Choosing the right platform to host your online store is crucial for every eCommerce business. Shopify has emerged as a powerhouse among e-commerce platforms, particularly for small businesses. As a Shopify agency London, we are a staunch advocate of what the platform can do for eCommerce businesses.
But every good thing comes with some bad. Whether or not you should invest in it all depends on what you are looking for. So, let’s talk about the pros and cons of a Shopify website and see if and how it can supercharge your online business.
Pros of Using Shopify
Ease of Use.
Shopify is renowned for its user-friendly interface. You don’t need to be a tech wizard to set up and manage your store.
A small business specialising in handmade accessories can launch its online store in a matter of days with Shopify. The intuitive platform allows you to manage inventory, add products, and process orders seamlessly. Even as a novice!
Shopify offers a wide range of professionally designed templates that can be customised to suit your brand. For instance, if you are a local bookstore, you can use Shopify’s template customisation to create an elegant and bookish feel for your online store – a design that is likely to instantly resonate with your target audience of avid readers.
With a significant portion of eCommerce traffic coming from mobile devices, mobile optimisation is crucial. Shopify automatically optimises your store for mobile users.
So, if you are a fashion retailer, you stand a chance to see a significant increase in mobile sales after switching to Shopify. Simply because the platform’s responsive design ensures a seamless shopping experience for customers on smartphones.
Shopify grows with your business. Whether you are just starting or already established, Shopify can accommodate your needs.
Suppose you are small electronics retailer looking for rapid growth. Shopify’s scalability can allow you to expand your product range and handle increased traffic without hiccups while you are growing your business.
Simply put, your ambitions will never be restricted due to technological barriers.
Shopify integrates with a wide array of payment gateways, giving your customers multiple payment options.
Businesses on Shopify typically integrate Shopify Payments, PayPal, and various credit card processing to offer flexibility in payment methods, which proves to be beneficial in getting higher conversion rates.
Security and Reliability.
Shopify invests heavily in security, ensuring your customers’ data is protected. You can actually build trust by prominently displaying Shopify’s security badges. This can reassure customers about the safety of your online transactions.
Shopify offers built-in SEO features that help your store rank higher in search engine results. As an eCommerce store, you are bound to use a lot of photos and visual aids to showcase what you sell. You can optimise product descriptions and meta tags using Shopify’s SEO tools. This can lead to increased organic traffic and higher visibility in search results.
Shopify’s app store provides countless integrations for additional functionality. Businesses can add review apps to their Shopify stores to offer higher social proof and boost their store’s credibility, which can ultimately impact their sales.
24/7 Customer Support.
Shopify provides round-the-clock customer support to assist with any issues. So, if faced with a technical problem, Shopify’s 24/7 support will quickly resolve your issues so that you experience minimal disruption during sales.
Shopify enables you to sell not only on your website but also on social media and other online marketplaces.
Using this feature, you can expand to Instagram and Facebook with Shopify’s multi-channel selling. This will allow you to tap into a broader audience and increase sales.
For small businesses aiming to thrive in the digital era, a Shopify website offers a plethora of advantages. From its user-friendly interface to mobile optimisation, scalability, and robust security features, Shopify empowers entrepreneurs to create successful online ventures. By embracing Shopify, small businesses can not only compete but also flourish in the highly competitive world of online retail.
Cons of Using Shopify
Shopify, undoubtedly a powerful eCommerce platform, comes with an array of benefits for small businesses. However, no platform is without its drawbacks. Here are some challenges and drawbacks that businesses may face when using Shopify.
Costs Can Add Up.
While Shopify offers various pricing plans, the costs can escalate as your business grows. Transaction fees, app subscriptions, and credit card processing fees can eat into your profits.
While Shopify’s templates are visually appealing and customisable to some extent, they may not offer the level of uniqueness that some businesses desire. Achieving a truly distinctive look might require a higher level of coding and design expertise.
To enhance your store’s functionality, you might need to rely on third-party apps. While many are free or offer free versions, some essential apps come at a monthly cost, increasing your overall expenses.
Limited Blogging Capabilities.
If content marketing and blogging are central to your strategy, Shopify’s built-in blogging features might not be as robust as those of dedicated content management systems like WordPress.
While Shopify provides essential SEO tools, advanced customisation options are somewhat limited. This could impact your ability to implement highly specific or technical SEO strategies.
Unless you use Shopify Payments for processing payments, you will incur additional transaction fees, which can be a financial burden for small businesses.
Migrating away from Shopify can be challenging due to the platform’s proprietary structure. If your business outgrows Shopify or requires more customisation, this could become a limitation.
Once you have built your store on Shopify, moving to another platform can be complex and costly. This can potentially limit your flexibility in the long term.
Despite its user-friendly reputation, Shopify can still have a learning curve, especially if you are new to eCommerce. Understanding all the features and settings might take time.
Limited Multi-Language Support.
Shopify’s native multi-language support is somewhat basic. Expanding your store to cater to international customers with diverse language preferences might require additional apps or development work.
While Shopify is an excellent choice for many small businesses, it is essential to be aware of its drawbacks and limitations. The costs, customisation constraints, and reliance on third-party apps are some of the primary challenges small businesses might face. However, with careful planning, resource allocation, and a clear understanding of your business’s unique needs, these drawbacks can often be mitigated, allowing you to make the most of Shopify’s many advantages while addressing its limitations effectively.