The Ultimate Guide to Shopify: How it Works, Advantages and Disadvantages

The Ultimate Guide to Shopify: How it Works, Advantages and Disadvantages

Have you ever wanted to start your own online store? Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows anyone with a product idea to sell their products and services in the easiest way possible. 

This article will answer the question “What is Shopify?” as well as outline how it works, the advantages of using it, and some disadvantages of using it. In addition, we’ll show you what you need to get started!

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a Canadian company that primarily offers an ecommerce platform. It enables anyone to easily create their own online store and sell products or services on the Shopify website with no coding required. Through this, people are able to start their own business without any experience necessary!

Advantages of using Shopify

Shopify is a legitimate company that has been around since 2006. 

One of the biggest advantages to using Shopify is just how easy it is for anyone to use! It’s possible for people with no technical skills, or even any business experience, to create their own online store and sell. All that’s needed is a product idea and some willingness to learn about marketing on social media like Facebook ads & Instagram stories.

The company is also very well-known and trusted, which will make it easy to sell products. 

Shopify has excellent customer service and a reliable backup that can be reached by phone or email at any time of day. They are always around so customers don’t have to worry about being on hold for long periods of time when they call in.

Shopify is a great choice for anyone who wants to start their own business and doesn’t want the hassle of setting up a complicated ecommerce website on WordPress or any other DIY site builder. 

Disadvantages of using Shopify

Shopify can be expensive if you don’t know how to create a website. It is not free and requires some form of payment for both the monthly fees as well as transaction costs when making purchases online.

The company offers no customer support on weekends or holidays which might make it harder for customers who need help with their account, orders, or their website.

Shopify’s interface and backend are not as user-friendly as some other ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce or Magento, which might be a problem for those who are unfamiliar with coding languages.

Shopify is not bad, it just isn’t the best solution for everyone. It’s designed as a one-size fits all and many users end up with something that feels too generic or doesn’t suit their needs.

What does it cost to get started with Shopify?

Shopify has a 14-day free trial, which is great because it can be used as an opportunity to test the waters before making any commitments. 

The pricing starts at $29 per month for basic Shopify and goes up from there depending on what particular features or plugins you are looking for. The most expensive plan that they offer is at $299 per month, but it is for extremely high-volume stores.

There’s also a Shopify calculator that one can use online to see exactly how much they would pay based on certain variables such as the number of products, number of orders each month and the type of plan.

It’s also worth noting that Shopify has a one-time fee to purchase the software but it does not require any monthly payments like some other ecommerce platforms do. 

The cheapest pricing options are generally for those who only sell between 20 and 200 products at once unlike higher volumes of items.

The Shopify software is also customizable so you can adjust the interface and banners to your liking if needed, which some other ecommerce platforms do not offer. 

Shopify’s desktop and mobile apps are available for all devices at no additional cost on most plans, as well. The only caveat is that it has a monthly limit of up to 500,000 visitors.

Shopify’s blog has all the information you need to get started and is worth checking out before signing up for anything else.

How does Shopify work?
 

The best way to describe how Shopify works is by looking at two different types of plans: Basic Stores and Advanced stores.

Shopify's basic stores are the most affordable option, but they do not come with as many features and functionalities. Nevertheless, this plan is a great choice for those who want to build their own ecommerce website without having to worry about design or coding. This plan also uses Shopify's in-house payment system (Shopify Payments), which provides simple checkout processes for customers.

Basic stores are great for individuals, small business and organizations with less than 500 employees. Basic Stores provide a low monthly plan cost of $29 per month ($288 per year) that includes unlimited bandwidth and storage space to upload your online store's images and content files. The only limitation is the number of visitors you can have on your site at one time.

Shopify’s advanced stores

Shopify’s advanced stores are perfect for small to medium-sized organizations with more than 500 employees, and they are available in four different plans:

• Basic Advanced Plan ($299 per month/$2799 annually): This plan includes unlimited bandwidth and storage space. The only limitation is the number of visitors you can have on your site at one time.

• Standard Advanced Plan ($499 per month/$4989 annually): This plan is ideal for small-to medium sized organizations. It includes unlimited bandwidth and storage space, plus features like live chat support, a customer-facing mobile site, and up to 75% ecommerce conversion rate.

• Advanced Plan ($599 per month/$6489 annually): This plan is for medium sized organizations with more than 500 employees. Unlimited bandwidth and storage space are offered in this package too along with high volume customers (up to 200 visitors at once).

In what countries can I use Shopify?

Customers based in the United States can use Shopify. Customers outside of this area will be charged a monthly fee for credit card processing to cover currency conversion and other fees associated with international transactions. 

What currencies does Shopify work with?

Shopify currently accepts transactions in U.S. dollars, Euros, Canadian Dollars, and British Pounds.

Is Shopify better than Amazon?

Shopify and Amazon both have their pros and cons. Shopify is a great option for small to medium sized businesses that don’t want the expense of an ecommerce company such as Amazon Web Services, but need more than just a basic platform like WordPress or Weebly.

Amazon has been around since 1994 while Shopify was founded in 2004. Amazon has a much larger warehouse and shipping network, but Shopify is more user-friendly.

Shopify charges a monthly fee for credit card processing to cover currency conversion or other fees associated with international transactions while Amazon does not charge anything additional for this service. The exception is third party sellers who use their own payment processor rather than Amazon.

Shopify is about $30 per month for a basic plan, while Amazon is currently free for the first year and then costs around $40 annually afterward. Shopify has an app store with over 1,000 apps that you can add either from your admin account or through their command line interface in order to extend functionality of your site. You can also sell on Amazon using Shopify as your third party seller, so you don’t have to give up one or the other.

Should I sell on Etsy or Shopify?

It’s up to you whether you sell on Etsy or Shopify. There are benefits and disadvantages for both Etsy and Shopify, which we’ll cover below. You can also use these two platforms in tandem by using Shopify as your third party seller platform on Amazon or vice versa

• Advantages of selling on Etsy: the fees associated with a basic Etsy plan are 20 cents per listing, which is a bargain compared to the Shopify rate of $29 per month(which also includes unlimited bandwidth and storage). Etsy offers free shipping on orders less than 20 items or for orders over 20 items that are delivered within the same country you live in.

• Disadvantages of selling on Etsy: You will have to ship your items and take care of customer service. You’ll also be at the mercy of their site algorithms, which means that a well-designed product page might not rank as high as it would on other sites.

• Advantages of selling on Shopify: One thing this platform offers is an easier website design process. The templates are already in place, and all you have to do is customize them with your content and images.

Shopify has a large selection of templates to choose from, which can be customized. The interface is also very intuitive and it’s easy to import your store from another ecommerce site like Etsy or eBay if you want to switch platforms.

• Disadvantages of selling on Shopify: You will need a hefty credit card or bank account balance just for the fees every month, which includes $29 per month plus transaction fees (the cost varies depending on how you sell).

You can’t sell any physical products. Your store will be hosted by a third party company, which means you’ll have to pay for your own domain name and hosting if you want it.

Is Shopify worth it?

Determining whether Shopify is worth it depends on how much your time is worth to you! If someone else can help you get set up, and you’ve got the money for hosting (and domain name), then it might be worth it. But if not, there are some other platforms that may work better for what you’re looking for.

If you’re considering using Shopify to launch your drop shopping-based business, many consider Dropship Lifestyle to be one of the top online courses explaining how to use Shopify. Check out I Buy I Review’s comprehensive review of Dropship Lifestyle here.