Shopify: the most complete review in 2021

Shopify logo

Shopify logo

Table of contents

1. What is Shopify?

    1.1. What can you sell on Shopify?

2. How does Shopify work?

    2.1. Shopify’s easy-to-use interface

    2.2 Shopify website builder

    2.3. Run your Shopify blog

    2.4. Shopify apps for extra functionality

    2.5. Shopify store management

    2.6. Shopify dropshipping

    2.7. Shopify SEO

    2.8. Shopify email marketing

    2.9. Shopify multilingual sites

    2.10. Shopify analytics

    2.11. Shopify POS (point of sale) solutions

3. How to use Shopify: step-by-step guide to starting a Shopify store

    3.1. Shopify login

    3.2. How to customize your Shopify store and pick a theme

    3.3. How to add products to Shopify

    3.4. Shopify set-up checklist

    3.5. How to add Shopify apps

    3.6. How to create a Shopify product review page

    3.7. What can you do with a Shopify blog?

    3.8. Shopify social media marketing

    3.9. How to cancel Shopify

4. Shopify pricing

    4.1. Shopify Lite pricing

    4.2. Shopify Basic pricing

    4.3. Shopify plan pricing

    4.4. Advanced Shopify pricing

    4.5. Shopify Plus pricing

5. Shopify support and security

    5.1. How does Shopify protect your data?

    5.2. Is Shopify support worth it?

    5.3. Is myShopify legit?

6. Shopify pros and cons

    6.1. Shopify pros

    6.2. Shopify cons

7. Shopify alternatives

    7.1. The best Shopify alternative: systeme.io

    7.2. Shopify alternative for WordPress: WooCommerce

8. Is Shopify worth it?

If you’re planning on starting an online business, or an eCommerce store, you’ve probably come across Shopify.


One of the most popular eCommerce platforms, Shopify rose to popularity in the past decade. 


Whether you’re planning to sell something you made at home, or offering a diverse assortment of products, finding the right eCommerce platform will make a world of difference.


Personally, I believe in simplicity and effectiveness when it comes to online business platforms.


And today, I’m going to show you everything you need to know about Shopify:

How does Shopify work? What can you sell on Shopify? And, of course, I’ll also point you to great alternatives to Shopify.


Let’s dive in!

1. What is Shopify?

what is shopify?

Back in 2004, when people were starting to understand the potential of the internet and online commerce, one German national living in Canada decided to sell snowboards online. 


His name was Tobias Lütke, and soon, he became the founder of Shopify Inc.


He set up shop online on his own, and later realized that his eCommerce solution would come in handy for others who wanted to sell their products online.


Fast forward to today, and Tobias’ eCommerce platform is now the number one tool people use to sell online.


With more than 1,000,000 online businesses being run around the world with Shopify, and plenty of offices that accommodate over 5,000 employees, Shopify is here to stay and ensure that you have a place to set up shop. 


As of 2019, Shopify’s net revenue exceeds US$1.58 billion.

 Tobias Lütke

Tobias Lütke

So, what does make Shopify so popular?


The simple answer behind is: Shopify genuinely takes care of the majority of your eCommerce shop start-up needs, and reduces your overhead costs when starting an online business.


Often, people give up at the start-up stage because they don’t understand how to set up an online shop, and that’s exactly what Shopify helps with.


And unlike other eCommerce solutions, Shopify is an excellent cloud-based software with an easy-to-use interface that allows you to sell, market and ship your products.


It’s as easy as eCommerce could get.


In a nutshell, Shopify helps you become your own boss with the minimum cost and effort when it comes to doing the back-end work.

Shopify website front

Shopify is perfect for people who are not great at coding, HTML, CSS and the designing part. 


With its own set of customized themes and templates, Shopify gives you plenty of resources to set up your shop in just a few hours.


It’s a one-stop shop for all things eCommerce; right from putting up the product on display, marketing and promoting it thoroughly, taking care of the payments, to finally shipping it off to your customers.


You literally have to do nothing but focus on your products and customers.

1.1. What can you sell on Shopify?

shopify leif

Shopify can be used to sell anything:

  • Physical products
  • Digital products
  • Online courses
  • eBooks
  • Audio books

It even comes with the option of dropshipping which is another Internet gem that has helped people in making a lot of money. I’ll talk about it in a sec.


However, since Shopify offers plenty of options for running your online store, it can get a little overwhelming. 


Yes, the majority of the groundwork is taken care of for you, but there are still all kinds of interfaces and settings.


You’ll need a helping hand.


Fortunately, Shopify offers plenty of tutorials, and I’m going to show you how it works.

2. How does Shopify work?

Shopify: how it works

The basic motto and Shopify’s tagline would be: all eCommerce solutions and features in one place without the hassle.


Shopify is built on the concept of ‘hosted’ solution.


Simply put, it means that you don’t have to purchase web hosting and install heavy software to run your shop


All of that is taken care of by Shopify.


You simply need to pay a monthly price to use Shopify, and you’re golden!


Shopify also lets you set up a blog, payment processing, use templates to set up your store and pages, and more.


Once you’ve created your store, you can customize everything or use various Shopify apps to supercharge your marketing, sales, customer support, and other aspects you need to succeed.


Here’s what you’re getting when you sign up for Shopify:

2.1. Shopify’s easy-to-use interface

Shopify interface

This is one of the biggest USPs of Shopify. 


It’s extremely easy to use, and gives you all the freedom you could ask for when it comes to setting up an online shop.


Combining all the elements of an online shop is no easy task, but 88% people prefer Shopify over any other eCommerce solution and that’s all because of its neat, simple, and clean interface.


It provides you all the powerful tools you need to set up shop with an easy editor and that’s the beauty of it. 


The editor takes you through the entire process of setting up shop with guides and prompts.


Of course, it doesn’t take just five minutes to get everything set up, but at least the process will be smooth and Shopify’s guides will be there to help you get started.


And with Shopify’s free trial, you can give its tools, features, and processes a whirl before you actually commit to paying the subscription.

2.2 Shopify website builder

Shopify website builder

Shopify’s website builder is meant to be used visually, so you don’t have to write a single line of code. 


All you have to do is drag & drop, and pick from readily available Shopify templates.


You can design your Shopify store with 70+ available themes.


Most of these are designed by world-renowned creators like PixelUnion and ClearLeft. 


After picking your Shopify template, customize it to fit your online brand.


All Shopify themes and templates are also extremely responsive.


Firstly, you can pick from different variations of themes.


If you don’t like the free Shopify themes, you can choose one of the paid themes available in the gallery. 


From homepage type, to layout style, there are various themes and templates you can pick from.


Each theme is professional with excellent interfaces, and some of them even come with contemporary design features like parallax scrolling and videos in the background.

2.3. Run your Shopify blog

shopify blog editor

If you want to use content marketing and SEO to attract more free traffic, you can easily get it done with Shopify.


It offers a CMS (content management system)similar to WordPress, so you won’t have to integrate your store with WordPress or another CMS just to blog.


Shopify’s CMS is seamlessly integrated to help you not only sell your products, but also:

  • Discuss your products and your business
  • Publish blog posts
  • Create lookbooks
  • Moderate discussions

And more!


Blogging really helps you differentiate yourself from your competitors, so I love that Shopify understands that, and offers appropriate features!

2.4. Shopify apps for extra functionality

Shopify app store

I could write an entire article just about Shopify apps, because their app store is full of them.


Whether it’s those social media plugins, or the apps that allow you to host live Q&A sessions with your visitors/customers, you can do a whole range of things when you add extra apps to your Shopify website.


Shopify’s app store has over 12,000 pre-installed apps.


Just search for the one you need, and install it in a few clicks.


This is especially useful if you’ve picked a certain theme, but need an app that’s not already integrated.

2.5. Shopify store management

Shopify store management

Once you’ve set up your store and attracted customers, it’s time to manage them!


First, Shopify helps you get all the required information about your customers, and stores it in your store, essentially functioning like a customer relationship management tool (CRM).


You can get and store email IDs, addresses and other details you need to ship a product to a customer’s home, or re-target and nurture them in the future with your upcoming promotions.

Shopify store

Shopify also lets you offer 2 checkout options:

  • Check out and create an account
  • Check out as a guest

Prompting your customers to create an account helps you turn them into loyal customers.


However, always leave the option of checking out as a guest open


Otherwise, people might abandon the idea of buying from you.

Shopify shipping

Similarly, Shopify helps you improve your customer lifetime value, as well as recover abandoned carts.


Once a potential customer abandons their cart, you can create a discount code and ask them to return with customized or pre-made emails.


Since abandoned carts make up for 12-15% of your business, it’s important to use this feature and boost your sales.

Shopify shipping

Shopify also helps you get your shipping game in order.


Let’s be real: no one wants to follow up with your courier service or your store just to get one item delivered. Heck - not even you don’t want to do it!


That’s why Shopify shipping is really simple. They already have partnerships with:

  • USPS
  • DHL Express
  • Canada Post
  • UPS

You don’t have to scratch your head to find a reliable service, especially if you’re in North America. 


But if you want to, you can go beyond these partners and add your own.

Shopify shipping

Finally, Shopify makes order management really easy.


You can control and edit orders:

  • Adjust shipping rates
  • Change addresses
  • Print shipping labels

And more!

2.6. Shopify dropshipping

shopify dropshipping

You can also dropship products on Shopify, AKA: sell products without storing or handling them whatsoever.


Instead, when a customer places an order on your Shopify store, you’ll pass the order on to the manufacturer or supplier who will then ship the product to the customer.


You don’t have to pay for products in advance, and you don’t have to do anything but promote the products and take your commission.


This is perfect if you want to earn money and scale your business, but don’t have the necessary start-up capital for purchasing hundreds of products. 


Heck, you might not even want to deal with warehousing and shipping!


Dropshipping has low upfront costs (just Shopify website and marketing),


You’ll spend time engaging with customers, promoting your brand, and optimizing your store.

shopify dropshipping apps

However, dropshipping is not available with the native Shopify themes, so you’ll

have to add the necessary features through third-party apps.


Normally, Shopify customers use dropshipping apps such as:

  • Oberlo
  • Printful
  • Spocket
  • AliExpress

2.7. Shopify SEO

Shopify SEO

Let’s be real: SEO is one of the best ways to generate steady, organic (read: free) traffic to your online store.


And if you do it right, you can attract customers who are already looking to buy a product like yours! 


Forget about window shoppers; you can get highly-qualified traffic that’s whipping their cards out!


If you just upload your products on your Shopify website, they won’t be found by your target audience. You need to get the word out.


In that respect, Shopify has a few SEO features, including:

  • Optimization prompts (when you add new products, Shopify will remind you what you need to optimize)
  • Header codes
  • Custom URLs

And more!


Unfortunately, I don’t like the fact that Shopify doesn’t focus on keyword search.


This is super important for SEO, so by not alerting you to optimize keywords, Shopify is making you miss out on a huge part of SEO success.


You can add an app from the Shopify store, or simply pick a Shopify alternative from the ones I’ll show you at the end of this guide.

shopify blog

Shopify does support your blogging needs. 


From display categories, comments, and RSS feeds, you’ll get almost everything you need to please search engines and readers.


However, there is one important feature missing when it comes to setting up your blog.


If your site is going to be content-heavy, and you want to track each visitor and how much time they are spending on a specific article, Shopify might not be the best bet.


It’s not perfect for blog-specific SEO, and this could cause a major inconvenience if content marketing + SEO is a major part of your marketing strategy.


(And in my personal opinion, content marketing and SEO should always be a major part of your marketing.)


Of course, I’ll also show you alternatives that can help you handle blogging and SEO better than Shopify.

2.8. Shopify email marketing

Shopify email marketing

The second thing we have to talk about is Shopify email marketing.


Since 40% of your store’s revenue comes from your repeat customers, you need to stay in touch with them.


Email marketing is the perfect option, especially when you consider the fact that it’s cost-effective. 


For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect to get $44 back.

Pretty good, right?


Shopify offers some email marketing features. 


You can find some features that allow you to send newsletter blasts in your Shopify store.


However, you’ll either need to code the day away, or hire someone to do it for you.

Shopify’s app store

Your other option is choosing one of the apps in Shopify’s app store, and paying for those separate email marketing tools:

  • Constant Contact
  • Campaign Monitor
  • Privy

And more!


Again, every single one of these tools comes with a separate price tag, and then you’ll also have to integrate them with Shopify to be able to get in touch with your customers, nurture them, up-sell to them, and increase your revenue in general.


But once you integrate them, you can customize different emails; from weekly newsletters, to automated cart abandonment and up-sell sequences.


Personally, I’m not a fan. Adding native email marketing service to Shopify shouldn’t be hard, and it would significantly reduce your upkeep and marketing costs.

2.9. Shopify multilingual sites

Shopify multilingual sites

If you’re a local business and targeting people in your region, i.e. you’re planning to sell your products to people near you, you could do okay with a site in just one language.


However, if you plan on expanding your market, you’ll need a multilingual site.


Now, Shopify supports multilingual stores, but you’ll need to know how to code to set it up properly.


You could also install an app like Langify or Weglot Translate.


If you want to set up a multilingual Shopify store, you can also pick from a few templates. 


These come in handy, because they’re ready to handle different shipping rates, taxes, and other fees.

2.10. Shopify analytics

Shopify analytics

Once you’ve created your store, you have to keep an eye on your numbers.


After all, how are you going to know if all of your tactics are working if you can’t see who’s visiting your store and buying your products?


This is where Shopify’s reporting tools come in!


Without this feature, you’ll be basically running an eCommerce store with all the raw ingredients put in, but no way of finding out whether it’s cooking as per your recipe.


(Disclaimer: chefs, please don’t come at me. I can barely boil an egg.)

Shopify analytics

Shopify offers quite a few analytics tools:

  • Sales you’ve made
  • Average order value
  • Returning customers
  • Real-time insights

And more!


There are plenty of parameters you can use to check if you’re performing as planned.


However, if you want to take your reporting game up a notch (e.g. see which pages perform best, understand your audience demographics, etc.), you should integrate Google Analytics with your Shopify store.


This is something you’ll have to pay for separately, as Shopify doesn’t natively offer GA integrations.

2.11. Shopify POS (point of sale) solutions

Shopify POS

Finally, Shopify’s POS solution deserves a special mention because it’s what sets this platform apart from its competitors - it’s kickass!


Here’s the thing: yes, Shopify is an eCommerce solution


But your brick and mortar store no longer has to be separated from your online store. 


With Shopify POS, you can easily integrate both your physical and your digital location.


Shopify has a comprehensive POS and hardware option in case you’re planning to sell your products in different locations.


Whether you’re opening a pop-up store for a special event, changing your address, or switching to digital from physical/physical to digital. 


Shopify helps you streamline your business.

Open

With Shopify’s POS hardware, you’ll be able to sell every kind of product, not just virtually but from live locations with a little help from your iOS or Android device.


Just purchase the add-on hardware such as: barcode readers, receipt printers, tills, and sync them all with your Shopify store.


You don’t even have to wrack your brain thinking about inventory management, taxes, and other paperwork.


Shopify will take care of all that for you automatically, leaving you to focus on what really matters: selling your products.

sell products

Of course, there are extra charges for using Shopify’s POS system.


The POS-Pro add-on will cost you around $89/month, but you’d pay a lot more if you had to use separate software for inventory management, bookkeeping, and other functions.


Shopify’s POS-Pro covers:

  • Selling in multiple locations
  • Help with transactions and exchanges
  • The option to buy online and collect in a store
  • Staff and inventory management

And more!


All in all, it’s lean POS software that’s especially handy if you want to connect your physical location to your digital location, and provide amazing omnichannel experiences to your customers.


And now that you know the most important features you’ll be getting with Shopify, it’s time to take a look at how you can get started and use Shopify to boost your sales from the get-go!

3. How to use Shopify: step-by-step guide to starting a Shopify store

Shopify Features

With an easy interface and an eCommerce solution that offers the majority of features you need, Shopify makes opening your first online store a breeze.


Of course, to get everything set up properly, I recommend you to watch their online video tutorials.


Here’s the gist of how to get started with Shopify eCommerce:

3.1. Shopify login

Shopify login

The first step towards building your very own online store is to sign up for Shopify.


Enter all the details Shopify asks for, and click the ‘Create your store’ button below. 


The rest of the process is all about creating a business email ID, password, and picking the name of your brand/store.


Once you’ve decided on your brand name, you’ll be asked to enter a few more details such as: your name, contact number, address, country, and so on.


After you’ve filled this out, you can list your products if you’ve decided what you’re going to be selling, or choose the “I am just playing around” option in the drop-down menu.


Once you’ve selected all the options, your Shopify account is good to go.


Keep in mind that the initial sign-up is for 14 days as that is the trial period


After your 14 days run out, you’ll have to pick a subscription that suits you.

3.2. How to customize your Shopify store and pick a theme

shopify customization or modify design

Once the sign up process is complete, you’ll land on your store admin page. This is basically where all the magic happens.


You can start customizing your store, add products, choose themes, add Shopify plugins, and more.


You can get creative with every part of the process (including payments and shipping), and examine each feature to get the lay of the land.


Your task #1 should be picking your Shopify theme/template.


Thanks to Shopify’s vast selection of pre-installed themes, you can get started with this without writing a single line of code.

Etro Stores

Each theme has a specific atmosphere to it, and you can also customize it as you see fit


Backing you up every step of the way and providing all the help you need is a full-fledged Shopify support team, available via live chat, self-help articles, and YouTube tutorials.


Shopify provides you with two types of themes: paid (premium), and free.


While the free themes have enough customization options to get you started, the paid ones come with more features.


If you want to take your online store up a notch, you can tweak HTML and CSS on your page


But please, don’t do this if you don’t know how to do it. 


You could mess up something in the code.


Instead, use Shopify’s bot - Shopify Expert. It literally does all the background work for you. 


Just show it how you want your store to look.

lezada shopify theme

To find your perfect theme, first visit themes.shopify.com where you’ll find all the templates.


You can browse them, check out the specifications, and choose the one that will suit your store best. 


If you don’t find anything that floats your boat, visit websites like ThemeForest which offer premium Shopify themes.


Once you’ve decided on a theme, click on its sample image to learn all the details.

Also, don’t miss out on the customer reviews.


They’re going to give you an idea of what to expect. Pay particular attention to owners of online stores similar to yours.


Make sure you click “View demo” for the theme you like. This way, you’ll be able to test it and see how it would work on your site.

From there, simply click “Publish as my shop’s theme”and the theme will appear on your site.


This is where customization comes in!


First, take care of basic Shopify customization. Add essential features such as:

  • Your logo
  • Product carousel and slider images
  • Color schemes
  • Your preferred fonts

After that, it’s time to start adding your products.

3.3. How to add products to Shopify

add products to Shopify

To add your products, navigate to the left bar and click on the “Add product” button.


You’ll see a screen pop-up, which is where you’ll add all the details of your product.


Pay special attention to this page; it’s important to add in-depth descriptions and helpful information while keeping your customers in mind.


Don’t skim on the keywords, custom URL and the SEO of your product page either!


After this, add high-quality and professional-looking photos of your product. 


Try to keep the underlying theme and concept of the photos similar throughout all your products to keep your branding consistent.

ShopifyPayments

Up next comes the most important part of your online store - the payment page.


There are plenty of other things you’ll have to keep in mind; from the transaction fees that are charged to the different kinds of cards, to diverse payment gateways, there are plenty of factors to keep in mind.


In general, I recommend going for ShopifyPayments.


It gives you the leeway to avoid paying transaction fees, and saves you money.


Once you have chosen everything and set up your shop, click on “Complete Shopify Payments Account Setup” and you are good to go.

3.4. Shopify set-up checklist

Shopify set-up checklist

Now that you’ve ticked all the boxes for setting up your site, it’s time to go live.


However, there’s a small yet essential checklist you have to go through.


This involves taxes.


You have to establish applicable taxes for every product. 


So navigate to the “Products” page of your admin panel. 


Choose the product, and you’ll land on the “Inventory and variants” section.


Click the “Edit” button, and here you’ll find “Product variant.”


Then, pick the products you want to charge taxes for and click “Charge Taxes.” 


If they also require shipping, click “Requires Shipping.”


After that, you’re free to go ahead and hit “Go live” on your online store!

Shopify shipping

Now, the focus shifts to setting up shipping with Shopify.


Your shipping methods should be optimal and realistic. 


If you can, try to make sure it’s quick


These days, everyone’s online store is competing with Amazon and other major platforms.


Shipping rates and other such details will only be calculated if you define the shipping terms in Shopify.


To do so, go to the shipping page in the settings and you will find out everything you need to know about shipping plans. 


Make sure you define your shipping terms correctly from the get-go.

3.5. How to add Shopify apps

Shopify apps

While the basic Shopify customization is pretty powerful and gets you going when you start selling, there are various other apps that you can add once you want to scale.


There are hundreds of free and premium apps available on Shopify, and you can browse them, and filter by your target category.


Some of the key apps you should consider for Shopify include:

  • Accounting - Add various apps to streamline accounting, such as Quickbooks
  • Inventory - If you’re managing physical inventory and need help organizing it to make sure you don’t run out of stock, pick one of Shopify add-ons and you’re golden!
  • Customer service - Add contact forms, ask for feedback, implement live chat, and do everything you can to give your customers the best possible service
Shopify app store
  • Marketing and reporting - They’re essential, and Shopify has plenty of apps that help you generate and convert leads, as well as see how your marketing is performing
  • Sales - With various sales apps, you will be able to increase your conversion rate, add customer loyalty programs, and display social proof new leads need to buy from you
  • Tools - This is where you’ll find plenty of tools for technicalities, such as RSS feeds, translation, fighting fraud, and more

Hands down, one of the most useful apps I’ve seen on Shopify is the Shopify review app:

3.6. How to create a Shopify product review page

Customer Reviews

Here’s the thing: online buyers trust other online buyers, almost as much as their trust personal recommendations from friends.


So once you’ve added your products, it’s important to create a Shopify product review page.


You might be wondering how to install Shopify review app. Fortunately, there’s no need to wonder.


Here’s how to get it done:

Shopify app store

First, install Product Reviews by Shopify. It’s free.


Then, navigate to your admin page - Online Store - Themes. 


When you’ve found your active theme that you want to edit, click “Actions” and then “Edit code.”


Navigate to the “Sections” directory and open the “ product-template.liquid “ file.


Find the product description area, and then paste the following code below the product description area:


“ <div id="shopify-product-reviews" data-id="{{product.id}}">{{ product.metafields.spr.reviews }}</div> “


Then, simply click “Save” and you’re done!


Personally, I don’t like the fact that you have to dig into code to get this set up.


If everything else is so streamlined, why isn’t there a visual way to add reviews and boost your sales?

Shopify Customer Reviews

Also, if you’re wondering how to update a review on Shopify app, Shopify offers a few tutorials for different things.


Fortunately, you can customize the majority from your admin dashboard, by navigating to Apps - Product Reviews, and then playing with the settings.


You can update review layout aspects such as:

  • Star icon color
  • Customize visuals
  • Customize forms

You can’t actually change the review text, of course.

3.7. What can you do with a Shopify blog?

Ugo shopify blog theme

Setting up your Shopify blog is super easy.


Shopify supports the basic blogging features you will need for content marketing:

  • It comes fully integrated with the online store you launch
  • Multiple authors can publish content on your blog
  • Easily set tags and meta descriptions
  • Create multiple pages and write about different topics

In a nutshell, if you want to boost your visibility and improve your relationship with your audience, a Shopify blog is a must!


However, if you already have a WordPress blog, you can use the Shopify plugin to integrate eCommerce with your CMS.

3.8. Shopify social media marketing

Shopify Social Media Integration

Social media is essential for getting more traffic to your website.


Shopify allows you to integrate your different social media profiles with your web stores.


Just a few apps here and there, and you’re all set for capitalizing on the power of shares, comments and likes.


From Facebook to Instagram and Twitter, you can advertise your Shopify products on every page to become the top Shopify store.

3.9. How to cancel Shopify

Cancel

If you decide that Shopify is no longer a good fit for you, you can easily cancel your Shopify account:

  • Log in
  • Remove all apps, and cancel all related tools that you were using as a Shopify integrations
  • Transfer your custom domain
  • Navigate to “Settings” in your dashboard
  • Select “Plan and permissions”
  • Navigate to “Store status”
  • Click “Close store”

Your data will be stored for up to 30 days, should you choose to decide to re-open your store.


You can also sell your store on Shopify’s Exchange Marketplace.

4. Shopify pricing

Shopify currently offers 5 pricing plans:

4.1. Shopify Lite pricing

Shopify pricing

For just $9/month, Shopify Lite is the most basic plan you can opt for.


However, you can’t create your own online store on Shopify.


Instead, Shopify Lite helps you sell via your own website or Facebook page.


If you’re not a big company and you just want to sell a few products here and there, than Shopify Lite is the best option. 


It turns your existing website or social media page into an online store with buy buttons and payment gateways.


But if you’re looking for a proper online store, the three core plans of Shopify are what you will need to go for:

4.2. Shopify Basic pricing

Shopify Basic pricing

This is the basic plan in case you are looking to launch a proper web store.


For just $29/month, Shopify Basic gives you all the features you need to set up shop online; from listing innumerable products online, to selling on different channels like Facebook and Amazon.


You’ll also be able to create discounts for your customers, and make use of abandoned cart recovery system that helps in increasing sales.


Keep in mind that if you don’t choose Shopify Payments as your payment gateway, you’ll have to pay an additional 2% fee per transaction.

4.3. Shopify plan pricing

Shopify Market

With this plan, you get all the features of Basic Shopify and add-on features like creating gift cards for your customers and reporting tool. 


You can analyze and track the behaviour of your customers with this plan.


Shopify will cost you $79 per month. The per-transaction fee also goes down; if you don’t use Shopify payments, the fee is 1% per transaction.


Personally, I think this is a little too much because there are much better alternatives to Shopify, and I’ll show you some of them in a bit.

4.4. Advanced Shopify pricing

Teelove shopify blog theme

At a price of $299 per month, Advanced Shopify is for business owners who want to go all out with their store, and plan to sell unlimited products to their customers.


If you’re thinking long-term and know that you want to scale, Advanced Shopify with its loaded features is a good option.


It offers all Basic Shopify and Shopify features, along with third-party shipping options, and an advanced report builder that helps you make the most of your efforts.


Finally, if you sign up for Advanced Shopify, you will pay just 0.5% in transaction fees when you don’t use Shopify Payments.


Personally, I think this is too much. There are better alternatives, but Shopify is capitalizing on its good name and popularity.

4.5. Shopify Plus pricing

Shopifyplus

If you’ve already turned your business into an enterprise covering the global market and selling millions of products per month, then Shopify Plus gives you the support you need.


It gives you next-level service, personalized recommendations, and handles your order management for you


This gives you more creative freedom to run your business smoothly.


The features are top-notch and that is why Shopify Plus pricing is also custom, but starts at $2,000/month.


Keep in mind, you can test all Shopify features for 14 days.


However, I’m not a big fan of Shopify’s pricing, especially when there are plenty of other tools that eliminate the need for dozens of extra apps.

5. Shopify support and security

Shopify Secure

With that kind of pricing and prestige, I’m really expecting Shopify to do everything they can to keep my own and my customers’ data safe.


So, is Shopify legit when it comes to data safety?


Yes!


Shopify has a robust built-in security system that not only complies with all the rules and regulations, but also gives you a peace of mind.


It ensures the smooth functioning of your store, data and cybersecurity included.


However, if you’d like to protect your store even more, you can always install extra apps from Shopify’s store. 


And as a general rule of thumb: create backups frequently.

5.1. How does Shopify protect your data?

Security

Shopify uses the following tools to keep your data safe:


First, Shopify leverages SSL security. This mechanism encrypts data exchanged between your store and your customers. 


If hackers are lurking, they won’t be able to access your sensitive financial information. All your highly-confidential data is well-protected.


Secondly, Shopify is Level-1 PCI compliant. 


It regularly updates and protects the data on debit and credit card transactions. 


Normally, not a lot of eCommerce solutions use the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), but Shopify offers extra protection.


Finally, you should back up everything regularly just in case


You can export your data as a CSV file, or get an app like Rewind that regulates and backs up all the data for you.

5.2. Is Shopify support worth it?

Shopify Support

Yes, Shopify has a really good support team that can help you with everything from setting up shop, installing apps, managing your store, and more.


Shopify support is available 24/7 through different channels:

  • Forums
  • Live chat
  • Email support
  • Social media support
  • Video tutorials and knowledge bases

And more!


The bottom line is that, with Shopify, you will never be left hanging, or forced to wait a week before you receive a response.


With Shopify, everything is instant and spot on. 


All your queries and doubts are cleared as soon as possible so that your business is not affected in any manner.


People who already use Shopify vouch for its amazing support and security system.

5.3. Is myShopify legit?

Is myShopify legit?

Let’s clear one thing up right away: myshopify.com is a domain hosted on Shopify, and it’s given to all new store owners before they purchase and connect their custom domains to Shopify.


So no, it’s not a scam.


Of course, there are always sellers who have dishonest intentions, but myshopify is legit on its own.

6. Shopify pros and cons

Like many other eCommerce platforms, Shopify has its pros, but it also has its cons:

6.1. Shopify pros

First things first, Shopify is by far one of the easiest platforms for new online business owners who still aren’t sure how to scale and increase their earnings.


With its simple, visual way of customizing almost everything about your online store. 


As well as a plethora of apps that can help you connect your online store to other tools you’ll need for marketing and administrations (e.g. MailChimp for email marketing, Quickbooks for accounting)


Shopify really streamlines eCommerce start-up.

Shopify pros

I also really liked seeing that Shopify understands how important dropshipping is as a business model to numerous online entrepreneurs. 


It offers specific features, apps, and themes for dropshipping.


If you do decide to dropship, Shopify offers plenty of apps that help you integrate your online store with your suppliers’ stores(and supplier marketplaces), so you can seamlessly manage your inventory.


Finally, there’s no doubt about it: Shopify has made eCommerce a lot easier.


But times have changed, and they’re no longer the only players on the market.

6.2. Shopify cons

One of the main problems I have with Shopify is that they advertise their platform as an all-in-one eCommerce solution.


It’s definitely not. Why?

  • Shopify doesn’t have native email marketing
  • Shopify doesn’t have native CRM
  • It doesn’t offer lots of ways to promote your business; native features only include blogging

The truth is, if you want to successfully promote your business to generate leads and get more sales, you’ll have to pay for lots of premium apps and subscriptions to third-party software.


In my book, this means that no, Shopify is not an all-in-one eCommerce solution.

Similarly, I think Shopify pricing is way too steep.


If you really want to successfully run an online store, you’ll have to pay $79/month.


In my book, that’s too much. 


There are actual all-in-one platforms that encompass online store setup, selling your products, and promoting them through email marketing, affiliate marketing, blogging, and more.


And keep in mind, paying $79/month doesn’t mean you’ll get all the apps you need for free. 


You still need third-party software for a lot of your marketing needs, and that, too, comes with its own price tag.


So with that in mind, I recommend you take Shopify for a test ride. 


They offer a free trial, after all. But make sure you check out the following alternatives, as well:

7. Shopify alternatives

If you’re not sold on what Shopify has to offer, don’t worry. 


I have quite a few good eCommerce alternatives up my sleeve that I can recommend:

7.1. The best Shopify alternative: systeme.io

Systeme.io's dashboard

Systeme.io's dashboard

Systeme.io’s landing page builder is a pretty standard offering on the all-in-one market. You’ll get:

  • Sell physical products as traditional eCommerce
  • Dropship your products
  • Digital products: online courses, membership sites, eBooks, webinars, and more

There are no limits.


You can even add sales-boosting elements to your orders, such as:

  • Order bumps
  • 1-click upsells
  • Downsells

And more!


And when it comes to specific online business models like online courses and membership sites, systeme.io even offers specialized features.

systeme.io's courses

For example, you can visually build your website and your online courses with systeme.io.


Just upload your content, organize it into modules, and decide whether you want your students to see all your content at once, or “drip it” over time.

Systeme.io's funnels

One of the main reasons why systeme.io is more powerful than Shopify is that it allows you to create and automate your sales funnel.


So, from lead generation and sign-up forms, to automated email sequences, and sales that take place while you sleep - systeme.io takes care of it all!


You can visually build your website and your landing pages.


From there, you can find new leads through blogging and SEO, or even affiliate marketing.

Systeme.io's funnel

And once your leads have signed up on your website, it’s time to put systeme.io’s email marketing system into practice!


You read that right: you don’t need a third-party email marketing tool like MailChimp to use email marketing.


systeme.io has native features that help you reach your leads, automate important sequences, and increase the lifetime value of your customers.


Design your emails, personalize them according to your audience’s preferences, and make sure you really get that 4400% email marketing ROI!

Systeme.io's workflow builder

Finally, systeme.io’s email marketing is integrated in the entire marketing automation ecosystem.


In order to make your sales funnels convert on autopilot, systeme.io helps you automate everything.


Shopify just can’t compete.


And when it comes to pricing, systeme.io starts from $27/month with all the features you need:

  • 5,000 contacts and unlimited emails
  • Unlimited sales funnels and blogs
  • 3 membership sites with unlimited members
  • Marketing automation
  • 1-click upsells and order bumps
  • Stripe and PayPal integration
  • Affiliate marketing
  • 24/7 email and chat support

systeme.io really is the complete eCommerce solution that Shopify promises, but fails to be.

7.2. Shopify alternative for WordPress: WooCommerce

WooCommerce

If you already have a website powered by WordPress and want to stay there, WooCommerce is a good solution.


WooCommerce essentially functions as a plugin that supercharges your WP website with eCommerce features such as:

  • Online store set-up
  • Flexible and secure payments
  • Order management
  • Sell physical and digital products

However, you’ll need plenty of integrations to get email marketing, additional payment gateways, and so on.

WooCommerce

But since WooCommerce is a free plugin, you have nothing to lose by trying it out instead of Shopify.


Especially if you’re already using WordPress.


But if you haven’t signed up to either Shopify or WordPress, I sincerely recommend systeme.io. 


It was built with modern entrepreneur’s needs in mind.

8. Is Shopify worth it?

I’m going to be honest: Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms.

However, that’s mostly because people don’t bother to keep looking.


Today, there are all-in-one platforms that replace software such as:

  • Shopify
  • WordPress
  • MailChimp
  • PipeDrive
  • Zapier

And more!


Separately, you’d have to pay hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars for these - monthly.

Systeme.io's website

But with systeme.io, you’re getting all the features you need at the price of just one.


So reduce your costs and improve your bottom line!

Start your 14-day trial now

Try systeme.io for free, the only tool you need to 

launch your online business