Shopify Review: All You Need To Know

Shopify Review: All You Need To Know

There are several other platforms such as Square Online and Wix where you can sell your products, so why Shopify?

With so many options available, it's a great idea to know which works best for you. So this article offers you a comprehensive review of Shopify, its features, pricing, pros, and cons, among others to help you make a well-informed decision.

First off, what is Shopify?

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a CMS platform that allows you to design and operate an e-commerce website yourself without learning to code. Why some other CMS (Content Management System) platforms like Wix and WordPress can be used for just about any website, Shopify is specially tailored to e-commerce. So it offers virtually every tool you need to sell online.

How does Shopify work?

Shopify is one of the best and most popular options for processing digital and physical sales online. With several integrations, free and premium themes, payment processing tools, and a friendly interface, Shopify is something to consider if you want to give your customers a smooth shopping experience.

Additionally, Shopify runs on its servers so you wouldn't need to purchase a separate web hosting service after designing your website.

When you start creating your website on Shopify, the system provides everything -- templates, payment processors, blog, discount codes, email marketing tools, etc. -- so you wouldn't need to create or program anything yourself. All you do is drag, drop, edit, and voila! Your online store will be set with all the point of sale and online features you need to sell products and manage your business.

You can also customize your store so it has a look bespoke to your business rather than Shopify. When you finish creating, no one would notice that your website is hosted on Shopify.

Shopify plans and pricing

When it comes to pricing, Shopify doesn't come cheap. There are five different plans each with its pricing:

  • ·Shopify Lite - $9/month

  • Basic Shopify - $29/month

  • Shopify - $79/month

  • Advanced Shopify - $299/month

  • Shopify Plus - Custom pricing

Shopify Lite - $9/month

Each plan comes with different offers and levels of functionality, but do not fall into a trap by choosing the Lite plan. If what you want is an e-commerce website, an actual standalone storefront, Shopify Lite isn't for you.

With this plan, what you get is a form of a Facebook store where you sell and manage inventory. You can also use the Shopify Lite plan to add Buy buttons to an existing website and add payment options so people can buy directly from the website.

Obviously, it's ideal for people who already have a website and just need a way to be able to sell on it without operating an entire storefront. It's more or less like the PayPal Buy Now button.

Basic Shopify - $29/month

This plan allows you to sell on a hosted Shopify website, social media, or an existing website. You get:

  • Unlimited products

  • Storage

  • Monthly data transfer

  • Round-the-clock support

  • SSL certificate

  • Two staff accounts, and

  • A blog to engage your audience.

Shopify - $79/month

The Shopify plan has everything the basic plan offers, plus five staff accounts, international pricing, abandoned cart recovery and reporting.

Advanced Shopify - $299/month

The Advanced Shopify plan includes 16 staff accounts, an automatic shipping rate calculator, and an advanced report builder.

Shopify Plus - Custom pricing

Shopify Plus is for enterprise owners who require custom features that attract custom pricing.

Note: These are only starting prices for the plans. You would have to pay additional fees to make the most of Shopify, such as its POS feature.

In summary, avoid choosing a Shopify plan based on its price. Ensure it has all the features you need to run your e-commerce store efficiently.

Notable features

Shopify payments

When you add a payment merchant to your online store, you'd typically need to pay transaction fees when consumers make purchases on your website. But the good news is that with Shopify Payments, Shopify handles your payment gateways so you don't need to do it yourself or bother with transaction fees. Manual payments such as bank deposits and checks will also not require these fees.

However, you'd pay if you're not leveraging Shopify Payments or manual payment methods.

Shopify themes

Shopify offers 10- free themes (or templates) to design your online store. Each template comes with variants, giving you even more options to choose from.

However, the total number of themes on Shopify is less than what its competitors -- such as Wix -- offer. Notwithstanding, they're attractive and responsive, and they adjust to the screen size of any device seamlessly.

The premium templates will prove worthwhile if you can't find something appealing among the free ones. Their prices range from $150 to $350.

Ease of use

The tidy, under-packed intuitive interface makes Shopify pretty easy to understand and use. It offers a satisfactory user experience for both you and your customers.

As with most CMSs, Shopify has a menu on the left that allows you to view content or features that you can edit.

On the interface, you can also set up and manage your sales channels, including:

  • An online store (which is your main website)

  • Facebook

  • Facebook Messenger

  • Instagram

  • Buy Button

  • Wholesale (to sell in bulk B2B, available only on Shopify Plus)

Content management

Creating pages and content on Shopify is pretty straightforward. The downside is that most of the themes only give you a "what you see is what you get" editor, which is not as flexible as some of Shopify's competitors. However, the new Online Store 2.0 themes solve that challenge.

Product images

When you upload product images of different aspect ratios on Shopify, they don't get automatically cropped to a standard size. This size inconsistency can negatively impact the look of your storefront.

To counter this, crop the images to a uniform aspect ratio before posting.

Shopify Point of Sale

One noteworthy feature of Shopify that makes it stand out among its competitors is the Point of Sale (POS) functionality.

The POS feature allows you to sell not only online but in-store using barcode scanners and receipt printers. However, you have to pay for the Shopify POS Pro add-on to leverage this feature.

Importing / exporting content

Shopify allows you to migrate product data across different locations, such as between your store and other e-commerce websites. You do this through a CSV file. As for text-based data, you can simply copy/paste or use Shopify API.

Automated product categories

Generic CMS platforms don't always come with the product category feature being that it is particularly associated with e-commerce. Shopify does. It allows you to add products automatically to a collection by setting rules (such as related titles, tags, etc.). This helps the AI to determine where each product you upload ends up.

Some notable e-commerce businesses powered by Shopify


  • Seamless integrations

  • Shopify integrates with other payment channels in addition to Shopify Payments

  • The abandoned cart feature notifies you of customers who went halfway in the buying process. This can help you engage and incite them into completing the purchase

  • Excellent for dropshipping

  • Very easy to use

  • Highly responsive

  • 1-click selling apps available

  • Unlimited products, storage, and monthly data transfer

  • Free themes

  • 14 days free trial

  • Pay no transaction fees with Shopify Payments


  • Can only drop a simple contact form into pages

  • All plans besides Shopify Plus do not display prices in multiple currencies (users have to select their country to view price in that currency)

  • Multi-currency payment doesn't work with Shopify "Buy Buttons"

  • Poor in SEO and content marketing

  • Non-customizable checkout system

  • Add-ons are pricey

  • Doesn't come with as many themes as its competitors


Shopify is a go-to CMS platform for non-tech-savvy business owners looking to create and operate an online store without stress. If you don't want to deal with the technical aspect of running an online store, Shopify is for you.

However, if you're a startup that prioritizes SEO, Shopify alone wouldn't be enough. That's because research shows that Shopify scores poorly when it comes to SEO. You'd therefore need other marketing strategies such as PPC, and that can impact a squeeze on your limited budget.

Sean Kerr

Sean Kerr