What is Shopify

Shopify so I believe, was developed out of necessity by a group of snowboarders, who were looking for an effective way to sell and deliver snowboarding equipment to other customers. They quickly became aware that the online marketplaces available weren’t suitable to offer their customers a personalised user experience, so they built their own eCommerce platform to suit their needs. Huge!

Somehow they created the eCommerce platform Shopify, which now hosts over 300,000 online eCommerce stores! It is an effective eCommerce website builder that allows merchants to sell any type of consumable anywhere.

How Does Shopify Work?

It is fairly straightforward, which is their selling point. Here’s a basic rundown.

  1. Pick a plan that fits your budget and feature needs.
  2. “Point” your domain that you buy from a registrar like GoDaddy or crazy domains to your Shopify store. You can also buy one via Shopify.
  3. Choose a theme for your store. You can edit a free one via their drag and drop tool, buy a premium one or hire a designer.
  4. Add your products, page content, images, payment options, etc.
  5. You’re in business.

Sounds easy. When you are building anonline shop and running it yourself – you have no one to turn to, except developers and often unresponsive online forums. With Shopify you get answers fast. All my customer support experiences with Shopify have been really fast and helpful from a developer point of view.

When you are focused on running your online store – this safety net of always having someone to turn to with answers is basically worth the subscription price alone.

There are some cons, monthly fees and like all hosted platforms, is going to be consistently more expensive month to month than a self-hosted store you run yourself. However, self-hosted stores (like WordPress + WooCommerce) tend to occasionally have a lot of developer needs, especially if you’re running a large setup.

If you have some technical ability and a smaller shop, Shopify pricing is expensive and the wordpress woocommerce option might be better. If you want to focus on running & marketing your shop, then Shopify will probably be an incredible resource. You don’t have to hire developers or  SEO consultants to take care of things like Google Merchant Centre or shopping feeds.


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