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Cloud E-commerce Platforms: Review of Shopify

Looking around for cloud-based ways to take payments or sell online? Shopify is one of the most popular choices. Below I’ve compiled a list of the advantages and disadvantages of this solution. You can use it to sell any type of product or service – such as $5000 antique coat hangers.

Advantages

1. Inventory Section

The inventory section is one way that Shopify goes beyond being a simple e-commerce application – a broader piece of software to organize your online store.

2. Customer Section

A database of your customer information and statistics can easily be filtered and utilized for either mass or more targeted marketing efforts – such as creating a sale just for one lady: “$15 off today if your name is Samantha Jacobs and you live in Spokane.”

3. Intuitive

Highly intuitive system… No instruction manual needed. Easy to teach if you are installing it for clients.

4. Attractive/Customizable

The templates look good, even some of the free ones – and you can change as you like. Shopify is like a beautiful robot girlfriend: you can install different heads and appendages, but she still works.

5. Apps Allow Plug-in Functionality

If there is a feature you need that the basic software does not provide, you can buy it from the Shopify app store.

6. Support

There is quite a bit of interactivity between users in the forums of the website. It’s easy to reach them by phone, and there are lots of articles in the support section as well. The most important article is how not to get sued when you sell your ex-wife’s heirlooms online when she is out of town.

Disadvantages

1. Can’t do POS with standard version

Some alternative E-Commerce programs allow you to perform point-of-sale operations – not built-in on this one.

2. Can’t do specials each day with standard version

There’s no built-in automated way to generate a special each day – such as offering a free tube of travel toothpaste to everyone who buys a snowmobile from you on August 6.

3. No loyalty with standard version

Benefits for customer loyalty are also not automatable on the standard version of this platform.

4. Expensive

Anything that is good costs more. No exception here. Shopify is not a nonprofit. Buying their software is not community service – and don’t try to claim it is to your parole officer.

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That about covers it. As you can see, there are a number of advantages and disadvantages… But to boil it down, it’s cost versus ease-of-use and effectiveness. If the money isn’t a big deal to you, you should be happy with the software. Good luck selling the rest of your ex-wife’s stuff. She deserves it.



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by Kent Roberts and Richard Norwood

Sources:

1 http://ecommerce-software-review.toptenreviews.com/shopify-review.html

2 http://andrewbleakley.com/shopify-review/

3 http://www.ecommerce-review.com/shopify/

4 http://thewebplant.com/top-5-cloud-based-ecommerce-platforms/

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