Shopify is an industry leader in shopping cart solutions. If you have spent any time researching eCommerce providers online, perhaps you’ve even been bombarded with colorful banner ads urging you to give Shopify a try. And perhaps you’ve wondered if this unique engine is really worth the investment. After all, there are plenty of content management systems that will allow you to build an online store and sell products— does Shopify really stand above the pack? As the founder of a major design and development firm, I have worked with literally dozens of Shopify sites, and in fact, my company is a certified Shopify partner. So let me take this opportunity to lay out some of the essentials in this comprehensive Shopify review.
Weighing the Pros
Are you looking to build a beautiful online storefront that’s truly your own? Shopify gives you more than 100 unique themes to choose from, and all of them are formatted to function effortlessly on any browser (including mobile browsers). You can even take things further by customizing the existing themes. And don’t worry, you don’t have to be a coding expert to enjoy the customization features.
If your top concern is ease of use, Shopify is your #1 choice. Even if you can’t tell a laptop from a lap dog, you can get up and running in a matter of minutes. Shopify is, hands down, the simplest and most straightforward eCommerce program in its class. From building your store to managing orders, everything is managed using a simple point-and-click interface.
Weighing the Cons
There really aren’t many things to complain about. Sure, there some occasional technical glitches, and the free themes are a bit basic, but overall, Shopify is quite the powerhouse. I would only register one serious objection, and that’s the price. The basic monthly fees are extremely reasonable, but unfortunately, Shopify charges transaction fees, which can greatly increase your cost burden if you do a lot of business. Additionally, you’ll have to pay extra for apps, extensions and premium themes. So if you do decide to go with Shopify, just be aware of these factors. You may find that the unparalleled ease of use more than compensates for the added cost.
Is Shopify the Way to Go?
This Shopify review wouldn’t be complete without a definitive yay-or-nay endorsement, so I’m going to give Shopify the thumbs up. As a caveat, though, I would say that it’s not perfect for everyone. If ease of use is your #1 determining factor, sign up for Shopify right now. If price is your #1 determining factor, you may want to compare some alternatives and decide accordingly. If you can’t decide, Shopify offers a free trial, so you can start exploring the platform risk free. If you like it, keep it. If not, there are plenty of worthwhile alternatives out there. Purchasing an eCommerce platform is kind of like buying a house. You’re going to have to live with it for a long time, so if you don’t fall in love with it right away, just keep looking.
If you’re like most customers, though, you’ll definitely fall in love with Shopify.