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Illustration of a crystal ball with the Shopify logo in the centre to depict blog post on the future of Shopify

What’s the future of Shopify?

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Looking ahead at Shopify’s place in the future of eCommerce

Looking ahead at what’s next for Shopify and its role in eCommerce.

As merchants navigate the dynamic landscape of online retail, Shopify continues to empower businesses of all sizes to thrive. But what’s the future of Shopify? And what’s next for online shopping?

Let’s dive into it.

The future of eCommerce and the role Shopify is set to play

  1. Elevating user experience
    Seamless and personalised shopping experiences is the future we want to see. Fortunately, Shopify’s commitment to enhancing user interfaces and streamlining processes ensures a smoother journey for both merchants and customers.
  2. Innovation
    Technology moves fast, so we expect to see more groundbreaking features and tools emerge. Augmented reality shopping, AI-powered recommendations, and all the technological advancements we can’t yet imagine, together will redefine the way we do business online.
  3. Global expansion
    Think global. The world is your marketplace! As businesses aim to reach new horizons, Shopify provides the tools to scale internationally effortlessly.
  4. Eco-friendly initiatives
    Sustainability matters and Shopify is taking steps towards a greener future by prioritising eco-friendly practices.
  5. Security and trust
    Trust is paramount for digital purchases, but rest easy knowing your online store is in safe hands. Shopify continues to invest in robust security measures to protect both merchants and consumers. 
Image of The Merchant Fox products sold on their Shopify site, along with the Shopify logo

The features that will set Shopify apart, now and into the future

Shopify’s platform delivers a seamless and intuitive experience for users, from setting up an online store to managing products, processing orders, and customising the look and feel. Its user-friendliness is often considered Shopify’s single best feature.

Audits to unlock your store’s potential

Is your online store reaching its potential? Is your business utilising the most effective tech stack to meet your needs?

Book an audit to discover which digital enhancements will move the needle for your store.

Balancing benefits and risks

While Shopify is a widely popular and reliable eCommerce platform, like any business solution, it comes with its set of potential risks.

It’s important to be aware of these challenges in relation to your business goals and requirements, so you can make informed decisions about which platform is best for your online store. 

Potential risks for Shopify

  1. Subscription costs
    Shopify operates a subscription-based model. Plans cater to different business needs, but costs can add up. Assess your budget against projections to ensure Shopify’s pricing aligns with your expectations.
  2. Limited customisation for advanced users
    Shopify’s customisation limitations may frustrate advanced users and developers. For businesses with highly specific or complex requirements, Shopify probably won’t be the right choice.
  3. Transaction fees
    Transaction fees are charged for sales made through external payment gateways if users don’t use Shopify Payments. Fees vary based on your plan, and it’s another cost to factor into your pricing strategy.
  4. Dependency on apps
    Apps and extensions enhance functionality, but relying heavily on third-party apps for essential features poses a risk. Apps have varying levels of quality. If one becomes obsolete or creates issues, it could impact the smooth operation of your online store.
  5. Data ownership and portability
    Shopify is generally reliable when it comes to data ownership, but in the event of a future migration to a different platform, understanding how easily you can move your data out of Shopify is crucial.
  6. Platform outages
    Like any online platform, Shopify is susceptible to occasional outages or technical issues. Recently, Shopify sites experienced 30 minutes of downtime. While usually resolved swiftly, any downtime can impact sales and customer satisfaction.
  7. SEO limitations
    Shopify is SEO-friendly and provides essential tools to enhance SEO, but not advanced features. Consider this if your business relies heavily on organic search traffic.
  8. International expansion complexity
    Expanding internationally comes with its own challenges. Shopify does offer tools to support this, but you’ll need to plan for currency conversion, shipping logistics, and compliance with regional regulations.
  9. Content limitations
    Shopify’s blogging capabilities are limited compared to other platforms, so it’s not optimal if you’re is heavily invested in both commerce and content.
Illustration of customer journey through online checkout to demonstrate improving eCommerce customer loyalty

Selecting the right platform for your eCommerce store

Let’s break down how Shopify compares against some of the other key eCommerce platform players:

Shopify vs. WooCommerce

Shopify:

WooCommerce:

Summary: Shopify is hassle-free for beginners, while WooCommerce is ideal for those seeking control, flexibility and customisation, especially within the WordPress environment.

Shopify vs. Magento

Shopify:

Magento:

Summary: Shopify is straightforward for smaller businesses, whereas Magento caters to large enterprises with specific customisation and technical requirements.

Shopify vs. BigCommerce

Shopify:

BigCommerce:

Summary: Both are fully hosted, but BigCommerce may appeal to those seeking advanced features without transaction fees.

The choice between Shopify and its competitors hinges on individual business needs. Shopify stands out for its user-friendliness and comprehensive ecosystem, making it a top choice for those seeking a straightforward, hosted solution. 

However, businesses with specific customisation needs may find alternatives better suited to their requirements. Careful consideration of features, costs, and scalability is key to making the right decision for your unique business goals.

Illustration of a crystal ball with the Shopify logo in the centre to depict blog post on the future of Shopify

The future of Shopify: What’s next?

Predicting the future with certainty is impossible, as is guaranteeing the existence of any specific company or platform in the future. Nevertheless, Shopify is a robust and successful eCommerce platform that’s continually growing and adapting to market trends.

The ability to innovate, respond to market changes, and meet evolving business needs impacts the longevity of any company or technology.

Shopify remains a prominent player in the eCommerce industry, demonstrating resilience and adaptability, and we think it will stay this way for the foreseeable future.

Takeaways

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Piers Tincknell Co-founder & Managing Director

Monday 27th November 2023

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