This month, the WakeupData blog series has focused on Shopify, the all-in-one eCommerce solution that can be used to run several online stores. We have outlined what it is, how you can get setup, start selling your products via Shopify and how to export across your chosen channels with WakeupData.
However, we want to give all our clients the full story when considering prospective selling methods, allowing them to weigh up all angles before they reach a decision.
As with any e-commerce solution there are positives and negatives to using Shopify, so in this blog we will look at its strengths and weaknesses, letting you reach you own conclusions on whether it may be a worthwhile venture for you.
What are the negatives?
1. (Some of the) Pricing
This is both a positive and negative - let me explain why. The built-in credit cards & no transaction fees on Shopify are a definite positive, but monthly price & add-on fees add up. If you come to Shopify with a smaller product catalogue and some pre-existing technical knowledge, Shopify can be expensive.
On the other hand, if you want to focus on running your shop, the pricing is great value - with no need to hire developers or tech-savvy consultants.
Required action - Compare the prices of your business's preferences between Shopify, Volusion, Bigcommerce and Paperform (or similar platforms) to see what works best for you. Different pricing structures, features, service and add-ons can mean the total costs can vary greatly between different businesses.
2. Rigidity of Shopify's customization
Again, this is both a plus and a minus for Shopify. They offer a unique setup to customize their themes versus using something like PHP for their templates. It’s a definite strength of the platform in some ways, but if you want to just 'tweak' a few things without doing a full-on customization, it can be annoying.
The Shopify Liquid setup can be hard to pick up for first time users if they just want to alter one or two things in their store's theme - luckily Shopify forums and customer support offers help to anyone struggling.
3. Shopify Jargon
Every eCommerce platform has a learning curve for people who are first getting started. Shopify's Liquid theme setup and different categories may seem steep to clients who are used to other platforms to understand.
This is not a huge minus point – but some other ecommerce solutions like BigCommerce could be seen to offer a more straightforward process for newcomers.
What are the positives?
Enough of the negatives, what is good about Shopify and makes it an attractive prospect to business owners who want to set up and start selling?
1. Offers users both speed & security
A challenge facing any user of webstore-hosting platforms like Shopify is that you want your service to be fast, whilst still giving a secure and safe service to all your users for processing payment information.
Shopify offer an all-in-one solution which really means that they take responsibility for the security side of things - letting them worry about hackers, caching, compliance and the associated issues of with hosting an online store.
In terms of speed, Shopify also handle this issue well. They give 100% SSL and integrate with payment providers well, meaning that you can always get paid and your customers don't have to wait for their page to load.
2. All the required features
If you are running your ecommerce store there should be a checklist of things you are going to want to have from your provider. This will include integrated payments, an easy product editor to add and remove items from your feed, simple templates and analytics to track your performance.
Shopify offer all these as standard without extra add-on costs.
3. Great Customer Support
Maybe you would have been expecting this from a large, successful and well-established company like Shopify - but they offer a huge database of FAQs, email and chat support and help videos to all their users.
If you are a first-time user who is focused on running their online store, it is great to have the safety net of continual support from Shopify whenever they run into issues.
4. Design and layout
Shopify runs off a theme system. It has free themes out of the box to choose from, and a wide variety of custom-built themes to purchase through their marketplace.
Allbirds.com use Shopify's designs and layout to create a stylish and attractive storefront. If you are just starting, you can make do with a free theme and upgrade as you can justify/need it.
Shopify Review Conclusion
If you are looking for an all-in-one eCommerce solution for your online store, and want to grow and add products – and you have a little bit of technical know-how, then
Selling on Shopify will be a great fit for you.
Click the link below to find out how WakeupData's solutions let you connect your Shopify account to the platform with ease, and start selling your optimized product data feeds across any desired channels.