Shopify Review 2024

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Our Verdict

Shopify is an all-in-one ecommerce solution for businesses of all shapes and sizes

Shopify is one of the best ecommerce platforms on the market, and its user-friendly features are perfect for creating and managing your online store without any prior experience.

Choose from over 150+ ecommerce website themes and customize them using the drag-and-drop theme editor. Shopify plans aren’t the cheapest, especially as you scale, but it makes up for this with its extensive ecommerce features and simple setup.

Pros

  • Simple drag-and-drop website builder
  • 8,000+ native and third-party apps
  • Ecommerce-specific tools
  • Useful SEO & marketing features
  • AI-powered assistance and content generation
  • Affordable native payment processing

Cons

  • Poor customer support
  • Expensive paid themes
  • Difficulty processing subscription refunds
  • Limited store design customization

Want to get started with selling online? Our Shopify review found that the popular ecommerce platform has everything a business needs to build, market, and manage an online store.

It’s one of the best ecommerce website builder options on the market because of its simple platform, unlimited product cataloging, and useful ecommerce tools. It’s perfect for selling both physical and digital products in an online Shopify store or in-person retail space with a Shopify POS and comes feature-packed with options to manage all your transactions with Shopify payments, Shopify shipping, and more.

But is Shopify worth it?

In this Shopify review, we’ll give you our thorough Shopify review and look at Shopify’s features, pricing, customer reviews, and more, so you can decide if it’s the right online store platform for you.

What is Shopify?

Tobias Lütke and Scott Lake founded Shopify in 2006 as an all-in-one ecommerce website builder solution that helps businesses of all sizes sell online to customers anywhere in the world.

The cloud-based Shopify platform uses powerful tools and services to make managing your products, inventory, shipping, payments, and marketing under one roof easy. It also offers a range of user-friendly third-party apps in its Shopify app store and features that work with Shopify’s drag-and-drop theme editor to customize your online Shopify store.

Shopify stores provide entrepreneurs in over 175 countries with the building blocks and tools to start, grow, and manage an e-commerce business. Want to learn more? We’ll continue with our Shopify review below and discuss pricing, its key features, and more so you can find out if it’s the best way for you to sell online.

Shopify’s Pricing & Plans

When it comes to Shopify pricing, Shopify store users begin with a 3-day free trial. Once the trial expires, they have to select from the available Shopify plans: Basic, Shopify, Advanced, & Plus.

Shopify Plans Basic Shopify Advanced Plus
Starting Price (annually) $29/month $79/month $299/month $2,300/month
Free Trial
3-day free trial

3-day free trial

3-day free trial

3-day free trial
Free Domain
Storage & Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Drag-and-Drop Interface
API
SSL Certificate
E-Commerce Capabilities

Basic - $29/month annually

The Basic Shopify plan costs $29/month annually. It offers a fully-featured Shopify store builder, unlimited product listings, and inventory tracking in up to 10 locations. It also provides useful marketing features like discount codes, gift cards, and automation.

However, you only get access to basic analytics features and can’t build highly customized apps – which works if you’re just starting out.

Shopify - $79/month annually

The Shopify plan costs $79/month annually. It includes everything in the Basic Shopify plan with better shipping options like an 88% shipping discount (compared to 77% in the Basic plan) and shipping insurance.

This Shopify plan is suitable for ecommerce businesses selling fragile or perishable items. However, you can only sell to up to three international markets. Also, it doesn’t help you calculate local duties and taxes with your Shopify payments.

Advanced - $299/month annually

The Advanced plan includes everything in the Shopify plan and more for $299/month annually. It supports up to 15 staff accounts, custom reports and analytics, and a much higher checkout capacity. The plan is perfect for bigger online stores that deal with large volumes of orders and daily Shopify payments.

Plus - $2,300/month on a 3-year term

The Plus plan caters to enterprises with both physical and online stores. Besides unlimited admin accounts and 20 Shopify POS locations, you get access to exclusive features like B2B selling, additional stores, marketing automation, and data analytics tools. Only go with this Shopify plan if you’re ready for a long-term commitment and process a huge quantity of Shopify payments since it costs $2,300/month for a minimum 3-year term.

Shopify Key Features

Shopify websites are designed to create user-friendly, hassle-free purchase experiences that convert visitors into customers. Like its other features, the Shopify platform has tools and features to make this happen.

Choose from 150+ Ecommerce Shopify ThemesDrag-and-Drop Theme Editor for Unique DesignsCustom Functionalities with Shopify AppsEnhance Your Shopify Store Experience with its Ecommerce ToolsLeverage Shopify Magic to Grow Your Business

Shopify offers over 150+ ecommerce Shopify store themes. You can choose from both free and paid Shopify themes. You only need to pay for paid Shopify themes when publishing, so feel free to test the theme carefully before committing.

It also provides an option to upload your theme, so it’s easier to migrate from other platforms to Shopify.

Shopify has a drag-and-drop theme editor to add, remove, or rearrange content on your site. It uses sections and blocks so new users can easily make a website without much hassle.

Shopify’s AI website builder can customize any theme to your requirements. However, there may be some limitations depending on the theme or section. For example, its free theme, Dawn, only lets you add one heading, paragraph, and button.

Shopify’s app roster allows you to add to the existing theme functionalities and improve user experience by adding admin capabilities and integrating with external tools and services.

You’ll get comprehensive analytics data for your online store since Shopify apps let you integrate all store-related systems and processes, providing a clearer view of operations. For example, you can use the Event Ticketing app to scan tickets sold on your Shopify website.

Shopify is designed for ecommerce businesses and includes ecommerce-specific solutions with all its themes. You can make it easier to navigate your website and find the right products using tools like:

  • Filters make it easier for customers to navigate and find items on the website.
  • Sales channels to link your online store to your social media accounts or websites.
  • Metafields to include specialized information to listings, orders, and customer profiles like product specs, list of ingredients, dimensions, etc.
  • Currency to add location-specific prices so customers can make informed purchase decisions.

You can also create automations using Shopify Flows to streamline certain tasks and actions. For example, if a customer raises a ticket, you can set a condition to alert customer service reps immediately if the ticket is marked urgent.

Shopify Magic is a suite of AI-enabled features that work across its products and workflows. These features are seamlessly integrated into Shopify’s platform and are designed to enhance the various aspects of e-commerce operations.

Through its automatic text generation capabilities, Shopify Magic streamlines content creation when it comes to tasks like product descriptions and email subject lines.

Sidekick, another component of Shopify Magic, acts as a personalized commerce assistant, offering tailored support and guidance to merchants. Additionally, the platform leverages AI for media generation, simplifying tasks like image editing.

To summarize, you can use Shopify Magic to:

  • Create or edit images without professional help. For example, you can remove the background in pictures so your product stands out.
  • Automatically generate content like product descriptions, FAQs, headings, and emails.
  • Predict future customer spending using purchase history and market trends.

What is the Shopify Shop App?

The Shopify Shop App is another Shopify must-have that everyone should pick up from the Shopify app store. But what does the Shopify Shop App do? The Shopify Shop App is a mobile add-on in the Shopify App Store designed to elevate the shopping experience for both customers and merchants.

It enables seamless mobile browsing and shopping, personalized product recommendations, and real-time order tracking, all while offering push notifications for sales and promotions.

With streamlined checkout processes and features like wishlists and store locators, it enhances engagement and boosts retail store sales with Shopify POS systems, making it an invaluable tool for both small businesses and established retail stores looking to thrive in the digital marketplace.

You can add apps in three ways:

  • As app blocks: Drag and drop app functionalities where you want them in the theme. For example, a product ratings function. You can customize them using the theme editor.
  • As app embeds: Add popups and floating elements to themes. For example, the chat bubble at the corner of the page. You can edit them using the theme editor.
  • As custom code: These are for apps that need you to add code directly to the theme to function. You can do this in app settings or using the theme editor.

NOTE: App blocks are only available with Shopify Online Store 2.0 (Shopify’s new website editor). Also, some theme sections may not support app blocks.

Shopify Vs. Other Top Ecommerce Website Builder Platforms

Let’s take a quick look at how Shopify stacks up against the other top website builders in the market today.

Website Builder Starting Price Top 3 Features Free Domain Storage & Bandwidth
Wix Starts at $17/month Wix ADI, Intuitive Editor, Wix App Market 2GB storage & unlimited bandwidth
Square Starts at $29/month Business-specific plans, Email Marketing, Scheduling Unlimited
BigCommerce Starts at $39/month Multi-channel integration, API, B2B & B2C tools Unlimited
GoDaddy Starts at $10.99/month GoDaddy InSight, GoDaddy Studio, Website Security (SSL) 100GB storage & unlimited bandwidth

Shopify – Customer Reviews

To understand Shopify’s pros and cons in the real world and make a balanced and informed Shopify review of our own, we analyzed Shopify reviews from online sellers on the most trusted sites. On Trustpilot, Shopify has a Bad rating of 1.5 out of 5 from some 2,145 reviews—but we’d take this low rating with a grain of salt, as we’ll explain.

Most users are happy with the platform, highlighting the excellent customer support. Shopify’s website builder reviews praise its simplicity, integrated SEO tools, and generative AI features, as well as the simplicity of Shopify payments. However, positive reviews are mostly from long-term users, with 4-5 years minimum on the platform.

Meanwhile, negative reviews raise legitimate concerns about a lack of transparency and delayed refunds. For example, users have stated customer service reps are asking them to pay for features previously available for free.

They’re also frustrated with the AI-powered chatbots, and prefer interacting with human reps to resolve problems faster.

It’s worth noting that some users have left negative reviews about late deliveries, wrong items, etc. However, these reviews are targeting particular Shopify stores hosted on Shopify, not Shopify itself. They contribute heavily to low Shopify ratings on Trustpilot, so read the reviews carefully to evaluate if Shopify is a good place to sell.

Read all customer reviews on Trustpilot.com

How to Use Shopify - A Step-by-Step Guide

There isn't one fixed way to get started with Shopify. But there are important tasks you need to complete. To help you get started, we've listed the steps for setting up your Shopify account (in their recommended order).

  1. Sign up for Shopify

    First, start by creating a Shopify account. You can go with a 3-day free trial or choose a paid plan, starting at $29/month. You’ll need to answer some basic questions about your online business like your experience, location, and operations type.

    <strong>Sign up for Shopify</strong>
  2. Update your business settings

    When Shopify creates your account, it uses default account settings to fill in a few blanks. For example, the default online store name is MyStore. Remember to update these settings before designing your online store because they’re global settings (like online store name, legal name, address, time zone, and default currency) that can impact online store functions.

    <strong>Update your business settings</strong>
  3. Choose your Shopify theme

    Next, comes selecting the right Shopify theme for your online store. Shopify offers both free and paid themes, with the option to preview up to 19 paid themes.

    While selecting your theme, you can also update your domain name. When you start, you’re assigned an automatically-generated myshopify.com domain name. You can update the domain name once for free or purchase a custom domain name.

    <strong>Choose your Shopify theme</strong>
  4. Set up your store

    Now, it’s time to bring your online store to life by adding your products, descriptions, pages, menus, and interlinks. It’s the most time-consuming part of setting up your Shopify store. So we recommend adding and organizing your product catalog before moving on to the rest.

    You can create product collections to organize your products based on customer preferences and product types. Shopify offers an option to add products to your catalog automatically. But this setting can’t be modified later, so be careful to get it right the first time.

    <strong>Set up your store</strong>
  5. Create your email addresses

    Next, set up your communication emails. Shopify has two types of email accounts: store address Shopify email and sender address Shopify email. Each email address serves different purposes:

    • The Store address Shopify email is for communications between you and Shopify.
    • The Sender address Shopify email is for communications between you and your customers.

    Shopify also supports email forwarding so you can direct emails from your Shopify branded domain to a third-party email account.

  6. Choose your online store management settings

    In this step, define your store-related settings before opening your virtual door to customers. It deals with all the boring (but important) bits like inventory settings, payment methods, taxes, etc. You can find these in the Settings menu at the bottom right-hand corner of your Shopify dashboard.

    <strong>Choose your online store management settings</strong>
  7. Test & launch your store

    Test your online store by placing some orders to see how everything is working. Evaluate your checkout process, navigational experience, inventory settings, and Shopify shipping log update. If you’re satisfied with how everything is functioning, hit publish and get ready to start servicing orders from around the world.

    <strong>Test & launch your store</strong>

Techopedia Pro-tip: Download Shopify’s setup checklist

There are a few things to remember while setting up your Shopify site. Don’t forget to download the general checklist to ensure you don’t miss a step.

How We Review and Test Website Builders

To provide our readers with accurate and well-informed recommendations, we test the most popular website builders on the market to find the best options for you. Our methodology consists of the following criteria:

  • Ease of Use: We assess the user interface and overall usability of each website builder to determine how intuitive and beginner-friendly it is.
  • Template Variety and Quality: We evaluate the range and quality of pre-designed templates offered by each website builder, considering factors like aesthetics, customization options, and industry-specific templates.
  • Customization Options: We examine the level of customization available within each website builder, including the ability to modify layouts, fonts, and colors, and add custom CSS or HTML code.
  • Mobile Responsiveness: We test the responsiveness of websites created with each builder to ensure they display correctly and function smoothly on various devices, including smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
  • Speed and Performance: We measure the load speed and performance of websites built with each website builder, considering factors such as page load times, image optimization, and caching options.
  • SEO Features: We analyze the built-in SEO tools and features offered by each website builder, including meta tags, sitemaps, URL structures, and integration with analytics platforms.
  • E-commerce Functionality: We evaluate the e-commerce capabilities of each website builder, assessing features such as product listings, inventory management, payment gateways, and order processing.
  • Integrations: We look at the integration capabilities of each website builder, including compatibility with third-party tools and platforms such as email marketing software, CRM systems, and social media networks.
  • Customer Support: We test the responsiveness and availability of customer support offered by each website builder, considering factors such as available support channels, response times, and user satisfaction ratings.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: We evaluate the scalability and flexibility of each website builder, considering factors such as the ability to add new pages, features, and functionality as the website grows and evolves.
  • Security Features: We review the security features of each website builder, including SSL encryption, malware scanning, and regular security updates, to ensure the protection of user data and website integrity.
  • Analytics and Reporting: We examine the analytics and reporting capabilities of each website builder, including the availability of built-in analytics tools, integration with external analytics platforms, and reporting options for tracking website performance and visitor behavior.

How to Choose the Best Website Builder

Here are a few things to consider while choosing a website builder:

Evaluate Your Specific NeedsEase of UseKey FeaturesBudget & Value for MoneyDesign Options & CustomizabilityCustomer Support

Is your website for driving inquiries or sales? Do you sell physical products or services? Begin by drilling down on why you’re building an online website before diving into the different website builders.

Designing and maintaining a website isn’t easy, especially if you’re new. Find a solution that simplifies website building with drag-and-drop editors, block-based website building, and an extensive help center to find answers to any queries.

There are vital features every website requires, like hosting, domain name, website editor, and basic SEO tools. Depending on the type of online business, you’ll also need a few extra capabilities. Check the website builder’s feature list to see if it offers these capabilities.

Website builders offering specialized solutions like ecommerce or community-based websites are more expensive. Set a budget based on required and optional features, and use that to help you narrow down the list of website builders.

Your website should reflect your brand and voice. Use the free trial to set up a dummy website and see if the website builder offers all the design and customization options you need to provide the right customer experience.

The right support makes it easier to manage your website. Ensure the platform offers extensive customer support options, including chat, email, and phone support.

Our Other Website Builder Guides

Want to know how Shopify compares to other website builders? Check out some of our other in-depth website builder guides below:

Shopify FAQs

What is Shopify used for?

Is Shopify good for small businesses?

How much does Shopify cost?

What are the disadvantages of Shopify?

Is Shopify legit?

Kevin Cyriac Tom
Tech Expert
Kevin Cyriac Tom
Tech Expert

Kevin is a seasoned B2B SaaS writer with a passion for crafting engaging BoFU articles, including in-depth product reviews and solution-oriented pieces. His fascination with writing began after he won a second grade creative writing competition, sparking a lifelong love for the power of words. Kevin initially pursued a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the prestigious VIT University in India. But his trajectory took an unexpected turn after a digital marketing internship reignited his love for writing, prompting Kevin to pivot towards content creation instead. Kevin joined multiple B2B SaaS startups as their primary content writer, honing his writing and…