eCommerce Platforms: Shopify Review – The Best eCommerce Platform for eCommerce & Dropshipping Stores
I’ve spent the last 5 years or so selling products & services online. I originally started by using Weebly to sell services online for marketing & growing my client’s Instagram pages. Eventually went into WordPress/Woocommerce, Volusion, and Bigcommerce, They were all great however with Shopify it just made things a lot easier. Shopify has been my favorite e-Commerce Platform for the last few years and will continue to stay.
Best eCommere Platform for eCommerce Brands & Dropshipping Stores
When I first start selling products online I was looking for a platform that was easy to use, made for eCommerce, and had a ton of features so I can make my website unique. I was also looking for something affordable. As someone who has web development experience Shopify ticked all of those boxes and then some. Shopify offers a free trial for 14 days so I was able to work on my store and launch quickly and spend no money for my first sale. It was designed for eCommerce.
Why Shopify Great for Dropshipping
When I first launched my dropshipping store on Shopify I knew I was going to love it. I was able to use the Shopify platform as a CRM (Customer relationship management). CRM was super important as up until this point I was just typing out everything on a huge word document. It was unorganized and a big document, while I was running my Instagram Marketing Agency.
It was one of the things that I noticed while running it that if I could just find an all-in-one solution it’d make things so much easier. With Shopify, you have the ability to write notes right on the order page. For instance, If a customer had issues with an order or the product had an issue, I’d write something about that & when I came back to it I knew what was going on. This saved tons of time and improved our customer service. Instead of having to ask the customer repeated questions that someone else already asked or I asked and annoying the customer I was able to keep customers coming back. It was one of the things that set us aside from our competitors. The best part was I didn’t have to pay extra for a different app or software.
Shopify now has a ton of different apps for Dropshippers and really for any eCommerce business. Many companies integrate well with Shopify.
The Best Shopify Apps to Increase Sales, Conversions & Improving Customer Experience
As I mentioned earlier, Shopify has a ton of apps for you. It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for, they most likely have it.
Some of my favorites include:
- Frequently Bought Together
- Candy Rack – One Click Upsell
- Loox Reviews
- Lucky Orange
- Consistent Cart
- Judge.Me Reviews
- Photo Resize by Pixc
These are some apps that I use in every single one of my stores on Shopify.
This is from testing and trying hundreds of different apps on the Shopify App Store.
Self Hosted Store vs Marketplace
Now the reason having a self-hosted store is beneficial is because Shopify doesn’t take a percentage of your sales unlike many marketplaces out there. Most of the marketplace websites out their charge up to 15% commissions for every sale you get. For instance, let’s say you sell a $100 product and your net margins are just 25%. You’re only left with 10%. Now your products on marketplaces are important to get more sales & exposure but having more control over your brand is just as important. That extra 15% could be spent on marketing & improving your brand or you can just pocket the 15%. A negative of marketplaces is that they can just kick you off without prior warning anytime. If this happens your online presence is gone.
My Negative Experience with Woocommerce & WordPress for a eCommerce Store
This actually started right before I launched my first store. I had actually used WordPress before for another business of mine. It was great for blogging. In fact, EcommBrands is built on WordPress. The #1 issue I ran into was the complexity of WordPress for running an eCommerce Store.
I first had to install WordPress onto my hosting account. I had to make sure all the settings were perfect before I even worked on the front end of the store. I even had to change settings for the way the link was displayed for SEO purposes. Since WordPress is open-source there were a ton of theme options and customizations I could do. That really complicated the process of just launching a brand. After installing the theme I wanted to use, I dove straight into the plugins (apps). Again, since it’s open-source, there are tons upon tons of plugins. Some of them worked with my theme, some didn’t, and other apps were just broken. After doing some research online, I learned that WordPress can randomly just break. The plugins had to constantly be updated manually. If the plugin was broken, good luck. Overall at this point is when I wrote down some notes on what I was looking for which I mentioned earlier. This is the biggest advantage with Shopify. I’m able to actually focus on the business instead of just having to work on the website over and over. Not to mention Shopify is FAST and Saves you a ton of money in the long run!
So What is Shopify & How Does it Work?
Shopify is an eCommerce platform that allows you to set up an eCommerce store to sell any type of product. Whether it be a physical product or a digital, service. Shopify is a managed hosting eCommerce Platform work in a crowd-funded way. For instance, if one store gets more traffic than another, The Shopify servers put more bandwidth to that store’s server and pull it from other servers that aren’t getting as much traffic.
Shopify is simply a managed hosting eCommerce platform that allows you to set up a professional eCommerce store to sell any type of product (physical or digital), service, or membership program. Shopify’s managed service works in a crowd-funded way in that if one store gets more traffic than another, Shopify servers put more bandwidth to that specific server and pull it from other servers that aren’t using it. It’s a very unique and wonderfully constructed system that makes it so that downtime is very very uncommon.
I’ll go over some of my favorite features and why I love Shopify so much below.
Shopify has many other amazing features and benefits. I’ll go over some of my favorite features and why they are so important to my online business below
- Shopify stores are FAST!
- Tons of free themes to choose from that are professional and very customizable.
- Very beginner-friendly
- Unlimited Products. There are no limits to how many products you can add. You can continue to scale & grow your brand
- Free SSL. You don’t need to pay extra. Many hosting companies charge $49-$79 per year alone.
- Free CRM & tagging orders so you can follow up with orders & customers and close sales.
- Integrates easily with Payment Gateways. The most popular ones include Stripe and PayPal without other apps. In fact, Shopify integrates with over 100 payment gateways across the world.
- 24/7 customer support via many methods such as email, phone, and live chat. If you have questions ever and whatever time of day, they can help.
I’ve personally used their support at random times. Sometimes really late at night and really early in the morning.
There are many more features of Shopify but these were just some of my favorite.
How much does Shopify Charge?
Shopify offers a 14 day free trial. After that just $29/Month.
If you’re looking to add apps to your store the pricing depends on what the developers set it to. I’ve spent as little as $0 for Free Apps to as much as $800 for one of my biggest eCommerce Stores. The average is usually around $100-$200. There are many free alternatives but I only pay for apps that I see an increase in sales, customer service, or improves our stores. Usually the investment is worth it compared to the free ones.
So, Do I Recommend Shopify & Is it the Best eCommerce Platform?
YES! I love Shopify. It is currently the only platform I use for my eCommerce Stores. It’s by far the fastest, easiest to use, and offers a ton of great features that you’d otherwise spend a lot of money on.
How Can I Get Started with Shopify?
You can get started with Shopify by using this link. You’ll receive a 14 day free trial as well.