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What are the pros and cons of Shopify?

Shopify logo

Shopify pros and cons.

These are the main pros and cons.

Pros

  • 1. With its ‘Lite’ plan, Shopify represents one of the cheapest ways to start selling online using a hosted solution.
  • 2. It’s a good option for anyone interested in drop shipping.
  • 3.There are no transaction fees if you are happy to use the built-in payment processing system, Shopify Payments.
  • 4. It has a clean, easy-to-use interface.
  • 5. It provides a good range of free, responsive and attractive templates
  • 6. The point-of-sale options are excellent and help Shopify stand apart from its competitors.
  • 7. There is a simple PayPal integration available.
  • 8. Shopify states that over 500,000 stores have been built using the platform, which makes it a relatively safe bet that the company (and thus your online store!) is not going to disappear anytime soon.
  • 9. You can extend Shopify’s functionality easily thanks to a huge range of third-party apps (although note that you will have to pay to use many of them).
  • 10. Shopify handles the creation and application of product categories really well.
  • 11. VAT MOSS rates are automatically calculated and applied by Shopify.
  • 12. The Shopify Buy Button allows you to use Shopify with an existing website built using another platform (for example WordPress, Squarespace, Wix or Jimdo).
  • 13. Shopify comes with a built-in blog.
  • 14. You can create AMP versions of product pages (albeit with the help / additional cost of a third-party app).
  • 15. Both iOS and Android apps are provided to enable you to manage your store on the go.
  • 16. You can avail of a 2-week free trial of the product.
  • 17. Speed and Load Times: When you build an e-commerce site you need it to be fast and secure – two often mutually exclusive goals for all but most often comes with expensive hosting packages. Even fractionally longer load times can send your paying customers on to the next site, costing you potential sales.
  • 18. Security: With Shopify, your site is ultra-fast, while being totally secure for handling sensitive data and processing payments.
  • 19.Great Design: Shopify is largely about great design, and you will quickly find there are plenty of templates available, both free and paid, that will leave your site looking aesthetically pleasing whilst also professional.
  • 20. Add-ons: There are plenty of add-ons available for Shopify, so you can expand the feature set if you need it. That means you probably don’t have to worry about hiring a coder just yet – the easy interface means you can quickly bolt on new features and functions within your site.

 

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Cons

  • 1. Whilst you can create 100 variants of a product, these can only involve up to 3 product options.
  • 2. Some key functionality which you might expect to be provided out of the box requires an installation of an app (notable examples include facilitating digital downloads and reviews and ratings).
  • 3. Adding custom fields such as text boxes or file upload options, whilst doable, is unnecessarily complicated.
  • 4. Professional reporting functionality is only provided on more expensive plans.
  • 5. Shopify Payments only allows you to sell from certain countries –  United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. If you want to sell from another country you will need to use a third-party payment gateway.
  • 6. You can’t avoid transaction fees if you use a third-party payment gateway.
  • 7. There is no way to automatically ensure that product images are displayed using the same aspect ratio. This can lead to the messy presentation of your products unless you have cropped all your images in advance of uploading them to Shopify.
  • 8. It would be nice if the abandoned cart saver allowed you to send more than one automated follow-up email.
  • 9. The cheapest plan (the $9 ‘Lite’ offering) doesn’t permit you to create a fully-featured online store.
  • 10. It’s not easy to export blog posts.
  • 11. It’s not clear how to access phone support if you live outside of North America, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
  • 12. The Cost: Shopify costs money, both monthly and in terms of individual transaction processing fees (if you don’t choose to operate Shopify Payments). You need to take account of these when comparing packages to get your store off the ground, especially if you intend to sell in volume.
  • 13. Uniquely Coded: While Shopify can be made to do pretty much whatever you want out of the box, if you do have to explore the back-end, you’re going to be dealing with proprietary coding. In a nutshell, this means that you need someone who knows what they’re doing and has the time to learn how to work with Shopify particularly, to get the job done. This can increase maintenance costs and result in delays in managing your store.