Almost everyone who uses the internet on a regular basis knows about Shopify.
It’s one of the biggest E-commerce platforms out there, and tons of people rely on it for a steady, impressive income.
If you’re thinking about selling products online, you definitely need to consider Shopify.
But how does this product stack up to the competition in 2019?
Is it still relevant?
Are there better products out there?
Or is Shopify still the best option for anyone who wants to create their own online store?
We’re about to tackle all those questions and much more with this comprehensive review.
Believe us, when you’re finished reading this, you’ll feel like a qualified expert on Shopify and all it has to offer.
We’re not going to leave a single stone unturned with this detailed analysis of the product.
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If you’re on the fence about Shopify, you need to read this review before making a final decision.
Remember, research and planning are vital ingredients to success in any field of business.
When it comes to online sales, there’s no such thing as too much preparation.
The Basics of Shopify
First thing’s first. What is Shopify?
Simply put, Shopify is an online store builder.
It allows just about anyone to jump right into the world of eCommerce, and begin making money instantaneously.
Everyone who uses Shopify will tell you that it’s extremely flexible.
You can sell literally anything using Shopify, from physical products to digital services and much more.
Customize your online store with Shopify with a wide range of templates.
These templates allow you to craft a store that matches anything you can imagine.
Shopify was clearly created to appeal to the average person.
What this means is that you can easily get started with this application, even if you’re the least technical person in the world.
No coding knowledge is required, and you’ll find it easy to set up your store with only the most basic of computer skills.
The advantages of such a user-friendly system are obvious.
Not only is Shopify more accessible, but it also saves you from hiring expensive web designers and programmers.
That being said, if you do have coding knowledge, you won’t be disappointed either.
Shopify makes it easy to edit HTML and CSS elements, so you can have ultimate control if you so desire.
The templates can be molded into anything you can imagine, and the possibilities are truly limitless.
This unique blend of control and user-friendliness makes Shopify a product that appeals to a massive audience.
Everything you do on Shopify happens on the web.
There’s no need to store or download any applications on your actual computer.
Shopify is what’s considered n SaaS, or a “Software as a Service.”
This means you can get started in just a few seconds.
Their business model is one which charges a monthly fee, and this is how they make money and survive as a business.
How Many People Use Shopify?
But wait a second. Just how popular is Shopify?
How many people actually use it?
And how much money is being made?
Let’s break it down.
Shopify powers over 600,000 stores.
On top of that, over one million people use this product.
But above all else, we all know that there’s only one number that really matters.
And that’s how much money Shopify is actually earning for people like you.
To date, this application has generated over 46 billion dollars in sales.
Some people might say that these numbers are slightly exaggerated.
But one thing’s for sure, Shopify is definitely an established platform that tons of people are relying on, and it is making tons of people money.
People trust Shopify, and they have a pretty solid reputation.
That’s definitely an important factor when you’re selling products online.
The fact is, Shopify wouldn’t have survived for so long if they weren’t offering a quality experience.
Plenty of other similar platforms have actually been forced to shut down in the past.
But Shopify somehow keeps surviving in this tough digital world.
And that’s an impressive feat.
Some would say that Shopify is one of those companies that is “too big to fail.” And you know what?
They’re probably right.
All this means is that you can rely on the company.
It won’t suddenly go under, and you won’t have to suddenly find a new place to sell your products.
How Much Does Shopify Cost?
The number one question you’re probably asking yourself is pretty simple: “How much does it cost?”
The good news is that Shopify offers tons of different plans to choose from, whatever your budget might be.
First of all, you’ve got your standard, “Shopify Lite” plan, which is the cheapest option out there.
At $9 per month, this one comes with the basics, and no bells and whistles.
“Shopify Basic” is the next step up, at $29 a month.
This one has a few more features.
The next rank up is simply called “Shopify,” and it’s considered their flagship product. It’ll cost you $79 per month.
If you really want to splurge, you can choose “Advanced Shopify,” but it’ll cost you a hefty sum of $299.
And finally, if your business demands some serious selling horsepower, then you can go all out with Shopify Plus.
The ballpark figure is around $2000 per month, but it’s negotiable.
Whatever your budget is, Shopify has an option that’ll fit.
This is definitely a major reason why so many people choose Shopify.
It’s got some of the cheapest rates around.
At $9 a month, you really can’t go wrong.
Shopify’s Plans Explained
But what kind of product will you actually get if you go with the bare minimum of Shopify Lite?
First of all, you won’t actually get access to an actual online store.
Rather, you’ll have to sell on Facebook using Shopify.
You’ll also be able to use Shopify to sell products easily in a physical location, like a pop-up store or a market.
You can also manage inventory using Shopify Lite, which is a great tool to have under your belt.
Basically, the thing about Shopify Lite is that you can add “buy buttons” to existing blogs or site.
It won’t be a standalone selling platform, but it will give you the ability to turn existing sites into online stores.
But hey, that might be all you’re looking for.
Having a “buy now” button is a great way to turn your blog or niche site into a cash cow.
It’s pretty much exactly the same as adding a Paypal button to your store, but you’ll have way more options to customize and tweak the customer’s experience.
With this Shopify “buy button,” you can keep your customers updated on order fulfillment and order tracking.
That’s just one example.
Remember, Shopify Lite isn’t just for those who don’t have tons of cash to invest.
You might just be the type of person who likes using an existing website, such as…
Wix, WordPress or
- WordPress, or…
Shopify Lite lets you keep everything you’ve already built, while still letting customers buy products from your site.
It’s a win-win situation.
Now, let’s talk about Shopify’s “Basic” plan – the one that costs $29 per month.
What do you actually get for that extra $20 in monthly costs?
Basically, you’ll be able to host your own website with Shopify, instead of just adding limited features onto an existing site.
Of course, you’ll also get this added benefit with Shopify’s $79 dollar plan and their “Advanced Shopify” plan.
If you fork out the cash for anything above Shopify Lite, you’ll also be enjoying unlimited file storage and bandwidth as well.
But what about that $2000 per month plan we mentioned earlier?
You might have made up your mind to steer clear of Shopify Plus, and understandably so.
That’s a lot of money for any business to spend every month.
It’s only for the biggest players in town – and they’ll enjoy:
- advanced security measures,
- APIs, and…
- superior fulfillment.
Shopify’s Features (and Which Plans You Need to Access Them)
But let’s take a closer look at some of the features you’ll enjoy, and which Shopify plans have them.
Professional reporting services are only available on plans that cost $79 and up.
The Advanced Report Builder is a useful tool, but you’ll only be able to access it if you’re on the “Advanced Shopify” plans or higher.
This will allow you to create your very own custom reports.
Gift Cards are great selling tools, but you’ll only get access to these if you’re spending $79 or higher per month.
Real-time Carrier Shipping is something that you might need, but you’ll need to be on the Advanced Shopify plan to get it.
Staff Accounts allow you to give permissions to your employees.
This helps your entire business run way more smoothly. It’ll also cut down on stolen data and security leaks.
You’ll actually get two staff accounts with Shopify’s Basic account.
Spend $79 dollars a month, and you’ll get 5 staff accounts.
Even better, with Advanced Shopify, you can create an impressive 15 staff accounts.
Finally, you might not be able to access some Point of Sales features unless you upgrade to a plan that is $79 or higher.
How to Save Money on ALL Shopify Plans
Want to save even more money on your Shopify plan?
Why not pay for your plan annually, instead of monthly?
If you do, you’ll enjoy a 10% discount.
Even better, you’ll get a 20% discount if you pay biannually.
Are There Options Out There with Better Value?
But can you get a better price with other products?
The truth is that Shopify’s pricing is pretty much on par with similar competitive products out there, encompassing a similar fee structure as…
- Squarespace, and…
But Shopify is the only place where you’ll find something like the “Lite” plan.
Nobody else really offers anything else like it.
If you’re looking for the lowest fee out there, then Shopify’s “Lite” plan is your best bet.
Just understand that you’ll have to fork out the cash before you get access to some pretty crucial features.
A big complaint of Shopify is that they charge extra for features and services that probably should be in the entry-level product.
How Shopify Handles Payments
In order to make money, you need to accept payments.
But how does Shopify handle payments?
Honestly, this is where Shopify truly shines and rises above the competition.
Shopify actually handles credit card payments in two ways.
The first is called “Shopify Payments.”
Shopify Payments lets you handle credit card payments – but at a cost.
Expect to pay anywhere from 1.5 to 2.9 percent in credit card fees, depending on the country.
As you might have guessed, spending an extra few dollars per month on more advanced Shopify accounts reduces these fees.
It’s yet another reason to upgrade.
Even though you’re paying credit card fees with Shopify Payments, you won’t have to worry about actual transaction fees.
Make no mistake, this is a major advantage.
Your other option is to use a third party “Payment Gateway.”
You can choose from over 100 third party companies to process your credit card transactions, and they’ll handle transactions for you.
There are a few downsides to using a third-party resource like this…
First of all, you’ll need to actually set up an account with this third party.
Second, you’ll be paying more fees with this method.
First of all, the third party will charge you fees for each transaction, or a monthly flat rate.
You might even have to pay both! In addition, Shopify will also charge you transaction fees on top of that.
This is usually around 0.5 to 2%.
You’ll need to actually crunch the numbers to figure out which method makes sense for you.
Even though using a third party means a higher number of fees, it might still be cheaper than using Shopify Payments.
But hold on a second.
If you’re not based in certain countries, you actually don’t even have the option of using Shopify Payments.
In order to use this payment system, you have to be based in:
- Hong Kong,
- the Republic of Ireland,
- New Zealand,
- the United Kingdom, or…
- The United States of America.
So that’s something to consider.
But if you do end up using a Payment Gateway, Shopify definitely gives you tons more options than the competitors.
The fact that you can choose from over 100 third parties is far better than anyone else on the web can do.
What Will Your Shopify Store Actually Look Like?
Let’s forget about money for a second.
Because we all know that when it comes to selling online, appearances are everything.
So what will your Shopify store look like?
Shopify will set you up with plenty of templates to choose from, and you can take your pick.
If you want to stick with
But if you want to spend a little extra cash on a more exclusive template, you can choose from about 55 paid options.
But keep in mind, these paid templates will cost about $140 to $180 big ones.
These templates are also known as themes, and each one comes in various flavors and styles.
Take those ten free templates, for example.
When you choose one, you can further modify it by picking a variant.
There are about three variants for each template.
So when we say there are ten free templates to choose from, technically you can pick from 30.
And for the paid templates, you’re looking at hundreds of different options.
The great thing about these templates is that they’re all totally responsive.
This means they’ll work fine on pretty much any platform or operating system.
Customers will get the same experience no matter what device they’re using.
If you know exactly what you’re looking for, it’s never been easier to track down the right template.
Using the Template Store, you can filter the countless templates based on a wide range of presets.
Only looking for free templates?
Want a particular layout for your online store?
You’ll be able to find it easily.
You’ll be able to find the right template pretty easily.
But whichever template you choose, you can be sure that you’ll get a professional, high-quality product.
Each one of these templates looks absolutely gorgeous, and your customers will love using them.
These templates are anything but outdated.
Expect to find high tech features such as parallax scrolling and video backgrounds on some of the templates.
It’s truly a state of the art experience for both you and your customers.
If that doesn’t sound flexible enough for you, Shopify’s got you covered.
You can actually build your own theme from scratch to create an online store that completely matches your vision.
You can easily access the theme code to make all the tweaks and adjustments you want, and Shopify gives you tons of support and tools in this area.
But you should probably be careful if you pick out an awesome third party template.
Because these templates aren’t created by Shopify, it might be hard to get support if you run into any problems.
Just a word of warning.
The Foundation of Shopify
Shopify is built on a foundation of core features that keep the engine purring.
Here are the most crucial features that are present on all Shopify plans above $29 per month:
- You get to sell any physical or digital products you want, with shipping rates and methods that you choose.
- You also get to sort your products however you want.
- You get to pick from a wide variety of heavily customizable themes.
- You get credit card processing through either Shopify Payments or a third party of your choosing.
- You’ll be able to seamlessly integrate with PayPal without any issues.
- You’ll get access to awesome blogging functions.
- You get some seriously useful “Abandoned Cart” features, such as email reminders.
- You’ll be able to import and export customer data to your heart’s desire.
- You get some very extensive CMS (content management) functionality.
- You get access to all kinds of SEO options, and you can add relevant keywords very easily.
- You’ll be able to integrate with MailChimp without any issues.
- You get discount codes for all your best customers.
- You can edit your stores HTML and CSS however you like.
- You get to put your very own “Buy Now” buttons pretty much anywhere on the web.
- You get a Point-Of-Sales App that’ll help you sell in the physical world.
- You get multiple staff accounts.
Tons of options for integration with third party Payment Gateways.
Now, as we mentioned, the above features are all available for even a pretty basic Shopify plan that’ll cost you $29 a month.
But what happens when you splurge on a more advanced plan?
This is what you’ll get if you sign up for the plan that costs $79 per month:
- Access to gift cards for your customers
- Access to professional level reports
- A totally complete, professional level Point of
But what if you’re on the Advanced Shopify plan, which is even better?
Here’s what you’ll get:
- Advanced, superior report building
- Real-time, professional carrie shipping
But wait… We still haven’t mentioned the best Shopify plan out there – Shopify Plus.
These are the features you’ll enjoy after upgrading:
- Guaranteed uptime on all your servers
- Unparalleled API support
- You get your own “Merchant Success Manager” that’ll give you “white glove” level support.
- You get a fully dedicated IP/SSL address
- You get the most advanced security features Shopify has to offer.
That’s a lot of features to digest.
You might be thinking that you don’t actually need all these features. Some might stand out to you as mandatory additions.
Whatever the case, this rundown should make it easy for you to pick the plan that suits you best.
We get it.
You want to hear more about each feature, right?
First off, let’s check out the Point of Sales System offered by Shopify.
This little gem definitely helps Shopify stand out from the crowd.
Aside from the POS applications, you’ll need, Shopify even offers its very own POS hardware, which comes in a kit.
But keep in mind – it’ll only work with your Android or iOS device.
You can purchase barcode scanners, receipt printers, tills, and much more directly from Shopify.
Better yet, you can even buy a “Chip and Swipe” card reader for your smartphone if you live in the US or Canada. Score.
But what should you use these things for?
The answer is pretty simple: Selling your products in person.
Create a pop-up shop, a market stall or a booth at a fair.
Hell, you could even set up your own permanent location with this hardware.
But why should you use Shopify’s hardware, instead of just doing it the old-fashioned way?
If you use Shopify’s hardware, all your inventory will be automatically synced and updated with each transaction.
You’ll never have to worry about your stock count, and that’s a serious advantage.
But before you go out and buy all of Shopify’s hardware, you need to consider a few things:
You’ll only be able to get the most out of Shopify’s POS system if you’re on a plan which costs $79 per month or higher.
That’s the plan that’s simply called “Shopify,” in case you were wondering.
“Lite” and “Basic” might give you access to a Chip Card Reader, but that’s about it.
You won’t be able to access any other forms of hardware, and that’s a serious disadvantage.
You also won’t be able to set up multiple staff accounts.
At the end of the day, you’re better off upgrading unless your POS requirements are seriously minimal.
How Do You Actually Use Shopify?
We’ve spoken a lot about how easy Shopify is to use…
But what will you actually experience on a day-to-day basis with Shopify?
As soon as you boot up Shopify, you’ll notice that the interface is seriously attractive.
Not only that, but it’s intuitive and very easy to use.
Everything is in the right place, and you won’t be left guessing.
One of the first things you’ll see when working with this interface is the “Sales Channels” system.
These are various sections on the interface, which help you organize your store easily.
Here are the main Sales Channels you’ll be dealing with:
- Your Online Store – This is your main Shopify Site, plain and simple.
- Pinterest – This is where you’ll manage your products sold on Pinterest. You can actually add “buyable pins” to products on your store that are featured on Pinterest.
- Facebook – This is a separate tab on your Facebook page where customers can buy products.
- Buy Button – This is that feature we mentioned earlier. Embed this button on any site or blog.
- Amazon – This is where you’ll manage your Amazon listings directly through your Shopify interface.
On top of all this, there are tons of other channels which you can use.
They include eBay, Instagram, Houzz, Buzzfeed, and plenty more.
But before you get too excited, you can only use these channels in certain countries.
The entire Shopify interface is super easy to navigate.
The Sales Channel system is also a pretty straightforward system, and you probably won’t find yourself feeling lost within this overall experience.
What Are the Downsides to Shopify’s Interface?
After using this interface for a while, you’ll probably notice some issues with images.
The aspect ratios just aren’t consistent.
Shopify doesn’t automatically crop your images, so they’ll show up in different sizes on your page.
You can get around this by manually editing the aspect ratio of your images, but it’s kind of a drag…
If you’re uploading a ton of product images, this isn’t going to be fun.
And another thing – the Facebook integration can be a little weak.
Strangely enough, your customers will only be able to purchase one product at a time when shopping through your Facebook page.
We have no idea why, but there’s no “add to cart” option.
This might not actually affect you much. If your products are types which only sell one at a time, then you won’t even notice this little hiccup.
But what if your business depends on customers buying multiple products?
It’s going to be frustrating for them, without a doubt.
As far as we know, Shopify isn’t actually to blame for this.
Facebook itself seems to be the root of this problem, so we can’t really take points away from Shopify for this little mistake.
Still, it’s not exactly convenient.
If this is really getting in the way, just tell your Facebook customers to follow a link to your store. It’s a pretty simple fix for the most part.
And… that’s pretty much it in terms of negatives!
As you can see, the downsides of Shopify’s interface are really very minor, and for the most part, it’s a totally stress-free experience that’ll suit even the least technical of people.
How is Data Handled on Shopify?
Do you have a bunch of customer data on a CSV file?
Shopify lets you import everything seamlessly.
This is a great way to upload tons of products in bulk, saving you a lot of time.
This is pretty standard for all online store builders.
If you’re importing data from a blog like WordPress, you’ll actually need to use a third party app to make it happen.
We recommend Blogfeeder, although it’ll cost you…
On the same note, importing static pages and blog posts can be tricky as well.
There’s no easy way to do this…
Your only real option is to use Shopify’s API as a solution.
Product Options with Shopify
Shopify is all about giving you tons of options, and that’s definitely true when it comes to products.
With Shopify, you can offer different options for the same product.
You can sell 100 different options for the same product.
In addition, customers will be able to choose from three “variants” of that product.
This means that customers can choose from a multitude of options, such as color and size and style. But that’s where the options end.
Your customers won’t really be able to customize their products in any additional ways.
As you might expect, this can cause problems.
There are tons of products out there that can be customized in tons of different ways.
One of your customers might want a product with a particular style, size, color, scent, power level…
The list goes on.
But Shopify limits you to three variants for each product.
You can get around these problems by heavily customizing and tweaking the interface, but it’s definitely not idea.
You might be able to handle special customization requests from certain customers, but you definitely can’t do this easily on a large scale.
There is a solution, but it’ll cost you.
Once again, a third party app can come to the rescue, at a price.
These apps can extend the customization options on any Shopify store.
You can also add “line item property code” to your Shopify store, but this obviously takes a bit of programming knowledge.
While Shopify doesn’t offer limitless options for product variants, it’ll be more than enough to satisfy most people.
If it really becomes an issue, you might consider switching to Bigcommerce, which has more options for product variants.
Product Categories with Shopify
You definitely won’t feel confined when it comes to product categories.
Although Shopify can be limiting when it comes to product variants, it offers tons of different options for sorting and filtering your products into groups.
These categories are known as “Collections” on Shopify’s interface.
This system is definitely miles ahead of any other E-commerce platform.
Shopify simply blows the competition away.
You can add each product to a category, or you can speed things up with their “Automated Collections feature.”
This will save you tons of time, especially if you’re dealing with tons of products.
You can actually tell Shopify to sort different products into various categories based on things
- the product title,
- certain tags or keywords, and…
- much more.
Just like that, a job that should’ve taken hours is finished in seconds.
Add it all up, and this feature can save you days of boring data entry.
Just be sure to set up a consistent system that actually works.
If you’re too vague with your sorting methods, errors can occur.
While we’re on the topic of product categories…
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If you’re still serious about E-Commerce, then I’m happy to fill you in on more details about how Shopify can be a great option for your digital efforts to sell physical products…
Abandoned Carts in Shopify
We’ve all been there before – we get to the checkout section of an online store before changing our minds at the last second.
If you’ve done this, then you might’ve received an email notification reminding you that you still have items in your cart.
Sometimes, this encourages us to go back and finally buy that particular item.
Good news –
You’ll now get Abandoned Cart features on all plans over $29.
Previously, you had to spend at least $79 per month to get access to this.
The bottom line is that Shopify is letting you use this feature for rock bottom prices, and competitors charge you way more to use this useful feature.
Some experts say that an Abandoned Cart feature can boost sales by up to 15%.
Now, with Shopify’s Abandoned Cart feature you have two options.
You can either check out a list of people with abandoned carts and manually send them emails…OR you can set it up so that Shopify automatically sends an email to everyone who abandons their cart.
In both cases, your customers will get an email with a link that takes them straight to their abandoned cart.
We’re guessing you’re probably going to go with the automated option, simply because it saves so much time.
You can also choose when to send those emails with the automated option.
Either send them out 1 hour after the customer abandons their cart, or ten hours afterward.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also send out reminder emails 6 or 24 hours after the fact.
These aren’t just arbitrary numbers. It’s proven that this is the best time to reach out to customers, and it’ll result in the highest sales.
Thank you, Shopify!
We know that Shopify’s Abandoned Cart feature is cheaper than the competitors… But is it better?
Well… not exactly.
Bigcommerce actually offers more options with its Abandoned Cart feature, so take that into account when you’re figuring out who has the best value.
With Bigcommerce, you can send out three reminder emails, and you can also include discount codes in the reminders.
These are both features Shopify doesn’t have.
Custom Fields and File Uploads With Shopify
Sometimes, you might want your customers to provide some text for a custom product. Inscriptions and engravings are all the rage right now, and customization, in general, has been proven to boost sales.
But does Shopify make this easy for you?
It’s not a very easy process, but it is possible.
Again, you need to manually edit the HTML and add “line item code property” in the code.
Not everyone will find this easy.
Of course, you could also use a third party app, but that’ll cost you.
You’ll also struggle with File Uploads.
Let’s say your customer wants to upload an image for you to print onto one of your T-Shirts.
Again, you’ll need to manually edit the code or pay for a third party app.
Again, Bigcommerce is the superior option when it comes to file uploads.
Are you beginning to see a pattern here?
If you want to do certain things with your store, you’re definitely going to need to pay for third-party apps.
It’s not ideal, and all of those costs can quickly add up.
Just a word to the wise…
SEO with Shopify
You probably already know that SEO is very important when it comes to online stores.
But how does Shopify’s SEO features stack up to the competition?
Shopify gets pretty high grades in this area, as a matter of fact.
You won’t find much better features with competing products, and once again, Shopify’s interface is very easy to use in this area.
Changing everything SEO related is a total breeze, from page titles to meta descriptions and everything in between.
301 redirects are great with SEO because it automatically prompts you to do this whenever you change the URL.
But to be honest, it’s not all good.
There are some areas which Shopify can definitely improve on.
You can customize your URLs, but you’ll always be stuck with certain prefixes.
For example: /products/, /pages/, and /posts/.
- /pages/, and…
It definitely limits you, and shorter URLs are actually pretty important for SEO.
These additional prefixes are a needless waste of space, honestly.
The downsides don’t end there.
It should really be easier to edit image filenames… but it isn’t.
This is also something that’s pretty important for SEO, but Shopify makes it needlessly difficult.
If you want to edit an image filename, you’ll need to rename it locally before uploading it.
It’s not too hard of a fix, but it’s definitely frustrating.
All in all, does Shopify’s SEO system do a good job?
Apart from a few minor annoyances, it’s a solid feature.
The Shopify App Store
Do you want even more features and add-ons?
Is the core system just not cutting it?
If so, then head on down to Shopify’s App store, where you can seriously upgrade your online store.
The best part is that a lot of these apps are free.
Sure, there are paid ones as well, but you should be able to find tons of cool features without spending a dime.
How many apps are we talking here?
Believe it or not, Shopify has over 2000, and the number is always growing.
That number is much higher than what any other E-C
These apps can do pretty much anything you can think of.
We’ve mentioned some of these already, and third-party apps can make all kinds of magic happen on your store.
They can also allow Shopify to integrate with even more apps. It’s “appception.”
We need to a point out something here.
The vast number of apps offered is one reason why you should really consider Shopify over the competitors.
This is a huge advantage, and it’s one of the main reasons people tend to use Shopify over other options.
Simply put, more apps mean more options.
It means that you can do more with your Shopify store than you can even imagine.
It’s really important to remember this if you’re feeling a little underwhelmed with what Shopify offers “out of the box.”
Remember, there’s an entire world of possibilities waiting for you on the App S
Drop Shipping with Shopify
Drop Shipping is all the rage right now, but how exactly does Shopify help you if you’re in this industry?
For those who don’t know, drop shipping is basically selling other people’s products and earning a commission.
You’re effectively the middle man, and shipping and inventory are both handled by the third party supplier.
Shopify is an ideal choice for anyone who wants to be a Drop Shipper, and it allows a wide variety of options.
You can drop ship pretty much any product you like with Shopify.
Shopify and VAT MOSS
VAT MOSS is short for “VAT Mini One Stop Shop.”
VAT means “Value Added Tax.”
You’ll run into this if you’re trying to sell digital products through the EU.
This is actually a requirement that demands that you pay an extra tax, depending on what country you’re selling to.
Each country in the EU has a different VAT, or Value Added Tax.
The great thing about Shopify is that it calculates the value of this tax automatically.
This just isn’t the case with some of its competitors.
With Shopify, you’ll never have to manually figure out how much tax you owe for each digital product, and so on.
Shopify and Digital Products
Selling digital goods is always a promising business plan, but how do you do this with Shopify?
It’s actually pretty simple, but you’re probably not going to know where to even begin.
You need to download an App called Shopify’s Digital Downloads App.
Most people completely miss this vital step.
This is a totally free app, and it’s very easy to use.
As soon as your customer purchases the digital item, they get given a download code.
That code is also in an email confirmation that they’ll receive.
This all happens automatically, but you can set it up manually if you want as well.
There’s one major limitation you’ll face: download size.
As of right now, your customers will only be able to download files that are 5GB or smaller.
There are third-party apps that let you get around this limitation, but it’s definitely a lot more work.
Reporting with Shopify
It’s time to get excited about reports on Shopify.
Make no mistake, these reports are not only useful, but they’re also very easy to figure out with Shopify.
You’ll get access to a wide range of different reporting options, including:
- Customer Reports – This includes where your customers come from, the
percentageof new vs returning customers, the average amount they spend, and their last order.
- Marketing Reports – This includes all kinds of information about how your customers actually found you in the first place.
- Search Data Reports – This includes what customers searched for the most.
- Finance Reports – This includes things like sales and taxes.
- Abandoned Cart Reports – (Pretty self-explanatory)
Keep in mind, you’ll only get these reports if you’re on plans worth $79 per month or higher.
That’s not to say you won’t get anything if you don’t pay the extra money.
You’ll still get a pretty basic dashboard with only the top of the line stats.
Yes, it’s better than nothing, BUT consider what the competition offers:
Bigcommerce offers pretty extensive stats on ALL its plans, expensive or cheap.
If you want to custom build your own reports, you’ll need to pay for one of the most advanced plans, at $299 per month.
How to Blog With Shopify
Some people underestimate the value of a good blog when it comes to driving sales.
But not you… Right?
Hopefully not, because Shopify offers some of the best blogging services out there.
That’s right, with Shopify you can take advantage of a built-in blogging tool.
Why take advantage of this?
Because the right blogging content can drive search results directly to your store.
But we’re going to make one thing clear – Shopify is no WordPress.
You won’t get any content modifications and Yoast-style SEO plug-ins, or anything of the sort.
You’ll get a pretty basic blog platform with access to tags and categories.
But hey, you’re not trying to create an award-winning blog, right?
You’re just trying to drive traffic to your store.
And with that in mind Shopify’s blogging functions are all you really need.
Hook it up with a commenting tool called Disqus, and you’re good to go.
The real trick is exporting existing blog posts to Shopify.
It’s not very easy.
Shopify strangely recommends simply copying and pasting your blogs straight into their dashboard.
But there’s got to be a quicker, easier way… Right?
Unfortunately, the only way to speed up this slow process of copying and pasting is with API.
“Just use API…”
That’s beginning to sound pretty repetitive…
How Does Shopify Work with Mobile Devices?
Using Shopify on a smartphone honestly couldn’t be easier.
Just download the app!
You can actually download two apps for Shopify on your mobile device:
“Shopify” and “Shopify POS.”
With the Shopify app, you can:
- View and fulfill orders
- Add or edit products
- View reports
- Communicate with team members
With the Shopify POS App, you can easily handle transactions in person.
- Card Payment
- Inventory Tracking
- Text Receipts
In addition, you might want to check out a little app called “Ping.”
This clever little app lets you answer customer queries quickly and share product details.
Interestingly, this is all done over the Facebook Messenger App.
It’s pretty cool, but it’s only available on iOS.
Sorry, Android users.
There’s even more apps to use with Shopify.
Use a logo-creating app to give your business an amazing presence.
Use a special app to design your own business cards.
You can even read up on the latest developments in the business world with an “Entrepreneur Articles” app.
It’s a lot to choose from, but we’ll make it easier for you.
Just download the “Shopify” app, and you’ll probably be good to go.
How AMP Works with Shopify
AMP stands for “Accelerated Mobile Pages.”
As you might have guessed, it’s a Google feature that helps speed up loading times on mobile phones.
It also helps boost SEO. Pretty straightforward.
Sometimes, when a mobile device loads page too slowly, customers say “screw this” and simply exit the window.
You don’t want that to happen, because it means a loss of sales.
AMP integrates seamlessly with Shopify – not only on your blog pages but actual product pages as well.
It’ll boost your sales, plain and simple.
This is a massive advantage of using Shopify.
Not many of Shopify’s competitors use AMP.
But yet again, you’ll only gain access to this feature after downloading a paid app.
It’s a little disappointing that you have to actually pay for this feature, and it’s pretty much mandatory these days.
But at least Shopify actually has AMP support, which isn’t the case with other products.
What Kind of Support Will You Get With Shopify?
Shopify’s support features are some of its main selling points.
Whenever you have a question, simply send an email, give them a call, or send them a text.
Shopify features 24/7 live support through all three of these options.
Can you believe that some of Shopify’s competitors don’t even offer a phone line?
While Shopify’s support stands head and shoulders above the competition, it’s not without its faults.
When you’re talking on the phone to Shopify’s support staff, they might not be able to help you with some of the more technical issues.
If that’s the case, you’re probably better off just posting a question on their support forum.
A real expert will get back to you eventually… maybe the office’s tortoise can call you back…
If they really wanted to up their game, Shopify would offer something like “Geek Squad,” which would help you with serious technical issues over the phone.
Right now, everything just gets funneled to their standard support phone line.
Another weird issue is that support phone numbers are only listed for certain countries.
The only support phone numbers they list are
- North America,
- the United Kingdom,
- Australia, and…
- New Zealand.
Is the phone service even available for other countries?
We’re not even sure.
Lastly, you’ll have to jump through a few hoops before they actually provide you with a contact number.
They have an automated system which asks for your problem, and you have to type in what you’re having trouble with.
Eventually, it’ll spit out a phone number, but not without a few frustrating moments.
Sometimes, we just want to talk to someone.
That being said, all of these issues are actually handled better than with the competition, so Shopify still offers some of the best support on the market.
GDPR Compliance and Shopify
If you’re not aware, recent regulations put in place by the EU mean that if you’re selling stuff online, you have to stay on the right side of their laws.
In fact, you should really consult a lawyer if you want to do the right thing here. Because if you get it wrong, you could face seriously severe penalties.
Keep in mind, you need to be aware of these laws even if you’re not based in the EU.
If you do any business with EU based customers, these regulations will come into effect.
In other words, learning about this stuff is mandatory.
So what are the rules?
Here’s a pretty simple breakdown:
- You need to provide very clear cookie and privacy notifications
- You need to process and store data securely
- You need to get very clear consent from customers before you send them emails
- You need to give your customers an option to opt-in (and out) of non-essential cookies. You also need to store consent.
You don’t have to worry too much about the first three points.
Shopify lets you do this pretty easily.
But it’ll probably cost you time and money before you can create notices and forms that are compliant with GDPR rules.
That last bit is crucial.
Now for the fourth point – providing customers with an option to opt in and out of cookies.
This one is a little harder to set up.
Basically, you’re going to need to set up a cookie banner.
This banner needs to have a couple features:
- The banner needs to let customers choose which banners they want to run before the cookies start running.
- It needs to log their consent
- It must allow them to revoke their consent at any (later) time.
Note that you will risk breaking GDPR laws if you run a Facebook or Google cookie without using a banner like the one described above.
You’ve been warned.
When you boot Shopify up, it will not provide any of the features listed above.
You’ll have to actually take the time to make sure you’re not breaking any laws.
Alternatively, you can rely on a few apps that claim to handle everything for you.
Some are better than others.
On the other hands, you can use cookie scripts to get the job done.
The general consensus is that Shopify is pretty behind on this issue.
They really need to provide these banners and forms out of the box.
It’s an important feature that is sadly missing.
What Does It All Mean?
Don’t worry, we’re getting close to the end of this review.
But the question still remains:
Should you really be using Shopify in 2019?
Honestly, it’s hard to find a better product out there right now.
It’s right up there with the very best, and it’s probably going to be the top option for a lot of people.
Flexibility is where Shopify really shines.
With this one, single product, you can sell products online or physically.
You can drop ship and sell digital products.
You’ll enjoy tons of great features.
In short, you can do pretty much everything with Shopify.
It might not do everything perfectly, but it does a solid job in pretty much every area.
And because Shopify tries so hard to do so many things at once, this is pretty impressive.
Without a doubt, one of the best things about Shopify is the price.
Simply put, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
This is true whether you’re on their cheapest plan or their most expensive.
Even their “Basic” plan comes with Abandoned Cart features – something that other products can’t compete with.
Not only is this product easy to use for even complete newbies, but it looks incredible.
And this is true whether you’re using the free templates or the paid ones.
And if this still isn’t to your liking, then you have countless apps to choose from that’ll improve your overall experience.
Over 600,000 people currently use Shopify.
They can’t all be wrong.
This is a great product that is the first choice for many.
And because of Shopify’s massive success, it probably won’t go bankrupt anytime soon.
You can rely on this product.
Yes, Shopify has some disadvantages.
Things like transaction fees with third party payment gateways are a drag.
Some competitors don’t have any transaction fees whatsoever!
Three options per product is a little limiting as well.
And then we have the problem that we’ve constantly mentioned – to get the most out of Shopify, you almost always have to rely on paid third-party apps.
Professional reporting features should probably be available on the cheaper plans as well.
Of course, the only way you’ll really know if Shopify is right for you is if you actually try it for yourself.
A free two-week trial is a great option that you should really consider.
Advantages and Disadvantages Summarized
Here are the benefits of using Shopify:
- “Lite” plan is incredibly cheap
- Abandoned Cart Features are available on plans “Basic” and above
- Works great with dropshipping
- No transaction fees with Shopify Payments
- Great interface
- Beautiful free templates
- POS features are better than the competition by miles
- Seamless PayPal integration
- Years of reliability
- Tons of useful Third-Party Apps
- Product categories are a breeze
- VAT MOSS is automatically dealt with
- Shopify Buy Button can be placed almost anywhere on the web
- Built-in Blogging features
- AMP features are available
- Great Android and iOS apps
- Free two-week trial
Here are the disadvantages of using Shopify:
- Although you can have 100 product variants, you can only have 3 product options
- Key features are only accessible through paid third-party apps
- Custom options with file uploads and text fields are complicated
- Professional reporting is only available on expensive plans
- Shopify Payments only works in certain countries
- You’ll get hit with transaction fees if you use a payment gateway
- Product images don’t display with the same aspect ratio
- Abandoned Cart features only allow one automated email
- GDPR compliant features should run out of the box
- The cheapest plan doesn’t actually let you create an online store
- Exporting blogs is a drag
- Phone support seems to be limited to only certain countries
What Are My Other Options?
Let’s say that you’re completely against using Shopify, for whatever reason.
What are your other options?
- Squarespace, and…
- Magento Go.
But above all else, Bigcommerce is probably your best bet if Shopify doesn’t appeal.
For about the same price, you get a wide range of features and an easy-to-use product.
Overall, it’s a pretty similar product.
Feel free to try out there free 14-day trial to see which one you like best.
But if you really want to get adventurous, you might want to try out Ecwid.
This product lets you add an online store to any existing website, and it’s pretty solid.
There’s also Squarespace, but their e-commerce functions just don’t stack up to the competition.
Finally, you might consider WordPress.
It’s not a SaaS, so that might be appealing to some.
It’s a completely different approach to online selling, and you would need to do tons of research to figure out how it works.
It’s hard to compare it to Shopify, because it’s kind of like apples and oranges.
At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with Shopify.
Leveraging the High-Income Skill of Local Lead Generation for 6 Figures in 2019
We’ve just had an at-length dialogue about one of the mainstream concepts to making money online with physical products that you can market (and profit from) on the internet – all through your laptop if you really want to.
With all of the considerations mentioned, I still think that I would enjoy having a little more passive income added to my monthly revenue…
That’s what our Local Lead Generation Coaching Program makes available to you!
Instead of buying your web traffic and struggling to figure out paid traffic strategies – which, as we know, can be an advertising cost that eats away at your profit margin –
You can leverage FREE Traffic, through search results, to have lead gen sites producing a monthly, passive income…
While you’re out doing something other than working on – or in – your business.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been looking for an opportunity to escape the corporate 9 to 5 and live life a little more on your terms!
Why would we make a new job for ourselves when we could be free of a job by setting up digital real estate that we can own – and rent – for monthly income…
- It’s less overhead than physical homes or apartment complexes
- Fewer headaches if your renter decides to leave (there’s nothing that you could risk having to repair by vacating one of them)
- Higher Profit Margin
- Reliable Income – your clients are businesses that already have a marketing budget!
Some people could find any business model to be more or less easy — and that’s completely dependent on their respective background when they come into this industry…
That said, our lead gen coaching program makes this information (for most) simple to grasp, but it really is quite simple in nature and that’s what makes it really exciting…
You can set up a lead gen site any time you want to expand your bottom line – until you get to $45k in monthly, passive income (which is where I’m currently at) – then you can hire the workout and truly make this business near 100 percent AutoPilot as it grows!
When you set up lead gen sites, rank them online, and position them for maximum profits, you get to dominate the marketplace – just as you’re seeing in the image below:
It looks simple – and the labor really only took about 6 hours to knock out –
The profit for that little bit of effort (which really only took less than a business day) is in the range of $750.
It’s been so long since I’ve put the deal together, but I still have records of $750 in monthly payments dating back to when I started with the local lead gen business model –
It was back in 2014 when I found this coaching program, and now I’m reaping the rewards by having chosen to take a calculated risk and get started way back when!
Other benefits – in addition to the passive income, since we can all agree that money isn’t everything – stem from the solutions that the extra income can bring, including…
- Home and Auto Repairs for what you currently have – or upgrade to a brand new car when you’re landing 5 to 10 lead gen clients that are also paying you an average of $750 to $2k+ per month
- Enjoy sleeping in – since you don’t have a boss expecting you to fight heavy traffic to be at the office by a certain time; when you own a business, you’re the boss – and when you’re working from a laptop, you could be “at the office” anywhere in the world.
- Want to give yourself that long-needed vacation? When you reach that point in this business model to afford to send yourself on a relaxing getaway, you can take your laptop and check in on your business – but it’s really such a simple process that you really could expand your bottom line while at a resort (if you really wanted to do that, though – there’s no obligation, since there’s no one watching over you and telling you that must do it). Experience freedom from management and enjoy life on your terms.
- The business model has been around since earlier days, when Uber and Airbnb have figured out how to send referrals to service providers that they’ve personally collected through digital platforms (like the internet) – so, you position your lead gen sites, let the free traffic do the heavy lifting for you, and you get checks in the mail regularly.
- High-Profit Margins: since your products come through your lead gen sites, everything you own is virtual and there’s no need to be expected to pay any sort of cost for physical goods sold.
- Do you not like the city that you’re in for work? You can pick a different city to find an opportunity to post a lead gen site within – and you can select any industry that you want to help bring more customers to; I recommended keeping it to local small businesses though.
If it wasn’t for this coaching program, I’d probably still be…
- Elbow deep in the
- Sinking lower and lower into stacks of office papers
- Walking to work in freezing weather in Detroit – wearing the thinnest suit pants that you can possibly imagine.
Instead, I get to write this blog for you so you can enjoy the awesomeness information about what is out there on the world wide web – like Shopify – to make an informed decision on whether the business model is for you (or not).
Oh, and one more thing…
The lead gen site that’s bringing in more limo rental customers for that map listing (that you saw earlier) looks a little something like this…
Simple to put up…
Simple to profit from…
Simple to Repeat…
If you’re ready to fire your boss and live the life you’ve wanted, I’m not really going to push you to contact me but I’ll assure you that there aren’t that many spots left in our coaching program before you’re out of luck.
CLICK HERE to let me know how this can be a great fit for what’s going on in your life, so you, too, can change things for the better.
There are no operators here; it’s just me and I’ve got a packed schedule, so you’ll have to reach out soon before it fills up with appointments from others who are reading this article just like you.
Hope you found the content awesome and informative…
Now CLICK HERE already and let’s get chattin’ about what the local lead generation business model can do for you!