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Why use Shopify? 6th April 2018

Shopify is a multi-channel hosted e-commerce platform that has fast become one of the market leaders in the online shopping arena over the past decade. Today, it can boast some impressive stats about it's service and users:

  • 600,000 businesses powered by Shopify
  • 1,000,000+ active users
  • $55b+ sold on Shopify

It is feature-rich without being bloated and slow, and it's hosted nature means that it is constantly evolving. Having used many different platforms in the past, we know only too well how self-hosted solutions such as Magento and WooCommerce can drag their heals in terms of performance and the constant battle in keeping them up-to-date and secure.

Our team at Barn + Co began working with the Shopify platform in 2008 having exhausted other offerings. With it being it its infancy at the time, we've not only watched it grow to be one of the leading e-commerce platforms on the market, we've also grown with it. As new features have been developed, we've been at the forefront of the technology and there's now little, if anything, that we don't know about Shopify.

To date, the stores that we've built have grossed in excess of £25m revenue.

With full appreciation that all businesses are unique, we do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach and instead tailor all our services accordingly. Whether you're looking to start a brand new business, re-brand or re-design your current site or migrate from another platform, we're here to help.

Below is an overview of our design and build services:

  • Start-up — Setup of a basic store
  • Professional — Theme customisation
  • Custom — Bespoke design and build

To find out more about what these each entail, visit our dedicated Shopify page or get in touch with us.

Shopify pricing and features

As Shopify is a hosted platform, there are monthly fees depending on your requirements. There are three primary Shopify plans:

  • Basic Shopify — $29/month
  • Shopify — $79/month
  • Advanced Shopify — $299/month

There are also discounts for paying in bulk, such as a year at a time.

All the above plans include the following key features:

  • Unlimited products
  • Unlimited file storage
  • 24/7 support
  • Fraud analysis
  • Manual order creation
  • Discount codes
  • Website and blog
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Free SSL certificate
  • PCI and GDPR compliance

The Shopify Basic plan is often enough to get most business up and running whilst the Shopify package add additional features such as gift cards and professional reports. Shopify Advanced provides an advanced report builder and third-party calculated shipping rates. The other key difference is the number of staff accounts that you are allowed: 2, 5 and 15 respectively.

A less publicised pricing option is Shopify Lite. Whilst it does not include the website features of any of the above plans, it does allow people to add Shopify's purchasing ability to an existing site through 'buy now' buttons or mediums such as Facebook Messenger. It's also only $9/month.

At the top end of the pricing plans is Shopify Plus. Positioned as an enterprise-level offering, this premium package provides an even higher level of support as well as bespoke and customisable features through the use of Shopify Scripts and Shopify Flow. The pricing is also bespoke, but will be in the region of $1,000-$2,000/month.

Shopify Payments and other gateways

One of the more unique features of Shopify is the ability to accept credit card payments straight out of the box using their Shopify Payments service. Gone of the days of lengthy forms and 14-day lead times in order to setup a merchant account (if they'll even accept you as a new business), you can now get going instantly. Sure, there are some verification steps to do before any funds will be settled, but with just a short form requesting business and banking details, the final steps only take a few minutes to complete.

The credit card rates are based on the pricing plan that you're on but are all kept "simple and transparent". On the whole the rates are reasonable, especially considering there are no setup or monthly fees involved. Shopify also charges a transaction fee on payments not processed using Shopify Payments, ranging from 0.5% to 2%.

Here's the breakdown of rates:

  • Basic Shopify ($29/month) — 2.2% + 20p
  • Shopify ($79/month) — 1.9% + 20p
  • Advanced Shopify ($299/month) — 1.6% + 20p

It's also worth doing the maths on your store turnover as sometimes there are savings that can be gained from the cheaper rates on the Shopify and Advanced Shopify plans — even if you don't need the additional functionality.

An added advantage of using Shopify Payments is the ability to integrate with Shopify Pay. When customers checkout on Shopify stores, they have an option to save their credit details for future use, meaning when they revisit your store they just need to validate their information via a security code that is sent to their phone. Better still, the service is not per-store — if someone saves their details on any of Shopify's 600,000+ stores, they will be able to utilise Shopify Pay on yours.

Shopify also supports 100+ other payment gateways so if you already have a merchant account (such as WorldPay) or gateway (such as SagePay) and would prefer to keep using it, then chances are it will be supported. You can also use a combination of payment gateways in order to offer more options to your customers and therefore increase conversion rates.

In addition to credit card gateways, Shopify supports payment methods such as:

  • PayPal
  • Amazon Pay
  • Apple Pay (via Shopify Payments)

As well as alternative payment methods including:

  • Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies)
  • SOFORT (direct bank transfers)
  • Klarna (pay later or in instalments)

If none of those options fit your requirements, then you can setup 'manual' payment methods, for example Bank Deposit, Cash on Delivery or Postal/Money Order.

In summary, we usually recommend using Shopify Payments as the primary credit card processor, not just for its easy setup but also for the level of integration in the backend systems. Whilst some of the aforementioned gateways will allow for performing refunds and such like from the order management screen, Shopify Payments will also allow you to manage chargebacks, view payout information and administer your account details — all under one roof.

Want to find out more?

If you'd like to find out more about how Shopify could help your business or to discuss your project in more detail with us, then get in touch today.