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Tag: eCommerce

Shopify Review (2016) – Is it really the best eCommerce Platform?

There are a lot of options available when it comes to selecting an ecommerce platform for building an online store or revamping an old website with ecommerce functionality. And using Shopify is surely one of them. It is one of the leading ecommerce platforms that allows you to build an ecommerce site through which you can sell online, on social media and in person.

Although a lot has been said about Shopify and its features, we have explored how easy or hard it is to set up and maintain a Shopify online store, what all features and functions it provides to the users, and where it ranks when compared with other ecommerce platforms.

So without wasting anytime, let’s dive into the detailed Shopify review:

1. Shopify Themes

Shopify offers you more than 100 themes (both free and paid) that are responsive and can be customized as per your specific needs. You can also browse all free and paid templates by different categories such as clothing, electronics, food, toys, and much more.

One thing to note here is that Shopify themes are designed by a group of very skilled web designers so you can feel assured that the themes you get with shopify shall be way better than what its other competitors have to offer. In addition, you can also integrate a full-fledged blog into your online store with no coding whatsoever. While similar functionality is there in many other ecommerce platforms, Shopify makes it a one-click process that even a non-technical user can perform easily.

shopify theme store

2. Shopify’s App Store

Shopify provides you with more than 1500 different applications (both free and paid) that enable you to improve the functionality of your online store. These apps can help you streamline a lot of your business processes such as inventory management, bookkeeping, newsletter management, product reviews, product suggestions, cart management and more.

So if your theme doesn’t have some specific features, you can anytime browse the Shopify’s App Store and see if there’s an add-on that can help. This makes Shopify a preferred platform for building a full-fledged ecommerce website as these apps are absent in many other ecommerce systems available. Key third-party applications that Shopify supports include Xero, Freshbooks, Zendesk and Aweber.

Shopify App Store

3. Mobile eCommerce

In today’s ecommerce market, having a mobile responsive website is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Shopify recognizes this trend and comes with free, in-built mobile ecommerce shopping cart features that enable you to manage and monitor your ecommerce site on your mobile phone. You can check your sales statistics, inventory status, customer data, and manage your online orders without the need of logging into your PC or laptop.

As for the customers, they can browse different products on your site and place an order directly from their smartphones. Mobile ecommerce feature is pre-installed in Shopify and you don’t need to manually add a plugin or do custom coding (as in the case of some other ecommerce platforms) to make your site look good on a hand-held device. We have checked this feature on all the major mobile operating systems, including iOS, Windows and Android, and it worked equally well on all of them.

Shopify Mobile Ecommerce

4. Web Hosting & Backup Option

If you’re worrying to pay extra for buying a hosting plan, Shopify comes with a good news. The ecommerce platform offers you an unlimited amount of web space and bandwidth to host your site without charging any extra penny apart from your monthly/yearly plan. This means you don’t need to buy any third-party web hosting services to get your site up and running on the Internet.

In our research, we have also found out that Shopify is Level-1 PCI compliant and comes with a 256-bit SSL certificate that collectively mean your site and personal information is completely secured from any type of data threat. The platform also creates an automatic back-up of your data every day and thus helps you focus on other business activities. Shopify’s web hosting and backup features are so far the best among what other ecommerce platforms are offering at the moment.

Shopify Hosting

5. Shopify Customer Support

Shopify impresses us with their award-winning customer support services. The platform offers you a true 24/7 anytime support through a dedicated team of experts, whom you can connect with via email, live chat and phone.

You can also browse their Help Center and Discussion Forums to get the answers of commonly asked questions, and access learning resources such as e-books, video series, webinars and much more. Shopify’s customer support is recognized and appreciated by some leading organizations worldwide.

Shopify Customer Support

6. Shopify Payments, Payment Gateways & Transaction Fees

With Shopify, you can process online transactions in 2 different ways – by using Shopify Payment or by using an external payment gateway. If you use Shopify Payment to process all your online sales, you will not need to pay any transaction fees.

But if you’re using another service provider (such as PayPal), you will be charged a transaction fee ranging from 0.5% to 2% depending on which plan you are subscribed to. Furthermore, you will have to pay payment processing fee in both the cases as it is something you can’t avoid, no matter which payment option you use. More details in the screenshot below:

Shopify Pricing

7. Shopify Pricing

Shopify comes with three standard packages priced at $29, $79 and $299, and you can choose the plan that best suits your needs and budget. Though there’s no free plan available, you can avail a risk-free 14 days trial to see if Shopify fits your needs. You can also save either 10% or 20% if you choose to subscribe to their 1-year or 2-years plans, respectively. There are five Shopify plans to choose from:

  • Shopify Lite – $9 per month
  • Basic Shopify – $29 per month
  • Shopify – $79 per month
  • Advanced Shopify – $299 per month
  • Shopify Plus – fees are negotiable

Shopify Pricing

SHOPIFY REVIEW CONCLUSION:

Shopify Rating: 9.7/10 (based on overall review and customer feedback)

After reviewing different features of Shopify and their pros and cons, we can say that Shopify is possibly the best ecommerce platform for anyone who wants to create a full-fledged ecommerce site and who doesn’t want to go deeper into the technicalities. It’s competitively priced, easy to use, and its templates are strong. The only disadvantage of using Shopify is when you use a third-party payment gateway as it charges a transaction fee.

The best way to find out if Shopify is for you is to try it fully. You can avail a risk-free 14 days trial to see for yourself if Shopify fits your needs.

Try Shopify Risk-Free For 14 Days Now!

We hope that the above Shopify review will help you make an informed decision. If you have any further queries or if you like to share your Shopify experience with us, please feel free to leave your comments below.

Top 3 Squarespace Alternatives In 2016

When deciding which ecommerce platform to use for your next online store, it can sometimes be difficult to find the perfect match as per your needs and preferences. While Squarespace is certainly one of the top ecommerce platforms for creating and managing ecommerce sites, there may be reasons why you would prefer to go with another platform. To help you find the right match, I explored various ecommerce platforms and shortlisted the top 3 ecommerce platforms that can be used as an alternative to Squarespace.

 

Shopify

Widely considered as a market leader in its space today, Shopify is definitely a strong alternative to Squarespace. The platform offers a range of features including seamless third party integration, point-of-sales application, content management functionalities, multi-level security and 24/7 customer support that probably make it a worthwhile option for most ecommerce needs.  Whether you are planning to build a new ecommerce site or migrate an existing one, Shopify has it all in terms of an easy setup, user-friendly dashboard and unlimited customization options.

It comes with three different packages priced at $29, $79 and $299, and you can choose the plan that best suits your needs and budget. The platform offers 12 free templates for creating multiple sites to those who are not willing to go premium.

Some key USPs include:

  • Point-of-sales feature that allows you to sell both online and offline
  • Seamless third-party integration for improved functionality
  • 24/7 customer support through email, live chat and phone

Click Here to Try Shopify for FREE!

 

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is an another ecommerce platform that comes with a plenty of features and add-ons that make it one of the most preferred choices for many big & small companies. It offers a powerful and user friendly interface that allows you to build and manage your ecommerce site efficiently and effectively. Similar to Shopify, the platform offers user-friendly dashboard and numerous customization options through which even a non-technical person can build a site within a few minutes. BigCommerce offers three different packages priced at $29.95 (standard plan), $79.95 and $199.95.

Some key USPs include:

  • More than 100 in-built features coupled with an even larger number of apps/add-ons
  • Clean, user-friendly templates that save you all the complexities and confusion
  • It comes with free hosting and tons of free and premium themes

Click Here to Try BigCommerce for FREE!

 

wooCommerce

wooCommerce is a free WordPress shopping cart plugin which you can integrate to any WordPress theme. It is fully customizable and can be a good Squarespace alternative if you are using the WordPress CMS as the basic platform for hosting your site. wooCommerce is also an ideal choice for those who already have a WordPress site and want to add ecommerce functionalities in it. The plugin comes with pre-installed payment gateways and other standard ecommerce platform features.

Some key USPs include:

  • Offers more than 300 free and paid extensions for improved functionality
  • It has built-in coupons, up-selling, cross-selling, and sales pricing functionalities
  • It is 100% free to download and install

Click Here to Try wooCommerce for FREE!

 

Conclusion

There are many alternatives to Squarespace and it totally depends on your needs and budget to choose one amongst them. While Shopify has been around longer than other ecommerce platforms/plugins, BigCommerce and wooCommerce provide you with a few additional features at lesser prices.

In case you have any further queries about the above, feel free to leave me a message in the comments below.

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