hope this helps.

      Jeremy

  59. #

    Hello does the website have the ability to add financing for customers to purchase the products we sell? Thanks

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hey Latesha,

      I believe there are a few apps that you can check out in Shopify’s App Store.

      Check out Partial.ly, Recurring Payments and Chargify. They can help you setup payment instalment plans.

      Jeremy

  60. #

    Great article. It answered a lot of questions.

    If I am selling a product through Shopify, does this eliminate my need for a separate merchant account? Would I only need a business account to receive profits from sales?

    Also, will Shopify handle the application of any applicable sales taxes?

    Thanks

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Adam,

      If you use Shopify Payments, you won’t need another merchant account to collect payments. But you still need to apply for Shopify Payments but my understanding is that is is fairly straight forward, and is tightly integrated into your Shopify online store which makes it a bit easier as well.

      Further, if you use Shopify Payments to power your payment collection process, Shopify will waive your transaction fees. We have a discussion about Shopify Payments here.

      As for sales taxes, Shopify enables you to configure how much taxes to charge based on jurisdictions. So when a shopper inserts his/her address during the checkout process, the proper tax rate will be applied to the final bill.

      Jeremy

  61. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Great article, I learned a great deal. I want to start a t-shirt business using, how does this type of business work? Do I create the designs and shopify ships them out?

    • Jeremy
      #

      Brenden,

      We don’t have any specific discussions on how to build an actual business but there are a lot of detailed guides out there, discussing the manufacturing process, inventory fulfillment, marketing, etc.

      Shopify can help you create an interface where people can place orders and collect payments, but you’ll have to manage the other aspects of your business.

      Jeremy

  62. #

    Hello Jeremy,
    I sell guided meditations to women seeking to awaken their sensual aliveness; Yoga Nidra to integrate their brain and pelvic core.

    I currently have a WordPress site and PayPal portal but would like to also sell on Facebook and Pinterest.

    I have a PDF, my simple version of an ebook, that explains how I blend mind-body medicine and neuroscience to awaken their physical and emotional vitality.

    My media includes MP3’s, video and PDF.

    Can this platform support this type of e-commerce?

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi JeanMarie,

      Yes, Shopify can enable yout o sell digital products. It also integrates with Facebook and Pinterest in the form of Facebook Buy Button and Pinterest Buy Button.

      Check out the links and see what you think.

      Jeremy

  63. #

    Hi Jeremy!

    Can I use Shopify also for people to sell me their stuff? Kind of similar to Ebay.
    Btw, I love your articles and nearly read all of them! Keep up the good work!

    Kind regards,
    Caesar

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hey Pepijn,

      Thanks for your feedback!

      Since Shopify is mainly for merchants (you) to sell products, I’m not sure if it will work effectively if you want your visitors to sell you products.

      Perhaps just a non-ecommerce website will work just fine. Your visitors can land on your website, contact you and setup further discussions. You can transfer payments to them separately (using a platform like PayPal, for instance).

      Jeremy

  64. #

    Hi Jeremy, this was incredibly helpful. I have been using Etsy, and so I am familiar with the general concept. I’m wondering though, on Etsy, I can print and ship right from my printer. I didn’t see anything like that in your demo. Is that an app I need to set up?

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hello Katherine,

      If you are based in the US or Canada, Shopify has a Shipping feature where you can print shipping labels (integrated with USPS and Canada Post).

      Other than that, there are a few apps in the App Store that can help you manage it. Just search for “shipping label” and you’ll see options.

      Jeremy

  65. #

    Hello

    I am looking at starting a site for personal training. Do you think Shopify would be the best fit or would your recommend another builder. I need to have informational pages on my site. I will only be selling one or two products (training plans, working remotely)

    Thank you
    Mike

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hey Mike,

      Shopify can definitely handle what you need. But if you are only selling a couple of products, you can check out other web builders such as Wix, Weebly or Squarespace.

      Those can get the job done as well. They’re free to test (no time limits for Wix and Weebly, and Squarepace has a 14 day trial) so it’s worth it to invest some time to see if you like them. No credit card information is needed at all to test them out.

      Jeremy

  66. #

    Hello, I want to start an online business. I do not have a lot of inventory, so before I jump into opening a store, I want to start by drop shipping. I am confused about how drop shipping works. How do I know how much to charge in shipping if my products will be from different vendors and different weights. Does Shopify do this automatically for me? And what if my vendor has an item that is on back order? The store I want to launch is Home Accents. Please let me know how I can get this started.

    And also the items I do currently have, how will I need to add them into the system and ship them myself.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Olivia,

      Shopify has a good guide to drop shipping here. You’ll find a lot of helpful information about this topic and how Shopify can help.

      Jeremy

  67. #

    I want to start selling online want get into selling surplus store returns and closeouts am a complete beginner is shopify a good thing to use.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Richard,

      You won’t know until you try! They have a free 14 day trial so there’s no harm to sign up to test.

      If you think they’re too challenging for you to use, check out other more “basic” ecommerce builders such as Wix and Weebly.

      Jeremy

  68. #

    Hi Jeremy I am thinking about importing leather goods and selling them online but to begin with I will only have a few products to sell. Do you think I still need to use Shopify or are they more for stores with x amount of products and if not using shopify what would you suggest?

    Also in your video you said you would leave a link on tips on photographing products but i cant seem to find it?? cheers

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hey Lia,

      I think Shopify will work just fine, especially if you have a goal of ramping up the number of products eventually. Start with their lower plan and work your way up as your business grows. It’s probably best to invest in one ecommerce builder from the start, rather than switching from one to another later as that will take a lot of time and energy to set things up all over again.

      Jeremy

  69. #

    It’s a very good site to open a store, however….if you don’t work hard on SEO and your website isn’t within the first couple of pages in a consumer’s search then you will not get any visitors and therefore no sales. My store was only getting 1-4 or 5 hits in one day. It’s much harder than they make it out to be. Good luck.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hey Nelson,

      Thanks for your comment. I think if one doesn’t work hard on SEO, it doesn’t really matter which platform the online store is built upon.

      So not getting a lot of organic traffic from search engines is not a Shopify problem, it is an SEO problem. It would be the same if one built a store on other platforms such as WordPress or Magento.

      Here is a guide outlining our thoughts on SEO and website builders. Hope you find it helpful!

      Jeremy

  70. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    I have a new scrapbook supply store on Etsy, even though I run ads on Pinterest, Facebook, and promote my products on Etsy, I’m not getting any sales. I’ve read your thorough review of Shopify and I’m curious since I ship out my own products, how would Shopify help me in printing out shipping labels and pay for postage like Etsy does? Also, are there any other tools that would help me promote my business as I’m having difficulty driving customers to my store on Etsy already.

    Thank you!

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Christine,

      Check out Shopify Shipping.

      As for your question on how to gain more customers, that’s a really large topic and is beyond the scope of our discussion here.

      There are a lot of good information / courses on how to convert leads into customers. Did you try searching for them?

      Jeremy

    • #

      Don’t feel bad about Etsy. I make very unique, traditional beaded leather bracelets @ choctawspiritman on etsy. Priced very reasonable considering it takes me 5 or 6 hours to make one. I sell plenty of them on the street, but in the year I’ve been on Etsy, I sold 1.
      I think mainly because Etsy is saturated with ”beaded leather bracelets”.
      You can’t even find mine in search unless you go straight to my store….

      • Jeremy
        #

        Hi Richard,

        Marketplaces such as Etsy are getting more and more competitive. So you really have to try to branch out to gain more traffic (“eyeballs”) on your business, and one way is to set up your own online store and use other traffic generating strategies. We have a discussion about this topic here, which you might find helpful.

        Jeremy

  71. #

    Very helpful thank you so much.

  72. #

    Any ideas when the Shopify to Amazon(sell your products on Amazon) will be ready? Nothing from them and I have a client where they have that as a requirement. They were using the Amazon Webstore product that is shutting down in July. I see the Amazon has teamed up with Shopify to migrate the data, but that’s a 1 time deal and it doesn’t push any new product data up do Amazon.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hey Sean,

      I don’t think an official Shopify tool that syncs your Shopify store with Amazon is published yet. They’re still working on it and you can sign up for future updates here.

      If you search through Shopify’s App Store, you can see that there are a few Apps that you can test out to help you synchronize both platforms.

      Jeremy

  73. #

    What happens to uploaded photos after the 14 day trial period is over. I’m taking over the project, and deciding the best Theme, but I’m at the end of the trial period and don’t want to have to upload all the photos again that my predecessor uploaded.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Deborah,

      I’m not entirely sure actually. Did you try asking Shopify’s support team?

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they store the images even if your account has expired, as long as you don’t delete your account. I’m sure there are many users who’s trial accounts have expired, but decided to re-activate / upgrade later.

      But best to check with their support team.

      Jeremy

  74. #

    Hello Jeremy,

    I cannot decide whether I should use Wix or Shopify. Which one do you think is suitable for my expectations?

    – I am currently based in China, where some sites are banned or slower than normal. I’ve noticed VPN helps a lot, but sometimes I also cannot connect to VPN.
    – I want to offer Paypal and offline payment options (bank deposit payment).
    – I am not tech savvy.
    – I have organized my products into different categories and would like to stick to this arrangement.
    – I am conscious about the cost since I am new to setting up an e-commerce site. My business has been online since late 2013, but I sell small value items and basically just use Instagram for now. I would like to offer a more professional looking store now.

    Any inputs will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    Katherine

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hello Katherine,

      I’d suggest testing out Shopify for a few different reasons.

      I heard that some Wix websites are blocked in China, so if your customer base is mainly in China, then using Wix could be problematic as there is a chance that your visitors might not be able to see your website.

      Shopify also has a lot more ecommerce focused tools, so if you grow your business and need more sophisticated features, Shopify is a better platform to scale with your business.

      However, if you use a lower Shopify plan, there are transaction fees associated with each sale (in addition to payment processing fee, such as those charged by PayPal). The only way to completely remove, or lower the transaction fees is to either move to a higher plan, or use Shopify Payments (which is essentially powered by Stripe, which I don’t think is available in China yet). So this fee can reduce your margins a little bit. Most people are okay with it as it won’t make or break your business, but definitely something to keep in mind.

      Wix doesn’t charge you any transaction fees, but again, I’m not 100% sure if your Wix based store will be visible to everybody in China.

      Hope this gives you something to think about!

      Jeremy

  75. #

    Hi Jeremy, here from your Wix review thankyou both the reviews were very concise and helpful but I have a doubt.

    I am looking at setting up a website to sell my designs(apparell) and since I am just starting I am on a limited budget.

    Now in your Wix review, you said wix is good for a small scale startup but for a professional largescale website shopify is a better option.

    Now this question may sound dumb but is there any way I can transfer my domain from wix to shopify later because Im starting small scale and for now Wix seems to be the better option but I am definitely looking at setting up a more large scale website as the brand gets better for which I am thinking Ill probably have to switch to shopify or get my own website and hosting in place.

    So is there a way for me to take down my wix website without losing my domain? Thanks

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hello Jaminii,

      Not a dumb question at all!

      If you purchase a domain name from Wix, you can definitely transfer the domain name out of Wix to elsewhere – as long as it is 60 days after you first purchased the domain name (this is not a Wix limitation, as this rule applies to all domain names you purchase from anyone).

      I’m not entirely sure if you can transfer a domain name to Shopify. But what you can do, is transfer it from Wix to another domain name registrar (such as GoDaddy).

      Once it is transferred to GoDaddy, you can easily connect the domain name to your Shopify store and Shopify provides all the details on how to do that here.

      There are some advantages with storing your domain name with GoDaddy and we discuss some of that in this article here.

      So at the end of the day, the answer is yes – you can transfer your domain name out of Wix, to another domain name registrar (such as GoDaddy), and then easily connect it to your new Shopify store!

      Jeremy

      PS: It sounds like you read our main Wix review. We also have a discussion about Wix’s ecommerce platform here – just in case you haven’t seen it yet.

  76. #

    Is there a way for customers to create a customer profile along with a log in and password? In a way that the customer will be able to edit and update the information, as well as allowing the website owner to also see the updated info on the customers profile?

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Charlie,

      I don’t think Shopify has that function “out of a box”. But you can customize your store to make this happen, but it does require you to touch codes.

      Here is an article that will walk you through the process. If you’re not comfortable with codes, then this might not be the best approach for you.

      Jeremy

  77. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    These reviews are very, very helpful. Thank you!

    I am looking for a new platform where I sell about 25 small Word e-templates.

    Does this platform have a way to allow the purchaser to pay and then be able to download the template?

    Also are the domain email addresses extra cost like with Weebly per email? This is kind of irritating as it’s no cost on the host end and helps in sorting and maintaining different hats on the back end.

    Thanks.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hey Judith,

      You can definitely sell digital download products with Shopify. If you want to update your products, you can always re-upload the updated product into the user dashboard.

      As for email address, you’ll have to get one set up outside of Shopify. Google Business Apps is a great place to get a custom email address, for only $5 per month. We use it for our email addresses and they work great. We personally enjoy working with the Gmail user interface.

      Hope this helps!

      Jeremy

  78. #

    Hello Jeremy, very good article.

    We currently have an online store that was originally set up with Yahoo!, before they sold out to Aabaco. Since the switchover, our sales have become non-existent and we are looking to change e-Commerce providers.

    One thing that I liked with the Yahoo! store was the ability to add HTML and CSS codes to the Themes to try and dress up the stores webpages (check it out at okdecor.com). We also use First Data as our Merchant provider.

    I am wondering if moving to Shopify would provide similar capabilities and if we would be able to export our product information from our existing store into a Shopify store. I checked and it does look like they support First Data US Merchant services, so that is a plus. Any info that you could provide would be very much appreciated.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Frank,

      Yes, I believe you can use First Data with Shopify.

      You can also customize your storefront design via editing HTML and CSS codes. Take a look at this tutorial here.

      Lastly, you can import product data via CSV file. See this tutorial here.

      Hope this helps!

      Jeremy

  79. #

    Jeremy,

    This is a very informative article. Thank you.

    I want to build an online store but I need to have custom forms so my users can create mulitple profiles. I looked but I am not sure that i see this option. Can you confirm?

    Thanks again

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Jennifer,

      I’m not entirely sure if I fully understand your question? Do you mean if your customers can submit custom orders? Or do you mean if they can create a membership profile so they can log in and review their orders (for example)?

      Have you also tried reaching out to Shopify’s support team to see if they offer what you need?

      Jeremy

  80. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    I have contacted Shopify regarding the customisation of the design as I would like the Layout to include my personalised handwriting in the tabs and unfortunately they do not offer this possibility without the aid of an expert which would cost substantially as I do not know any code to do it myself….

    Wix offer this within their blank template. I pointed this out to the advisor who said there was not possibility of this happening with Shopify in the near future and to contact/pay a web designer to complete this although I explained as a small business the added cost is just too much: I would like more control over this.

    Can you help at all with any suggestions or is it a matter of contacting a web designer if I am to do this with Shopify. Also, may I ask what is the difference with Wix and Shopify in regards to payment platforms, although I know Wix has about 4/5 and Shopify 70 odd but am I better off to start with Wix, who have unfortunately discontinued the use of the Shopify app this week too.

    Apologies for so many questions as I am just so confused- I want to build my own website and can do but just unable to customize via code and don’t want to pay too much for it either. Please advise.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Soph,

      In terms of ease of use, Wix has a lot more flexibility in terms of design, without having to touch codes. However, when it comes to ecommerce tools, Shopify is definitely much more comprehensive than Wix.

      But if you don’t need a lot of advanced ecommerce features, and if you live with the payment processors that Wix has to offer, then it is not a bad option for you.

      Note that Wix offers 7 different way to collect payments (6 online and 1 offline). They include Stripe, WireCard, PayPal, Moolah / Authorize.net, MercadoPago (mainly for South American countries), PagSeguro (Brazil).

      We have more discussions on Wix’s ecommerce features here.

      Hope this points you in the right direction!

      Jeremy

      • #

        Thank you so much for your prompt reply Jeremy! Appreciate your help. Can I just ask, do you think Wix is competitive enough for sales all over the world from the UK?

        • Jeremy
          #

          Hi Soph,

          Do you mean if Wix is able to help you sell to international shoppers if you’re based out of the UK?

          I think so, but it obviously depends on a lot of factors such as how you promote your products, what products you are selling, pricing, etc etc. Mechanically, you will be able to sell products online with both Wix and Shopify. How much you sell, is really dependent on you! : )

          Jeremy

  81. #

    HI Jeremy,

    Thanks for writing the review. When signing on for the “lite” $9/month version, can you purchase a feature separately? I am interested in the abandoned checkout recovery option, but am not prepared to pay the $79 or $179 options. I love the idea as I often get distracted when online and love when I get an email reminding me to finish my purchase. Thank you, Amanda

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hey Amanda,

      Unfortunately you can’t – not at the moment anyway. So to get the Abandoned Cart Recovery function, you’ll have to sign to either their Pro or Unlimited accounts.

      The recovery function is really useful. Amazon uses it all the time and it really works – at least on me! So if you can add it to your arsenal of ecommerce tools, it can really make a difference to your profits. We wrote an article about it here. Hope you’ll find it interesting!

      Jeremy

  82. #

    Good morning,
    Is Shopify partnered with any fulfillment warehouses?
    Thank you,
    Chris

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Chris,

      Yes. There are a lot of fulfillment options if you visit Shopify’s App Store. Just search for “fulfillment” and you’ll see a lot of apps that can be integrated with your Shopify store.

      Jeremy

  83. #

    Hi,
    Another question for you, is there a built in feature to allow users to upload products themselves? I would like to allow users the ability upload the products themselves along with all the required information. Does the platform support this type of interface?
    Thank you!

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hello Jason,

      I don’t think Shopify has this capability (at least I haven’t seen it anyway). Try reaching out to their support team to verify this, just to be sure.

      I suspect this feature will require some sort of custom built platform, as it’s not very common to run online stores where your prospective customers can upload custom product designs / configurations.

      Jeremy

  84. #

    Hey Mr Wong.

    I have a quick question for you,i am in a country named Botswana, its in the southern part of Africa. I want to set up my online store with shopify? Will i be able to have successful transactions or is there something else i need to do in order for it to work? Please help.

    Thank you.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Sammy,

      Here is a list of countries and it doesn’t have Botswana. But Shopify offers over 70 different payment processors, so there is a good chance that you’ll find something that will work in Botswana.

      Is something popular like PayPal supported in your country?

      Jeremy

  85. #

    Hi

    Does shopify have SOE options available?

    • Jeremy
      #

      Could you elaborate on what you mean by SOE?

  86. #

    Jeremy

    I am thinking about listing older sportcards online and fazing out of ebay. I have been comparing a product like Shopify with CS Cart which would be a one time fee. 1GB storage is not much when you consider front/back scan of card is about 1MB…even the 5MB plan is not much. Is the type of business I am looking at better off with something like CS Cart?? My site does not need to be pretty….just quickly searchable with good scans.

    Thank you for any input….

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hey Joe,

      One of the main difference between Shopify and CS Cart is that Shopify is a hosted solution, and CS Cart is not.

      So with Shopify, you just need to sign up to a trial account and you can start building your website, without having to mess around with technology (such as hosting services, and other IT administrative tasks).

      With CS Cart, you have to get your own hosting services, and manage all the IT admin aspects of your store.

      So if you are pretty technical and don’t mind being a tech administrator of your website, then CS Cart offers that flexibility for you. The added benefit is that you can fine tune pretty much everything to your website, by modifying the codes and configurations yourself.

      If you don’t want to mess around with the tech backend of your store, Shopify is a better service. They manage all the technology side of things, so you can focus on building your business.

      Hope this points you in the right direction!

      Jeremy

  87. #

    Hi Jeremy. I currently own an on-line retailer. Our web-site and store is through Miva. This was set up by the prior owners who all knew how to write code. I do not. I desperately need to update our web-site and store but and sooooo confused as to what is the right platform. I am leaning towards Shopify (for no particular reason). We sell single serve coffee (pods, K-cups) and have about 200 different items that we sell. Our Miva store currently ties in with Shipworks to manage our orders and shipments. I guess I would like to continue to use Shipworks but it is not 100% necessary. I would love to hear your recommendations. Thanks!

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Dawn,

      Shopify is one of the best ecommerce solutions available to non-coders. Even if you do need to tweak some codes to create some sort of modifications to your ecommerce website, Shopify has experts whom you can hire to make such customizations for you. So the “infrastructure” and resources are there for you if you need them.

      As for Shipworks, Shopify’s App store actually have this available for you, so you can bolt it on to your online store if you want to.

      An alternative to consider is also Bigcommerce, which is one of the better ecommerce solutions out there. They also offer Shipworks as part of their app store.

      Jeremy

  88. #

    Hello, I’m wondering if Shopify offers increments of units and multiple choices of units? I’m currently running an online fabric store on another website builder and I’m unhappy with the fact that I have to offer things by the centimetre. I’d rather offer by the metre – the normal way to buy fabric – and increments of 0.1 metre. Does Shopify offer that option?

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Rhoda,

      Shopify allows you to have variations of each product (such as green, yellow, red fabric, etc). But I’m not sure if it has a mechanism to allow your customers to choose the length of the fabric. I guess what you can do is offer different lengths of the fabric using the same product variant system (such as 0.1, 0.2 meter etc).

      But it sounds like your needs is a bit more industry specific. Have you considered just signing up for a trial account and see if you can find the feature that you need? Or ask their support team to see if they have any specific suggestions as they may have seen some similar stores before.

      Shopify is free to try for 14 days so there really isn’t any harm in giving them a test drive.

      Jeremy

  89. #

    I read through your article and I appreciate all the information. But what I failed to discover was the cons of Shopify. there has to be 3 specific cons of shopify. I think they should be highlighted and numbered. Can you please tell me what the cons are.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Harry – if you go to the “Top 3 Pros & Cons” section above, just click on the “Cons about Shopify” tab and you’ll see more info there.

      Jeremy

  90. #

    Hi Jeremy!

    Great article, I am looking to switch to shopify after looking at the many positive responses, however currently I have a hosted e-commerce website by a professional website building site. However I am unhappy with their level of support although we initially paid £1500 and now £30.00 a month, in which everything is much more limited.

    After this bad investment, shopify seems like a good option, however I have a lot of uploaded images on that website, would I be able to transfer the data on shopify? I have approx 500 images with product details and meta-tags.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Maliha,

      When changing platforms, you’ll have to re-upload all your images again into Shopify. With product details, see if your current ecommerce builder can export all your product details into a CSV file (sort of like Excel). If they can do that, you can upload the entire CSV file into your new Shopify store to save yourself a ton of time without having to setup all your products all over again.

      You can also import your customer history into Shopify as well (as long as you can export such data out of your current platform).

      Make sure you take a look at Shopify’s support page to see what sort of format / layout you need the CSV files to be in. Just type in “CSV” and you’ll get more guidance.

      Hope this helps!

      Jeremy

    • #

      Hi Mahila,

      Sure you can transfer all your stuff to Shopify easily.You can either do it yourself with the instructions given by Jeremy (can be tricky), or you can hire someone like us to do the job for you 🙂

      Thank you !

  91. #

    Hi, I am starting out a new business and require a website that the image changes dependant on what the customer chooses, effectively the customer will design their own item and I will deliver them.

    will this platform work with that idea?

    Thank you

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Maria,

      Do you mean having a user interface where a shopper can “build” their own product (so to speak?)

      I haven’t seen this capability with Shopify, but you might want to take a look at their App Store to see if they have any tools that will enable you to do that.

      Also best to check with a support staff at Shopify, just in case I wasn’t aware of this tool!

      Jeremy

  92. #

    Hello

    What a great review…..

    I sell very small wedding favours through eBay but have just registered a business to expand this.
    As I live in the UK and being low margin items it only makes sense to ship in the UK as it would cost too much to ship abroad.

    Is Shopify the best UK platform?

    Also theses are not VAT applicable, does Shoppify deal with non VAT items?

    Any advice would be appreciated

    Thank you
    Paul

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks! Shopify works well for UK merchants, and they provide you with settings so you can configure taxes for each product item. Shopify also connects with over 50 payment processors so you’ll most likely find one that suits your specific needs.

      What you probably want to do is highlight on your ecommerce website that you only want to sell products to UK based shoppers. You can accomplish that by adding disclosure notes in the footer, FAQ section, and in the shopping cart. It just helps clarify things a bit for your prospective buyers.

      Hope this helps!

      Jeremy

  93. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    This was one of the more extensive reviews even if not the first. Thank you!

    I have a question that I didn’t see addressed above. Does Shopify have an option where they build the website for you and then let you manage the store like SetMySite or some of the other companies do? I’m pretty tech-challenged so having someone actually set up the website for me would be a big plus.

    Thanks again,
    Carlos

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Carlos – glad you found this discussion helpful!

      Shopify does have “Experts” who you can hire to get your ecommerce store set up for you. These experts are not Shopify employees, but they are qualified experts that Shopify recommends. We wrote an article about Shopify Experts here.

      So while their services are not free, it can definitely save you time to get your ecommerce website set up properly the first time around, so you can focus on growing your business!

      Jeremy

  94. #

    Hi,

    I’m fairly new to ecommerce and the variety of online options.

    What I can’t seem to find information on is who stocks the products being sold, the company or Shopify? Say for example your looking to sell t-shirts, will Shopify stock these for you or are these stocked at the location of the t-shirt company. If shopify do stock the product, do they ship out from the US? Reason I’m asking is we’re a UK based company and shipping/customs costs from the US are always outrageous.

    Many thanks
    Dylan

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Dylan,

      Shopify is only a software that helps power your ecommerce website. So they don’t hold inventory for you.

      You will have to manage your own inventory, either in your own warehouse, or have it shipped directly from your product source.

      Hope this clarifies things!

      Jeremy

  95. #

    Hello
    Well i am starting out conservation t.shirts targeted especially for kids.
    So i was thinking of starting out with those about trees for now.
    Its just one item and i want to sell locally and globally .
    Could shopify be the best e- commerce platform for me.
    Also, i work with beads ,which falls under crafts ,so can i sell beads and t.shirts under one store?

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Kei,

      Yes – Shopify allows you to sell those under one single store. With Shopify, you can sell only one item, to thousands of product times.

      Once you have a stores set up with Shopify, you can sell your product around the world!

      Jeremy

  96. #

    Thank you for posting a lot of very useful information on this site – appreciate it.

    I am opening a small online store (no more than 50 items at a time, but need to constantly change them) and will be selling mostly to Canadian and US customers. I am strongly thinking Shopify is the best option for me, but I need to purchase a domain name and also would like to have an email address associated with this domain. Can Shopify provide these features to me? Or would I be better off to go with Weebly, as I had initially planned on doing until I stumbled across your review.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Erin,

      Yes, you can purchase a custom domain name through Shopify (last time I checked it’s $9 per year).

      If you purchase your domain name through them, you can then set up custom email addresses (that share the same address as your domain name) through Shopify.

      Hope this helps!

      Jeremy

  97. #

    This article deals with the technical aspects of Shopify, what I really am interested in is if folks are actually making money with it.?

    • Jeremy
      #

      Phil – that really depends on a case by case situation. They have merchants earning thousands of dollars up to millions.

      Currently, there are over 160,000 merchants using Shopify to sell products, and cumulatively they’ve sold over $8 billion worth of products. So if you want to take simple average, that’s about $50,000 per store. But this is just a simple average for illustration purposes.

      Jeremy

    • #

      I have a Shopify store front and it is not making any money. While Shopify has nice features, it is insanely difficult to generate traffic. I’ve tried using social media (Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Google+) but I get very few visitors. Shopify’s advice simply does not work. You can do all the SEO tweaking you want but the large stores, who advertise, will always be in the front pages of Google. Your Shopify store will be undiscovered.

      • Jeremy
        #

        Hi Jonathan,

        Thanks for sharing your personal experiences, and sorry that you haven’t been successful yet.

        It is definitely a challenge if you go head on against larger stores, but that doesn’t necessarily mean creating an ecommerce business cannot be successful for new / smaller players.

        I’ve seen a lot of very successful smaller online stores that have been doing very well and some of them sell more generic items but have a very unique marketing strategy in reaching their potential customers, or they niche down to very specialized items where the bigger players don’t compete with.

        So going head on against big, established players will definitely be challenging. But in the world of ecommerce, there’s plenty of space for new players to become successful. Every successful business (big or small) once started small! One just has to do things differently (whether that is in the marketing message / strategy, or product variations).

        The “world” is big enough for everybody to be successful. Just have to keep at it and take a longer term view in terms of succeeding in a business!

        Jeremy

  98. #

    That was a great review. There are definitely some beautifully made themes in Shopify’s theme store with styles for everyone. We ended up purchasing the Retina Theme which gave us the building blocks and tools to create a great first website. With a bit of additional help from online html and css editing tutorials like http://www.codecademy.com/ we were able to get our shop to the level we wanted.

    We would definitely recommend Shopify to anyone looking for an e-commerce platform!

  99. #

    I am only going to start out with less than 5 colors of the same product. But it will be a personalized product. Will Shopify be able to set up that for me. For customers to upload a photograph? I want my online store to be a more social media content sharing their product that I am selling. Will the basic plan work for me? Or should I shoot for a customized plan?

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Val,

      You can definitely set up products with different variations of the same product (such as different color, size, etc)

      Jeremy

  100. #

    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
      #

      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!

      Jeremy

  101. #

    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

    Cheers

    John

    sanded.com.au

    • Jeremy
      #

      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!

      Jeremy

  102. #

    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
      #

      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).

      Jeremy

  103. #

    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
      #

      Great tip Jason! Thanks for sharing!

      Jeremy

  104. #

    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
      #

      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!

      Jeremy

      • #

        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

        Andrew

  105. #

    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.

    LeAllyson
    ‘www.plumbead.com

  106. #

    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
      #

      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).

      Jeremy

  107. #

    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.

    Thanks,
    Stephen

    • Jeremy
      #

      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.

      Jeremy

  108. #

    Thank you for your great reviews!

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

    Many thanks,

    Iris

    • Jeremy
      #

      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!

      Jeremy

      • #

        Many thanks Jeremy!

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

        Take care, Iris

  109. #

    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
      #

      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.

      Jeremy

  110. #

    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.

    Marion

    • Jeremy
      #

      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!

      Jeremy

  111. #

    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
      #

      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.

      Jeremy

      • #

        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?

        Thanks

        • Jeremy
          #

          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!

          Jeremy

          • #

            Hi Jeremy

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

            Steve

  112. #

    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
      #

      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!

      Jeremy

  113. #

    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
      #

      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

  114. #

    Hello

    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.

    Thanks

    Aled : )

    • Jeremy
      #

      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

  115. #

    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
      #

      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

  116. #

    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

  117. #

    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
      #

      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

  118. #

    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
      #

      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

  119. #

    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
      #

      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

  120. #

    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
      #

      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

      • #

        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.

        Julie

  121. #

    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
      #

      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

      • #

        Thanks Jeremy!!

  122. #

    I use wix.com 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
      #

      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

  123. #

    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,
    Patrick

    • Jeremy & Connie
      #

      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

  124. #

    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
    ‘thejimmycase.com

  125. #

    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
      #

      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

  126. #

    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
      #

      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

  127. #

    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
      #

      Allan,

      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

  128. #

    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?

    Thanks!

    • Jeremy & Connie
      #

      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

  129. #

    Jeremy,

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

    • Jeremy & Connie
      #

      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

  130. #

    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
      #

      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

  131. #

    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
      #

      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

  132. #

    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
      #

      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

      • #

        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
          #

          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

  133. #

    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.
    Stacey

    • Jeremy & Connie
      #

      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

  134. #

    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
      #

      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

    • #

      Good point Qasu,

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

  135. #

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

    • Jeremy & Connie
      #

      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

  136. #

    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
      #

      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

      • #

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

  137. #

    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
      #

      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

  138. #

    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
      #

      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

  139. #

    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
      #

      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

  140. #

    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
      #

      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

  141. #

    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
      #

      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

  142. #

    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,
    Terry

  143. #

    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.
    lol
    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
      #

      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 – https://www.websitebuilderexpert.com/ecommerce-website-builders/squarespace-e-commerce-business-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

  144. #

    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.

    • #

      I’ve read your comment here that was really informative who is a beginner to Shopify but I’d like to know if I run news portal beside e-commerce business here … Can I do both at a time in the same price?

      • Tom Watts
        #

        Hi Arfan,

        It may prove difficult to run a news portal on Shopify because the infrastructure is designed for you to create an online store and only includes an optional blog if you want to use it.

        Shopify doesn’t have the capacity to act as both at the same time. So depending on what you want to sell it may prove worthwhile to consider another website builder.

        Unfortunately off the top of my head I’m really not too aware of a platform that could support both an ecommerce store and news portal.

        – Tom

        • #

          so good , thanks