Shopify was founded in 2004 by three friends in Canada who attempted to open an online store for snowboarding gear. One of the friends was a programmer by trade and was having trouble finding a good storefront design to meet the company's needs. He decided to create his own, and from there, the three friends expanded their business and began making templates for other online stores.
- Mobile Accessibility
Shopify has a major presence in the eCommerce market. It powers a significant number of online stores and is considered an industry leader. Shopify also offers its customers many different options for creating an entirely unique storefront, and its tools are integrated so well that you will find every tool you need to manage your online store (as well as in-store POS) right at your fingertips. Shopify has already helped businesses sell over 8 billion dollars worth of products.
Shopify offers more than 100 professionally designed templates. It also has a theme store where you can pick a theme that specifically corresponds to the industry your product is part of. On top of this, Shopify allows third party professionals to design themes, which are then featured among the other storefront templates. Shopify also has its own programming language known as Liquid, which can be used to make a completely unique storefront. Customers with a little coding experience can also design their own storefront using HTML or CSS.
The mobile functionality allows for shop owners to manage their store from their mobile device. Shopify's App store also features more than 500 apps (both free and paid), all of which are geared towards optimizing your online business. Shopify has 24/7 customer support and has even listed special telephone numbers for international customers. The Shopify website has changeable language settings that make it user friendly.
Shopify's Basic package costs $29/month and includes an unlimited amount of file storage, bandwidth, products, and a discount code engine. For those customers who aren't ready for an online store, Shopify offers a Lite starter package that gives users most of the same features as the upgraded packages, except for ways to sell on your own online store, Pinterest, and Twitter. Users can choose from special templates and are guaranteed use of a secure checkout system. If you need more than the Lite and Basic package, Shopify has two other plans to choose from that range in price from $79-$179 per month. The difference between these plans is the credit card rates online and in person. The online credit card rates for Shopify's Lite and Basic plan are 2.9% + $0.30 and 2.6% + $0.30 and 2.4% + $0.30 for the Pro and Unlimited plan, respectively. Shopify even has plans available for enterprises which means it is basically able to service any kind of business out there.
Shopify's storefronts are highly secure. Shopify is certified PCI compliant, and the company hosts many online stores and handles a massive amount of transactions using its own payment system. Even though Shopify has its own system, it also works with 70 other payment gateways so there is no need to have Shopify handle your transactions if you already have a Shopify-supported payment gateway. Along with the security of Shopify's payment system, the company also offers a free highly secure SSL certificate to protect customer's information.
- Mobile App
- Shopify Payments
Shopify's apps may streamline your online store operations, but many of them charge additional monthly prices on top of the price you pay to keep your Shopify store running. The apps are helpful and can save time for crucial business operations like accounting, marketing, and shipping.
The Lite plan doesn't allow you to sell online; it only allow sales through Facebook or a Point of Sale system. The Lite and Basic plans come with a variety of useful features but in order to have gift cards, professional reports, and an abandoned cart recovery you will need to pay for the upgraded Pro plan. In order to get an advanced report builder, real-time carrier shipping, and the lowest card rates for transactions, you will need to pay for the Unlimited plan.
Using "Shopify Payments" removes the transaction fee but if you choose to go with a third-party payment gateway, that transaction fee will be required. If you decide to use an external payment gateway other than Shopify Payments, then you will be charged some percentage of a transaction fee ranging from 2 percent to .5 percent depending on which plan you are on.
The Bottom Line
Shopify is a trusted eCommerce platform. If you are looking to create a highly functional and attractive online store, Shopify is a worthwhile investment. Shopify's month-to-month costs are slightly higher than its competitors, but with its modern storefront templates and its integration abilities, Shopify has truly proven itself as a leader in the eCommerce industry.