Shopify is one of the best new generation online store builders and it’s unique user friendly features sets it apart from competition.  It suites beginners with no technical skills as well as well versed designers. Let us see what are the best features of Shopify.

Advantages:

  • Very user friendly. Quickly setup a great looking store (web 2.0 clean look) in minutes.
  • Loved by novice users as well as web designers alike
  • Innovative Shopping cart using web 2.0 technology(Ajax). Creating a product catalog is so easy and user friendly(see below for details)
  • Merchant services: Strong integration with most of leading payment gateways. 70+ payment gateways including paypal and Authorize.Net. International eCommerce possible
  • Beautiful themes to design your site
  • Hosting costs included in the price plan
  • New! You can do retail sale using Shopify POS . Details below
  • SEO optimized store to attract traffic from  google and other search engines
  • Facebook marketing for sales and leads
  • It gets more business from existing customers. This shows customer loyalty.

Disadvantages:

  • Some consider Shopify slightly Pricey, when compared to other popular store builders.  Price plans are discussed below. But given its good features and good support, many store owners stick with Shopify.

Signup for a 14-day Shopify trail. No need of credit card


Shopify Themes

shopify-review-themes-free-and-paid

Shopify Free themes

Shopify Free themes

Shopify Free themes

After you signup, you need to select a Theme first. There are plenty of free as well as paid themes. At same time, you can create your own themes, if you like. Getting started with default themes is a breeze. To customize a theme you are expected to have a basic understanding of html and style sheets. Don’t get scared… Default themes are all you need to quickly setup a good looking decent online store. Screenshots above shows some of the free themes available at shopify. Once you select a theme, you can select it and then Publish it. If it is a paid theme, you have to pay for it($140) and then proceed to Publish.

See Full list of Shopify Themes


Shopify Product management, Running store

Shopify Product Management – Taken from Shopify website

  • Web 2.0 technology. Drag and drop feature to create a product catalog
  • Inventory tracking
  • Multiple variants for each product allow options with unique inventory tracking, prices, weights
  • Keyword tags to aid in searching and browsing within your shop

Order processing

Shopify Order processing

Shopify Order processing

You can start accepting orders minutes after you setup your shop.  Also you can get powerful reports that will help you analyze and understand customer behavior. You can setup custom coupon codes for better sales. You can see which are the best selling products and the ones that are’nt. You can exports reports to spreadsheets as well for accounting purpose.  Order processing details


Payment Processing and Payment Gateways(Accepting credit cards)

Shopify Payment Gateways

Shopify Payment Gateways

Shopify has partnered with 70 payment gateways to accept credit cards in shopify web stores. This includes popular ones like Authorize.net, paypal, stripe etc. Shopify has also integrated with popular payment gateways of each country. This makes Shopify an attractive option to do e-commerce for a global audience. See full list of payment gateways


 

Mobile Friendly Responsive online store

Mobile Friendly eCommerce store from Shopify

Mobile Friendly eCommerce store from Shopify

All Shopify price plans include a free, built-in mobile commerce shopping cart, which means your customers can purchase from your store using any mobile phone. Also you can check your sales statistics, view products, orders, and customer data from your iOS device You can also choose a beautiful Responsive theme (mobile friendly theme) that works well in normal computers(desktops, laptops etc) as well as in mobile devices.

 


Shopify POS for retail sale

Shopify POS is an iPad application that lets you sell your Shopify store’s products in a physical, retail setting. It’s simple to use: You can browse your store’s catalog, select product that customer chose, swipe customer credit card, and print their receipt (or send it through email).

Shopify POS for retail sale

Shopify POS for retail sale


Search Engine Optimization(SEO):

A store’s online visibility is of paramount importance for an online store’s success and Shopify scores well here. We cannot stress enough how important this step is.  Some of the most basic SEO features for your store are already setup automatically when your site is set up. Shopify has included a very good online manual that explains how you can optimize your store for best traffic and sales. They also have a great set of free videos specifically for  online store owners, where SEO experts like Helen Overland teaches about SEO, e commerce tips and advice.

shopify-seo-video-series

Shopify SEO Video Tutorial

Some of the SEO features are listed below:

  • Once your store is created, it is already SEO optimized. XML Sitemap automatically generated for search engine indexing
  • You can edit meta tags to optimize it better. Canonical URL tags are  generated automatically so that you can stop duplicate content
  • Discount codes with fine-grained options
  • Comparison prices feature to indicate sales or to set you apart from the competition

FaceBook Marketing

Today online marketing is incomplete without social media. Facebook marketing is so important and you can get significant leads and sales from facebook. Facebook likes and shares make you site more popular.  Shopify has included a detailed online course that helps you market your store in facebook.

shopify-facebook-marketing

Shopify Facebook Online course


Administration interface

  • Streamlined dashboard showing order summary and details
  • Inventory warnings (when products are out of stock)
  • Manage Blogs and site navigation through intuitive admin screen

Support

shopify-support

Shopify Knowledgebase

You can get Shopify support using online chat, phone support or via email and can expect to get quicker response to your store issues. Better, they have setup a most frequently asked questions(FAQ), where most of common issues are answered well.  In addition to  excellent support provided by shopify, you have a strong backing from shopify’s forum community. Experienced folks, who are well-versed in shopify will be glad to help you out.  In fact, it is the strong backing from loyal Community members and developers that is helping Shopify grow.


Price factor

Shopify offers 4 plans. All plans have a 14 day trial (no need of credit card) so that you can try out it’s features. Except for the starter plan, all plans include unlimited products. Price varies depending on file storage size and transaction fees.

shopify-price-plans

Shopify Price plabs

  • Starter Plan – This is the best way to get stated with. For $14 per month, you can setup a store quickly. You are limited to 25 products in this plan. But later you can upgrade to a better plan, if you like.
  • Basic Plan Unlimited Products. 2.0% Transaction fee. Limited to 1GB file storage – Cost – $29 per month
  • Professional PlanUnlimited Products. 1.0% Transaction fee. Limited to 5GB file storage – Cost – $79 per month
  • Unlimited PlanUnlimited Products. No Transaction fee. UnLimited file storage – Cost – $179 per month

Signup for a 14-day Shopify trail. No need of credit card


Summary:

Shopify stands out from the competition with its unique features and makes a very good choice for your online store. With its feature rich system, you should be able to get started with your online eCommerce store in minutes. For advanced designers, you can make it better and create your  own themes or customize better.  Shopify is a strong recommendation.

Signup for Shopify

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