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Shopify Review: Is It the Ultimate Ecommerce Solution for You?

June 01, 2024
Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

In this article, we will list out some practical customer reviews on several trustworthy websites and platforms so that you can have a better look at if Shopify suits your enterprises or not.

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Key Takeaways

  • Shopify ranks as the top ecommerce platform and comprehensive solution available today.
  • Shopify provides all-in-one eCommerce solutions, with hundreds of built-in features and supported apps.
  • Shopify is tailored for diverse businesses, including small-to-medium businesses and solo entrepreneurs.

Pros & Cons 

Before going into the detailed analysis, let's look at the summary of Shopify's advantages and disadvantages. 

Pros

  • Pricing Variety: Shopify offers three primary pricing plans catering to different business sizes, and users can save 25% with an annual subscription.
  • Flexible Payment Options: Shopify Payments eliminates transaction fees, and the platform offers various payment gateways for customer convenience.
  • Trial Periods and Discounts: Users can enjoy a 3-day free trial, annual subscription discounts, and special deals for the first month.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Shopify's intuitive dashboard, drag-and-drop tools, and pre-built themes make store management and design easy.
  • Abundant Sales Features: Shopify provides a range of apps, shipping management, dropshipping, abandoned cart recovery, and other sales-oriented tools.
  • Strong SEO Tools: Shopify integrates reporting, blogging, email marketing, multilingual options, and more to enhance website visibility.
  • Customer Support: Shopify offers 24/7 support through various channels, a help center, and video tutorials.
  • Security Measures: The platform ensures SSL security, PCI compliance, and automated backups to safeguard customer data.
  • Wide Range of Industries: Shopify caters to diverse industries, making it suitable for retail, fashion, beauty, food, electronics, and more.
  • Themes and Designs: Shopify provides a variety of mobile-responsive themes with customization options for visual and product management.

Cons

  • Transaction Fees with Third-Party Gateways: Users may incur transaction fees when using third-party payment gateways, depending on the chosen plan.
  • Interface Challenges: Some users have experienced occasional frustrations and complexities while navigating Shopify's interface.
  • Customization Limitations: Deep customization of certain aspects may be limited, and some developers may find restrictions in making specific changes.
  • Mixed User Reviews: While many users praise Shopify's user-friendliness, there have been instances of dissatisfaction with customer service and limitations.
  • Costly Shopify Plus Plan: Shopify Plus, designed for high-activity businesses, starts at a higher cost of $2000/month.
  • Limited functions on the Free Plan: While Shopify offers a 3-day trial, the free plan is limited, and some features may require additional costs.

As mentioned above, Shopify provides a comprehensive e-commerce solution with various pricing options, user-friendly features, and solid sales and SEO tools. However, users should consider transaction fees and customization limitations and select the right plan for their business needs. Now, let's dive into the details of each part mentioned above for better understanding.

Pricing & Payments

About Shopify Pricing Plans

Shopify offers 3 main types of standard shopify plans for businesses of different sizes. To find out which plan is your best option, you can sign up for a 3-day free trial, or please have a look at this table below:

Basic Shopify PlanShopify PlanAdvanced Shopify Plan
Pay Monthly$39USD/month$105USD/month$399USD/month
Pay Yearly $29USD/month$79USD/month$299USD/month
Transaction Fee2%1%0.5%
💡 Note: These prices may vary depending on the location of your enterprises.

Look at the table above, and you'll notice that Shopify offers three primary pricing packages:

  • Basic Shopify: Tailor-made for individuals and small businesses
  • Shopify: An excellent fit for small businesses
  • Advanced Shopify: Designed with medium to large businesses in mind. The best part? You can go for an annual payment, saving you an incredible 25% in the process.
review of shopify

In addition to the 3 primary plans, Shopify also showcases the variety of its options by offering special alternative solutions as below:

  • Starter package: $5USD/month, best when you want to sell your products through social and messaging apps.
  • Shopify Plus: starting from $2000USD/month, a comprehensive solution designed for businesses with high levels of activity.
  • Tailored pricing: you can choose your own components and the price will be determined by chosen components.
review of shopify

Here are some further price benefits you can experience from Shopify:

  • 3-day Free Trial: Get a taste of the action with Shopify's free trial. It's a risk-free opportunity to explore the platform, build your online store, and experience its features. No commitment is required – just dive in and start creating.
  • Annual Subscription Discount: Consider the annual subscription option if you're all about savings. When you choose to pay for a whole year upfront, you can enjoy a discount of around 25% on the total cost of your chosen plan. It's an intelligent way to get more bang for your buck.
  • Special Deal: $1/Month for the First Month: You can kickstart your e-commerce journey with a fantastic deal. For the first month of your subscription, you'll only pay $1 a month. It's a pocket-friendly way to get your online store up and running without breaking the bank.

Overall, Shopify has various options to suit your needs and your wallet. It's time to take the plunge and make your e-commerce dreams a reality!

About Shopify Payments

You can understand Shopify Payments as its in-house payment gateway. The primary advantage of using Shopify Payments is that it's your ticket to eliminating Shopify's transaction fees. Not only that, it's your exclusive option to enable multiple currencies for your store. If you reach a global audience, this becomes your top-notch choice for smooth international sales.

On the other hand, if you make transactions outside this in-house payment gateway by third-party payment providers, you will be expected to be charged an additional cost as this table below: 

Online Transaction fee2.9% + 30¢ per transaction2.6% + 30¢ per transaction2.4% + 30¢ per transaction
In-person Transaction fee2.7% + 0¢ per transaction2.5% + 0¢ per transaction2.4% + 0¢ per transaction

Ease of use

Navigating the e-commerce landscape has never been smoother with Shopify's user-friendly interface. Here's why Shopify is a breeze:

  • Abundance of Pre-built Themes: Dive right into designing your dream online store with Shopify's extensive collection of pre-built themes. No coding is required – simply choose a theme that resonates with your brand and customize it perfectly.
  • Central Dashboard Mastery: Take charge of your entire e-commerce empire from a single, central dashboard. Whether it's managing orders, inventory, or customer interactions, you're just a few clicks away from a streamlined operation.
  • Drag-and-Drop Magic: No tech wizardry needed! With Shopify's intuitive drag-and-drop feature, crafting captivating web pages is as easy as pie. Simply drag elements where you want them and watch your store come to life.
  • Newbie-Friendly Interface: From seasoned pros to fresh-faced newcomers, Shopify caters to all. Its crystal-clear and simple interface welcomes beginners with open arms, making the learning curve a gentle slope rather than a daunting hill.

Embrace simplicity, dive into creativity, and enjoy the ease of managing your online store with Shopify's intuitive platform.

💡 Note: The experience with Shopify's interface has sometimes left users feeling a bit frustrated. Some have encountered discomfort and a sense of complexity while navigating the platform. Switching between different sections, such as moving from the front-end editor to the back-end, has also posed challenges, contributing to moments of inconvenience.

Despite these occasional frustrations, it's worth noting that Shopify continually seeks to enhance its user experience and address these concerns.

review of shopify
Source: Photo by Avelino Calvar Martinez

Sales Features

Talking about selling features, Shopify is one of those ecommerce platforms that offer the best sales features. The following outstanding features are especially useful for small and medium businesses:

  • Apps: Shopify’s apps provide merchants with the flexibility to tailor their online stores to specific needs. They let you customize your store to fit your exact wishes, whether aiming to sell more stuff, make things run smoother, or connect better with customers. These nifty apps give your store superpowers, helping you do more, work smarter, and make shopping on your site a one-of-a-kind adventure. 
  • Shipping: This feature has tools to empower merchants with the ability to set up customized shipping rates, manage various shipping zones, and seamlessly integrate with popular carriers. By harnessing the power of Shopify's shipping capabilities, merchants can offer transparent and efficient shipping options to customers, ultimately enhancing the shopping experience and building trust while efficiently managing their logistical operations.
  • Dropshipping: With dropshipping, merchants can pick and choose lots of different products to sell without having to keep them in a warehouse. This saves them money at the start and they don't have to worry about storing stuff. It lets merchants spend more time on telling people about their store, talking to customers, and making their business bigger. Plus, it means customers have more things to choose from, and merchants don't have to deal with the usual troubles of storing and managing lots of items.
  • Abandoned cart recovery: This tool automatically sends friendly reminders to customers who left items in their carts without completing the purchase, enticing them to return and finalize their order. By leveraging Shopify's abandoned cart recovery, merchants can reclaim revenue, reduce cart abandonment rates, and nurture customer relationships, all while boosting their store's profitability and success.
  • Product management: With this tool, merchants can easily add, edit, and categorize products, ensuring a seamless shopping experience for customers. By harnessing Shopify's product management capabilities, merchants can efficiently manage their inventory, offer engaging product displays, and make swift updates, ultimately streamlining their operations and driving sales growth.
  • Payment options: This feature lets merchants offer different ways for people to pay, making it easy and secure for them to buy things from your store. By using Shopify's payment options, you can make shopping smoother for customers, build trust, and grow your business by getting more people to buy from you.
  • Multi-channel integration: With multi-channel integration on Shopify, merchants can reach more people by selling on different platforms like social media and online marketplaces. This helps them easily track what they're selling everywhere and ensure their brand looks the same everywhere. By using multi-channel integration, merchants can find new customers, make their products more visible, and make their business run smoother. This all adds up to more chances to sell things and make their business grow.
  • Digital selling: With Shopify's digital selling feature, merchants can sell things like e-books or online courses easily. This helps them reach new customers, offer more things to buy, and let people get what they bought right away. By using digital selling on Shopify, merchants can make more money, attract people who like using technology, and make it simple to give customers digital stuff, which all helps their business grow and make more profit.
  • Tax: By using Shopify’s tax feature, merchants can automatically calculate and apply the correct taxes to each sale, ensuring compliance with tax regulations. Besides, merchants can also stay organized, prevent costly errors, and focus on running their business while keeping their tax-related worries at bay.
  • POS: Shopify's Point of Sale (POS) feature helps merchants to handle both online and in-person sales, keeping track of what they're selling and who's buying. With Shopify POS, merchants can make shopping easy for customers, keep things simple in their store, and learn important stuff about what customers like, all of which help their business work better and do well.
review of shopify
Image by jcomp on Freepik.

Themes & Designs

When talking about building online stores and making them look great with themes and designs, Shopify seems to take the lead among other ecommerce builder websites. 

Currently, Shopify offers an impressive number of themes: 12 free themes and 137 paid or premium themes:

  • All themes are mobile responsive
  • Themes are professionally designed, clear & clean
  • Browse themes by industry, catalog size, and feature
review of shopify

In addition to owning a variety of themes, the features Shopify’s themes bring are also very optimal and amazing:

  • Content Customization: Make your store truly yours by customizing the content to match your brand's personality.
  • Drop-down Navigation Support: Help customers easily explore your products with seamless drop-down menus.
  • Free Theme Updates: Enjoy the benefits of continuous improvement with free updates to keep your store fresh.
  • Mobile-Friendly Magic: Ensure a smooth shopping experience for mobile users with themes optimized for various devices.
  • Language Options: Certain themes offer multiple language choices, expanding your reach to diverse audiences.

And that's not all! Shopify’s design help merchants dive into theme customization with the power to add products, craft compelling text, place images perfectly, and create pages that reflect your unique style. You have the flexibility to customize both the store's look (visual customization) and the backend dashboard (product management), giving you full control over your online store's appearance and functionality.

Marketing & SEO tools

The success of a business largely comes down to the number of customers they gain. In an era where everyone in the family uses Google as the leading tool for finding information, having your business at the top of Google is one of the best ways to let customers know the existence of your business. 

Here's where SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, steps onto the scene. It's all about boosting the odds of your website appearing in Google's search results.

review of shopify
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Because of the useful features for businesses that SEO brings, Shopify cannot ignore the integration of various SEO tools to optimize the online presence of its users:

  • Reporting Tools: Get insights into your website's performance, allowing you to fine-tune your SEO strategy.
  • Blogging: Create engaging content to attract and engage visitors, while also enhancing your site's search visibility.
  • Email Marketing: Stay connected with your audience through email campaigns that drive traffic and improve SEO.
  • Multilingual Options: Reach a wider audience by offering your website in multiple languages, enhancing global visibility and SEO efforts.

Customer Support & Security

Support Feature

With a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction, Shopify provides a range of support options to ensure that users receive the assistance they need, when they need it:

  • 24/7 Support: Get assistance anytime, day or night, to address your e-commerce needs promptly.
  • Various Support Channels: Choose from multiple communication avenues, including live chat, email, and phone, ensuring you connect through your preferred method.
  • Live Chat: Engage in real-time conversations with expert support agents for immediate problem-solving.
  • Email: Share detailed inquiries or concerns via email to receive comprehensive assistance.
  • Phone: Speak directly to a support representative for personalized guidance and solutions.
  • Help Center: Access a wealth of self-help resources, including articles and tutorials, to navigate challenges independently.
  • Video Tutorials: Learn visually through a collection of informative videos, guide you through different aspects of using the platform effectively.
💡 Note: The Advanced plan now offers better chat support by moving you to the front of the line. It means that if you have the Advanced plan, when you need help and use the chat support, your questions or issues will be addressed before those of people with other plans. You get priority access, reducing your wait time.

Security Feature

Continuing with Shopify's commitment to providing top-notch support, their automatic secure feature ensures a safe and dependable online shopping experience. This feature includes important safeguards that protect your store and customer information. Here's a breakdown of the key aspects in simple bullet points:

  • SSL Security (Secure Sockets Layer): Think of this like a protective shield that keeps your customers' sensitive data, such as payment details, safe while they browse and shop on your site.
  • PCI Compliance (Payment Card Industry): Shopify ensures that your store meets high standards for securely handling payment information, reducing the chances of data breaches or fraudulent activities.
  • Automated Backups: Shopify also takes care of regular backups of your store's information. It's like having a safety net that saves your store's important data, like products and customer info, in case of any unexpected issues.
Image by Freepik.

This combination of security measures within the automatic secure feature works behind the scenes to create a worry-free environment for both you and your customers.

User Reviews

Throughout this article, we've covered the user-friendly features Shopify offers, as well as caveats about certain inadequacies. However, nothing will be more realistic than learning from the real experiences of previous users.

Here are a few real reviews of Shopify experiences that we've gathered from reputable websites:

1. Karan V. on G2 - July 25, 2023

Rate: 4.5/5 ⭐

Comment: “User-friendly eCommerce platform

Shopify is one of the best user-friendly eCommerce platforms. I like one thing in shopify that small businesses can also manage their store and increase it's business in the shopify platform with ease of use. Shopify is very good platform for developers also, where developers can integrate shopify functionalities with web applications. Shopify provides many functionalities that we can integrate with our online store. Shopify provides very rich security and privacy.” However, they also mentioned some disadvantages they experienced from Shopify: “Shopify does not provide deep customization of shopify store. We can't add some custom changes in shopify. Developers have limited access to modify things like custom changes in the shopify store.”

review of shopify

2. C&L Botanicals on Shopify App Store - October 20, 2022 

Rate: 5/5 ⭐

They commented about Judge.me Product Reviews, one of the most popular apps with merchants across Shopify, as:

Seriously the BEST reviews app!!!! There are so many ways to customize your shop reviews, even if you only have the free account. Customer service is really helpful as well. I never sell the same product twice, and I was having a hard time finding a review app that allows me to put all the reviews on my shop homepage, rather than on a specific product. Judge.me has every sort of customization option possible. I will most likely end up paying the monthly subscription fee to get all the benefits. If anyone deserves my money, it's Judge.me!

review of shopify

3. Mike Fernandes on TrustPilot - May 22, 2023

Rate: 2/5 ⭐

Comment: "Useless customer service, and can't do basic things."

Useless customer service, and you can't do basic things like position things where you want, and you can't even left align text!! Rich text is always centered and you can't do anything about it! Wow!! Never seen such useless options before.

Customer service is quite useless. I asked a basic question, like why can't I have smaller text on mobile and larger text on the desktop version, and they give a weird generic answer and start talking about having to work with custom code. They're also a bit delicate, so you must walk on eggshells. Different sized text between mobile and desktop versions is basic functionality that Shopify can't handle.

Spent all this time setting things up, now I have to go find another option. They need to do a better job of hiring qualified people.”

review of shopify

Shopify’s Competitors

In today's competitive e-commerce market, Shopify is certainly not the only choice for businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses with limited budgets. Some of Shopify's competitors include Bigcommerce, Wix, etc. Here are some price comparisons between Shopify's top competitors:

CriteriaShopifyWixSquarespaceBigCommerce
Starting price$39/month$17/month$23/month$39/month
Transaction fees0% (via Shopify Payments)2.9% + $0.30 per transaction2.9% + $0.30 per transaction2.59% + $0.49 per transaction
Free plan/Trial3-day trialLimited Free Plan14-day trial15-day trial
Payment gateways100+ optionsLimited optionsLimited options65+ options

Who can Use Shopify?

If you are retail owners wondering if Shopify would suit your enterprises, this upcoming fact is good news for you. Shopify is a versatile platform that caters to a wide range of industries. Here's a breakdown including but not limited to industries that can benefit from using Shopify:

  1. Retail: Whether it's fashion, electronics, or home goods, Shopify provides an excellent platform for online retail stores of all sizes.
  2. Fashion and Apparel: Boutique shops, clothing brands, and designers can effectively showcase and sell their products.
  3. Beauty and Cosmetics: Brands offering skincare, makeup, and personal care products can create appealing online storefronts.
  4. Food and Beverages: Restaurants, cafes, and specialty food businesses can showcase menus, take orders, and manage deliveries.
  5. Health and Wellness: Gyms, wellness centers, and healthcare providers can offer services, products, and appointments online.
  6. Electronics: Tech retailers can showcase gadgets, electronics, and accessories, and manage their e-commerce operations.
  7. Home and Decor: Furniture stores, interior designers, and home decor businesses can display their offerings beautifully.
  8. Art and Crafts: Artists, artisans, and crafters can sell their creations directly to a global audience.
  9. Books and Publications: Authors, publishers, and bookstores can promote and sell books and literary works.
  10. Jewelry: Jewelry designers and retailers can present their exquisite pieces to a wider market.
  11. Toys and Games: Toy stores and game shops can reach customers interested in entertainment products.
  12. Automotive: Car accessories, parts, and equipment businesses can expand their reach online.
  13. Sports and Outdoor: Sports equipment stores, outdoor gear retailers, and adventure tour operators can connect with enthusiasts.
  14. Pet Supplies: Pet stores, grooming services, and pet accessory providers can offer their products and services.
  15. Music and Instruments: Music stores, instrument sellers, and music schools can showcase their offerings.
review of shopify

Shopify Review 2023: FAQs

Absolutely! Shopify provides a robust platform for creating and running online stores. Many entrepreneurs have found success by leveraging its tools and features to sell products and services, making Shopify a popular choice for e-commerce ventures.
For newcomers, the "Basic Shopify" plan is often a great starting point. It offers essential features at an affordable price, allowing newbies to set up their online store, explore Shopify's functionalities, and gradually scale as they become more comfortable with the platform.
Shopify offers a range of powerful marketing tools, including social media integration, email marketing, SEO optimization, and the ability to create discounts and promotions. These features help merchants reach their target audience, boost sales, and enhance their online presence.
Yes, Shopify is designed to be user-friendly. Its intuitive interface, drag-and-drop features, and extensive documentation make it accessible even for those with limited technical skills. Additionally, Shopify's customer support is available 24/7 to assist users with any questions or issues.
While Shopify does offer a free trial period (typically 3 days), using the platform beyond the trial does require a subscription. Shopify offers different pricing plans to suit various business needs, but there is a cost associated with using the platform to host and operate your online store.

Final words

In the fast-changing world of online business, Shopify stands out as a valuable tool for all kinds of businesses. With its different pricing plans, easy-to-use design, powerful sales tools, and strong security, Shopify helps people achieve success online. 

While there might be some challenges, Shopify keeps getting better and offers help when needed. It doesn't matter if you're selling clothes, electronics, or food – Shopify works for many different types of businesses. 

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Comments

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.