Shopify Review

Shopify Review

Ecommerce site = Shopify. I’ve used a simple 5-point scoring system on each ecommerce feature below: 5 for “amazing,” 1 for “it sucks.” I’m not a complete Shopify fanboy. Otherwise, go sign up for Shopify and build your site there. Core integrations with all major shipping companies are built right into your store. When you build your site on Shopify, you’ll look through the theme store to find one you like. With the Shopify theme store and how easy it is to set up a site on Shopify, you can build your entire site on your own without needing a site designer and developer. Or maybe it’s time to do a complete brand revamp and you want your Shopify theme built from scratch. So you’ll use Shopify for your online store and WordPress for your blog. At the end of the day, this is an extremely easy choice for me. For any ecommerce store, I automatically pick Shopify to build my site and don’t think twice about it.

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A deep dive into the best ecommerce platform of 2019

Are you about to build an ecommerce website?

Build it on Shopify.

I kind of wish the answer had more nuance to it, so I could write a more engaging review. But it really is that simple.

Ecommerce site = Shopify. End of story.

Out of all the decisions you need to make building your online store, the decision of which ecommerce tool to use is not a hard one.

If you want, you can stop reading this review and go sign up. You won’t miss out on much.

In-Depth Shopify Review and Methodology

To show you that I do know what I’m talking about, I have broken down all the core ecommerce site features and rated Shopify by each.

I’ve used a simple 5-point scoring system on each ecommerce feature below: 5 for “amazing,” 1 for “it sucks.”

I’m not a complete Shopify fanboy. There are a few areas where Shopify could do better. And one category Shopify completely fails. But these aren’t a big deal. The gaps are either minor or can be completely covered by other tools.

If you’re building an enterprise ecommerce site and evaluating new tools, it’s worth having the Magento and Shopify Plus (Shopify’s enterprise version) teams do a bake-off for your business. Otherwise, go sign up for Shopify and build your site there.

Big Brands Choose Shopify

Before jumping into the Shopify review and feature-by-feature ratings, who else uses Shopify?

Here are a few Shopify customers you might recognize:

You’re in good company — world-class brands and massive ecommerce sites have been built on Shopify.

Ease of Use: 5/5

Ridiculously easy.

Shopify is not only considered the easiest of the ecommerce tools, it’s also considered one of the easiest tools across all business apps. It’s true — lots of other business tools use Shopify as inspiration for how to build their apps.

If you’re looking for an ecommerce tool to get all those annoying tasks out of your way, Shopify is your best option.

Site Customization: 5/5

Shopify managed to do something that’s exceptionally rare in software: build a tool that’s both extremely easy to use and has all the flexibility that you’d ever need.

Most tools only achieve one of these. They’re either easy to use and limited, or they’re flexible and complicated.

As you grow your business, you’ll have the ability to evolve your store however you like. While you’ll most likely start with one of the pre-built themes, you can build a theme from scratch. At some point, you’ll need a theme that embodies your brand and has a unique feel. When you’re ready, find a ecommerce site design agency that has experience with Shopify. They’ll be able to build the entire thing for you.

When you’re ready for the big leagues and need a tool that has complete flexibility, Shopify has an enterprise version called Shopify Plus. So it’ll scale with you no matter how big you get.

Pricing: 4/5

Shopify charges you in four ways:

  • A monthly fee that starts at $29/month and goes to $299/month. The more expensive plans have extra features along with larger shipping discounts.
  • If you use Shopify as your online payment provider, you’ll be charged 2.9% + 30¢ to process the transaction. The fee comes down slightly each time you upgrade: it’s 2.4% + 30¢ on the advanced Shopify plan. There’s a similar fee for in-person payments that’s slightly lower.
  • If you use another payment provider, Shopify charges a percentage on top of the payment provider fee. Shopify’s fee starts at 2% and decreases to 0.5% on the advanced plan.
  • If you choose to use Shopify’s POS hardware, there’s a one-time fee of $656 for the entire package which includes an iPad stand, receipt printer, cash drawer, and card reader. Each of these can also be purchased individually. If you only want a basic card reader, you can get one for free with your Shopify account.

All of these prices are in sync with the rest of the industry. They’re exactly what you’d expect.

Some ecommerce site builders advertise the fact that they charge 0% transaction fees. This isn’t entirely true. Yes, they don’t charge anything. But you also have to set up your own payment provider and that payment provider will charge you a payment fee.

In other words, Shopify is your site builder and your payment provider. All payment providers charge a standard fee, including Shopify. That’s why Shopify charges you a monthly subscription and a payment processing fee.

The one fee that’s a little annoying is the fee to use other payment processes. This is the fee that starts at 2.0% on the lowest plan and comes down to 0.5% on the advanced plan. This fee applies to payments accepted through Paypal and Amazon Payments, among others.

I totally understand why Shopify charges a processing fee when they’re handling the payments. That’s completely normal for the industry. But the fee on top of other processing fees is a bit of an overreach in my opinion.

The vast majority of your payments will come in through Shopify Payments anyway so it’s a minor annoyance. This mainly impacts transactions that will come in through Paypal. You’ll have the Paypal processing fees and Shopify’s fees on each transaction.

That said, the extra cost is still worth all…