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This cloud based solution can be defined as an online selling/e commerce platform. That allows you to build and set up your own online store to be able to sell products and make profit. The platform has been defined as complete and wholesome given the way it enables anyone to get the full e commerce experience by having great features and offering solutions tailored to help you get the best out of your online store. Since its inception and market release, the app has become a mainstay in the world of e commerce especially among new entrepreneurs. This has largely been attributed to low startup costs and the extremely popular Shopify dropshipping. Through dropshipping many people have been able to run e commerce at lower budgets and gain access to international markets. Shopify and dropshipping work best together because of the e-commerce platform’s robust set of features and services.
Shopify was founded in the year 2004 by three entrepreneurs who had failed to set up a snowboarding equipment ecommerce store known as “snowdevil”. The three men Tobias Lutke, Daniel Weinand and Scott Luke went on to launch and release snowdevil as Shopify in June 2006.
In 2009, the app store was launched together with an API platform allowing developers to create apps and sell them on the app store. Developers work with Shopify clients to aid them customize their Shopify store to suit any needs they have. In this way developers get a platform to gain revenue and improve their skills while clients find newer ways to reach potential customers and increase sales. These apps are meant to integrate with the Shopify platform seamlessly. The Canadian company launched its apple app in 2010 that allowed users to manage their stores from the app. This was also the year that revenue for customers was reaching in excess of 100 millions US Dollars. As from 2013, merchant and dropshippers could start accepting credit card payments.
In 2015, the company began trading in the Toronto stock exchange and the New York stock exchange and went public while raising more than $131 billion dollars. In September of the same year Amazon announced that they had an agreed with Shopify to facilitate the migration of Amazon web store owners/merchants to Shopify. The integration with Shopify and migration of customer and product data was largely seamless.
Without the need for entering your credit card details, Shopify gives you a 14-day free trial for you to try out the platform and get a feel of its features. After 14 days you will be subjected to a variety of price plans and packages dependent on your e commerce needs at that particular moment. Additionally, the price plans are available monthly and yearly as well-meaning that based on your needs you can decide what works best for you. Newbies and smaller stores are often urged to use the monthly plan to be flexible to changes and adapt to different situations. The yearly plan works better when you have been in the business for a longer period. The price plans consist of 5 packages consisting of the following:
At just $9 per month you can access this package and start your small business. The package involves using Facebook as the primary platform to sell and share your products. Small businesses love it because of the following reasons:
● Low cost at $9 per month.
● Use Facebook to sell products, share them, accept payments including credit cards and including the BUY button.
● Communicate with customers via Facebook messenger
● Works best for those who want to add an online store functionality to their existing website such as a blog.
As the term suggest, this plan offers you everything a new e commerce entrepreneur needs to start a business online. Your online store will be completely functional and has most of the features you need to success. This plan is very popular because it is available at $29 per month. The package allows you to sell an unlimited number of products. The basic has an extensive list of features that include the following:
● Unlimited storage and products
● Free SSL certificate
● 2 staff accounts
● 24/7 customer and technical support.
● Online store and blog
● You can print shipping labels
● Abandoned cart recovery feature
● Access to discount codes and manual order creation
● Enables you to analyze potential fraud cases.
If you need a store but don’t have a huge budget, this plan is tailor made for you.
Named after the entire platform, the Shopify plan is by far the most popular pricing plan in use. The plan goes for $79 a month. The plan is mostly recommended for those who already have e commerce stores in existence and are looking to grow in terms of customers and sales to achieve bigger and better levels of success. You are exposed to several additional features that aren’t available in the basic Shopify plan. The Shopify plan has the following features:
● Every feature in the basic Shopify price plan.
● Reduced transaction fees and credit card rates.
● Presence of gift cards.
● Access to professional reports.
● 5 staff accounts.
● Abandoned cart recovery tool.
The Shopify price plan is great when you’re making a stable amount of income from your online store but want to scale up and increase your profit margins.
At $299 per month, the advanced Shopify price plan is by far the most expensive of all the aforementioned price plans. It is approximately 4 times more expensive than the Shopify plan. This plan is for you if the volume of good that you are selling is very high and you need additional features to help you manage your store better. Large companies and businesses are the most frequent users of the advanced Shopify plan because they deal with high revenue margins.
● 15 staff accounts.
● All the available features in the basic and Shopify price plans.
● The lowest credit card rates and transaction fees.
● Has the best Shopify shipping discount rates.
● Has an advanced report builder.
● Includes third party calculated shipping rates.
Shopify plus was introduced to mainly handle issues relating to customization rather than management of products. It is an enterprise level system designed to fully expand your e commerce system. Pricing starts at about $2000 per month but varies depending on your business needs.
● Limitless scalability allowing you to continue growing your store regardless of how much the volume of your transactions keep increasing.
● Handles for you all the technical issues that arise from increased scalability.
● Excellent customer service and support making you feel like you have a dedicated team of staffers working for you round the clock. ● Detailed analytics reporting enabling you to derive quality insights.
● The solution also has a level one PCI DSS security type to protect all customer credit or debit card information.
● Limitations on the number of product variants that you can use.
● Only works the best if your business is growing at a very fast rate.
Like most online services. Shopify dropshipping reviews have been mixed. There are those who would never say a negative thing about them and then there are unhappy clients who have become their harshest critics. As expected most of the customer feedback is positive and this is evidenced by the numerous success stories. In looking at customer reviews for Shopify let’s look at the Pros and Cons of the platform.
● Ease of use — The foundation of Shopify has always been making it easy for people to set up and manage their online stores and this is still true.
● Great customer service especially when you upgrade your store to the more advanced price plans.
● Shopify is self-hosted meaning you don’t have to rely on a third party hosting provider to host your website.
● Dependable and secure using the PCI DSS level 1 security standard.
Customer Complaints and Cons:
● Absence of a wholesale B2B selling options and the limited product variations. This leaves your store largely basic and this has been the bane of many customers over the years.
● Based on the Shopify dropshipping reviews, Shopify has been known to sometimes withhold the payment of vendors.
● Transaction fees all over 2% has also been a major complaint among customers.
● Expensive add-ons that you need to make your website more functional.
Shopify and dropshipping are almost meant for each other. It is great for you if you want to set up an e commerce store quickly and start selling products in under a week. The price plans are designed to work with your budget and there’s something for everyone. The Shopify plan and Basic Shopify are by far the best and most popular plans because of the cost and how much they favor small businesses. I’d advise anyone who has considered using Shopify to start with the free trial first before making a concrete decision. Shopify is great but has so many limitations and it may serve you well to be completely sure. You also have the option to consider dropshipping for your e commerce store. Shopify dropshipping has become very popular in recent years and integrates well with marketplaces such as Chinabrands. Lastly, carry out extensive niche research and budget planning before you start your online selling business.