Shopify Review 2019

Shopify Logo

Easily one of the most powerful ecommerce platforms available, both for solopreneurs and enterprises. Take advantage of Shopify’s extensive range of resources (including the Shopify University) to help you on your path to ecommerce success.

Val​​​​ue
Functionality
Features
Customization
Support
  • The Shopify Lite plan is one of the most affordable ecommerce platform plans around, perfect for novices or cash-strapped entrepreneurs.
  • An intuitive dashboard makes it easy to stay on top of your business.
  • Plenty of third-party apps to help you grow your store from strength to strength.
  • Advanced reporting abilities are only available on the higher pricing plans.
  • Limited out-of-the-box functionality means third-party apps are often required instead.
  • The abandoned cart feature only sends one chaser email to customers.

What is Shopify and how does it work?

Shopify is a complete, out-of-the-box, ecommerce SaaS solution that allows users to set up an online store with ease. From customizing websites and adding products to tracking orders and accepting card payments, everything in built in. Without a doubt, Shopify is one of the most powerful ecommerce builders on the market – ideal for those looking to start an online business with minimal hassle. It currently powers more than 500,000 businesses in 175 countries and has generated over $55 billion in sales.

With Shopify, you can enter into a wide range of industries: art, fashion, photography, electronics, food, furniture – you name it. Shopify helps you manage the technology side of things, so you can focus on other areas of your business. Sure, you’ll spend a few hours learning the basics, but once you’ve done that, you’re good to go. Shopify also offers 24/7 online and phone support, so help is never far away. Using its Point of Sale (POS) system, you can also integrate your offline retail store with your Shopify store.


Shopify’s ecommerce app marketplace features more than 1800 add-ons, making it a one-stop-shop for all the tools you’ll need, covering product sourcing, marketing, sales, shipping, reporting, and much more. The software also comes with a wide selection of clean, modern design templates, which you can tweak to fit your brand identity. When you sign up for a Shopify subscription, secure, reliable hosting comes as part of the package, so you can relax knowing that your site is protected from crashing or hackers.


Today, more than 1.2 million people are actively using Shopify’s cloud-based ecommerce platform. A monthly fee gives you access to an admin panel, from which you have control over everything. What’s more, more women than men have built their businesses on Shopify, at 52% and 47% respectively (with 1% other). Shopify’s easy-to-use interface, affordable subscription pricing model, and attractive themes make it one of our most highly rated ecommerce solutions.


If you’re considering opening an online store with Shopify, sign up for their 14-day free trial today – no credit card information required.

Benefits

So what are the main benefits of using Shopify? The first is that it provides a unified platform from which to run your business, so whether you sell online, offline, or through channels like Pinterest and Amazon, you see all of your sales data in one place. With Shopify handling everything from hosting and payments to shipping and marketing, you’re free to focus on the bigger picture.


What’s more, Shopify lets you create a beautiful website that represents your brand with no design skills needed, thanks to its range of high quality, editable themes. Whether you’re an ecommerce expert or a total beginner, Shopify has the power and flexibility to support your business goals, and currently does just that for more than 600,000 businesses around the world.


If you want to try Shopify before committing to a monthly plan, you can opt for the free trial, which gives you everything you need to start selling – no credit card details required. The trial begins as soon as you sign up, so you’ll want to start exploring right away. At the end of the trial, if you’ve yet to choose a monthly plan, your store will be paused until you choose to cancel or subscribe.

Pricing

  • Competitive pricing plan
  • Feature-rich standard plan

Shopify Lite

Basic Shopify

Shopify

Advanced Shopify

Shopify Plus

$9 per month

$29 per month

$79 per month

$299 per month

From $2000 per month

There are no setup fees for any of these plans, and you can cancel your account at any time. All Shopify plans operate on a month to month basis, unless you sign up for an annual or biennial plan. There is a 10% discount on ann  ual plans and a 20% discount on biennial plans (if paid upfront).


The Shopify Lite plan is designed for anyone who wants to sell products online without actually running an online store. Perhaps you already have a WordPress or Squarespace website ready to go, so you don’t need an additional ecommerce website. The Shopify Lite plan offers everything you would get with the Basic Shopify plan – just without the website. Its features integrate with social media and you can add Buy Buttons directly to your current websites or blog.


Shopify Plus is the enterprise multi-channel platform aimed at merchants and Fortune 500 companies selling in high volume. Used by brands like Rebecca Minkoff, MVMT and Nestle, it gives growing businesses the freedom to scale faster and go global with storefronts in multiple languages. The platform is designed for ultimate speed and reliability, with 99.98% uptime and unlimited bandwidth.


For the majority of users, the choice lies between Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify. From each of them, you can expect:


  • Unlimited number of products
  • Unlimited file storage
  • No transaction fees when using Shopify Payments
  • 24/7 support
  • Fraud analysis
  • Manual order creation
  • Discount codes
  • Website and blog
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Free SSL certificate

  • Basic Shopify

    Shopify

    Advanced Shopify

    Online Credit Card Rates

    2.2% + 30¢

    1.9% + 30¢

    1.6% + 30¢

    External payment gateway transaction fees

    2.0%

    1.0%

    0.5%

    Staff accounts

    2

    5

    15

    Gift Cards

    No

    Yes

    Yes

    Professional reports

    No

    Yes

    Yes

    Advanced report builder

    No

    No

    Yes

    Third party calculated shipping rates

    No

    No

    Yes

    It’s worth remembering that you can upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time. If you decide to stop selling for a period of time, you can also choose to pause your Shopify store and pay a reduced price of $14 per month. While dormant, you can still access your admin and reports, and view your online storefront.


    The most popular Shopify solution is the Shopify Plan, giving you pretty much every feature Shopify has to offer, while avoiding the steep jump from $79 to $299 per month. If your website brings in more than $5000 per month, it is certainly worth opting for the Shopify Plan over the Basic, for the reduced transaction fees if nothing else.

    Features

    Shopify is a web-based website builder that comes with all the core and advanced shopping features you’ll need to run an ecommerce store. A full blogging platform, hundreds of professional mobile-responsive themes, branding and customization abilities, secure hosting, your own domain name, a free SSL certificate, and hundreds of payment gateways are all part of the Shopify package as standard. In addition, there’s POS integration, abandoned cart functionality, and the option to create multiple staff accounts. With the more expensive plans, you also get access to gift cards, professional reports, and real-time carrier shipping.


    The Shopify interface is clean, modern and simple to use. From one dashboard, you can set up a variety of sales channels – not just an online store, but also Pinterest, Facebook, Messenger, Amazon, and the Buy Button. The system allows you to import product data from a CSV file, which is super handy if you want to upload in bulk. Shopify also allows you to create up to 100 different variants of a single product. So, if you’re selling products that don’t involve too many variants or product options, you’ll be fine with Shopify.


    In addition to Shopify’s core functionality, there is also the app store, which you can visit to install apps that jazz up what your store can do. There is a huge number of free and paid apps available – more than most other ecommerce platforms you will come across. This is certainly one of the strongest arguments for using Shopify over its competitors, enabling you to adding functionality to your store and integrate it with other tools and platforms. Examples of popular apps include:

    • Oberlo
    • InstaFeed
    • Order Printer

    Shopify is ideal for beginners, since it takes care of a lot of the technical aspects of running websites. What’s more, for anything you’re struggling with, you can hire a qualified Shopify Expert to help out. Shopify is designed so that users with little to no technical knowledge can build their own ecommerce stores independently, but being scalable, it’s a viable option whatever your level of technical expertise – depending on which plan you opt for.


    An all-in-one cloud-based solution, Shopify gives you pretty much everything you need to build your online store, and is one of the easiest ecommerce builders to get to grips with. From the user dashboard, you can add product images, manage inventory, create blog posts, and set up customer accounts, pretty much within the first few hours of getting started.

    Ecommerce Comparison Features

    Shopify Logo
    Woocommerce logo
    Magento logo
    BigCommerce logo
    Wix logo

    Buy Now

    Overall Rating

    Price

    From $9

    Free to Install

    Free to Install

    From $29.95

    From $2.99

    From $5.00

    Themes

    100+

    1000+

    1000+

    120

    15

    500+

    SEO Tools

    Ease Of Use

    Functionality

    Customization

    Security

    Support

    Our Review

    Dashboard

    Logging in to your Shopify dashboard is easy – you simply go to shopify.com, hit ‘log in’, and  enter your store address, username, and password. From the Shopify admin panel, you can set up and edit your store, change your settings, monitor insights, and manage your business all from one place.


    From a browser, you can manage absolutely everything. You can also install the Shopify app on your smartphone, which allows you to manage orders and view recent activity on the go. The app makes a satisfying ‘cha-ching’ sound when you make a sale.


    The Shopify admin homepage displays information about your store’s most recent activity, as well as what tasks you have coming up, and the steps you can take to continue growing your business. The rest of the dashboard is accessed via the sidebar, where you have:


  • Orders
  • Products
  • Customers
  • Analytics
  • Discounts
  • Apps
  • Underneath that, you have your sales channels; Online Store, eBay, Point of Sale, etc. From the sections listed above you can manage core aspects of your business, monitor your sales channels, install and use Shopify apps, view analytics, and change your settings. In the analytics section, you have the option to filter data by date using the dropdown menu, so you can view data for the past month, week, or 24 hours.


    The Shopify admin panel is clean, comprehensive, and easy to get to grips with. The standard admin URL is https://www.shopify.com/login. As the account owner, you can also create individual accounts for your staff members. You do this by going to Settings > Account, and under the Staff accounts section, you click Add staff account. Find the full instructions here.


    The admin interface of a Shopify store is in English only, but the storefront itself can be set up in any language.

    Themes

    Shopify has its own themes store, helpfully arranged by collection and industry. You can, for example, seek themes that are ‘Fun and lively’, or if you’re opening an artisanal tea store, for example, you might want to browse ‘Food & drink’.


    Under Browse all themes, you can filter templates according to your preferences. For instance, you can filter by price, number of products, layout style, product page features, navigation, and marketing options. Shopify offer 10 free themes that each come in 2-3 different styles, the most popular being BrooklynMinimal, and Supply.


    Paid themes range from between $140-180 in price, and there is a much wider range of them. The most popular paid templates include TestamentEmpire, and Motion. These premium themes tend to come in 3-4 different styles and have more customization options. All themes on the Shopify Theme Store also include:


    • Customizable homepage content sections
    • Mobile-friendly design
    • Drop-down navigation support
    • Free theme updates
    • Search engine optimization
    • Built-in styles and color palettes
    • Social media icons
    • Free stock photos from Burst


    Alternatively, you might consider sourcing your website theme from a third party supplier like ThemeForest. While ThemeForest specializes in WordPress themes, it has (at the time of writing) 251 Shopify website templates created by independent designers. These external themes range in price from $5-150, with the most highly rated being The LookMegashop, and SimpleGreat – all of which would set you back just $59. Each of these templates are quality checked by Envato.


    If you’re so inclined, you can choose to build your own Shopify theme. To do so, you must first join the Shopify Partner Program. This allows you to create free development stores, so you can test your themes while you build them. Shopify offers a number of theme development tools to help you along the way.


    Content Management

    The purpose of content is making a valuable connection with your audience by sharing relevant, useful information. Having a blog is one of the best ways to keep your ecommerce website fresh and attract links and shares. Shopify boasts a powerful, easy-to-use blogging platform where you can post articles, images, videos, and infographics on a regular basis, as well as promote user discussion and moderate comments.


    Images can sometimes be a point of contention with Shopify. While you can use many image formats, it’s best to stick to JPEG, PNG, or GIF. As a general rule:

    • JPEGs are recommended for photography
    • PNG images are recommended for graphics and icons
    • GIFs are recommended for moving images

    There are also image upload limits – your images cannot exceed 20 megapixels or 20 megabytes. Shopify will compress images automatically, as well as displaying them in sRGB – there is no way around this. If your images are displaying differently when you upload them to your online store, this could be why. Every theme is different, so check individual image specifications before upload.


    Creating and editing pages in Shopify is very simple. You create a new webpage from the Shopify admin panel by going to Online Store > Pages. From here, you can enter the desired title and content. Using the rich text editor, you can also add links, tables, images, and videos. Should you wish to edit the HTML, you click Show HTML – the button that looks like this in the far right corner <>. You can come back to edit pages at any time.


    But what about managing products? Shopify has its own tab in the admin panel for adding and updating products, and if you have many similar products, you can duplicate them. You can hide a product from your sales channels at any time – if it’s a seasonal product, for example. It’s recommended to add tags (searchable keywords) to each product, to make it easier for customers to search within your online store while shopping. For each product you will need to consider:

    • Title and description
    • Images
    • Pricing
    • Inventory
    • Shipping
    • Variants
    • Search engine listing preview
    • Sales channels
    • Organization

    For your product images, the best type of image file to use is JPEG. Once added, you can edit them using Shopify’s inbuilt photo editor. Product images can be any size up to 5760 x 5760 px, and for square images a size of 2048 x 2048 px usually looks best. When you hover over your product images, you will see an option that says ALT – use this to add alt text, which will boost your page’s SEO.

    Plugins & Extensions

    Shopify has one of the best app stores on the market – and the best part is they’re super easy to install and use. There’s a huge range of free and affordable apps to add functionality to your store, from accounting and email marketing to product reviews and social media. Some of its top-rated free apps include Oberlo, BEST Currency Converter, and AfterShip Returns Center. It even offers a free virtual marketing employee – Kit – which helps you manage your Instagram and Facebook ads, email marketing, and social posts.


    Shopify’s developer platform is fast-growing, and it provides a powerful suite of APIs and tools to its developer community. Learn more about building your own apps for Shopify here.


    Installing a Shopify app is basically foolproof. You simply:


    1. Go to the App Store and select an app
    2. Click the Get button
    3. Confirm app installation
    4. Done – it’ll now appear under Apps in your Shopify admin panel

    Checkout

    Shopify has a secure checkout that lets you accept orders and take payments – all your customers need to do is enter their shipping and payment information. You can edit your Shopify checkout process by going via Settings > Checkout. Channels like Facebook will also allow eligible customers  to complete their purchases using other checkouts.


    Shopify’s transaction fees for external payment gateways (that is, not Shopify Payments) depend on which plan you have, and are as follows:

    • Basic plan: 2.2% + 30¢ per transaction
    • Shopify plan: 1.9% + 30¢ per transaction
    • Advanced plan: 1.6% + 30¢ per transaction

    While Shopify Payments is the simplest way to accept payments online, the software also allows you to accept major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB, Discover, Diners Club), as well as:

    • PayPal
    • Apple Pay
    • Google Pay
    • Amazon Pay
    • Alternative payments
    • Cryptocurrency

    As a seller, you may need to charge tax on your sales. Helpfully, you can set up Shopify to automatically handle most common sales tax calculations. Bear in mind that Shopify doesn’t file or remit your sales taxes for you. It’s advised that you check with a local tax authority or accountant to ensure that you charge your customers the correct rates. Here’s what you need to know about United States taxes.


    Shopify automatically comes with PCI & DSS compliant shopping cart software, as well as a free SSL certificate (here’s why you need one). To buy an SSL certificate separately, as you would with a self-hosted system, costs between $149-639 per year.


    Shopify’s retail POS system is one of its major selling points, allowing you to securely accept credit card payments on any device and embrace multi-channel selling. The free card reader and POS app are available whatever plan you’re on.

    With its built-in fraud analysis software, Shopify employs uses machine learning algorithms to help draw attention to suspicious-looking orders that could be fraudulent. There are also additional fraud prevention apps, such as Fraud Filter, a free app which lets you create custom filters on orders or checkouts, giving you an extra layer of protection.


    In terms of getting paid as a seller, there is a short delay between when the customer pays for their order and when you receive the payment. The payment initially comes out of your merchant account while the order is processed, before the funds are transferred to you. You will also be charged transaction fees for all orders that aren't brokered by Shopify i.e. that aren’t Shopify Payments. Here’s more on getting paid.


    Finally, let’s talk about refunds and manual orders. Depending on your return policy, you'll sometimes need to refund or cancel orders – perhaps an entire order, or just part of an order. When you refund an order, the payment is sent back to the customer. Many print-on-demand vendors choose to have a no refunds policy, since their products are made to order (unless the product is lost or damaged).


    To refund an order, you go to the Orders section of the Shopify admin panel, click the order your want to refund, click Refund in the Order details section, and enter the quantity to be refunded. You may also wish to enter the reason for the refund for your records. If you’re only refunding part of an order, you set the quantity to 0 on the products that aren’t being refunded. More information on the refund process can be found here.


    In the Orders section, you can also create orders manually, which you might wish to do if someone’s placed an order outside of your Shopify account.

    Shipping

    When somebody makes a purchase through your Shopify store, it’ll automatically appear in your Orders section, informing you of its current status. You’ll also get a notification by email (or through the mobile app) informing you of the sale. After the order has been paid and fulfilled, it will be archived automatically.


    Naturally, once a customer places an order, you need to fulfil it. There are several ways to manage order fulfilment using Shopify – you can fulfil orders manually if you make products to order, or you can fulfil them automatically using a fulfilment service. This may be achieved using an app – Printify, for example, will fulfil orders on your behalf – or you can set up automatic order fulfilment in the Checkout section of the admin panel.


    You store’s shipping settings can be managed in the Shipping section. Before your store goes live, you’ll need to set up your website’s shipping method. Shopify Shipping is a helpful tool you can use to buy and print shipping labels. Shopify offers the following shipping features on every plan:

    • Shopify Shipping discounts rates
    • Print shipping labels
    • Display calculated rates at checkout
    • Shipment tracking
    • Automatic customer email notification
    • Ship date (US only)
    • Signature confirmation

    With the Advanced plan, you also get third-party calculated rates.


    With the help of Shopify apps like ShipStationShippingEasy, and Shippo, you can get the best rates, print shipping labels, and sync orders for fulfilment, making your life a whole lot easier (the latter two are free). This is a great way to make up for the reduced functionality of a cheaper Shopify plan.

    Inventory Management

    With Shopify, you can sell physical goods, digital downloads, services, and gift cards. As well as adding products manually, you can also import and export products using a CSV file (download a sample CSV file here). Importing products is a good option if you’re switching over to Shopify from another ecommerce platform. Likewise, exporting your products can be useful if you want to edit them in bulk.


    You can sync your Shopify store with Amazon, eBay, and Etsy by opening up new sales channels. Stitch Labs is a great way to do this if you want to publish your existing marketplace listings onto Shopify. Otherwise, you simply add new products to Shopify and sync your product information with the desired sales channel to create a listing. Shopify syncs your inventory with all active sales channels.


    When it comes to organizing your products online, there are many different approaches you can take, and this really depends on the type of product you sell. You can apply multiple filters to your collections based on tags – this is one way to do it. Shopify encourages you to group products into ‘collections’ to make it easier for customers to find them by category. You can also create automated collections using preset conditions, for example, best sellers or most viewed.


    To create a product collection, you go to Products > Collections, click Create collection, select manual or automated, enter the details and save.


    With Shopify’s inventory management system, you can keep track of stock counts, set up reminders to orders or create new products, and update inventory levels when you receive a new shipment. As you might expect, there are all sorts of apps designed to make inventory management easier – hooray for the App Store! Stock SyncLion Restock, and In Stock Alerts are all worth looking into.

    Customer Management

    Naturally, keeping in regular contact with customers is an important aspect of running an ecommerce business. Shopify stores your customers’ names and information whenever an order is placed, and they are added automatically to your customer list. From this list, you can create customer groups and send tailored emails and discounts. Customers can also be added manually to your lists.


    You customer list can be found in the Customers area of your Shopify admin panel. While it’s easy to email customers individually, you must have permission to contact them – which means they opted in for email marketing at the checkout.


    Shopify’s customer filters are super helpful, allowing you to filter by:

    • Accepts email marketing
    • Money spent
    • Number of orders
    • Date an order was placed
    • Date an order was abandoned
    • Date the customer was created
    • Account status
    • Location
    • Tags

    Marketing

    Launching a store is the fun part. Following that, the next important step is generating traffic and converting visitors. Shopify has a range of tools subscribers can use to market their stores more effectively. From SEO and online advertising to discount codes and social integrations, its combination of inbuilt features and apps can give most users a significant boost.


    Its key marketing features are as follows:

    • PPC advertising through Google AdWords and social promotion. As a first time Shopify user you’re given $100 in Google Adwords credit when you spend $25
    • Inbuilt SEO features such as auto-generated canonical tags, sitemap.xml, and robots.txt files
    • All Shopify plans include discount codes, with no limits on the number you can create
    • Facebook Pixel – a data aggregator that shows you how customers are behaving so you can plan more effective future campaigns
    • Email marketing and customer list segmentation
    • Kit – the free virtual marketing employee app that does everything from creating targeted Facebook campaigns, to sending personal thank you emails

    Sales/CRO

    When customers give their contact information but don’t follow through with the order, Shopify will automatically store their cart as an abandoned checkout. This option is available for Shopify users with an Online Store sales channel only – it doesn’t apply to POS or ecommerce marketplaces. Of course, the customer has to have entered their email address already in order for you to reach out to them.


    One of the great benefits of the abandoned checkout feature is that you can start to observe patterns among customers who aren’t completing their orders. To view your abandoned checkouts, you simply go to Orders > Abandoned checkouts in your Shopify admin. With an app like Care Cart, you can add further recovery functionality to your store and automate much of the process, so it’s as hands-off as you want it to be.


    Offering discounts to your customers is a powerful marketing strategy for your Shopify store, and after they’re set up, you can view the Sales by discount report to see how often they’re being used. By combining discounts with your abandoned checkout recovery emails, you can send a pre-filled cart to your customers to let them complete their abandoned checkout at a discounted price – whether fixed value, percentage, or shipping discount.


    Shopify also offers Gift Cards as products, which can be used as payment toward future orders, or issued to customers as a reward or incentive. Find out more about Gift Cards here.


    Product reviews are an important trust indicator for any ecommerce website. To add product reviews to your online store, you’ll need to download an app – this isn’t an inbuilt Shopify feature. However, it’s very simple to implement. The free one is Product Reviews: this allows you to add simple customer review functionality to each of your products. There are other options to consider as well, such as Photo Reviews and Ali Reviews – all designed to reduce purchase anxiety around shopping online.

    SEO

    Hosted platforms sometimes have a reputation for being weak from an SEO perspective. This usually comes down to restricted customization. For a hosted platform, Shopify offers extensive SEO features – plenty for your store to perform well in search, if you’re willing to do the work.


    So what works? Shopify’s SEO is built around ecommerce, with a clear interface, intuitive site navigation, and powerful search function. The blog is full of guides and tips for improving your on-page optimization. The downside is that is can rely too heavily on booster apps when it comes to advanced SEO – not that it’s necessarily a problem to install them. Some of the most popular Shopify SEO apps available include Plug in SEOSEO Manager, and SEO Image Optimizer.

    PPC

    When done properly, pay per click ads for websites can offer a good return on investment for ecommerce websites. Of course, it means dedicating time to keyword research, budget planning, strategic bidding, and writing persuasive ad copy. One of the perks of using Shopify is that as a first time member, you’ll receive a $100 in PPC credit when you spend $25. However, this only works on Google AdWords accounts with no previous activity history. As you might imagine, there are also apps you can use to improve your chances of success, namely Clever Adwords and Google AdWords Optimization.

    Social

    Sharing on social media is a free and easy way to promote your online store and get traffic. You can share products on Facebook directly from Shopify, or if eligible, even sell your products directly through the Facebook and Pinterest platforms. Of course, you have to do more than just share your products over and over. Creating and sharing relevant blog content is one of the best ways to build brand loyalty and get customers engaging with your business, rather than perceiving your social efforts as one big sales train. All of Shopify’s templates come with social sharing functionality, meaning its easy to direct customers to your social profiles.


    Some of the best social apps for Shopify include:

    Email Marketing

    Setting up an email marketing campaign using Shopify is easy, as long as you have permission from your previous customers to contact them. To obtain that permission, you need to set up your checkout to provide customers with an opt-in for promotional emails. Then, you can filter your customer details by those who ticked ‘accept marketing’.


    Unfortunately, Shopify doesn’t allow you to email your customers in bulk through the admin panel. However, you can do this using a third-party email marketing service. Some popular ones are Omnisend and Conversio.

    Hosting

    Hosting is included as part of every Shopify plan, which mean you don’t have to pay for an external host. It also comes with SSL encryption and unlimited bandwidth. It’s possible to register your domain name through Shopify, but you don’t have to – if you’ve got one already, you can transfer a third-party domain to Shopify (directions here). You simply edit your DNS settings to point your A record to Shopify's IP address. Email hosting is not included – but can be easily integrated.

    Analytics

    Shopify has pretty comprehensive analytics and reporting features – more depending on which plan you go for. From the analytics dashboard you can keep an eye on all of your recent activity, as well as analyzing visitor behavior and transactions. With Live View, you can see exactly how many people are shopping on your store at any given time.


    Of course, it’s always recommended that you set up Google Analytics in addition to the inbuilt features – this way you’re totally covered. Google Analytics should only be enabled once, and it’s worth bearing in mind that there can sometimes be discrepancies between GA and Shopify’s reporting results. Here’s why.

    Development

    If you become a Shopify developer, you can earn money by building apps or even working directly with businesses. All API tutorials and guides can be found here. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced developer, understanding Shopify’s Liquid programming language will be crucial for technical coding. In order to edit HTML/CSS files in Shopify, you navigate to Online Store > Customize Theme > Edit HTML/CSS. Do not attempt this if you are not a developer.


    For those looking to carry out a Shopify migration, all of the documentation can be found here. The steps depend on how your store is set up – if it’s complicated, you may find it easier to hire a Shopify Expert. There are various things to consider, such as URL redirects and protocol-independent assets.

    Support

    Shopify’s support system is pretty comprehensive – not only are there pages and pages of help topics, but you can also get in touch with the Shopify support team by email, live chat, and phone. This, plus countless video tutorials, webinars, and the Shopify community, come together to form a comprehensive base from which Shopify users can seek help and advice. If all else fails, there are always Shopify Experts.


    Shopify users can contact support here.

    Courses

    Looking to broaden your Shopify knowledge and skills? These are some of the best courses and resources for teaching yourself how to use this platform:


  • Shopify webinars 
  • Shopify Help Center
  • Shopify courses on Udemy
  • Shopify training and tutorials on Lynda
  • Shopify classes on Skillshare 
  • Experts

    Shopify offers a team of experts that can be hired to help build your online store, whether you need a designer, developer, marketer, photographer, or someone to get things set up. You can browse experts here by name, city, or keyword.


    Users can apply to become Shopify Experts, assuming they meet the eligibility requirements and have proven Shopify experience. A Partner account is also required to become an expert.

    Communities

    Shopify has a growing external community of merchants who gather online to share their skills and experience. There are Shopify meetup groups that take place all over the world, as well as communities on Facebook (Shopify Plus) and LinkedIn. The discussion forums also provide a wealth of community news and discussion around ecommerce, Shopify, and general topics.

    Store Examples

    Looking for inspiration from other brands that use the Shopify ecommerce platform? Here are 8 businesses of various sizes who built their online stores using Shopify.

    How to setup a Shopify store

    Step 1: Sign up. To sign up, you simply navigate to shopify.com and click Get Started. You’ll be asked to fill in your email address, and create a store name and password.


    Step 2: Add a product. Once you’ve accessed the Shopify admin panel, it the process of setting up your shop is outlined for you, taking you through a step-by-step process. The first step will ask you to add a product. You may wish to add several, or just one to begin with.


    Step 3: Customize the appearance.  From the Shopify admin panel, you can opt to customize the look of your website – anything from logos to colors. Most users begin by visiting the Theme Store to choose a suitable layout.


    Step 4: Set up your domain. When you’ve tweaked everything to your liking, this is the time to choose an official domain and push your site live. Once it’s ready to go, all you have to do is hit the Launch Website button.


    Find more detailed initial setup instructions here.

    Shopify Logo

    Shopify is most popular online store building tools currently available, ideal for users without much in the way of technical or design skills who don’t want to worry about buying web hosting or installing software. For their monthly subscription fee, users receive comprehensive out-of-the-box solution that can be customized extensively through the use of apps. While not the cheapest option available, it provides a versatile, scalable solution with a robust support network.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Are Shopify Apps Safe?

    Are Shopify Stores Profitable?

    Are Shopify Payments Secure?

    Can Shopify be Hacked?

    Do Shopify Stores use Cookies?