Founded by Daniel Weinand, Scott Lake, and Tobias Lutke (CEO of the Year in Canada) in 2006, Shopify is a Canadian-based eCommerce company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. It is a renowned website builder and also develops retail point-of-sale systems and software for online stores. Ever since its inception, the platform has quickly grown into one of the top players in the ecommerce solutions industry, currently powering more than 200,000 merchants/online retailers.
Some of their most notable customers among others include GitHub, Foo Fighters, Encyclopedia Britannica, Tesla Motors, Amnesty International, General Electric, and many more. Not to mention, the company has a total gross merchandise volume exceeding $10 billion – generating yearly revenue of approximately $205.2 million. So, if you are looking for an ecommerce solution or site builder that is easy-to-use and comes equipped with lots of features, then you should definitely give Shopify a try.
For more information about the site builder, its feature, pricing, and support information, take a look at this review below from Hostt.com.
Upon using Shopify, we noticed that from start to finish, the website is thoughtfully and carefully designed. It isn’t hard to notice: the interface is incredibly user-friendly, the language is clear, and everything is organized and compiled in a practical/straightforward way. In fact, the interface even manages to create that perfect (not to mention “essential”) balance between customization and ease-of-use, we often face trouble finding in other sites.
The platform, without doubt has one of the most complete control panel and dashboard we have ever seen. You can take care of everything from a single location – manage new orders, add new products, replace products, and generate reports. Best part of all: you can even use the dashboard to generate discount codes, which users/customers can enter to avail price cuts on their purchase. What else can you ask for?
Shopify’s Product Variations
Developers and website designers know the struggle of creating the perfect product variations. It can get deceptively complex, as there are too many items to list. This is one of the main reasons why oftentimes store builders go for useless variants editor. But same is not the case with Shopify. As you can see above, creating product variants is clear and simple. You simply enter the option name (or even multiple option names), the values, and modify the variants accordingly. That simple!
Similar to product variants, discount codes can also get deceptively complex – as they may only be available for specified products, require a percentage instead of a lump sum, or even need a date range. Nevertheless, Shopify seems to be incredibly thoughtful about the entire process. You simply enter the code name, select the number of items the code can be used on, and then enter details on the discount. You can go for discount, lump sum – anything you wish for.
Previously, if you wanted to accept payments you would often be required to use a third-party payments processor like PayPal, Stripe, Connect, etc. And, these services would usually charge a certain fee per transaction. However, the best thing about Shopify is: it has its OWN payment processor that is called “Shopify Payments”. This definitely makes life easier for you, as Shopify has successfully managed to eliminate the surprising and confusing step to building a store.
Another useful feature of Shopify that makes life easier for us is the “App Store”. This feature enables users to conveniently and efficiently browse through hundreds and thousands of applications that can add extra functionality to a site created from Shopify. These applications may include SEO tools, automatic shipping, marketing tools, SMM tools, and plenty other. Without doubt, all of these apps can be super handy to you!
- Recurring Products – Users have the ability of building recurring products by using 3rd party apps from the App store. This may cost around $20 per month. Still quite useful!
- iOS & Android Apps – Shopify even offers Android, iOS, and Apple Watch apps that send push notifications for fulfilled orders, new orders, and new products, etc
- Multi-Lingual – The store checkout process can be translated in more than 50 languages.
- Digital Products – Shopify users have the ability to customize and create digital products.
- 3rd Party Shipping Integration – The site builder can integrate with just about any 3rd party shipping service, which includes Shipstation, Shippo, Aftership, and plenty of others.
- Discounts & Coupon Codes – Shopify users can easily create discount and coupon codes. These codes can then be entered by customers to avail price cuts on their purchase.
- Gift Cards – Set expiry date, customize email notifications, and manage gift cards through Unlimited and Pro plans.
- Email Customization – Email notifications have plenty of customization options. There is an email editor available, which is incredibly handy.
Shopify Ease of Use
Many would fear with all these features using Shopify would get complicated. However, there is no such issue and creating/customizing a store can literally take minutes. There are plenty of useful options available. For instance, you can test your store before releasing it to the public, you can easily drag and drop different links to create your own navigation menu, and you can even edit and customize your own theme – free or premium.
The platform offers some of the best looking themes of any ecommerce websites. You can go for free, as well as, paid themes. Paid ones range from $80 to $180. Each theme also has its own set of customization options, with others having more personalization options than others. Take a look below to see the examples:
Pricing and Billing Practices
As you can see, there are four reasonably-priced plans available: Lite for $9 per month, Basic for $29 per month, Pro for $79 per month, and unlimited for $179 per month. Choose one that best suits your needs and budget requirements. (If you pay for a full year in advance, you can avail an amazing 10% discount). No surprises, or hidden fees – you pay for what YOU use.
Security is taken very seriously by Shopify and this is one of the main reasons why it offers Level 1 PCI DSS compliant in its shopping car, along with 128-bit Free SSL certificate. The platform also regularly creates backups of all your data. So, if by any chance your store is hacked or disappears, you will be restored within no time.
If you find yourself in the need of support, Shopify provides plenty of helpful solutions. You can easily avail the 24/7 customer support, which includes email, chat, and phone support. There is even help offered in the form of FAQ’s, user forums, and tutorials. The average customer support reply time is an amazing 5 hours and 54 minutes (the industry average is 6 hours 25 minutes). Users can also gain access to guides, videos, and eBooks to learn more about using Shopify.
All in all, Shopify is the perfect site builder, if you are planning to sell commodities online. If nothing, you should at least give their 14-day free trial a try. We are certain you will not end up disappointed and will decide on purchasing a monthly or even yearly subscription package.
Our reviews are objective and we do not receive compensation from the companies for writing the reviews. Should you decide to click through one of our links, we may receive a small commission to pay for running the site.
It’s free to call us should you ever need a real “English-Speaking Human” to help you figure out the “Best Way to Start”.
We Review. You Decide.
Mike Orozco and Steve Stacy – Hostt’s Review Crew