What is Shopify
Shopify is one of the popular e-commerce platforms on the web. This web application lets you create your online store. You do not require any technical skills, a bottomless budget, or hire anyone to make your online store a reality. Shopify just lets you create your online store quickly and in an affordable manner.
Shopify offers a pretty good collection of themes and templates that can be customized to meet your branding requirements through which you will be able to sell physical or digital products. Shopify intends to make the experience of building an online store to be a smooth one and so no technical skill like coding or designing is needed to start with it. However, the platform provides access to both CSS and HTML
How does Shopify Work?
Shopify is a host solution which means that it contains its servers and users need not buy web hosting or install any software. You can manage your store from anywhere as long as you have access to the internet and users also don’t possess a copy of the product but instead pay monthly to use it
Shopify provides out-of-the-box elements required for an online store like templates, payment processors, blogs, email marketing tools, and so on. So, you get to customize your store to meet individual requirements.
Shopify – Features
Shopify offers noticeable features that are the crucial components of an e-commerce platform. Some of them are,
Abandoned Cart Recovery
Most customers leave the store without buying anything. For such reasons, Shopify sends automated email triggers and some more tools to facilitate abandoned cart recovery.
Automated Shipping Calculation
Worldwide shipping involves complicated shipping fees. Shopify’s real-time carrier shipping service calculates the exact cost of shipping for products based on customer location and weight.
Integrations and Add-ons
Shopify can be integrated with several third party softwares that adds much functionality to your online store.This can be helpful to track conversions and set up sales goals with Google Analytics. Analysis report can be sent to your marketing team through mail for further analysis With this, you can monitor various statistics such as,
→ Traffic Sources
→ Traffic Conversion Rates
→ Source Versatility
→ Behavior Reports
→ Audience Reports
→ Data Freshness
→ User Flow
→ Funnel Analysis
Shopify integrates with few social media sites like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. You can browse products on Facebook and add the “Buy Now” button on Facebook. Similarly, you can just use one of the social media integration tools to work with Shopify.
Auto Post to Social Media
When you integrate the add-ons, any action done by users like posting a new blog, launching a promotion campaign, or sharing any news then such a message will be distributed across all social media networks established with just a single click.
Dropshipping can be made easy when Shopify is integrated with apps such as Inventory Source, eCommHub and Ordoro
Shopify’s point of sale system takes your store payments online or offline.
Marketing and sales campaigns can be segmented systematically when you have the required information about your target audience with custom user profiles.
Easy Discount Codes
Shopify offers the ultimate “Bulk Discounts” that lets generate discount codes for percentages, free shipping, and dollar amounts which in turn helps in boosting revenues.
Social Media Integration
The Shopify “Shop” tab recreates your e-commerce website on Facebook if you have a larger social media following you. This way, people can buy from you directly rather than shopping on your website.
Payments and Checkout
The Shopify platform along with Shopify Payments lets you accept major credit cards. It also integrates with other third party vendors and supports over 100 different payments gateways. You can also translate the entire checkout process to over 50 languages.
Shopify provides ultimate payment options to allow worldwide business operations with the help of IDEAL, Bitcoin, and PayPal. Payment process is made secure with credit card, Visa Mastercard, Discover, PayPal and AMerican Express.
Online Business may sometimes require traders to charge customers for shipping and VAT. Shopify also does location appropriate tax calculation automatically. They adjust the shipping rates by location, weight and other parameters.
Shopify’s drop shipping service avoids many time-consuming elements like maintaining a store, handling, packaging, and shipping.
Users can get guidance from Experts about programming, designing, marketing, and many more.
Apart from the features above, there are many exciting features like,
-Several professional themes
-Complete blogging platform
-Unique domain names and SSL certificates
-Numerous payment gateways
-Marketing and SEO support, and many more.
Advantages of using Shopify
=Shopify has the most insightful dashboard and control panels that can be grasped easily.
=The e-commerce platform is simple, clean, and organized.
=Shopify POS helps in selling your products in an actual retail setting.
=Additional hardware can be purchased from the company like a cash register, receipt printer, and barcode scanner.
=Shopify offers mobile apps to users.
=Offers the largest App store of all e-commerce platforms.
=Running your blog is easy as it is run from a single dashboard.
=Shopify themes in theme stores are responsive with mobile-ready checkouts.
Shopify – Pricing
Shopify offers five pricing plans for its users. There is also a free trial available for 14 days.
Basic Shopify- $29/month – Best for beginners
Shopify- $79/month – Best for growing business with 1 retail store
Advanced Shopify- $299/month – Best for business with 2+ retail store
Shopify Lite-$9 with additional features
Shopify Plus- Custom pricing
Support and Security
Shopify can be contacted 24/7 through phone, email, or live chat which is most of the time fast and helpful. Their useful knowledge base is equally helpful in answering user queries. It also has many detailed tutorials and guides for any doubts. You can even seek professional help for your store with the help of Storetasker where you can submit your custom project and have it verified by Shopify Experts for a quotation.
Shopify takes equal responsibility to secure user updates and security measures in the background. Their security system works on Level 1 PCI compliant servers with SSL encryption enabled for every Shopify store to keep visitors’ data safe.
The robust backup system restores your online shop at desperate times by exporting a series of CSV files. So, it would be wise enough to add an advanced backup solution from the Shopify App Store to avoid any mishaps. Therefore, to protect your store all time, you just need to have regular backups and a strong admin password.
Good Alternatives to Shopify
Shopify does compete with some contenders like WixCOmmerce, WooCommerce and the biggest competitor is BigCommerce which is another E Commerce giant in the market.
BigCommerce vs. Shopify
BigCommerce claims to offer more features at a lower cost than Shopify. But, performance wise both are found to be equally well-designed. BigCommerce has a slighter advantage with regard to few features and integrations.
Magneto vs. Shopify
If you wish to add in some fair play then Magneto would be another option as it is an open-source e-commerce platform. You are completely responsible for setting up, building and getting it running at the back end too. With all this, the platform itself is free.
1.Shopify is easy to use with no prior technical expertise required.
2.You can sell almost anything on Shopify like services, digital products, goods, etc.
3.There is a huge collection of store designs.
4.You can sell your products on multiple channels and not just on online stores.
5.Shopify is completely cloud-hosted.
6.Provides mobile apps for Android and iOS.
7.Solid customer support with 24/7 assistance.
8.Shopify Payments do not charge transaction fees.
9.More than 2000 apps and plugins available.
10.Very good scalability.
11.Great for dropshipping.
12.Offers 14-day free trial.
1.You cannot control your store directly as your store is hosted on Shopify-owned servers.
2.Higher tier Shopify Plans encourage professional reporting.
3.Additional processing fees are levied above standard credit card processing rates if Shopify’s payment modules aren’t used.
4.The blogging module does not contain a user-friendly user interface.
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With the overall Shopify experience, it does make the best-hosted solutions for those intending to create an online store and for anyone wishing to sell their products online or physically. Also good for users interested in dropshipping.
Shopify is very easy to use with attractive templates and supports integration with a huge range of other apps.No wonders, it has a huge base of happy customers. It works best for beginners, intermediates as well as professionals
Shopify can be easily recommended to anyone who wants to sell online. The 14-day free trial gives you navigation of the advantages and mere disadvantages to be able to understand if it works for you.