Shopify was released in 2006 and has seen rapid growth in recent years thanks to a huge amount of investment in the platform. Based on a software as a service model, it is a pay-monthly service designed for small businesses.
Ease of Setup and Use
The biggest asset that Shopify has is a very well-designed back-end system, making order management, adding products, and updating information/pages very easy. Support is on-hand if you get stuck, but a wide knowledge base is available too.
A core benefit over a platform such as WooCommerce is stability. All the servers, hosting, and security is handled by Shopify, leaving you to focus on the selling.
Due to the investment in the platform and it all being hosted on powerful servers, the SEO benefits of Shopify are as you would expect. They’ve made it straightforward to update page and image tags, with easy integration to all the major platforms, like Google Analytics.
The biggest downside is the cost. An unlimited subscription is $299 a month, with transaction fees on top. However, for this, you do receive direct support, hosting, and the ability to add on a retail point of sale system for $40 a month.
Due to the fact that everything is included, it does save a lot of time and reduces headaches, with a free 30-day trial to test everything out.
They also offer a bare-bones package for $29 ideal for starting out and testing the waters. If you only sell via social media, a $9 “Lite” package is also available.
One of the key strengths of Shopify is a rich ecosystem of “apps.” These are the equivalent of WordPress “plugins” and add functionality to your store. From free to paid, simple to advanced, there is a huge variety.
If there are features that Shopify doesn’t have out-of-the-box, it is certainly worth weighing whether this functionality is available third-party—and at what cost.
Shopify is perfect for high-volume orders due to the ease of customer and order management. You can easily manage large order quantities with only a few staff needed, and the UI is so simple to use.
If you already run a retail store, then the time saved from using their PoS system makes absolute sense, tying together stock for both online and offline sales.
Shopify is ideal for stores with a few staff who don’t want to dedicate a large portion of time to technically managing their store. While it certainly can be costly per month, the fact that it provides so much functionality that will save shop managers time makes this a relatively easy cost to bear.
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