You've thought about it, but you're not sure what Shopify is all about. Read on!
You may already have an online business on a platform that is costing you a lot of heartache and pain over its functionality. Perhaps you have a website that doesn't have e-commerce added and you're thinking of starting a whole new website versus just adding a plugin or app to your current site. You could also possibly not have a platform at all and you're shopping and researching for the best option for you. And of course, maybe you have a whole different situation. No matter what it is, you're here for a reason. We'll go through the pros, cons and costs of using Shopify for your business so you can get closer to the decision best suited for you!
First off, what is 'Shopify' exactly?
Simply put, Shopify is an all-in-one commerce platform that makes it easy to launch your dream business and start selling to your customers, wherever they are.
In layman's terms, think of it as a website that doubles as a virtual store where you can set up your products/services, branding, blogs, customer service, communications and marketing. There are a lot of integration possibilities so that you can customize it to your needs!
Is it easy to use?
Like anything in tech, there is a learning curve. Having experienced almost all the platforms out there we're giving Shopify a 9/10 for ease of use (1 Immediately No and 10 being wow ok I can do this no problem!). If you have ever used Wordpress and gotten used to it, then Shopify will be a pleasant walk in the park.
Is it expensive?
Shopify is a fairly affordable platform for business owners. The monthly rate is a standard $29.99 USD per month plus the applicable taxes where you are. If you sign up for a year or more, there are discounts starting at 10% off the yearly subscription.
Are there added costs?
We'll start from the beginning. To use Shopify, you need to choose a theme design template, assuming you're not coding something from scratch of course. There are multiple free theme designs that are lovely and customizable, so at this point, you're looking at the yearly fee only. Now you want to customize more and pay for a different theme with more capabilities, they're about $290 USD or more at the time of this post. Once you buy a theme, you do not need to pay for it again.
Further costs can be the apps you need to customize your web store. For example, if you need a calendar that allows customers to choose a time to pick up their product, there's an app for that. The one we've used for clients and recommend is by developers LogBase called In-Store Pickup Local Delivery
Generally, if you're starting out and won't need too much customization you won't need too many apps. There are also some that will offer free plans and trials. In our experience, the developers of apps are very helpful and will offer support if you're having issues.
How will customers pay?
Shopify Payments is the most widely used payment gateway that will only take you adding your banking info so they know where to send your money! Standard credit card rates will apply to every transaction.
Who pays for shipping?
Your customers will pay for the shipping fees unless you decide you're offering free shipping based on a minimum amount spent. You can also set up regions and flat rates to customize the shipping experience and reduce the barrier to purchase, however, those shipping fees will then be yours to pay out of your margins.
Can I try Shopify for free?
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial for you to get used to and set up your store before you need to subscribe.
If you work with a Shopify Expert or Partner to develop your website, they'll have a longer period of time (generally depending on their policies and your project) to complete and launch your store.
If I want to hire someone, who to work with?
There are many Shopify developers available, and like everything in life, they're not all equal. If you're hiring someone, make sure you trust the person or agency. Look at their reviews and their previous work before signing the virtual dotted line. Of course, we are also Shopify Partners and you can always get in touch for a FREE Discovery Call.