Are you planning to open a Shopify store? Before you do, let’s find out if Shopify is the right ecommerce platform for your business. This article lists the most important advantages and disadvantages of opening your ecommerce store on Shopify in 2022.
Shopify, Shopify, Shopify! The world loves Shopify! It’s indeed one of the most loved ecommerce platforms out there. But is it worth its salt? Or is it just a fad? Does Shopify score over other ecommerce platforms? Getting down to brass tacks, what are Shopify’s benefits and shortcomings? Every ecommerce entrepreneur must know these to make the wisest decision. However, it’s best to consult an ecommerce development company to understand if Shopify is the best choice for you and what other ecommerce platform options you may actually be sitting on.
Why Know About Shopify’s Pros and Cons?
Everyone seems to love Shopify. So why bother about its pros and cons? Here’s why:
- Knowing the pros will help you discover new Shopify features and benefits you’re unaware of
- Knowing the cons will help you stay prepared to tackle any upcoming technology or business challenges
- Shopify’s pros and cons will help you understand the value of your purchase and determine your budgets more efficiently
- Shopify’s pros and cons will help you compare other platforms with Shopify, thus saving you lots of time, money, and headache
Now let’s dive into Shopify’s most popular benefits to see why the world loves it.
Shopify has experienced unparalleled growth since its inception. It’s not just affordable and an all-in-one ecommerce store builder that’s suitable for beginners and advanced users alike, it’s also easy to use. In this section, we’ll investigate Shopify’s most stand-out advantages.
Pro #1: Includes Most Ecommerce Starting Essentials
From hosting to domain purchasing, Shopify includes these for someone who is starting from scratch. This is important because most ecommerce platforms ask you to find your own hosting and pay for a domain through a 3rd party.
Shopify has made it super simple for new ecommerce business founders because they don’t have to think about hosting, security, or SEO. These are built into the system and optimized. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about paying separate hosting or domain fee to another company, since all you have to do with Shopify is pay for everything under one roof.
Shopify also incorporates every ecommerce feature you can think of such as ecommerce shop building, order management, inventory management, discount codes, marketing tools, blogging, shipping rates, multiple currencies, payment options, product sourcing, omnichannel selling, and loads more.
Pro #2: World-Class Customer Support Team
As a Shopify customer, you get access to a dependable support team who can remotely solve your problems. It’s easy to access these support options from the main Shopify website, or from your ecommerce dashboard.
Shopify’s human customer support offers the following services:
- An email ticketing system
- An online chat module
- Phone support in countries like the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia
- 24/7 online support
Shopify also offers a range of other support systems such as:
- Community forums
In Shopify’s active community forum, you can connect with other Shopify users who can prove to be very helpful in resolving issues and growing your business. From discussions on popular topics, links to helpful blogs and even networking with other businesses, Shopify community forums have it all.
- Help centre
This is Shopify’s official documentation section, where you can search for particular topics and read articles or watch videos on how to resolve issues and use the Shopify platform
- Other online resources
- Updated blog
- Business courses
- A business encyclopedia
- Community events
- A research portal
Pro #3: Built-in Security
Every ecommerce store needs extra plugins for site security like two-factor authentication and SSL encryption. With most other ecommerce platforms, you need to install extra plugins for site security. Shopify, on the other hand, packages all necessary security components into your subscription.
With Shopify, you get:
- Pre-installed SSL certificate for encrypting and protecting all transactional information
- Two-factor authentication to prevent brute force login attacks
- Secure hosting with Level 1 PCI Compliance
- Access to account recovery codes and backup data if anything happens to your site or login information
- Logs for suspicious activity on your site
- Flagging of different types of ecommerce fraud
- TLS (Transport Layer Security) for further strengthening the encryption of data across your site
- SOC Type 2 and SOC 3 (certifications for secure information systems)
Pro #4: Amazing Payment Processing Support
Shopify has over 100 payment processing solutions to choose from. Having the flexibility to select your payment processing empowers you to sell in different industries, find cheaper credit card fees, and sell in all countries. The Payment Gateways page on Shopify’s website allows you to see which payment solutions are available for your location.
Although Shopify charges an extra transaction fee for using these payment gateways, they feature easy order management, predictable pricing, and streamlined chargeback management.
Pro #5: Great Themes
With Shopify, you don’t have to buy a theme from a third party. Shopify provides both free and paid themes of multiple styles, suited for different types of businesses. Each theme is categorised well and equipped with attractive designs and industry-specific features. You can search themes by industry, catalogue size, or features to find the one that works best for your business.
Shopify also helps you enhance your ecommerce store’s design experience through a great visual editor using which you can click and drag modules up and down to reorganize them.
Pro #6: One of the world’s most popular platforms
Popularity is key when it comes to investing in technology. You need to establish your business on a popular platform so that it doesn’t shut down its operations soon. As of today, Shopify runs nearly 4 million sites and will continue to dominate the industry. This guarantees the longevity of your ecommerce platform.
It’s important to consider Shopify’s downsides before you sign up with it for your business. Some of these challenges could be minor and might hardly impact your business. On the other hand, these might severely impact your business. It all depends on your priorities. Get a free Shopify consultation from a trusted Shopify development expert to know if Shopify is the ecommerce platform for you.
Con #1: Restrictions & Increasing License Fees
A SaaS platform like Shopify requires you to comply with their terms and conditions which could change every year. These ecommerce platforms might introduce new restrictions in the future that may impact your business in a big way. Additionally, SaaS platforms also increase their licensing fee on a regular basis, putting unnecessary financial pressure on business owners.
Con #2: Never-ending Payments
Shopify charges a recurring fee for its services and products. These recurring costs never end as long as you’re actively using Shopify for your business. In fact, these recurring fees will mostly grow as your business grows with time. Unlike Shopify, which is a SaaS platform, some traditional ecommerce platforms only charge a one-time fee for their products and services.
Con #3: Transaction Fees for 3rd-Party Payment Processing
Shopify supports over 100 non-Shopify payment gateways. But all of those come at a cost. With every transaction, you must pay a 3rd-party transaction fee to use them with Shopify. So, in other words, if you’re using anything outside of Shopify Payments, you’ll have to pay up extra.
Con #4: Limited Free Themes and Expensive Paid Themes
Long ago, Shopify used to offer a wide selection of free themes. But over time the number of free themes has reduced. This clearly indicates that Shopify wishes to sell its themes instead of offering them for free. Not just that, Shopify’s premium theme prices have gone up considerably. And they might go up more in the future.
Con #5: Apps Can Be Expensive
On Shopify, you can simply choose to buy the apps you want. This is great for increasing your store’s capabilities, but with Shopify’s apps, your monthly bills can skyrocket.
For example, some businesses absolutely need more advanced shipping features. On Shopify, you would have to spend extra money per month to print shipping labels and receive tracking codes with the help of an app. There are various other features and functionalities that require you to buy a Shopify app upfront.
Con #6: It Can Be Challenging to Migrate from Shopify
Once you’re on Shopify, it’s not too easy to export some of your site’s content to a new ecommerce platform. Shopify uses a unique coding language, so there’s limited compatibility with other ecommerce systems. In other words, you might have to completely redesign your website from scratch and duplicate your content when moving to another platform. You can always export a CSV file for things like orders and products, but there’s no way to directly transfer your content and site design. Speak to a Shopify migration expert if you’re looking to migrate soon.
The battle of Shopify’s pros and cons really comes down to what you need for your business. Is it very important for you to have an all-in-one ecommerce platform with hosting included? Then Shopify makes perfect sense. Would you in the future like to retain the flexibility of migrating to another platform with ease? Would you like to save transaction fees on non-Shopify payment transactions? Then Shopify may not be the right ecommerce platform for your business.
If you wish to take this decision with more clarity and confidence, speak to a Shopify development expert to understand what you must do next.