Whether you’re an entrepreneur researching e-commerce platforms for your new business or whether you currently have an online store and are contemplating switching to a new system, chances are, you’ve heard of Shopify. Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, the e-commerce darling currently boasts over 500,000 merchant accounts with a total gross merchandise volume in excess of $46 billion. If you’re considering using Shopify, understanding the pros and cons of the platform will help you decide whether it’s the right choice for your e-commerce business. Here are a few Shopify pros and cons to consider.
Hosting Is Included
Shopify is a hosted system, which means that the software runs on the e-commerce company’s servers. Rather than pay extra for hosting, when using Shopify, that service is included in your package.
Fast Website Speed and Load Times
Speed times are crucial for any online business. Online shoppers have come to expect fast website speed and load times. If your website doesn’t meet expectations, potential customers are likely to do business with another competitor or abandon their carts. In addition, search engines such as Google favor sites with faster load times, which means that a slow site can negatively impact your search rankings. With Shopify’s powerful servers, you enjoy fast speed and load times.
Securely Handle Sensitive Information
Shopify is PCI DSS compliant, which means that you don’t have to worry about your client’s security; it’s taken care of for you. You can securely handle sensitive information and accept credit card and debit card payment processing. In addition, you can encrypt your store’s content by activating the SSL certificates that Shopify provides free of charge, adding an extra layer of protection.
Easy to Use
Shopify is incredibly easy to use even if you don’t have any technical knowledge. Their intuitive editor and hundreds of professionally-designed free themes make setting up your responsive website and online store a breeze.
Access to Tools and Apps
With Shopify, you have access to a range of tools and apps to support and grow your business. For instance, their built-in SEO tool enables you to easily optimize your pages while their reporting tools allow you to analyze valuable customer data. They even offer newsletter and blogging capabilities and an extensive app store.
24/7 Access to Customer Support
If you encounter any issues, you can contact Shopify’s knowledgeable customer support team using your channel of choice: phone, email, live chat, and even social media.
Some Plans Have Transaction Fees
Shopify offers a range of pricing options to suit a variety of e-commerce merchants, ranging from $29 to $299 per month. However, unless you subscribe to the higher-priced plans or use Shopify Payments, you may be faced with additional transaction fees, which, as your business grows, can amount to a lot of money.
Customization Can Be Difficult
When compared to self-hosted systems, hosted solutions are less customizable since you are limited by the platform. In addition, some themes are harder to customize.
Migration Can Be Tricky
Although many other e-commerce platforms are also guilty of this, migration from Shopify is not easy. When you decide to close your Shopify store, be prepared to lose a lot of the valuable data that you have acquired.
Are you considering using Shopify? Share your reasons with us by commenting below.