Last updated on December 1st, 2023 at 07:46 pm

If you’ve considered going online, you’ve probably seen Shopify during your search for the perfect online selling platform and found that its features fit your needs. Shopify provides merchants with an alternative for online merchant account and payment gateway services.

Shopify Table of Contents

what is shopify

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a nifty online selling platform and SaaS (Software as a Service) that lets you promote, sell, and ship your products in one convenient place. Compared to its competitors, Shopify became a hit due to its simple interface and its low starting rate — just $29 a month, and you’re connected to your customers in just one week!

It’s convenient especially for those who are only starting their online business, as it’s really easy, and you can choose from a wide variety of themes that fits your website. It allows customization and it makes it simple for both the seller and the buyer. When managed well, it can be really successful and get merchants to have more loyal customers!

What are the different plans for Shopify?

  • Free Trial. This lets you use some features for 14 days, formerly 60 days.
  • Lite Plan. Their lowest cost plan at $9/month and merchants are be able to add a Buy button.
  • Basic Shopify Plan. $29/month and merchants pay 2.9% and 30¢ for every transaction.
  • Shopify Plan. This service is $79/month and merchants pay 2.6% and 30¢ for every transaction.
  • Advanced Shopify Plan. $299/month and merchants pay 2.4% and 30¢ for every transaction.
  • Shopify Plus Plan. starting at $2000/month and 2.15% for every transaction.

Each plan also has specialized features, and the best and most convenient plan for a seasoned retail or service company would be the Shopify Plus Plan.

How does Shopify work?

Shopify might be simple, but there are a lot of things you need to remember while using this software. You need to learn the different kinds of plans offered by the software and see what fits your business more. Here are the ways you can utilize Shopify more and sell your products like a pro:

  • Payments. Since you run a store, this is an important feature that you need to learn. You can use a different paying processor, but it charges 0.5 to 2.0% on transactions made by using this option, but it solely depends on what plan you signed up for. However, if you use the Shopify in-house paying processing service, these small transaction fees are waived. But don’t be too quick to jump on that offer – as much as you would want to make money on Shopify more, there are other paying processor companies out there that might work more with your business.
  • Themes. There are neat themes you can use in Shopify, and some of the chic and stylish ones are free! But there are ones that are more specific and more themed to fit the products you’re representing, and they come with price tags. To build a Shopify store, you need to choose a theme first and personalize it by dragging and dropping some items that you think might fit your product description. Since most of it is drag and drop, you can also edit existing themes and rearrange it to however you want – making it more you than generic!
  • Online and Physical. While online is convenient, it’s still important for some businesses to have a physical store. By getting a Shopify Point-of-Sale (POS) system, you can cater to your customers online and in your physical shops, too. This nifty app can be accessed through your smartphone and tablets. You can pull up the items on the website, process the sale, and offer to print or send the receipt through email, easy. Start a Shopify store that caters to everyone and lets you cater to different stores or businesses.
  • Shipping. Since most of your products are sold online, you would need a reliable shipping service. Shopify offers a new feature that lets you work with professional shipping couriers and provides real-time shipping rates. It’s completely easy as you can get the shipping labels from your admin controls and have them printed and ready to go. However, keep in mind that these calculated costs for shipping are not shown in the customer’s cart.
  • Customer Service. Providing active 24/7 customer service is the best way to guarantee loyal customers in the long run. This nifty feature lets you understand small hiccups you experience in managing the shop. Since there are a lot of Shopify users around the globe who have probably experienced the same problems in the past, it’s an active forum that provides visual help and even access to live technical support for more complex problems. They offer different ways to teach and help new subscribers via chat, email, webinars, video tutorials, and written documents, just to ensure that everything is clear before you continue.

Why Use Shopify?

Starting Shopify can be a logical move for retailers new to the ecommerce world. The combination of great features and their helpful community of merchants can make the online sales experience better for businesses. There are a lot of add-ons that you can take advantage of for a smoother transaction. There are over 1500 extensions and well-designed applications to choose from to make your business easier to manage.

Shopify offers a secure payment platform for customers and provides 24/7 customer support for paid subscriptions for any technical issues, which can be especially useful during peak seasons. In addition, Shopify has a record of 99.9% uptime and offers free SSL certificates to merchants. For interested businesses, it’s worth trying Shopify to see how it works, using their limited free trial.

Considering Shopify Alternatives

Before merchants decide to adopt Shopify, it’s worth checking other options. There are several different service providers today that offer integrated product management and shopping cart platforms. Most of these companies charge their merchants a flat fee for transactions or have an all-inclusive monthly fee to manage their accounts. While the simplicity is enticing, these schemes are usually extremely costly for established businesses. For most businesses, working with a credit card processing company like Allied Payments will allow merchants to use a more cost-effective pricing model like interchange plus to reduce costs across the board.

As companies grow, it is important to understand your fees and determine if there are ways to reduce them and if those means are cost-efficient. Many times merchants will remain with a service that’s easier than switching, but for some businesses, these changes can save tens of thousands of dollars a year.