What is Shopify? Is it a scam or a great way to set up and run a profitable eCommerce store? It's certainly a popular platform, and in this review we briefly cover what it does and what the good points are.
Keep reading to learn more…
Company Name: Shopify
Owners: Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand and Scott Lake
Price To Join: Free 14 Day Trial
My Rating: 8/10
~ Shopify Review ~
What Is Shopify.com About?
Shopify was originally founded in 2004, but has gained much more prominence in recent years. Originally it was started as an online store for snowboarding equipment. The Canadian founders were dissatisfied with ecommerce platforms at the time and decided to invent their own.
Shopify was born.
These days they boast over 150,000 ecommerce stores using their simplified platform, and that figure is likely to increase exponentially over the coming years.
What Is Shopify And How Does It Work?
Basically Shopify takes the hard work out of setting up an ecommerce store, leaving the vendor free to focus on what they know best: Their business, their products, selling their products and customer service. Not only does Shopify provide ecommerce solutions for online stores, they also provide POS (point of sale) systems for real world offline stores, too. It’s a business that is constantly evolving and introducing new ideas and innovative solutions to the world of commerce.
Shopify allows the vendor to set up a storefront hosted on their servers using any one of many free and premium themes. There are over 100 to choose from, and new designs are added all the time. You can organise your products, customise your shopfront and receive credit card and PayPal payments all within the Shopify platform.
It’s kind of like having a store on eBay or Amazon, only better and simpler. The store is custom designed to your specifications and liking. It’s your own piece of ecommerce real estate, without the worry of installing software, maintaining that software or running any web servers. That’s all taken care of by Shopify. You can even use your very own domain name.
Depending on the payment gateway you use, Shopify can be used in virtually every country, receiving payments in most currencies. Your storefront (and everything associated with it) can be in any language you like. The admin side of things is in English, though.
No real programming or design skills are required to set up a nice looking Shopify storefront. If you would rather someone else set it up for you, then there are people who will do it for a nominal fee.
Being able to accept most currencies and have a storefront in virtually any language is also a huge plus.
The ease of use of the platform and its flexibility are what set Shopify apart from other ecommerce platforms. Plus, there’s no headache of running and maintaining your own full-blown website. Shopify handles all the technical stuff for you.
They provide ecommerce platforms for online selling and POS software for offline sales. The perfect, harmonious partnership; especially if you have an offline store that also sells online.
Shopify has an active and helpful community that is always there to answer questions and lend support, along with Shopify’s official Support Centre.
The Shopify Manual contains everything you need to know to set up your online store and run it successfully. The manual is chock full of guides and tutorials to help you every step of the way.
It costs money to host a store there. Hardly really a negative. Merely the cost of doing business on the web.
You don’t have sole ownership of your online storefront real estate. If something were to happen to Shopify, or they didn’t like something you did, then your storefront could get terminated. That’s something that can’t happen if you have your very own domain and website hosting.
Reporting and Analytics
In the dashboard for your storefront you will find many statistics and charts and graphs reporting sales, orders, traffic, where your visitors come from and much more. Custom reports can be generated and exported for your own files. There is also much data to analyse to see what’s working and what needs to be changed. Google Analytics also works in conjunction with your online store.
Shopify App Store
There is an app store as part of the Shopify network of resources. The apps serve as plug ins for your ecommerce store, further simplifying store setup and functionality. Many of the apps are free and some are sold for prices ranging from just a few dollars up to over $100. Creating apps for the Shopify platform is also another way for those with development skills to earn some extra cash.
There are apps for all sorts of things, including the following:
- Social media
….And so much more.
Shopify Partner Network
As a Shopify partner or affiliate you can earn 20% monthly revenue share for referring new clients to the Shopify platform. Build an ecommerce theme and earn up to 70% for each sale you make in the Shopify Theme Store. Create an app and sell it for up to an 80% commission in the Shopify App Store.
So, not only is Shopify a great place to host an ecommerce store, there are a number of other ways to earn money with Shopify, whether you host a store with them or not. For most of us the easiest way to earn that extra cash is to refer new customers to Shopify for that 20% cut.
The support centre is open 24/7 and offers email, phone and live chat support. In my experience – and the experience of many others – the support service is fast, professional and always very polite and helpful. If you like you can even search for answers to issues yourself by typing a question into the knowledge base.
How Much Does It Cost?
You can start with a 14 day free trial to test it out and take a look. After that you will have to sign up for a plan if you wish to continue.
- Starter Plan: $14 per month
- Basic Plan: $29 per month
- Professional Plan: $79 per month
- Unlimited Plan: $179 per month
All plans include Shopify POS, unlimited file storage, unlimited products, low transaction fees, discount code engine, 24/7 support.
Billing occurs every 30 days and is charged to the credit card you associate with your account.
Shopify is a great platform that saves time, frustration and money. If you are looking to set up and open an ecommerce store then I’d definitely recommend checking out their FREE 14 day trial. Shopify can also be quite lucrative as an affiliate, too, with top earners making in excess of $6000/month in commissions. Sounds like a win-win to me.
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