Why You Should NOT Start A Shopify Dropshipping Store
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Why You Should NOT Use Shopify
Reasons Why Shopify Isn’t The Best Choice for Starting Your Online Store Anymore
If you’re getting ready to dip your toes into the e-commerce business waters, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to Shopify. Below, you’ll find six reasons why Shopify shouldn’t be your first choice for your online store.
One of the most important reasons why Shopify is not the best choice to start your e-Commerce business anymore is that Shopify is a hosted platform. A hosted platform means you don’t have to worry about finding a hosting company, installing any software or worrying about an SSL certificate for your store.
While this is great because all the technical details are taken care of for you, it also bears an inherent risk of losing your store if Shopify ever decides to close its doors.
Another common problem with hosted platforms is migrating your store to a different platform. It’s not as easy as all you get is a CSV of your products. Everything else such as your store’s design, your blog posts, store policies, and other pages on your site would have to recreate from scratch.
The problems above are usually referred to as vendor lock-in that comes with all hosted platforms so it’s an important aspect to consider if you plan on becoming the next Amazon.
Shopify offers a variety of different plans, the cheapest being $9/month and the most expensive being $29 9/month. Given Shopify is a hosted platform, you will get quite a few e-commerce features bundled together depending on the plan you choose.
Shopify’s plans seem affordable at first glance, but once you start digging deeper, you’ll realize it can be quite costly to launch your e-commerce business with Shopify.
For starters, no matter which plans you choose, you’ll pay extra transaction fees if you use any payment provider other than Shopify Payments.
Next, you will also pay credit card processing fees on all Shopify plans though it’s worth mentioning that the fees do go down slightly if you opt for a more expensive plan.
Lastly, if you want extra functionality such as adding a loyalty program, advanced order tracking, and similar; you will need to pay extra for it by purchasing and installing an app from Shopify’s marketplace.
When you take all of the above into consideration, it’s easy to see how you could be leaving thousands of dollars on the table instead of making a healthy profit.
There is no denying it that the design of your store matters. Shopify doesn’t lack in that department as it does have attractive looking themes. But, there are a few downsides when it comes to Shopify themes.
The first downside of Shopify’s themes is that there are only 71 themes in the official theme Store. This means that your store could be using the same theme which means your customers won’t be able to tell your store apart from your competitors. In the long run, you will have a harder time building brand recognition.
It’s worth mentioning that there are third-party marketplaces where you can buy Shopify themes so if you aren’t happy with the official theme marketplace, you can always check out places like ThemeForest.
Another downside of Shopify’s themes is that they can be quite expensive, ranging from $140 to $ 180, versus WordPress themes that usually cost around $80. While there are some free themes in the marketplace, they don’t offer as many features and customization options as the premium themes.
Very Expensive Apps
Third-party apps extend the functionality of your WooCommerce store. You can find apps for automating certain parts of your e-commerce store as well as apps that allow you to better market and promote your store.
The good part about the apps is that some of them are free. The downside is that the most useful apps are often very expensive.
For example, if you want to add recurring charges to your store and enable subscriptions, you’ll need to shell out an additional $39.99/month, on top of other Shopify fees. Adding the pre-order functionality could cost you an extra $24.95/month while adding exit-intent popups to build your email list or cart recovery feature adds an additional $24/month. That is already an additional $90/month on top of Shopify’s monthly plans. If you’re just getting started with your e-commerce business, expenses like those can easily eat up all your profit.
Shopify makes it easy to upload the logo for your store and set your colours and fonts. However, if you want more customization than that, you will either have to hire a Shopify designer or learn how to code yourself.
In other words, Shopify’s customization options are rather limited. Therefore, if you want complete control over your store’s design such as the ability to use custom fonts, control the display of your product pages, and similar, Shopify is not the right choice for you.
In addition to that, if you want to customize your Shopify theme, you will have to learn Liquid, which is Shopify’s own language used for themes. As such, googling an answer to your problem will most likely not be as easy as it would be if Shopify using one of the standard programming languages such as PHP.
Alternatively, you could hire a developer that specializes in working with Shopify but bear in mind that hiring a developer can be costly, especially if you’re just starting out and have a limited budget. Hourly rate for Shopify developers is higher than WordPress developers, not to mention there are 10 times less Shopify developers than WordPress developers.
Steeper Learning Curve
Lastly, Shopify does come with a learning curve as they use a number of terms that are different from the industry standard. For example, they use the term collections to describe product categories. While not a major deterrent, it is something to keep in mind.
Similarly, to set up your store, you will often find yourself switching between the front-end and the back end of your store. This is due to various storage options such as payment gateways and policies being located in the backend while theme customization options are found on the front-end interface of your site.
WooCommerce: The Best Shopify Alternative
Now that we’ve covered the reasons why Shopify is not the best choice for beginners in the online retail world, you might be wondering what’s the best platform to start your e-commerce business on.
The answer to that is simple: WooCommerce. WooCommerce is a free plugin for WordPress that allows you to turn your regular WordPress website into a full-fledged online store. We have a detailed comparison guide on Shopify and WooCommerce so you can see the differences between the two platforms.
In the meantime, here are a few reasons why we think WooCommerce is the best e-commerce platform whether you’re a seasoned seller or a complete beginner.
No Vendor Lock-in
Like WordPress, WooCommerce is free and open-source. This means you can download the software and install it on your WordPress website as well as modify it to better suit your needs.
It also means that you don’t have to worry about losing your store if your hosting company goes out of business or if you outgrow the features they offer. You are free to change hosting providers and you can take the backup of your WooCommerce store and install it onto the new hosting server without losing your products, customizations, design, and any other features.
Thousands of Affordable Themes
If you search for WooCommerce themes, you’ll get thousands of result. There are hundreds of free WooCommerce themes on the official theme repository and hundreds more premium WooCommerce themes on third-party marketplaces and independent theme shops.
Premium WooCommerce themes, such as Woondershop, have been designed with e-commerce conversions in mind which means they have been designed in a way that will help you sell more products. This includes features such as:
- Autocomplete search
- Powerful filtering options
- Single-page checkout
- Noticeable calls to actions
- Floating labels
- Upsells and cross-sells on product pages
- Mega menus
- And more
What’s more, premium WooCommerce themes can be bought for half the price of a premium Shopify theme and range between $70-$80. It’s worth mentioning that if you want conversion features such as those mentioned above, you need to buy an app for every single feature which can add up to more than $150/month on top of your Shopify plan.
“People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.” ~ Lewis Cass
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao Tzu
“You cannot score a goal when you are sitting on the bench. To do so, you have to dress up and enter the game.” ~ Israelmore Ayivor
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