Shopify Review 2013

In order to be completely transparent I need to tell you that I make a $100 commission off of anyone I sign up for Shopify. I have been approached by other e-commerce solutions which will pay more money but Shopify is my favorite e-commerce solution. I use it for my web design company and it’s what I would recommend to anyone starting an online clothing website.

Let me start out by saying I haven’t always been a strong supporter of Shopify. I use to think that there were other systems that were cheaper and just as good. Recently Shopify has made some changes and improvements and Shopify is my number one choice by far right now.

So what has changed my mind?

The biggest change is that shopify made a new starter plan

  • It costs $14
  • You can have 25 products
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 1 gb storage
  • A ton of free and premium themes
  • Multiple gateways (you can accept credit cards!)

There are some drawbacks to this plan

  • You can’t edit the theme files to fully customize your theme
  • It doesn’t have discount codes

Not being able to edit your theme isn’t that big of a deal. Most of the premium themes out there are going to give you a bunch of options you can edit in the backend. This will let you put in your logo, add slideshow images, and change colors and fonts so it fits with your brand. It’s only the people that really want to go in and fine tune everything that will have to go to the plan higher. It doesn’t have discount codes as well which I feel like most store owners are going to want to have, but for what you are getting it’s an awesome deal for $14 a month.

With this plan you’ll be able to accept money from multiple gateways and accept credit cards, most companies that charge a similar amount are paypal only. Also with shopify you are going to get your own blog where you can upload pictures and connect with your audience, most other companies don’t offer this. They also offer a lot of amazing free and premium themes so you can just edit a few things to fit your brand and you’re going to look professional. Like I said for $14 there is a lot of features and its a great deal for the price. What I love about shopify is that it is the complete package, you can run your blog and everything else on your one site. With bigcartel I made an identical theme on wordpress so it would have a blog and more functionality, with shopify you don’t need to do that its all in shopify.

The second biggest reason that has changed my mind to having shopify be my favorite e-commerce solution is discount codes!

The Basic $29 a month plan use to not have discount codes. You would have to pay $59 to get that. That’s a lot of money to get a feature that is pretty basic. Now shopify has added that feature to the Basic plan and I am pretty excited about that. Also with this plan you get to fine tune your theme files so you can completely customize your site.

Now I am going to go more in depth about Shopify

Shopify Review: Price

Shopify review prices
Here are the plans and prices. The starter and basic are probably going to be good enough for most clothing companies starting out. Only when you get to higher amount of products will you need to upgrade.


Shopify Review: Themes

Shopify has over 100 premium and free themes that are going to make you look professional and stand out from the crowd. You check them out in the theme store

Some of my favorite free themes are Atlantic, Fashion, Vintage, and Simple.

atlantic      minimal

vintage      simple

All of these themes above are responsive, which is a method that automatically adapts the rendering of a web page according to the screen size or orientation of the device. Simply put your website is going to look good on every size screen including tablets and mobile. With smart phones becoming a lot more popular users are using their cell phones a lot more to browse the internet. Making your website look good on a mobile site is more important then ever and will become even more important in the following years.

Shopify Review: Theme Customization

Every website template comes with its own settings so you can quickly and easily customize your website’s design. The Theme Settings editor lets you preview your storefront as you’re making changes to it. Here you will be able to save a lot of money by being able to customize your store without having to pay an expensive graphic designer. You can literally make a website in a day, customize it to fit your brand, and be up in running that same day.

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 12.30.54 PM

Shopify Review: Totally flexible website designs

I have done a couple projects with my web development company double dragon studios on shopify and used a couple of different web coders and they have all found shopify easy to work with. I’ve used carts like magento, opencart, and woocommerce and all of them have ended up being a  pain to get everything perfect. Shopify is just simple.

No HTML or CSS is off-limits

You have complete control over your website’s design. Take a look at what some examples of what users have done with their templates.




Shopify Review: Running your store

Shopify’s backend is super simple. You are going to be able to run and manage everything yourself without any help from a web master. Add products, edit prices, add blog posts, change the front page of the site, Shopify makes it easy for you to do everything in the backend of the site. This is one of the biggest reasons why I like to recommend Shopify when I am developing sites. I want to give clients the ability to run everything once I am gone. I want to make it easy on them and Shopify does that.


shopify-app-storeShopify apps are a fast, easy way to add useful extra features to your website storefront.

Apps give your store an edge over the competition by increasing your marketing capabilities, making your shop even easier to manage, helping you track sales trends, and more.

Shopify already has all the basics so you aren’t going to need any apps unless you are looking to do something special. I really like shopify’s SEO features. It gives you everything you want and its simple.


Over 70 Payment Gateways

It’s not just paypal!

The Shopify shopping cart integrates with over 70 payment gateways to accept credit cards from all over the world.

Shopify Review: Shipping

Shipping rates can be set up in a number of different ways, including fixed-price, tiered, weight-based and location-based rates. However you want to do it shopify makes it possible

Easy Checkout

The Shopify checkout process is simple and won’t lose customers because it is too long and complicated. On the cart page you can use paypal to let customers skip filling out the checkout page and collect their information from paypal through express checkout. If users want to use a credit card then the checkout process is easy and quick also. Here is a picture of Fuzzy-Inks checkout page


Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 12.54.47 PM


Shopify Review: Other Features

Multiple languages, taxes and currencies.

Choose from a number of local currencies and we’ll automatically handle major country and state tax rates.

Shopifys  checkout comes in 50+ languages, and you can always translate your store’s theme to suit your needs.

Free SSL certificate

At no additional cost, your website’s shopping cart includes an 128-bit SSL certificate to keep your information secure – the same level of encryption used by large banks around the world.

Certified PCI compliant

Shopify is certified Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, which means your shop can accept VISA, MasterCard, and other credit cards as payment. It’s easier than ever for customers to buy from your store.

Content delivery network (CDN)

Shopify was the first hosted ecommerce website solution to use a content delivery network.

A CDN is a large network of servers placed across the world to ensure your customers can load your website store quickly, no matter where they are.

Shopifys CDN is operated by CDNetworks, one of the most reputable CDN companies.

Search engine optimization.

Potential customers must be able to find your store using search engines. With an SEO friendly CMS, Shopify supports best practices like customizable H1, title and meta tags and SEO friendly urls.

Shopify also automatically generates sitemaps.xml files so new products and site changes are indexed and show up on search engines quickly.

Discount code & coupon engine.

Basic, Professional, Business and Unlimited plan members can use the Shopify coupon engine to create sales, discount codes and coupons to help promote your products.

Offer coupon codes that save customers a monetary amount, a percentage amount, free shipping and more.

Social network integration

All Shopify themes include social network integration, allowing your customers to spread the world and share the great products they find on your online store.

Shopify Review: Conclusion

Shopify’s starter plan is a great way to get get your store running for only $14 a month. It offers all the features that the other plans have you just can have only 25 products, no discount codes, and can’t fine tune code.

Shopify’s basic plan is for companies that want it all. They want more products, discount codes, and the ability to fine tune their website. This option is only $29 a month and I would recommend it to most companies.

Shopify is powerful and simple and you’ll be able to look professional without spending a ton of money. Your getting a site with a built in blog and hosts all of your images, SEO editing abilities, a CDN so your site loads faster everywhere, a free SSL, awesome free and premium themes, tons of Apps to do whatever you want, a price that won’t break the bank, and a free 30 day risk free trial.

This is the real deal. I have used a ton of different carts in the past and have been unhappy about how they work. Shopify is the exception they have gotten better over the years and offer an amazing deal for clothing companies starting out. I have a special code with Shopify where anyone using this link gets a 30 day trail instead of 15. Click here to check out Shopify.

If you have any questions leave them in a comment and I’ll answer it.



#1 Recommended E-commerce Solution by HTSACC

If you need an e-commerce site Shopify is perfect for beginners and experts. You don’t need to have any technical or design experience to easily create a beautiful online store with your branding. Choose from tons of well designed e-commerce templates that look great on desktops, phones, and tablets. Easily customize, create pages, add products, and you’re pretty much ready to accept payments. Plans start at $14 and comes with a free no risk 30 day trial period. Click here to create your store now. Also check out our in depth review of Shopify here and see why Shopify is our number 1 recommended shop for clothing companies.
  • Amy Fancher

    A few questions: Is there an automated email generated to let customers know once their item has shipped including tracking info? Also for international shipping, is the customs form generated on line to fill out and print out on your computer? Lastly, does it give you info on stats- like most popular key words, etc? I’m currently selling on Etsy and find these features really helpful, but would like to find an alternative site to sell from. Any reviews on the Indiemade site?

  • jonkruse

    For stats shopify gives you the top referrals and top keywords in the dashboard. I would highly recommend using google analytics e-commerce to get even more info about your sites statistics. With google analytics you’re going to be able to see what websites and what keywords users are using and buying your products, and a lot more important info.

    Etsy vs shopify, they both are different. Etsy is website that promotes tons of different brands and products on the same site. Many companies do very well with this method and get sales just by being on etsy.

    With shopify you are by yourself. You have to get all of your traffic but you get a lot more tools to do it. Doing it all yourself isn’t for anyone and I can understand the appeal of Etsy for crafters and artists but if you really want to take control of your brands destiny you need to take control and have your own independent site.

    It just doesn’t make sense to get traffic to your Etsy site when you users can just leave and buy something else on etsy. With shopify you are just sending customers to your site and your products. You get the tools to make your site fit your brand so users have a better brand experience. You can fine tune your SEO so you get traffic from search engines, you have a blog to write about your company, you can use google analytics to get more data about your sales, you have the ability to fine tune anything in your site. You don’t get all this fine tuning with etsy, you are just one store in a crowd of stores.

    I am all about doing it yourself, you are going to get a lot more sales in the long run this method and your brand is going to be a lot stronger because of it. It does take more work though, but things that are worth it usually do.

    I’m asking my friend about shipping, I’ll get that info on here soon.

  • Mark Macdonald

    Hi Jon, Mark from Shopify here. Thanks for this great review.

    I just wanted to mention that this week we released Shopify Payments which allows merchants to accept credit cards directly through our platform – no 3rd party payment gateway required. We also waive Shopify plan transaction fees for any merchants using Shopify Payments.

    People can find out more here:

  • jonkruse

    Thanks Mark, was just checking that out and talking to a client yesterday. Awesome to be able to accept credit cards without set up costs and monthly fees. A lot of nice improvements to Shopify.

  • Robson Desa

    Dear Jon, I did click your link but the trial is only 14 not 30 days???

  • jonkruse

    Hi Robson. I checked with Shopify and they said it will say 14 days but it will give you the trial for 30 days. Let me know if that works.


  • Patty

    I had a graphic designer create a logo – is this something i can use on Shopify?

  • jonkruse

    Yes, you can upload them into the theme settings in the backend.

  • David Power (Public Nuisance)

    Good morning Jon;
    Thank you for your blog/advice on Shopify. I looked at woocommerce, magenta and shopify and I agree with you 100%….shopify is a good deal especially for start ups. *It is important to be clear as a retailer when using Shopify of the commission fees for Shopify, Paypal and Credit Cards…..I think all told it works out at 10%/15% of RRP.
    I will be contacting you in a few weeks with a Press Release document etc. as I am launching a ‘Created In London’ T shirt brand called PUBLIC NUISANCE ( and once again I thank you for your info/blog entitled…’How To Talk To Bloggers’…super helpful guidance.
    Kind regards
    David P

  • jonkruse

    I’ve used endicia and stamp before. It is awesome for shipping out of the country and not having to fill out customs forms. For in state I would use paypal mostly because most of my order came through paypal so it was easy to just pay for the postage through them but I think the cost of the postage was a little higher then with stamps or endicia.

  • jonkruse

    Hi David. To make everything clear Shopify Charges 2.9% + 30 cents for credit card transactions (pretty standard), and if customer uses paypal or other third party gateway it charges an extra 2%. The costs are lower on higher plans. Not 10%-15%

  • Mary Wilson

    This is great information, thanks so much. I am in the thought process of getting off of Etsy and going on my own. This is exactly the info that I needed to make my mind up. I do have one question though; is clothing the only items you may sell with shopify?
    Thanks, Mary

  • samstfleur

    What Shopify app/company do you recommend for printing & fulfillment or what has your experience been there?

  • jonkruse

    Its an e-commerce solution, you can sell whatever you want.