As lockdown continues to force people online in greater numbers it’s easy to understand why ecommerce is booming.
Recently we’ve worked with many business owners who haven’t previously taken online shopping seriously.
But now they realise it is essential.
Shopify is one of the many ecommerce platforms available for you to build your shop and this little guide should help you understand what it’s all about and whether it’s right for you.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an ecommerce platform which comes with a pre-built shopping cart, order management, inventory management and all kinds of other features.
Over the years it has grown in popularity because it’s so easy to get started with and has a low cost.
If you are looking to make a website to sell online then Shopify could be the perfect software for you.
What’s so good about Shopify?
We’ve used a number of different ecommerce platforms and one of the big benefits of using Shopify is that you can get your basic shop set up very quickly.
Sign up for a trial and you can have your very own Shopify store created in minutes.
There is no downloading or installing, and you don’t have to think about technical things like servers, SSL or plugins.
As Shopify is fully hosted for you it means they have already thought of things like speed, security and ease of use.
Everything is taken care of so you don’t have to worry about coding or things like that.
At the time of writing in Feb 2021, Shopify is a fairly mature platform with many high quality stores on their system.
In other words it is a proven way to build and manage a store online.
There are countless Apps on Shopify now, and they also have really strong POS (point of sale) and marketing features such as eBay and Amazon integration.
Does Shopify have any bad points?
From a developers perspective it is somewhat restrictive.
Whereas in other platforms you can tinker with the code and customise it to suit you, in Shopify this isn’t possible.
Because Shopify is a hosted service certain parts of it, such as checkout, cannot be edited without using certain Apps.
This means you get that extra bit of security baked-in which you may not have with other platforms.
Shopify also make their money by taking a percentage of every sale you make through them, typically from around 2%.
If you may need a lot of bespoke work on your store, and lots of features, then Shopify may not be the best option for you.
How does Shopify compare to other platforms?
The main competition to Shopify is Woocommerce and Magento.
There are a number of smaller, low cost options such as GoDaddy or Wix but they are not as well supported as the main platforms.
In our experience Shopify can be a bit slower than other platforms sometimes and the theme options aren’t as elegant as some page builders we’ve used.
However Shopify allows you to make an online store without having to think about technical things like server requirements or payment gateway integration.
Another important thing to consider is that Shopify and its Apps typically incur a monthly cost whereas for something like Woocommerce you usually pay a one-off cost for plugins.
Is Shopify right for me?
If you are looking for very bespoke or specific features then you may be better off looking at open-source ecommerce platforms.
These are typically more flexible and can be customised in many ways.
However if you mainly want a good looking site which works well and has an easy to use backend interface then Shopify is a great place to start.
With shopify you can create pretty much any kind of online store including:
- Online food service
- Fashion or Retail shop
- Wholesale website
- Subscription based store
- Electronics or IT shop
- Home or Hardware shop
In terms of running your store, Shopify has a great backend which is both simple and also well organised.
Creating new products takes practice but it’s no more complicated than using Amazon or Ebay.
Finally, there are lots of other great features including inventory management, SMS order notifications, email marketing and delivery tracking.
Shopify Web Design by StudioRav
If you need a high end developer to build your Shopify website then we have lots of experience of working in Shopify with a variety of themes and apps.
We can easily set up a development store for you, and we can work with you to develop the graphics, artwork, products and other pages for your shop.
In addition to Shopify web design we also offer Shopify web development which includes customisation of pages, custom apps and integrations.
If you are looking for Shopify web design please contact us today.
We are also happy to give your existing online shop a free audit and advise you on how to improve it.