To run an online store, the first question that comes to the minds of most merchants is which e-commerce platform they should choose. If you are about to start a new online business or want to expand your physical business to the e-commerce world, Shopify can help you achieve your goals with plug-and-play solutions that best match your needs. Let us dive deeper into the features along with the pros and cons of this e-commerce platform:
What features does Shopify offer?
Shopify is an all-in-one solution that offers you numerous features which help you build and manage your online store. From inventory management to SEO effectiveness and support for different payment gateways, it makes you stand out among your competitors in the e-commerce world. It also helps you to:
- Set Up and Organize Your Products: With inventory management in Shopify, you can group products by type, category, sale etc. You can also manage variations of a product by size, color, materials, and more. You can propose any number of variations to a single product with each variation having its own price, stock keeping unit (SKU), and inventory number.
- Track Your Stock: Shopify also supports tracking your stock and prevents your customers from ordering out of stock goods. It uses automated reminders that let you know when you are running low on stock. Also, on receiving a new shipment, the inventory number is updated automatically.
- Improved Organic Search: It helps you improve the organic reach of your store with customizable title tags, ALT tags, meta descriptions, and sitemap.xml files.
- Set Up Your Shipping Rates: Shopify lets you decide the shipping rates once your destination (shipping zone) gets fixed. You can also select the shipping method to deliver your customers’ orders. It enables you to set up rates on the basis of price or weight for regular postage services. However, with Advanced Shopify plan, you can use carriers like FedEx and USPS for real-time shipping rates.
Is Shopify appropriate for you?
For merchants launching their online store or converting their existing physical store into an online one, Shopify is the ideal option. It is a complete solution that makes it easy for you to sell goods ranging from clothing to jewelry, electronics, food, household etc., taking care of your each and every need. It also lets you focus on marketing, customer relationship, administration etc. and sets you free from the technicalities involved in running an online business.
Pros of using Shopify:
- Beautiful Themes: With a number of professionally designed responsive themes (both free and paid) in its Theme Store, Shopify helps you optimize your website across various industries including clothing, jewelry, art, etc.
- Highly Flexible Platform: After building your online store, Shopify offers you a variety of tools for inventory management, customer service, marketing, shipping, reporting, social media, and much more. Being a highly flexible platform, it enables you to choose these tools as per your requirements and helps you automate your e-commerce business.
- Tremendous Speed and Security: To run your online store seamlessly, Shopify ensures that it works at a screaming fast speed and possesses a high level of security since the payment usually involves processing of credit cards.
- 24/7 Customer Support: Shopify offers you robust customer support via email, online live chat, and phone. It has a vast database of FAQs that helps you in technology troubleshooting. Its team of knowledgeable reps provides you with fast and helpful support any time.
Cons of using Shopify:
- Pricing Structure: Apart from its monthly service charges, Shopify imposes a transaction fee as well. Depending on the plan, the fee varies from 0.5% to 2% of the sales value. For example, with the Basic Shopify plan, you are liable to pay 2% of the sales value whereas in case of the Shopify plan, it costs you 1% of the sales value, and similarly 0.5% in case of Advanced Shopify plan. However, if you are using Shopify payments for your transactions, then no transaction fee is imposed.
- Knowledge of Code: To customize your website as per your requirements, you need to gain knowledge of not only basic codes of HTML and CSS but also of Shopify’s own coding language named “Liquid”. So, to make alterations in the website code, you need to hire a Shopify expert who can help you with queries related to Liquid.
Shopify in terms of ease of use
With a hosted e-commerce platform like Shopify, creating your own online store is not a big deal. Along with a user-friendly customer front-end and admin backend, it provides enhanced navigation options and various tools that help you manage inventory, insert product details, create web pages, track customer details, set up customer accounts, receive payments in various currencies, and much more.
Add-ons supported by Shopify
The e-commerce platform has an app store which provides some free and some paid plugins that seamlessly integrate with Shopify and expand the functionality of your online store. Hence, Shopify App Store is a huge platform for merchants to discover numerous technology integrations and save their time, money, and resources.
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