Reading in-depth reviews about Shopify can give you a lot of answers, but maybe not all of them. So today, we thought we’d ask some real life Shopify store owners to give us their thoughts on the platform.
Why did they choose it? Was it a wise decision? And what would they change about Shopify if they could? Below are 11 Shopify examples that will help you make up your mind about the ecommerce solution.
Sophie, Cofounder at Spectrum Collections
The Store: A UK-based store selling vegan makeup brushes. Fusing the fashion world with the beauty world, Spectrum Collections creates makeup tools and cosmetics cases that are trend led and ‘instagrammable’ while retaining their vegan and ethical standards.
Why Shopify: “We picked Shopify because it’s extremely user friendly, and really easy to keep an eye on sales through the reports,” Sophie says.
What works great: As two of them work on the platform, it was important to ensure the learning curve isn’t too steep. “One of us is much more technical than the other, but we can both use Shopify with ease because it is so streamlined and simple to use.”
What could improve: “We would like to see an improved checkout from Shopify. What would really help is an application for customers to check out in their own currency without reverting back to £. We’ve been looking for a way to resolve this but there doesn’t seem to be one currently, so hopefully this will go into development so we can grow the business further abroad.”
Chris, Owner of Mindzai
The Store: Mindzai brings happy smiles to faces to the kids and kids at heart around the world by promoting the intersection of creative arts and toys. They search the globe for artists, toymakers and companies who share the same passion and give them a platform to offer their creations to the world.
Why Shopify: “We picked Shopify because of their ease of use and at the same time, complex and comprehensive backend tools,” Chris says. “It allows me to spend less time worrying about the heavy lifting of building an e-commerce from scratch and more time being a creative person and a smarter marketer. It was an easy decision actually.”
What works great: “The best thing about Shopify is its flexibility and continuous improvement of the platform. The support for customers and developers is unmatched. The funny thing is: every time I have something to major to criticize about Shopify, the problem is fixed within a couple of weeks.”
What could improve: “Perhaps it’s a legal thing, but there is one feature that I really wish existed….Multi-currency options available at checkout. But I’m sure someone there is already thinking about how to solve this.”
Asad, Owner of iSwegway
The Store: iSwegway is an online startup specializing in modern personal transportation devices that grow through virality and lead to a shift in culture.
Why Shopify: “We were strapped for time and couldn’t find any reliable platforms to host our site,” Asad says. “There were a few options in the marketplace and after spending late nights testing each one, we found Shopify to be the most resilient and reliable. An account was set up and we were live within an hour with our own domain.”
What works great: “The simplicity of the platform. Nobody likes byzantine procedures; Shopify have a perfectly pellucid platform for any type of business.”
What could improve: “We are currently working on our latest brand, and would like to see better cross store management options.”
Adam, Cofounder of N/A Stock Company
The store: Stylish luggage travel tag that represents their home city of Toronto, ON Canada. Founded in 2016, N/A Stock Company has sold luggage tags all throughout Canada, United States, United Kingdom and Japan. Adam is also Product Manager at Shopify.
Why Shopify: “Before Shopify, I’ve actually tried other platforms. WordPress, Big Cartel and Etsy”, Adam says. “They all came with benefits to help me build a business. Although, all my research on how create a ecommerce store happened through Shopify blogs! I then started using it and found the platform easy to use with lots of customization. This actually drew me to applying for a job at Shopify.”
What works great: “I love how easy Shopify is to use: the customizations, apps, Shopify blogs, how many different channels we can sell on. And of course, the 24/7 merchant support!”
Damian Rowe, Director at Newquay Camping
The store: A camping and caravanning business based in Newquay (UK), providing holiday equipment such as tents, beach supplies, caravan accessories and more for visitors to Cornwall.
Why Shopify: “The ecommerce platform running our previous store was releasing an update which didn’t work for us, so I decided it was time for a change. When buying products from Shopify stores myself, I was extremely impressed with its usability and the way it works, so decided it would be the best fit for Newquay Camping.”
What works great “I like how easy it is to customise and list products on our website now. I think customers find our new site easier to navigate. Previously, customers would often only buy one expensive item whereas they now appear to buy more cheaper products along with their main purchase, which is really great.”
What could improve: “I don’t like that you cannot specify different shipping rates for different areas of the UK, so posting products out to the Highlands or to the Channel Islands, for example, costs quite a bit more. Another downside is that some features are paid monthly, whereas I’d rather pay a larger amount upfront. Lastly, there are paying Shopify apps that I feel should come as standard.”
Jean-Yves, director at Progurt
The store: Progurt manufactures, distributes and retails a range of innovative health products, including advanced probiotic, and other gut supplements.
Why Shopify: “We have chosen Shopify due to its simplicity, usability and robust functionality with broad range of applications.”
What works great: “We love the simplicity, ease of use, integration and adaptability,” Jean Yves says. “Everything is handled within one unified environment. Great analytics and simply designed front and back end. We also love the phone support! And the scalability. Shopify facilitates our growth and grows with us.”
What could improve: “We are very happy with mostly everything. We do, however, feel the monthly fees could be slightly lower. It would also be good if email accounts were offered as a part of the e-commerce solution.”
Tom, Founder at StylTom
The store: StylTom was founded by inventor Tom Pellereau and funded after appearing on Britain’s version of the TV show The Apprentice. They design, manufacture and sell innovative beauty products.
Why Shopify: “We chose Shopify because we’d heard how easy it is to use and because it is such a huge platform we knew it would allow us to keep up with the times,” Tom says. “Also, we initially had no idea how powerful ecommerce was going to become. Rather than spending £10,000-20,000 on a website, we created a highly customised ecommerce site for just £500 and built it up from there.”
What works great “My favourite thing about Shopify is that it is incredibly easy to use, meaning we don’t need to hire an expensive developer team to make our site look and work the way we want it to. My second favourite thing is the app itself – it’s brilliant. If you do not currently use it, try it today. We can see exactly how many orders we’ve taken and how many sales we’ve made on any given day, week, month or year.”
What could improve: “Through working with Swanky, we were able to use workarounds to allow for multi-currency price display and check out. The former was easy, but allowing multi-currency at checkout has been very complicated (hats off to SwankyApple). However, the workaround means our store now has four backends – one for each country – which makes it’s very complicated.”
Lyn Gowin, Manager at Lynka Ink
The store: Lynka Ink is the brainchild and online store of the Melbourne artist Lyn Gowin.
Why Shopify: “After many years chained to her studio, I decided it was a good idea to showcase and sell limited edition prints directly to the public. After much deliberation and discussions with the team at Insider Media Group, we opted for Shopify due to its ease of use, and excellent selection of premium Shopify themes. Plus the cost of the site development was a fraction of the cost compared to a fully customised site build.”
What works great: “Since the Shopify site launched, I’ve been a big fan of the reporting functions, the ease of making changes and updates, plus the Shopify support team.”
What could improve: “If Shopify did have any issues it would mainly be that the out of the box shipping options are quite rigid and not flexible enough. But all in all, owning and running a Shopify store has been a great experience so far.”
Melody Owner of Active Creatures
The store: Launched in 2014, Active Creatures designs luxury sportswear for women and their pet dogs.
Why Shopify: “We chose Shopify back in 2014 because we wanted an easy to use platform that could grow with us.”
What works great “We love that we can think up a new idea and we’re nearly always able to implement it via Shopify. The community of apps and specialist skills is a huge benefit to small and medium businesses like us, who want to get to market quickly and without excessive development costs. Shopify has also provided insights about how they compare to industry benchmarks. This is a terrific improvement that helps us consider ways in which we can refine our offer and grow with clear objectives in mind.”
What could improve: “Going forward, we think Shopify should consider ways to ‘group buy’ third-party services, so that brands on its platform can benefit from lower prices / cost efficiencies. One example that comes to mind is Google star ratings. This service is offered by multiple suppliers but comes at a significant monthly cost to small and medium businesses. As a community of brands on Shopify, it would be great to be able to leverage our collective buying power.”
Dane Swan, Owner ot Rattbag
The store: Ratbagg are an iconic clothing brand from Melbourne, Australia, that is part owned by retired Collingwood football player Dane Swan.
Why Shopify: “Originally, Ratbagg used a WordPress / WooCommerce front and backend but we quickly decided to migrate to Shopify due to its ease of reporting, available apps and reliable hosting.”
What works great: “It quickly became apparent that Shopify held more appeal due to its ease of making updates and changes which are commonplace among fast fashion brands. We’ve not looked back since switching to Shopify as the positives far outweighing the gripes.”
What could improve: “The only setback is that, unlike WordPress, some of the apps do carry quite a hefty monthly fee. However, with some creative code a lot of these apps are not required.”
Conclusion: What to Learn from these Real Life Shopify Examples?
In the pros: people adore the ease of use. The user experience gets top grades, and the apps and ability to scale your store seem to please everyone.
The cons? The price might be a bit steeper than store owners would like. This is particularly true when you take into consideration third party apps, which you need to pay for monthly.
And of course, the number one request we keep hearing is for multilingual stores and international transactions. In fact, if Shopify were to implement this feature out of the box, it could very well be the magic bullet that propels them to the rank of number #1 ecommerce platform in the world.
> For more information about Shopify, read our review.