15 Reasons Why Shopify is the Best Ecommerce Platform

Shopify powers 10% of all ecommerce in the US and there's good reason why. Let's talk about the main reasons we think Shopify is the best ecommerce platform out there for starting a business today.

15 Reasons Why Shopify is the Best Ecommerce Platform

Shopify powers 10% of all ecommerce in the US (Source), a number that’s increasing annually. While 10% might not sound like a lot, 10% is an enormous quantity of websites, especially when considering the number of CMSs and custom websites out there.

As Shopify experts ourselves, we chose to master this platform for good reason —we think it is the best platform for ecommerce. Let’s talk about why Shopify is such a great platform for store owners and designers working on the platform.

1. It’s built for e-commerce

Shopify is built for e-commerce, making it the best tool for the job. Store owners can easily manage products (including variants, color swatches, size charts, files, etc.), variants, collections, shipping rates, tax collection, inventory in different locations, international markets and more. It’s extremely robust as an e-commerce platform for selling both physical and digital products. It’s also very user-friendly for store owners to use.

And if there’s a functionality you need that Shopify hasn’t created, you can bet that there’s an app that does it. This creates unlimited extensibility for your store so that you have all the features you need to sell exactly as you want. You aren’t limited to the functionality of what Shopify has provided, because third party, quality-vetted apps are filling in any gaps.

While some people say that Shopify requires too many apps to work – this simply isn’t true. By choosing the best theme for your needs, you eliminate the need for many apps, and many customizations can be made in the theme code to avoid apps. Check out How to Choose the Right Shopify Theme. But we love apps! They create amazing functionalities unique to different store needs, at a low price point — just don’t use too many.

Other platforms have e-commerce as an add-on service, whereas with Shopify it’s what it’s made for, so every feature, theme and app is geared towards selling. It has all the tools store owners need to sell and scale. It’s built to make sales, not just showcase offerings.

While many of these features happen in the back-end of the store, themes are what create the front-end of the store.

2. Themes are designed for e-commerce

Themes (imagine full website templates) have designs focused on showcasing products and collections, highlighting product features and upselling. They’re designed with conversion (turning customers into buyers) in mind. Themes usually have around 30 different sections to use as page building blocks that can be customized to your needs.

Some of our favourite conversion features in themes are:

  • Upselling on the product page and cart (offer complimentary products)
  • Free shipping progress bar in the cart
  • Quick add to cart
  • Shop the look

Other CMSs may offer a variety of section blocks to build beautiful page designs, but they’re not designed specifically for e-commerce.

3. The theme editor is easy to use

Additionally, the theme editor is SUPER easy to use. Anyone can design pages using the theme’s pre-designed sections, add their content to the sections and adjust the settings to make it look the way you want.

Something I love about the theme editor is that it easily allows you to make regular, flexible updates to the website by allowing you to hide or show different sections or pieces of content on the website.

For example, if you are having a Black Friday sale, you could add a “countdown timer” section to your store, and then hide it once the sale is over, making it ready to be used again for a Boxing Day Sale. This quick and flexibly editing of pages isn’t something we’ve seen on other platforms where changes are much more permanent, requiring you to delete content or sections if you don’t want to show them temporarily.

4. It’s a secure system

Shopify is secure because it’s closed-source. This means that only Shopify has access to the software, and their team is responsible for building new features and providing security. This is compared to Wordpress.org which is open-sourced, and you can see all the software code, potentially making it easier for malicious actors to find vulnerabilities.

You don’t need to worry about hackers because it’s so secure. Wordpress sites are always getting hacked through outdated plugin vulnerabilities. With Shopify, this is a non-issue as long as you’re practicing good password hygiene and being aware of phishing attempts (just like everywhere else!).

It’s super secure for you and for your client’s customers. With e-commerce, this is super important since your client is collecting payment details from customers. Shopify has also introduced permissions, which means you don’t need to have access to their customer information which reduces your liability.

For this reason you also don’t need to sell a client a monthly maintenance package like you might with Wordpress. You don’t need to worry about backups, and you won’t find your client contacts you in a panic because their site has been hacked.

It has a trusted checkout. The checkout page has a standardized look across all Shopify stores (except for some minor branding elements). The reason this is good is because it creates trust and credibility with customers. Customers recognize the familiar layout of Shopify checkouts and they trust that the website is not a scam (so crucial for first time buyers!). Compared to Woocommerce checkouts which often look sketchy and not secure, making you wonder if the websites are stealing your payment card information.

5. Theme code is open and accessible

Although we just mentioned that Shopify’s software is closed, the theme code is open and accessible to you which means you can customise the look and functionality of a store without limits to make it whatever you want it to be. This means that although you started with a theme template, you’re able to further customize the theme to create any design imaginable, and even add in more functionality.

This is compared to platforms like Squarespace where you can only add to the code, not edit it, which can get messy with all the custom code workarounds that threaten to break your site at any moment. Shopify gets this balance totally perfect in our eyes!

6. It can scale with brands as they grow

Shopify is perfect for tiny brands that are just starting out, to huge brands that sell internationally, and everyone in between. Small brands like local stores can get set up with Shopify in just a few days, yet celebrity brands like WYN Beauty and billion dollar empire Gym Shark are also using Shopify, with entire teams working on creating custom store experiences.

It’s really for everyone, and as brands grow, they don’t have to worry about outgrowing Shopify. They can stick with the same platform while adapting the user experience on the front end to match the growing needs of the brand.

7. Shopify is User Friendly

The back end interface is super user friendly. It’s easy to add, remove and maintain a Shopify store without any code. If you do want to use code, Liquid can be read almost as clearly as plain English so with some knowledge of HTML & CSS, you can easily figure out how to tweak things in the theme code.

With Wordpress.org’s WooCommerce, theme code is also open, but the user interface isn’t as beginner friendly, and Wordpress’s coding language is a lot harder to decipher than Shopify’s if you want to make small changes yourself.

And with Squarespace although the platform is super super user friendly, there’s limits with what you can do because you don’t have access to the code. So Shopify is the best of both worlds here.

8. Flexibly Customer Payment Options

There are more than 120 payment options to add to the checkout, you can add common payment methods like credit card and Apple Pay, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) instalment payments like Klarna and Afterpay, and also set up subscription payments so that customers continue to automatically order on a regular basis.

There are so many payment options specific to any region as well, most of which you’ve probably never heard of, making the checkout compatible for brands worldwide.

With Squarespace, the payment options are far more limited. 

9. Omni-channel Shopping Integrations

Store owners are easily able to sell across different sales channels while managing all their products from Shopify.

They may sell in person, on their website, through social channels like Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, or wholesale channels like Handshake , and only needing to make product updates in a single place: Shopify. This saves a ton of time, and allows store owners to reach a larger audience. The interface for creating these sales channel integrations is extremely straightforward and fast to set up too!

10. Localized Shopping experience

Shopify makes it easy for customers to have a localized shopping experience, making them more comfortable, familiar and ultimately more likely to buy. A localized shopping experience can include altering your website to use the customer’s local language, currency and payment options.

Language
Your store content can automatically be translated into different languages, so that you can sell to different target audiences. When customers understand your product better, they’re more likely to purchase and be happy with their purchase.

Currency
You can allow customers to view prices and pay in their local currency. This allows customers to see the ‘true’ price of the product and not have any surprise conversion fees charged by their bank after purchase, ultimately creating a happier customer!

Markets
Shopify Markets allow you to set up different customer regions that need to have different content or settings applied to them. For example, if you’re having a sale only in the US but not in Europe, you can adjust the website content to display the promotion only to US customers. How cool is that!?

Payment
There are so many different payment methods that can be used on Shopify — most of which you’ve never heard of because they’re used primarily in local regions. To give an easy example, people living in the US are used to sending money through Zelle, but the rest of the world doesn’t use this. While Chinese customers often use AliPay. So you can offer payment options based on the target audience.

11. Shopify offers great support

Shopify has a live chat and help centre which can answer store owner’s technical questions about the platform once they launch. Once you’ve handed the site over to your client they’ll likely be able to find their answers to most of their questions that are to do with selling on the platform. They’ll also find that any business friends they make will be using Shopify too - which will increase their feeling that it’s the right platform for them.

12. The CMS and page templates are super efficient

Shopify’s CMS (the way it organises the data such as products and customers) and page template system is far superior to Squarespace, which means you can work so much more efficiently. For example you can create a template for products, and if you need to update the template, it will update across all the products you’ve already created with it. This will save the client SO much time, and ensure they don’t mess up your designs, something that I’d find would happen often on Squarespace! Using product templates makes scaling a brand’s offerings fast and easy.

13. Easy to collaborate with team members

You don’t need to be passing around login details, your client can add any staff to the store as their own separate accounts, and restrict permissions to decide who sees what. They can also add you as a collaborator, which won’t count towards their staff limit. You can also collaborate with your team through one account without sharing passwords, so your client doesn’t need to know how many people from your team are working on their site.

14. Pricing

If you look at the pricing of monthly subscriptions, Shopify and Squarespace commerce have very similar pricing. With Shopify, there are some additional costs such as the one-time cost of a theme (around $350) and the possible addition of apps. However, Shopify also includes Shopify Emails which is an email marketing tool that is free at a basic level, and then extremely inexpensive as the number of subscribers increases. 

We think that for all that the platform delivers, paying $39/month is very inexpensive for a business owner. Additionally, their pricing considers purchasing power parity and is priced lower in some nations. For being able to host an entire business, this is a low fee in our opinion. 

15. It’s constantly improving

Every 6 months or so, Shopify makes a huge announcement about new features being released, as well as ones coming in the future. They’re always building and improving the platform. They want brands to stay up to date, as well as for their websites to have optimal performance and accessibility features. They’re constantly innovating and keeping up with tech. Especially in the past two years, we've seen huge changes such as the introduction of metafields that have expanded the possibilities of Shopify stores drastically. 

When shouldn’t you use Shopify?

If a website will be less than 60% focused on e-commerce then it might not be the best choice. This is because they might need need other features like booking calls, advanced blogging tools, portfolio pages or lots of information pages for services. Templates and themes on Shopify are geared towards e-commerce, whereas a platform such as Squarespace provides more features for service based businesses. It’s best to think of Squarespace as a platform that can do everything a little. Shopify is a platform that has specialised in e-commerce so there’s advanced tools out of the box, to make it super easy to sell and grow.

Read our post Should Design Studios Move their Websites to Shopify for more information about this.

Conclusions

To recap, Shopify is the best choice for most clients where their primary focus is selling products online. Store owners will have the perfect starting point to scale their business. If you’re serious about scaling their business, then they’ll want to be on Shopify from the start as it’ll be a pain to move over later, as well as time consuming and costly. It has tools that will increase your client’s sales, and tools that make it easier for you to collaborate with your client.

Shopify E-Commerce FAQ

Is Shopify only for e-commerce?

Shopify is best used for brands that are selling products online because all of the features and designs are geared towards selling products. Brands that use Shopify may be selling physical products online, have brick-and-mortar locations alongside their online sales, have several distribution centres worldwide, or even be selling digital products. 

Can anyone make a Shopify store?

Anyone with decent current computer and browser skills can set up a Shopify store in only a weekend. To get the most out of Shopify, it will take some learning or working with an experienced Shopify designer.

What's the best ecommerce platform to use?

Shopify is the best platform to build an ecommerce website on, as it has robust features to quickly get started selling on line and it scales with your business as it grows.


Try Shopify for just $1 today.


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