User-friendliness at the forefront – Forbes Advisor UK


Shopify is a popular ecommerce website builder that offers monthly plans designed to fit any budget. This all-in-one platform provides everything you need to start an online store, even if you don’t have any coding or design experience. Each Shopify plan includes unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, and allows you to publish an unlimited number of products, which means Shopify is a perfect fit for growing your business. The platform is so user-friendly that you can build a search-optimized live Shopify store in just a few hours.

Advantages

  • User-friendly site setup
  • Over 6,000 app integrations
  • 24/7 customer service

The inconvenients

  • Limited freedom of customization
  • Higher level plans are expensive
  • Limited number of free themes

Availability of e-commerce

On all the plans

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Shopify at a glance

Shopify was recently named one of the Top 10 Website Builders by Forbes Advisor. According to Shopify, over 1.7 million businesses have made over £ 146 billion in sales with their Shopify websites.

You can get started with Shopify by taking advantage of its 14-day free trial. After that, you will need to purchase a paid plan.

Shopify offers three main plans which all include eCommerce functionality, 24/7 support, Shopify POS Lite, free SSL certificate, and free postage label printing. Here’s a breakdown of the main feature differences between the three plans.

Shopify also offers a Shopify Lite plan for £ 6.60 per month. You can use Shopify Lite to add buy buttons to an existing website created with another builder like Weebly, Wix, WordPress, or Squarespace.

You can save money on any Shopify plan by paying up front. Shopify offers a 10% discount on annual plans and 20% off biennial plans.

Big entities like Staples, Heinz, and Lindt build their websites on the Shopify Plus business platform. All business solutions are customized, so you should contact Shopify directly to discuss available features and pricing options.

Other benefits

Shopify is designed for e-commerce. The platform includes popular features that most online businesses need to sell online and run their eCommerce stores.

  • Sell ​​physical and digital products The Shopify platform supports sales of physical and digital products; buyers can download digital products directly from a Shopify site immediately after purchase
  • Unlimited products List as many products as you want
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage Shopify does not limit site traffic or file / image storage
  • Shopify Analytics Access the key performance indicators of the online store through your Shopify dashboard; the £ 58 plan also offers standard reports, while the £ 219 plan offers advanced reports
  • Track and manage inventory Configure inventory tracking and monitor the number of products
  • 24/7 customer support Shopify offers phone, email, live chat, social media, community forum, and in-depth online help center support
  • Accept recurring payments for subscriptions You can sell subscriptions on your website and accept recurring payments through Shopify Payments, PayPal Express, or Authorize.net
  • Mobile app Shopify offers apps for iOS and Android that let you manage your store from anywhere
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Shopify plans include built-in tools to help you optimize your site for search
  • Blogging Add a blog to your online store to boost SEO and expand customer engagement.

If you can’t find the features you are looking for on the Shopify platform, you will likely find the functionality you need through one of the over 6,000 apps that integrate with Shopify.

Small print

Overall, Shopify is a great option for setting up your online store. However, there are a few more subtle limitations and facts about the platform that you should understand up front.

Site costs may add up

Online store plans range from £ 21 to £ 219 per month and transaction fees range from 0.5% to 2.0%. The bad news is, that might not be where your costs end.

Shopify only offers nine free themes. If you’re looking for more style, you can purchase one of the dozens of premium Shopify themes for a one-time payment ranging from £ 117 to £ 132.

You may encounter additional costs by logging into various apps. While Shopify integrates with thousands of apps that can extend your site’s functionality, many come with additional fees. The total bill for maintaining your online store can weigh heavily on you.

Limited customization

When you work with an all-in-one site builder like Shopify, you’re giving up some design flexibility you get with self-hosted platforms like WordPress. What you lose in customization, however, is gained in ease of configuration.

Expect a learning curve

If you’re used to a drag-and-drop editor, or if you’ve never used a website builder, you might encounter a modest learning curve when setting up your Shopify website. Shopify uses a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor that is dated much like DIY website builders do, but it’s still relatively user-friendly.

Shopify is medium for blogging

While you can blog your Shopify website, Shopify isn’t the best website builder for bloggers. Shopify does not provide blog analytics or archiving functionality. In addition, there is no search function reserved for blogs.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a blog on your online store; Blogging can increase organic search traffic and help you engage with your customers. But, if your main business is blogging and you plan to sell only a limited number of products, you might want to start a WordPress blog and then use Shopify Lite for the eCommerce functionality.

How Shopify Stacks Up

The Shopify website builder was created for ecommerce, while others, like Wix and Squarespace, only offer ecommerce functionality on certain planes.

Wix ecommerce plans range from £ 17 to £ 36 per month, which is cheaper than Shopify’s £ 21 to £ 219 monthly fee. All Wix ecommerce plans limit storage space while Shopify storage is unlimited, giving Shopify the edge for large online stores. Additionally, you must purchase the Wix Business VIP package to get unlimited products; you can publish unlimited products with all Shopify plans.

Squarespace offers ecommerce functionality on its Business, Basic Commerce, and Advanced Commerce plans, which range from £ 13 to £ 29 per month, giving Squarespace a price advantage over Shopify. Like Shopify, Squarespace offers unlimited bandwidth and storage. Squarespace wins in terms of stunning visual design, but Shopify integrates with many more ecommerce related apps, making it a more robust online store builder.


Is Shopify Right For You or Your Business?

Shopify works best for small businesses that want to build a real online store instead of just building a website with limited eCommerce functionality. You can sell physical and digital products in your Shopify store. With unlimited storage, bandwidth, and product publishing, Shopify will scale wonderfully as your business grows.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is Shopify Good For Newbies?

While newbies should expect a modest learning curve when setting up their Shopify store, the platform does not require any technical expertise or prior coding. Beginners are well taken care of by the many outlets in Shopify where you can ask questions and troubleshoot. Support is offered through email, chat, phone, a community forum, and Shopify’s intensive online help center.

Which Shopify plan should I choose?

The best Shopify plan for you largely depends on your sales volume as well as what features you need. If you just want to add a few products to your website, go with Shopify Lite. If you want to build a small online store, Basic Shopify will be the most profitable for you. Shopify and Advanced Shopify plans work best for high volume online stores. You can always start with a lower level plan and upgrade as your needs change.

Is Shopify Better Than Amazon?

A big advantage of Amazon is its huge integrated customer base, while a main drawback is the high volume of competitors already on Amazon. With Shopify, you can build your own online store that focuses exclusively on your products, but you also need to generate your own customer base. Many small businesses choose to offer their products both on Amazon and in their own bespoke Shopify store.

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