Shopify Review: User-Friendliness To The Fore – Forbes Advisor UK – Forbes

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Updated: Nov 18, 2021, 6:30pm
Shopify is a popular e-commerce website builder that offers monthly plans designed to accommodate any budget. This all-in-one platform provides everything you need to launch an online store, even if you have no coding or design experience. Every Shopify plan comes with unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, and lets you post unlimited products, which means Shopify scales beautifully as your business grows. The platform is so user-friendly that you can create a live Shopify store that’s optimised for search in just a few hours.
1
Starting price
£1.50 per month
Drag-and-drop editor
Yes
E-commerce (low-priced plan)
No
1
On Zyro’s Secure Website
Shopify was recently named one of Forbes Advisor’s 10 Best Website Builders. According to Shopify, more than 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’ll need to purchase a paid plan.
Shopify offers three primary plans that all include e-commerce functionality, 24/7 support, Shopify POS Lite, a free SSL certificate and free postage label printing. Here’s a breakdown of top feature differences among the three plans.
Shopify also offers a Shopify Lite plan for £6.60 per month. You can use Shopify Lite to add Buy Buttons on an existing website created with another builder like Weebly, Wix, WordPress or Squarespace.
You can save money on any Shopify plan by paying upfront. Shopify offers a 10% discount on annual plans and 20% on biennial plans.
Large entities like Staples, Heinz and Lindt build their websites on the Shopify Plus enterprise platform. All enterprise solutions are customised, so you must contact Shopify directly to discuss available features and pricing options.
Shopify is built for e-commerce. The platform includes popular features that most online businesses need to sell online and manage their e-commerce stores.
If you don’t find the features you’re looking for within the Shopify platform, you will likely find the functionality you require via one of over 6,000 apps that integrate with Shopify.
Overall, Shopify is a terrific option for setting up your online store. However, there are a few limitations and subtler facts about the platform you need to understand upfront.
Online shop plans range from £21 to £219 per month and transaction fees from 0.5% to 2.0%. The bad news is this may not be where your costs end.
Shopify offers only nine free themes. If you’re looking for more design flair, you can purchase one of the dozens of Shopify premium themes for a one-time payment ranging from £117 to £132.
You may experience additional costs by linking to various apps. While Shopify integrates with thousands of apps that can extend your site’s functionality, many of these come with added fees. The total bill for maintaining your online shop can creep up on you.
When working with an all-in-one site builder like Shopify, you give up some design flexibility that you get with self-hosted platforms like WordPress. What you lose in customisation, though, is gained in ease of set-up.
If you’re accustomed to a drag-and-drop editor or have never used a website builder, you may experience a modest learning curve setting up your Shopify website. Shopify uses a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor that’s a bit dated as DIY website builders go, but it’s still relatively user-friendly.
While you can add a blog to your Shopify website, Shopify isn’t the best website builder for bloggers. Shopify doesn’t provide blog analytics or archive functionality. Also, there is no blog-only search function.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a blog on your online store; blogs can increase traffic from organic search and help you engage with your customers. But, if your primary business is blogging, and you only plan to sell a limited number of products, you may want to set up a WordPress blog and then use Shopify Lite for e-commerce functionality.
1
Starting price
£1.50 per month
Drag-and-drop editor
Yes
E-commerce (low-priced plan)
No
1
On Zyro’s Secure Website
The Shopify website builder was created for e-commerce, while others like Wix and Squarespace only offer e-commerce functionality on certain plans.
Wix e-commerce plans range from £17 to £36 a month, which is cheaper than Shopify’s £21 to £219 monthly fees. All Wix e-commerce plans limit storage space while Shopify storage is unlimited, giving Shopify the advantage for larger online shops. Also, you must buy the Wix Business VIP plan to get unlimited products; you can post unlimited products with all Shopify plans.
Squarespace offers e-commerce functionality on its Business, Basic Commerce and Advanced Commerce plans, which range from £13 to £29 per month, giving Squarespace an edge over Shopify on pricing. Like Shopify, Squarespace offers unlimited bandwidth and storage. Squarespace wins in terms of stunning visual design, but Shopify integrates with a lot more e-commerce-related apps, making it a more robust online store builder.
Shopify works best for small businesses that want to create a true online shop instead of merely building a website with limited e-commerce functionality. You can sell both physical and digital products in your Shopify store. With unlimited storage, bandwidth and product posting, Shopify will scale beautifully as your business grows.
While beginners should expect a modest learning curve when creating their Shopify store, the platform does not require previous technical or coding expertise. Beginners are well supported by Shopify’s many outlets where you can ask questions and troubleshoot problems. Support is offered via email, chat, phone, a community forum and Shopify’s intensive online Help Center.
The best Shopify plan for you depends largely on your selling volume as well as the features you require. 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 most cost-effective for you. The Shopify and Advanced Shopify plans work best for high-volume online stores. You can always start with a lower-tier plan and upgrade as your needs grow.
A significant advantage of Amazon is its enormous built-in customer base, while a primary disadvantage 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 have to generate your own pool of customers. Many small businesses opt to offer their products both on Amazon and on their own custom-built Shopify store.

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