Why Shopify Is The Best E-Commerce Platform For Your Brand
Do You Wonder How To Determine If Shopify Is Right For Your Brand?
E-Commerce companies have to make a lot of hard decisions. One of the hardest is deciding where and how to build a website for their e-commerce brand.
We recently published an article entitled “7 Surefire Steps to Create Your First E-Commerce Brand’s Online Store.” If you haven’t read it yet, click on the title. There you’ll find the elements for building your online store. It also includes a comparison chart link to the seven best e-commerce website hosting platforms for 2022.
Let’s talk about why Shopify is the best online store platform option for many e-commerce brands, and look at whether Shopify might work better than your current e-commerce hosting platform if you already have one.
What’s Your E-Commerce Company’s Current Situation?
- Are you trying to find a first-time online home where you can sell your products?
- You might have an existing brick-and-mortar business, but know you can do far more if you can create the right online presence for your brand.
- Perhaps you’re an existing e-commerce hosting platform but know you could fulfill your vision better with a more flexible or robust platform. Or maybe you’re looking for more add-on options like advanced e-commerce tools.
- You might be concerned that your current hosting platform won’t grow with your e-commerce business as it grows.
All of the above are valid reasons to look at Shopify. We’ll try to touch on each to show you why Shopify is a good fit for your e-commerce brand.
A Little Background About Shopify
Shopify’s Canadian founders built it in 2006 to address their frustration with e-commerce hosting platforms that wouldn’t allow them to do what they envisioned with their online snowboarding store.
They wanted to have more control over their online e-commerce business, to mold it into the kind of online presence they envisioned for their brand. Sound familiar?
Shopify has since grown into a worldwide company powering close to four million online stores of all sizes.
But why is it the right solution for your e-commerce brand and your vision for how it will grow?
Things to Consider When Evaluating Shopify
- Shopify was created specifically for e-commerce stores, unlike some other hosted platforms.
- Some hosted platforms that market to e-commerce businesses try to be jacks of all trades. That makes getting an e-store created quickly or an existing e-store transferred successfully far more complicated. Shopify’s available add-ons and tools also reflect its focus on e-commerce retail stores.
- Shopify is a time-tested hosting platform that’s worked out the kinks over the years.
- Being a hosted platform means you don’t have to pay for things like additional website hosting, domain housing, or domain and hosting security because it’s all included.
- Because it has user-friendly e-commerce store designs, your store can be up and running as quickly as possible without glitches found in other hosted platforms.
- Shopify’s ready-built themes cover a wide selection of online store options easily customized to create a unique look. It also has training and design help available.
- The ability to stand out from a crowd of look-alike templated e-stores is essential to establishing your unique brand.
- Shopify incorporates enough flexibility to complement your personal brand’s style, so your e-store appeals to your unique target audience. That results in an e-store that can be successful from the beginning.
- Shopify includes an option for importing existing e-commerce stores, so your business doesn’t have to lose the personalization you know currently works for your e-commerce brand.
- Anyone who’s ever built a website of any kind knows what a labor of love it can be.
- Quickly incorporating parts or all of your current e-commerce store will help retain customer recognition and trust.
- Shopify includes user-friendly tools and free Apps that make your e-commerce store elements mesh with your prospective and current customers’ expectations.
- Because those tools include the ones most likely to be in your existing e-commerce store, things will flow smoothly for your current customers.
- Having a wide variety of e-commerce tools lets you add to your toolbox as your company grows.
- Shopify includes state-of-the-art internet retail analytics tools that enhance its other available tools.
- Working with analytics tools that provide a customized approach leads to more accurate reporting along with better forecasting and strategy.
- Shopify designed its platform to ensure it grows with your business, so you won’t have to “pick up everything and move again.”
- Most hosting platforms are only meant for the beginning business, which will quickly outgrow them.
What About The Reasons To Not Use Shopify?
Let’s look at the main reason this author found cited across reviews for not using Shopify. It’s a reason most of us would look at twice.
Pricing: The lowest price plan is $29/month. The mid-level price plan is $79/month. The highest price plan is $299/month. A custom price plan exists for enterprise e-commerce businesses.
Most reviewers admitted Shopify’s plans were among the best. All Shopify plans have a 14-day free trial period offer to test-drive the platform.
- All hosted platforms have graduated price plans, but most hosted platforms are more limited than Shopify. There’s even a Shopify Lite program at only $9/month (with all the bells and whistles) for people who only want to use it for Facebook.
- No hidden costs. Shopify discloses the price for each feature you consider, so you know upfront what to expect.
- Remember, this is a hosted platform. If you decide not to use a hosted platform, you will need to use WordPress to custom build your e-commerce store from a “blank page.”
Here are some additional costs you would incur, no matter the size of your e-commerce store:
- Domain annual fee to purchase and retain your domain name.
- SSL (secure sockets layer) is a mandatory certification fee to keep your website online.
- Hosting fee of at least $29/month to keep a small website active. There are additional fees for websites with more pages. An extremely high hosting fee is charged for an extensive website that needs a separate server (as determined by the host).
- Website security fee to ensure hackers have a more challenging time trying to pirate or destroy your website.
- SEO software fees.
- Analytics software fees.
- Various plug-in fees to ensure your website is up to 2022 standards and will function to meet customer expectations.
- A WordPress theme fee, with additional add-on fees for specific types of pages and page elements.
- Custom tech and graphic designer creation fees. Doing it yourself would have been easier ten years ago. But WordPress has evolved, so most people no longer have the skills to DIY the kind of website e-commerce customers expect.
- A tech person who charges to regularly monitor, troubleshoot, and upgrade the website’s backend. FYI: WordPress updates about every two weeks now, and something always glitches or breaks when that happens.
Please note: The above WordPress cost items do not cover all costs. They reflect costs the author incurs for a small website with no shopping cart, credit card, or other retail sales plug-ins or tools necessary to conduct a reliable retail e-commerce business. Those fees would be in addition to this list.
Bottom Line? Shopify consistently places at the top of e-commerce hosted platform reviews. And, even without factoring in time costs, it is a bargain compared to trying to create your retail e-commerce website – even with any add-ons you might choose.
Having a Cost-Effective Platform Solution = More Money To Grow Your Business
The items above are what businesses with a minimal WordPress website have to pay out regularly.
Those costs are more than the top Shopify price point when portioned out over the year. And that doesn’t include additional internet retail tools. Those combined costs are one reason so many e-commerce businesses use hosted platforms.
Shopify levels the playing field, so it’s easier for any e-commerce business to open its first online store, scale up as seamlessly as possible, and continue to grow without reinventing the wheel every time their business expands.
Does it charge fees for that in addition to the monthly payment? Yes, it does.
It pays to do a cost-benefit analysis when considering each option Shopify offers. Only choose the tools and options your business needs now and only add more as needed.
We believe you’ll find that Shopify fills a lot of the boxes your e-commerce store needs and can do it a lot easier than if you try to reinvent the wheel yourself.
After all, over 2.5 million live U.S. websites of all sizes, with 10 to over 10,000 employees, believe it works for them.
Ready to Launch Your Shopify Store?
If you’d like to discuss this topic further, we’re happy to help you analyze whether Shopify is the right choice for your e-commerce business. We’ve helped quite a few e-commerce businesses build an online presence on Shopify that’s unique to their brand and target audience. We can help you do that too.
About the author: About the author: Merikay Noah has over 20 years’ experience in digital marketing. She worked with e-commerce B2C and B2B websites of all kinds, from Fortune 100s to small start-ups, at two of the top three search engines and at a Los Angeles ad agency. Her successful e-commerce book publishing website, PopcornReads.com, attracted an international audience of bookaholics for over eight years. She now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she works as a copywriter and loves to hike with her small but fierce doggy protector – Miss Lucy.