A full and scalable ecommerce solution for businesses.
Marketing, order management and Ebay/Amazon integrations top a broad set of e-commerce features.
Themes are well built and designed to maximise web sales.
Website designing functionality is limited.
If you are looking to build a website to sell a large number of products then Shopify is a tried and tested solution with features built to make your life easier.
Shopify is built to sell products.
These can be digital but where Shopify really shines is selling a high volume of physical products online with the tools to maintain inventory, build an efficient shipping process and integrate with further selling channels such as Amazon and Ebay.
The initial journey with Shopify plays to the strengths of the platform with a focus on the products you will be selling. From the outset, you will be prompted to add products to the back end of youir website. For each product you can add images, text, edit google product search results, add stock, add variants (e.g. Small, Medium, Large), barcodes, SKU references, shipping weight, pricing, tax and more.
This information is used to make the customer journey to purchasing as easy as possible with a selection of clean and well designed templates utilising this data to build pages that really show off your products.
There are free themes to get you started which will suit most small and medium businesses initially as well as a theme store to support larger inventories and which cover a wealth of industries.
Once you have picked your theme you can start editing your website to suit your business.
You will not find the same drag and drop building flexibility as Wix or Squarespace, but you will find sections that are easy to add into your chosen themes as well as e-commerce based pages that need very little changes to them such as product pages, carts and checkout.
If you have experience with other website building sites the options may seem limited, but keep in mind Shopify is built to be able to handle hundreds or event thousands of products on the site. Design simplicity and consistency is key to managing this day to day.
It won’t take you long to have a great looking e-commerce site up and running, but changes away from pre-defined templates will take some trial and error until you are used to Shopify.
Where Shopify does shine ahead of its competition, is in its back end systems built for stock control & shipping, marketing & promotions and integrations to ebay and amazon.
The stock control & shipping suite offer order management, label printing and multi site stock holdings. The marketing suite has integrations with Facebook, Google Ads and shopping, Snapchat and more allowing you to target new customers and when you win them, you can keep them coming back with a customer database which can be targeted by email and SMS messages.
The integrations also include opening up additional sales channels with direct links to both Amazon & Ebay and increasing your saleable product catalogue with access to Oberlo the dropshipping app.
Combined these features and an additional app store combine to make Shopify so much more than a site builder, more a full e-commerce business system solution.
This is enhanced by the functionality to use Shopify as a point of sale system in physical store locations bringing offline and online customers together all in Shopify. Hardware available includes card readers, receipt printers and tills to work in tandem with the Shopify POS apps.
Shopify has 3 pricing plans, Basic, Shopify and Advanced. These are structured in a different way to most website builder pricing plans with the focus being on features linked to physical locations.
Basic Shopify includes everything you would usually find in tiers across other site builders; e-commerce, unlimited products, unlimited orders plus the ability to sell through marketplaces and take offline payments is a store location through Shopify. The plan costs $29 a month (around £22 in Feb 2021) in addition there are credit card costs of 2.2% + 20p online and 1.7% offline. If you are just getting started selling products, Basic has a lot of functionality for £22 a month.
The “Shopify” plan adds gift cards, retail hardware support and reporting. For $79 a month (around £60 in Feb 2021) you can also use Shopify in 5 physical locations and the credit card costs decrease to 1.9% + 20p online and 1.6% in person.
Finally, the Advanced plan adds the number of physical locations to 8 and 3rd party live shipping rates. Credit card costs reduce once more to 1.6%+20p online and 1.5% in person all for $299 a month (around £230 in Feb 2021).