Shopify may be the most popular hosted platform for ecommerce in the world, but is it the best one?
Shopify will be the first thing we explain. We’ll then look at its main features, explain pricing, and reveal our thoughts on the platform’s biggest pros and cons.
What is Shopify exactly?
It is the leader of the market by a large margin.
Shopify is fully hosted on its servers. It’s not necessary to purchase hosting and install software separately, as you would if you used WordPress or WooCommerce.
Shopify will handle all the technical aspects of keeping your store online.
Shopify is a one-stop shop for managing your entire online business.
This includes a no-code website builder, customizable themes for stores, an integrated checkout system, features to manage orders and stocks, a payment processor, and marketing tools.
Shopify has a huge App Store. If you don’t find the feature you need, you may be able to find one from a third party.
Shopify’s unmatched flexibility is one of the many reasons it is the most popular hosted platform for ecommerce in the world. It’s not just about that.
In due time, we’ll discuss all the other features we love about Shopify and the ones we dislike. Let’s first look at some of the features.
That’s only the tip of the Iceberg. Shopify offers many more features, but even if they were all listed here, we wouldn’t have room to include them.
Instead of trying to cover all the features in one review, I will give you a high-level overview and show you how the dashboard works.
You’ll see your account dashboard when you log into Shopify.
You should see an overview of the setup process, including a list of everything you need to set up your store.
If you want to do it all by yourself, you can ignore the checklist. You will still have access to the tools and features that you need to manage and create your store through the navigation bar located on the left-hand side of the screen.
Click on Products in the sidebar to create your catalog.
You can import products from a CSV if you are migrating from another ecommerce system. Click Import Products to start.
Click Add Your Products to create each listing one by one.
No matter if you are selling physical or digital products, it is important to start by adding them first.
You’ll need an app for managing digital products and services (we’ll go into more detail about this later when we examine the App Store).
For each product that you create, you’ll also need to add a title and a description. Shopify recently added a new AI writing feature that allows you to generate product descriptions automatically based on your prompts. We found this pretty cool.
You can tell the AI what features and keywords to include, the tone you’d like it to use, and any special instructions you have for the AI. It will then write the copy for you.
Upload any media files that you wish to use for product images. Images, videos, or 3D models can all be used.
Shopify does not automatically crop images into a uniform aspect ratio. You can cut your pictures yourself by using the image editor built into Shopify. The next step is to set the price.
You can enter a price to compare with the current price of a product on sale. The cost will appear next to the price in question, but it will be marked through (e.g.,
Optionally, you can enter the cost of each item. Shopify will calculate and show you your profit margins, even though the customer will not see it.
Automated tax collection
You’ll find a button under the Pricing section of a product that says Add tax to this product. This option allows Shopify to calculate the tax automatically and add it to the price of the product.
Shopify does not file or pay taxes on your behalf. You are still responsible for consulting with a tax professional to ensure that you’re charging your customers the correct tax rates.
The store settings page allows you to manage the collection of sales tax in all regions where you are liable. Click Settings> Duties and taxes.
You can choose how to charge tax. You can, for example, have Shopify charge tax on shipping and VAT on digital products or include it in the product price.
Shopify allows you to offer your customers additional purchasing options. You have three choices:
Subscriptions- Charge your clients a recurring fee for subscriptions to your products.
Try before you buy – Allow customers to order products without having to pay immediately. They can try out the product and pay later.
Preorders: Give your customers the choice to buy items that haven’t been fulfilled yet. You can set a future date for them to be delivered.
You’ll be able to add an inventory when adding a new product.
Shopify will track your inventory as you sell products by turning on Track Quantity.
The Inventory tab allows you to view the inventory status at any given time.
To help you manage your inventory, you can assign an SKU or barcode to every product.
Purchase Orders allow you to manage, track, and receive your inventory from suppliers as well.
Variations of the same product
You can add Variants to your product when creating it so that the customer has more customization options.
It’s useful when selling products in multiple versions, like in different sizes or colors.
Scroll down the page of product creation and click + Add options such as size or color. Enter an option name and as many option values as you need.
You might name the option Size and add five values, such as XS (small), medium, large, and XL.
You can upload different variant images and set each variant’s price and stock separately.