If you are in considering setting up an e-commerce platform, you are probably searching for the best one. You may have heard about Shopify, but are not quite sure what it has to offer. We will provide a review of the platform in our article below. Finally, we will recommend whether or not it is a platform you should consider.
· Overview Of the Shopify Platform
Shopify is a top-rated e-commerce platform that will provide you with all the Solutions you need to run an online store. Starting on the Shopify platform is a simple as:
- Picking the subscription package that fits your needs
- Linking your domain to the Shopify store; you have the option of buying a domain from the Shopify platform.
- Deciding on how you want your store to look. you can design it using the themes and templates available on the platform
- Adding the relevant information including products, payment options, page content, among others
· Subscription Packages and Payment Options
The platform has four subscription packages; basic that comes in at $29, Shopify at $79 and advanced Shopify at $299 per month. There is also the Shopify Lite that only applies to Buy Button sellers, which comes in at approximately $9 per month. Each package has different features that will make the running of your business easier.
You have the option of using 3rd party payment providers, but you will incur a fee of between 0.5% to 2% for each transaction. The costs are dependent on the subscription package. You, however, have the option of using the Shopify payments that is free.
· Customer Support
Shopify customer support is one of the best you will find in ecommerce solution providers. They respond to queries very fast and are extremely helpful. You can reach the customer care on email, chat, and phone. You also get a huge database of frequently asked questions that will help you understand the platform better.
· Marketing Support
Marketing is a crucial consideration when starting an online business. The e-commerce platform you opt for should help with this functionality. You will find a lot of apps in the Shopify Marketplace that you can apply in your marketing strategies. Some of the tools available include SEO support help with marketing campaigns, email, and Google and Facebook ads, among others. The platform also has inbuilt blogging software, which is quite basic in its offering, but will help with the marketing just fine. Do note, the platform does not allow FTP access.
· Design of Your Online Store
The design of your online store is essential if you hope to attract and keep customers. Your platform should allow you to customize and make continuous improvements to the design. You can easily do this using the Shopify themes; you have the option of free and paid ones. We would recommend that when you’re starting, you take advantage of the free themes, and upgrade as your business grows.
What you may not like about the themes is that customizing can be a bit of a challenge. Unlike WordPress, which is in PHP, Shopify has its coding language known as Liquid. Many first-timers find that it takes some getting used to, and can, therefore, slow down the process a little. If you are not tech-savvy, you may need to get someone who understands the Shopify coding language to help with the process. It may, therefore, mean that you have to budget for a designer to come in occasionally.
One outstanding feature of the Shopify platform is that you get tons of inbuilt features in the app store. You have both free and paid plugins that will make the running of your platform seamless. You also do not have to factor in the cost of hiring a designer to install them for you.
Installing the Add-ons onto your store is as easy as downloading and following the installation instructions. Be careful about the number of Add-ons you download. Some may come with a cost implication which could make the running of your online store costly. Too many plugins may also interfere with the page speed, which could result in poor user experience.
Shopify is a fantastic platform to launch an online business. It allows you to scale, and the features can support a business of any size. However, if you plan to leave the platform at some point, you may not be able to export all your data. Shopify has a lock-in feature which will make the transition process less than smooth.
We said we would recommend to you whether or not Shopify is a good platform. It is a platform worth considering; it has excellent features and is easy to set up. Shopify also has a user-friendly interface, and several subscription packages depending on your budget. However, only you understand what your business needs are, and you should base your decision of an e-commerce platform on that.
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