Shopify Review 2020: Pricing, Apps, Themes and All You Need To Know

Shopify is a fully customizable web application solution for managing your online store. As the world's premier eCommerce solution, Shopify boasts a global network of 1 billion online stores, 3,200+ integrated apps, and overall sales activity in excess of $183 billion +.

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4 /5
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$ 29 /mo
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    What began as an owner-operated proprietary business well over a decade ago, is now the world's #1 most popular eCommerce solution. With the builder, you can easily sell your goods online. While no coding experience is required (JavaScript HTML, CSS), you still have control to edit options for greater control over templates. This SaaS eCommerce builder is available on a subscription plan. 

    We have reviewed all the features of Shopify, and this is what we have found:

    Features

    Design - Dozens of professionally designed templates from leading designers including Pixel Union, Happy Cog and Clearleft.
    Apps – Full integration with thousands of apps including eCommHub, Inventory Source, and Ordoro.
    Addons – Addons including YouTube + Vimeo, GeoIP Country Redirect Users, Cozy AntiTheft Protection, Cozy Recover Sales, Cozy Social Proof and Best Sellers by Country.
    Themes – Easily create your own online store, tailored to your brand with free professional-themed templates.
    Language options – Fully supports online selling in 19 different languages.
    Social integration & sales channels – Full integration with Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook is possible with Shopify.
    Custom Fields –  The Google Chrome plug-in allows for easy data management on the forms, importing and filtered exports. The Custom Fields solution supports content management, data storage & display, and a Metafield Editor for your eCommerce platform.
    Reporting Tools – The Shopify Analytics capabilities provide expert insights into all aspects of your online business. This includes easy analysis of store transactions, a comprehensive dashboard, live view, and easy access to financial reports.
    Email Marketing – Makes it easy for business owners to send marketing messages to current customers via their Kit dashboard.

    SEO Tools -The help center offers comprehensive SEO assistance for your eCommerce platform.

    Recently, Shopify partnered with Cloudflare to enhance its SEO offerings. With added speed, security features, and options that are favorable for edge SEO, it is now possible to modify the codebase using Cloudflare CDN and Cloudflare Workers.

    This means that the .txt files and the URLs can now be modified, as well as being able to pull logs and conduct proper log file analysis. In addition, hreflang can now be deployed with the help of third-party SEO edge tools via the Cloudflare CDN.

    For Shopify, this is a great leap in the SEO sphere, opening up many options for developers and marketers with more to come.

    Importing and Exporting Products

    It offers powerful spreadsheets that allow business owners to import/export data between Shopify and other systems. The CSV files (comma-separated values) are used to perform bulk import/export activities.

    Pricing

    It offers multiple plans for users. A 90-day free trial is available now instead of 14 days because of Corona virus to all customers, and premium services are available as a Basic Shopify Customer, a Standard Shopify Customer, and an Advanced Shopify Customer.

    Basic Shopify – As a new business owner, all the basic features for getting your eCommerce platform up and running are provided by this plan. It costs $29 per month. Included in the plan is an online store, unlimited products, 2 staff accounts, 24/7 support, sales channels, manual order creation, discount codes, complimentary SSL certificate, and abandoned cart recovery. Other options include up to 64% shipping discount, fraud analysis, the Shopify POS app, hardware peripheral support, and third-party POS apps.
     
    Standard Shopify Customer – If you are growing your business, this plan is for you. It is priced at $79 per month. It features all the elements provided by the Basic Shopify plan, including 5 staff accounts, gift cards, professional reports, up to 72% shipping discount, USPS priority mail pricing, register shifts for POS transactions, and unlimited Shopify POS staff PINs.
     
    Advanced Shopify – If you're scaling your business this is the plan for you. This features a full array of advanced features and the plans are priced at $299 per month. All the resources provided by the standard Shopify customer account are available, including 15 staff accounts. Other features include advanced report builders, third-party calculated shipping rates, and up to 74% shipping discount.
     
    As you upgrade from the basic to the standard, to the advanced plan, so your Shopify payments are reduced accordingly. Additional fees are also reduced as you upgrade to the higher-level plans.

    Other Features

    SupportHelp Center with 24/7 support, telephone support, email assistance, forums, FAQs, social media connectivity on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat et cetera.
    Security
    SecuritySSL encryption technology with HTTPS, 2FA, TLS (transport layer security), verified email addresses.
    ShippingEasy to set up shipping, calculate rates, package fulfillment processing, and print shipping labels.
    Payment optionsMultiple banking methods can be added to the Shopify POS including third-party payment providers, gift cards, physical cards, external credit, external debit, store credit, custom payments, and so forth.
    TaxRegularly updated default sales tax rates are used by Shopify. They do not remit or file sales taxes for clients.
    DropshippingFully supported by Shopify. Dropshipping businesses use suppliers to ship products to customers on behalf of the business.
    Abandoned cart recoveryDiscounts can be applied to abandoned checkout recovery emails on Shopify.
    Managing store on a mobile deviceShopify Mobile lets you run your business anywhere you go. This app allows for product management in-app, processing orders on the go, and responding to real-time information.

    What is Easy for Users on Shopify?

    • Shopify is easy to set up and it loads quickly.
    • Intuitive design with maximum customization possibilities for users.
    • Easy to access customer support with 24/7 assistance with support representatives via telephone
      A wide range of powerful and intuitive features are included such as: payments, launching your store, verifying payments, customizing your designs, and adding your products.
    • Easy-to-use SEO resources including page title, meta description, meta keywords, et cetera.
    • Really easy to include a variety of specialized products with seamless integration into the platform.

    What is Difficult for Users on Shopify?

    • Pricing is an issue since the basic plan starts at $29 per month and goes up from there. The cheaper your pricing plan, the more you pay on fees and commissions. 
    • The built-in blogging software is not the best – it's adequate. You may prefer to use WordPress.
    • The learning curve with Shopify jargon may take some time to understand, particularly things like ‘Collections’.
    • Migrating from Shopify to a different eCommerce builder platform is not easy. Since you will only receive a CSV export of all your product info, you also lose valuable information, and features. Be advised that you will experience the same thing with many other hosted eCommerce platforms.

    Best Shopify Stores

    Alternatives to Shopify

    Shopify is far and away one of the premier eCommerce builders out there. However, if you are looking for other reputable, interactive, and user-friendly options, you may want to try out:

    Weebly - ideal for SMEs with fully customizable templates
    Wix - optimized templates, and an easy-to-use store creator  
    Squarespace - supports plenty of templates for business and great features
    BigCommerce - great drag & drop functionality and plenty of themed templates

    Shopify FAQs 

    Am I allowed to use my own domain name with Shopify?

    Absolutely! Yes, If you already have a domain name, it can be connected to your eCommerce builder from your store's admin section.

    Does Shopify have an SSL certificate?

    Once you have added your custom domain, SSL certificate is provided to your store. Note that it can take up to 48 hours for the SSL certificate to be created.

    Does Shopify provide hosting to businesses?

    Yes. They provide hosting services for every type of payment plan that you have.  With a 99.8% uptime (reportedly), and returns on most pages within 80 ms, responsiveness is a big part of the deal with Shopify. Users enjoy unlimited email forwarding, a custom domain, CDN (content delivery network), and instant updates.

    Can I change my account at any time with Shopify?

    Changing accounts is possible in several ways. First of all, you can switch between different stores by using the drop-down menu on the left of the screen. This will list all of the stores you have with Shopify and you can highlight the store that you want to work on or review it accordingly. When it comes to upgrading or downgrading your account, you can do so from the settings page. You can choose a store status, a store type, or a Shopify plan and make the necessary edits at your leisure.

    Does Shopify Take Care of Shipping for My Business?

    You get better rates with DHL, USPS, UPS, and you can even print your own shipping labels without worrying about third-party integration getting involved. This feature can be set up easily through the settings of your account. Simply click on shipping to make the necessary changes. Be sure to list product dimensions to ensure that all shipping activity is seamlessly completed.

    What’s the Best Alternative to Shopify?

    It’s a personal preference. We think BigCommerce is a great alternative.