Shopify Reviews: Is Shopify the Best Ecommerce Platform? (August 2017)

Lots of people ask us which ecommerce platform is the best suited for a company just getting started with an online store. If we gave you the long answer it would be a little more complicated. However, a short answer to that question is that Shopify should be able to offer all the functionality you need. It's filled with tools for launching a site within minutes, and you don't have to worry about self-hosting or buying a domain name from a third party. You'll find my full review below. For more Shopify reviews from our readers check out the comments area.

It's filled with tools for launching a site within minutes, and you don't have to worry about self-hosting or buying a domain name from a third party. You'll find my full review below. For more Shopify reviews from our readers check out the comments area.

In that respect, one could call it the perfect out of the box solution, built with pricing plans that cater to small starter stores as well as shops that are bringing in millions of dollars in sales.

The reason we like Shopify so much is that it's not like WordPress or Magento, (which are great as well,) but you need some sort of development knowledge to keep your site running smoothly. On the other hand, it's not like some of the more simplified solutions like WIX and Weebly, where you're going to have a tough time scaling up.

 Shopify Reviews - the dashboard

Shopify is right in the middle, where complete beginners can create products, manage inventory and share promotions, all without having to take a development class. In addition, more advanced designers gain access to CSS and HTML files, and you can upgrade to gain more advanced features as your store grows. Overall, it's a beautifully constructed ecommerce platform with plenty of themes that look modern and stylish but also simple and minimal if that's what you're looking for.

Overall, it's a beautifully constructed ecommerce platform with plenty of themes that look modern and stylish but also simple and minimal if that's what you're looking for.

Shopify was founded in 2006 by Tobias Lütke (CEO of the Year in Canada), Scott Lake and Daniel Weinand. Since the launch, the platform has quickly grown from a small player to one of (if not the) leading ecommerce solutions. The company is currently powering more than 220,000 online retailers.

Some of their most notable customers include General Electric, Amnesty International, Tesla Motors, Encyclopedia Britannica, Foo Fighters, GitHub, and many more. If you are looking for an ecommerce solution with a lot of great features that still remains easy to use for the novice users, then you should definitely give them a try.

The Platform's Top Features: Shopify Reviews

I have tested quite a few ecommerce platforms in the past, and I must admit, Shopify has the most thought-out feature set I have ever encountered. Almost everything you need to run your own online store is taken care of by a distinct feature. It doesn’t matter if you are planning to run your store fully online or from a brick and mortar setting, there is something for everyone. The reason Shopify manages to achieve such a strong feature-set is that they either have a tool built-in, or they let you install it with an app.

The reason Shopify manages to achieve such a strong feature-set is that they either have a tool built-in, or they let you install it with an app.

For example, taxes and shipping are included in the Shopify interface, yet for most of the themes, you're going to have to find a free app for social media buttons. Both options work, and you often don't have to pay any extra money when opting for an app.

Shopify reviews - shipping

The company has one of the most complete dashboards or control panels I have ever seen. All tasks, from processing orders to managing inventory, are given to you on the backend.

The platform also provides an interface called Shopify Partners, where developers can play around with new websites without having to open up free trials every time. It's like a sandbox interface for those who have several clients and need to present website builds before landing jobs. You can install new themes, customize full websites and seamlessly transition from a Shopify Partners website to a launched site. Not only that, but you gain a commission for every client you bring on board with Shopify.

shopify partners 2

If you have any familiarity with WordPress, the dashboard actually looks pretty similar to that interface, with the tabs on the left side for you to access quickly. You can also use the dashboard for generating discount codes, or for examining the latest reports. (In fact, the reports on Shopify are my favorite out of all the ecommerce platforms. They're organized, clean and simple, with options like sales by billing address, sales by traffic referrer and gross sales by product title).

(In fact, the reports on Shopify are my favorite out of all the ecommerce platforms. They're organized, clean and simple, with options like sales by billing address, sales by traffic referrer and gross sales by product title).

Shopify reviews - reports

If you are looking to sell your products in an actual retail setting, then you can opt for the Shopify POS. This includes everything you need to sell your products offline, both on the software and hardware side. The software includes an iPad app, which makes selling your products in a retail setting much easier. With the app, you can use the credit card reader to swipe the customer's credit card right there. You can even purchase additional hardware from the company such as a cash register, a receipt printer and even a barcode scanner.

With the app, you can use the credit card reader to swipe the customer's credit card right there. You can even purchase additional hardware from the company such as a cash register, a receipt printer and even a barcode scanner.

Also, they offer a mobile app with which users can:

  • Respond to chargeback disputes directly in-app
  • Review all inventory changes made to their products in the last 30 days
  • Fulfil items by fulfillment service

Shopify also offers one of the biggest App Stores out of all the ecommerce solutions; they provide hundreds of free and paid apps that will enhance your store. These have been divided into different categories such as Marketing, Sales, Social Media, Shipping and Customer Service. Thanks to their formidable content management system (CMS) you can easily create additional pages, as well as pages through which your clients can easily contact you. Furthermore, Shopify makes running your own blog super easy, since everything is handled from a single dashboard.

Thanks to their formidable content management system (CMS) you can easily create additional pages, as well as pages through which your clients can easily contact you. Furthermore, Shopify makes running your own blog super easy, since everything is handled from a single dashboard.

Keep in mind that the entire Shopify feature-set is hard to walk through in a single section, but it's worth mentioning that each of the Shopify themes are responsive with mobile-ready checkouts. The responsive checkout means that your site automatically adapts to the size of your screen, whether it be through a tablet or smartphone. Along with direct Facebook and Pinterest integration, gift cards, discount codes and a decent custom profile, the company has pretty much perfected the built-in features.

Along with direct Facebook and Pinterest integration, gift cards, discount codes and a decent custom profile, the company has pretty much perfected the built-in features.

In general, if you need a feature that's only in the app store, you can test it out, and move onto another option if it's not working out on your website.  

A Whole New User Interface and Design

If you've seen Shopify in the past, you may have noticed that the screenshots in this review look a little strange. As of June 2017, Shopify gave its backend a complete makeover, with purple colors on top of white font and various other modifications. This was done to create more contrast for those merchants in low and high light environments.

All of the screenshots in this Shopify review come from the most recent user interface.

Besides the colors and fonts, Shopify added a prominent new search bar in the dashboard, helping you quickly type in keywords and find what you're looking for without much thought. For example, you might want to find a certain product or customer. In that case, all you have to do is punch in the right words to locate something in a large collection or customer-base.

Shopify reviews - search bar

You'll also find updates to the user profile. This involves more details in the user profile for transparency in your organization. We like it for all companies that want to keep tabs on those logging into the store.

The last main update ties into the third-party apps we love from Shopify. Since Shopify doesn't create all of these apps, they don't blend all that well with the Shopify interface. Therefore, Shopify has created a more standardized programming system, while also releasing development guidelines to fix this problem. It's unclear how long it will take for app developers to adopt these rules, but it's something to keep an eye on.

Therefore, Shopify has created a more standardized programming system, while also releasing development guidelines to fix this problem. It's unclear how long it will take for app developers to adopt these rules, but it's something to keep an eye on.

Something Relatively New: Shopify Sections

Shopify Sections is an exciting new feature that doesn't exactly give your a drag and drop builder, but it comes close. The visual editor offers a wide variety of content sections that you can insert onto your homepage. For example, you might want to place a slideshow, button and product carousel towards the top of that homepage.

It's done with the click of a button. After that, you can adjust the order of those sections by dragging and dropping them in the sidebar. It's a relatively easy way to completely adjust the look and order of the modules on your website. We like it for all experience levels, especially beginners.

 

Shopify Ease of Use

add product on shopify

Is it intimidating to handle all of the features in Shopify? Not really at all. In fact, we like the feature-set for companies that are just getting started with web design, since a few steps are given to you for getting your site up and running.

So, you could simply stick to the handful of steps offered in the dashboard (adding a product, customizing the look of your website and finding a custom domain,) or you could expand your store with the help of apps and custom coding.

Shopify reviews: app_store

The apps install within seconds, so it doesn't take a genius to handle those. However, if you are more of an advanced developer, Shopify has the tools for you as well. The only area that may be of concern for people with more advanced coding and development skills is that an FTP client is not included with the ecommerce platform, somewhat hindering the control you have over the site.

On another note, unlike before, merchants will no longer need to access OpenSRS to change or access information on their Shopify purchased domains; they'll be able to access it through the Domain section itself. Users will have access right from their admin to:

  • change their A records, CNAME, MX records, TXT records, and AAAA records;
  • more efficiently set up their Zoho and G Suite email accounts;
  • add subdomains; and
  • enable or disable auto-renew

In terms of pre-publication, Shopify gives you the opportunity to test your store before it goes public, and the live editor is pretty nice for seeing your changes immediately after a setting is adjusted.

The company is pretty much hell-bent on making their interface the easiest in the industry. What's interesting is that they are walking a fine line, since it's still a platform that can satisfy those with more experience with coding and whatnot. Overall, importing hundreds of products is simple, and making an item from scratch uses quick tools and settings for things like images, videos, titles, pricing, discounts and more.

I don't really see any beginner or intermediate developer having a problem with Shopify. At the same time, most advanced developers are going to be just fine. There's the select few who are planning on scaling up incredibly fast who might get a little bogged down with the Shopify interface.

However, Shopify has enough flexible pricing plans to keep your comfortable for a significant period of time.

Shopify Pricing Makes Sense

Shopify offers four different pricing plans, and the lowest starts at just $9 a month. While their other plans range from $29 (for their basic plan) to $299 (for their biggest plan,) you do have the opportunity to try out a free, 14-day trial before committing to anything.

Try-Shopify

If you want to sell your products both online and offline, then Shopify has plans that you must call in and speak to a rep to set up. Furthermore, if you wish to only sell your products offline, then they also offer a plan for that, which can be quite handy.

The cheapest offline plan starts at $29/month while the most expensive costs $299/month. Unlike with the other platforms, all plans come with unlimited bandwidth and, with the exception of the starter plan, an unlimited number of products you can sell in your store.

That said, let's outline some of the online plans for you to understand which one is best for you:

  • Lite – $9 per month for credit cards rates of 2.9% + 30¢, a Shopify buy button (so your site is technically not a real online store,) Facebook selling, POS integration, fraud analysis, manual order creation and shipping codes. One staff account is provided.
  • Basic Shopify – $29 per month for everything in the previous plan, credit card rates of 2.9% + 30¢, an actual online store, 24/7 support, fraud analysis, manual order creation, discount codes, a website and blog, and a free SSL certificate. Two staff accounts are provided.
  • Shopify – $79 per month for everything in the previous plan, credit card rates of 2.6% + 30¢, an actual online store, gift cards, professional reports and abandoned cart recovery. Five staff accounts are provided.
  • Advanced Shopify – $299 per month for everything in the previous plan, credit card rates of 2.4% + 30¢, an actual online store, advanced report builder and real-time carrier shipping. 15 staff accounts are provided.

Each plan allows for an unlimited number of products, unlimited file storage, shipping label discounts and a retail package if needed.

If you want to learn more about this, check out my full guide on Shopify pricing.

Shopify Reviews: Templates and Design

One area where Shopify really excels at is its themes and design. The company offers some of the most professional looking themes of any ecommerce platform. As of this article,  the company has around 21 free themes for you to choose from. On the other hand, you can pay for a theme, and select from over 100 options. The nicer ones start at around $100, but you may be able to locate a few that are cheaper.

On the other hand, you can pay for a theme, and select from over 100 options. The nicer ones start at around $100, but you may be able to locate a few that are cheaper.

The Shopify Sections functionality (for dragging and dropping certain sections with the theme) is live for most new themes. Therefore, if you're starting a new site, you shouldn't have any problems getting Shopify Sections. Unfortunately, that leaves all the currently running sites in the dark with Shopify Sections.

However, Shopify claims that all online stores will get Shopify Sections by the end of 2016, which is hopefully going to be the case.

As we talked about above, CSS and HTML modules are given for you to make more advanced customizations to the themes you buy. In my experience, the free themes aren't as easy to customize, and Shopify probably does this to get you to purchase premium options. The theme selection includes categories like clothing, electronics, food, toys and much more. I've had my eye on Shopify for quite some time now, and the company seems to share new themes on a consistent basis, and the designs are looking more and more modern.

The theme selection includes categories like clothing, electronics, food, toys and much more. I've had my eye on Shopify for quite some time now, and the company seems to share new themes on a consistent basis, and the designs are looking more and more modern.

Shopify reviews: theme store

My main concern with a theme design is how quickly people can checkout and get through the shopping cart process. The Shopify themes have both two and three step checkouts, and you can try out tools for things like social and guest checkouts.

Once you've found the right theme, you can easily customize the look and feel to your heart's desire, simply by opening the template editor and editing your theme until you feel like it’s exactly what you are looking for. On the other hand, the new Shopify Sections feature is sure to speed up your editing, since it's a rather simple drag and drop editor.

If you have created a theme that you would like to use for your store, then you can upload your own template.

Go to the Theme page and scroll down until you find the Upload Theme button, then just add your own theme.

None of the Shopify themes have Shopify branding. In fact, it's not that easy to find any trace of the Shopify brand on your own site. This is a wonderful thing for beginners, since it's not going to affect your search engine rankings, and people will think you designed the website yourself. 

Shopify reviews: frontend

Shopify Reviews: Inventory

Inventory management is an important part of running your store, and Shopify has you covered in this area too. Once you are ready to add inventory to your store then all you need to do is press the Products tab in the sidebar on the dashboard. You will then automatically be taken to the following page:

shopify inventory

As you can see in the image above, everything from product title to description and price is customizable. In addition, you can give each product a distinct SKU, as well as a barcode.

Transfers, Inventory, Collections and Gift Cards are seen as tabs in this area as well. I like the Inventory tab because it features all of the items in your store, all organized into a clean and manageable list. The product page also offers several options for things like SEO, shipping and the imagery that users are going to see when landing on this product page.

Also, Shopify now also offers embedded Oberlo integration if you'd like to go the dropshipping route.

Shopify Reviews: SEO & Marketing

If you have an amazing store but your customers are unable to find it, then chances are you will be very disappointed with the sales figures. Shopify offers great features for both SEO and Marketing. Thanks to the built-in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features, your site will easily be found on all major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

What's cool is that even though the SEO settings are automated, you can go to each product page and customize your own target keywords, URLs and more.

If you really want to customize your store further, the company offers customizable H1, title, and meta tags. Also, the URLs are all SEO friendly. Shopify has partnered with Google in order to occasionally give you advertising money for a new AdWords account. I certainly wouldn't base my decision on which ecommerce platform gives me money to advertise on Google, but I guess it's a nice bonus.

The gift cards are extremely user-friendly, and you don't have to go out to find a third party app for better gift card features. It depends on your payment plan, but once you get everything activated it allows for gift card codes in the checkout area.

The discount codes are generated on the backend as well.

To help boost your marketing, Shopify created a discount code coupon generator to promote your products on different social networks.

Along with selling options on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, your marketing game is in good hands with Shopify. However, you should know that social media following and sharing buttons are only in the app store. Yes, you can create an online shop through Facebook, but the buttons are in the app store.

Also, Shopify has also introduced products tagging on Instagram, that allows you to link directly to your product page.

Finally, the email collection form is pretty simple. It certainly does the job and integrates with the major email options like MailChimp, but many ecommerce stores tend to look towards the app store to find something more suitable.

Read this post if you want to learn more on which is the best ecommerce site builder for SEO.

Shopify Reviews: Payments

Traditionally if you wanted to accept payments you would have to use a third-party payments processor like Stripe, PayPal, or others that would charge a certain fee per transaction. Shopify has created their own payment processor called Shopify Payments (Powered by Stripe). If you decide to sign up for this program then all transaction fees will be lifted regardless of your plan.

We covered credit card fees in the pricing area earlier, but it's worth noting that you do have the option to integrate with over 70 different payment gateways.  These include accepting payments from credit cards, Google Checkout, PayPal, and many more.

The gateways all come with their own transaction fees. Since these can get a little confusing, I strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with these before signing up, as you might otherwise be surprised at just how much you'll have to pay.

In short, Shopify has one of the biggest lists of supported payment gateways out there. This doesn't mean you'll use them all, but it opens up more opportunity for people from all over the world. It also gives you a chance to research which of the payment gateways are going to work for your particular business.

Shopify Reviews: Security

Security is taken very seriously when you run an ecommerce site. Therefore Shopify has its shopping cart hosted on a Level 1 PCI DSS compliant server. In other words, your data, and the data of your customers is secure. In addition, all pricing plans (besides Lite) offer 128-bit Free SSL certificate at no added cost.

While data security is very important to retailers, many also worry about their store always being available, and Shopify provides their customers with a 99.94% uptime guarantee. Furthermore, the company creates secure backups of all your data, so even if your store should crash, it will be backed up for restoration later.

Security badges come with your plan, considering those are some of the only ways you can show to your customers that your website is secure. That, along with the https mention and padlock in the URL area of your browser.

Some other things that come into play with security include vulnerability management and access control. You get to specify which users are able to access certain content on the backend. So some people might get a little access, while others might get admin access, and others might get no access.

Finally, the vulnerability management area helps out with catching problems from malicious hackers to fraudulent transactions. You get to monitor what's going on with your site and Shopify assists in identifying criminal activity.

Shopify Reviews: Customer Support

If you find yourself in need of support, then Shopify has one of the best teams in the industry. Regardless of which pricing plan you decide on, the company has 24/7 full customer support, which includes phone support as well as chat and email support. Another great form of help offered by Shopify is the access to a sizeable support system directly through their website, including user forums, tutorials and FAQ’s.

If you are just beginning your journey as an online seller, Shopify has created something called Ecommerce University. Here users gain access to eBooks, videos, and guides, with the idea of helping customers learn the ins and outs of running their own web store.

Overall, you have the ability to either speak to a professional or learn about the system yourself. Obviously, some people hate waiting on the phone for a support rep, so we feel like the forums, courses, and videos are enough for you to figure out your own problems if you'd like. So, the support team has something for everyone, and in my experience, they're pretty darn knowledgeable and responsive.

From videos to podcasts and success stories to a huge encyclopedia of ecommerce terms, the Shopify online support seems to improve on a regular basis. Heck, the last time I did this article I don't recall them having an ecommerce podcast.

A Note On Development Requests

When working with an online platform, app or software, it's nice to have access to the developers or at least some sort of feedback system for letting them know what features you would like to see in the future. In addition, we like to see the developers actually respond to the requests with new features being released on a consistent basis.

I consider this a type of support since a company that doesn't listen to customers is bound to lose them because of this lack of communication.

Shopify thrives in this department, seeing as how they regularly share blog posts about the feature requests they have listened to and implemented. For example, many ecommerce professionals worry about images slowing down their sites since media is usually what causes this problem. Well, Shopify responded by optimizing and updating all previously uploaded images on Shopify, while also providing file modification instructions for future image optimization. This not only helps with SEO, but it speeds up the user interface for all Shopify merchants.

Well, Shopify responded by optimizing and updating all previously uploaded images on Shopify, while also providing file modification instructions for future image optimization. This not only helps with SEO, but it speeds up the user interface for all Shopify merchants.

Conclusion

Who is the Shopify ecommerce platform built for?

Beginners, intermediates and advanced users (the ones looking to speed up the development process by not spending much time on coding or more complicated processes). I also like it for generalist bloggers or content creators who would like to turn go with the Lite plan to throw some Buy buttons on their websites. The Shopify Lite plan is ripe for converting a regular business site into an ecommerce one. It's also nice to see a homepage builder (Shopify Sections) that has draggable elements.

I would gladly recommend Shopify to anyone if nothing else then at least give their 14-day free trial a try. I'm certain you will not be disappointed.

 

Try Shopify free for 14 days

So what do you think of  Shopify? Let me know what's your opinion by in the comments area, which is dedicated to Shopify reviews. 

Shopify Rating: 5 - Review by

User reviews

I did a lot of research on what type of backend support was best for my website before launching FabStitches. I knew that starting a small business like mine was going to be a day and night hustle. I needed something that would take care of the other business aspects so I could focus on my products and my craft. Shopify was beyond doubt the best choice. It has truly made my life simple to say the least.
Smita Luthra FabStitches
In regards to Shopify.. Back in January, we migrated over from a highly converting xhtml based hand coded site that had been serving us well for several years.. Our google serps were outstanding, we had top 5 placement for about 10 different keywords and were pulling tens of thousands of unique visitors per day. Due to google’s threats of Mobilegeddon, and their warning that sites which did not conform to mobile, (ie: responsive design) were going to be dropped from the search results sent us scrambling for a platform that would give us a responsive architecture without worrying about the hassles of coding a responsive design from scratch. I read every review I could find for all the available platforms.. actually went with a alternate only to ditch it half way through the setup process and switched over to Shopify. I was reluctant, worrying how this would affect not only our search rankings, but our conversion rate as well. Since making the move, we’ve had many challenges. I’m not a fan of theme based all inclusive CRM platforms to begin with, but with shopify, performing any sort of sustainable SEO at code level, seems all but impossible.
I’ve found it extremely difficult get any traction in googles organic results. There’s some great functionality and I believe some good intention over at Shopify, but personally I’m still not sold on the design, and don’t really care for it much.. it’s a beast to get it to convert.. and our search ranks have suffered tremendously.

Not a fan at this point... hoping it will turn around for us... I’ve always got my eyes open for an alternative, but thankfully we’ve had 19 years of building a solid loyal customer base and have been able to get by without
Larry Garman Dangerous Curves Swimwear
As a business owner Shopify is one of the most valuable resources I have. It has helped triple our e-commerce business and grow our online presence all while being extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The back-end reporting helps provide valuable insight in the decision making process as well as their robust App Store has a solution for anything we have wanted to add to our users experience on the site. I would highly recommend Shopify for any business that is looking to grow their e-commerce presence without paying through the nose for a firm to design it and maintain it for you.
Tim Porter ProQuip Gold USA
The Shopify platform delivers tremendous value at a reasonable cost. We chose this platform over others because it offers great functionality out of the box. Additionally, Shopify has a great network of developers who are constantly adding apps and features that users demand from their eCommerce experience. This allows businesses to improve their site without incurring additional costs of paying developers and designers to keep up with the latest eCommerce features and trends.
Jack Ku City Grounds
I started off using Square when it first came out. But I wanted something more robust that would help me with ecommerce and POS as I grew my ecommerce platform. Shopify makes everything seamless and has a number of apps that help me do other things like marketing. It's not as inexpensive as Square for POS, but it also is way more powerful. The customer service has also been great. I hate calling for customer service, so I use their Chat feature and always get an answer to my questions or issues.
Sandra Debutante Clothing
We have been using Shopify Plus for almost 2 years. We moved over from NetSuite at the end of 2015 and have been very happy with the product. While the cost for Shopify Plus is rising dramatically, we need the versatility of a secure dedicated shopping cart, customer support, customization and API connections for our inventory platform Seller Cloud. I would recommend Shopify to anyone opening an E-Commerce business.
Danielle Malconian Plusby Design
We switched twice in three years- first from Netsuite to Magento, both of which were very complex to build our site on, and then to Shopify, which has proven to be a great decision. We were able to save thousands of dollars a year in developer fees and even I (the owner) have been able to easily create pages and content for our site with little technical knowledge.
Jay Reale eBody Boarding
Shopify is easy to use, intuitive and scalable as my business has grown! The base themes are a solid foundation that can be personalized and the premium ones are top notch. As the community of stores has grown the number of developers building apps has increased exponentially which has allowed me to add on functionality I would have had to get built from scratch.
Jordan Good Day Inc.
Our experience with Shopify: 3 stars.

If you use a free theme you get ancient navigation, you will pay for a SEO manager app (staff will recommend this app for $20/month to close from indexing your pages or collections), you will pay even for a wish list. The basic plan for $29 will make you pay even more than their plan for $79.

Surprise! Your store can be suddenly disconnected from "Shopify Payment" because Shopify will want to know your suppliers' contacts.

We give a bad score Shopify for anti fraud.

Shopify does not fit for starting or small businesses. Probably it will work well for big stores.
Karyn White Fashion ResPublica
We've been on Shopify now for 2 years with no issues. We had one of the experts build the site, but we put 350 items on it ourselves and we maintain it as well. My husband takes care of all of the new products and installing everything and believe me he is absolutely NOT a computer genius, and if he can do it, anybody can. Thanks Shopify.
Suzy The Mustang Trailer
Indosole is a growing footwear company based in California and Bali, Indonesia. We use Shopify to power both our front-end website and our back-end Ecommerce sales and service. Shopify is a perfect fit for us as it can adapt to the needs of our business in our growth phase and has all the downloadable reporting and statistics that we need to monitor our business and cash flow. Plus, we have enjoyed using Shopify's Capital program which provides direct deposit loans at an affordable interest rate. Love it!
Kyle Indosole
As a business owner with a background in Graphic Design we really appreciate Shopify's great looking existing store theme's. Shopify allows us to focus on our core business and not only shows off our Poseidon Surf brand visually but allows us to sell a multitude of products with ease. Another benefit is that many of our staff and new staff is familiar with Shopify which makes product updates even easier.
Christian Shubin Poseidon Paddle & Surf
Pros:

1.) The back-end admin user platform is very friendly.
2.) The whole site is very reliable as far as up times goes.
3.) 3rd party apps are very useful and integration is very easy.
4.) Front end of themes tend to have a clean layout making it simple to navigate.
5.) Integrated shipping couriers like UPS and DHL makes it quite easy to choose best shipping options.

Cons:

1.) Support for 3rd party apps is almost non-existent other than the forums and when in the forums asking for help (at least for my issues), responses were scarce.
2.) Couldn't have access to certain information on our own sales data for 3rd party apps thru API.
3.) The blogging sites although allows us to blog in an easy manner, the back end doesn't show data on those visitors making it difficult to gauge blog's engagements.
Britt Ilovebad Inc.
I chose Shopify because it was very easy to get started on this platform and launch a polished, fully functioning eCommerce store within a week. The vibrant community of developers and designers who create useful apps and beautiful themes are always innovating, which lets me continually refine the website and add the latest eCommerce features. With Shopify’s intuitive UI and awesome analytics, this is a very excellent solution for small businesses to showcase and sell products online.
Mabel Darkest Fox
For most part Shopify works good for us. But I am having difficulty changing the menu options as I need drop downs and need to reorganize my website.
Shilpa Shah Parfumerie Nasreen
We love Shopify for our e-commerce website for the ease of customizing our products on the web. The integration of apps within Shopify is extremely easy as well as the support from Shopify - we always talk to a live person, very quickly. We are constantly receiving great feedback from our customers regarding our website.
Alexis Drake Alexis Drake
Shopify offer great templates
Shopify give fantastic customer service
Shopify genius's go beyond the norm to assist when there is a problem and do speak in normal ( non tech) language in order to educate their consumer.
George Adored1
I selected shopify for their ecommerce/pos platform. Their support has been well beyond my expectations and the ease of use of their e-commerce and pos systems has been surprising. It has been a great one-stop shop for all my needs and they regularly update and improve their services.
Adam Adam's Nest
I am very happy with the Camilla design. It was easy to personalize and add features to. Super simple to navigate which is a huge bonus for our customers and conversion rate. As astore owner its nice to not have to worry about EVERYTHING, this template takes care of you
Jamie Covered Goods
Our company has used Shopify since the inception of our website. Their support chat is invaluable to our team – we contact them daily with questions on how to be more effective and productive. Their advice is knowledgeable and most importantly, quick, so we can get to our next task as soon as possible.
Kate Laura Ashley
I think the sales are badly affected by the presentation of the checkout page - it appears that you can only pay by PayPal, there's no mention of credit card payment, even though c/c payment is a possibility. I know that this puts people off, it would be so easy to put some c/c logos on that page.
Ina Ina Barry
We are very happy we chose to use Shopify for our eCommerce business. With all of the data and reports just a click away, we are able to make decisions quickly and confidently. Their customer service team is also amazing.
Brian Fashion Anchor
Shopify's platform is worlds beyond where we were before. The payment processing and ability to provide great customer service with the simple platform has made the transition into a larger online presence a breeze. Shopify's customer support is always willing to help even with the smallest details.
Katherine La Duca
Shopify has been a pivotal tool for my clothing line. We are now able to take a step back and let our eCommerce software work for us and worry only about our marketing. Growth comes fast with Shopify at your back.
Dexter Fathom Clothing
Shopify is the best! Easy posting, inventory control and the ability to post directly to social media is a big plus! The guru's are always patient and go above and beyond to make sure my questions are answered any my problems are solved.
Christine Aatlo Jewelry Gallery
Shopify has been a great asset to our business. We really love the back end and how user-friendly it is. Wouldn't change Shopify for any other service. Its been great for keeping us organized. Also, always very helpful whenever we run into any issues.
Nicholas Deep Antiquity
Shopify platform offers a super simple solution where you can create a beautifully designed store and launch your online business in a matter of minutes, with unlimited traffic bandwidth and unlimited quantity of products, and with the possibility to launch your business globally, using any of the payment gateways that accept multiple currencies. The only inconvenience is that you will need to install additional applications to your store where you will have to pay a monthly fee, so you can really integrate all the necessary capabilities to optimize your conversion rates and get the best experience to your customers, although some of them are free of charge. Customer service is fantastic as well. I really recommend it for small-medium businesses and any eCommerce entrepreneurs!
Daniel Daniel Bale Shopping
We have switched from Big commerce to Shopify Plus earlier this year and we loved the platform. It is very easy to use and much more app integration. With Shopify Plus you can have multiple countries website under one account. We have a dedicated success manager that we can throw any Shopify related question to and their support team is always on line and fix problem super fast. Overall, very good experience and our store already see good growth rate after switching the platform
Ettitude
After spending so much money and endless frustration’s with other platforms. We are so excited to have discovered Shopify!
A.I Stone
Shopify provides the everyday person with a professional online selling platform. It’s fast and easy to build an online store with little to no coding knowledge. I would recommend Shopify to any one aspiring to enter the world of e-commerce.
Parties Unlimited

Catalin Zorzini

I’m a web design blogger and started this project after spending a few weeks struggling to find out which is the best ecommerce platform for myself. Check out my current top 10 ecommerce site builders.

123 Responses

  1. Hi, what we can do with 14 days trial basic? i want to test whether my small off-line biz can attract couple of sales within 14 days. Possible? If yes will continue to sign-up. Thanks.

    1. Hi Marc,

      The free trial is intended for those who want to test the features that each Shopify plan can offer. In order to process payments on your site you do need to have a plan selected, but you ar still not charged until the end of your trial period.

      Cheers!

      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  2. Do you know if Shopify will ever offer a way to change the URL structure? I don’t like the fact that it requires users to include “…/collections/…” or “…/products/…” in the URL. Do you know of a way to customize that part of the URL? I believe BigCommerce allows full URL customization – how do you think Shopify compares to BigCommerce? Thanks for any input –

    1. As far as I know changing the URL structure is not possible with Shopify yet. Bigcommerce will allow you to change the structure of the URL when viewing an individual category page. We prefer Shopify over BigCommerce mainly because Shopify really excels at its themes and design.

      Best,

      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  3. Hi,
    Great review page with lots of insights, thank you!
    I have been running my store on Shopify and was very happy with them until I hit a big problem. My niche deals in electronics and I have been infested withh fraudulent orders since the first day. Simply put, Shopify Payments powered by Stripe are not secure enough. It has come to the point that almost 50% of my sales are fraudulent and I have to use expensive apps to detect them. I’m very disappointed with Shopify support as they will even go to the extent of freezing my account if my chargeback ratio is bigger than 1%, assuming no fault on their end. What can i do? I’ve come to the conclusion that I can only accept Paypal payments as they are infinitely more secure and, most importantlly, they offer better fraud protection and seller’s protection which means that I don’t lose thousands in chargebacks if I can provide a tracking number.
    So I need to migrate to a different platform that allows me to use Paypal only without incurring the 2% fee that Shopify takes of every order. What’s my best bet?

    1. Hello Nina,

      You can try using WooCommerce. Check out our comparison here.

      If you are looking for a platform similar to Shopify, then Lemonstand doesn’t take commissions but it’s a bit more expensive overall and they limit the number of monthly orders. See our review here.

      Hope this helps,

      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  4. Hi
    A very helpful site, thank you.
    I’d like to run two websites(to target different groups of buyers) from the one database as the stock choices will overlap, is this possible? Can you also tell me if I can download my database, when populated, to do analysis and run reports on it?
    Many thanks

    1. Hi Corylus, you can export your products at any time (CSV or Excel format). regarding you first question I would suggest contacting Shopify’s customer support or a Shopify expert. You might also find this guide useful.


      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  5. Hi there!
    I am about to spend all my savings on marketplace business. Shopify looks like a great place for a start. But I dont like the idea of monthly payments. Surely it gives you a quick and affordable start, but in a little while becomes like a slavery. Basically, you rent business. It is not yours. If Shopify dies, your business dies alongside.
    What about downloadable marketplace software? Its more complicated, but I will have total control on my business. Including the server. It also allows full functionality customization, not only design.
    Any clever thoughts on this, people?

    1. Hi Max,

      Using platforms like Magento or WordPress will give more control. You’ll just need to hire some web design and development experts. If Shopify dies, although unlikely, you will still be able to export your store and replicate it on another platform.

      1. Hi Bogdan!
        Many thanks for the answer.
        I’ve checked up on those two options you mentioned. Suddenly simtech development guys popped out of nowhere! They charge high but offer much. Looks like a good deal for me. Simple but responsive design, vendors payout system, separate tools for vendors – like promotion. They agreed to help us with server management. They use cs-cart multi vendor platform. My bro who will take care of technical works on our future marketplace said this is a good platform. What do you say?

        1. Hi Max,

          Cs-Cart multi-vendor is a bit expensive but if you have the budget it is a great option if you to run your site off of your own server.

  6. im thinking about opening a account. want to test waters with the lite account. Its kinda unclear about what is in the package. do I actualy have a website that people can goto and shop o is it just a facebook selling page. do I get to chose a name and template?

    1. Hi David,

      The Lite plan only allow you to sell on social media, in person, or on an existing website (using a buy now button). Only with the Basic Shopify, Shopify or Advanced Shopify you can build a standalone store.

      The 14-day trial allows you try out the Shopify Lite plan, the Basic Shopify plan, the Shopify plan, or the Advanced Shopify plan before committing to a full subscription.

      Best,

      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  7. I’m planning to use shopify for the online children’s store I plan to start. However, the so called 24*7 support is not 24*7 at all. I I’m in Australia. Can you please provide the hotline flyer Aussie.

    1. Hello Shezneen,

      Live Chat and phone support are available 24/7. Just head over to the support page here and you can start a live chat (average wait time is 10 minutes) or you can find a phone number for Australia (average wait time is 5 minutes).

      Cheers!

      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  8. I am new to shopify and am using it in conjunction with my facebook ads and my 14 day offer is almost over,am suppose to offer a plan but i don’t have a debit/credit card but i use paypal mostly,how can i be helped.

    1. Hi there, you will need a credit card to pay for Shopify. It is not possible at the moment to pay for Shopify with PayPal.

      Best,

      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  9. Tried to set up a website with them using my registered UK business and bank account. Only to be blocked and sent a template email saying I have been blocked as I pose a risk. There was no content on the website, all I simply did was sign up and provide my bank details.

    The email didn’t even contain a full name of the person writing it and they did not respond to any of my emails. Extremely unprofessional and unacceptable so I have since set up my store on WordPress with no problems whatsoever. I cant help but think that many of the reviews and articles about Shopify are sponsored and just act as cover up for all the negative feedback I have seen on genuine review sites. By far the worst customer service I have come across as a long standing businessman.

    1. Hi Arman, have you tried contacting their support? Live chat and phone support are available 24/7 with 5 min average wait time.

      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  10. Great article – We’ve been using Shopify for over two years now and LOVE it. It has pretty much all the functionality we need, save for a few minor ‘wants’ I’d put on a wishlist. Operating from the UK we’re pleased with the innovation Shopify offers, pretty much everything is rolled out in North America first, but it’s not long before they roll out in the UK. Great integrations with Google Shopping, Paypal, Quickbooks. Campaign Monitor etc etc. Looking forward to a time when they roll out their NA Amazon integration over here. Good choice of augmentation apps like upgrades to order confirmation & shipping notice emails, pop ups etc.
    We bought a Clean Themes template, who have great support also in terms of a couple of custom bits of coding we’ve needed to drop in.
    Couldn’t recommend enough.

  11. Hi,
    I am based in the UAE and am looking at starting an online store. Though the features of Shopify seem to suffice my needs I am not sure how the payments will be routed? The payment modes that I am considering are Credit Cards and Cash on Delivery.

    1. Hi Alex,

      If you’re not using Shopify Payments (a service only available in United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia) and you want to accept credit cards, you to choose a third-party ecommerce payment gateways for your Shopify store. In you case one that will work in UAE.

      As far as I know 2Checkout is available in the UAE. You can read our review here.

      Best of luck,

      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  12. Hi, so i was recently looking at different ecommerce platform builders that exsist, and I couldnt find much information on the question of, if I choose say for example shopify to help me setup my business and or app, will i be able to move onto my own servers in the future or am I forever stuck having to use there service in order to remain with the basic structure to my business (which is the design templates already used on my site). I know I would probably lose features like ssl and integrated shipping costs (but could I keep the designs I used when making my website and app through them?)

    I’m basically asking what do i get to keep if I decide to cancel there service in the future, and what will I have to do or redo myself if I move off of there service.

    Hopefully this makes sense, and many thanks

    1. Hi David,

      You won’t be able to host a Shopify website on your own server. The most you can do is to export your products and import them on a new platform that will match Shopify’s functionality. And of course you will have to replicate the design as well.

      Best,

      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  13. Hi I have a basic eBay uk shop, I’m finding the sales fees plus shop fees to expensive! I am looking at going over to shopify but the one thing that’s putting me off is there doesn’t seem to be a uk helpline phone number? and I’m worried running up a huge phone bill.
    Many Thanks

    1. Hi Sarah,

      They do have a phone number for UK users.

      You can find it here. Just click on Give us a call. Right now the number for UK seems to be this one:

      United Kingdom:0800-808-5233

      Best,

      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  14. I’m thinking of switching from Volusion to another service. We keep getting hit with bandwidth charges that end up costing a few extra hundred dollars a month which is ridiculous if you ask me. I’ve been digging into Shopify and Big Commerce and have problems with them both.
    Shopify- like others have previously said have no real time shipping quotes unless you pay $299/month. (no thanks) Product options are limited- this is a fishing business so MANY options need to be listed on the same page (color of bait/style of hook/weight) and the transaction fees seem to quickly pile on top of each other.
    Big Commerce- On the Pro Plan ($199/month) they cap your orders at 3,000/year and if you go over they start charging you for every 1,000 that you go over- kinda makes you want to stop growing your business, no? You aren’t able to set discounts for a specific product- just a group of products or a site-wide discount. They also have no app that you can manage on-the-go. The reviews I’ve read are horrible- I repeat HORRIBLE from previous customers and overall their customer service seems to be sub-par at best. They have even disabled their visitor posts from their Facebook page which leaves me wondering… Why?
    I’m stuck- we want to get out of Volusion because it seems to be stagnant and not geared towards the future or any updates that could easily be done but I also don’t want to make a switch and then regret it instantly.

    1. Hi there Holly,

      have you considered using an app from the Shopify App Store to handle shipping quotes?

      Apps like ShippingEasy could help and they still work with the Basic Plan.

      Best,

      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  15. The thing that keeps me from chosing Shopify is that you have to be at the $299/mo level to get real-time shipping quotes. Really?! Most other ecomm solutions have this at all levels. Seems silly not to be able to provide this basic service. $299/mo is too much to spend for a smaller company that needs automated shipping quotes provided. Unless I’m missing something here…

  16. I’m planning to build my online shop, i have two questions about Shopify:

    – I’m based in Spain and my main focuses are Spain itself and Latin America, could I have any problem with payments?, I’ve seen in previous comments that USA, UK and Canada are the only countries that have Shopify Payments availabe, is it still that way?

    -My main product are going to be online lessons, could i have any problem with the data weight?

    Thank you ^^

    1. Hi there,

      Shopify Payments is available only to stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. If your business is based in Spain you will have to use an external payment gateway and pay an extra 2% transaction fee.

      You get unlimited storage for all plans (including Basic Shopify) so you won’t have to worry about data weight.

      Best of luck,

      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  17. Hi, thanks for the article. I am looking to start an online children’s clothing boutique. Some of my current favorite boutiques have thousands of likes on their daily postings of newly stocked items. Does shopify help give you the exposure to your customers via Facebook and other social media, or will I have to generate my own likes and exposure? Thanks in advance.

  18. Love the simplicity of shopify and how these is so little room for error when you are starting out. It’s great just to focus on getting the important things right and letting the minor details take a back seat.
    Thanks for sharing the guide and love reading your work!

  19. My husband and I are starting a antique shop, we have a guy that has a huge warehouse full of cool old items that I know would sell. I was just wondering if shopify is a great place for antique and collectibles. Would it be a safe place to start?

  20. Hello Catalin, thanks for the great reviews weldone. Please I need to know if shopify is suitable for small online store looking at the pricing, does it worth it and as well if you can state minimum store that can go for shopify? Thanks.

    1. Hi Samuel, thanks for stopping by.

      Shopify can be a great option for small shops, especially. As we said before, one area where Shopify really excels at is its themes and design so you can have a great looking website out of the box with no coding or design skills required.

  21. Hi Catalin, very late with this comment, you may be gone…

    I am looking for an alternative to cratejoy, can shopify manage the ongoing monthly payments (subscription) or one time payment only?

    Thanks.

  22. I’ve been using Shopify for a few years, and it’s been a great platform for my business.

    However, support has suddenly fallen off a cliff. It’s nearly impossible to live chat anymore, with typically 40-50+ people in the queue ahead of e. It used to be rare it there was more than about 5.
    And half the time now, you get a message “All Gurus are Busy”.

  23. I switched from 3dcart to Shopify in Feb of this year. I sell 200-300 Christmas ornaments – no variants or complex listings. I made the move because Shopify had buyable pins & alt tags for product images. I had quite a bit of traffic from Pinterest & Google images before and thought this would be a big bonus for me. I was wrong. Neither the Pinterest app or Google shopping app are working well and it’s hurting my traffic. Neither Pinterest or Shopify have an answer.I had to purchase a SEO app just to try and get some help.
    Another drawback is the lack of real-time shipping quotes. I had to go from from the smaller package to the Advanced package just to get this and it does not show the most popular FedEx option I offer – Smart Post. Real time shipping is free on 3dcart.
    Shopify has an impressive list of features and a very friendly support staff, who I enjoy dealing with but if the features don’t work and the only answers are to buy more and more apps, the value is lost.
    Shopify has great template designs and it is easy to set up. This would be a good choice for a beginner site.

  24. Thank you for the great review. You helped me make up my mind and choose Shopify.
    I am actually already convinced that Shopify is the right platform for me, but have a question.

    In your review of Shopify, you write the following: :
    “IN TERMS OF PRE-PUBLICATION, SHOPIFY GIVES YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO TEST YOUR STORE BEFORE IT GOES PUBLIC, AND THE LIVE EDITOR IS PRETTY NICE FOR DRAGGING AND DROPPING ELEMENTS ONTO YOUR SITE.”

    I am looking through Shopify support, but am not able to find this feature at all.
    When you say: LIVE EDITOR, are you talking about an APP that can be purchased separately, or is this an built in feature of Shopify?
    I only found LIVE THEME EDITOR for a fee of $10 per month. Is this the one, which you call LIVE EDITOR?

    The Drag and Drop function of elements is very useful to arrange photos or text blocks as I wish.
    My current website is hosted by Volusion.
    I am planning to move it over to Shopify soon, and plan to do it by myself.

    1. Hi Andrzej,

      Yes the Live Editor is the app that you’ve found on their App Store. It can be really helpful if you have limited knowledge in web design or coding.

      Best of luck!

  25. With our store, they are unable to offer shopify payment gateway, as a result we are forced to use stripe gateway, that cost extra %2 transaction fees on every order, This 2% transaction fees should have been removed or waived off due to the fact they are unable to offer shopify payment gateway.

  26. Hi Catalin,
    Thank you thank you and thank you. Another great article, as always. A thourough review on Shoptify. Much appreciated.
    I also read your recent ‘Yo Kart’ review which scored below 4 stars. Do you happen to have an article on ‘the ultimate marketplace platform’?

    I currently have a magento ecommerce website and am hoping to turn it into a marketplace. I’m tossing between buying a magento marketplace extension or a standalone marketplace platform. Any initial suggestions on which option is better?

    Obvisouly I’d like to look for the best ‘bang for the buck’ option. An option that is afforddable for a start-up with minimal budget but has most if not all functionalities. Like sleek and morden interface, great user experience for both buyer and vendor, multilingual, paypal integration etc.

    I’m very sorry for writing such a long message. I’m desperately need a mentor to shed some light. Any advise is appreciated.

  27. Does or can Shopify (can’t believe Shopify shows up as a misspelled word, here) integrate with the Amazon payment gateway and FBA – fulfillment by Amazon? Can’t find a definitive answer anywhere.

    I sell on Amazon and use their FBA. They handle all the returns and customer service, so I want them to continue to do so, even if sell on Shopify – and I’m happy to pay Amazon their cut to do so. I’m into low brain damage and I don’t want to be the interface between Shopify and Amazon operations.
    Can do or can’t do? What’s the verdict?
    ps: just started building beachrustic.com. Looks like crap, now, but that’s another story.
    thanks,
    Bart

        1. Hi Roy,

          As far as I know PayPal (read our review here) is the only payment service that will work for businesses based in Sri Lanka. It can be integrated with Shopify quite easy.


          Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  28. Hi
    I have read your informative article.
    You have written: ‘The fact that customers are no longer redirected to a checkout/Shopify site when completing their purchase is a very big plus’.

    My site still goes to a shopify site on checkout. When I asked shopify support they said payments must go through the shopify site. Is this true?
    Please explain.
    Thanks

    1. Payments will be managed through the Shopify site, but you can still use your preffered payment gateway. You can find out here what payment gateways are available in your country.

      Here’s a link explaining more about integrating payment gateways with Shopify.

  29. Very helpful article, thank you. I’m currently using a free standing cold fusion cart Cartweaver with 1300 download products and a database with over 10k customers. I love the admin but the lack of seo friendly features and content management is killing us lately. How hard/costly is it to move the mysql database to shopify? Is it even possible? I need to keep all the customers’ past purchases available for them to download anytime. Thanks 🙂

  30. Hi I have a question? I am interested in joining shopify, the problem is I don’t have products but would like to open a store front? Do they offer anything where one can get started or have companies that will let you set up store front selling their products. Or do you know of companies that would be interested in doing this.

    Thanks
    Tammy

  31. Hi Catalin
    We are based in the UK and currently use Volusion as our platform. We’re finding Volusion’s SEO to be weak and also their responsive templates seem old.
    Shopify seems to overcome both these problems.

    However, specific to the UK, :-
    1. we use SagePay as our payment gateway.
    2. we need to be able to display both VAT exclusive and inclusive prices. (we are B to B so main price is VAT exclusive price)

    Not specific to the UK,
    1. Will Shopify allow google shopping data to be uploaded easily? Volusion is good at that.

    Your response will be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  32. Hi there, I’m 100% going to use Shopify for my women’s Retail store both on and off line. What I’m finding difficult is deciding which Apps to integrate to help manage my store front and online. There are so many available, I want All of them! I don’t mind paying money if it’s going to save me time, can you recommend a list of Apps for a women’s retail store that would help my business? I really want to be successful right from the beginning. Any help would be wonderful!

    Thanks

  33. Hi Dmitri, we are in the same boat after 30 days, why is the seller the one that gets punished after having been scammed. SHOPIFY approved the payment after all.

  34. This may be a good platform to start your online experience with, despite the high fees.

    However, i’ve run into an unexpected hurdle that I can not seem to resolve. I have had a chargeback (stolen credit card) from an order. It was settled, i had to pay out of my pocket. After I covered the $2,000 chargeback willingly to keep my store operating, they froze my orders and would not let my money out of my account. They have started a fraud investigation on me, and requested my re-seller agreements and shipping and tracking information for my latest orders, which I produced promptly. This is not the frustrating part. I understand the importance of security and fraud prevention, and would assist in any way I can to resolve the issue.

    It has now been two weeks since I submitted all the required information for review, and I have not heard anything back. No “we’ve received it and its in review” no “we need more information”…. NOTHING. I have been calling back and they would not let me talk to the person who requested the information from me, because he is either out of the office, or “we are unable to transfer your call directly to him”. I have sent many emails directly to the “investigator”, starting off with nice and progressively more frustrated, but still professional and non-offensive. I have only requested an update…. and still NOTHING. At this point Shopify is holding $9,000 worth of my orders, and I can not get a simple damn email back from them either requesting more information, or simply to tell me that they’re in the process of review; I just cant reach them.
    My suppliers will not allow me to ship any more items until I pay my account with them (obviously), and I had to put a stop to my store’s advertising and marketing efforts to prevent orders from coming in that I can not fulfill.

    Again, I am all for security and fraud protection, but the lack of communication, and total lack of concern for their customer’s business is unnerving and infuriating. Food for thought.

  35. I have a developer working to migrate my store from Big Commerce to Shopify. I am shocked to find out that there is no field to enter your cost basis for each product in Shopify. How are you supposed to run profit reports without the cost basis? For point of reference, I have about 1200 items and do about $520k in sales annually.

  36. According to the annual report in 2015, Shopify is one of top 10 popular e-commerce platforms, with 9% of market share.

  37. Shopify is disappointing us. First they want to hold monies for 30 days because of our business.. High end consignment. We have been using PayPal over two years and they payout in five days. Shopify wants 2% – we wanted out of their Shopify Payments and 30 days payout schedule. so in total we have to fork over 4.9 percent. Secondly if a customer cancels their order after we have shipped it Shopify refunds it back to the customer, fails to pay us and we have to incur a chargeback fee!! …. and we have no clue where our merchandize is! The whole appeal process can take 90 days! With paypal they tell the customer to take up their beef with the seller, or their visa company. We fell PayPal is protecting us .. .esp. as we have shipped the product.

  38. I got a love / hate with shopify. Was great starting out, easy and got the job done. Now that I am pushing 1,200 products and $10-30k in sales I feel shopify is limiting my growth.

    Frustrating features I need but they dont have:
    Multiple promo codes per purchase, as I can’t offer free shipping and 20% off to the same transaction.
    All the BOGO sales plugins and standard sale plugins add a duplicate product to account for the discount, this wreak havoc with all the multi channel inventory systems and just doesn’t work if you have product on other channels like Amazon.
    No ability to display variant products (especially colors) on the category page, so a customer must click into the product and then scroll through the variants to see (all my red products). And when they filter by color, it return the parent default images, so again they must click on all the products one at a time to see the red variable for each product.
    Also, working with lots of products is a time consuming nightmare. Wanna sort by SKU, YOU CANT. product title is the only way to sort when editing products, so with 1,000 products in two categories, it’s a nightmare.
    Another big nightmare, export your products to do a bulk edit, then import. DONT, when exporting it don’t export all your data, so you can lose all your meta causing your Google shopping campaign to mysteriously vanish and stop working, not to mention setting your seo back in time.
    Would love to find a developer that could snap their fingers and solve some of these issues but a lot of the shopify gurus I called just wanna do boiler plate fixes that most people can do once the know the system for a few months.

    Anyways, shopify could be amazing if it just went the last mile, but they seeme to quite the race short, because most of these items are complaints that have been raised over and over and over since 2013

  39. Very helpful article (and website)! Curious about the throttling Shopify performs on product updates though (avg 2 calls/sec, 4o burst)? If we plan on running a portfolio of discrete sites, each having a reasonably large SKU count (5000) and each with volatile inventory levels, we are concerned about our ability to keep assortment fresh and that Shopify isn’t a good fit. Do you know if the same constraints exist with Shopify+ or whether BigCommerce, etc might be a better fit for this type of usage?

  40. Hi

    I already have a website for my online store. Can I easily move/switch to Shopify with current design and content? Moreover, is there a possibility to use shopify payment gateways on my website?

  41. Thanks for the great article. One thing I am looking for in a new platform, is one that will allow my 2 websites to operate on the same customer and inventory databases. I am not sure if Shopify or any of the others will do that.

  42. Hi i’m Sammy,
    Living in Australia and wanting to tackle the bikini and swimwear market but also will be featuring other product (beach related and artwork) on my site… will end up having alot of items to sell. I am after a program that is clean and simple but very effective.
    When product title come up I would want them in a pretty large tile as i need my customers to be able to see the intracate details of my products… Needing direction ASAP!

    Can you recommend me a specific website builder as to what you think is best for this type of business.

    thankyou

  43. Great analysis.

    I would like to launch three software products targeting customers from Europe and US. The intention is to package them within a professional layout providing self training details, possible videos etc Would you recommend Shopify? Would I be able to choose different payment schemes (let’s say through Shopify Payments for US and something more appropiate for the European customers)?

  44. I am looking for an e-commerce solution. Long story short is that I had my own custom designed site for years, my webmaster quit, I couldn’t maintain it, and it was not cost effective to hire someone to figure it out so I scrapped it and started over. I’m currently with weebly but they don’t have real-time shipping based on destination and weight. I’m working around it with USPS flat rate shipping but I am seeking a better solution. I am a VERY small and VERY niche hobby business and cost effectiveness and accurate shipping are the highest priority since my product is heavy. USPS flat rate is generally great but when people want to add on products, it gets complicated and hard to anticipate the shipping expenses. What would be a great platform for mom/pop hobby shops like mine that really rely on automated, real-time, accurate shipping estimators??

  45. Hi!

    I went through all the article and all the replies but I am still confused. Can I use my own SSL on shopify or not?

    Thanks

  46. Hi, great site full of useful information!!

    I’m building an online store that will have around 30-50 products with main category and maybe 1 sub-category. I have been told that the best platform to use is BigCommerce followed by 3d cart. The course that I’m following also said that because I’m from the UK and targeting US customers, that PayPal business account would be the best merchant account to use.

    There was no mention of Shopify but having read your review, I’m leaning towards them.

    Would shopify be suitable for me based on the information above and what would be the best option for a merchant/payments processor account?

    Thanks,
    Sam

  47. Hi there: great article! Thorough and very informative. Thanks for sharing!

    I read closely and didn’t see any mention about a dropshipping ecommerce website through Shopify. I am starting a dropshipping business and am wondering if most of what you mention in this post as far as benefits and tools etc would still apply.

    I just rec’d a quote for a website to be developed for my business including adding Shopify and the fee is going to be $4,500:(

    My plan of small costs in setting up this business will have greatly succeeded my budget if I have to spend this so I’m wondering if I can successfully set this up with the support of Shopify fairly quickly to look professional and have all the automation I need?

    Thank you for any other info you can provide !

    1. Hi Heather, if you’re not too fussy about specific design / development tweaks you will be able to do it by yourself. Good luck!

  48. Is Shopify a good alternative for selling digital downloads to people from mainly US, UK, Canada, and India? Are their add-ons to add memberships and discounts? I am assuming I can move my domain name so this becomes my business’ website, right?

    Thanks. Your information here has helped a great deal.

  49. Hi Catalin, great job on your blog!

    Can you explain what you mean by “The fact that customers are no longer redirected to a checkout.shopify site when completing their purchase”?

    I thought all buyers at Shopify are required to complete their purchase through the checkout.shopify link to which Shopify doesn’t allow access to developers for any customisations?

    Has something changed here?

  50. I am leaning heavily on the Shopify platform. However, when it comes to Shopify payments involving Stripe, I am viewing so many, many bad reviews. Can you help me with any persuasion or facts that will help me have more confidence in Stripe gateway?

  51. Hi there Catalin! Great job you are doing.
    Could you please tell a bit more about Introduced shopify payment?
    Not sure if I understood right what is it? What are the advantages and limitations?
    For example Stripe has quite limited geography of countries to receive payments from, PayPal, well PayPal is PayPal. Third-party gateways have their own pros and cons and it’s another story.
    Getting back to Shopify payment, how does it look technically? Let’s say, how do I link my bank account? I’m from Mongolia.

    1. Hi Artro, currently Shopify Payments is offered in the US, the UK and Canada. If the merchant’s business is based outside of those countries, Shopify Payments wouldn’t be an option at this time. Did you check these guys? I’m pretty sure they cater to Mongolia.

  52. I am currently using Office 365 for my entire web presence: website, online store, email, with my domain name hosted by a third party (Melbourne IT) in Australia. I understand that Office 365 are cancelling their website service so I am now looking for alternatives. Can I transfer my entire web presence to shopify whilst keeping the same email (does shopify provide an email service?) and website address? If so, how do I go about transferring the domain from the current host to shopify and can I design my shopify site over a week or so before I actually make the transfer? I am based in the UK. Will buyers from overseas e.g. Japan be able to purchase my goods via the Shopify Payments system? Thanks

    1. Hi David,

      Gotcha! Yeah I can confirm that you can move your web presence over at Shopify and keep your email address. More info on this here.

      Also, your international buyers (Japan etc) will definitely be able to make purchases from your store if you setup Shopify Payments.

      Hope it helps.

  53. Thank you so much for this article. I was almost swayed into going with Big Cartel until I did a little bit of research. Thanks to mainly you, and a few other websites, I have decided to go with Shopify for my upcoming ecommerce site for affordable and stylish women’s clothing and accessories.

    Much appreciated!

  54. Help please! My husband and myself are over 60 years old, and our old online storefront (that we’ve used in conjunction with eBay for over 10 years) has just informed us they’re discontinuing service in a couple of months. I’m lost! We *need) to have a built-in Customer Loyalty program (or an add-on that’s free, or very reasonably priced) and ‘real time shipping’ (from at least USPS, but hopefully UPS & Fedex)….and I just can’t seem to find what I’m seeking. We no longer need eBay integration…but need to be able to accept PayPal (and probably need assistance setting up a merchant account). Any/all information or suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.

  55. Im hesitating between big cartel and shopify. When you sayf with shopify payments fees are lifted you mean they charge 0% per transaction? Also, is shopify and big cartel compatible with adsense? I cannot find an answer anywhere! Tx a lot!

    1. Hi Marie,

      Yes they don’t take any fees if you go with Shopify Payments.

      You can add the adsense code to both Shopify and Big Cartel but neither would offer this feature out of the box.

  56. Just a heads up, if you need multi level categories and/or more details per product, shopify just doesn’t cut it..

    1. I’ve been researching for hours trying to find out where I can move my 3k products to, since my current site provider is not mobile friendly…do you, or does anyone know which sites are:

      mobile friendly
      allow multi-level categories
      allow you to customize title tags (and change them later if you want)
      allow me to enhance meta tags
      have secure checkout
      have great customer support
      are easy to use
      allow me to add a blog
      allow me to own the domain name (and without their domain as the root)
      and are competitively priced?

      1. Hi there, Lemonstand would fit the bill for your requests mate: ecommerce-platforms.com/ecommerce-reviews/lemonstand-ecommerce-platform-review-2012

      2. Hi Yo-Its-Me,
        This comment is a little behind, but Magento 2 and 2.1 is now a much simpler interface and doesn’t have to cost much more than Shopify if done right and quickly.
        There are quite a few Cons to Shopify I don’t see listed in this review.

    2. Hello Jens
      Is this means there option to create product options are limited? If I each my product has multiple option where the price changes with every option and this options are unique to each product, will that not work well for us?

    3. Agreed…I just learned that the hard way when I tried to migrate over from Volusion, only to find my core products, with 10 optional customizations and multiple variants per option wouldn’t work on Shopify. They skirt around that item in their marketing, so do your homework before jumping all in. Shame too…I really liked the platform, but that limitation kills it for me.

  57. The transaction fees are the killer – 0.5% on monthly sales of $40k add an extra $200 per month – is it really worth that much more than bigcommerce?

    1. Hi Graham, in my experience the 200 a month difference makes sense compared to BigCommerce for a 40k+ business. Moreover the commission is 0 if you use Shopify Payments

      1. So do I have to pay for Shopify service basic plan at $29 AND pay $29 a month for credit card processing (Shopify payments)? I’m looking at the basic plans. I want them to host and process credit cards.

        1. Hi Dana, the answer is no – the Shopify monthly rate is $29 and if you are using Shopify payments, there’s no additional fees other than the monthly fee and CC processing.

  58. 10 Reasons People Love Shopify
    1. Shopify Is Easy to Use
    2. Shopify Is Hosted
    3. Reliability
    4. Customizable Design
    5. The Shopify App Store
    6. Simple to use
    7.Unlimited, 24/7 toll free Shopify support
    8.Conveniently run your store on the go
    9.1-click integrations
    10.Start selling in no time at all

  59. I’m thinking of starting a costume jewelry site as an addition to a current wholesale business. We would have approximately 100+ styles with 2-3 digital photos for each style. Would Shopify be the right platform for this online only retail business?

  60. 5 Reasons People Love Shopify
    1. Shopify Is Easy to Use
    2. Shopify Is Hosted
    3. Reliability
    4. Customizable Design
    5. The Shopify App Store
    24/7; support
    Shopify Expert

  61. We would just like to add that although the support is 24/7; support knowledge comes from other Shopify shop owners and a lot of them with limited or no technical skills to resolve issues. (one woman we talked with had a little knitting shop..)

    Suggested a re-review and give accurate points on the support. More time does not equal better support. Have you tried calling support at Shopify? I’d say from our experience, unfortunately only 10-15% are skilled to answer any tech issues you may run into.

    1. Hi Victoria, I personally had great experience with their support and most of my clients are pleased too, so thanks a lot for sharing your experience!

  62. I’m trying to start an online business to market my free lance copy writing services. Since Shopify will provide me with a domain name, will it insist on throwing its adds up on my page, or can I avoid this? How is this reflected in the payment levels? Thanks!

    1. Hi Dani, thanks for stopping by. Shopify would not show any ads on any of the plans they offer. You have complete control over every aspect of the website, even for the starter plan, which is $14 a month.

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