24 October 2019
Third Blog on e-commerce websites – Shopify
Shopify Inc. is a Canadian multinational e-commerce company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. It is also the name of its proprietary e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Shopify offers online retailers a suite of services “including payments, marketing, shipping and customer engagement tools to simplify the process of running an online store for small merchants.” The company reported that it had more than 800,000 businesses in approximately 175 countries using its platform as of December 31, 2018, with total gross merchandise volume exceeding $41.1 billion for calendar 2018
Shopify was founded in 2004 by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake after attempting to open Snowdevil, an online store for snowboarding equipment. Dissatisfied with the existing e-commerce products on the market, Lütke, a computer programmer by trade, instead built his own. Lütke used the open source web application framework Ruby on Rails to build Snowdevil’s online store, and launched it after two months of development
How does Shopify work?
As I see it, Shopify is not only an easy way to launch and manage your online store. It’s geared towards supporting store owners in crucial aspects like opening additional channels (e.g. Amazon, eBay or Facebook), offering customer support tools (e.g. live chat) or by taking care of the technical hassles
$26 Basic Shopify
Sell unlimited products. Shopify will charge a 2% transaction fee unless you use Shopify Payments.
With more ecommerce features like gift cards and abandoned cart recovery. Transaction fees are 1% unless you use Shopify Payments.
$266 Advanced Shopify
Get advanced reports and automatically calculated shipping rates. Transaction fees are 0.5% unless you use Shopify Payments.
Additional plans: The Lite plan to sell on social media can also be purchased for about $9 a month. Shopify also offers an enterprise plan (Plus) for gigantic online stores – it’s not cheap as it starts at $2.000 a month.
A domain name costs extra (starting at $14 per year for a .com), but can be added through Shopify or any external registrar. If you can, it’s recommendable to use Shopify’s own payment gateway as this will save you additional charges. It’s currently only available in the USA, Puerto Rico, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. Please note that transaction fees won’t be charged for manual payment methods (cash on delivery, bank transfer etc.).
An excellent solution both for ambitious beginners and professionals. Shopify offers you a platform that makes selling not only easy but also provides the tools to improve your sales. Definitely not the cheapest solution out there but thanks to their support and ecosystem, Shopify takes much of the headache out of running an online store.
Shopify ease of use
Don’t be mistaken, although Shopify is really easy to use, it’s an extremely powerful tool too. For example, you can set up and launch your online store in one weekend (no joke). But you could also spend days or even weeks developing a custom solution to fulfill your needs. Personally, I think Shopify lets you do more with fewer clicks than competitors like Volusion or BigCommerce. And Content Management Systems such as WordPress or Magento don’t even come near in terms of ease of use.