Price: $29 – $299 per month
Founders: Tobias Lutke, Daniel Weinand and Scott Lake
Shopify is an internet service that provides turnkey online store fronts for micro-businesses for a monthly fee. The business has complete control over presentation of inventory, price points, and even appearance. It has been designed for the point and click user, but can be expanded for trade shows and portable carts. Whether the company has one item to sell or thousands, shopify provides services for secure payments, shipping and marketing.
Ease of use for the new business. They have built a platform with all the bells and whistles you might think you would need to start up shop. Web building, blogging, store fronts, shipping, accounting are all part of the shopify system. If you are trying out your product at a trade show or fair, they even have portable cash register systems compatible with their store.
Up front pricing looks very attractive until you start adding on all the services that really turn the store front into a growing concern. It’s not misleading, just not necesarily as budget friendly as it appears at first. Of course, any online store is going to fight the dreaded SEO problem and to overcome getting lost in Google-land. That requires extensive cash investment and does not guarantee a profit. Entrepreneurs must do their research before jumping in the deep end.
Who is it for:
From the newbie who has a single impulse product to sell up to corporate fronts seeking to expand their brand into the indy craft market, shopify.com is leading the way in micro-online shopping that is highly attractive to the millennial pocketbook.
Available Free Tools :
There is an active and helpful shopify community forum. At the same time, documentation for the new user is extensive and thorough. If you have a question on how to add a product, improve your sales techniques or launch an ad campaign, there is probably a FAQ to walk you through. Of course there is 24/7 live support as well, either online or by phone.
If you are new to the world of online stores and need a storefront with a minimum of knowledge, Shopify will be a good fit, as long as you take your time and make solid business decisions. Add-ons can look attractive, but may not be worth your money if you have a low volume store. Shopify has built a solid reputation amongst both users and their customers and has competitive pricing compared to other ecommerce sites.