Although there are many ecommerce platforms, Shopify is one of the most popular ones.
In fact, according to current ecommerce data from Statista, Shopify is the fourth most used ecommerce software platform, commanding a sizeable 10% of the market share, as illustrated below:
There’s a good reason why 10% of the ecommerce market loves and uses Shopify and why we often recommend using it: it’s one of the easiest-to-use ecommerce platforms.
Shopify is also scalable to suit any ecommerce business of any size and has a wide selection of apps and services that can help you customize different aspects of your ecommerce store.
However, even though Shopify is great, like most things in this world, it has advantages and disadvantages you should review if you’re considering using it as your ecommerce solution.
This article aims to give you an overview of the main Shopify pros and cons.
Hopefully, knowing some of Shopify’s primary advantages and disadvantages will make it easier to decide if Shopify is the right choice for your ecommerce business.
Let’s jump right in, shall we?
Shopify Pros and Cons: An Overview
If you’re looking for a quick overview of Shopify’s pros and cons, here is a handy table that summarizes them:
|Shopify has one of the best trial deals on the market: a 3-day free trial, then $1/month for the first three months.||The blogging interface has limited capabilities and features compared to a content management system like WordPress.|
|You can sell most things and run multiple Shopify stores.||Transaction and credit card fees.|
|Shopify supports a variety of payment processing systems.||Recurrent monthly subscription plans.|
|A powerful and integrated point-of-sale system.||Shopify apps can be expensive.|
|In-built marketing and advertising tools.|
|The interface is straightforward to use.|
|A full deck of features.|
|A fair amount of fulfillment and product-sourcing integrations.|
|One of the best App stores.|
|Simple design tools and beautiful themes.|
|Plenty of free business tools.|
|A world-class customer support system.|
From this list of pros and cons, you can tell that Shopify has much more going for it than against it, which is why we often recommend it.
Fundamentally, Shopify is an excellent choice if you’re looking for the following:
- A fast and easy ecommerce platform.
- A secure and reliable platform.
- Dropshipping integrations with platforms like Spocket, AliExpress, and various others.
- A safe and reliable ecommerce platform.
- If you want free online marketing tips, resources, and various other business tools like a CPM calculator, barcode generator, discount, or profit margin calculator.
If you’re unsure of which ecommerce platform to pick, take our quiz here to get a personalized recommendation based on your needs:
Let’s now focus on each Shopify advantage and disadvantage in more depth:
A spotlight on Shopify’s pros
As mentioned earlier, Shopify is one of the most used and popular ecommerce solutions.
Here is a deeper look at all the many reasons why people love Shopify:
1. An unbeatable trial offer
The true hallmark of a good ecommerce is that it should allow you to try out its features for a specified period so you can decide if you want to commit to it.
Shopify has one of the best trial offers of any ecommerce platform: you can try it for free for three days, then pay $1/month for the first three months. How great is that?
To give you some perspective, a cup of coffee costs an average of $4.90 at most coffee brand outlets. So, for only $3, which is not even the price of one cup of coffee, you can try out Shopify for three months.
Moreover, once the trial period ends, you have a variety of Shopify plans, including the starter plan at $5, which is $0.10 above a cup of coffee. It sounds like a steal, right?
2. You can sell most things and run multiple Shopify stores
Except for products prohibited by Shopify’s Acceptable Use Policy, like copyright or trademark-infringing products and anything promoting self-harm, you can sell most things on Shopify.
For example, as long as you’re not selling restricted products, you can run multiple Shopify stores selling things like:
- Gift cards.
- Digital products.
- Physical products.
- Online classes.
- Bundled products.
- And much more.
Shopify Markets Pro has a more detailed list of prohibited and restricted products, but here is a screenshot of generally restricted items on Shopify AUP Definitions:
3. Shopify supports a variety of payment processing systems
Shopify supports various payment processors, including Shopify Payments and third-party payment gateways and systems.
This integration makes transactions easy to process, making it nearly effortless to set up an ecommerce store that sells to and accepts payments from global customers.
Here are some other payment gateways supported by Shopify:
- Amazon pay.
- Coinbase commerce.
- And many more payment gateways.
4. A capable and integrated point-of-sale system
Shopify also has a powerful and integrated point-of-sale system with features that make it great for multi-channel merchants who sell online and in person.
Shopify’s point of sale (POS) system integrates your inventory, customer database, and orders.
5. In-built marketing and advertising tools
Whether you want audience targeting, campaign, insight, or relationship-building tools, Shopify has them all.
With the various marketing tools available on Shopify, you can do things like:
- For audience targeting and building, you can use the blog feature and customer segmentation to find, nurture, and convert your target audience into brand loyalists.
- For campaigns, you can use Facebook Ads, Google Performance Max, and email marketing to promote your products. The marketing dashboard has well-laid-out reports that can help you make wise marketing decisions:
- For relationship-building, you can create long-lasting relationships with your customers using automated processors, customer groups, and personalized messages.
6. The interface is easy to use, so is getting started
One of the best things about Shopify is that the getting started process is so easy that, with an hour or two of deep work, you can have an ecommerce store up and running.
For example, once you sign up for Shopify’s trial offer, you can install the free Dawn theme, then drag and drop sections and blocks to create a look that feels spot-on for your target audience without tinkering with your code. Simple, right?
7. A full deck of features
Creating discount codes, arranging to ship, and managing your inventory are all easy to add with Shopify’s default features, which is not something we can say of some ecommerce platforms.
8. A fair amount of product-sourcing and order fulfillment integrations
One of the things we love about Shopify is how easily it integrates with product-sourcing and dropshipping supplier platforms like AliExpress, Spocket, Syncee, and the many others covered in our list of 15 best dropshipping suppliers for Shopify stores.
Here is something shell-shocking that will show why we are so passionate about putting the ‘gurus’ out of business.
Once you sign-up for a Shopify 3-day free trial, you can easily connect it to a dropshipping app like DSers.
After that, you can find products at dropshipping prices, add them to your import list, then your store, run paid Facebook or Instagram ads, and start generating sales.
Yes, we have oversimplified the process, and a lot more goes into running a successful ecommerce store, even on Shopify. But the point was to show you that Shopify has out-of-this-world product-sourcing integrations that will get you started fast.
Moreover, with Shopify Fulfillment Network, it is easy to fulfill products. All you have to do is send your products to Shopify’s fulfillment center or have your suppliers send labeled packages and products to the fulfillment center.
When orders come from your store, Shopify accepts them, fulfills, and ships them to your customers.
9. Unrivaled growth and longevity
Since its creation in 2006 until now, Shopify has grown—to a $51.47 billion valuation—and is still growing.
Because of its unrivaled growth and because it’s a publicly-traded company, the platform has some longevity baked into it—we’d be willing to bet that Shopify will still be an innovative market leader ten years from now.
10. Shopify has one of the most robust App stores
Shopify’s built-in app store has over 2,000 apps that add numerous functionalities, from customer service to email marketing.
Shopify apps can help you streamline various elements of your ecommerce store, including shipping and delivery, accounting, customer service, online reviewing, product sourcing, and so much more.
The kind of added functionality offered by these apps is unrivaled.
11. Simple design tools and beautiful themes
An eye-catching, responsive, and customer-friendly theme is one of the prerequisites to success on Shopify. Fortunately, Shopify has many themes of different designs that suit different businesses.
When browsing through the Shopify themes, you can filter by:
- Catalog size
12. Free business tools and learning resources
Whether you want a logo maker, slogan, business name generator, pay stub generator, CPM calculator, barcode generator, discount, or profit margin calculator, Shopify has a robust suite of business tools you can use at will.
The icing on the cake is that when you start using Shopify, you will receive a notification when the platform releases new tools.
On the other hand, Shopify Learn offers free webinars, tutorials, and online courses that can make all the difference in your education as an ecommerce business owner.
13. A world-class customer support system
Let’s do a little experiment together, shall we?
Head over to Google—or whatever search engine you prefer—and type in the following keyword string ‘how good is Shopify’s customer support system?’
Your first result will probably be the following featured snippet from ManyPixels:
Further down, you will see that Shopify’s customer support has a Glassdoor rating of 3.8 stars from over 2k reviews:
In a world full of ecommerce platforms that offer mediocre customer support, Shopify has a support system that’s a cut above the rest. You can seek support from:
- The help center
- Community forums
- Contacting customer support
The help center has easy navigation categories: start, sell, manage, market, and expand. You can look at specific articles, videos, and topics depending on the help you need.
You can communicate with the customer support team 24/7 via social media or live chat.
Shopify cons: what are the disadvantages of Shopify?
Okay, as you can see, Shopify has tons of advantages. However, like most things, it also has some downsides you should know:
1. Transaction and credit card fees
Shopify has various memberships, each with a defined fee structure, as detailed in our How Do I Get Paid on Shopify? (& Do They Take a Percentage?) guide.
Although there may be other fringe fees, like payment processing fees, the most important fees you should know are the revenue-related ones below:
Here’s how much Shopify takes from your revenue:
|Shopify Lite||$9 per month||2.9% + $0.30|
|Basic Shopify||$39 per month||2.9% + $0.30|
|Standard Shopify||$105 per month||2.6% + $0.30|
|Advanced Shopify||$399 per month||2.4% + $0.30|
|Shopify Plus||Quote-based||Custom quote|
Although you can account for these fees as part of your doing business expenses, if you don’t use the right product pricing strategy, these fees can eat into your profits
2. Recurrent payments
We love Shopify and believe it’s one of the best ecommerce platforms.
However, if we’re being honest, the recurring monthly membership payment can be intimidating, especially to someone completely new to running ecommerce stores and selling products online.
While Shopify is not the only ecommerce platform offering membership subscription plans, the plans can scare off some people.
3. The apps can be expensive
As you know, Shopify is home to over 2,000 free and paid apps.
Although Shopify has many free apps, many are not as robust out of the box. You may need to purchase a premium version of an app to extend your store’s functionality, especially when you start growing and scaling.
The kicker is that many of the best Shopify apps have a recurring monthly subscription.
For example, Spocket, which integrates well with Shopify, has a free plan that gives you free AliExpress dropshipping and access to Spocket’s catalog.
However, if you want additional features, you have to upgrade to the $29.99/month starter plan, the $49.99/month, or the $99.99/month pro and empire plans, respectively.
4. The blogging interface is limited
Compared to a content management system like WordPress, Shopify’s blogging interface does not offer a lot of functionalities, especially to an ecommerce business owner keen on having a robust, blogging-driven content marketing plan.
For example, because it’s built for ecommerce first, Shopify’s blogging interface does not have feature-rich in-built SEO tools, blogging plugins, etc.
Please don’t get this wrong:
Although Shopify’s current blogging interface is not winning any ‘best blogging platform’ awards anytime soon, it is fine enough for most people.
However, anyone who wants to implement an on-steroid blogging campaign must make do with the limited blogging functionalities and features.
So, is Shopify worth it in 2023?
Given everything we have discussed, you’re probably curious if Shopify is worth it.
Our honest answer is that once you learn how to use it well, Shopify is 100% worth it, irrespective of where you are in your ecommerce business.
In general, if you want an ecommerce platform that’s:
- Straightforward and uncomplicated
- Intuitive, smart, and secure
- And that offers tons of plugins, tools, and robust customer support
You won’t go wrong with Shopify!
There you have it, an overview of Shopify’s pros and cons.
Like most things in this world—and on the internet—this list is not exhaustive. We merely focused on what we consider noteworthy Shopify pros and cons.
We also have tons of comparison-type articles if you would like a more exhaustive comparison of Shopify vs. other ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce or BigCommerce.
Tip: Did you create your Shopify account already? If not, sign up by clicking this link here to get a free 3-day trial + pay $1/month for the first 3 months!
Until the next one, take care of yourself, and remember: have a rocking day, and keep learning, experimenting, and growing.
Want to see how Shopify compares to other ecommerce platforms?
Would you like to know how Shopify compares to other ecommerce platforms? Check out the articles below: