E-commerce has seen significant growth in the past few years due to the huge increase in online shopping for all kinds of products and services. In fact, recent research shows that by 2023, online shopping is expected to account for 22% of all retail sales worldwide. Whether you are running a well-established business or taking your first steps in e-commerce, the need for an online store is now imperative. That is why one of the most important decisions you have to make concerns the platform that will host your store.
In this article, you’ll learn more information about Shopify, one of the most popular e-commerce platforms available. You’ll learn what Shopify is, who should use it, and what plans it offers. Additionally, you’ll learn how Shopify disrupts the status quo of e-commerce and challenges the domination of Amazon.
What Is Shopify?
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows you to sell anything online. It enables you to set up your own online store where you can sell your products and your services. Through the Shopify platform, you can organize your products, create your own "look and feel" for your store, accept payments, track and respond to orders, and so on. Shopify is an all-in-one e-commerce platform. Provides ready-to-use online store templates and themes that are fully customizable so you can add your own colors, styles, and images.
The platform's ease of use makes it unique, and perhaps it's the most important factor in its rapid growth. Simply complete your registration, and Shopify will walk you through the process of setting up your online store step by step. Consider the fact that you can choose from a large number of online store templates, requiring neither designer knowledge nor hiring someone. Shopify's templates are beautiful and well-optimized for maximum sales.
Who Is Shopify For?
Shopify could easily be described as ‘the Swiss knife of e-commerce,’ because it can combine many functions into one platform.
- Shopify is extremely easy to set up compared to most e-commerce platforms.
- It can also be used by beginners who have little or no experience in online commerce, although in the latter case, you should seek the help of a specialist before trying anything.
- The platform has a reasonably affordable pricing plan, being an attractive option for small and medium-sized e-commerce companies who want to minimize the cost of building and maintaining an online store.
- It gives many possibilities to the users to customize the design of the online store according to their taste. Colors, images, elements, fonts, everything can be adapted to your needs.
- It is a rapidly growing platform, famous for its support and after-sales department. Therefore, the platform will grow simultaneously with your online store and will provide you with the support you need in all areas.
It is often believed that Shopify is aimed at more entry-level users, for example, beginners who have not been nurtured in the world of e-commerce and are looking for an easy and affordable solution for their first steps. Even though this is true, there are many who have a lot of experience with e-commerce businesses and still prefer Shopify to host their e-business. However, young entrepreneurs looking for their first taste of e-commerce will certainly love Shopify.
Shopify Plans - What Options Do You Have?
Shopify is one of the most "value for money" platforms currently on the market. The company's plans are offered in the form of a monthly subscription unless you prefer an annual or biennial program. It is also worth noting that you can try the platform for free for 14 days without using a credit card. Regarding its subscription packages, the most basic are the following:
It is the plan for entrepreneurs who want to add a buy button to their existing website (such as blog sites or portfolios) or who want to sell in person (via POS). It is essentially the simplest version, with multiple features, such as beginner reports, the ability to issue gift cards, and much more. This plan costs $ 9 / month.
Suitable for new businesses in the world of e-commerce, this basic plan allows you to add features such as abandoned checkout and gift cards. However, there is a 2% commission in case you do not use Shopify Payments. It costs $ 29 / month.
This plan is ideal for growing businesses with online or in-store sales. It offers more features related to business reporting and international pricing. Also, if you do not use Payments, the commission on sales is 1%. This plan costs $ 79 / month.
With even more detailed and useful reporting, the Advanced plan, in addition to those of previous packages, also offers automation for calculating shipping prices, more staff accounts and a much lower commission (0.5%). It costs $ 29 / month.
This plan is the most suitable version for businesses that want to take the next step. With Plus, you have everything you need to manage the volume of your business. With numerous functions for significant increases in sales, such as 18% higher conversion through Shop Pay and 60% faster checkout. With management and automation features that allow you to manage all your stores and accounts from one place. Finally, with much lower commission charges (0.15%), immediate integration for any other plan, marketplace, or tool you use and with a quick launch.
Shopify - The anti-Amazon Company That Changes the E-commerce Landscape
When you learn from press releases that Amazon is trying to copy you by offering products and services similar to your company, you probably are doing something well. This is definitely how 41-year-old German Tobi Lütke should feel, who set up Shopify after quitting the online snowboard shop he had started with his parents years ago.
The platform had a steady rise in the following years, but the surge in e-commerce with the onset of the pandemic made the Canadian company and its share one of the hottest names of the new era shaped by the coronavirus crisis. The fact is, all analysts internationally agree that the shift to e-commerce is here to stay even after the end of the pandemic, changing the overall data on retail worldwide.
With the pandemic turning professionals and consumers into e-commerce, Shopify's business has skyrocketed, and a number of posts have begun praising the new Amazon. Interestingly, Lütke disagrees, describing the company he runs as anti-Amazon, precisely empowering users and buyers to grow their businesses.
"Amazon is trying to build an empire and Shopify is trying to arm the rebels," he said in an interview with Businessweek.
Home for Small and Medium-sized Businesses
During the pandemic, Shopify was a great resource for small and medium-sized retailers and shopkeepers, many of whom had never sold products online and needed fast-paced lessons to keep their businesses alive. Shopify wasn't as known as it is today, with just one million users, and its name was often confused with that of Spotify. But its reputation has increased rapidly, especially in contrast to Amazon and the aggressive tactics it has been accused of using against its sellers.
Within two years, the Ottawa-based company in Canada saw its capitalization jump from $ 46 billion to $ 177 billion and its sales rise to $ 2.9 billion last year, an 86% increase over 2019. Only during the weekend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday the sales of Shopify partners reached $ 6.3 billion in sales, an increase of 23% compared to the year before.
It's no coincidence that Shopify is evolving into one of Canada's largest value companies. Although it still lags far behind other e-commerce giants such as Amazon and eBay, it is constantly gaining ground.
Amazon Is Feeling The Pressure
This is probably the reason why Amazon decided to deal with the emerging corporate phenomenon of Tobi Lütke and, according to reports, appears to be considering setting up a similar mechanism that will allow retailers to set up their own independent, online stores. However, this prospect does not seem to worry Lütke, who says he is ready to face the new challenge that will bring him into direct confrontation and competition with the American giant.
Shopify is the best choice for your online business with numerous features, affordable prices, plans tailored to your needs, and multiple other benefits.
Solwey has helped many clients in the past set up Shopify stores, including a New York City-based company that makes refillable containers, Barcode sports drinks, and JUDY, an emergency preparedness company. Shopify allowed them to succeed and maintain their own brand in the midst of a global pandemic.
Solwey’s team is proud to work on the Shopify platform. If you and your business would like to be a “rebel”, let us know.