What is Shopify?

Shopify Online eCommerce Platform

Shopify is a cross-channel eCommerce platform for small businesses. It combines an online store with digital marketing tools, including social promotion, advertising, and CRM functionalities. Business owners can also use Shopify to manage sales and inventory (Buy Button) or use Shopify as a payment gateway (ShopPay) for their existing eCommerce website. It's like a one-stop-shop that funnels all traffic through the Shopify platform.

Shopify aims to make eCommerce more accessible to entrepreneurs who can't afford a custom eCommerce developer. The intuitive platform includes a drag-and-drop to quickly set up a mobile-friendly site. Plus, there's no need to install a payment gateway or configure a CRM. All payments and orders can be handled through Shopify — although you can integrate third-party tools if you wish. Shopify even calculates sales tax and shipping costs for you.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce

Shopify vs WooCommerce

If you've already explored eCommerce plugins such as WooCommerce, you may be wondering which is better. While Shopify and WooCommerce have similar features, they each have their own pros and cons.

Pros of Shopify

  • All web hosting and development is handled on the Shopify platform, so it's relatively simple to get your store up and running.
  • You can easily integrate other sales channels and your marketing on those channels.
  • Shopify handles payments, including auto-calculated taxes and discounted shipping costs, so both you and your customers have a better experience.

Cons of Shopify

  • The transaction fees and custom apps and extensions can add up quickly.
  • You have limited options to fully customize and extend your store.
  • It can be difficult to optimize your Shopify storefront for search engines.

Pros of WooCommerce

  • WooCommerce can be installed on your existing site and easily configured to suit your needs.
  • It's quite affordable even if you heavily extend and customize it.
  • There are no transaction fees.

Cons of WooCommerce

  • WooCommerce requires a lot of coding and development to set up.
  • It does not offer marketing automation tools except through plugins.
  • There is no option for social media selling i.e. through Facebook Marketplace or Instagram Shoppable Posts.

In short, WooCommerce is better for business owners who need lots of customization and scalability, while Shopify is better for those who don't know how to code and want to use cross-channel marketing.

Shopify Options & Cost

Shopify Plans

Shopify offers several pricing tiers depending on your business needs.

Shopify Lite

For $9/month, you can embed products and accept payments on an existing website.

Basic Shopify

The Basic plan is $29/month and offers an online store, up to 4 inventory locations, social media sales channels, and marketing automation. You pay the following fees:

  • 2.9% + 30¢ USD for online purchases
  • 2.7% + 0¢ USD for in-person card purchases
  • An additional 2.0% transaction fee unless you use Shopify Payments.


Designed for growing businesses, the original Shopify plan offers everything in the Basic plan, plus an additional inventory location and bigger shipping discounts. You pay the following fees:

  • 2.6% + 30¢ USD for online purchases
  • 2.5% + 0¢ USD for in-person card purchases
  • An additional 1.0% transaction fee unless you use Shopify Payments.

Advanced Shopify

Businesses that are scaling up need more detailed reports and the capacity to handle a large order volume. Advanced Shopify offers everything in the classic plan, but with a total of 8 inventory locations, third-party calculated shipping rates, and international pricing options. You pay the following fees:

  • 2.4% + 30¢ USD for online purchases
  • 2.4% + 0¢ USD for in-person card purchases
  • An additional 0.5% transaction fee unless you use Shopify Payments.

Shopify Plus

Large, well-established businesses can get an enterprise-level solution with Shopify Plus.

Benefits of Shopify

Design & Integrations

Shopify makes it quite easy to build a beautiful online storefront, blog, and website. It offers customizable templates with a convenient drag-and-drop builder.
Plus, Shopify integrates with other sales channels. If most of your target customers are on Instagram, for example, you can configure shoppable posts. This saves you valuable time on coordinating product listings and inventory levels across platforms.

App Store

Shopify App Store

If Shopify doesn't have all the features you need, you can often find an extension in the App Store. Popular apps include cross-selling and upselling funnels, size charts, exit-intent popups, dropshipping markets, and many other options. The App Store helps you build the right experience for your target audience.


With Shopify's module-based storefront themes, you can quickly set up an eCommerce site even with zero coding skills. Customize the basic theme or purchase a premium design, then simply drop in your content.

How Shopify Partners Can Help

Shopify Partners Logo

As intuitive and easy as Shopify is, there is still a lot to do to set up your eCommerce business. If you work with a Shopify Partner, you can benefit from their expertise.


Shopify Partners can help you develop your eCommerce strategy, including which channels to sell on, how to configure marketing automation, and what products you should feature.


Once the strategy is in place, it's time to configure the Shopify platform, link your fulfillment center and payment gateway, and set up all your integrations. A Shopify Partner can show you how.

Marketing Execution of Campaign

Shopify offers powerful integrations with paid ads, shoppable posts, marketing emails, and more. This can be a lot to juggle, and you'll need to test to be sure everything is working correctly. Shopify Partners provide guidance and helpful feedback throughout this process.

Wrapping Up

Shopify is an excellent choice for entrepreneurs who want an elegant online store, a central eCommerce hub, or both. The platform is intuitive and powerful enough that anyone can get started on their eCommerce endeavors. For expert support and advice from a Shopify partner, reach out to DaBrian Marketing.


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