Shopify’s website builder is one of the bigger platforms for eCommerce of all sizes on today’s internet. It’s one of many different platforms that allow for the creation and management of unique online stores.
In this Shopify review, we’ll look at some of the main pros and cons of Shopify, looking at the Shopify page builder, the different tools and functions of the platform.
Before we get into that, we need to look at what Shopify is. It’s an all in one eCommerce tool designed to build, manage, and maintain a successful online store.
It includes security features, the option of adding subscriptions to your website, and a full checkout system. While you can use third-party payment systems, Shopify also includes its own payment system.
You can select from a wide variety of templates that allow you to quickly get your store up and running with a minimum of customization. But you can also spend more time in the advanced features and options to create a truly unique store experience for customers.
While this platform is one of the bigger providers out there, let’s look at whether Shopify is a good option for you and your business.
Table of Contents
Pros and Cons
Before you invest in a Shopify website, you need to know the pros and cons of Shopify. This isn’t meant to be a detailed look, but a more bird’s eye view of the things Shopify does well, and the things it could stand to improve.
- Lots of customization options (varies by theme)
- In-depth analytics and reporting tools
- Ability to directly edit code and add more functionality
- Great page performance, low loading times
- Option of digital and physical products
- Third-party integration through Shopify Apps
- Abandoned Cart Recovery
- Discount codes and coupons can be automated
- This isn’t a complete list of the pros of Shopify, but it should give you a sense of what Shopify can do, and how it measures up with its competitors
- No tool is perfect. So, let’s look at where Shopify can fall short. These are important to keep in mind, especially if you need a feature that Shopify fails to address well.
- Uses Liquid, its own PHP coding language
- Higher subscriptions and apps can get expensive
- Doesn’t offer email hosting
- Charges for 3rd party payment apps and options
- Apps and customization options are not universally available, your theme may prohibit the use of certain tools and extensions.
Shopify Customer Service
Shopify offers 24/7 customer support. They have a reputation for being reasonably responsive and fast to fix problems.
Most of their support is run through the online chat, but there is also a phone line you can use to contact them: 1 (855) 816-3857.
They also provide an extensive library of help for customers. That library includes setup instructions, customization help, and some basic troubleshooting of common problems.
How to Set Up a Shopify Store
Setting up a Shopify store is relatively simple. Go to the website, and sign up for your free trial. From there, you’ll go through the different themes on offer and select a starting theme. You’ll need to do some customization, adding menus, additional pages, and other finishing touches.
The customization process can be incredibly quick, taking less than a few hours, or it can be very in-depth, taking several days to complete and perfect.
You’ll also need to pick a domain name, which must be unique and not used by another website.
One of the last steps you need to take is to add your products to the store. We recommend some troubleshooting here to make sure that your products are all working, and that the checkout process is smooth. Fortunately, Shopify has the tools to allow you to test your products and the checkout process.
Last, you’ll decide when you want the website to go live. It won’t be published and accessible to the public until you’re ready.
How Much Does Shopify Cost?
Shopify publishes the cost of three of their subscription plans. For larger businesses, Shopify Plus is a solution that’s more powerful than the lower subscription levels, but its cost is undisclosed.
Here is the published breakdown:
|Shopify Basic||Shopify||Shopify Advanced|
Shopify also offers a 14 day free trial of their services to all new customers.
This is an auto-generated text that is included in every Shopify template unless you remove it. While the powered by Shopify logo usually won’t impact the look or effectiveness of your website, we understand if you want to remove the text.
Start on your admin page. From here you’ll select Online Store in the left-hand menu, and then Themes, also in the left-hand menu on the new page.
Here, you’ll have multiple themes to choose from if you have more than one. If you only have one theme, it should be the only one visible. All themes will have an action button, click on that and select Edit Languages.
On top of the new page, you'll have a filter bar. Search 'powered' to pull up the 'powered by Shopify' text menu.
Below where it says ‘powered by Shopify’ you’ll see a text bar. Put a single space in the bar to remove the text. Alternatively, you can replace ‘powered by Shopify’ with an alternative message you create.
Either way, you'll need to hit the save button in the upper right corner before leaving this page, otherwise, your changes won't stick.
The first thing you need to add Google Analytics in Shopify is a separate Google Analytics account. If you don't have an account, you'll need to sign up, otherwise, sign-in on the Google Analytics page with the account you'd like to use.
You’ll be prompted to enter the website(s) you want to track. Google will then generate a tracking ID, but you’ll have to select your country first. That’s because they need to pull up the appropriate terms of service for you to agree to electronically.
Once you have your Google ID, go back to the Shopify Admin page. Then go to Online Store and Preferences. Here there will be a box for your Google Analytics ID code. Copy/paste the code into this box, and you’ve added Google Analytics to your store!
You will still need to set up the kinds of eCommerce tracking you’d like to see.
Shopify is an eCommerce solution that is mostly designed for small and medium-sized businesses, and to scale with them up to a reasonable level.
Shopify Plus is the solution Shopify offers for bigger corporations and well-established businesses that need more options, have more staff, and handle a larger volume of sales than typical Shopify users.
This higher subscription level is available by request only, as is its pricing and other information about exactly what benefits these larger corporations can access.
Overall, Shopify is a fairly solid tool. It offers a lot of different tools and features, and its function as an eCommerce platform is very streamlined. You get good, but not perfect, analytics tools that provide a lot of information about your store.
You can also add additional features through apps, connecting Google Analytics, and other tools.
But, it’s coding language is proprietary and difficult for new web designers to use.
Overall, we’d say that Shopify is a good option for medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs, and even large companies, but that we recommend taking advantage of their large library and 14-day trial to make sure it’s the right tool for your business.