What is Shopify?

Natalie Miller
Natalie Miller
April 15 · 5 min read
Shopify start page on a laptop screen

Shopify – What is it?

You’ve probably heard of ‘Shopify’ many times before. Amongst friends talking about their businesses around the dinner table, when you’re trying to buy something online, or whilst reading one of our past blogs. The name comes up again over and over. So, what exactly is this popular sounding company?

Master E-Commerce Platform

Shopify is an E-Commerce platform that you can use to build your online store. You are able to create an online store that boasts your products/services that people can purchase in real time. It’s a phenomenal platform that has many features that will allow you to offer your online visitors a user friendly browsing experience. In addition to this, it also offers offline usability in the form of their POS system which stands for ‘Point of Sale’ that you can do in person, i.e., when a customer comes to your store and makes a physical purchase.

Shopify Templates

Shopify is an E-Commerce platform and website builder that caters to users who describe themselves as complete E-Commerce amateurs, all the way over to those who consider themselves experts. So for your Shopify online shop, there are templates that you can choose from when you design your online store. If you aren’t an online savant, that essentially has all the pieces that you’d require to open an online store. All you need to do is add your own information, but the infrastructure is given to you. All the way to being able to custom build your Shopify online shop, using Shopify as the platform to make sales. You can create a bespoke online store with unique design and functionality. This level is only possible if you are a tech expert. If you’re not, then you can hire an agency like ours to do it for you.

Your Shopify Online Shop

What Shopify does for your Shopify online shop is, it provides you with the foundation to set up and run an online store of your own. Using the above-mentioned template, you will be able to open a storefront, have all your products on your site (there is no limit to the number of products you can have, regardless of which plan you choose) and finally engage with your customers.

The great thing about the service that Shopify offers is that they allow anyone wanting to sign up for one of their plans the option to use Shopify as a trial for 14 days for free.

Shopify Apps

During this trial period, you have access to features that allow you to build your own online store. You will also be able to test out the almost countless Shopify Apps. The reason you may need to incorporate apps to your online store is because you can expand on the functionality of your site with apps.

Let’s run through an example:

You have a Shopify online shop. Say you run a cake company and receive daily orders. Each morning you need to add a tag to your list of orders, separating the dates so that you know on which day, which cakes are needed. Tags come with a standard Shopify plan, so no app needed for that just yet. You use your ‘date tag’ and are presented with all the cakes going out on a certain date. Now, you need to somehow accumulate this daily order and pass it on to your pastry team so that they know which cakes they need to bake for that day. This is where you need an app. You need to install an app that allows you to collate all this information onto one document, so this is where an app like Order Picklist would come in handy.

It’s less important to go into detail about this specific app called ‘Order Picklist’ and more into apps in general and what they can do for you. What you’re achieving with Shopify Apps is essentially making everything as streamlined as possible for yourself and your business. Please note, however, that there are countless apps out there, so just make sure that you research the ones that suit your needs best and that also suit your budget (the price varies depending on which app you go for).

Shopify Payment Features

Another nifty feature that comes along with Shopify is their payment features. When you sign up with Shopify to run your Shopify online shop, you have the option to use Shopify's own payments option. Shopify payments makes it super easy to start accepting payments from MasterCard, VISA, ApplePay etc. so you do not need to worry about that.

Shopify Plans and Pricing

Furthermore, Shopify also has 5 different plans that you can choose from. Depending on what your budget is and what your needs are, you can select from a plan that starts at $9 all the way up to a plan that costs $2000. These plans are:

  • Shopify Lite
  • Basic Shopify
  • Shopify
  • Advanced Shopify
  • Shopify Plus

If you would like to know more about how much each plan costs, what features come with each of these plans and which benefits you can expect, then read our blog ‘Shopify Plans and Pricing’ here.

Conclusion – Understanding the Basics of Shopify

We hope that we have answered your general questions about Shopify. This is really only touching the surface, but it should be just enough information to get you started, whilst also not bombarding you with too much introductory information that makes you feel nervous to open a Shopify online shop.

If you want to learn more, there is tons of information out there and a large community is ready to help you – be it by answering your questions on the forum, or professional agencies like ours, that can help you get the most out of your Shopify store.

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Natalie Miller
Written by

Natalie Miller

Marketing Manager

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