Since I have been supporting Internet users who are looking to get started in e-commerce, I have been asked if this or that solution is suitable for creating an e-commerce site… Indeed, there are many different solutions such as Shopify , Wizishop , Prestashop or Magento.
These different solutions all have advantages and disadvantages. From this observation, I can assure you that depending on your personal situation, the solution you will have to choose will not be that of your neighbour/friend. So, I decided to share my experience of e-commerce solutions by giving you my opinion .
I propose in this article to give you my opinion on Shopify , a Canadian e-commerce software used by tens of thousands of e-merchants around the world.
Shopify Reviews – everything you need to know in 2min
You have your pony lesson starting in a few minutes and you don’t have time to read the sandwich I wrote to give you my opinion on Shopify ? No problemo, I offer you a summary of this opinion, which will allow you to quickly know if this solution is best suited to your needs. Follow the leader !
If you need to create a site to quickly present your business and the services it offers, go your way, Shopify is not the most suitable solution for creating a showcase site. Similarly, if you already have an e-commerce site that generates several hundred sales per month, the fact that Shopify takes a percentage of the turnover makes it a bad deal.
So when should you choose Shopify ?
If your ambition is to get into e-commerce, you don’t have a lot of means and you’re not sure if Internet users will appreciate your products, Shopify can be a good solution.
If you want to do classic e-commerce
If you want to do classic e-commerce, that is to say by buying a stock of products and reselling it on your site, Shopify is a solution that may be of interest to you. Indeed, Shopify is perfect for beginners in e-commerce because it allows, for a few hundred euros per year (the cost of the subscription) to test you in e-commerce.
Indeed, by taking out a subscription on Shopify, you can create a store quite easily by choosing a theme that corresponds to your activity. It is therefore a good solution to start in e-commerce.
It should be noted that however it prefers its French competitor, Wizishop , which offers the advantage of being 100% in French (which is not the case for Shopify) and has a dedicated 100% French after-sales service.
Simply put, Shopify and Wizishop both offer the ability to create a professional-looking store without technical skills. Except that there is one who is French (with all the advantages that entails in terms of data protection, legislation, etc.) and one who is English-speaking Canadian.
If you want to dropship
Have you heard of dropshipping and want to get started? That’s good because Shopify is currently the best known solution for creating a dropshipping site .
However, as for e-commerce, I prefer the French solution Dropizi which offers the same service but which has the advantage of offering you after-sales service in French (if necessary) and which also offers you 10 training modules to support you in getting started with your store and help you implement a truly successful e-commerce strategy.
So, if you want to get into dropshipping , I would advise you to go through Dropizi rather than Shopify.
When should you leave Shopify?
To put it simply, these SAAS solutions are very interesting to get started. Indeed, they allow you to open a store without knowledge while investing monthly via a subscription (so you do not have to pay the several thousand euros necessary to create an e-commerce site with Prestashop or Magento for example).
However, in the long term, it will be interesting to change Shopify (or the SAAS solution you have chosen) to go to the open source solutions that are Prestashop and Magento. Indeed, once you have generated several hundreds/thousands of euros in turnover per month, it will be interesting to invest in the creation of a shop 100% in your image and of which you will be the sole owner.
Complete overview of Shopify – test & feedback
Originally, Shopify was created by Tobias Lütke and associates in 2006 to run their Snowdevil store. The success was such that the store was abandoned and the company focused solely on Shopify.
The CMS mantra is simplicity and speed. This formula has already won over more than a million merchant sites in 175 countries. Among these, big names like the New York Times store, Redbull shop or Kylie Cosmetics.
All of these customers helped Shopify achieve estimated sales of US$200 billion in 2021.
Shopify templates, both beautiful, modern and at the forefront of modernity
Shopify offers you 13 free templates and 73 paid templates, which range in price from $150 to $10,000. All are responsive, sleek, and modern — including the free ones. They are grouped into 11 sectors, ranging from art to fashion to IT.
Another positive point of Shopify: you can sort the templates on unexpected elements such as the size of the catalog of your future store or its design style (unique or classic).
And if you are not seduced by one of the templates offered by the editor, you can find others on specialized template creators, such as ThemeForest and TemplateMonster. Currently, they offer 1,393 and 1,438 themes respectively on their respective websites.
If, despite all this, no model manages to make an impression on your mind, you have one last solution: create your own. Indeed, Shopify gives you access to the HTML and CSS codes of its templates. All you need is some knowledge of web programming to completely change their appearance.
On the other hand, you do not have access to the source codes of the shopping cart and check-out pages, so choose your starting theme carefully.
Shopify’s powerful yet easy-to-learn editor
Pretty much Shopify’s editor can be called perfect. It is extremely easy to handle, even by a beginner. Almost all editing is done with a drag-and-drop system, plus editing in WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) mode.
As soon as you register, the publisher makes your life as easy as possible by asking you questions about your future site: what will be its field of activity? How many products? etc After which, Shopify offers you the most suitable template. All you have to do is replace the images, along with the colors and fonts, and your site is ready.
Aesthetes will be able to indulge in the creation of their customized site via an intuitive and pleasant interface. If you are a coding expert, the source codes of the pages are waiting for you.
Shopify has also thought of all those with a site on another CMS and wishing to embark on e-commerce. You can either migrate your site to the Canadian CMS – the procedure only requires a few clicks – or add Shopify’s e-commerce functions to your current site. On the other hand, the last option is only compatible with Weebly , Wix , Squarespace and WordPress.
Once your site is created, you will see the editor interface. It is divided into 10 tabs:
- Home: this is where you can customize your template;
- Orders: you will find everything related to the orders of your site;
- Clients ;
- Data analysis;
- Marketing ;
- Distribution channels: in this tab, you can configure the sale of your products on different channels such as Facebook, Instagram or your website;
The App Store with 7,008 Shopify apps
The application store has no less than 7,008 applications available. You will find plugins on absolutely all areas: transport, payment, adding languages, etc.
Some of them being made by recognized companies such as DHL, Colissimo and Pinterest, they are of excellent quality.
On the other hand, these extensions have a significant price, sometimes approaching $100 per month. Unfortunately, this will be the price for having an online store with all the features you need.
An (almost) perfect SEO
Once your beautiful online store is on the web, you now need to appear on search engines. And again, Shopify gives you a plethora of options:
- high-performance image compression algorithms that degrade the image very little;
- advice on natural referencing;
- a blog space integrated into your site to feed your site with SEO content;
- lightweight web pages in AMP format;
- the possibility of modifying the titles and the meta-description of your pages;
- modifying the “ALT” tags of your images;
- a free SSL certificate for your store.
As a bonus, know that Google and Shopify signed an agreement in 2021 on the Google Marketplace and Google Shopping. With this agreement, your products will display directly on Google services, such as YouTube or Google Lens.
The only negative point of Shopify are its URLs, some sub-parts of which are in English. And for good reason ! It is partly through URLs that search engines evaluate the content of the page.
Advanced web marketing options
On the marketing side, Shopify does not have to be ashamed of competing CMS (such as Squarespace or Oxatis for example), or even certain CRMs. Among the features of the Canadian editor, we find:
- a dashboard, which shows you in real time your total sales, your number of visitors, orders and especially recurring customers. Enough to set up a loyalty program;
- the establishment of a loyalty program. On the other hand, for this option, you will have to use one of the third-party applications present on the App store of Shopify;
- automation of your campaigns on Google Ads;
- a (free) email marketing tool;
- the possibility of declining your site in 20 languages. Again, you will have to use a plugin;
- support for Facebook and Instagram as sales channels.
In sum then, Shopify is an excellent CMS when it comes to marketing. Its only downside is the obligation to use third-party – and expensive – applications for sometimes simple things.
Is it possible to create a blog with Shopify?
The answer is yes, but Shopify is clearly not suitable.
The CMS does have a blog module, but you won’t find all the advanced features expected of a blog. To create a blog, there are many much more interesting alternatives both in terms of features and prices.
For example, to start a blog easily and without having to master anything technical, the Wix solution is a good alternative. And once your blog has started to catch on, you can then migrate to WordPress or a custom-built solution.
Is it possible to create a showcase site?
Here too, the answer is yes. But as before, the Canadian CMS is not the best option.
Not only will it cost you more than the competition, but you won’t have all the options of a showcase site. Again, Wix or its French competitor SiteW are good alternatives for creating a site that will present the specifics of your business.
Is it possible to create an e-commerce site or do dropshipping with Shopify?
Yes, with a capital O.
Selling online is Shopify’s hunting ground par excellence. Among its strengths are the following functions:
- easy dropshipping management with Oberlo;
- management of up to 100 variations of the same product, the site even going so far as to generate them for you;
- recovery of abandoned carts;
- defining your own stock keeping unit;
- support for 30 bank payment methods in France – including Stripe, Adyen and Skrill –, PayPal, Amazon Pay or more surprisingly, BitPay (to receive payments in Bitcoins).
- Management of payments in several installments, up to 10;
- The encryption of transactions by an SSL certificate;
- support for discount codes and different discount methods (fixed amount, percentage of the order or free shipping);
- payment of “gift vouchers”;
- advanced delivery management, even allowing you to define the means of delivery by country or by carrier (only FedEx and UPS are natively supported. However, you can integrate Colissimo, Amazon, SendCloud and DHL via their respective plugins);
- the management of the VAT and the choice to choose between displaying the prices including VAT or excluding VAT.
It’s impossible for us to list all of Shopify’s e-commerce options, there are so many of them.
Impeccable customer service
Shopify’s customer service is not bad. Available 7/7 and 24/24, it is available in 5 channels:
- online chat, available only in English;
- the company’s Twitter page, Shopify Support, also only in the language of Shakespeare;
- an e-mail, the latter being usable in French;
- a rich and detailed knowledge base in French;
- the official Shopify forum.
How much does Shopify cost?
To begin with, Shopify does not offer a free version, but a 14-day trial version. Once this trial is complete, you will have to choose between one of the following three packages:
- the “Basic” package at $29 per month: it includes an online store, a blog, two employee accounts, four inventory locations, an SSL certificate, but no domain name – if you want a domain name “. fr”, you will have to buy it from another supplier – an unlimited number of products;
- the “Shopify” package at $79 per month: it entitles you to five inventory locations, five employee accounts and marketing reports;
- the “Advanced” package at €299/month: it allows price management by country and region, access to eight stock locations, advanced reports and an estimate of customs duties and import taxes.
In addition to these tariffs, you must also take into account the hidden costs. First, Shopify will charge 2%, 1% or 0.5% on your transactions for the “Basic”, “Shopify” and “Advanced” plans respectively.
Then, you will also need to add the price of the extensions – count $17.50 just to add a language to your site – to the final price. All of this can drive up your bill at breakneck speed.
Pros & Cons of Shopify
Shopify is a complete CMS for sites of any size that want to start selling online. Its sober and intuitive interface makes it a CMS of choice for beginners. Seasoned webmasters are not left out, as they can have a field day when it comes to editing HTML and CSS files.
To recap, here are the strengths and weaknesses of Shopify.
The positives of Shopify
- Easy to grip;
- Translate in French ;
- Competent after-sales service available 7/7… But in English! ;
- A catalog of online sales function rarely equaled;
- Support for multiple languages and currencies.
The negative points
- Chat available only in English;
- Transaction fees are high and Shopify Payments (which is free) is not yet available in France;
- High direct and indirect costs;
- Unable to customize HTML and CSS codes for all pages.