Shopify is an eCommerce platform and website builder that provides everything you need to build and run an online store. It is a SaaS (Software-as-a-Solution) application, which means that it’s hosted on Shopify’s servers. It is a cloud-based system that is licensed to a user and accessed via an Internet browser. With Shopify, you can choose a website template and customize it to create your online store (along with all the branding elements) and start selling your digital product or physical goods.
You can create a Shopify online store without having to hire a web developer or design agency or learn the necessary design and technical skills yourself. But if you are familiar with coding, Shopify allows you to edit the template code, which gives you more control over your website design and front-end functionality.
Here, we bring you a short guide on the Shopify pros and cons to help you make a better decision.
The Pros of Using Shopify
Website performance is a major contributor to the site’s user experience. Just like nobody likes to wait in line for ages when shopping in a physical store, most customers say they don’t return to an eCommerce site that offered complexities at checkout or loaded slowly. The performance results of Shopify websites are great and score A+ in server test results.
The Internet is a vast digital realm where your online business can sell products in all the places where your target audience spends most of their time. Shopify allows you to integrate your products with channels like Amazon, Pinterest, Facebook, and mobile apps you develop. Also, you can unify your brick-and-mortar inventories with Shopify’s built-in POS system.
Selling of both digital and physical products
There’s a free Shopify app you can use to specify the types for the products you sell. So, if you categorize certain products as digital, you can handle them as products downloadable via an online page or through email. Also, you can set the type of fulfillment and shipping for each of your physical products as well as start a drop shipping business, all thanks to Shopify.
Integrate your physical retail with Shopify POS
If you already run a physical store and want to expand by selling your products online, you can do it thanks to Shopify’s Point-of-Sale system. Once you integrate the POS into your brick-and-mortar shop, the data will be shared between your online store and the POS. Then, you can manage your customer data, inventory, and sales, both online and offline, from a unified dashboard. When you subscribe to Shopify POS, you will receive a POS system with all the devices, such as a receipt printer, card reader, Socket Mobile barcode scanner, and APG cash drawers.
Users can monetize a blog or website by using the Shopify “Buy Button.” Thanks to this feature, you can add a checkout on your site or embed any product to create a custom and unique shopping experience for your site visitors. The button works similarly to PayPal’s “Buy Now” button – when a visitor clicks on the checkout from your website, it will link back to Shopify.
Abandoned cart recovery
The Abandoned Cart Recovery feature used to be available on the higher pricing plans, but now it’s available to everyone. That’s a huge benefit to users because the feature is designed to help follow up with visitors who made it to the checkout but didn’t complete the purchase. The unfinished buying processes are recognized as an abandoned checkout, so users get their contact information and could reach out to them later.
Support for multiple payment processors
Shopify Payments – a feature that makes it possible to instantly accept online payments in your store. It’s very easy to set it up because the payment system is pre-integrated. However, it is available to online stores in the United States, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. As for third-party gateways, the platform integrates with more than 100 payment processors to handle different currencies.
Wide range of add-ons
Users who want to give more muscle to their stores can go to Shopify’s App Store to get some great free or paid add-ons. There are more than 1,200 apps you can choose from, and all of them are designed to help you improve different aspects of your digital store, including marketing, shipping, customer relationships, inventory, and more.
As your business keeps booming and getting diversified, your eCommerce store has to keep up. Shopify is designed to scale up easily. You can do it by simply switching over to a higher plan. The plans include Basic Shopify ($29), Shopify ($79), and Advanced Shopify ($299), as well as Shopify Plus which starts at $2,000 per month. Shopify Plus is designed for larger enterprises, so they’ve made sure that the platform comes with unlimited scalability that can match even the largest brands. The platform guarantees 100% uptime with servers that are powerful enough to handle up to 4 million hits per second and thousands of orders per minute – all without affecting your site’s performance. If you go with Shopify Plus, you also get up to 200 TB of storage and unlimited bandwidth.
The Cons of Using Shopify
No email hosting
Even though Shopify includes web hosting in all their Shopify plans, it doesn’t provide its users with email hosting. To circumvent the issue, you can set up email forwarding and have your emails automatically forwarded to another email account of your choice. To have your emails forwarded, you will have to set up a third-party email hosting connection.
Disrupted themes due to app integrations
Not all app integrations are built the same way. Some of them will create additional files and inject them into your Shopify theme’s files, which might cause potential issues down the road, making troubleshooting and debugging themes more difficult.
Can sometime be manually intensive
Third-party apps and themes can provide additional functionalities. Still, there is always the possibility that a certain app won’t work with your theme or will require theme modifications in order to work. Many of the popular and most useful app integrations require a monthly fee, and after adding a few of these to your site, things could become pricey. For example, Intuit
QuickBooks costs $29.99 per month, and if you need the Retarget App, you might need to pay an extra $15 per month. With a Shopify Basic plan, users get only basic features they need to run a digital store. Advanced features, such as fraud analysis, reports, and real-time shipping rates, are only available on higher plans.
Editing themes with Shopify’s own PHP language
Shopify’s PHP language is called “Liquid,” and all the themes are coded in that format. It is easy to learn, but if you are not a developer or not willing to hire one, it can make theme customization more challenging. To avoid any coding problems, you can get yourself a premium theme with support.
Shopify could be your ideal choice, regardless of whether you’re just about to launch your first eCommerce store or already have a brick-and-mortar store and looking to expand into the online market. It offers flexibility and many possibilities for growing your business.