Setup Your Online Store in 26 Seconds with Shopify, No Kidding
Internet is the fastest and cheapest way to reach out to customers for your product, people go online to find anything they want to find a way to buy it, for example if you want a rice cooker you may read some rice cooker reviews to find the perfect for you and purchase it. Recetly, my friend from Scarlet SEO referred me to online store setting up solution called Shopify. And I am really impressed that I was able to setup and everything was up and running in seconds, 26 to be precise.
Note: I am very much used to WooCommerce and hence this review has few comparisons with it.
So, let’s dive into Shopify review. Starting with benefits followed by disadvantages.
1. Instant Setup
[sws_pullquote_right]No step by step procedure or tutorial required. [/sws_pullquote_right] Just signup on their site and within seconds your store is up and ready for products to be fed. Initially, store is setup on a free subdomain provided by Shopify. Just like a Blogspot.com blog which are ready just after you create account.
2. All in one Dedicated Solution
Out of the box, it is ready to start selling products online. Being a dedicated solution only for eCommerce, everything customer require is considered and solutions are for the same are given handy.
3. Less Technical Know-How
It is a turnkey solutio to build online store. Hardly any playing with codes or File uploading is involved. Store is completely build and ready to use as is. If you are used to WordPress, backend interface is very similar to it.
4. App Store
Just like we have App store on Android and iPhone, Shopify too has an app store from where apps can be installed. Apps are for enhancing any inbuilt feature (like SEO control) or bring altogether new functionaliy (Email Marketing). If you are aware of WooCommerce, it is like adding new Extension.
5. No worry of Downtime/ Server Management
Store is hosted on Shopify servers itself who are in charge of managing server setup for you. In fact, you don’t even have to think about any web hosting stuff. So even downtime worries are not your headache.
6. No Payment Gateway Worries
Shopify provides such a smooth integration of Payment gateways that no web developer is required to set it up. Just enter the credentials of the payment gateway you want to use and it is setup. For India, PayU, DirecPay and Citrus are given while there are many other popular internation gateways too for accepting Credit Cards and more.
7. Inbuilt Shipping Integration
Just like Payment Gateway inclusion, Shopify has drop-shipping services integration which makes even the international a breeze.
8. Support – Instant, Chat and all under one head
Using Turnkey solutions has this benefit of getting support from one place. Whether a plugin issue, theme or setup or whatever, you get answers from one place. Shopify guys were really quick in response. Also, I saw some reviews on Apps where quick issue resolving was appreciated.
This is really a big issue in case you are using a store setup of your own. Then, you have to drop email and wait or just rely on forum members with a hope that they will come to rescue.
Disadvantages[sws_pullquote_right]No solution is perfect. It is just that we have set our priorities before choosing. [/sws_pullquote_right] Even Shopify has some downsides and they are as follows:
1. New and Weird File format: .liquid
I am not a developer but used to PHP codes and easily make minor tweaks myself. However, in case of Shopify, files are in .liquid format which is different and difficult (at least for me) compared to PHP.
2. Expensive for Starters
Starter plan is expensive considering the features you get. It is nearly impossible to continue with the starter plan but slight upgrade will at least give essential features. I cannot compare it with BigCommerce because they do not have India Specific plans but considering Zepo, rates are quite competitive.
Anyhow, if you don’t want to have headache of managing server, developer at hand and payment stuff on your own, pricing is pretty reasonable. Fpirst thing is first though. Find a good market research company to conduct your product pre-launch strategy.
3. App Settings aren’t inhouse
This was something new and weird for me. Any app you install cannot be configured from your site itself. In fact, no files are downloaded or uploaded to your site setup. Hence, for configuring them, separate signup on app’s website has to be done and managed from there itself.
This is still a benefit because, 3rd party developed apps cannot really mess up everything. They just get specific permissions to play with.
4. Not Complete Control over Data
This is a downside of any turnkey solution where product is ready for immediate use as is. When your inputs aren’t required much and everything managed by them, feeling of dependacy comes. Obviously I am comparing with WordPress WooCommerce store where files, product, themes are hosted on own server.
But again, you are trading worries for control. An independant or startup with less workforce will appreciate such readymade solutions. It helps them to focus on services and customer relations instead of technicl management.
Shopify is an easy-to-use eCommerce solution. If you are looking for an instant headstart to come up with online store and do not want to deal with any tension, Shopify is for you. I can recommend WooCommerce for same thing but then one has to take care of everything on their own. BigCommerce or Zepo (in India) could be close competitor of tuenkey online ecommerce solution. Let me know your views if you have already used any and share your experiences by commenting below.