History of Shopify
Shopify was founded in 2006 by a team of 3 developers who were attempting to setup their own online store for a snowboarding equipment company.
The team ended up developing the website in 2 months and launching it under the name ‘Snowdevil’. Not long after, they released a version of the website where multiple stores could all setup their own online store easily, within one platform, launched and still today known as ‘Shopify’.
Shopify, in basic terms, makes creating an online store simple. They do this by creating simple interfaces that don’t require the user to have any programming skills, thereby making it easy to fully develop a working online shop in mere hours!
Shopify is primarily a code-less platform, meaning that even a relative beginner on a computer, can still create an online store to sell their products.
While Shopify caters to the rookie online start-ups, it also has a large community of developers who create what are called ‘Plugins’ and ‘Themes’ for the platform.
What are Plugins?
Starting with Plugins, these essentially allow you to add custom functionality to your store that might be unique to your industry / product line. For example, having specific modules for managing your shipping and payment options for customers. Other plugins can include audio playback integration, file downloads to 3D product carousels!
What are Themes?
Themes are basically the design of the website. Shopify has a handful of ‘free’ themes you can use. And while these do the job, in most cases, your website can look quite boring and ordinary. Paying for a professional Shopify theme is often the way to go. However, once you selected a theme, you still need to go through the process of customising it to make it unique to your brand. This can require some creative skill to do but if done right, can lead to a great experience for your customers!
Benefit of using Themes & Plugins
The benefit of these themes & integrations is that you can get a very functional website that be setup with very little cost, just some old fashion "elbow grease".
However, in reality, anything over and above a simple Shopify website can still be complicated to setup. That is when it is better to hire a creative studio to help build your Shopify website.
Benefit & Cost of using Shopify
Shopify is an excellent tool to help you setup an online store for your business. (There are close to 2,000,000 stores on Shopify! Yes, stores!) So that in its own right is proof that Shopify can be a great solution for many businesses.
The cost of Shopify generally ranges from $29 USD per month, up to around $299 USD per month. Most shops can run their online shop with the Basic or Shopify plan, however, those who require a more enterprising solution with the functionalities such as detailed reporting, and shops with multiple staff users will suit the ‘Advanced’ plan. Also, remember to take into consideration, plugins have ongoing costs in some cases, so even with a few plugins, you may find you are spending upwards of $100 USD a month.
Shopify also charges per transaction, so every time an order is placed, part of the orders' value will go to Shopify. This, in most cases, is to cover credit card fees, although using an external method, for instance Paypal, will still mean you pay a 2.9% fee to Paypal AND a 2.0% fee to Shopify. So, it pays to calculate what the best setup is before you get too involved in building your Shopify store.
Aside from some of the ongoing costs, Shopify is an excellent solution that every retailer should consider when looking to sell online. RAZOR are the experts in Shopify website development, and are here to look after the entire process for you from planning to launching your Shopify online store. Contact us for a free quote today.