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Shopify: A Popular, Easy-To-Use Digital Commerce Platform
Shopify is a standalone e-commerce platform that allows people to create and run online storefronts. It is one of the most popular platforms and is utilized by roughly 29% of websites that use e-commerce technologies. It facilitates all sorts of online businesses, from small companies to large corporations with huge sales volume.
Shopify is home to over 1,700,000 businesses in approximately 175 countries as of May 2021. The company continues to grow and deliver value to many merchants that find success with this e-commerce platform.
Shopify offers its services on a subscription-level basis. The plans start at $29 per month for a fully functional e-commerce website. Additionally, Shopify charges fees per each credit card transaction, and the exact formula depends on the plan you choose.
For this price, you get access to the online software that will help you create a fully functioning e-commerce website. You can pick any of the themes available in the Theme Store or have a web developer design one for you from scratch. And once you decide what you want the interface of your website to look like, you can start adding your product listings.
What makes Shopify a great platform?
Just like any e-commerce platform, Shopify has its pros and cons. Let’s talk about the benefits in detail.
It’s an incredibly beginner-friendly platform. There’s no need for coding experience or any specific skills or know-how. The setup of a brand new store could take very little time, and business hours start as soon as you enter your billing and legal information along with the first few listings. And while there is much work to be done in order to build a successful online shop, the store can be live right away. On the technical side of things, it’s ready to receive payments from customers without the need to install any add-ons or plug-ins.
Shopify is well optimized for modern e-commerce. The new website will be mobile-friendly from the get-go, resulting in a higher search engine ranking potential for the future.
Easy theme installation
Most themes that are available for free look professional, clean, and offer a fair amount of customization. Paid themes tend to offer more unique looks and customization options that can help your website stand out online. And if you need a specific section or a functionality that’s missing from your theme, you can add pre-built Shopify content blocks. The installation is super easy and takes mere seconds!
Basic e-commerce needs are covered
With Shopify, all basic e-commerce needs are covered right away. The platform will help you calculate shipping, taxes, and even profit margins for your products. It has a great inventory tracking system and a POS integration for in-person selling.
Another huge competitive advantage of Shopify is that it offers free in-built marketing basics such as abandoned cart recovery to all stores. It is a fantastic feature that helps increase conversion rates and sales. What’s even better, it works on autopilot and doesn’t require any managing input from the merchant. Functionalities like that make running a Shopify storefront so easy!
Additionally, the platform has an in-built system of reports and analytics. You can see how your store did for any given period at a glance and compare your numbers to those of the previous year. You can also see your conversion rates and the sources of traffic on the same page. More sophisticated reporting tools are available with more expensive plans.
Another wonderful feature of Shopify is that it has hundreds of apps to choose from in order to supplement the functionalities of your storefront. In the App Store, you can find plenty of apps that will help you increase sales, create marketing campaigns, and integrate social media with your website. Third parties develop these features, and they come with a monthly subscription price.
But there are also some cons...
On the other hand, Shopify-based storefronts have some limitations. Here are some of them.
Shopify websites tend to be difficult to customize for someone who has no experience. Your options are to perform some minor tweaking in the theme settings or change the code manually. However, the latter requires coding knowledge and experience. If you want to have a truly unique one-of-a-kind website, you’re better off hiring a web designer and developer to create custom code just for you. Otherwise, picking a higher-end theme helps since they tend to offer more customization options.
Another way to make your website stand out for less is to add pre-built customizable Shopify sections. They allow you to add particular functionalities and content blocks in a matter of minutes while also keeping the price on the lower side of the scale. They can be added to various pages across the website and reused if needed. They deliver amazing value per dollar spent, and they can be mixed and matched as desired.
Another disadvantage of Shopify is that it can get pretty expensive over time. Sure, the basic plan price is more than reasonable for the platform’s services, but costs tend to go up with time. That is especially true if you rely on third-party apps from the App Store that incur a monthly fee. What makes the price creep even worse is that app pricing is sometimes based on sales volume or traffic, making it hard to plan ahead and budget business expenses.
Again, this is where pre-made ready-to-purchase Shopify sections show themselves as a much better alternative in certain cases. Pre-built content layout elements offer various functionalities at a comparatively low one-time cost. The price is fixed regardless of your store’s numbers. You get the code upon purchase, and you are free to reuse it on the same website as many times as you like. And if you need to use the section across multiple websites, we offer an unlimited commercial use license too.
Shopify is highly recommended
Shopify is a fantastic tool for both beginner and experienced merchants. It offers plenty of functionalities that a modern online business would need, and it delivers on its mission to “make commerce better for everyone, so businesses can focus on what they do best: building and selling their products.”