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What is Shopify?

  • 4 min read

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a platform which allows you to start, grow, and manage your own online ecommerce store.  They offer a suite of services including marketing, payments, shipping, and customer engagement tools.  They simplify the process of running an online store where you’re able to sell anywhere your customers are - whether that’s online, through social media, online marketplaces, even in-person at brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops.

Shopify is completely cloud-based and hosted.  This means there is no need for you to stay on top of maintaining or upgrading your software or web servers.  All you need to operate your online store is an internet connection.  Shopify empowers independent business owners everywhere.

If you’re new to setting up your online ecommerce store with Shopify, you can purchase a domain through Shopify or a third-party provider.  If you already own a domain name, there is the option to connect this existing domain name to Shopify.

 How much does Shopify cost?

  • Basic Shopify - $29/month
    This gives you all the basics for starting a new business

  • Shopify - $79/month
    Includes everything needed to grow your online business

  • Advanced Shopify - $299/month
    Provides advanced features for scaling your business

What is Shopify? | IWD Agency | Shopify Pricing



The biggest differences to note between these plans are centered around reporting and shipping related features, credit card rates, and point of sale systems.

Shopify's website showcases a nice breakdown of these differences in a simple table.

Outside of these mainstream plans, there are two additional plans:

  • Shopify Plus - Price varies
    Which provides enterprise-grade solutions for high volume merchants, and large online stores.  If you're at this point in the game, get in touch.  We'll help with the pricing based on your store's volume.
  • Shopify Lite - $9/month
    Allows you to sell on Facebook.  You can chat with your customers on Messenger, add products to any website or blog, and accept credit card payments.

All Shopify plans are month-to-month unless you’ve signed up for an annual or biennial plan, which is discounted at 10 and 20%, respectively. 

What's great about Shopify is the usability and how customizable their platform is.  This allows you to add your unique personality and branding to your storefront - setting you apart from your competition.  Shopify also make it very easy to manage products, inventory, payments and shipping.  Shopify has you covered in all areas.

History of Shopify

Shopify was founded by Tobias Lutke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake after attempting to open their own online store for snowboarding equipment.  They weren’t very impressed with the ecommerce platforms on the market, so they decided to build their own.  They found a problem!  They solved the problem!  Business 101!

With just two months of development, Shopify was launched in June of 2006.  In their 14 years, they've had quite the list of accomplishments:

  • They’ve acquired companies - absorbing a brilliant workforce of already successful companies.  
  • Launched a mobile app and an iPad-centric POS system
  • Gone public on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange
  • In September 2015, announced it would be closing its Amazon Webstore service for merchants, and selected Shopify as the preferred migration provider.
  • In January 2017, Shopify announced integration with Amazon that would allow merchants to sell on Amazon from their Shopify stores.
  • Shopify has had integration partnerships with Snapchat, Facebook, and Google.
  • As of 2019 - Shopify reported they had more than 1,000,000 businesses in approximately 175 countries using its platform.  
  • In the 2018 calendar year, their total gross merchandise volume exceeded $41.1 billion

Based on these numbers, it’s safe to say, Shopify knows what they’re doing. 

So, if you’re feeling a bit more empowered to get going with your own online store, take a look at Shopify. 



Other Shopify Resources:

Shopify Plus Pricing - Is it Worth it?


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