Why Choose Shopify for your E-commerce Website?
Originally I was put off by Shopify, as it was the name I saw on the bottom of so many amateurish looking websites. However, after some research, I began to understand that the problem was with the design and poor photography, and not the platform.
After a few months of research, I concluded that Shopify is the platform I would recommend for setting up an e-commerce shop. It is the platform of choice used by many successful fashion brands including All Birds and Victoria Beckham use Shopify and these online stores look beautiful too.
Shopify - The Platform
As a business owner Shopify is a good choice over other platforms because of the following ADVANTAGES:
- Shopify is built for e-commerce, therefore making this secure place for dealing with financial transactions.
- It is a hosted platform, you don’t need to be concerned with dealing with a separate website hosting company as Shopify does this for you.
- Built to deal with the changes in traffic that might occur. For example, say you had a spike in visitors because of a mention on social media or a flash sale, Shopify is built to handle this. A cheap hosting service that is fine most of the time could crash if put under pressure by visitor numbers unexpectedly.
- As your business grows, Shopify will scale with you.
- Smooth workflows with lots of software integrations available and possible via Apps and automation. More about Apps below.
- If you want to change the look of your site this can be done with little disruption.
- Basic analytic and SEO (search engine optimisation) tools are built in.
- Opportunity to sell on Instagram and Facebook
- Unless you opt for a custom build store, which will be expensive, the shop could look similar to other online stores.
- Paying for Apps to add functionality could make it more expensive than originally budgeted for, Apps may require store owners to pay a monthly recurring fee.
- Shopify may not be the cheapest option – but it depends on if you set the shop up yourself or need to hire help for this.
- Shopify and MailChimp have fallen out and it is not as easy as it was to integrate them as it was.
- With SaaS software the actual website is sitting on their servers, if you have a self-hosted website you have full access to the actual website.
Personally I think the photography can help you stand out and don’t see the similar appearance to other stores as something too negative. I think it is more important for users to be able to easily navigate an online shop, so making something very different might cause friction.
On a budget the designs are not as easily modified as a WordPress website for example, but for ease of use and security, Shopify comes out on top.
I would recommend starting with a paid Theme rather than a free one simply because they have more flexibility and features. For example, none the free themes include an Instagram feed option. Themes are purchased for a one time fee which is about $180 from the Shopify Theme Store. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing a budget theme outside of the official Shopify them store – if there were problems or clashes with software the support may not be available.
When you are purchasing a SaaS (software as a service) product such as Shopify you are paying for the support and updates. Shopify is a large, established business with many customers relying on them. As a business, they are likely to remain stable and maintain a good product.