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Shopify Review, Updated 2022

It is no secret that Internet sales have evolved enormously in recent years. You no longer need programming skills to develop your e-commerce website on your own, without the need for an external developer. In any case, the choice of an editor to create your online store involves a certain amount of complexity. In this article we share with you the main opinions of Shopify, which is undoubtedly one of the leading publishers on the market.

Overall Score:
9.5

Pros

  • A drag-and-drop editor that can be operated without technical knowledge
  • Quality themes with professional designs
  • Clear e-commerce functions and intuitive inventory management
  • Quality technical support via email, chat and telephone

Cons

  • Commission on all payments if you don’t use Shopify Payment
  • Limited free themes (only 8)
  • Not all templates offer support for creating multilingual online stores
  • Cannot create subcategories of products, which can negatively affect SEO rankings

Starting Price: $29

Visit Shopify
Disclosure: To maintain VPN Garden, we earn a commission when you make a purchase through referral links in this review.

Our Review

Shopify is a publisher that allows you to create your own online store without any technical knowledge. It allows you to sell all kinds of products and stands out for the large number of customizable templates, features and applications it offers.

It is not necessary to have knowledge of programming code to create an online store with Shopify. The platform also offers its own hosting solution. This way, hiring the services of a developer or an external agency can be dispensed with, which considerably lightens the budget of an online store.

In the following, we will look at Shopify reviews in detail to help you decide whether it is the most suitable solution for creating your online store.

Naturally, every online store project is different and there is never a fully optimal editor. These are the main limits and advantages that you should consider to see if Shopify suits your needs. We’ll tell you more about them in the following sections.

What are Shopify’s prices?

Shopify reviews point out one of the main limits here: you can’t use Shopify for less than $29 per month and the platform takes a commission on all transactions. The latter can be avoided by using its own payment platform, Shopify Payments, which at the moment is available in Spain but not in other Spanish-speaking countries (you can check the updated list here).

Beyond that, Shopify works with monthly payments starting at $29, depending on the plan chosen, with a good value for the money invested.

Is it possible to use Shopify for free?

Only during an initial 14-day trial period, which allows you to familiarize yourself with the platform before deciding whether to use it or not. Thereafter, you will have to choose one of the payment plans presented below.

What are the Shopify payment plans?

Basic plan

The simplest plan of all costs $29 per month. This plan already allows you to sell an unlimited amount of products and is enough to open an online store and grow it to a considerable size.

This plan imposes a 2% commission unless Shopify Payments is used. It allows you to create two accounts with administrator rights, so you don’t need to always share the same one, and manage shipments from 4 different branches.

Shopify Plan

For $79 per month, the store can grow and incorporate new features, such as the ability to redeem gift cards. The commission if you don’t use Shopify Payments is reduced to 1%.

Advanced plan

The advanced plan is considerably more expensive at $299 per month, but allows you to significantly scale the online store created with Shopify, incorporating advanced features such as advanced reporting or real-time shipping tracking. The commission with this plan if you don’t use Shopify Payments is reduced to 0.5%.

You should note that none of the plans include email accounts within the Shopify server itself. Naturally, you will be able to work with an unlimited number of email accounts, but you will have to store them on another server such as Gmail or Yahoo.

Choosing a good design: Shopify themes

Shopify themes or templates stand out for their high quality, modern and professional design. There is quite a variety of designs, but only if you are willing to pay specifically for them. The free themes are only eight, quite scarce compared to other platforms such as Wix or Squarespace.

Paid themes are 64 and are priced between $140 and $180. If this option interests you, you can visit Shopify’s theme store, where you can apply different filters to the designs, for example:

  • Collections: product recommendations, large inventories, grid style, etc.
  • Industries: art and photography, food and beverage, furniture, electronics, etc.

In all cases, Shopify themes include social media link buttons, free template updates, customizable content sections or SEO optimization resources, among other features.

Other resources that only some themes offer are an internal search engine, multi-column menu, scroll with paralax effect, etc. If you are interested in these or other features, remember to check if your theme includes them before choosing it. The support to offer the online store in several languages is also limited to some themes, unlike other editors that offer less restrictions in this aspect.

If you are willing to pay, but not that much, an alternative are theme stores like Themeforest, where you can filter over 300 Shopify compatible themes, on sale for prices around $50.

Another advantage is that you can customize the theme or even create your own. Shopify gives you the ability to edit the HTML and CSS code of your website directly. You will be able to do this from the admin menu on the left.

If you choose a paid theme or an external one, don’t forget to check if Shopify offers official support for it. For free themes they do, but installing or customizing other themes may require the intervention of an external developer.

Finally, there is the possibility to hire a Shopify expert to design a specific theme for your store.

Are Shopify websites mobile-friendly?

More and more users are shopping directly from their mobile devices, and Shopify has thought about this. All the themes of this online store editor are responsive, that is, they can be viewed from mobiles or devices of any type.

But that’s not all. Nowadays it is not enough that the website can be viewed on mobile. It is also important that it loads well on these devices. That’s why it’s a good idea to use the Accelerated Mobile Pages app, available for $29.95 in the Shopify app store.

This app will “clean up” the mobile page code to optimize load time. Remember that every second counts for SEO ranking and user-to-customer conversion.

The theme editor: is it easy to create an online store with Shopify?

Editing an online store has some complexity, especially if you have no knowledge of programming code. However, Shopify reviews point out that this platform makes the task considerably easier.

The interface is intuitive, adapted for beginners and guides you through the main steps, with a drag-and-drop editor.

Once you’ve chosen your theme, you’ll need to click on “Customize” to move on to editing it with your own products and content. There you will find a left side drag and drop menu for you to add content blocks to your page (e.g. collections, slideshows or images with text). You can upload your own images or select some from Shopify’s free image gallery.

In the left menu you also select the theme settings, including the colors to be used on the page, typography, social sharing options.

The top drop-down menu “Select page” comes ready with different pages that are usually part of online stores, such as the shopping cart where the user can access their selected order before completing the transaction. By the way, we take this opportunity to remind you that abandoned cart emails for those who did not complete their transaction are a common email marketing technique.

From this menu you can also create product collection pages (you can also use them simply to group them by categories), blogs or the 404 page, i.e. the one that the user will find when typing an incorrect address within your own website.

The three buttons in the center of the top part of the interface allow you to visualize how the website would look on a cell phone, on a computer screen or in full screen.

In short, it would be too naive to think that you’re going to create an online store in 15 minutes and that you won’t have any setbacks in the process. But within the complexity involved, Shopify is one of the editors that can make the task easier for you.

What specific e-commerce features does Shopify offer?

So far we have explained what resources Shopify offers to design the different web pages that will be part of the online store. However, the most important thing still remains to be done: setting up the online sales process. For this, Shopify reviews also highlight that it is a fairly complete editor.

These are the main resources it offers for selling products:

Products and inventory management

From the initial left menu (attention: we are no longer in the theme editing menu), you can start adding your products on the homonymous link. For each product for sale, you can add a description, photos, price or SEO parameters.

You can add variants for the same product; for example: color, size, weight… And configure the stock in your inventory for each of them, as well as the price. However, the combinations are limited, up to 100, less than in other editors.

You also have the option to load a CSV file with the product information.

From the “Inventory” tab, under “Products”, you can access all your products with their respective variations and control the stock you have of them.

Payments

As with any online store, you will need to set up a payment gateway to directly charge your customers for their purchases. If Shopify Payments is available in your country, it will be the only payment method that allows you to sell without commission, as mentioned above. You also need to install it if you want to sell in different currencies; the exchange rates will be adjusted automatically.

In addition, Shopify allows you to link many other payment methods, including Apple Pay or PayPal. You will also have the possibility to manually set up your own payment methods, such as bank transfer or cash payment; in which case you won’t have to pay any fees.

Shipping

Shopify offers you the possibility to connect your online store with different shipping companies such as UPS, DHL Express. In the interface itself you can adjust shipping rates: free shipping, common shipping costs for all orders, destination-based rate).

It is possible to print and purchase discounted shipping labels directly from the Shopify interface. Just print them and stick them on the package, without forgetting to specify the weight.

Another possibility with Shopify is to use dropshipping companies like Shipwire or Amazon Fulfilment, which take care of processing the entire order and save you from shipping the packages yourself.

Another advantage of Shopify is that it automatically integrates fees. You can display prices with or without VAT and manually add the taxes that apply in your territory.

Abandoned cart

Attracting traffic to our website is only the first step to make an online store work. After that, the other big test is called the conversion funnel. More than two thirds of visitors to an online store pretend they are going to buy products, add them to the cart… and leave the transaction incomplete.

Abandoned cart management is therefore one of the great challenges of digital marketing, and Shopify does not overlook it. This platform allows you to set up automated emails for those users who backed out – for whatever reason – of their purchases.

These emails can be automated and sent 1 hour, 6 hours, 10 hours, or 24 hours after the user has visited the store. Shopify’s recommended option is 10 hours.

Email marketing campaigns

Shopify can connect with emailing platforms to set up automated sendings to users. Don’t forget, in any case, that these emails should be as segmented and personalized as possible for them to work. Shopify currently has integrations with platforms such as Privy, Campaign Monitor or Seguno, among others. The integration with MailChimp presented some unresolved issues.

SEO: Shopify resources to rank your online store on Google

In our blog articles, such as the one on the marketing plan, we have discussed how important (and expensive) it is to attract traffic to our website. According to most Shopify reviews, the SEO resources it offers have advantages, but also some limits.

  • On each page of your online store, you can enter a title according to your SEO parameters, a meta description and you can customize the URL.
  • Shopify creates the robots.txt file, which search engines will use to crawl the contents of your website.
  • There are fewer and fewer tricks for search engines and the best way to rank your web pages is good content. Shopify features like blogging help quite a bit with this.

On the other hand, these are the main limits of Shopify SEO resources:

  • You can’t edit the robots.txt file.
  • It is impossible to create subcategories, which sometimes prevents you from optimizing content.
  • It does not offer a specific tool to optimize keywords, unlike other e-commerce website editors.

On the one hand, these are the main advantages for positioning an online store created with Shopify in search engines:

Reporting and analytics

The Basic plan, at $29 per month, includes reports that are less elaborate than those of other online store publishers, but can also be useful for many online stores. Some of them are:

  • Total sales
  • Conversion rate
  • Average order price
  • Total orders
  • Sales by traffic source

With the Shopify plan, for $79 per month, these reports can be customized and will be more professional, linking customer information with sales information.

It is also possible to connect Google Analytics, but possibly with Shopify reports you will find them more complete.

How does Shopify support work?

Shopify reviews point it out as a strong point. It is possible to contact Shopify support by email, phone or chat at any time (24/7). However, the phone option is not available in all countries.

But you may not even need to bother initiating contact. In Shopify’s help center, accessed from the home page, you can find answers to many of the frequently asked questions from users.

In addition, there is a fairly active user community with tutorials and forums that can be quite helpful.

Conclusion

Shopify is one of the best online store editors you can find on the market today. The drag-and-drop editor allows you to shape your website quite intuitively, and the e-commerce management tools are also very comprehensive and easy to use.

If you are a more advanced user or you are going to have the help of a developer, remember that you can also edit the code of the pages yourself.

On the other hand, we could say that the main limits are budget. You must remember that the minimum investment is $29 per month and that some of the basic resources and themes are paid separately. If you want to start with a really simple online store, remember that website builders usually also offer basic e-commerce features.

On the other hand, if your ambition goes a bit further and you want to have a more consistent online store – and, of course, if your pocket can afford it – Shopify is definitely a publisher you should consider.

Disclosure: To maintain VPN Garden, we earn a commission when you make a purchase through referral links in this review.