Shopify – The Best eCommerce Platform in 2021
Shopify is one of the most popular platforms for building eCommerce, thanks to its many features and an almost unlimited choice of apps that offer additional services.
- Easy to use: Lots of native and simple functions designed for every type of user
- Flexibility: You can really do everything, it can be using it in a basic way or create completely custom flows and sites with a unique design (without themes)
- SEO: The ease of use is noted: for example, if you change a URL
- Product page: Excellent, integrated zoom and possibility to integrate augmented reality and 3D products
- Shopping cart: Integrated and fully customizable cart abandonment functionality
- Terms of payment: Integrated with many payment providers
- SSL certificate: Natively integrated
- Discount codes: Easy and natively integrated into Shopify
- Dropshipping: Easily integrated with major software such as Oberlo
- Import products: Product data can be easily imported from Magento, eBay, WordPress etc via CSV
- Checkout: Fantastic and already user friendly, optimized for mobile and simple. With Shopify plus you can modify it if necessary
- Themes: Many themes available for each store category
- Shopify cost: A little expensive for those who want to start but very similar to others where initially they are free and then you pay for the integrations
- Integrations: Natively integrated with many specific APPs for ecommerce
Shopify is a platform that allows you to create ecommerce quickly and easily, providing you with a wide selection of templates that can be customized according to the style of your brand.
Behind the success of Shopify, in fact, there is the idea of providing solutions even to those sellers who do not have particular IT skills, allowing them to create an ecommerce without necessarily having to go to agencies and developers. At the same time, there are numerous solutions and ample freedom of movement even for users who are familiar with HTML and CSS codes.
Since Shopify offers a hosted solution, you won’t have to worry about buying a domain or installing software – the basic idea is to provide everything that may be needed or useful to create and manage an online store.
As we have said, it is possible to both customize the graphic appearance and add apps, now or at a later time, or even use a custom code. Working with a “SaaS” (software as a service) model, you just need to pay a monthly sum to use all the functions, without having to buy them.
Shopify offers several monthly subscription plans with more or less equipped packages, so that all users can find a good quality-price compromise:
- Shopify Lite: $9 per month
- Shopify Basic: $29 per month
- The the Shopify classic package: $79 per month
- Shopify Advanced: $299 per month
- Shopify Plus: with variable prices that are around $2000 per month
Shopify it now offers as one of the cheapest ways to sell online: just think of the fact that, with the plan starters from 9 $ per month, you can sell an unlimited number of items and take advantage of many useful features, such as the ability to sell products also from Facebook page, use Shopify in a physical store both for purchases and to manage the warehouse, and above all use Shopify Buy Button, which allows you to sell through blogs or pre-existing websites.
The Buy Button works roughly like Paypal’s “Buy Now” button, redirecting visitors to Shopify. It also offers more sophisticated options, such as order tracking and product availability checking, and can show entire product categories on another site.
In a nutshell, with the Buy Button you can integrate Shopify with a site built on another platform, such as WordPress. An option that turns out to be really useful for those users who already have a website and want to integrate features for eCommerce.
For those who want to create a fully equipped eCommerce, the options range from the basic to the Advanced plan. Finally, the Plus plan is designed for large companies that have to manage a significant volume of business, and offers advanced features for security, API and warehouse management.
The Main Distinction Between The Subscription Plans
The main aspects to be evaluated when comparing the different plans are:
- Report: The professional reporting feature is available for the $79 and up plan
- Advanced Reports: Advanced reporting tools (which allow you to create custom reports) are only available for Advanced and Plus plans
- Gift Cards: only from the “Classic” plan onwards
- Real-time shipping: only for “Advanced” plan
- Point of Sale (POS): from the “Advanced” plan onwards
The monthly plans can also be paid in a single annual or two-year payment, in this case with a discount of 10% and 20% respectively. The plans can be paid for by credit card and in 2019 they added the possibility of paying with a Paypal account.
Compared to competing platforms, the real innovation is given by the Lite plan, which even if it does not allow you to create a fully equipped and personalized ecommerce, it really offers many useful functions at an incredibly affordable price.
The Fundamental Features
As we have already mentioned, many features vary according to the subscription plan chosen. Others, however, are common to almost all floors. For example, starting with the $29 Basic plan you can have:
- The ability to retail physical or digital products, divided into categories and with variable shipping charges of your choice
- A wide range of themes
- Integration with Paypal
- The ability to manage a Blog section
- Checking the cart abandonment rate
- Consumer import / export data
- Content Management Features (CMS)
- Discount codes
- SEO optimization tools
- The ability to change with CSS and HTML codes
- Access to the store app
- The ability to create several staff accounts
- Integration with over 100 external gateways
- The ability to print shipping labels
- In some states, agreements with couriers and discounts on shipping charges
By choosing the Shopify plan you will also have: gift cards, professional reports and all the tools for the physical point of sale, while with the Advanced plan, the Advanced Report function and real-time shipping will be added to these functions. Finally, with the Plus plan, you will have the guarantee of an always up-to-date server, API support, the maximum level of customer support, which includes support functions to implement ecommerce results, a dedicated IP or SSL address and security features.
Overall, Shopify turned out to be one of the best platforms for eCommerce and dropshipping, and definitely the best for those who want to sell both online and in a physical store.
Competitive prices (especially considering that some features are not even present on other platforms), ease of use, excellent integration with numerous apps and attractive templates make it a truly optimal choice. Another strong point is the very high number of users, which is also a powerful tool for inspiring customer confidence.
What about the disadvantages? The transaction fees, the limit of the three options per product and the fact that, in some cases, it is necessary to install an app to have a certain function. These are very few compared to the many advantages.
Shopify is a best platform to use for building an e-commerce store in 2021.