30th March 2020
Firstly, let’s put our cards on the table, our business is a certified Shopify partner. Which initially makes us look quite biased on the subject of which eCommerce platform to choose for your online store. But in reality it’s a choice we also had to make - the reason we based our entire business around Shopify is that we believe it’s currently the best eCommerce platform on the market. Therefore it should be the obvious choice for our potential clients.
The big stand out reason when assessing the variety of different solutions available for your shop has to be that Shopify is purely and entirely an eCommerce platform. This often overlooked reason is enormous, I can’t overstate it enough. It will affect every aspect of your web store now and in the future.
The design and build of your online store will be hugely affected by this fact, from the back office of the site to how easy it will be to make adjustments to the store going forward. We believe this will, for the majority of stores, have an effect on the quality of the online shop that is produced.
Going forward you can also rest assured that Shopify as a business is focussed entirely on helping their customers create successful ecommerce stores. All of their future developments will be in pursuit of this, as will their blog, their partnerships with other businesses and their subscription packages.
Regardless of the size of your business, Shopify can work for you. The basic subscription package is affordable for businesses just starting out, and the package that you get for this is fantastic. It gives customers access to tools that in years past would only be available to large businesses, by giving everyone access to these tools it allows them to compete with the big guys. My favourite example of this would be triggered emails, including abandoned cart emails, a key tool in retargeting visitors. Another would be Shopify’s self-learning recommended products engine, a key tool in both generating sales and increasing average order value.
For bigger businesses Shopify becomes even more flexible and has further advanced features. It’s the platform of choice for some massive online stores like Gymshark, Skinnydip London, Emma Bridgewater and many more.
When thinking about scalability and future proofing your business, an important consideration is bandwidth. Or to put it very simply, how many visitors and orders your website can handle at one time. With Shopify your online store is hosted on their servers, this means there is no risk of your site crashing regardless of how big the rush of customers is. There are also no additional costs based on bandwidth or the number of visitors you have.
On top of the technology needed to scale your business easily, Shopify also provides you with the tools to make your website both fast and reliable. Again, historically these tools wouldn’t have been available to small and medium sized businesses.
As a store owner, you don’t need to know the ins and outs of these tools - just make sure your web designer or web design agency does. Using lazy loading, a CDN and dynamic image sizing your site can be on a par with the bigger players in the market.
You also don’t have to worry about security, Shopify automatically updates regularly which not only ensures your site uses the latest security methods but it also ensures that it works across the latest devices and browsers. I’d also say that in our experience the technical support provided by Shopify if there are any issues is excellent.
Lastly I’d add that the Shopify community is a big plus to the platform. From a design and development point of view there's a fantastic ecosystem to share ideas and solve each other's problems. From a store owner point of view it means that the Shopify app store is excellent, it’s full of add ons and products for your site that can give you that extra bit of functionality that you’re after.
Finally, we come to price and to be honest, looking at the different platforms available for your store there’s not a lot of difference. Certainly when you look at the bigger picture for your business and what you want to achieve, the costs are low. This is true not just of Shopify but for all of their main competitors. In my opinion it can be completely removed from the equation, which allows you to look fairly at all the options and simply pick the best platform available - I believe this is Shopify.
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