Shopify review 2014

Shopify review
  • Editor Rating

  • Spectacular
$29
  • 4.75/5 Avg. Rating

  • 4 Reviews

  • Shopify review
  • Published on: September 4, 2014
  • Last modified: September 6, 2014
  • Products
  • Apps
  • Flexability
  • Price

  • Review Summary:

  • Shopify can help you get your business off the ground in no time. If you're interested in making extra cash online then Shopify may help you. Shopify is a one stop shop to get your own ecommerce store up and running. With hundreds of themes, SEO benefits you can get started in no time with your very own ecommerce store.


This Shopify review will show you just how easy it is to start your own online store. It will be spilt into different pages so you can navigate more easily to the information you need.

If you’re looking for a way to make extra money online and don’t know were to start the Shopify platform might appeal to you. In this Shopify review I’ll discuss the features of Shopify and discuss the features that they have which makes them one of the leaders in helping people set up their online ecommerce store. I used the Shopify platform while setting up a ecommerce store for a family member and I found it simple to use and the end result always looked quality which is why I thought I’d write this Shopify review to help you get your next business up and running.

But why set up an online store?

There’s good reason to consider getting an online store – business is booming.

According to Internet Retailer the online spending in the US is increasing year by year.

Shopify-review

What is Shopify?

Our mission is simple: make commerce better.

At Shopify, we help emerging small businesses get off the ground and grow into successful companies. We do this by creating great technology and by making it accessible to people who previously wouldn’t be able to afford it.

We are a team of highly dedicated individuals who share two things: a passion for problem-solving, and a commitment to excellence.

So with that said, let’s get started with this Shopify review.


Over 100,000 stores run with Shopify. Here’s why

Once you’ve made the decision to go with Shopify and sign up for a free trail or straight to monthly payment, we’ll take you through what to expect and what to do in order to get your online store up and running easily. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll see the following page to collect details of your online shop. Fill in the details of your address. You can also add the physical location of your shop if you have one.

Shopify-welcome

After some Shopify magic you’ll then be on this page. Here’s the inside of your shop. As you can see you have a lot of options in the left navigation bar. We’ll go into more details about these later on.

Welcome-to-Shopify

Right from the start Shopify gives you a nice clean default theme.

Shopify-default-theme

There’s also plenty of options to configure your default theme to your liking. We’ll cover more about Shopify themes later on.

Theme-launchpad

For now, we’ll keep the default Shopify theme and start adding products to our online store.

Adding products to Shopify

Step 2 in getting your online store up and running is adding products. You have two options here, add them one by one or upload them via a csv file. Here’s a look at the sample csv so you can see the format required. If you want to transfer your products over from online platform, Shopify also allows you to do this for Magento, Ebay and WordPress. This is done via a Shopify app. Adding products to Shopify is pretty easy and it has a nice clean layout like the following image

Shopify-products For the purpose of this Shopify review I’ll import products via a csv file. Once you’ve corrected set up the csv file with the required format (see example above). You can just import it into Shopify. If there’s any errors, luckily Shopify will actually tell you where the problem is located so you can easily fix it.

Importing-products

Here you can customize your headings even further and remove any that you don’t want to include. Using the import feature is the best and fastest way to add a lot of products to your website. In a matter of minutes you can have thousands of unique product pages rather than entering them in one by one.

Preview-your-first-product Confirm that you’re ok with this. Boom. Products imported and you’re all set.

products-installed

So now our products have been uploaded. Let’s check out our store. I had to use the collections section in Shopify to get the images shown on the homepage but that was again, very easy.

This is our new homepage

add-products

We can now click on any of the items to be taken to their own individual product page, like the image below. All the information here was in our csv file and Shopify was smart enough to import and using the default themes HTML/CSS it created the layout like it is.

Product-page

When we click add to cart we are taken to the checkout page like so.

Checkout-page

By default the Shopify platform uses a PayPal payment system. This is great for efficiency but can add to another cost since PayPal will also take a cut.

If you don’t want to use PayPal then Shopify also have you covered with over 70 popular local and international payment options. Check to see if yours is there.

Shopify-checkout

Set up your domain

Once all products are installed you’re on to step 3, setting up your domain name. By default, Shopify gives you a subdomain so you’ll likely see http://yourstorename.shopify.com. Of course you won’t want to keep this URL for your business so the next step is to buy a domain or add a domain that you already own to Shopify.

Domain-name

Once you’ve set up your own domain name it’s time to make your website live.

Shopify Pricing

You’ll have to pick a pricing plan based on your requirements. This can be seen on the Shopify pricing page. Shopify have three different packages to pick from to sell online, these are basic vs pro vs unlimited which we have covered in another post.

Shopify-pricing

There’s also a budget option for $14 a month. With this you are allowed the following options:

  • 25 Products
  • 1 GB File Storage
  • 2.0% transaction fee
  • No HTML/CSS editor
  • No discount code engine
  • No phone support

Once you’ve selected the payment option, you’re done. You have a new online store with Paypal payments created in just a few minutes with Shopify.

Considering what a custom build ecommerce store costs in 2014 the Shopify pricing is pretty reasonable. The more products you plan to sell the greater the potential for making extra money online but this also means that the price of Shopify increases. It starts from $29 a month with 100 products and 1GB storage, while this is good for people looking to start out, if you have more products than the $59 a month might be more worthwhile for you needs. With this package you’ll be allowed 2,500 products and a reduction in the transaction fee 1%.

But with using Shopify you can actually save yourself money in some areas. Shopify offer unlimited hosting, which means that they will take care of your hosting so you can save extra money each month. How much money you’ll save depends on the host you would have gone with. I use Bluehost which means that I would save just under $7 a month by using Shopify. This doesn’t sound like much but the basic package has just dropped to $22 a month now. I’m not too sure if they will allow you to pick your own hosting company. Some users might be interested in WordPress hosting if they are using WordPress with Shopify or if you care about site speed, WP Engine might be a good option.

But most of us wouldn’t want the default Shopify theme and would want to tune it to our own business and features using their apps. Luckily, Shopify comes with a range of free and paid themes and apps to further add to your online shop. See our top 7 Shopify themes.

How to install a Shopify theme

It’s pretty simple to install a Shopify theme, here’s now.

Go to the themes section of Shopify.

I like the look of the Kickstand theme since it’s in my niche of electronics.

When you click download you’ll be shown this pop up.

shopify-themes

Enter your shop URL and you’ll see a publish theme button.

Once you’ve clicked that it will start to install.

Theme-installed

Theme installed with just a couple of clicks.

Here’s what our new ecommerce store looks like:

New-Shopify-themes

Although there’s still work to do, it’s pretty easy to make big changes with Shopify themes with their settings page.

theme-settings

From here you can customize your theme even more to get it to how you want. Each theme will have different option which you can pick from so be sure to research that the theme you selected can accommodate the features you need.

That’s how easy it is to get started with Shopify. If you have your products on csv then you will have you online store up and running within a few hours – no coding, no outside help, it’s so intuitive that anyone can do it.

Webinars

If you’re still struggling to set up your online store, don’t worry. Shopify offers plenty of webinars to help you guide you through the software.

You’ll get this email a few days after signing up:

Hi Lee,

Join us for a free interactive webinar that will walk you through setting up your store, step by step.

Sign up to attend a free one-hour store-building session here: http://docs.shopify.com/webinars

During the live webinar, a Shopify guru will show you how to add products to your store, process payments, set up your domain, and more!

We host a webinar every weekday, so you can choose a time that’s convenient for you.

This webinar includes the following information:

Join us for a walkthrough of Shopify!

We’ll show you how to:

  1. Add products to your shop and sort them into collections
  2. Create and display your content and choose your design
  3. Set up taxes, take payments, and use your domain from any provider
  4. Build your business using apps and self-help documentation

Pros and cons of Shopify

Pros

As discussed above with Shopify you have a complete ecommerce system at your fingertips. With hundreds of themes and apps to choose from at a reasonable price. Because of this, it is a more cost effective way to create an online store then starting from the start and hiring developers to create one for you.

It used to be that you had to pay transaction fees like the image show shows.

Shopify-payments

However, with Shopify payments you can wave these transaction fees.

One of the things we’re most excited to bring to our merchants is the end of Shopify Plan transaction fees for anyone using Shopify Payments. That means more money in your pocket.

You can accept Bitcoin. I’m a huge Bitcoin fan so this was great news when I read about it.

Customers from around the world can check out with digital currency.

    The currency works just like cash.
    Transactions cannot be reversed by the buyer (unlike credit cards or PayPal).
    You can choose to receive your payments in Bitcoins (paid into your Bitcoin wallet) or paid in your local currency directly into your bank account every business day.
    Transactions are secure and meet the highest standards for ecommerce security.

If you’re unaware of Bitcoin – This is what it is

It’s a good sign that Shopify have implemented this feature already as it shows they really are offering their customers what they want and keeping up to date with e-commerce.

Excellent support – Not only will you have 24/7 support from Shopify if you need it but there’s a lively forum to discuss your problems/tips and also excellent detailed documentation and guides to provide you with support when setting up your own online store.

Cons of Shopify

For the starting price of $29 Shopify gives a complete ecommerce solution. However, as with everything there are cons to this service which we will discuss here.

While they have a large collection of apps, themes and other features most of these are not free and may get pricey depending on what the goals are for your website. However the good news is there’s normally a free trail of an app before you have to pay so you can determine if it’s right for you.

This also applies to Shopify themes, you can pick some themes both paid and free. While a Shopify theme is still much cheaper than a custom website there’s another problem that may arise down the road. You may wish to change certain aspects of your theme, normally you could hire someone with HTM/CSS knowledge, but with Shopify’s themes, they use a custom programming language called Liquid.

This may cause issues if you are looking to make a few changes with your theme, if this is the case then you’ll need to hire a Shopify expert. This can possibly add more costs to you in the future.

Note: Bigcommerce and Volusion are competitors of Shopify, expect their ecommerce reviews soon.

Pros

  • Easy to use and create a e-commerce store
  • Huge selection of themes, apps and more
  • Excellent support and documentation
  • Easy to create a mobile store

Cons

  • While they have a huge collection of apps, themes most are not free
  • You will have to pay transaction fees
  • Shopify use their own language called Liquid - no HTML/CSS

Shopify can help you get your business off the ground in no time. If you're interested in making extra cash online then Shopify may help you. Shopify is a one stop shop to get your own ecommerce store up and running. With hundreds of themes, SEO benefits you can get started in no time with your very own ecommerce store.

$29
Editor rating
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Comments

  1. Brent Kroko says

    With a business based in Seattle, we had been pressured for some time by local customers to begin accepting Bitcoin but honestly we had no idea what it even was. People would send in support tickets on our website asking to pay with internet money!

    After reading a little bit about it though, I could tell that Bitcoin could be a lucrative payment method since many people spend it more freely than traditional money; and our products that we sell on the website tend to be in the impulse buy category. With a quick phone call to Shopify support and ten minutes on my website, we already had Bitcoin added as a payment method on checkout.

    Fast forward 30 days to now, nearly 20% of our monthly business comes from Bitcoin and implementing it was an absolute breeze with a little help from the excellent support from Shopify. In my opinion, you won’t find a more easy to implement online store platform that offers great support at this price point.

  2. Thomas B says

    If you are looking for an easy to setup and manage eCommerce solution, Shopify is going to work great for you. My local shop sells overflow products online from time to time, and the fees from the usual suspects were killing our margins.

    After a couple days of research, we decided to move forward with Shopify as our eCommerce platform and within two days had our store fully up and running. The only con is that is tends to be a little bit more difficult to customize your website if you are used to modifying strictly HTML/CSS, but overall everything was very straightforward to figure out.

  3. Steve Neumann says

    Originally I wanted to run my website in Magento, but I found that it just did not have the flexibility that I was looking for in terms of running a blog on the website as well as managing my products day to day. The industry I am in changes very quickly, so I needed a solution that allowed me to add, remove and tweak products with ease. Shopify allows me to do all of this and more, and ever since I made the migration I haven’t looked back.

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