Shopify is a so-called e-commerce builder with which you can create and manage an online store. In this review we dive deeper into functionalities and the pros and cons. We hope that you can make a good estimate of whether Shopify fits in with your plans, or whether other webshop software is the better choice.
We're going to check it out for you!
- Shopify is the most popular e-commerce builder worldwide. More than 1.7 million online stores have been developed with the platform.
- Shopify's builder is very simple and pleasant. While it may not look as modern as others, it's intuitive, works fast, and allows you to build fantastic online stores without coding knowledge. This can be based on beautiful templates that are free to use or – if you want a little more distinction – can be purchased via Shopify itself or Themeforest.
- Shopify has a lot of apps and connections with third parties, so there is something for almost every wish. Whether it concerns dropshipping partners, linking the accounting to the webshop or selling products via Google. There are many possibilities.
…and why it's the largest website builder
Shopify is a system that allows you to create and manage an online store quite easily. Without knowledge of coding, you can format pages and add products within the framework of a pre-chosen theme. You can then manage the webshop and start marketing campaigns from the same system.
Shopify is based in Ottawa (Canada) and was founded in 2006 by Tobias Lütke.Tobias Lütke, Wikipedia The founder built a webshop for snowboard gear himself because of the limited supply of webshop builders. After sending a number of snowboards, he and his companion saw that there might be more opportunities for a good webshop builder. And with seed capital collected from friends and family, they started Shopify.Our Canadian CEO of the year you’ve probably never heard of. theglobeandmail.com, 27 november 2014
Shopify in data
- Shopify is used by 1,700,000 businesses worldwide.About Shopify, Shopify.com (Dec 2021
- It is estimated that about 3.5% of sites on the internet are Shopify websites Shopify 2021, w3techs.com, May 202
- In 2020, sales on the Shopify platform grew 76% to $5.1 billion Statistics and figures about Shopify, www.shopifyandyou.com
- Shopify offers over 6000 apps in the Shopify Appstore.
What does it cost to work with Shopify?
Shopify works with 5 different packages. If you're starting an online store, ‘Basic Shopify' is the most logical choice. Shopify Lite has a slightly different approach that we will go into directly below the price table.
|Pakket||Monthly costs||Online credit card rates||In-person credit card rates||Fee if not using Shopify Payments|
|Shopify Lite||$9||2.9% + 30¢ USD||2.7%||2.0%|
|Basic Shopify||$29||2.9% + 30¢ USD||2.7%||2.0%|
|Shopify||$79||2.6% + 30¢ USD||2.5%||1.0%|
|Advanced Shopify||$299||2.4% + 30¢ USD||2.4%||0.5%|
- Shopify gives you a 14-day free trial to see if the software is right for you. You can sign up for the free version here.
With Shopify Lite you can easily integrate a ‘buy button' into a website without having to set up a complete webshop. This is useful, for example, if you have a website that does not fulfill as primary function that of a webshop. Think, for example, of a successful blog or a comparison platform.
A Facebook or Instagram webshop can also be created with Shopify Lite. That way, thanks to advertisements within the social platforms, you can drive traffic to your shop without people leaving Facebook or Instagram. The Lite package can also help to sell products on pages of influencers or companies.
Basic Shopify $29
Anyone who starts a new webshop will quickly end up on Shopify Basic. For $29 dollars a month you have:
- An unlimited number of products
- two employee accounts
- Additional sales channels (including social media)
- Create orders manually
- Create discount codes
- Gift cards
- SSL certificate for your domain
- Sell in up to 5 languages
- Sell in various currencies
- Abandoned Cart Recovery
Standard Shopify costs $79 and with this you have in addition to Basic Shopify:
- Five employee accounts in total
- More extensive reporting
- International domains and pricing
Advanced Shopify $299
The Advanced Shopify package costs $299 dollars and is particularly interesting for larger webshops with possible physical store locations. The following functionalities are added extra to this package:
- Five employee accounts in total
- More extensive reporting
- International domains and pricing
From $2000 per month, Shopify offers a custom solution. Online stores of major brands in particular will opt for a package like this.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the more expensive packages is that the costs per (credit card) transaction are less. Larger webshops can easily earn back the increased monthly price.
Shopify builder and admin panel
Developing a good webshop stands or falls with the backend. From here you can build and manage a webshop. People who start a webshop often first look at how easy it is to start a beautiful webshop. Nevertheless, it is wise to also take a good look at the functionalities of the admin once the webshop is finished. After all, you're going to spend more time in that than the builder.
In our opinion, the Shopify login environment is well put together. You can make the webshop relatively easy, but the whole thing is subordinate to the actual management of the webshop itself. We mean that in a positive way, because in the end you work most of the time as a webshop manager than as a webshop developer.
Shopify's interface is somewhat dated compared to Squarespace, for example. That's not right or wrong. It just works a little differently. In the case of Shopify, functionality takes precedence over form, where that is not always the case with Squarespace as far as we are concerned. That could also be us. Squarespace is so ahead of the market with their Drag & Drop builder that it takes some getting used to for those who are familiar with WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors.
An advantage of the advanced drag & drop builders is that you can move just those elements within the design that you would like something different. It will also be a matter of time before Shopify also completely switches to Drag & Drop. That is kind of becoming the new normal.
Apart from the technology, you can also build very sleek webshops with Shopify. The easiest way to realize this is to work from a ‘template' or ‘theme'.
It is useful to use so-called themes. You can choose to use a free theme and build from here, or a paid theme. Such a paid theme costs $180 and gives you a jumpstart when creating your online store. After all, there is already a nice design that you can build on. The range of themes available through Shopify is only somewhat limited. We recommend that you also take a look at Themeforest. Here you will find many themes for significantly less than Shopify charges.
Within Shopify you can use an image bank for all design. It contains many different photos. In addition to Shopify's own image library, you can also try the free Pexels.com or Canva.com.
Canva certainly has a very large selection of illustrations and as a big plus that you can easily edit photos with text and icons. This also makes it very suitable for making headers and photos for social media.
What are Shopify's possibilities & extra's?
Before you start creating the webshop, it is important to be aware of the functionalities. After all, you don't want to find out that a certain function you're looking for isn't available in Shopify while you've already finished the shop
Payment methods Shopify
An important part of an online store is the processing of payments. In many countries this is quite easy via Shopify payments. Shopify has taken the payment module to itself because the company earns extra thanks to the rates. Even if you want to use a different payment provider via a plugin, shopify charges transaction costs. Shopify's payment module is good by the way, so there is little reason to deviate from it.
Digital products and services
Shopify offers opportunities for selling services and digital products. Digital products include ebooks, online courses, music or software. They are often quite passive ways of revenue that are also very scalable.
There are a number of factors that you can optimize if you want to sell internationally. Those are language, currency and delivery. In different countries you have to deal with different delivery services. Shopify has arranged everything well with Shopify Shipping for various large Anglo-Saxon countries. In other countries, you often need to solve shipping yourself and connect a third party app to your webshop.
Third Party apps
The Shopify app store offers excellent possibilities to expand your webshop with new functionalities. You can choose from thousands of free and paid apps here. You can get the webshop to your liking and link external parties to your desired webshop (delivery services, dropshipping wholesalers, etcetera).
How easy is dropshipping with Shopify?
For many people, the choice of webshop software depends on how it facilitates dropshipping. Dropshipping is a form of distribution where you have products that are sold in an online store delivered directly by the dropship supplier. In many cases, this is a wholesaler or a company that focuses on facilitating dropshipping.
At Shopify, dropshipping is very good possible and optimized thanks to the Shopify Oberlo extension. This is a plugin that gives you the option to import products into your online store that are supplied by others. What you see happening a lot nowadays is that people start a webshop within a certain category and have products delivered from China. Often via AliExpress where the price goes upside down a number of times. We are somewhat critical of this model ourselves, but if this is what you are looking for, then at least you can do it via Shopify.
Bricks & Clicks
Does Shopify offer good POS material?
If you start a webshop, or are looking for another platform, there is a chance that you also have a physical store. With Shopify POS and Shopify POS Pro, you can manage both the store and the web store through shopify.
Shopify POS – just like our web store software – is available in several variants. It starts with a simple way to offer people an online purchase at a physical location. This works well, for example, in a pop-up store or market/event stand. It ends with a complete POS system that you can place in your store. The latter requires you to purchase an upgrade and add $89 to the monthly package price.
How does Shopfiy assist you with selling more?
After building your webshop, it is of course important that visitors also find your site.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Shopify offers plenty of opportunities to provide pages with the necessary content. In addition, you can try to get extra traffic to your site by starting a blog. The blog functionality is built in by default.
The pages you can create are provided with fields for meta title, meta description and alt tags so that you can format them.
Shopify also has the other basics in order. A robots.txt and sitemap are automatically created and canonicals are used where necessary. If you delete a page you can create a 301 reference yourself.
Since Google nowadays takes a mobile-first approach, it is also good to look at the mobile UI. This is usually very well organized at Shopify.
Although the basic SEO is good and works easily, you will find a lot of comments online that the system does not go far enough to really get the most out of it. For example, it is not possible to adjust the URL structure of your webshop. Shopify is structured in such a way that products are always processed in a subfolder that is fixed: https//:webshopnaam.com/products/productname.
Another drawback often mentioned online is that the system is inadequate in highly competitive markets. You can think of limited schema markup options or insufficient access to, for example, sitemaps and the robots.txt. The blog cannot measure up to all the functionalities of WordPress either. And using WordPress within your Shopify webshop does not work ideal.
Yet the Shopify platform has the Search Engine Optimization in good order in the basics and you can get started if you don't have to compete directly with the Amazon's and Zalando's of this world. A lot of basic SEO things are arranged for you in the background so you don't have to worry about this too much. If certain functionalities eventually prove to be inadequate, you can also take a look at the thousands of APPs for Shopify.
If your webshop is fully set up with a payment provider, you can send emails after you've added the Shopify email app. It is very easy to use and gets good reviews.
Sell through Instagram, Facebook & Google
As discussed earlier in this article, you can place products in Facebook and Instagram relatively easily. Shopify has developed a smart function for this in collaboration with the companies
Shopify has recently also partnered with Google that allows you to promote products in the search engine in a few clicks. These are the advantages of working with a large platform.
What if you get stuck?
Since Shopify has been used so much worldwide, there is also a lot of information to be found online. As a result, you can often find a solution to your possible problem via Google. As far as we are concerned, that is a major advantage of working with a system that is used by millions of people worldwide. You can use the following channels if you need help:
- Comprehensive help center with lots of explanations and videos about the system
- Large community (both local and international)
- Send inquiry by email to Shopify employees
Conclusion of our Shopify Review
Shopify is a wise choice for anyone looking to start an online store. It is the largest provider of webshop software worldwide, which means that a lot is possible. This is expressed in collaborations with Google, facebook, pinterest and instagram, but also in the amount of apps that have been developed for Shopify. Do you want to link your accounting? Your accounting package probably also has a Shopify link.
Want to test it for free? Check out Shopify!
While we don't want to discriminate against age, Shopify will please the older user as well. The system is built as we are used to, and that is nice. This is a contrast to the revamped (and beautiful!) Squarespace that you really have to sit down for a while to get the hang of it.
If you are planning to start an online store, then Shopify is definitely a good choice. Before you invest time and money, we recommend that you look around and research which platform suits you best. You can do this by taking advantage of the free trial period.