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I'm looking at the Shopify e-commerce system. What do you think of Shopify for someone's first small shop venture? I've seen the ratings on line, which ranks Shopify very high, compared to Volusion, which has its issues. (Needless to say, no one system is perfect.) I need something which will be flexible-allowing me to increase products as the store grows in sales; reactive, which will work on multiple platforms: tablet, desktop, cell phone; SMedia ready: fb, twitter, google+, etc.; customizable in color, graphics; SEO with ease; good shopping cart; quality SSL; Paypal and others; (Can you have that and authorize.net on the same system? Hmmm.) Now looking at Shopify's plans, each ranges in price significantly. I only have a couple dozen actual items with which I will begin this process. So, those of you who have experience with ecommerce sites, what do you think of Shopify's offerings? I have been exploring for a bit among the ecommerce packages, and they all offer the world, but what is the heart and truth when it comes to these products. Will Shopify's basic plan satisfy my needs for now? What are the downsides/pitfalls of using such a plan? Storage? Glitches?

Shopify: Shopify Pricing
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  • Profile picture of the author justray
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    • Profile picture of the author alksense
      Originally Posted by justray View Post

      Anybody out there with any experience with this system?
      I recommend you go with Shopify. I was hesitant to reply to this thread because it seems everyone has their own opinion of which platform is best and people just go back and forth with "this is better", "no this is", "but what about this one?".

      The truth is, you can make A LOT of money on any of the eCommerce platforms out there. They are all great but in my opinion, Shopify is the best.

      I've owned eCommerce stores for seven years now and I've used almost every platform that there is. I started with a Yahoo Store, tried Magento, tried BigCommerce, even tried some WP eCommerce themes and eventually ended up moving all of my stores to Shopify.

      They have the best customer support, the smallest learning curve and you will save a ton of money if you upgrade features of your store by using plugins from their "app store". Many off their apps that costs $20 and less would cost hundreds to have implemented into other eCommerce platforms.

      I like them because they save me money long term and because I can launch highly converting stores with them in just days. No waiting around for programmers and designers who I have to keep paying for updates. Just a solid infrastructure that's easy to modify.

      Hope that helps!

      Thanks,
      Anton
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      • Profile picture of the author amcg
        Originally Posted by alksense View Post

        I recommend you go with Shopify. I was hesitant to reply to this thread because it seems everyone has their own opinion of which platform is best and people just go back and forth with "this is better", "no this is", "but what about this one?".

        The truth is, you can make A LOT of money on any of the eCommerce platforms out there. They are all great but in my opinion, Shopify is the best.

        I've owned eCommerce stores for seven years now and I've used almost every platform that there is. I started with a Yahoo Store, tried Magento, tried BigCommerce, even tried some WP eCommerce themes and eventually ended up moving all of my stores to Shopify.

        They have the best customer support, the smallest learning curve and you will save a ton of money if you upgrade features of your store by using plugins from their "app store". Many off their apps that costs $20 and less would cost hundreds to have implemented into other eCommerce platforms.

        I like them because they save me money long term and because I can launch highly converting stores with them in just days. No waiting around for programmers and designers who I have to keep paying for updates. Just a solid infrastructure that's easy to modify.

        Hope that helps!

        Thanks,
        Anton
        Similarly, I've tried those you mentioned in various stores and I've found BigCommerce and Shopify to be the best.
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  • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
    It seems like I have an opinion on everything in regards to eCommerce.

    I'll first start off by saying Shopify is very user friendly. Shopify was intended to reach out to people wanting to start a small website as a part of a small or new business and created it's entire system around this demographic of user (which is not a bad thing.)

    If you plan to sell maybe a couple hundred different things, then Shopify is great at getting you started without making you feel overwhelmed by options you don't understand.

    Beyond that, you will eventually need features that Shopify isn't willing to provide and will have to hire a developer to assist you.

    I've read mixed reviews about them in regards to SEO.

    I tested Shopify because I wanted to go from have 1 big store, to having 1 big store and 30 smaller stores because I sold many niche items based on past sales data on eBay where I was also running a couple large accounts. When I hired my staff to start launching these niche sites as well as sites designed around the items offered by specific suppliers that I could dropship from, we all sat down and debated on which shopping cart to use that would allow us to pump out nice and neat customized websites that worked well with SEO... and because none of us knew much about SEO, we went with Shopify because their entire service is pretty much based on Fast, Simple, and SEO friendly. Sounded like it was something we wanted.

    Unfortunately we later decided to move them from Shopify to another cart because we didn't have the ability to export .csv's or something to that nature, meaning we couldn't communicate data between our small websites and the much larger one (and eBay and Amazon as well) which were the ones making us money at this point in time. When I spoke to someone at Shopify, I was told to hire a developer to assist me further and that they would take any other questions I might have. Last time I spoke with someone who was using Shopify, they fixed this and you can now export .csv's.

    I have no bad feelings about them, we simply outgrew them at the time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Julia Russo
    The one you learn and are comfortable with is the best. I tried Shopify but since I had my experience in Volusion and BigCommerce, I decided not to go the route of relearning a new platform. If any one you choose does not pass the "help test" (meaning easy support, knowledge base, fast response to questions), try another. In the long run, the quicker you can get around when building or rebuilding a site, the quicker you can get back to earning money.
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    Wholesale/drop ship tutorials--LEARN HOW and where to get drop shippers
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  • Profile picture of the author Palomino
    Something to take a look at: layered navigation and filterable attributes. I do Magento Go and Magento CE buildouts daily for my income, and we are moving a client from BiCommerce due to Magento's expandability. One of their primary reasons for moving was that BigCommerce does not have attributes! I was shocked!
    I also started dabbling in OpenCart because another prospect wanted some freelance work on it, and after installing it, I found the documentation and support very lacking. I was also shocked to find out that there's no way to import products on that system natively- you either create them one at a time or the official KB recommends several 3rd party extensions. I thought that was a native feature of all mainstream carts!

    What is an attribute? An attribute allows you to set different options for a product. So, if you have a Red T-shirt, the attributes would be the different sizes, such as Small, Medium, Large, XL. The main Red T-shirt would be a "configurable product", and the sizes would be the simple products of that main product. they are hidden from search engines and the cart by default, and are accessible via drop down menu on the main product. This is how 99% of clothing store ecommerce sites work. On carts without attributes, each size would have to be its own product, which is confusing to customers, because now they'll see 4 identical looking Red T-shirts in the T-shirt category, and bad for SEO, since you'll have 4 duplicate items.

    Depending on what you're offering, Shopify could be a very good fit for you. I'm not sure if they have filterable attributes or not, but if you only sell one size, one color products, like info products or whatnot, it is probably a very good beginner store.
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    • Profile picture of the author Audarah
      Palomino has me thinking now. I am not too sure about Shopify myself; only because I have been working with WP for years and am quite partial to it. I just feel like I would be more in control if I used WP. But now I have to find a platform that has filterable attributes! Sometimes I confuse myself more than need be.
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      • Profile picture of the author Julia Russo
        In defense of BigCommerce, I have to correct you on the "attibutes". Product options are there without need to create a separate listing. Option sets allow whatever options you want to give a product including the ability to make an option a different price.
        Just to clarify so no one gets the wrong impression.
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        Wholesale/drop ship tutorials--LEARN HOW and where to get drop shippers
        http://www.storkandveil.com/wholesale-drop-ship-info/
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        • Profile picture of the author OnlineStoreHelp
          I think it all depends on what you need the store to do. For Niche store with either limited or no categories, Shopify is fantastic. Many single product sellers use them as it is easy to set up and beautiful looking.

          If you are going to have lots of products and sub-products, I always suggest Big Commerce. It is a more powerful platform than Shopify and once you use the system, I think even easier and more streamlined than Shopify. Plus it is SEO optimized down to the product and page level, while Shopify is at the store level. The ability to set up options, option sets and rules is much more powerful. That also includes coupons, wishlists, giftcards and discounts powered out of the box and a Facebook store.

          If you need to do recurring orders (vitamins or other consumables) neither of them will work for you. You will need to do Volusion or Americommerce.

          All of them will integrate with Authorize.net and PayPal plus about 50 others for those of you outside the US.
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          • Profile picture of the author amcg
            Originally Posted by OnlineStoreHelp View Post

            If you are going to have lots of products and sub-products, I always suggest Big Commerce. It is a more powerful platform than Shopify and once you use the system, I think even easier and more streamlined than Shopify. Plus it is SEO optimized down to the product and page level, while Shopify is at the store level. The ability to set up options, option sets and rules is much more powerful. That also includes coupons, wishlists, giftcards and discounts powered out of the box and a Facebook store.
            This. Shopify is the best entry level hosted ecommerce solution IMO, BigCommerce is better for something requiring a larger catalogue/featureset.

            There's a really good overview of the top ten ecommerce platforms here. I think it's about right.

            Personally, I like BigCommerce as the product is built on top of a strong product itself (Interspire).
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          • Profile picture of the author Davo1985
            Originally Posted by OnlineStoreHelp View Post

            I think it all depends on what you need the store to do. For Niche store with either limited or no categories, Shopify is fantastic. Many single product sellers use them as it is easy to set up and beautiful looking.

            If you are going to have lots of products and sub-products, I always suggest Big Commerce. It is a more powerful platform than Shopify and once you use the system, I think even easier and more streamlined than Shopify. Plus it is SEO optimized down to the product and page level, while Shopify is at the store level. The ability to set up options, option sets and rules is much more powerful. That also includes coupons, wishlists, giftcards and discounts powered out of the box and a Facebook store.

            If you need to do recurring orders (vitamins or other consumables) neither of them will work for you. You will need to do Volusion or Americommerce.

            All of them will integrate with Authorize.net and PayPal plus about 50 others for those of you outside the US.
            Not true. Shopify has aps such as chargifier that fixes that issue. You can easily sell products with recurring orders.
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        • Profile picture of the author mrfan
          Originally Posted by Julia Russo View Post

          In defense of BigCommerce, I have to correct you on the "attibutes". Product options are there without need to create a separate listing. Option sets allow whatever options you want to give a product including the ability to make an option a different price.
          Just to clarify so no one gets the wrong impression.
          I'm on bigcommerce, its awesome really user friendly!
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  • Profile picture of the author Hampton44
    Hi---I know you asked me on another thread how I was feeling with Shopify---I am a bit overwhelmed with all the shopping carts, but found this one the most simple for me to use. I am slowly learning more about it each day. I paid for a year in advance to avoid the Shop fees associated with this set up.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jony Adams
    Hello

    Yeah It totally depends on your needs. It is easy to set up the Shopify platform. It offers great responsive design means you can easily build a website which looks good on desktops, tablets and mobile devices. While Big commerce is easy to navigate and includes best SEO configurations.

    I would advice Big commerce because if you want to succeed in eCommerce, good SEO is absolutely essential.
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  • Profile picture of the author KayaIsmail
    I wrote a detailed review of Shopify for those wondering about some of its features:

    Shopify Review: Ecommerce, Only Simpler

    I highly recommend it.
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  • Profile picture of the author repricerexpress
    As many people have posted on here, it truly depends on your needs and which system you feel comfortable with. I would honestly trial 2-3 of them to see which you like and use—although this may seem a little superficial, it's better to choose a system that you'll use rather than one that has more features which you simply can't get your head round.

    Shopify for me is a very user-friendly system and if you're starting out in ecommerce, it will be more than adequate for your needs. If you outgrow it due to large sales and the need for more features, I would worry about that detail further down the line—the most important thing when you're starting out is to actually get set up and selling. Concentrate on that first, and best of luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author justray
    This original post was actually almost a year ago, and, yes, I did go with Shopify. I was pleasantly surprised to find the customer service was beyond measure. The theme I chose for the store was from a third party, easy enough to manipulate. If I had to do it again, I would go with one of Shopify's house themes, and hire a designer to do the changes that I could not handle. Clean Themes (third party) wanted pints and pints of green blood to tweak the most basic things on my site; I still may make the change to another theme later.
    As for the store itself, it does everything I need...but I'm a small shop.
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  • Profile picture of the author ppcmanager
    Shopify is also more advanced in terms of technology/innovation/updates. Their POS product is an excellent example, and could well be a game changer in the coming days.

    P.S. - Link
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  • Profile picture of the author CK Tan
    I recently received an email from cj asking me to promote Shopify but I hesitated as I wasn't sure. I am so glad to read this thread. Now I am assured.
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  • Profile picture of the author techplus
    I offer something identical with shopify... Pro Eshop - Complete ecommerce solution (hope it is doesn't taken as an advertisment)
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    • Profile picture of the author newrykillz
      Stay away from MagentoGO. Horrible support. They can only answer the most basic of questions. The development team has NO customer service. You dont know of any future plans or if the platform is dead. Add ons are pretty much non-existent

      The theme system is extremely limited as you have no control over server side modifications. No access to the server, php or underlying config files. Its great for a few products. When you get over 2,000 products with 40 different attribute sets it gets pretty insane to keep a level of consistency.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lorde
    I was and still consider myself to be a complete beginner when it comes it eCommerce. I did have a go with Shopify as a free trial and honestly i loved everything about it apart from inventory control. Because i didn't like the inventory control i decided to go with BigCartel just because of how user friendly it is, right now i think it is was a good choice but i have a feeling as a delve into more complicated things like SEO i might start to struggle and long for something a little more advanced.
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  • Profile picture of the author midave
    I use bigcommerce for my online shop.
    When I'm selecting my shopping cart provider, I was thinking to use shopify, but they take commision on sale, so it drive me away.
    I'm thinking to have another online store, and would like to try bigcartel or storenvy.
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  • Profile picture of the author amcg
    Another thing to consider; integrations. The largest platforms integrate with other applications i.e marketing, accounts, shipping etc so be mindful of whether or not your chosen platform works with other apps.

    You don't have to start integrating from day one but as your site grows you'll want to extend it's usefulness using third party apps. Only the really big proprietary systems e.g WebSphere, Hybris etc can offer an all in one solution.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adamwilson
    I visited shopify yesterday, this is a amazing website for ecommerce solution compare to other websites.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    are there carts that integrate with quickbooks accounting? Would be great to have them talk to each other for costing/reporting/pulling product database info etc/CRM etc.....
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  • Profile picture of the author Imran574
    Shopify is a powerful ecommerce website solution that allows you to sell online by providing everything you need to create an online store.
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