Published On: October 7, 2014
Author: Eric Oliver

Open an online store with Shopify

Why Shopify?

Well, with so many options available to you online, why choose Shopify? That is a loaded question, but take it from us, we have used almost all online eCommerce platforms throughout the years and instantly fell in love with the ease of use we found in Shopify. With it’s simple and easy to use administrator, it’s bulk product upload built in, and the ability to have and use their server resources it really is a no-brainer.  However, that is easy to say without backing it up.  So, let’s begin.

I needed my customer to have the capacity to upgrade each part of her site utilizing one arrangement (as opposed to needing to switch between say, Squarespace or WordPress for fundamental substance redesigns and a ‘module’ like Ecwid for the online store – this would have been a decent arrangement if the customer as of now had a site, however we were beginning without any preparation here).

  • The CMS is clear to use (once you’ve set your structure and pages up).
  • Pricing is reasonable with a base price beginning from $14 for every month…with payable addons that are included in other packages.
  • Case studies of Shopify in the real world (i.e., client stores) were solid.

What Made Us Switch?

If you are a web developer, then you can skip this part, but if you are a casual internet user that wants to have a profitable online eCommerce storefront, then read on. Most eCommerce platforms require some knowledge of server configuration, coding skills, or at least basic server knowledge to setup.  However, Shopify gives you the ability to get a cart running in no time with very little to no experience. Basically, it is a CMS built for eCommerce, made for the end user, and proven to get results.

  • You don’t have a typical chaos with introducing any product/ layouts or arranging servers – you simply sign up for a free account online and begin building your store. There’s no specialized stuff to stress over.
  • The free layouts have a smooth, proficient look and feel for people that do not know how to modify code.
  • It’s reasonably customisable. A control panel permits you to alter fundamental components like text styles, colors etc, and in the event that you are a developer, or have particular web based skills, you can change the HTML or CSS templates utilized within the site to execute your formats.
  • You can construct and manage entire sites utilizing it – its not only an instrument for making eCommerce pages. You can create and edit general site pages as you like (home, about us, contact, etc.), as well as offering merchandise.
  • You can point your domain to your Shopify URL with ease.
  • Bulk product additions without the typical server restrictions or need for additional plugins.
  • Easy to use SEO integration built in, no need for specialized plugins.  If you want to expand upon this, there is plugins available…but for the typical user, they are not required.
  • Easily integrate Adwords throughout your site.
  • Easily track and view client activity as well as order statuses.
  • Utilize Shopify for 2 weeks before paying anything.  Test it out and see if it is the right product for you before you commit.
  • The Shopify App store.
  • Built in speed and security for hosting.
  • Finally…one of the best reasons we made the switch for our clients…the ability to fully integrate their software online and offline.  POS systems that are directly tied into their online eCommerce site.  One place, all updates.

Not Everything is a Pro.  What We Don’t Like

  • Although they have a lot of free templates, they are not always the best or even the most professional looking templates.  However, this is not really a downside for Future Design Group since we create the templates. Since this may be read by more than other website developers, we figured we would throw this in as well.
  • Paid templates usually cost more than other platforms.  If it is worth it to you, then this may not be an issue. However, budget friendly themes are not a hot commodity on Shopify.
  • The menu system is not as intuitive as some other CMS platforms such as WordPress.  For a beginner, this could be a major issue.
  • You can be “nickel and dimed to death”. Shopify’s pricing has come down recently, but even with a paid subscription you will most likely get hit with many more fees than you originally thought.  Shopify mentions this during sign up, but unless you are looking for it, it is easily missed.  There are some free additions when you operate, but like everything else, you usually get what you pay for.

Conclusion

Shopify has improved dramatically since it was first started.  Basically, it went from last on our list of recommendations to the top.  Pricing can still be a bit of a burden, but the quality of the CMS and ease of use justifies the price. Even with the pricing being a small issue, I can honestly say that Shopfiy is a huge contender for one of the best eCommerce platforms online and offline. Shopify presents and easy way to get started online and offline even without extensive coding / server knowledge.  If you can look past some of the nickel and diming practices, you will definitely see why the Shopify userbase as exploded over recent years.

Sign up for a free trial of Shopify to see if it is the right platform for you.

 


Posted In: Business, Ecommerce, Resources, Website Development


About the Author

Eric Oliver

Director of Website Development

With over a decade of experience designing and developing websites, Eric has worked in every position of the agency ladder. He is fluent in multiple backend and front end programming languages and has written multiple international best selling plugins for WordPress. He has been part of or is still part of many startups. He is the Director of Website Development for Future Design Group and one of it's founding partners.