As stated on the official website, Shopify is “an e-commerce platform just right for you”.
For sure Shopify is a functional, intuitive and easy-to-use platform. Indeed it lowers the threshold of expertise necessary to approach the world of online sales.
Shopify is a complete solution including software and server and offers different levels of monthly subscription.
Basic Shopify (29$ per month) i.e. the cheaper solution having all the basic features to sell products online with a 2% fee on each item sold.
Shopify (79$ per month) with extra features such as fraud analysis, gift voucher and the abandoned cart recovery, and provides a fee reduction for each item sold to 1%.
Advanced Shopify (299$ per month) allows a multi-account management, has the calculation of shipping costs and the fee decreases to 0,5%.
Is it actually possible to manage Shopify autonomously?
Yes… but be careful: managing does not mean setting all the elements of your account/website/e-commerce.
You will need a company to support you in the early setup steps. Installed themes almost always have to be customized and adjusted.
Is it necessary to consult a freelance or agency?
It depends on your expectations and needs. Being totally independent is never easy.
If you are an experienced user and dabble in coding you will only have to adapt to LIQUID language that is created by Shopify for the Layout management. For the rest, you will need to totally rely on what Shopify offers. The layout is almost completely self-managed while you are very limited as regards to accessing to the code. Shopify restricts a lot the customizations that are its strong point too.
If you are an experienced user you will need a professional or agency supporting you.
Things seeming trivial could become difficult or in some cases impossible.
Apps at one’s disposal to add features or customize are offered with monthly subscription and can increase the total monthly cost significantly.
By way of example, if you need to translate your website into more languages and you want to do it by yourself, you will have to install an app.
The app for translation could cost more than 15% per month.
In this case the monthly fee of a basic profile goes from 29$ to 44$.
If the increase is significant, it is not for me to say, but anyway has to be considered.
Then you need to consider that such apps may not work in specific areas of your website as often happens in the checkout area. In this case even a professional can help you as the access to the checkout code is reserved only to higher profiles.
You can make different considerations about Spotify, in my opinion very a very good solution, but it is important to be supported by a professional in choosing the ideal solution for a business e-commerce website to avoid unpleasant surprises.
We will dedicate another article to the positive and negative aspects of the platform.
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