Shopify is an e-commerce platform (CMS) based in Canada that allows individuals and businesses to create their own online stores. Shopify was developed to offer users an easy-to-use platform with no need for advanced technical skills to set up and manage an online store.
History and evolution
The history of Shopify begins in 2004 when its founders, Tobias Lütke and Scott Lake, tried to open an online store to sell snowboard equipment. Finding it difficult to build their online store with the ecommerce solutions available at the time, they decided to create their own platform. These are the main dates of its evolution:
- 2006: Official launch of the Shopify platform, allowing entrepreneurs to set up their own online store without the need for coding skills.
- 2009: Introduction of the Shopify App Store to extend the functionality of stores.
- 2010: Shopify releases its API, allowing developers to create apps for Shopify stores.
- 2013: Shopify Payments is introduced, making it easier for merchants to accept credit card payments without having to integrate third-party payment providers.
- 2015: Shopify goes public on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.
- 2016: Shopify Plus launches to address the needs of larger, fast-growing businesses.
- 2017: Introduction of Shopify AR, allowing merchants to use augmented reality to showcase their products.
- 2018: Shopify announces that it surpasses one million businesses on its platform worldwide.
- 2019: Launch of the Shopify Fulfillment Network, a network of physical fulfillment centers that use machine learning technology to deliver faster, cheaper shipping.
- 2021: Shopify surpasses 1.7 million businesses using its platform worldwide.
Features and functionalities
Shopify is renowned for its ease of use and wide range of features. Users can choose from hundreds of themes to customize the look and feel of their online stores. In addition, Shopify offers SEO tools to help stores improve their search engine rankings, as well as analytics to track store performance.
In addition to these features, Shopify also offers options for multi-channel selling, allowing users to sell on platforms like Facebook, Amazon, and Pinterest, as well as in physical stores using Shopify POS.
Benefits of Shopify
There are several advantages of using Shopify for managing an online store:
- Ease of use: Shopify is known for its intuitive and easy-to-use user interface, which makes creating and managing an online store accessible to users without advanced technical skills.
- Customization: Shopify offers hundreds of themes, both free and paid, that allow users to customize the look and feel of their online stores.
- Multichannel: Shopify allows users to sell on multiple channels, including social media platforms and physical stores.
- SEO and analytics: Shopify offers SEO tools to help improve the visibility of online stores, as well as analytics to track store performance.
Disadvantages of Shopify
Despite its numerous advantages, Shopify also has some disadvantages:
- Cost: Shopify charges a monthly fee as well as transaction fees on certain plans. In addition, many of the premium extensions and themes also come at a cost.
- Limited customization: Although Shopify offers many themes, customization can be limited unless the user has coding knowledge.
- SEO: Although Shopify offers SEO tools, achieving high search engine rankings may require a more complex SEO strategy.