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Shopify review: Advantages and disadvantages of using Shopify for e-commerce

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a Canadian based cloud based e-commerce store platform that has enabled many small businesses and entrepreneurs to sell their goods and increase their business through a variety of different channels. It was founded in 2004 by Tobias Lutke, Daniel Weinland and Scott Lake after they attempted to open an online store, called Snowdevil to sell snowboarding equipment. They noticed some changes in customer needs and market demands and were dissatisfied with the existing e-commerce software and found some gaps between the software and the e-commerce products. As a result of this, Lutke built his own online store, using open source web application framework Ruby on Rails.

Shopify develops and maintains computer software , that makes it easy for online store owners to open online stores and sell their products, making use of retail point of sale systems. It offers online retainers a variety of services, ranging from payments, marketing and shipping in an attempt to simplify the process of running an online store for small business owners. With Shopify, it is very easy to build an online store from a template through a multi lingual and multi national platform enterprise e-commerce operation. You do not need to build a complicated website from scratch for your business. All you need to do is sign up with Shopify, fill a form with your basic information and then choose a unique name for your store. After signing up, you can set up your online store by customizing your store by selecting a theme, according to the need and requirement of your business. You can then upload products in categories and sub categories. The last step is to select the payment method that you will accept from your clients and the way the goods will be shipped to them.

Shopify has a market which caters to the needs and requirements of small to medium range entrepreneurs and businesses. Shopify has a versatile platform that supports more than 800,000 businesses. It makes use of a number of easy to use tools that helps a store owner set up a website easily and helps them sell their products with minimal effort. Shopify also offers a 14 day free trial. If you are looking to buy this world famous e commerce application for your business, you need to weigh both the advantages and disadvantages of Shopify.

Advantages of Using Shopify:

1. Shopify offers both built-in speed as well as security for hosting at a global platform level, so that customers can focus on selling. Shopify ensures that their sites are streaming fast so that customers don’t have to wait for their page to load.

2. Shopify offers all the necessary features like offering integrated payments, an easy way to add and remove products and to customize the look of your store. Shopify makes it easy for you to implement analytics to track anything.

3. Shopify offers great customer support resources and their expert professionals are available around the clock to assist you in every possible way. The customer support from Shopify is fast and accurate from both a developer and store owner perspective. Their huge database of frequently answered questions and e-mail and chat support makes it easy for you to build and run your online store.

4. Shopify is a great all-in one platform that does great marketing for search engine optimization, Google Ads and much more. Unlike other all in platforms and some DIY platforms, Shopify allows one to easily create landing pages.

5. Shopify is driven by templates and has a wide variety of custom built themes that you can buy and apply through their marketplace. A template can also be built by a professional designer to provide a high end store design to the store operator, ranging from a small business to a large enterprise.

6. Shopify is a cloud based e-commerce platform and can run from any web browser and can be operated from anywhere there is an internet connection.

7. Shopify allows the developers to offer hyper-specialized products that plugin to the platform in order to increase and customize the functionality of the online store.

8. Any person can set up and run a Shopify ecommerce store. It is based on the simple high development language LIQUID which can easily picked up by HTML, CSS and Javascript programmers, if you are looking to hyper customize your online store.

9. Shopify allows one to control their business and finances by offering its own payment system to store owners, called Shopify Payments. It gives you the ability to accept online payments and offers to the vendors an easy way to set up a credit card clearing system.

Disadvantages of Using Shopify:

1. Content marketing is very important in order to boost organic traffic and to grow your brand. Shopify comes with a blogging software, but the Content Marketing System of Shopify does not let the business owners to publish content rich blogs and hence it becomes difficult for them to promote their products through content.

2. Shopify is perfect for small businesses, but as soon as your customer volume and transactions start increasing, an online shop built on Shopify may witness scalability issues and you might want to switch to a better option.

3. Shopify uses its own PHP language called Liquid to customize any theme. Hence you need to hire a developer who knows how to customize the code in Liquid.

4. The basic plan of Shopify comes with just a few features. For advanced features like reports, gift analysis, you need to pay a higher price. Plugins by third party developers require subscriptions and are hardly available for a one time fee, thus resulting in rise in the operation cost of the store.

5. Shopify does not offer to you an efficient product searching and filtering mechanism. It just provides to the user, basic search functionalities that do very little to assist the user.

6. Web hosting is offered in all Shopify plans, but Shopify does not let you host a domain based e-mail address.

7. Shopify Payments only allow you to sell from a few selected countries. You require a third party payment gateway if you want to sell from another country.

8. Adding custom fields like text boxes is very complicated and might require the installation of an app.

Conclusion:

Shopify is one of the most successful cloud hosted e-commerce platforms for small or medium sized business owners who are looking to start an online store to grow and add products and whose primary focus is marketing and growth. It’s easy to use fully hosted platform enables you to focus on the design of your website instead of files and coding. You can easily start your online store and choose from an extensive range of professionally designed themes. You will be able to grow your business regardless of the number of products you offer or the volume of your sales. Shopify is the best option for people who are new to the e-commerce space and want to get the best solution for their business. If you are looking for a cheaper option, which is easy to install and set up, then Shopify is not for the right choice for you as it can work out to be expensive on the pockets of small businessmen.

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