I have been building websites since 2003. I have used Yahoo Store, Woo Commerce, WordPress, Network Solutions eCommerce, Wix, Volusion, and Shopify. Woo Commerce was used through WordPress. Shopify is my favorite by far. I would recommend Shopify for any website, not just eCommerce sites. The basic Shopify plan is about $30 a month and comes with domain name hosting and an SSL. It is a really good deal. If you decide to do eCommerce in the future, you are already most of the way there. The only problem with Shopify that I found was that I couldn't find a default setting on my template that collected leads instead of sold product.
When I first started using Shopify I kept downloading apps to do simple tasks like block the pricing on my page or make the minimum order for a unit 3 pieces or even collect a lead. Those small items would require apps that had reoccurring monthly costs and each time I added an app it seemed to slow down my Shopify site. What I started doing instead was coming up with small individual tasks. My newest task that I will have completed is i want to have the ability to make a product have a minimum order. We have some items where it doesn't make sense to sell only one unit. I want to be able to sell 3 of them and any quantity above 3. There are probably apps that can do it. What I have found is that it is better to get a programmer to add the features. Once in a while we customize an app but a lot of time we just change the code to include the new feature.
One of the best things we added to the website is how the shopify site performs when the units are out of stock. We didn't want it to take a back order or do anything like that. We wanted it to say that we needed to provide a quote and then we have a box that only requires your email. From that email, we know what unit they were looking at and possibly how many. It is really easy to fill out. It takes seconds and we have found that many our willing to fill it out.
Our goal when making a form was to make it as easy as possible. We would love their address and phone number and all kinds of great marketing data but the truth is that such an invasion series of questions might scare the prospect away. We want to make it so easy and simple that the customer feels comfortable. It is now our job to send them a compelling email to get back their attention and remind them to complete their purchase.
If you go through our website, you will notice that we only have about 12 products for sale and the rest of the items say click here for more information. That wasn't a default option. I needed custom programming to do that. When it comes to doing things in the back end, nothing is faster than Shopify. I can add items, change categories, add pictures almost instantly. It is so much faster than Wix. With Wix you click a button and then wait. Because of Wix, I realize how fast Shopify really is.
I think the biggest testimonial is that I am using Shopify on this website richardsonseating.com right now. That is where you are if you have no idea what you clicked on. I am in the process of moving 3 additional sites to Shopify. They are old sites that have a lot of pages, so I need to be very careful moving them over so I don't lose the links and traffic that I have built up over time. I was a little rash when I converted Richardsonseating.com over from NetworkSolutions. We lost a lot of our traffic. Our main complaint with Shopify so far is that it isn't the fastest on Google's mobile test. Shopify uses Fastly CDNs that are setup around the world, so in theory I am sure it is fast compared to other hosts. Hopefully, we will be back to the top of searches in the next few months as I continue to add missing content. If you have any questions about Shopify, feel free to send us a message. It will go to me.
The best thing about using Shopify is that you can be live and selling product in an hour or so. The real reason its so easy is that Shopify offers you an excellent payment service. Most of the time when you set up a backend for eCommerce, you need to intergrate you payments processor into your shopping cart. You can still do that with Shopify but most people will end up using Shopify's very low credit card rates. If low shopping rates weren't good enough, Shopify also has a deal with UPS that allows you to purchase UPS labels at significantly reduced. With one Shopify monthly account, you get competitive credit cards rates and you get competitive shipping rates all from the Shopify Back end. We haven't used their shipping rates, but we have used their credit card rates and they are fantastic. Depending on your monthly fee, you can get lower and lower credit card rates. We decided to go with the $30 a month plan which doens't have the lowest rates but they are lower than we were paying before with Paypal.
Our rates are 2.9% + 30cents per transaction. If we moved up to the $80 a month plan, our rates would drop to 2.6%. We aren't doing that many transactions right now so its probably a wash either way, I think the most exited thing about the rates is that we seem to get the same rate for American Express. That is a really good rate for Amex. I think I typically pay 3.5% so the option to get it for 2.6% is pretty spectacular.
The one negative is that you get the same high rates when people use their debit cards. Debit cards often have much lower rates but about 1%. It doesn't appear to be that Shopify allows us to receive the benefit of lower rates when someone does use a debit card. PayPal was the same way. We assume most of the cards we see are business credit cards so with that in mind, getting rates bewlow 3% is pretty fantastic. Those business cards especially the ones that give points are notorious for charging very high fees.