Thanks to the internet, the entire world is now connected and capable of accessing any type of content online. While this includes streaming services, social networks, and all kinds of other websites, it is also true for businesses.
If you have a product that you wish to sell, it has never been easier to start offering it online, and not just to your local community, but to anyone around the world. Online stores are quite common and popular today, and most of them owe their existence to services like Shopify.
If you are interested in launching your own online store, but you don’t know how Shopify can help you — you’ve come to the right place. With the help of BestCloudTools, let’s take a look at what this service has to offer, and how you can benefit from using it.
What is Shopify about?
Shopify is a leading cloud-based, multi-channel e-Commerce platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses. Merchants can use the software to design, set up, and manage their stores across multiple sales channels, including web, mobile, social media, marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops.
If you have any product that you expect people would be willing to buy, you can simply create an account and start selling it. In case you have a physical store, you can also join up with Shopify and sell your products in person by using Shopify POS (Point-of-Sale).
Shopify currently powers over 1,700,000 businesses in approximately 175 countries and is trusted by brands such as Tesla Motors, Red Bull, GE, Kylie Jenner, and many more.
The Origin of Shopify
The company has been around for over a decade, and it was created because its founder wanted to offer snowboards. However, it wasn’t long before he realized that doing so via the internet is extremely challenging without an available e-Commerce platform.
With no available options, he made his own, and that’s how Shopify came to be. Over the years, people found out about it, and thanks to its ease of use, the platform became a leader in e-Commerce space, suitable for all kinds of businesses of all sizes.
These days, it is being used by pretty much everyone, whether they are selling via their own website, social media, or physical stores, as mentioned.
What Can You Sell with Shopify?
A great thing about Shopify is that you can use it to sell pretty much anything. That includes:
If you have a physical, hand-made product, or anything that you can sell via mail to your customer, you can use Shopify to start offering it and charging for it. That can include anything, from custom t-shirts to jewelry, art, books, or any other physical item that you own or can produce.
You can also use Shopify to offer digital goods, including things like audiobooks, email templates, ebooks, your own software, online courses, online art, Lightroom presets, and alike. Of course, you must be the owner of the digital goods you are selling in order to be able to offer them legally, but other than that, pretty much everything goes.
Whether you can offer a service or consultation regarding anything you are an expert with, you can charge for it thanks to Shopify. This can include things like digital designs, life coaching, but also things like dentist services, massages, car rides, and more. Basically, if you can do something that people would pay for you to do, Shopify has got you covered.
If you are offering any type of course, you can use Shopify to charge your fee for providing lessons or holding classes, whether it is online or offline. This is perfect for fitness instructors, personal trainers, or any other kinds of private tutors and teachers.
Similarly to our previous entry, if you offer any type of subscription for virtually anything, you can use Shopify to charge your fee and start offering your services right away.
All of this is only scratching the surface of what you can do with Shopify, as you can let your imagination run wild. The bottom line is, as long as what you have to offer is legal and you believe that you can find customers for your goods and services, Shopify will help you get started without any issues or difficulties, lengthy processes.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Started?
Now, let’s discuss the different plans and prices that Shopify offers. Like with any other platform that offers such an advanced and user-friendly service, Shopify will require a fee of its own for getting you on your way of developing your business.
The first thing that you need to know is that Shopify offers a free trial that lasts for 14 days. In other words, you can start using it right now, and use it for three whole months before you have to decide whether or not you wish to proceed. You don’t even need to enter your credit card in order to set things up and start selling your goods and services.
Once your 14-day trial comes to a close, however, here are the four plans that Shopify offers:
Shopify Lite — $9/mo
Start your dream business with Shopify Lite for less than the price of a movie. This plan supports adding buy buttons to other websites only (including WordPress).
Basic Shopify— $29/mo
Shopify’s basic plan is fairly generous considering the low price. With it, you get the ability to start an online store with unlimited products, and two staff accounts. You also get non-stop customer support and different sales channels.
You can even assign inventory to retail stores, warehouses, and alike, with a maximum of 4 locations. Manual order creations are also possible, and you get discount codes, free SSL certificates, gift cards, abandoned cart recovery, and more. Shopify also offers shipping, fraud analysis, low credit card rates, and POS.
Shopify — $79/mo
The second plan is simply called Shopify, and it offers pretty much the same features as the last one, with some improvements here and there, plus some additional features. So, in addition to everything that the basic plan offers, you also get up to 5 staff accounts, the ability to assign inventory to 5 locations, professional reports, a larger shipping discount, and free Shopify POS Pro, which will only remain free until October 31st, 2020. After that, it will cost $89 per month.
Advanced Shopify — $299/mo
Lastly, we have an Advanced Shopify plan, which is by far the most expensive, but also the most generous. It offers everything listed before, with new features and improvement of the old ones, such as 15 staff accounts, support for up to 8 locations, advanced report builder, 3rd party calculated shipping rates, and more.
As you can see, the company offers quite a bit, and its fee for providing these services is far from unreasonable. And, considering that you can use it for 90 days without even having to enter your card number, and much less pay for anything — many consider this to be an excellent offer.
PROs and CONs to Keep in Mind
Naturally, there are advantages and disadvantages to using Shopify, as no deal is perfect, regardless of how good it looks at first. The pros are great, and the cons are not too bad, and definitely not deal-breaking, as you have likely concluded on your own, considering how many people around the world are willing to use this service.
But, before you get started with anything, you should have all the available information, so let’s take a look at Shopify’s pros and cons.
- A 14-day free trial
- Budget lite plan for beginner entrepreneurs
- Very easy to use, which is great for tech novices
- It provides plenty of features and functionalities
- Even its basic plan is extremely functional for small businesses
- It is an excellent option for anyone interested in dropshipping
- EU VAT MOSS, US, and Canadian rates are calculated and applied automatically
- Multi-currency selling
- The POS options are very comprehensive
- It includes a built-in blog
- Offers apps for Android and iOS alike
- Compatible with a plethora of 3rd-party apps
- No transaction fees if you use the Shopify Payment processing system
- Powerful Fastly CDN network
- A wide range of countries supported payments
- Some key functionalities that you might expect are not included out-of-the-box and require an app
- Professional reporting only available on more expensive plans
- 3rd-party payment gateways will include fees
- The email marketing functionality is very basic
- Some functionalities are needlessly overly complicated (such as adding custom fields)
To Sum It up — When to Go for Shopify?
Undoubtedly, Shopify has its positives and negatives, but the good definitely outweighs the bad. Keep in mind that Shopify also constantly works on improving its service and that it is used by merchants and service providers around the world. Considering how there is an entire culture based around only using the best available product, the fact that Shopify is so popular and big definitely speaks in its favor.
Shopify is growing rapidly, and they need their providers to scale alongside them. That’s one of the reasons they have partnered with Fastly CDN since 2013 to provide scalable service to their customers all over the world. Fastly CDN helps them handling traffic spikes that are 200% of average bandwidth. You can take a closer look at Fastly CDN Review to get a better overview of this content delivery network strengths.
In the end, if you have a service to offer or a product to sell, you should definitely consider using Shopify, as it will make charging your fee extremely easy, and it will help you get started right away.
- Go for Shopify if you have digital or physical goods to sell.
- Go for Shopify if you can offer any type of service that people might be interested in paying for.
- Go for Shopify whether your business is small, medium, or large.
- Go for Shopify for an easy and enjoyable user experience.
- Go for Shopify if you are struggling to start developing your business, and you need all the help you can get.
Anyone, anywhere, can start a business.
The cheapest plan starts from $9/mo and costs up to $299/mo for growing businesses. You can take a look at Shopify Pricing to get an overview of current prices and plan features. Be aware that you need to have your own website for the cheapest plan. Please follow the Quick Website Setup badge indicated on the sidebar on the right to get started quickly with your own website. If you don’t have products to sell yet, dropshipping might be a good option for you.
A dropshipping business is one where the business owner lists, but doesn’t own, keep, or ship inventory. When the store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party. Usually, the third party is a manufacturer or wholesaler who then ships it to the customer directly. This means there are no upfront inventory costs for the business owner. Shopify provides a dedicated app to support dropshipping in your online store. Please take a look at the Oberlo Review to get started.
A merchant account is an account where your money is deposited after your customers’ payments have been authorized and processed.
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