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Ecommerce platform guide

Is Shopify Worth It in 2024?

Is Shopify Worth It in 2024?
Lilija Karpjaka

By Lilija Karpjaka

18 min read

Over the years, Shopify has stood out as a leading choice for entrepreneurs eager to establish their digital presence. With giants like Tesla, Sephora, Netflix, and millions of other successful sellers, Shopify has cemented its reputation as a go-to solution in the ecommerce world. 

But is Shopify still worth it in 2024? It’s a valid question, especially for those operating in the print-on-demand sector. The answer hinges on your needs, technical skills, and long-term objectives.

In this blog, we aim to show whether Shopify remains a viable option for your business in the foreseeable future. By examining its advantages, drawbacks, and key features, we’ll help you decide whether Shopify aligns with your ecommerce goals in 2024.

Is Shopify worth it in 2024? 

Yes, Shopify remains a top choice for many ecommerce businesses in 2024 because it’s a highly scalable solution. It offers everything you need to build a functional store, especially if you’re starting a dropshipping business. Its user-friendly interface, robust support, and extensive Shopify app store enable seamless ecommerce operations and store growth, making it a solid investment for those looking to sell online. 

Shopify pros and cons

Shopify, renowned for its ease of use and impressive features, has become the go-to choice for many online entrepreneurs. However, like any platform, it comes with its strengths and limitations.


Pros


Cons

✔️Made for POD

Seamlessly integrates with leading dropshipping and print-on-demand platforms like Printful

❌Limited design customization options 

Uses an in-house coding language (Liquid), which requires extra learning time

✔️Easy to use

Designed with the non-technical user in mind

❌Reliance on apps

Unlocking key functionality can require paid apps

✔️Scalable

Supports businesses of all sizes and can scale as the business grows

❌Checkout customization limits 

You can change the colors and fonts, but that’s about it

✔️Wide range of tools

Built-in features and an extensive app store—tools for sales, marketing, payment processing, and more

❌No email hosting 

To send an email from your custom domain email address, you need to use a third-party email hosting service

✔️Reliable and secure

Hosts your online store and takes care of server maintenance and security

❌Complex migration

Moving an existing store to or from Shopify can be complex and may require technical assistance

✔️Support

Provides 24/7 customer support through live chat, email, and phone + a vast selection of guides, tutorials, and forums

❌Third-party transaction fees

Transaction fees apply if you use a third-party (external provider) payment gateway

Shopify: An in-depth review

Shopify offers four payment plans, each tailored to fit different types of sellers. 

Shopify Starter (previously Shopify Lite)

Price/Month. $9 per month

Who’s it for? Sellers looking to integrate ecommerce functionalities in existing websites, social media platforms, or messaging apps at a minimal cost.

Key features. It lets you accept payments, create invoices, and manage your products using Shopify’s backend without the full suite of ecommerce features included in higher-tier plans.

Shopify Basic

Price/Month: $39 per month ($29 per month, paid annually)

Who’s it for? New sellers looking to establish a standalone ecommerce presence.

Key features. It provides essential ecommerce features:

  • An online store you can customize

  • A built-in blogging engine

  • SSL certificates for security

  • Various reports for business tracking

  • International commerce support with a limit of 3 markets

  • Credit card rates and transaction fees: 2.9% + $0.30 per online transaction

Shopify Basic is the best option for sellers starting out in dropshipping. With a monthly cost of $29, it’s cost-effective and offers key features needed to launch and manage an online dropshipping business efficiently.

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Shopify Standard

Price/Month. $105 per month ($79 per month, paid annually)

Who’s it for? Growing businesses that require more advanced features to scale their online store.

Key features. It provides everything in the basic Shopify plan, plus lower credit card rates, reduced transaction fees, and more powerful sales reports.

  • Up to 5 staff accounts

  • Gift card creation

  • Point of Sale (POS) features for in-person selling

  • Professional reports for deeper business insights

  • International commerce support with a limit of 3 markets

  • Credit card rates and transaction fees: 2.6% + $0.30 per online transaction

Shopify POS is a system that allows you to sell products in person, like in a physical store or at a market, using Shopify. You can use a phone, tablet, or computer to take payments, manage your inventory, and track sales, all connected to your online Shopify store.

Advanced Shopify

Price. $399 per month ($299 per month, paid annually)

Who’s it for? Large businesses and high-volume sellers that need advanced reporting and better control over shipping rates.

Key features. It offers all the features of the Shopify plan, plus the lowest credit card rates. It also includes advanced shipping rate calculations, giving businesses more control over shipping costs and options.

  • Up to 15 staff accounts

  • Third-party calculated shipping rates

  • Advanced report builder for custom reports

  • International commerce support, allowing sales in up to 50 markets

  • Credit card rates and transaction fees: 2.4% + $0.30 per online transaction

Shopify markets refer to specific geographic regions or countries you can target and customize your store for to offer a localized shopping experience. Each market can have its currency, language, and products or pricing strategies. E.g., if you have customers in the US, the UK, and Japan, you can create three separate markets.

If you’re familiar with Shopify, note that Shopify plans underwent some changes in 2024.

  1. The $1 trial plan is limited to 30 days (instead of 90)

  2. Previously, you could add up to 50 different markets even on the Basic plan. Now that’s reserved for the Advanced Shopify plan, and the rest have a 3-market limit.

  3. No staff accounts for Starter and Basic plans. Previously they had two.

  4. All plans now have access to 60+ reports.

Additional Shopify costs

Themes. Some free Shopify themes are cool, but if you want to stand out, you’ll have to purchase a premium theme, ranging from $180–$400.

Shopify apps. Some gems are free, but some highly valuable apps are not. Each paid app you add could cost anywhere from $5 to $100, based on what the app does.

Payment processing: Shopify integrates with several payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal, which charge transaction fees. These fees range from 2.9% + $0.30 to 3.9% + $0.30.

Shopify transaction fees. These fees are specific to Shopify and apply if you use a payment provider other than Shopify Payments (Shopify’s own payment gateway). This fee is a percentage of each sale. It’s 2% for the Shopify Basic plan, 1% for the Shopify plan, and 0.5% for the Advanced Shopify plan.

Domains. You can buy a Shopify domain name, which typically costs $14/year, or you can get it from a different provider.

Email hosting. Shopify doesn’t provide email hosting, so if you want a custom email address matching your domain, you’ll need to use an external email hosting service. However, you can set up unlimited forwarding email addresses (like [email protected]) for free.

Marketing and advertising: Driving traffic to your store might require email and content marketing, as well as paid advertising on platforms like Google Ads, Instagram ads, Facebook ads, etc.

2. Shopify’s ease of use

Online sellers often choose Shopify for several compelling reasons that make it stand out as a star platform for launching and managing online stores. One of them is ease of use. 

Shopify enables quick and straightforward setup, allowing even those with no ecommerce experience to launch an online store efficiently. The platform’s intuitive design means you can start adding products, customizing your store, and selling with minimal setup time. Shopify prioritizes ease of access and simplicity, making it an ideal choice for entrepreneurs like yourself, eager to enter the ecommerce space without the hassle of complex configurations.

a screenshot of a computer

Once you sign up, Shopify will take you through a personalized 10-step setup guide, which you can complete at your own pace.

As for building the website interface, it depends on your comfort level with website design and customization. Shopify caters to all skill levels, offering a variety of beautiful and functional themes straight out of the box. 

​​Shopify website builder

For those less familiar with web design, the Shopify platform provides easy-to-use tools and settings to customize your site’ with just a few clicks or drag and drops. You can change colors, fonts, and layouts to match your brand’s identity without touching a single line of code.

a screenshot of a website

Shopify allows deeper customization through its Liquid template language for users with more technical expertise or specific design needs. With this, you can tweak every aspect of your store’s design and functionality, balancing ease of use and flexibility. 

The entrepreneurial effort

Shopify requires time and resources. Beyond the initial setup, business owners need to invest in marketing, design, and, potentially, premium apps to improve their store’s functionality and customer experience.

To attract and retain customers, store owners must use targeted marketing strategies and develop a distinctive brand identity.

Shopify’s user-friendly design, extensive capabilities, and flexibility make it an ideal choice for ecommerce businesses at any growth stage. It empowers entrepreneurs to launch and scale their online stores easily, offering the tools necessary to adapt and thrive in the digital marketplace.

3. Shopify themes

Shopify themes are the cornerstone of creating a visually appealing and functional store. These pre-designed templates determine your website’s look, feel, and structure, blending aesthetics and usability to showcase your products and brand.

In the Shopify Theme Store, you can quickly find themes using the drop-down menu to search by business type (industry) or style (collection). This way, you can see themes for particular looks or business types. But remember, you’re not limited to your industry’s themes. For example, a tech store can easily use a theme designed for art and photography.

Free themes are a great starting point for new businesses or limited budgets, providing a professional look without the upfront cost.

You have a choice of 12 free themes, which look pretty neat.

a screenshot of a website

Learn more: 12 Best Shopify themes for clothing

One of the key advantages of Shopify themes is their vast customization options. Whether you’re a boutique fashion label, a tech gadget retailer, or a crafty homemade goods store, there’s a theme that fits your brand’s style and ethos. 

Shopify provides diverse and flexible themes, allowing adjustments in layout, color schemes, and typography to align with your unique brand identity.

User experience

Shopify focuses on user experience (UX). The themes have intuitive navigation, making it easy for customers to browse products, find information, and shop. Responsive design ensures your store looks great and functions seamlessly on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

Regular updates and support

Themes from the Shopify Theme Store come with the assurance of regular updates and technical support. This means your store can stay up to date with the latest web standards and ecommerce features, and you can offer your customers a secure and optimal shopping experience.

Designed to make sales

Shopify themes are built with ecommerce in mind, offering features and integrations essential for online selling. This includes seamless integration with payment gateways, inventory management tools, and marketing platforms. Advanced themes may offer unique features like 360-degree product views, video backgrounds, and interactive product filters, improving the shopping experience and potentially increasing conversion rates.

Before you get a theme, you can check out its demo version. Find a theme you like and then click “View demo store.” 

a screenshot of a website

Learn more: 8 Best Shopify Themes for Dropshipping

Theme prices range from $140 to $400.

4. Shopify integrations

Shopify integrations are tools and apps that connect Shopify with other services or platforms, making it easier to add new features and improve your store. Think of them like puzzle pieces that fit into your Shopify store, each adding a new function. 

Social media

You can add a Shopify Buy Button for social media and website integration. That way, people can easily access your products from Instagram and Facebook without visiting your store.

a screenshot of a video

Social media platforms that work with Shopify:

  1. Facebook. Sell products through a Facebook Shop.

  2. Instagram. Tag products in your Instagram posts and stories, allowing users to shop directly from the app.

  3. Pinterest. Use Buyable Pins to let customers get your products without leaving Pinterest.

  4. TikTok. Shopify’s partnership with TikTok allows creating shoppable ads.

Pro tip: While there’s no direct selling tool on Twitter, you can use it for marketing, customer service, and driving traffic to your Shopify store. You can also use Snapchat for brand promotion and to create ads that link directly to your store.

Shopify Marketplace Connect app

The Shopify Marketplace Connect app enables you to link your product catalog to various marketplaces, streamlining the management of orders, listings, and inventory directly from your Shopify admin panel. Any modifications to products or orders within your store are instantly updated across all connected marketplaces.

Through Shopify Marketplace Connect, you can integrate your Shopify store with several major marketplaces, including:

  • Amazon

  • Walmart (exclusive to the United States)

  • eBay

  • Etsy

This integration facilitates a cohesive approach to managing your ecommerce presence, ensuring consistency and efficiency across your sales channels.

Print-on-demand dropshipping

Shopify dropshipping offers low startup costs, as you don’t need to invest in inventory upfront. Product selection is flexible, allowing you to easily test and add new products to your store. 

You’ll only handle the customer-facing tasks, while suppliers manage inventory and shipping logistics. At the same time, suppliers manage inventory and shipping logistics.

There are apps for print-on-demand dropshipping as well.

For example, to sell Printful products, you can easily add the Printful app to your Shopify store, directly connecting to your Printful account. This integration seamlessly imports Printful products to your store and automatically fulfills incoming orders, streamlining your Shopify and Printful connection.

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5. Shopify reports and analytics

Shopify’s built-in reports and analytics tools provide valuable insights into your store’s performance, helping you make informed decisions to drive sales and improve customer experience. 

Here’s a breakdown of key features.

Dashboard overview. The Shopify dashboard offers a quick snapshot of your store’s performance, including sales, orders, and traffic, helping you monitor your business at a glance.

a screenshot of a computer

Sales reports. Track sales trends, product performance, and order history to understand what’s driving your revenue. The list includes many default Shopify-built reports but can be adjusted from their default settings to meet your specific needs.

a screenshot of a computer

Here are some of the reports you’ll see:

Marketing reports

Provide insights into how well your marketing efforts are working. They show where your visitors are coming from (social media, search engines, or email campaigns), which marketing activities lead to more sales, and how many people visit your store after seeing a marketing campaign. 

Sales reports

Give you a detailed look at your store’s sales performance. They show you how much you’re selling, what products are selling the best, and sales trends over time, like sales spikes on certain days or during specific seasons. 

Behavior

Offer insights into how visitors interact with your store. These reports reveal key actions like how visitors find your website (their “traffic source”), which pages they visit the most, how much time they spend on your site, and at what point they decide to leave. 

Order reports

Track various aspects of your sales transactions, including the number of orders received, the status of each order (such as paid, pending, or refunded), and the total sales over a specific period. They also offer insights into customer behavior, like repeat purchases, which can help you identify loyal customers or top-rated products.

And there are many more, including but not limited to:

  • Online store cart analysis

  • Profit reports

  • Profit by point of sale location

  • Finance

  • Returning customers

  • Top online store searches

  • Retail sales by product

  • Store conversion over time

  • Acquisition reports

  • Inventory reports

  • Online store speed

  • Refund rate

  • And more 

6. Shopify SEO and marketing

Your online presence significantly hinges on your ability to use SEO (search engine optimization) and marketing.

User-friendly SEO framework

The ecommerce platform is designed with SEO in mind, providing an intuitive set of tools that, when used correctly, can significantly improve your store’s search engine rankings. This includes optimizing product descriptions, improving site structure, and ensuring your website loads quickly on all devices—critical factors that search engines like Google consider when ranking sites.

Shopify SEO apps

Use SEO apps to increase organic traffic, help pages rank higher, improve page speed, etc. 

a screenshot of a website

Metas and alt descriptions

Shopify’s built-in SEO features are designed to be straightforward yet powerful. You can easily edit meta titles and descriptions. Even though they aren’t a ranking factor, meta descriptions are important to your SEO as they help users decide whether to click on your website in search results.

Go to the Shopify admin, Online Store > Pages, and click Add page.

a screenshot of a computer

“Meta descriptions are important because the Google algorithm, which helps determine what pages should rank well for certain keywords, focuses on meta tags. This means that having optimized and relevant metadata to the content you are putting out can have a direct positive effect on your rankings.” /Niel Patel

Blogging

Shopify’s support for blogging offers an additional avenue for improving SEO. Regularly publishing relevant, high-quality content engages your current customers and attracts new visitors through organic search. Shopify’s blogging platform is seamlessly integrated, making it easy to add articles that boost your SEO efforts.

a screenshot of a computer

preview play-button

7. Shopify support

It’s always there when you need it

Shopify’s commitment to support is unwavering, offering round-the-clock assistance to ensure your store runs smoothly. Whether you’re facing a technical glitch, seeking advice on optimization, or simply have a question about your Shopify account, the support team is ready to help anytime, day or night.

Through phone, email, and live chat options, Shopify provides a direct line to expert help, setting it apart from many alternatives. This 24/7 support is not just about solving problems; it’s about peace of mind, knowing that expert advice is just a call or click away. With a focus on high-quality information and prompt response times, Shopify’s dedicated support team provides reliable help to all business owners. 

a screenshot of a website

8. Shopify security

In today’s digital age, security is paramount for any online business. Shopify shines in this area, offering strong security features that protect merchants and their customers. Choosing Shopify means less concern about the technicalities of online security, as the platform handles it all behind the scenes.

Shopify stores are equipped with SSL Certificates, ensuring that data transferred between your site and your customers (including sensitive information like credit card details) is encrypted and secure. This encryption safeguards data and bolsters your store’s trustworthiness among customers. 

screens screenshot of a mobile phone

Source: Shopify

Moreover, Shopify’s adherence to PCI (The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance standards for handling credit and debit card information showcases its commitment to security at the highest level. Shopify users also have access to a cookie policy generator, further improving privacy and compliance on your site.

With Shopify, security is not just a feature; it’s a foundation. The platform’s proactive approach to safeguarding your ecommerce operations lets you focus on growing your business, confident that your online store is protected by industry-leading security measures.

Is Shopify worth it for a small business?

Yes, Shopify is worth it for small businesses seeking an easy-to-use, scalable eccommerce platform. It offers modern, customizable themes, a wide range of essential sales tools, and integrations that simplify online sales and management. Despite its subscription cost, its website reliability, security, and customer support make it a solid investment for businesses aiming to grow their online presence efficiently.

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Is Shopify worth it for dropshipping?

Yes, Shopify is arguably one of the best ecommerce platforms for dropshipping entrepreneurs. With a direct link to leading marketplaces and seamless connections to dropshipping apps like Printful, Shopify simplifies product importation and streamlines the order fulfillment process. The intuitive design and reliability among millions of sellers position Shopify as a top choice for launching and expanding a dropshipping business.

a box with a parachuteSource: Canva

Can you really make money with Shopify?

Yes, Shopify is a popular platform for selling products.

With its comprehensive ecommerce tools, ease of use, and scalability, Shopify supports various business models, including dropshipping, print-on-demand, and traditional retail. Success hinges on selecting a profitable niche, building an attractive store and product collection, deploying strategic marketing, and delivering top-notch customer service. 

a group of people putting coins into a light bulbSource: Canva

Wrapping up: is Shopify right for you?

As we reach the end of our exploration of Shopify, the question remains—is Shopify the right choice for your ecommerce venture?

Whether you’re just beginning or want to grow your business, Shopify provides a good starting point. However, the right choice depends on matching Shopify’s features with your business needs, goals, and budget. 

If you like things simple, need lots of add-ons, and want room to grow, Shopify might just be what you’re looking for. But, if you’re worried about extra costs, need specific custom features, or have a limited budget, you might want to choose another platform.

Happy ecommerce journey!

author

By Lilija Karpjaka on Mar 25, 2024

Lilija Karpjaka

SEO Content Writer

Lilija is an SEO content writer at Printful. She's passionate about ecommerce, and in her spare time, she's an avid reader of various book genres.

Lilija is an SEO content writer at Printful. She's passionate about ecommerce, and in her spare time, she's an avid reader of various book genres.