Shopify Review

Date Established


If you don’t want to join them, try your best to beat them.

That’s the philosophy Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake followed when they created their own eCommerce platform, Shopify.

Based out of Ontario, Canada, Shopify began as a better way for the trio to sell their snowboards online. Since its founding in 2006, though, Shopify has grown to be much more. The company now hosts more than 325,000 stores worldwide and has facilitated over $24 billion in transactions.

And it’s not just about snowboards anymore. Shopify merchants sell everything from handmade soaps to refrigerators, and Shopify hosts a handful of big-name clients, including the Foo Fighters, Amnesty International, and Github.

As a fully hosted, web-based platform, Shopify specializes in simplicity and ease of use. And despite its lack of some advanced features, Shopify’s platform provides the basics that can support most merchants. The rest can be added on with integrations and applications.

Shopify is one of the shopping carts that we most frequently recommend here at Merchant Maverick, quirks and all; it’s fully deserving of its high marks. Keep reading to find out why.

Note: This review deals with Shopify’s eCommerce platform. If you’re looking for our review of Shopify’s POS software, click here.


Shopify’s pricing plans are billed on a month-by-month basis. While there are no contracts to sign, if you choose to purchase a full year-long plan, you can save 10%. If you purchase two years at a time, you’ll save 20%.

Here’s the full rundown of Shopify’s four basic pricing tiers.

Shopify Lite plan: $9/month

  • Credit Card Rate:
    • 2.9% + 30¢ Online
  • Transaction Fee:
    • 2.0%
    • No transaction fee if you use Shopify Payments. If you choose an external payment gateway, there will be a variable transaction fee, based on your plan.
  • Features:
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Unlimited number of products
    • Unlimited online storage
    • Facebook integration
    • Chat & Email Support
    • One staff account (in addition to the owner’s account)

Basic Shopify plan: $29/month

  • Credit Card Rate:
    • 2.9% + 30¢ Online
  • Transaction Fee:
    • 2.0%
  • Additional Features:
    • Pinterest integration
    • 24/7 Support
    • Shopify Mobile
    • Discount code engine
    • Free Shopify Card Reader
    • Online store and Blog
    • Two staff accounts (in addition to the owner’s account)

Shopify plan: $79/month

  • Credit Card Rate:
    • 2.6% + 30¢ Online
  • Transaction Fee:
    • 1.0%
  • Additional Features:
    • Gift cards
    • Professional reports
    • Abandoned cart recovery
    • Five staff accounts (in addition to the owner’s account)

Advanced Shopify plan: $299/month

  • Credit Card Rate:
    • 2.4% + 30¢ Online
  • Transaction Fee:
    • 0.5%
  • Additional Features:
    • Advanced report builder
    • Real-time carrier shipping
    • Fifteen staff accounts (in addition to the owner’s account)

Shopify Plus (Enterprise): If you’re planning on selling over a million dollars per year, you’ll need to contact Shopify for special pricing. Check out our full review of Shopify Plus here.

If you’d prefer a visual representation of Shopify’s plans (not including Shopify Lite or Shopify Plus), this screen shot might help you out.


You may have noticed the transactions fees listed under each plan. While most other shopping carts have eliminated transaction fees, Shopify maintains theirs, which is, no doubt, a pain. On the other hand, Shopify waives those transaction fees if you choose to use Shopify Payments as your payment gateway. More on Shopify Payments in the Payment Processing section.

Web-Hosted or Licensed

Shopify is web-hosted, SaaS (Software as a Service) technology. You’ll never have to worry about coordinating with a third party hosting service.

Hardware and Software Requirements

Because Shopify is a web-based platform, all you need to access it is a computer, an internet connection, and a reliable web browser.

Ease of Use

There’s a Free 14 Day Trial available for you to test out Shopify, no credit card required. When you sign up, you’ll receive an email with a login for your admin as well as a link you can use to view your storefront. The account automatically cancels at the end of fourteen days; in order to activate it again, you have to purchase a plan.

I think you’ll be pleased with your trial of Shopify’s admin. Ease of use is what Shopify does best.

Shopify’s dashboard is clean and orderly.


Although there is no tutorial video or setup wizard, Shopify helps you get started with a checklist on your dashboard. From here, you can choose a theme, add products, and set up your domain (you can also purchase a domain from Shopify. Last I checked it cost $13).

Adding products is easy. It only takes a few clicks and keystrokes.

Add Product

There’s a visual theme editor available, and you can preview all of your changes before your store goes live. Read more about the theme editor in the Web Design section of this article.

The only thing about the admin which really bothers me is that the pages don’t load immediately. I often have to wait a few seconds before the next page is ready. It’s slightly irritating, but it really isn’t too bad.

Overall, Shopify gets an A+ in terms of ease of use.

Why not sign up for that Free 14 Day Trial to try it out for yourself?


Shopify comes with all of the basic features you need to set up shop, right out of the box. Advanced functionality often requires add-on applications, but if you don’t need to have a bunch of bells and whistles, Shopify likely has enough features to get you rolling.

You should note that some of these features are only available with higher level plans. Look into each plan before you purchase.


  • Language Capabilities: Your checkout can be displayed in over 50 different languages.
  • Automatic Shipping Rates: Shopify calculates shipping rates from UPS, USPS, and FedEx (available only in the Shopify Advanced Plan). And, you can select the factors that determine the cost of shipping, whether it be a fixed rate, a tiered rate, a weight-based rate, or a location-based rate.
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery: When a customer leaves items in their carts without purchasing, you can automatically send an email to encourage them to complete their purchase.
  • Automatic Tax Calculator: Shopify calculates tax rates based on your location and the locations of your customers.

Store Management

  • Guest Checkout: Don’t let a customer’s fear of commitment keep them from purchasing. Shopify allows customers to buy without creating an account.
  • Customer Accounts: On the other hand, customers are also able to create personal accounts to make future transactions easier and to receive your promotional emails.
  • Customer Segmentation: Use those customer accounts to find out more about your customers and to group them by factors like location, shopping tendencies, and demographics.
  • Fulfillment Center Options: Shopify connects with fulfillment services like Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA), Rakuten Super Logistics, and Shipwire.
  • Dropshipping Apps: Shopify integrates with Ordoro, Inventory Source, and eCommHub.

Marketing and SEO

  • SEO Best Practices: Shopify follows SEO best practices with features like a customizable H1 and the ability to write title and meta tags as well as product tags. Also, a sitemap.xml is automatically generated for your store.
  • Discounts: You can create discount codes and coupons. Gift cards are available at higher plans.
  • Social Media Integration: Sync your information with Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. You can even use Shopify to sell on Facebook, provided that your page and products comply with Facebook’s terms.
  • Email Templates: Shopify comes with its own email template. The platform also integrates with MailChimp if you’re looking for more complex email functionality.
  • Product Reviews: Let your customers give your products star ratings and write comment-style reviews. Potential customers will trust your brand more if they know that others approve of it.
  • Analytics: Use Shopify’s built-in analytics to view product reports, export reports, and traffic reports. Or, you can integrate with Google Analytics.

Product Management

  • List Unlimited Products: Keep track of all of those products with Shopify’s inventory management and product category organization features.
  • Product Variations: List variations on your products like size, color, and material. You can list up to 100 combinations per product.
  • Digital Products: Sell both physical and digital products from the same site.
  • Bulk Import/Export: Use this feature to facilitate migration from your previous platform.

Web Hosting

  • Unlimited Bandwidth: You’ll never be charged bandwidth overage fees.
  • Daily Backups: Ensure your content is saved.
  • Automatic Upgrades: Keep your site up to date with Shopify’s newest features, without any effort on your part.
  • 99.9% Uptime: With a record like that, you can be confident that your store will stay online through high traffic seasons.

Shopify Mobile

  • Access your Site from Anywhere: Use Shopify’s app to manage your admin from your mobile device.

But, wait! There’s more! For Shopify’s full features list, click here.

Web Design

Shopify’s web design is truly beautiful. There are 53 mobile responsive themes available and nine of them are free. The rest are priced between $120-$180.

These themes are among the best I’ve seen. They’re professional, elegant, and easy for your customers to navigate.

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 12.53.06 PM

Editing these themes is also relatively simple. Using the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, you can update content on your pages quickly. The theme editor in the backend allows you to make small changes to your theme and to preview those changes in real time, without reloading the page. From the theme editor, you can change backgrounds, images, colors, and fonts without ever touching a piece of code (hallelujah). This is what the theme editor looks like.

Theme Editor

Shopify has also recently introduced a new way of theme editing. It’s called Sections, and it’s currently available with select themes. Sections is almost a drag and drop feature. You can arrange the order of your storefront’s widgets by dragging and dropping elements in the toolbar on the left. Shopify hopes to make Sections a feature of all of its themes soon.

Here’s what the Sections theme editor looks like.

On the other hand, if coding is your thing, there’s an HTML/CSS editor. You should note that Shopify themes are built with Shopify’s own coding language, Liquid. Here’s an example of Liquid code.

Liquid copy

If you know what any of that means, congratulations. For the rest of us, I’ll translate a bit. Liquid is a flexible code that allows changes in the admin to be featured on your site. While I personally do not speak computer, I’ve read several reviews from developers that praise Liquid as an easy-to-learn and easy-to-use language. So, that’s a plus.

Although Shopify is not open source, further customization is still an option. There are Shopify Experts ready to help you with that.

Integrations and Add-on

The Shopify App store is one of the most extensive I’ve seen. With over 1500 apps available, I can say with certainty that Shopify integrates with whatever you’re looking for.

A word of warning: Part of the reason Shopify’s App store is so extensive is because Shopify stores often have to use applications in order to get all the features they want. While Shopify does a great job offering the features most stores need, any additional functionality requires an app.

So, if you want to add faceted search AND automated email marketing AND one-page checkout, you’re going to have to spring for three apps, most of which are billed on a monthly basis. That can get expensive. Make sure you know which features you need before joining Shopify. While Shopify is typically one of the least expensive shopping carts, it can quickly become the most expensive option if you need lots of advanced features.

(If you’re looking for an easy-to-use cart with lots of advanced features already built in, I suggest you take a look at Zoey. Their plans are slightly more expensive than Shopify’s, but you won’t have to purchase as many add-ons.)

Payment Processing

Shopify integrates with over 70 gateways, including, Amazon Payments, Dwolla, and Quickbooks Payments.

As I’ve mentioned before, Shopify also offers its own payment method, Shopify Payments. With Shopify Payments not only do you enjoy 0% transaction fees, but also you may benefit from reduced credit card fees. Shopify Payments is currently available to merchants in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and Ireland. Take a look at the graphic below to see what credit card fees would be for your plan.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer service is available through all of the typical channels. You can contact support by email, live chat, and phone.

Shopify’s phone support is available 24/7. The phone number for the US is listed below. There are separate phone numbers for customers from Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. You can find those numbers here.

There are lots of other ways you can find the information you need to resolve issues on your own. Here’s a quick list of all the support options available.

The quality of Shopify’s customer service varies depending on who you ask. Some merchants absolutely rave about Shopify’s “gurus.” They say that Shopify provides informed, friendly support. On the other hand, I’ve also read a lot of angry comments that condemn Shopify’s support representatives for reading answers from a script. These customers say that the representatives they contacted did not have the power to help.

I’ve had fairly neutral experience with Shopify, myself. When I called with a simple question, I received an informed answer after waiting on hold for thirty minutes. I was satisfied with the support, though a little nonplussed with the wait time.

Negative Reviews and Complaints

Shopify has overwhelmingly positive reviews on most comment boards and third party review sites. However, that doesn’t mean every merchant and developer is satisfied with all aspects of Shopify. These a few of the complaints that I’ve seen most often.

  • Limited Functionality: Because Shopify aims to keep its functions basic and easy-to-grasp, there are a few missing elements in their features list. Complaints focus on limited discount features (you can only list one condition at a time for a discount–see screen shot in Ease of Use). Customers are also frustrated with limited variations for their products and with the lack of wholesale selling options.
  • Costly Add-ons: In order to make up for that lack of functionality, merchants often enlist add-ons, which can become quite expensive.
  • Sub-Par Checkout Features: Shopify’s checkout redirects your customers to Shopify’s own checkout page, which does not belong to your domain. While this isn’t likely to scare away many customers, some merchants would prefer to do everything on their own site. Also, there’s no one-page checkout feature (unless, of course, you use an app).
  • Poor Customer Service: As I’ve mentioned, opinions on customer service are widely varied. For every frustrated customer bashing Shopify’s service, there’s one singing its praises. Take that how you will.

While the following complaints are less frequent, I also see these factors mentioned in negative reviews:

  • Transaction Fees: Most shopping carts have moved away from transaction fees by now, but Shopify is still going strong.
  • Learning Curve to use Liquid: Although many developers like Liquid, it does take some time to learn the new language in order to use it effectively.
  • No Real-Time Shipping Quotes: Real-time shipping rates are only available at the highest plan ($299/mo). Alternatively, you could use Shopify’s ShippingEasy app to connect to UPS and FedEx.
  • Some reports of downtime: Some customers have reported that their sites went down during critical selling periods.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials

Shopify has far more positive reviews than negative. Here are the most commonly voiced pros.

  • Ease of Use: As I’ve said before, ease of use is Shopify’s niche. You can get a store up and running in just a day. It’s a great approach for startup and midsize businesses alike, even if you have very little experience with creating a website.
  • Beautiful Themes: A professional-looking site inspires trust in your customers. Shopify helps by providing the best-looking themes I’ve seen from an eCommerce platform.
  • Liquid Coding: Isn’t it strange how sometimes a negative can become a positive? Although Liquid does take a bit to learn, once you’ve got it down, it’s easy to make changes to your theme at the base level. Most developers love Liquid.
  • Good Customer Service: I can only shrug.

Other customers mentioned:

  • A Well Documented REST API: It’s easy to build integrations and applications.
  • The Benefits of a Fully-Hosted Platform: It’s nice to not have to worry about organizing a third-party host for your site.


Shopify is Level 1 PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant, which is the gold standard for eCommerce platforms. Every merchant gets a free 128-bit shared SSL certificate.

Shopify is currently working on encrypting every page on every site that they host. You just have to opt-in. Read more about why and how to encrypt your store on their blog post.

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use, dependable, and elegant online platform for your store, you can stop the search now. I feel confident recommending Shopify to most merchants, provided they aren’t seeking lots of advanced functionality on a shoestring budget.

But before you make the leap, I encourage you to take the admin for a test drive. Sign up for your free trial, call into customer support with any questions you have, and see what features you may need to add-on. You’ve got nothing to lose.

Get Started with Shopify

Liz Hull

Liz Hull

Liz is a recent college graduate living in Washington state. As of late, she can often be found haunting eCommerce forums and waiting on hold with customer service representatives. When she's free, Liz loves to rock climb, watch Spanish dramas, and read poorly-written young adult novels.
Leave a comment


    Andrew Nelson

    Shopify has the worst technical support of any digital service company I work with.I am without a doubt taking my store somewhere else.

    Jay Perth

    A business colleague client asked me to setup a shop for him and after hunting around I had thought that Shopify would fit the bill. Big mistake. This company is just awful and they are not cheap - it's the old upsell with Shopify. Some basic native requirements for a store are not built in - you have to get an app and although some are free inevitably the ones you want are a monthly fee (of which Shopify gets a cut so they'll never build it into the platform for free). I'm sure Shopify suits some but the comments on this platform reflect exactly my sentiment. Awful product and uncaring company. We eventually ditched it despite the pain of moving shop and went for a WordPress/Woocommerce setup. A bit trickier to setup but it does everything my client wanted and apart from a modest hosting fee there are no monthly extras.


    Terrible customer service and zero concern about the businesses built on their platform. After a year of investing in our online store, doing SEO, marketing, and product development our payment channel is frozen without warning and our customers are unable to make purchases. We're told we must wait while a "review" is done - meanwhile, we're losing sales and paying for a service we're unable to access. The customer service reps are happy to ignore the situation and copy/paste canned responses. Now seeking alternative platforms upon which to build our business. This type of customer service and opaque application of rules/reviews should be a huge warning to anyone considering Shopify. Beware.


    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    Shopify are withholding over $10000 from my account. Constant contact with email/chat and phone promise resolution but does not actually resolve anything. No explanations provided. This can cause destructive problems with new businesses. Beware!


    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    Terrible customer service and unethical billing practices. Shopify will literally bill you for a month of service and take down your website two days later. We aren't talking about retroactive billing, we are talking about future billing. This company is run horribly. They bill you for months that you aren't even using the service. I had a horrible experience with Shopify and you will find many other complaints about them online as well. It is impossible to talk to a real person about your account and they use fake names for account reps which do nothing but generate a customer support ticket that goes to a pot-smoking hipster who will be extremely condescending, passive-aggressive, and unhelpful with your requests.


    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    Horrible support when you need help!!! Everyone acts like they are going to help you but they don’t! They froze my payouts for no reason. I have gone above and beyond to give them the information they needed and with no explain as to why my payouts have been frozen. Horrible customer service everyone “acts nice” but they never help fix your issues it’s like I’m being disregarded. It’s like they don’t understand this is a business and you’re expecting this income. I haven’t slept in days because of the vague customer support and no one answers my questions as to when my payouts will be unfrozen and as to why this occurred.???!!!!! Even after this is fixed I’m removing my website from shopify. They don’t help when you have issue what about in the future when/if something new happens how are they going to treat my issue then? …….Vague answers? Vague replies?

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    They are unable to offer me shopify payment gateway, as a result we have to use our own stripe gateway cost us extra %2 transaction fees, I think this should have been removed, not that we don't use it, it is because you wouldn't let us use it.


    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    Its ok, I use another site to sync products but I am getting almost no visitors. I will google one of the products I am selling on other platforms in the shopping page and can find it for my other platforms. not my shopifystore. Sold two items in two months and had tow abandoned checkouts. not really pleased with it. Synching is a pain in the butt if you use their ap.


    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Ethan Forrest

    What’s the other site that you use?! I’m still in my trial phase and debating whether or not to pay for a month to month basis!

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    Shopify is great until you have a problem. Their support is none existant. They are not very pro business, for example they are quick to disable your account if a payment method fails. Unlike other sites which will block admin access, shopify take your site offline. Better not lose your card associated with your shopify otherwise when your card gets cancelled your site will go offline!!!! Support will not help you either!


    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    I have been working with a small clothing boutique who has two stores and just recently went with Shopify. We seem to be having problems with the integration to QB on line. We have contacted Shopify as well as QB and do not seem to be getting any answers. It is a problem on Shopify’s end. They continue to down load all of transactions from Shopify into both a Shopify holding account as well as a Undeposited Funds account on QB. It is almost impossible to match transactions and is not clearing the Shopify holding account. Is anyone else having this problem that has more than one location?

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Marilyn Fudge

    I have been trying to cancel shopify for 2 months, please help me cancel

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Dave Hample

    I am looking to switch from Quickbooks POS and BigCommerce to Shopify. Looking for an integrated solution to avoid all this manual synching of inventory. But, twice now, I have logged on to the Shopify on-line chat feature trying to get help from Shopify and I have yet to have a Shopify representative hook up on the chat. I am very worried about their level of 24×7 support given these experiences.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    I have used Shopify for 8 years. I have 3 stores running. I would not recommend Shopify. They are now too big and simply do not care. They are willing to go home on the weekend and leave your store down (Yes that’s all three) I then get an email on the Monday morning from Alan Hill “Hopefully it resolved itself over the weekend for you! ” No it didn’t. So you keep calling and get bright eyed little well meaning bunnies, now called Guru’s, who unfortunately are just not trained but worse not empowered.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Jann Richardson, Owner LAMPGOODS

    I left BigCommerce after they changed my monthly rate by 500%.! I’d been with them for nearly 2 years and overall was pleased, but when they increased it without an option, I looked to another source and decided on Shopify.
    I have been using Shopify for 3 months and I am thrilled! My top reason is my Google ranking! It has continued to increase and I am now ranked HIGHER than I had ever been with BigCommerce. My only negative with Shopify is when you call in for help, BigCommerce wins on this one.

    Go with SHOPIFY you won’t be disappointed and contact me if you have questions.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    I am setting up my website on Shopify and wanted to know if you have the same issue since your seem to be so pleased. Maybe you did not notice but for me, there is NO log out button or log out link after a customer makes a purchase. So basically, once the customer is in the last check out page and makes the order, it says Thank you for your order, XYZ! and the only button available is a “continue shopping”. The customer cannot checkout safely!!! If the conputer is public or shared by several employees for example, even if the customer clicks “continue Shopping” by clicking the BACK button, you come back in the Thank you page with the name, shipping and cc info.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Matt B.

    First let me say, I really find the Shopify platform useful. We moved our store from Bigcommerce to Shopify. Everything was going well. We signed up for shopify payments (stripe processes their payments) and were initially approved. 7 days later they said we were selling a prohibited item. We sell smartphones / cell phones. We can’t find those in their TOS as prohibited items. They do have telecommunications equipment / phone sales but if you google that you will see that category (category 4812) is meant for utilities as it lists telegraphs, water, gas, etc. We have called and emailed support about this problem but they say the risk management decision is final and won’t allow me to talk to a supervisor about the issue. So after we went to the trouble and expense of moving our website they are insisting we can’t use their payment system and because we can’t we owe an additional .5% as a fee for not using Shopify Payments (which again, we would use if we could). Needless to say, we were not thrilled about this as it could effectively DOUBLE our monthly fee. So our main shopify complaint is we are getting charged a fee that we didn’t intend on and now we have done all the leg work and invested both time and a lot of money in the site. And then is it worth the pain to move back to Bigcommerce? You should ask yourself that if you are considering the move to Shopify.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    This may be a good platform to start your online experience with, despite the high fees.However, i've run into an unexpected hurdle that I can not seem to resolve. I have had a chargeback (stolen credit card) from an order. It was settled, i had to pay out of my pocket. After I covered the $2,000 chargeback willingly to keep my store operating, they froze my orders and would not let my money out of my account. They have started a fraud investigation on me, and requested my re-seller agreements and shipping and tracking information for my latest orders, which I produced promptly. This is not the frustrating part. I understand the importance of security and fraud prevention, and would assist in any way I can to resolve the issue. It has now been two weeks since I submitted all the required information for review, and I have not heard anything back. No "we've received it and its in review" no "we need more information".... NOTHING. I have been calling back and they would not let me talk to the person who requested the information from me, because he is either out of the office, or "we are unable to transfer your call directly to him". I have sent many emails directly to the "investigator", starting off with nice and progressively more frustrated, but still professional and non-offensive. I have only requested an update.... and still NOTHING. At this point Shopify is holding $9,000 worth of my orders, and I can not get a simple damn email back from them either requesting more information, or simply to tell me that they're in the process of review; I just cant reach them. My suppliers will not allow me to ship any more items until I pay my account with them (obviously), and I had to put a stop to my store's advertising and marketing efforts to prevent orders from coming in that I can not fulfill. Again, I am all for security and fraud protection, but the lack of communication, and total lack of concern for their customer's business is unnerving and infuriating. Food for thought.


    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    Same thing is happening to me they are holding $10,296.71

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    I was asked to look into this for a friend who wants to possibly use this for a retail store.
    Does the 2.9% get added to the actual credit card rate?
    Does that mean you will be charged 30 cents + 2.9% plus 3.9% (or whatever the credit card rate is)?
    So 6.8% + 30 cents, in this example?

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Tim,

    No, in this case the 2.9% + $0.30 includes the wholesale cost as well as the markup. So that’s the flat rate that you pay, with no additional surcharges or markups.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Chris Kille

    Tim, the 2.9% + $0.30 is the Shopify Payments merchant services rate. This would be the only fee for merchant services you would pay, since you are using their payment processor (they waive the 2% service fee for merchants who use their processing). If you bring your own processor to the table, you would be subject to their 2% service fee. So you would never be subject to 2.9% + X.XX% + 2%

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Richard Marion

    Shopify: The best startup site for your small businessAfter a long search for the best ecommerce website builder, I finally settled on Shopify. Shopify is great site to start out with if you own a small online business. If you have no experience with web design, like most new business owners, this will be perfect for you. The entire site is user friendly too, no messy html codes. Shopify’s best features are the templates, the app store and its customer support. These three things became the deciding factor in choosing Shopify and I can’t be any happier with my decision.Professional Templates:The key to having a successful online business is having an eye appealing website. The better your site looks, the more trustworthy it looks, which helps drive sales. One of the first things I noticed about Shopify is the professional looking templates they have to offer. I was only a couple of weeks into my business and it looked like I was well established thanks to the appearance of my website. Not only do the templates look good, but there are well over 100 different ones to choose from. The only downside is that some of the best templates do cost extra money. If this option isn’t for you though, shopify has more than enough free templates to choose from, which is what I started with. Online App Store:Another great feature is Shopify’s App Store. The store includes hundreds of apps that helps you market and manage your business. All of the apps are automatically integrated with shopify, which makes them much easier to use. Similar to the templates though, some of the apps cost extra money. Some are one time payments and others you have to pay on a monthly basis. Some of them are really worth the money though. As a small business owner, you’re not going to have a lot of employees so having apps to make up for that is perfect. I downloaded my first app and before I knew it I had over 20. They’re really beneficial, trust me.Great customer support:Lastly, Shopify has great customer service. Many ecommerce sites advertise that they have good customer support, which I have found to be very untrue. I have never experienced a support system as great as Shopify’s. They have a true 24/7 anytime support system and I know this from personal experience. I called at 3am one time and a customer service rep solved all of my problems by walking me through each and every one. For people who are just starting out there are going to be roadblocks and a lot of questions so having someone who's there to help at your disposal 24 hours a day is a great feature to have. I can’t say enough good things about this. All in all Shopify is your best option when looking to build your ecommerce site. It’s easy to use, professional, it has cutting-edge features and its customer support is hands down the best out there. I hope this review was helpful and I wish you the best in your ongoing business endeavors.


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    We have used Shopify for our online store and generally we are very pleased.

    However, with time and usuage stupid little problems appear and Shopify’s ability to sort them out (and sometimes to even understand them) is very frustrating.

    We are based in the UK and most of our shipping is domestic.

    However their site is unable to understand that Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are two separate sovereign countries.
    This is like assuming that the US and Canada are the same country.
    It makes shipping impossible without doing a custom rate and defeats the whole principle of online stores.
    It’s a small niggle, a 10 minute fix, but…

    Get your act together Shopify and listen to your customers

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    I tried Shopify and to be honest had a terrible experience with them. I tried and tested two premium themes both of which were not fit for purpose, they both had issues with menus resizing in iPad, support is useless for themes both developers couldn't, really have cared less. I would advise using a different ecommerce platform. I purchased an app only to discover that the app was transferring my data out of shopify secure server to the apps own servers! There was not any mention of this in the App Store I only spotted it after checking url it was redirecting all my product data and variation to another server I have no idea where, how is this secure? After complaining with shopify guru (what a joke) I was told to maybe try a free theme and never mind basically don't ask too many questions. It us not a solution I would recommend to anyone who is serious about their business.


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    Nice write up here Erik. I want to point out one thing that seems to be overlooked about Shopify. Yes they have very inexpensive plans when you first sign up - and you can upgrade to more expensive plans as your needs grow - makes sense! But my main gripe with the Shopify model is that most of the worthwhile apps / extensions that you can integrate into your web shop are an additional monthly cost. This takes what was once a pretty reasonably priced service to astronomic heights, fast. The other thing I don't love about Shopify is that it's NOT AS EASY AS IT LOOKS. The ads and promo videos make it look like you simply sign up, choose a template, and you're ready to make millions in minutes. They definitely over hype the ease of use. It actually takes a good amount of know how and getting used to to get the website to look and behave the way you envision in your head. I still have my first site with them, but I signed up with Setmysite for my main business's website (we sell medical equipment, and there are lot of strange things that go into the sales process which makes my selling needs more complex than the average joe) and the Setmysite guys built a custom site and the addons were all one-time fees, great support. But I like Shopify's free templates, I like that they give you access to the code (we hired a developer a few times to make some customizations) and I like their support. If you have some technical know-how and you have realistic expectations, Shopify is great. If you need some help with designing the site and putting everything together and making it work correctly, I like Setmysite. For something simple though, you can't beat the starting rate that Shopify offers. It's a no brainer for guys just getting started in online selling.


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    Our company was really interested in using Shopify. Until we learned of a few issues that conflicted with our business. Shopify has no way to modify the checkout page and since we do a lot of business with the US Government, we need to have the ability to accept tax exempt credit cards. Apparently it is not possible. Unless anyone knows of an add on that would work for us. Also, it is not possible to hold an order for longer than 7 days or it results in a charge back. If anyone can offer alternate ideas, I would love to hear them.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Blake Schreck

    We moved to Shopify from BigCommerce for their POS and I must say, it’s great, but to us that’s about where it ends. Their cart is good, but basic and does not include many options that other carts have standard, but you can buy an app that will do it which is more money…it adds up fast! One example is with phone orders. You can’t take phone orders through the control panel. When asked why they would not implement this, they said it was for customer credit card security, but in the same sentence, said we should take phone orders directly through our site…is that not the same security risk? I would agree that their support is good, but when you have a basic cart with a bunch of apps built on top of it, there’s not much to support. I can’t think of one time that called and wasn’t told that the problem was caused by someone else. I can go on and on, but bottom line, we’re moving back to BigCommerce. Anyone who has migrated a site knows what a pain it is, but the positives outweigh the negatives.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    Helpful review. There are definitely some beautifully made themes in Shopify's theme store with styles for everyone. We ended up purchasing the Retina Theme which gave us the building blocks and tools to create a great first website. With a bit of additional help from online html and css editing tutorials like we were able to get our shop to the level we wanted - would definitely recommend Shopify to anyone looking for an e-commerce platform!


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    munica valiton

    One year later SHOPIFY has increased their monthly store rate by more than 50 %.
    I just joined, it has been 24 hours, over 200 items for sale , not one sale yet, but staying hopeful !
    todays price is :
    Choose this plan Plan basic

    Start selling your products today with basic Shopify features and low credit card rates.
    Credit card rates
    Online: 2.9% + 30¢
    In Person: 2.7% + 0¢

    Choose this plan Plan professional

    Get more sales with features like gift cards, professional reports and abandoned cart recovery.
    Credit card rates
    Online: 2.5% + 30¢
    In Person: 2.4% + 0¢

    Choose this plan Plan unlimited

    Save time and money with our lowest credit card rates, advanced report builder and carrier calculated shipping.
    Credit card rates
    Online: 2.25% + 30¢
    In Person: 2.15% + 0¢

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    Great review, Erik! Very thorough. We really like the quality of the reviews on merchant maverick in general.----------- Our conclusion in short - excellent, but not the best solution for Europe. Tends to become expensive with add-ons ------------Our conclusion on Shopify is that it has a lot to offer, and that it is probably the best solution overall in the current ecommerce software landscape. However, if you want to enjoy the many features and excellent plugins that are available, the costs do add up a lot (Bigcommerce, for example, offers more plugins included already in the cheaper packages). In short, it tends to become expensive.As we focus on the European market primarily, we found that Shopify is sometimes slow to adapt to European conditions, and we would not recommend Shopify as the first choice in Europe.


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    Erik Robie

    Thank you, Timo! That is very useful info about how Shopify responds to the European markets. Thanks for the addendum!

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    Anyone ever used Vendevor?

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    This is about Shopify Experts, The Mango Yard.

    Do not work with them. They are scammers. I hope Shopify does something about this.

    Buyer beware.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Donovan Biela

    They have a pretty decent API, but I thought for such a popular eCommerce platform they would support batch updates/inserts...sadly they do not. The API call limit is 2 per second, so you have to plan accordingly if you plan on making a lot of requests to their API. The docs aren't the greatest either, I find myself being confused on what certain fields mean a lot of the time. Decent coverage though, I was pleasantly surprised to see you can get cart contents via the API!


    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    503 Woodmont Drive

    Good UI but some of the simple options available with other ecommerce products are unavailable or cost extra. For example, if you want to calculate shipping for each item (as opposed to a flat shipping charge) you have to pay $20 extra monthly. Also, you cannot adjust image sizes. If you want a different size image for the category page and the product page, you have to upload 2 images.


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    I just want to share with everyone something I learned about RTCS (Real-time Carrier Shipping) with Shopify. If you purchased any of Shopify's plans, other than the $9.99 LITE plan, RTSC is a free add-on. The trick is they don't tell you that. You have to ask for it to be added to your site.


    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    aaron pruss

    Well for starters I found out about this site through Facebook and currently have an eBay online store selling video games for the past 3 years, but am looking to now expand out of the eBay universe. My main question is do you guys do any sort of integrating with eBay so I could sell through shopify and eBay at the same time. This has been something I have been trying to do for a long time now and would love some info. Thanks for your time.


    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Paul Burkhart

    After getting set up with Shopify recently for a show, I was amazed at how easy it was to get started. I was just using the site as a POS cash register and that was all that I needed. Well, once I had started using it and had about $2500 in sales I received and email that seemed to come from Shopify that asked me for my drivers license so that they could verify my identity. It took me many days of going back and forth with them to verify it really was shopify and then sending them my drivers license. They immediately came back and asked for a color copy ( I had sent mine in a scanner). I couldn't believe that they hadn't asked for this up front before I had twenty or so orders in their system that they wouldn't pay me on. I figured out I could photograph my id and so I did and sent it to them and they then asked me for my suggestions as to how I could prove who my company was. I suggested sending them my FEIN approval from the US government and they agreed and asked me what more I could give them. It became apparent that Shopify for some reason was stalling me. I am now on a 45 day wait period and if nobody requests money back from a transaction then they will deign to transfer my money to my account. This company is terrible and the above review has no bearing on my experience which was totally negative and indecipherable. It was as if they didn't want my business.


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    I to am having issues with – not sure if it’s Stripe or Shopify. Firstly they to,d me they were withholding my money for 7 days. I now discover they want a copy of my passport or drivers. licence. My gosh I will not be waiting 45 days before both companies will be investigated by Australian Authorities.

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    Shoplify did exactly the same thing to me. They requested for proof of business registration, passport, how much sales I make, if I was new or not…and what not. At first, I was quite reluctant sending them the info, I asked if they were the IRS or what exactly? Anyway, after emailing back and forth I eventually did, and after sending all the information they requested, they got back and told me I could not set up store, because the items I intended to sale, hair extensions, could not be sold on their website…but there are plenty shoplify stores selling these same items. Just shady!


    Which plans provide Real-Time Shipping?

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Sara Billups

    Hi Jim,

    Real-time shipping is supported on the Unlimited plan only, but it can be added to any other Shopify plan for an additional $20 per month. More details here:

    Thanks for reading!


    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    Does this offer still exist?! I have a client that I may lose if I force them to upgrade to the $179/mo plan just to have Real-Time Carrier Shipping Rates.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    Here are the things that I think it hurts or it will hurt Shopify;
    – Very elementary business intelligence reports. I am not sure how a business can run their business with these type of very limited reports.
    – Do not use Shopify Credit card system. It is a: very expensive 2.5% plus 0.30. Money is deposited to your bank 7 plus days (some time 9 days due to weekend.
    I am not sure what others see in this system..If you want to just sell but not manage the business, it may be OK..

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    I’m sorry but I think your review of Shopify is VERY misleading, uninformed and doing a terrible disservice to your readers. Shopify is a terrible platform. Shopify has been riddled with problems, bugs and instability from day 1.
    Their “support” is none existent when it comes to REAL problems with the software. Sure, they will tell you how to change the colour on your “add to cart” button, but they will deny and lie about anything that is a real problem…until you send them a video of it happening. Then (no longer unable to deny it) they will state that they were unaware of the problem (even though you told them about it weeks-months ago.) At that point, they will state that “you are the only one experiencing it”, even though people on their own Forums have been posting about it for weeks. When you point that out, they will finally, begrudgingly admit that the problem exists and will give you no indication as to when, if EVER they are going to fix it. Read their forums, they are FULL of these examples. No firm release dates for updates, bug fixes, new features etc. are EVER provided. EVER. It took them 4 years to add “Gift Cards” and drop down menus. That is all they have added in the past 4 years. (They also removed functionality in that time. ?!)
    I have been on the platform for approx. 3 years and sell just under 20,000 products. In that time, I have spent 10-20 hours a day, 7 days a week on their software. I can honestly tell you, Shopify DOES NOT WORK.
    For 2+ years their inventory did not work correctly, only after 6+ months of me going insane trying to figure out what was happening, did one of their support staff tell me “off the record”, that the inventory system has never worked. This was the primary reason they developed Shopify 2.
    Shopify 2- what a TOTAL DISASTER.
    For 3 months Shopify 2 could not even save the price, sku, description and inventory correctly. Removing the ability for its users to go back to Shopify 1, the company FORCED its customers to pay to BETA test its new software. Meanwhile, Shopify would sell products 80% BELOW my cost! Every day I would have to email customers, explaining to them why I can not sell them the product that I paid $40 for, for the $9.95 price Shopify was incorrectly displaying. To this day Shopify 2 still can not duplicate a product correctly.
    If you are serious about your store’s integrity and go with Shopify, forget ever having a good nights sleep. I would not use them if it was free. The fees are irrelevant compared to the damage they can and will do to your business.
    I have nothing to gain by posting this review except to know that perhaps I am saving some people months-years of frustration if they decide to go with this deceitful and disastrous company.
    You can immediately see how they are trying to trick their customers right from the day one, by visiting their “pricing” page. Hover over the “0% transactions” fees posted and you will see a hidden pop-up showing you the ACTUAL transaction fees…

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    Pretty disappointed with theme supplier Out of the Sand Box- they are very slow to answer questions and assist. Quite sad because I loved their design (for $140).
    Unless you are a person with a lot of HTML experience, avoid Out of the Sand Box.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    Really big fan of shopify. I think it’s one of the few companies doing it right. Thanks for your review tough, I am going to bookmark for later reading. Just tweeted this out to my followers. Thanks!


    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Kirk Smith

    Shopify has been a fantastic ecommerce site for our small business. It is easy to navigate and the customer service is outstanding.Great customer service and a great hosting platform gives Shopify 5 stars.


    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Kirk Smith

    We have been more than pleased with both the Shopify platform and the customer service we have received from the Shopify gurus.
    We had a website for years that was not functional for today. It took up some time to convert the info from our old site to the new Shopify platform, but we are so happy we made the change. I can’t say enough about how much help the Shopify gurus were in answering all of our questions and giving great advice.
    I highly recommend Shopify to any small business owner looking for a comprehensive web hosting platform with future growth capabilities.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.


    Great review of shopify…seems like it’s one of the best. Have you heard of any other similar apps/plugins?

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Sara B.

    Hi Jordan, thanks for your comment. Shopify is one of the best carts we’ve reviewed. Check out Ashop Commerce and CoreCommerce for some comparisons.

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    I’m considering Shopify and would like to be updated as new comments are posted.

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    One downside to shopify is that they do not integrate real-time price quotes for DHL. A functionality which they refuse to implement for whatever reason.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

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