Whether you run a small business or a long-running, established brand, there are many good ecommerce platforms for your business to choose from. Shopify is one of the most popular choices in the market today. Whether you are looking to get up and running immediately with little to no customization or want to develop a completely custom brand website, Shopify has the capabilities to handle it all.

Get Started with Ease

Even without a background in website development, Shopify allows you to get your store up and running quickly and without code. Once you create your account, your store is 100% ready to go without ever having to lay a finger on the code. Just pick a theme, set up your store options including contact and billing information, and create a few products – then you are good to go!

When it comes to themes, Shopify offers more than 100 responsive templates to choose from. These are full templates with tons of features and the ability to customize different styles such as your logo, colors, and page layouts. They even have great free options (9 as of writing this article). We’ve used the Venture theme on multiple stores as of late and we love it! Premium themes range from $100 – $180 and generally feature more customization options than the free ones. The best part? Once you find the theme you like, all you have to do is click a few buttons and the theme you’ve chosen is installed onto your site and ready to use.nture/styles/snowboards?ref=allen-goel-marketing-company

Adding products is just as easy, with a simple and clean interface in the admin panel. Simply click Add Product, enter some information like product name, description, price, and images, and your product is up on the store. There are tons of ways to customize them, but getting the essentials up there so you can start selling is a breeze.

Easy to Use

Getting your store set up is just as easy as it is to use once your customers start making purchases. When a customer submits an order, you’ll receive a notification and it will save the order to your dashboard. When you view the order, you’ll see everything you need to know from the items to the customer’s address.

Shopify handles all the cost and shipping calculations as well. When you integrate your store with different shipping carriers, it will automatically calculate the options and rates for the customer on checkout. This means all you need to do is print the order label and it is ready to ship. Right out of the box, Shopify is integrated with UPS and USPS but it is easy to add other options like FedEx. All you need to do is sign up for the carrier’s account and enter a few codes in your store to connect your shipping.

Once you ship out the order, you can designate it as fulfilled and you are all done!

Having been improving their user experience for years now, Shopify’s admin interface is easy to figure out and navigate. It is one of the best I’ve see in an ecommerce platform and potentially my favorite. Everything is right were you would expect, and I’ve yet to find a bug unlike with a custom store or even other ecommerce platforms.

Extremely Cost-Effective

Shopify has 3 basic pricing tiers based on the needs of your business:

  1. Basic Shopify ($29/mo.)
    • This includes everything you need to get started including your online store, unlimited products, 24/7 support, and helpful tools like discount codes and gift cards.
  2. Shopify ($79/mo.)
    • This includes everything in Basic Shopify plus professional reports, additional staff accounts, a discount on shipping rates, and reduced credit card rates if you choose to use Shopify Payments for payment processing (which is very easy to set up and offers rates competitive to other options like PayPal – we like using Shopify Payments).
  3. Advanced Shopify ($299/mo.)
    • This includes everything in the Shopify plan plus more reports, third-party calculated shipping rates, better shipping discounts, and better credit card rates. This is really aimed for those businesses who are experiencing great growth where the reduction in rates outweigh the additional $200+/mo. subscription cost.

As your business scales, you can upgrade seamlessly to the upper tiers or vice versa. You can even start a free trial which allows you to completely set up your online store so you can test it out before paying to make it live. There is a plan for any size business, and that is another thing we love about Shopify.

Endless Customization Options

While Shopify makes it easy to get started with little work, it offers endless ways to customize your website:

  • Apps – The app store has thousands of free and paid apps to help you in nearly any aspect of your business. Marketing insights, chat bot integration, local delivery options, and product reviews are just a few of the endless options.
  • Marketing – The Shopify admin dashboard allows you to create marketing campaigns that integrate with platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Google Shopping to increase traffic and sales from different channels.
  • Custom Themes – Additionally, if you are not interested in using a pre-made theme and want to really establish your brand with a custom developed website, Shopify gives you access to all of your website’s code. As a developer, I love this. Developing custom Shopify themes is a lot of fun. They have great documentation and tools for developing using their programming language Liquid, and I haven’t ran into any issues or bugs with integrating it to their ecommerce platform and allowing all of the great features of Shopify. If you want a custom store to show off your brand, it is worth considering a custom Shopify theme.

Great Support

Need help setting up your store? Confused about shipping rates? Need a recommendation on what app to install to help boost sales on your store? When you set up a store, you get 24/7 access to Shopify support. You can call, email, or open a live chat, and they will help you with any request related to your store. We are constantly using live chat to get recommendations and help with improving our stores, and the best part is the live chat usually connects immediately with a support representative. You never feel alone when setting up a store because you can always lean on the experts.

Closing Thoughts

I have tried out a lot of ecommerce platforms including WooCommerce, Magento, SquareSpace, and BigCommerce, but in the last few years, Shopify has made a big push to be my favorite. Anyone can set up a really good-looking store that functions perfectly in little to no time. Additionally, it offers endless room for expansion and growth. It really seems to have it all.

If you have any interest in setting up an ecommerce store in 2020, with even the Basic Shopify plan at $29/mo. they make it worth taking a shot. You’ll need to market your site to get traffic and sales, but the upfront cost to set up the store is so little compared to what it used to cost with other platforms that it makes it hard to say no. Give it a shot! The free trial is waiting.

About the Author

David May

Dave is one of our Front End Web Developers. When he's not keeping up with web development trends and furthering his knowledge of all things code, he's probably playing a video game, reading a book or sitting on the beach.

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