There are a number of best online store website builders in Australia and the best website builders in Canada out there, and picking the best for your business can be a daunting task. Among those website builders is Shopify.
Shopify is perhaps the most well-known online store solution available in the market. However, is it really the right choice for your business? You will learn that as I will be discussing Shopify’s pricing, templates, features, and more in this article.
Let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
Pros of Shopify
- Continuous, 24/7 customer service
- Numerous payment options
- Over 3,000 apps are available
- Stand-out design capabilities and the ability to be flexible
- Multi-platform selling
- Ideal for larger stores
Cons of Shopify
- More expensive than what it appears
- Not as user-friendly to use as other platforms
Shopify At A Glance
Shopify is a web-based software that allows you to set up an online shop of your very own. It offers you an array of themes that are customizable to suit your specific brand requirements. It also lets you sell digital or physical items.
The platform is designed to let novices create an online store by themselves. You don’t have to be an expert in programming to make use of Shopify.
But, the platform also accommodates developers since it gives all accessibility to CSS, HTML, and Liquid (Shopify’s templating language).
Shopify was first introduced in 2004 as the software engineer, Tobias Lutke wanted to open an online store to sell snowboards from third-party vendors. Although he didn’t wish to work as an engineer anymore, he was unhappy with what he saw available and partnered with other software companies and opened Shopify for the general public in the year 2006.
In the beginning, the platform assisted businesses with custom templates by uploading images as well as tracking orders, organizing products into categories, and accepting payments through PayPal or an integration with a payment processor.
In 2013, they also added the point of sale (POS) system that you could use in your brick-and-mortar store in the event that you have one. The Shopify Retail package can be purchased at an additional cost. It includes all the hardware needed and staff management features.
It’s now possible to incorporate the Buy button to sell items on any website, not just on their eCommerce platform. With this, and Shopify QR codes, there’s no gap between offline and online sales, and businesses can now have one central place to control everything.
How Easy Is Shopify to Use?
The first thing to take note of when evaluating an online builder is how simple the interface is, particularly when you are building your online shop. It is often difficult for eCommerce builders to blend power and user-friendliness, but Shopify has mastered this vital aspect.
Shopify is a simple easy, simple, and clear interface that allows you to set your store up easily even for complete novices.
It’s true that you’ll not have your website up and running in just five minutes because Shopify still packs a substantial amount of power in its backend. However, it is able the editor to be fluid and user-friendly We’re very happy with it.
It’s not just us who were impressed by Shopify’s user interface. After a few tests, we asked ordinary people to set up their own stores with Shopify and then evaluate how simple (or challenging) they encountered certain tasks. Overall, the results are good.
The majority of users were able to see that Shopify was simple to use after having been able to get involved. Though initially they were intimidated by the process, they didn’t need long to get into an ebb and flow and to design an online store that they love.
Shopify Pricing and Options
If you are selling online or are looking to start, Shopify has a plan that can meet your needs:
Shopify Pricing Summary
- Shopify Lite is $9 per month and allows you to integrate eCommerce into an existing Facebook page or website. 2.2% transaction cost is charged unless you are using Shopify Payments.
- Basic Shopify: $29/month is the cheapest plan for building your own store. It includes everything needed to create an online store that is brand new. 2.2% transaction fee not applicable unless you utilize Shopify Payments.
- Shopify Monthly cost: $79 – for companies that are growing; it includes features like creating gift cards. 1cent transaction fee is not applicable if you are using Shopify Payments.
- Advanced Shopify Monthly: $299 – for businesses with a large budget who want to grow; includes advanced reports, as well as calculated by third parties shipping costs. 0.5 percent transaction fee in the event that you do not use Shopify Payments.
- Shopify Plus: Custom pricing for large-scale enterprise-level businesses that have huge budgets. No set pricing – instead, you request a custom quote.
Shopify’s three major plans comprise Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify. They are the foundation of the services Shopify provides and come with unlimited items and services, including the ability to recover abandoned carts, discount code creation along with multichannel integration.
Additionally plans, there are two more plans available: Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus.
Shopify Lite allows you to sell on an existing site by purchasing “Buy” buttons, instead of having to create an online store from scratch.
Shopify Plus offers the extreme opposite of the other, providing a customized package designed for businesses that are raking in big bucks and require the best quality of support from a professional.
Themes from Shopify
Shopify provides free eCommerce templates (or themes) which you can use as a starting point for the design of your store.
This number of templates that are included is not as extensive as the variety offered by major competitors such as Wix as well as Squarespace (these two sites have hundreds of and 140+ themes, respectively).
Free Shopify themes are beautiful but they’re fully responsive, meaning that they automatically alter their layouts to fit the size of the screen device that they’re displayed on (smartphone tablets, laptop computers,, etc. ).
If the templates that are free don’t suit your needs to you, you can choose an expensive or paid-for theme, with 82. A majority of the premium themes are available with a variety of variations and further broaden the options of templates that you have.
The premium themes are priced between $180 and $350 similar to the free themes they’re all responsive.
User Interface and User-Friendliness
Shopify is fairly simple to use. It has an easy-to-use user interface and delivers an excellent user experience.
Similar to many other contemporary systems for managing content, the navigation menu to the left lets users access features and content that you can then modify or modify on the right. The interface allows you to create and manage several sales channels.
Shopify Point of Sale (POS)
One particular feature that is a standout by Shopify that merits a special review, and that helps it stand out from competitors is its complete Point of Sale (POS) capabilities and hardware.
Shopify’s POS hardware allows you to utilize Shopify to market your products not only online, but in physical stores as well, with either your iOS as well as Android device. A variety of equipment is available to purchase, including barcode readers, tills receipt printers, etc. — to assist you in accomplishing this.
If you are within Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, the UK, or the US You can purchase these products online through Shopify’s hardware store. If not, you’ll have to locate the authorized retailer.
It is important to remember that POS isn’t available in the ‘Starter’ plan. You must purchase a Shopify POS Pro add-on to get the maximum benefit from the point-of-sale capabilities.
The price for the add-on ‘POS Pro’ is quite costly at $89 per month per store. Therefore, if you operate one or two physical stores your monthly POS expenditures will be significantly higher.
Shopify offers more than 100 different payment methods. These include well-known ones such as PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay along with Apple Pay. Additionally, it has its own internal payment gateway known as Shopify Payments.
Each payment gateway has the transaction cost unless you select Shopify Payments for example, in which Shopify does not charge this fee. Consider a transaction fee like the cost of entry into an establishment – you have to pay to enter the bar and purchase drinks (or in this instance, you need to process an order for payment!)
For selling in multiple currencies, it is necessary to use Shopify Payments. Customers can pay for their purchases in their currency of choice and then automatically adjusts the cost of your products based on the exchange rate at present. This lets you sell in different currencies as simple as it is.
The currencies that Shopify Payments currently supports are:
- United States dollar
- Singapore dollar
- Sterling pounds
- New Zealand dollar
- Japanese yen
- Hong Kong dollar
- Danish Krone
- Canadian dollar
- Australian dollar
Every one of the Shopify stores is PCI (Payment Card Industry) conforming, meaning that your store is safe without having to even lift one finger.
Creation of a Multilingual Site Using Shopify
In addition to making transactions across various currencies, Shopify lets you sell in several languages.
Except for the ‘Starter’ plan all Shopify plans allow you to create up to 20 different versions for your shop.
If you allow multilingual selling when you enable multilingual selling, a language “folder” will be added to the domain. This means you’ll get myshop.com/fr, myshop.com/de, etc.
Alternatively, you can use ‘international domains’ — myshop.fr, myshop.de, etc. in order to run foreign language versions of your online store.
Abandoned Cart Recovery
Shopify’s plans for core customers come with the ability to recover abandoned carts This is a great feature for your online store. There is no need to install anything or look for it on the app market. It is included in your plan.
You can manage abandoned cart recovery so that you make the most of this beneficial feature. For instance, you could use discount codes to entice customers to come back to your shop and select whether to create the emails manually or have them be sent automatically.
The ability to recover abandoned carts is a must-have feature of any online store with a serious reputation however, some online store builders like Big Cartel – don’t offer it as a standard feature. This is a shame because the reality that Shopify has it does provides it with an advantage, particularly because on average, this feature could win back between 12 and 15% of customers who had lapsed. This is a lot of revenue that could be gone without the feature and it’s something worth taking advantage of!
Shopify provides a variety of tools for managing your products. One of its most effective tools is its complete inventory management. This allows you to easily track the status of your inventory, track the status of orders, and update your listing of products.
You could even configure Shopify to monitor your stock amounts for you. It will also then automatically mark items as sold out after you’ve sold out!
It’s easy to offer a range of product variants that include size or color, material, and much more. It is also possible to set different weights and prices to differentiate the different versions such as making an embroidered jumper more expensive than a plain one.
When you’re selling an extensive quantity of goods it’s crucial for you to ensure that it’s as effortless for your customers to browse through your online store and find what they’re looking for. Shopify makes it easy by allowing you to organize your products according to categories, types of items, sale items, price, and much more.
Overall, Shopify’s Product Management tools go over to make it easier to create your store the way you want and make it as simple for you to monitor your inventory.
Custom Fields and Uploads of Files
Certain store owners may require their customers to sign information at the time of purchase (for example, jewelers might need a copy of the inscription; certain retailers might want to offer customers the choice of adding the words “Dedication” to the product or product, etc. ).
Shopify allows the capture of this data however it’s a complicated process. You’ll need to create a line property of the item by adding HTML code to the template.
Another option is to purchase an application to perform this work, but this isn’t the best option.
The same applies to uploads of files: if you’re required to provide your customers the option of uploading an image (for instance or an image that can be put on a T-shirt or cup) You’ll need to code or in the case of it, purchase an app that is relevant!
I would like the same thing, which is the situation with BigCommerce. The text fields and upload buttons were just options that could be chosen and activated when designing products.
SEO in Shopify
Is Shopify great for SEO?
The quick answer is yes, the SEO features are extremely effective and stand out in comparison to other platforms for building websites hosted on the internet.
The elements of on-page SEO are simple to handle changing the page’s title as well as meta description is easy, and so is the addition of headings and alt text.
You can also modify your robots.txt file using Shopify The platform allows you to have complete control over which URLs are allowed to be crawled. You can include crawl delay rules for certain search engines; disable crawlers, and also add additional URLs for sitemaps.
The addition of the 301 redirects informs search engines that the location of a webpage has changed very simply in Shopify. Actually, the platform asks you to do this and will create the redirect automatically for you in the event that you change the URL of a page.
In the event that you forget to create redirects of 301 characters is a typical cause of rankings being lost This automated reminder feature is an extremely beneficial feature.
Shopify’s themes are responsive, which means they appear well on all device kinds, and a CDN (content delivery network) is utilized to speed up the time it takes to load your pages. These two strategies for web design could be used to gain a higher ranking in results for searches.
Regarding the latter site speed, a new report will allow you to compare the speed of your Shopify store when compared with similar ones. You could use this information to see if you can improve speed (usually by reducing the size of images or eliminating unnecessary scripts or applications).
You could also make use of an app to show all your products or pages using AMP format (a speedier, less reduced version of the content) which could bring advantages to results from mobile searches.
A Free SSL certificate is included to allow you to operate your shop on a secured, HTTPS, HTTP internet connection (something Google approves of).
Additionally, in contrast to other eCommerce platforms, it is possible to set up a Shopify store that meets Google’s’Core Web Vitals requirements.
The Core Web Vitals are an array of goals related to speed, responsiveness, and the visual stability of websites Websites that achieve them will be given priority when it comes to Google Search results. There are numerous apps for Shopify that will help you reach these standards. Alternately you can engage the help of a Shopify developer to meet these goals.
The only place where I think Shopify could enhance its SEO configuration is the name of the image file If you wish to alter the name of your file to be SEO-friendly it will be necessary to change the name of the file locally before re-uploading it.
The current configuration could be a problem for those who have many images on their website that require optimization this will require many manual tasks (or purchasing an application).
Apart from that, the SEO functions of Shopify are effective.
Storeify is the Shopify App Store
In addition to Shopify’s main capabilities, there’s an app store that store owners can use to get applications, either paid or free with new features.
It’s a massive collection of applications (around 8000) that makes the app store of Shopify more extensive than any of the other platforms for e-commerce we’ve examined. The apps may offer specific features to your store or make it connect with other essential apps for business.
The variety of apps available is among the best arguments in favor of using Shopify over its competitors. However, it’s also an argument in favor of.
The good thing is that it also means that you can have an abundance of possibilities not just in terms of the functionality of your store but also in linking it to other platforms and tools as well.
On the flip side, it can lead to many situations in which getting the functionality you require such as product reviews, AMPs, extra products, and field customization — requires the installation of a paid-for application.
The more apps you include the more slowly your store will be.
Similar platforms, like Wix and BigCommerce Contrarily, BigCommerce and Wix tend to offer more features similar to this right out of the box, which means that you won’t have to spend not as much for applications.
Blogging in Shopify
Blogging is among the best ways to boost the amount of organic traffic that your website receives and is essential for online retailers.
It’s a good thing that Shopify offers an inbuilt blogging software that lets users produce the type of content that you’ll require to make sure that your website appears in Google results.
But, this functionality for blogging isn’t as advanced and robust as the one you’ll find on other platforms, particularly WordPress.
It’s not possible to use tools for version history and Yoast-style SEO plug-ins as well as for the categorization of blog entries. Shopify only allows you to make use of tags (i.e. you aren’t able to use categories).
The blog functionality built into Shopify is generally satisfactory and will satisfy the needs of most merchants well. It is also possible to with just a modification connect the Shopify blog with the tool for commenting on Disqus which is beneficial.
Like a lot of Shopify features in the event that you’re unhappy with your blog’s setup, you’re able to always contact an app representative to get help.
One option worth looking into in this regard is DropInBlog which lets you make use of additional WordPress-style features (for example, SEO analysis of your posts and embeds of product categories, multiple contributors, and categories).
Dropshipping via Shopify
Dropshipping is a very popular method to sell products online since it comes with a minimal initial cost and is simpler to manage, particularly for small businesses that have smaller space, time, and budget. This frees you up to work on improving your online store and marketing your business and interacting with your customers.
Shopify offers dropshipping but it’s not an integrated feature. Instead, you must install dropshipping software to dropship your products. Shopify suggests Oberlo the most as it allows you to find products that you can offer on Shopify. Other options are AliExpress, Spocket, and Printful.
Email Marketing in Shopify: ‘Shopify Email’
A vital aspect of managing the online shop is the use of email marketing sending out e-newsletters to your email list is essential to increasing sales.
Conscient of the importance of this — as well possibly the fact that other top platforms such as Squarespace and Wix each have built-in email marketing capabilities — Shopify recently announced a brand-new tool called Shopify Email which lets you make email newsletters out from out of the bag’.
It started as an email marketing tool that was a simple way to mail branded electronic newsletters. However, in the last few months, it has evolved quite a bit and now provides the option of segmenting your mailing list in a more comprehensive way and automating the mailing process with conditional logic (for instance, you can modify Shopify Email so that it sends welcome messages or upsell emails. depending on certain subscriber behavior).
Backup and Security of Data
One of the biggest advantages of an online solution such as Shopify instead of a self-hosted solution (like WordPress or Drupal) is that — with password management aside, you’re not accountable in the protection of the website or the hosting.
With the Shopify store, there’s no need to worry about your Shopify store. There are no essential software or plugin updates to worry about. Keeping software secure and current is Shopify’s responsibility.
Ensuring that transactions made with credit cards are secure to your clients is a matter that Shopify assumes responsibility for (via PCI compliance).
You’ll need to think more carefully about backups for your data but, while in the event of an emergency, you could be able to retrieve information through the Shopify assistance desk inquiry however, it is safer to export your data from your products regularly to the CSV file, or purchase an appropriate software for backing up your content that you can purchase from Shopify’s app store. Shopify application store.
Because the second option is likely to make monthly expenditures more expensive, however, this isn’t ideal.
Shopify Customer Support
The Shopify customer support is extensive The help material is available in 21 languages and you can reach Shopify 24/7 via live chat, email, or telephone (the 24/7 customer service is available in English Support is available in other languages and varies based on the location you reside in).
The materials for support are generally simple. The only thing I find lacking is images. The reason is that all of the information is written in text.
To get access to phone support, you’ll need to make a callback.
Shopify’s support is far superior to those provided by competitors such as for instance Squarespace, a major competitor. Squarespace doesn’t offer support via phone in any way.
There are a few points worth mentioning but.
In the beginning, having utilized Shopify support before I’ve observed that if the question you’re asking is of a technical nature (e.g. if you’re looking for help with coding i.e. when you’re looking to code something and require assistance — it’s possible that you won’t receive the help you’re looking for from the typical support services.
It’s sometimes best to post an inquiry in a Shopify community forum, and hope that a developer responds to you regarding it.
The system could be improved a small amount, but I believe that it is better when Shopify provided a simpler means for sellers to communicate with their developers directly to get technical assistance.
Finally, to get in touch with the contact information for Shopify’s support staff You’ll need to look through the Help pages for solutions to your issue first.
It may be a source of irritation for some users, but it’s becoming a common procedure for support desks of web applications. And it’s not as poorly implemented as other eCommerce platforms.
Top Shopify Alternatives
We understand that every business is different, therefore when Shopify doesn’t meet your needs We’ve put together an overview of the top Shopify alternatives that you can look into. Check out the list below for an overview of the top Shopify alternatives.
Volusion didn’t do as well in our tests, however Volusion is a great choice with excellent analytical tools and payment gateways and also with a pricing structure that is similar to Shopify. There aren’t the tools for blogging, but be aware of this when deciding.
BigCommerce is among Shopify’s biggest competitors because it was developed to assist large and rapidly growing stores in realizing their potential. BigCommerce is the one with the most built-in features of any eCommerce builder. BigCommerce offers excellent SEO and amazing multi-channel sales However, it’s not as simple to utilize as Shopify.
Square Online is best suited for sellers who sell at a lower level or have a brick-and-mortar shop. It was awarded the top spot in terms of value-for-money because of its no-cost plan, amazing features, and the opportunity to start selling without the need to spend your savings!. Square Online’s staff also offers the best assistance and supports the event you’re stuck!
Sign Up with Squarespace eCommerce
A web-based website builder, first and first, Wix has eCommerce plans that start at just $27 monthly (paid annually) which makes it an affordable option. However, that’s not the only factor that makes it stand out as a formidable competitor to Shopify. It also has some excellent sales tools, placed second in our tests of ease-of-use, and has the top spot in terms of features that are designed to work in comparison to Squarespace as well as BigCommerce. It’s not quite as well-equipped with the capability to handle bigger stores as Shopify does however it’s still a great choice for smaller businesses that put the brand first.
All in all, Shopify is one of the most reliable hosted solutions for those who want to set up an online store. It’s it is certainly the best option for those who want to utilize one software to sell both online and at physically located locations. It’s especially beneficial for people who want to dropship or want to offer their products in several languages.
The price is competitive especially when you take into account the abandoned cart saver feature that many others charge a charge for, is offered in every plan. For only $5 per month, the ‘Starter’ package is an excellent value for those looking to sell items on their existing site.
It’s also user-friendly It is well-integrated with a wide range of other applications and its templates are beautiful.
It has a large customer base that creates confidence.
Overall, Shopify is a very ideal choice for anyone looking to begin a new business or for small-sized businesses looking to expand their products online
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do I Lose the Work I’ve Accomplished if I Decide to Upgrade Following a Trial Period?
You don’t have to worry about it – when you sign up for one of the Shopify premium plans during the 14-day trial period, everything you have created will be migrated. Two weeks should allow you ample time to consider whether Shopify is the best choice for your needs prior to committing to invest in it!
Why Should I Go With Shopify Instead of Employing a Web Developer?
Trends in web design are constantly evolving and what’s popular today could be obsolete in the next. Shopify makes sure it stays up-to-date with any changes, while also making updates to features and releasing new applications on a regular basis, so you can be sure that your site is at the forefront of technology.
You do not want to shell off hundreds (maybe perhaps even thousands) to a web developer to make updates every two years. With Shopify, you’re in complete control.
What’s the Most Effective Option to Shopify?
There are many alternatives to Shopify — we’ve discussed some of them in greater detail earlier. But, for us, the most comparable “hosted” product with respect to billing and capabilities is BigCommerce.
Should I Choose to Use a Free Instead of a Purchased Shopify Template?
For most merchants who are newly using a no-cost Shopify template should work just well. The bundled templates look attractive and the design are easily modified to ensure that your storefront is in line with your branding.
It’s important to keep in that free themes are supported by Shopify If you choose to use the paid-for themes then you might need to seek assistance from a third-party developer. But that, some paid-for templates can give you the appearance of a custom-made design for your store online.
Is It Simple to Upgrade or Lower Your Shopify Plan?
Yes, you are able to make this change anytime. The price of your old plan is prorated and then applied against the price of the new plan.
Do I Have the Ability to Sell in Multiple Currencies Using Shopify?
Shopify’s multi-currency features built into the platform let you sell up to 133 different currencies however, it’s only available for customers making use of Shopify Payments as your payment gateway. If you reside in a nation that doesn’t yet accept Shopify Payments, you can nevertheless sell in several currencies, but you’ll require an application from a third-party such as Bold Multi-Currency this.
Do I Have the Ability to Create Multiple Languages for My Shopify Store?
Yes. In the ‘Basic Shopify and Advanced Shopify plans, you can create up to 5 different versions of your websites in various languages. Shopify Plus lets you create up to 20 different versions.
Can I Sell Video Content Through Shopify?
Yes, Shopify’s no-cost Digital Downloads application accomplishes this, but you could prefer a third-party app such as Sky Pilot works better (particularly when your customers require to play your videos on the internet).
Do I Require Any Specific Equipment or Software to Run Shopify?
A basic Shopify store can be built using any type of desktop computer. It doesn’t require installation of the software on your local. It doesn’t matter if you are using the Mac, PC, or Chromebook all you need is a browser that can be used on the web and internet access to set up your store. If you’re selling your products at the point of sale it is typical to buy some equipment such as a card reader or receipt printer. You may also need a till.
Is It True That Shopify Charge Transaction Costs?
It is possible to avoid transaction costs through Shopify’s built-in Payment gateway Shopify Payments. However, if you are using an external payment gateway, Shopify charges you a transaction fee of 0.5 0.5% or 2.0 percent, based on the plan you choose.
What’s the Most Affordable Shopify Plan?
It’s all about your needs for selling For me, the sweetest spot’ plan is likely to be the middle-end ‘Shopify’ plan since it offers the most functionality you need to run an online store, such as professional reports, complete control of multi-currency payment and store translation capabilities.