Deciding to build an online store is a great decision and a solid business model. Once you’ve decided on a product to sell, your next big decision is choosing a great e-commerce website template. I’ve tried many e-commerce templates – and I can say hands down that Shopify offers one of the best e-commerce website templates and platforms when you take pricing, template options, style, and ease-of-use into consideration.
In fact, many e-commerce store owners have extremely successful online stores using Shopify.
Let me jump right into the features and benefits in this Shopify review. I’ll also tell you about some of the drawbacks to this e-commerce platform – but in the end it is one of the best e-commerce website options available (please note that these are the features and benefits at the time this article was published).
Features and Benefits of Using Shopify for your E-Commerce Store
You can try it free for 30 days. Take advantage of this offer by exploring the many e-commerce website templates they have to choose from. Look under the hood and discover how easy it is to get your online store up and running fast.
50 E-Commerce Templates / Store Fronts to Choose From:
Shopify has 50 fantastic themes / template styles to choose from. You can also easily customize any theme or template you get to ensure you get the precise look and feel you want for your business.
No Contract Required:
When you use Shopify you don’t need to commit to any duration. You pay month-to-month. I don’t need to tell you how advantageous this is. After all, when you’re starting up – the last thing you want to do is get committed to long-term expenses.
No Computer Coding knowledge Needed:
You don’t need to know how to build websites to set up a Shopify e-commerce store. Shopify makes it super easy to choose and set up any of its 50 templates simply by clicking buttons.
Shopify makes it super easy to integrate with a credit card gateway and/or Paypal. If you sell digital products – no problem – you can deliver them through an integrated app included with your Shopify subscription.
Use Your Own Domain:
I can’t stress the importance of building your store on your own domain. Yes, you can use a Shopify domain – but for the long-term it is much, much better to start building your store on your own domain. Shopify makes it easy to build an e-commerce store on your own domain.
Why use your own domain? Because if you start getting links to your store (great for search engine rankings and highly recommended), then if you switch domains – those links you get to a Shopify domain are wasted. Start your business on the right foot by investing the $10 it costs to get your own domain.
Low Monthly Cost:
Once you decide to use Shopify, it only costs $24 per month for a basic plan. You can sell up to 100 SKUs with this plan, which in my view is a tremendous offering. There is no setup fee either. If you ever need to upgrade your plan, that’s very easy to do. Shopify = flexibility.
In addition, however, you also pay a 2.0 percent transaction fee as part of your cost (when you upgrade plans, the transaction percentage lowers). This allows Shopify to charge low monthly fixed cost rates. Being able to limit fixed costs and have a variable cost option (i.e. costs directly linked to your sales) is a tremendous feature and advantage as you get your online business off the ground.
You definitely want to offer your customers secure shopping. With all of Shopify’s e-commerce website templates and plans you automatically get to offer secure shopping for your customers with the industry standard 128 bit SSL encryption.
This means if you get a flood of visitors your site won’t shut down. Obviously this is critical to running a successful online e-commerce store.
Discount Codes for Your Customers:
You have to upgrade to a $59 / monthly plan in order to offer coupon codes. If you’re just starting, this isn’t necessary. Once you start generating sales – then you’re in a position to monitor your sales and then decide if coupon codes can help build your business.
Automatic Back Ups:
Shopify backs up your store so you don’t have to be concerned about losing any data.
Add a Shopify E-Commerce Template to Your Existing Website:
If you already have a blog or website and wish to add a store – it is no problem with Shopify. You simply establish your Shopify store on a subdomain (subdomains cost nothing to setup).
Customer and Technical Support:
You can contact Shopify for help, use their Shopify forums, and check out detailed tutorials in the Shopify Help Wiki. You won’t be stranded to struggle.
Drop shipping Integration and Partners:
If you don’t want to pack and ship your orders you can use a partner drop shipper such as Fulfillment by Amazon, Shipwire, and Webgistix.
Drawbacks to Shopify for Your E-Commerce Template Solution
- I don’t like that you have to upgrade to a $59/month plan in order to offer coupon codes. It seems to me coupon codes are a powerful way for a starting business to build revenues. It should be offered in every plan.
- Too few drop shipping partnerships. Now I’m not sure if you can set up drop shipping with a company other than Amazon, Shipwire, and Webgistix. Likely one of these 3 will suit your needs, but if not, it may be more complicated than necessary than setting up an automated order-processing system. Again, this is something you would need to discuss with prospective drop shippers and Shopify.
Despite my 2 dislikes mentioned above, I still believe Shopify offers by one of the best e-commerce templates available anywhere.