Shopify Pros and Cons: What You Need to Know


Shopify Pros and Cons

Table Of Contents

Wondering if you should choose Shopify for your online store? This blog is for you! When starting your online store, Shopify might be a great option because it's easy to use. However, it’s important to also consider both the good and bad sides of this platform before spending what you got in it.

In this blog, we’ll explain the pros and cons of using Shopify so you can decide if it’s the best choice for your business. Whether running a small shop or a big operation, knowing what Shopify can and can't do will help you make the best choice.

About Shopify


Shopify lets business owners set up and launch their online stores quickly. Shopify is available in over 100 countries, and it is easy to use and great for both new and experienced entrepreneurs.

Shopify is not just a simple online platform, it's a powerful tool that makes setting up and running your store simple and straightforward. Shopify helps you boost sales, design pages, and make customer experiences better with its different apps and integrations. It also has many premade templates and themes that are easy to use, so you can create a store that fits your brand perfectly. 

Shopify is also great for physical stores, helping to improve both in-person and online sales. It's designed to be user-friendly, so you don't need any coding skills to build your store using its simple drag-and-drop interface.

For those who like to code, Shopify allows access to programming languages like CSS and Liquid. Plus, as a fully hosted solution, you don't need to download extra apps or pay for separate hosting. You can set up and run your store smoothly through your web browser.

If you run into problems, Shopify's support team is available 24/7 through live chat to help. They either have the solution or can recommend apps that will help. You can begin with a 3-day free trial, and after that, Shopify offers just $1 paid for any plan in 1 month. Then, the three paid plans start at $19 per month with a yearly payment, or $49 per month, going up to $299 per month.

Shopify’s Main Features

Shopify’s Main Features

Shopify provides various features to help you build a successful online store. Its goal is to be a “one-stop shop” with everything you need:

  • Shopify Theme Store: Choose from over a hundred templates.
  • Sales Dashboard: Manage all aspects of your store from one place.
  • Centralized Inventory Tracking: Easily track and manage your stock, orders, and payments.
  • Shopify Shipping: Access global and regional carriers for shipping.
  • Shopify App Store: Add extra apps to enhance your store's functionality.
  • Shopify Blog: Engage with your customers through blog posts.
  • Shopify Point of Sale (POS): Combine physical and digital sales with seamless payments.
  • Integrations and Customization: Extend and customize any part of your store to fit your needs.

Pros of Using Shopify

Like many other e-commerce platforms, Shopify is proud of its user-friendly, plug-and-play design that lets online sellers get started in just minutes. Here’s what people love most about Shopify:

1. Ease of Use

Shopify is highly user-friendly for starting an online business, allowing you to create a website without coding knowledge. Its easy-to-use templates and drag-and-drop builder enable quick site setup.

Shopify interface

Getting started on Shopify is simple: answer a few questions, and Shopify tailors its features to your needs. You can then open your store, upload product photos and descriptions, and set up shipping and payment options. Navigation is straightforward, with most pages accessible from the left menu of your dashboard.

Shopify's AI feature, Shopify Magic, generates product descriptions from your keywords, saving time on catalog setup. Users appreciate the platform's customizability, from shipping settings to adding local currencies, and plugins enhance functionality as needed.

Shopify Magic

2. Customizable themes

Despite being a plug-and-play platform, Shopify allows extensive customization to make your store unique. You can use Shopify apps to add new features and functionalities, like advanced page builders or sales tools, enhancing your store with just a few clicks.

Shopify themes

For visual changes, Shopify’s themes offer great customization options. You can add sections to the header, banner, collection, and footer, personalizing the layout and design to match your brand.

For more specific changes, you can manually add code to your template, allowing detailed adjustments. Alternatively, you can choose from diverse themes by providers like The4 on Themeforest, which offer additional built-in features for your store.

3. Simplified transaction processes

Shopify makes handling payments easy and flexible, allowing you to accept major credit cards, PayPal, and buy now, pay later options.

Shopify transaction processes

There are two main ways to accept payments: Shopify Payments and third-party gateways like PayPal and AmazonPay. Shopify Payments is simple, requiring no extra setup and having no transaction fees except on the "Starter" plan (5% per sale). It ensures secure payment data and avoids long verification processes.

Shopify also provides a free card reader for in-store and pop-up sales, and you can use third-party plugins for international payments. For physical stores, Shopify POS allows card payments, inventory management, and centralized data. Overall, Shopify's payment solutions are user-friendly and secure for both online and in-person sales.

4. Wide range of apps

Shopify App Store

Shopify’s app store offers an easy and effective way to customize your store and boost its functionality. With over 8,000 free and paid apps, you have many more options than most other ecommerce platforms. These apps let you enhance your store in various ways, such as adding digital product sales or email hosting features.

To help you navigate this vast selection, Shopify recommends popular apps suited to stores like yours and organizes them into six categories. This makes it easy to find the apps you need quickly. 

Building a web page is also an essential part of this journey. EComposer is the Top suggestion for a page builder app on Shopify. With its assistance, you won't need to know how to code to establish a stunning and intuitive web store. 

EComposer - Shopify Page Builder App

Especially for new merchants like you who are just beginning to step into the online market, the app helps you get started quickly. With a library of templates, you can create your own custom pages for captivating landing pagesappealing homepagesinformative blogs, and more.

Drag-and-drop components and add-ons make it easy to customize your store exactly how you want it. The app also includes advanced features like an AJAX cartAI content generator, and image compressor to boost your store's performance. 

5. Built-in SEO & Marketing Tools

With 56% of buyers finding purchases through search engines in 2023, good SEO is essential. Shopify supports SEO by allowing you to manage alt text, headings, page titles, and meta descriptions.

Shopify also provides control over off-page SEO. You can choose which URLs search engines can crawl and set 301 redirects for broken links. Additional apps like Searchpie or Yoast can further enhance your SEO.

Shopify includes built-in marketing features like blogs, forms, and essential email marketing. You can handle marketing across different channels, set up newsletters, and create coupon codes easily.

With Shopify's analytics and reports, tracking and adjusting campaigns is simple, helping you connect with and engage your audience effectively.

Shopify analytics

6. Reliable Hosting

Shopify's hosting service is a fantastic feature that helps you easily set up your online store. You don't have to worry about managing hosting because Shopify hosts your store's domain name for free. Your whole store runs smoothly on Shopify's servers, so you can focus on selling without dealing with technical stuff.

Moreover, Shopify's hosting has top-notch security features to protect your customers' credit card information. With PCI-compliant measures, you can trust that their data is secure.

With Shopify's hosting, your store is always available to customers worldwide. Its reliability is super important for online stores serving customers from different countries, ensuring they can access your products whenever needed.

7. 24/7 Customer Support

No matter your Shopify plan, you'll receive 24/7 customer support via live chat, email, or phone, which is invaluable when you need assistance. Additionally, Shopify offers a supportive community where you can connect with other users facing similar challenges, along with an extensive FAQ section for quick solutions.

The Help Center covers a wide range of topics in 21 languages, primarily through text-based support. For more complex issues, you can reach out to support agents via chat, email, or phone at any time.

Shopify Help Center

Explore the Shopify Community Forum for in-depth help with coding and other advanced topics, connecting you with experienced users and developers who can provide solutions.

8. High Security

Shopify is great for keeping your online store and customer data safe. Here's why:

  • Top-notch Security Measures: Shopify encrypts customer financial info and uses advanced tech to protect data sent between your store and customers' browsers.
  • Reliable Infrastructure: Shopify's secure data centers are always watched over, so your store runs smoothly with minimal risk of downtime due to security issues.
  • Automatic Updates:  Shopify regularly updates its platform with the latest security fixes, ensuring your store stays safe from problems without any effort on your part.
  • Fraud Prevention Tools: Shopify provides resources to help you prevent fraud and comply with rules to protect customer info.
  • Compliance Help: Shopify offers tools and guidance to ensure your store meets regulations for keeping customer information secure.

These security features help customers feel confident their personal and financial data is protected, making them more likely to trust and shop from your store.

9. Scalability

Shopify Scalability

Shopify is great for businesses of all sizes because it grows with you:

  • Flexible Pricing: Shopify offers different plans based on your budget and sales. You can easily switch to a higher plan as your sales go up.
  • Selling Everywhere: You can sell not just on your website but also on social media, other online stores, and in-person. This helps you reach more customers wherever they prefer to shop.
  • App Store for Extra Features: Shopify's App Store has many apps to help manage inventory, improve marketing, and track customers as your business expands.

So, when you choose Shopify, you're picking a platform that can grow with you and support you from your small beginnings to your big success.

Cons of Using Shopify

Shopify has many great features, but like any platform, it has drawbacks, too. While these drawbacks might not be a big problem for everyone, some people might find them enough to think twice about using Shopify.

1. Cost 

Shopify's pricing plan can be expensive. They offer Basic, Shopify, and Advanced plans starting at $25, $65, and $399 per month. If you pay annually, you get a discount ($19, $49, and $299 monthly).

Shopify's pricing plan

But there's more to it: many apps in Shopify's store aren't free. They charge monthly fees that vary a lot. Starting with the $25 plan, you could end up paying over $100 each month with all the added app features. Fancy website templates or themes also cost extra.

For new store owners, the $5 Starter plan is very basic. To edit themes or have a blog, you need the Basic plan or higher. Marketing tools and detailed analytics are only available on higher plans.

So, it's essential to think about your budget and what features you really need before picking a Shopify plan. You might start with a basic plan and upgrade later as your business grows.

2. Limited Design Customization Options

Using Shopify is straightforward for most people because it's easy to set up and has a drag-and-drop page builder. But here's the thing: if you want to customize your theme beyond basic changes, you'll have to deal with code.

Shopify uses its own coding language called Liquid, not the common PHP that many developers are used to. So, to make detailed changes to your Shopify site, you'll need to learn how to use Liquid or hire someone who knows it. Whether you're a coding expert or just starting out, learning Liquid can take time. It can  limit what you can do. 

Plus, Shopify doesn't have a built-in feature for customers to send files with their orders. If you want this feature, you'll either have to code it yourself or pay for an app that offers it.

3. Shopify Transaction Fees

When you sell something on Shopify, they charge you a fee for each sale. This fee is called a transaction fee. Here's how it works:

Shopify Payments isn't available everywhere, just in 23 countries, including the US, New Zealand, and most of Europe. If you're in a country where it's not available, you'll need to use other payment methods that might charge you a transaction fee. This fee can be as high as 2% of the total sale  if you're on the Starter plan.

Shopify Transaction Fees

Also, when people buy things from your Shopify store using credit cards, there's a fee, which can be as high as 2.9% per transaction in the US.

These transaction fees can add up, especially if you have a lot of sales. For small businesses or new sellers, these fees can eat into their profits. Considering these costs when using Shopify for your online store is important.

4. SEO Limitations

While Shopify makes it easy to set up an online store, its SEO options are somewhat limited:

  • Limited Customization: You can't control some important SEO settings, like the structure of your URLs or detailed information for search engines.
  • URL Structure: Shopify automatically creates web addresses based on product names, which might not be the best for SEO since you can't include keywords.
  • Meta Tags: You can edit meta tags for some parts of your site, but not everything, which could affect your search engine rankings.
  • Canonical Tags: Shopify adds these tags to avoid duplicate content issues, but you can't change them much, limiting your control.
  • Structured Data: Shopify adds some automatically, but you can't customize it much, which might affect how your site shows up in search results.

In short, while Shopify is easy to use, its SEO features might not be enough for businesses that need more control over how their site appears in search engines.

5. Dependency on Apps

One downside of using Shopify is that many users depend a lot on third-party apps to meet their specific needs. Here's why this might not be ideal:

  • Limited Core Features: Shopify's basic setup might not have everything you need, so you might need extra apps, making things more complicated.
  • Costs Can Add Up: Some apps are expensive, and using many can quickly add up.
  • Integration Challenges: Apps from different developers might not work well together, causing problems that need fixing.
  • Reliance on App Developers: If a third-party app stops working or is no longer supported, it can cause issues for your store, requiring replacements or fixes.
  • Performance Impact: Too many apps can slow down your store, which can annoy customers and hurt your search ranking.

While apps can be helpful, relying too much on them can complicate things and cause problems for your store.

6. Lack of built-in email hosting

Email marketing is essential for your online store's success. It's how you reach customers, update orders, and announce new products. Having a good email marketing system is important.

However, Shopify doesn’t offer email hosting. It means you can't have an email address with your store's name without using extra apps. Instead, you would have to use emails from providers like Gmail or Yahoo.

The problem is that customers might not take you seriously if you don’t have a professional email address with your store's name. Luckily, there are ways to fix this.

If you have a domain name, which you can register through Shopify, you can set up a forwarding email address with services like Zoho, Brevo, or MailChimp. This way, you can have a professional email without much trouble.

Lack of built-in email hosting

7. Challenges in migrating away from Shopify

When using Shopify, it's important to know that “what happens in Shopify, stays in Shopify.” If you decide to leave Shopify, you can’t just download your store's design and move to a new platform. This is common with many ecommerce platforms, so Shopify isn’t unique in this regard.

Leaving Shopify can be a bit tricky. There's no clear option to close your account directly from the Shopify dashboard. You’ll need to visit the Help Center and search for “close my account” to find instructions.

Shopify provides guidelines to help you avoid losing important data or getting unexpected charges. You can export CSV files with all your key data, like product info, customer data, orders, gift card codes, discount codes, and financial information.

All in all, though having some downsides, Shopify is still a worth to try platform. Its ease of use and the diversity in add-ons features outweigh the cons that can be improved with various solutions.

Others also read

7 Best Shopify Migration Services for Choosing in 2024

How to Put Shopify store Under Construction

How To Build A Shopify Store Easily in 10 minutes [2024 Guide]

Comparison with Other E-Commerce Platforms

Those are the pros and cons of Shopify. Now, let’s see how Shopify compares to other popular e-commerce platforms. Take a brief look at our comparison table:





Magento (OpenCart)

Ease of Use

Easiest to use, drag-and-drop interface

User-friendly, good interface

Requires familiarity with WordPress

Most difficult, requires technical knowledge


Monthly plans start at $25

Monthly plans start at $39.95

Free plugin, hosting costs apply

Free open-source platform, hosting and development costs apply

Themes and Design

Wide variety of themes, some free, some paid

Variety of themes, some free, some paid

Large theme selection from WordPress marketplace

Highly customizable themes, requires development expertise

App Store

Extensive app store for additional features

Large app marketplace for various functionalities

Large plugin library for WordPress, may require coding for advanced features

Limited built-in extensions, extensive marketplace with paid options

Marketing Tools & SEO Features

Built-in basic tools

Built-in marketing & SEO tools and integrations

Requires additional plugins for marketing functionality

Requires integrations and custom development

Technical Knowledge

Minimal coding knowledge required

Minimal coding knowledge required

Requires familiarity with WordPress and potentially coding

Requires significant development expertise

Target Audience

All size businesses

Small to medium businesses

Budget-conscious businesses, DIY-ers

Large businesses, enterprises

To understand more about advantages and disadvantages of Shopify compared to other competitors, please navigate our blog Best Platforms to Sell Online of The Year to explore more.

Who is Shopify For?

Shopify is a good fit for all types of businesses, especially if you're new to selling online or not great with coding. Here's why it might work well for you:

  • Beginners: Shopify is easy to use, so even if you're not a tech whiz, you can set up your store and manage everything like products and orders easily.
  • Growing Businesses: You can start with a plan that fits your budget, and as your business grows, Shopify can grow with you. You won't have to switch to a different platform later.
  • People Who Want Pretty Stores: Shopify has lots of different designs to pick from, so you can make your store look really nice and match your brand without the need for code expertise.
  • Those Who Want All-in-one Solution: Shopify has almost everything you need to run your store, like taking payments and doing marketing. You don't have to use lots of different services from different companies.

If you want a platform that's easy to use and can keep up with your business as it grows, Shopify could be a great choice.

Who is Shopify Not For?

Who is Shopify For?

While Shopify is really useful for many, it might not be perfect for everyone. Here's who might want to check out other options:

  • Businesses on a Tight Budget: Shopify's fees can add up, especially if you're selling a lot. If you're on a tight budget, other platforms might be more affordable.
  • Those Who Need Extremely Unique Stores: Shopify lets you change things, but if you have a really clear idea of how you want your store to look and work, other platforms might let you do more.
  • Businesses Selling Subscriptions or Complex Products: If you're selling things like subscriptions or products with lots of options, Shopify might not handle them perfectly. You might need extra stuff to make it work right.
  • Businesses Already Comfortable with Coding: If you're a coding pro and like having total control, other platforms like Magento might be better for you.
Should I choose Shopify?

All in all, considering what’s suitable for you is the first thing that should be prioritized. You should weigh up the pros and cons carefully, then you can make the right decision. To figure out if Shopify suits your online store, think about these:

  • How much do you want to customize your store?
  • Do you plan to use extra tools or apps to do more stuff?
  • Do you need more ways to take payments?
  • Will you sell both online and in a physical store?
  • How many places will you keep your stuff?
  • How many other apps or websites do you need to connect with?
  • Are you thinking about working with other platforms that need special connections to manage your sales and inventory?

If the decision is still hard to make, give Shopify a try with its free-trial plan or only $1 if you need to experience it in 1 month for any plans. That would be enough to see whether it is for you or not.

Final Verdict: Is Shopify Right Fit for you?

So, is Shopify the right choice for you? If you're new to selling online, want an easy-to-use platform with lots of helpful features, and don't mind the fees, then yes, Shopify could be a great fit.

However, if you have very specific needs, are on a tight budget, or prefer more control over coding, you might want to explore other options. But you have to decide for yourself. Every method has its pros and cons, what you need is to consider your priorities carefully before making your decision.


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