Back in 2012 (Old Shopify Review) I had done an initial review of Shopify Shopping cart system. In the year or so since I did that review, Shopify has made some major changes to the platform and I wanted to do a quick update and share those with everyone. Take a look at the quick video below:
What changes has Shopify made?
A few of the changes I appreciate that Shopify has made in the last year include:
- Meta Descriptions down to the page level
- Adding Discount Generator at the basic level
- Removing the transaction fee if you use Stripe with them
- Removing the SKU limitation
- Adding in a Facebook App instead of having to rent one from a third party
- Abandoned Cart Notification on the higher plans.
You also do not need to add in Pixel Printer anymore to print out packing slips. Shopify has integrated that into the platform. With the SKU limitation removed, instead they have placed a storage limit of 1GB. For an ecommerce store, especially starting out, you can make alot with this much storage. In fact, I imagine if you are careful with your sizes you could start with over 200 products (not even mentioning product variations and SKU’s) for just the basic plan.
What I still like about Shopify?
It is still probably the easiest platform to use bar none compared to any other shopping cart. I especially appreciate how easy it is to change the look, feel, colors and fonts of just about any themes. In addition, many of the themes, including free ones are now responsive in nature meaning you do not need a mobile CSS anymore which will help in the long run with Search Engine Optimization.
What is still missing from Shopify?
There are a few things missing in Shopify that means it may not be the best shopping cart platform for you. Their wholesale functionality is still missing. It can theoretically be added in with third party applications but most carts provide for, at the very least, classifying customer groups and giving an across the board discount. If you need strong wholesale functionality, see my review on Americommerce.
While they are getting quite a bit better with it, they still don’t support sub-categories out of the box. For example if you have pet food and need subcategories for dog food, cat food, rabbit, food, etc. then Shopify may not be right for you. But, many third party Shopify theme developers are now setting up their themes so that you can add subcategories within the theme setting.
They also do not allow for subscription type orders. So far only two carts I have worked with allow for recurring/subscription type orders, Volusion and Americommerce. Of the two, I always suggest Americommerce. Or, if you want to go opensource, Opencart supports it out of the box.
Who is Shopify for?
Shopify is a great niche store shopping cart platform to start an ecommerce site with. It has a huge third party eco-system to build out your platform, is PCI Compliant and easy for new ecommerce owners to get started. While it still lacks some functionality at the rate they are going, you will pass the other carts soon enough.
Shopify has a trial and I recommend you try it out. Just click this LINK to be taken to their site and start your free trial.
Not sure which cart to start with? Watch my other shopping cart Reviews Below:
READY TO START WITH SHOPIFY? Use my three part course to walk you through the preparation, design and launch of your new store. Watch over my shoulder as I build a shop from scratch and you can follow along. Just go to CARTPREP.COM for more information.