Last Updated on March 8, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
In a nutshell, Shopify is an e-commerce software. It is a platform where you can create and run a business; basically create an online store but with the added benefit of not having to worry about the maintenance of software and/or the upgrade of web servers. Shopify is to store owners what WordPress is to bloggers.
Like everything, Shopify has some interesting advantages and a few disadvantages. They have been discussed below to help you figure out if you want a Shopify account or not.
Advantages of Shopify
There must be some good reasons for Shopify gaining popularity these days. Below we have a list of some of the advantages of Shopify.
1. Easy Of Use
When you start a business, what is your main priority? To have the most sales you can possibly have, right?
Having an online reach for your business is a great way to increase sales but it could be a challenge for less tech-savvy people. Not all of us were born into this new age of technology but Shopify takes care of that.
Shopify assists you in managing the store’s technological needs (spur-i-t.com, 2018). It also has a very simple and clear interface which makes it easy to navigate. It also deals with transaction processing time very efficiently.
2. A Lot of Payment Processors
One of the biggest concerns for having a website for your business is how the payment can be made easy and quick for the customers. Shopify has inbuilt payment services like Amazon, Apple pay, and PayPal. It also allows you to accept payments from credit cards.
An added bonus is that Shopify has over 100 different payment processors integrated into its website which allows you to accept payment in multiple currencies. This makes it easier especially if you want your business to be international.
3. World-class Site Performance
Shopping for any kind of product can be a hassle if you have to wait a long time, in real life or online. While it can mean waiting in long lines in real life, it can mean a website loading very slowly online. People will click out if your website is taking too long to load which means losing on potential sales.
Websites on Shopify load faster compared to other websites. According to Amazon, a delay of one second could cost them $1.6 billion in sales annually (buildthis.io, 2020).
4. Boost Sales with Inbuilt Features
Since sales are a priority number one, it is important that your website is able to boost sales. Sometimes, a customer can keep things in their cart but might have to click off the website because of an interruption. They might forget this later on and never come back to it.
Shopify has a feature called abandoned cart recovery that can help you with a cart with products in it that have been forgotten. This feature sends an email to the customer at certain intervals to remind them. The interval can be customized.
5. Variety of Themes/Designs
A good tactic to have a successful website is to make it as aesthetically possible along with making it functional. Shopify provides a variety of themes that can potentially increase visits to your page.
These themes are divided into categories like Furniture, Food & Beverage, Art & Photography, etc so that your website looks like what it is intended for. There is an even wider range if you are willing to pay for it.
Disadvantages of Shopify
There are a few disadvantages of Shopify over a custom build e-commerce platform.
1. Harder to Customize a Theme
We talked about the variety of themes Shopify offers you. They have created their own PHP language called Liquid which they use to create the themes. Yes, there is a range but sometimes these inbuilt themes will require customization. This customization is only possible to be done by a professional developer or if you learn to code in that language.
The solution to this is sticking with the original themes or hiring someone to do the coding for you.
2. No Email Hosting
Web hosting is included in all the plans that Shopify offers but it does not give you the safe offer for email hosting. This basically means that you can’t have an email with your shop name like this: email@example.com (buildthis.io, 2020).
An email forwarding is still possible. This means that whenever someone sends an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, that email will instead go directly to your personal Gmail or yahoo account. But even to use this function, a 3rd party email hosting connection needs to be set up (buildthis.io, 2020).
3. Can be Expensive
Shopify has a lot of free features but if you want a properly functioning website, it comes with a price. The cheapest plan is $29 and can go up to $299. This could become even higher if you include the subscriptions you have to pay for using certain apps.
If you live in a place that requires a third-party gateway, you have to pay certain fees. This could range from anywhere between 05% to 2% per transaction. If you have a comparatively smaller business, this could add up to a lot.
Now that we have looked at the features, advantages, and disadvantages of Shopify, it seems like the advantages weigh out the disadvantages. It is considered one of the most popular platforms for small and large businesses. It could cost quite an amount but it is necessary that you look into it deeper and then make a decision on whether or not you want to choose Shopify.