The e-commerce platform with integrated payment

Popular Online Shop System

Shopify is one of the most popular online store systems worldwide. Over 1,700,000 merchants from 175 countries already use the e-commerce software to successfully sell their products on the Internet. Thanks to Shopify, small and medium-sized providers in particular, but now also corporations, can create online stores and outsource logistics with little effort.

The company of the same name was founded in 2006 by German expatriate Tobias Lütke and is based in Ottawa, Canada. Shopify Inc. went public in 2015.

License, architecture and technology

A Shopify store is a proprietary e-commerce software that is offered as Software as a Service (SaaS). So Shopify merchants don't have to worry about hosting, operating, updating, and backing up their store.

As a leading cloud-based omnichannel store system, Shopify puts a lot of emphasis on reliability and scaling. The most diverse online and offline solutions for retailers are combined in one overview. Thanks to over 1,000 plugins and templates, some of which are paid and some of which are free, the closed modular system can be easily expanded. As a merchant, you have full access to the HTML and CSS files of your store.

Target group

Shopify stores are especially attractive for small and medium-sized businesses that want to build an e-business or brand easily and quickly, even without programming skills and technical know-how.

Shopify Plus was introduced for large enterprises and high-volume merchants. Beyond Shopify's core features, the Plus version offers access to additional tools and features for high-growth online retailers, as well as expanded support options, among other things. For example, leading global brands such as Tesla, Red Bull, and Babbel also sell via Shopify Store.

Shopify features

The e-commerce platform offers a wide range of tools for marketing and sales promotion.
The following functions are included in the online store builder:

  • Unlimited number of products in your store
  • Unlimited bandwidth and online storage
  • 133 currencies and up to 20 languages
  • Shopify Point of Sale (POS) for in-store sales
  • Sales via a wide variety of online sales channels
  • Fraud analysis for Shopify Payments
  • Creating orders manually
  • Gift certificates
  • Discount codes
  • Recovery of abandoned shopping carts
  • Employee accounts
  • Statistics (dashboard with most important analyses)
  • Financial reports
  • Support by mail, phone or live chat

Depending on the pricing model selected, the scope of services varies (e.g., number of employee accounts and inventory locations, scope of reports, fees for payment services and transactions, scope of 24/7 support, availability of international domains, and pricing).

Special features

As an all-in-one e-commerce solution with low entry barriers, Shopify makes it easy even for technical laymen and beginners to open their own online store. In the process, the platform offers online merchants a powerful back office and a central overview of their business processes.

As a Shopify merchant, you can access a wide range of features for multichannel commerce. Whether you want to offer your products in the online store, via social media, through online marketplaces such as Amazon, in the local retail store or pop-up store - the all-round carefree package provides a solution for everything.

A Shopify store is also well positioned in terms of SEO and content marketing: Store subpages, products, and blog posts each have their own URLs in Shopify with freely definable meta titles and meta descriptions, so your customers can easily find you online. Moreover, all themes available in the Theme Store are designed to meet the latest search engine requirements. Along with the built-in blog feature, you can also create engaging storytelling and product descriptions at the product level. 

Through Shopify Apps, you can individually extend the functionality of your e-commerce store and tailor it to your requirements as well as the needs of your customers.

B2B functions

By design, Shopify offered few relevant B2B features for a long time. With the acquisition of Handshake in 2019, Shopify took a step toward B2B digital commerce, helping merchants tap into wholesale market demand. However, Handshake is currently only available to businesses in the United States, and Shopify's suitability for B2B digital commerce use cases has been little tested.

If you want to operate as a B2B merchant on the German market, you should take a look at the Shopify App Store. There are numerous apps there that you can use to add the desired functionalities to your store. With the help of separately purchased plugins, you can, for example, hide prices and the "Add to Cart" button from users who are not logged in, issue wholesale prices for B2B users, or assign customer group-specific discounts.

Shopify Reviews

In it's "Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce 2021", Gartner classifies Shopify as a challenger. Companies classified as challengers bring everything they need to achieve success in the market and have the potential to become market leaders in a short time.

Among other things, Gartner reports in its 2021 report that Shopify has significantly developed its APIs and they are now being used extensively by larger customers. For example, integrations with PIM, CRM, ERP, 3PL and OMS suites are now enabled, which used to be a major gap for Shopify. Still, Shopify does not have a decoupled storefront, and Gartner customers report difficulty using it via APIs for SPA and PWA storefronts.

Like competitor BigCommerce, Shopify scores top marks for features and support on the Gartner Peer Reviews and review portals.

Competitor and recommendation

Shopware and BigCommerce are direct competitors. Compared to these competitors, Shopify scores with significantly easier usability. A Shopify store can be set up with just a few clicks, while creating a BigCommerce or Shopware online store requires programming knowledge. On the other hand, Shopify stores are less flexible in terms of further development and since it is not an open source solution, you as a store owner have no control over the codebase.

Online merchants can choose between the following plans/tariffs:

  • Basic Shopify ($29 per month) - for new e-commerce businesses that make an in-person sale from time to time.
  • Shopify ($79 per month) - for growing businesses selling online or in person
  • Advanced Shopify (279 $ per month) - for scaling companies that need advanced reports
  • Shopify Plus (from $2,000 per month) - for high-volume merchants and large enterprises
  • Shopify Lite ($9 per month) - to sell products (via buy button) on your website/blog and offer credit card payments

Our Shopify services

We would be happy to support you in successfully launching or further developing your Shopify store and are at your side as a partner with many years of e-commerce and marketing experience.

For Shopify we offer the following services:

  • Shop-Setup
  • Web development and customization
  • Custom design and individual themes
  • SEO, social media and digital marketing
  • Migration to Shopify
  • Interface programming and custom application development
  • Product Information System
  • B2B e-commerce solutions

Case Study Bense & Eicke: Website relaunch with new online store and great attention to detail

Read all about the successful website relaunch in our case study with the special requirement of detailed but simple price differentiation for purchase prices, independent management of functions and content in a user-friendly backend while focusing on high-quality products.

Read our Case Study Bense & Eicke

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