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7 Sophisticated Shopify Scams That Will Blow Your Mind

The online e-commerce space is a boom for merchants and shoppers who are eager to get a piece of the online pie. This has given life to many e-commerce platforms like Shopify with almost everything that the market can offer.

It has brought merchants and shoppers together contributing to at least a higher percentage of the online revenue; And has seen a large scale of B2B and B2C business growth. You can almost get everything online these days.

However the e-commerce frenzy open avenues for scammers who have tortured the online e-commerce space with the most recent being Shopify scams.

First of all, you must understand how the Shopify platform works to establish the loopholes; Otherwise, you might be a cheap prey to the canning online “tigers” who are preying on unsuspecting innocent Shopify shoppers and merchants.

Understanding How Shopify Works

When you chose to use Shopify as your online store of choice, you must first understand it’s terms of use. It enables you to open an online store through their platform, identify a supplier with the products that you wish to sell or at least what your business model intends to trade in.

It could be, electronics, home appliances etc. After you have established a business relationship with a supplier, you advertise to your store on behalf of the supplier without necessarily investing in inventory.

After you get an order, it is only then that you can place the request to the supplier with the shipping details and the supplier handles all the paperwork. So, in short, Shopify merchant acts as a middleman who would outsource products on behalf of the customer.

It’s called “drop shipping.”

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Types of Shopify Scams

When you make up your mind to transact with the Shopify platform, whether you are drop-shipping or merely a customer, you could be a prey to the scammers. It can go either way.

“You could be watching the TV, or the Tv could be watching you!” when it comes to online retail, scams are inevitable, stolen merchandise or fraudulent transaction they all cost a lot of money.

When it comes to retail, fraud can be defined as a false un authorized transaction by the shopper “customer” with an aim to fraudulently extract money. However, it’s good to flag the possible areas of fraud, to know what exactly to look for.

It often might need the training to combat scammers at leased with knowledge on the potential areas, and means of perpetrating that offense.

With Shopify, there are some common scams, and all are rampant on e-commerce platforms. There is card testing scam, and chargeback scum and both involve loose of money which is actually Not healthy for business and can quickly destroy the customer-retailer relationship.

With a chargeback, the credit card provider demands back payment for a retailer for goods which were fraudulently bought, disputed or a fraudulent transaction happened.

Shopify scammers are very intelligent, on the card testing scam, it usually occurs when determined scammers have many stolen cards and numbers and are typically tried on trial and error until the correct combination is achieved and then the card used to make purchases over the Shopify platform.

The Triangulation Scheme

On the rise is the triangulation scheme, a favorite tactic adopted by online ‘crooks’ to scam people. They create an active dubious site by the use of Shopify software tools selling eye-candy merchandise where shoppers can click and buy.

Later these Shopify scammers use previously stolen cards to pay for the product from online suppliers and have it shipped to the customer’s address thus keeping the original money from the customers.

However, the credit card company rejects the transaction terming it fraudulent and initiates a chargeback whereby the supplier loses both the products and the money.

This type of Shopify scam is more popular with the hot arrivals. For instance, in 2020 in the wake of “Pokémon go game”, a lot of fake online drop shippers claimed to sell this product to lure customers into the triangulation frenzy.

They can make anywhere between $50000-$100000 per month only to leave the mainstream leaving innocent suppliers to clean their dirty work.

The Direct Client Scheme

Shopify’s ubiquity and ease of operation attract a bunch of scammers to this age of online transactions. As you all know trust is earned, Shopify scummers have developed a “sweet tongue edge” by simply sweet-talking their customers to lure them to do business outside the platform.

At first, the scammers’ process and have their customers consignment shipped to their address thus earning trust. After safe delivery, the client feels at ease and gives in to the scammer’s suggestions to take the business on a personal level citing extreme charges and commissions imposed on transacting on the Shopify platform.

However, this does not even end well as many have fallen prey to this Shopify scams. In the event, you feel that it is crucial to transact off the platform, be sure to discuss a suitable escrow service for use.

The Shopify Store Duplicator Scheme

In business, originality is of the essence and any infringement of company trademark is a severe breach and can lounge a series of lawsuits and the Shopify online webstore has not been spared either. Shopify scammers have now crafted a canning tendency to sell right outside your front-store doorstep.

What these scammers do is, they will identify a well of selling store on the Shopify and build a similar store, selling the exact merchandise your store holds. This is quite lucrative for the Shopify crooks with the ease of using these online webstore models in.

Within a few minutes, you can hit the mainstream selling treasure hunt merchandise if not branded teabags thanks to the all-inclusive Shopify software which charges $30 up monthly maintenance fee while they process all the transactions for you as a merchant.

Shopify store has since beefed up their tech-team in a mid to weed out these Shopify scammers in the wake of looming lawsuits and endless complaining merchants with their scammed customers.

Merchants like Mike Lindell, who operate the Mypillow Shopify store which trades at “mypillow.com” making mattresses, bedding sheets and pillows has not been spared either by this e-commerce crooks.

At the beginning of this year, he noticed that one of the Shopify scammers had opened a twin-identical store “mypillowstore.com” using the Shopify software and alleged to sell product from ‘Mypillow.’

With the infuriation that comes with trademark infringement, in mid-April ‘my pillow’ sued the Shopify giant; which is a Canadian registered company citing that they supported trademark infringement. Shopify has since then pulled down the identical store.

“They’ve never made any communication despite numerous enquires on how they intend to alt such cases in the future” poses Lindell. Now ‘Mypillow’ demands compensation for damages caused and any money Shopify made from this dubious store.

The Switcharoo Scheme

Before you beef up resources to set out your Shopify store, you better conduct your due diligence because Shopify scammers just upgraded their crafty business model.

This is a borrowed technique from established e-commerce platforms like eBay, and it’s here at Shopify to stay. A potential customer will make purchases from your Shopify store and would make a request you forward a direct invoice straight from PayPal citing difficulty from their end making payments through the platform.

Be advised, if you’re sucked into this you may just close shop real soon as not only do you lose your Shopify seller protection but also this is the beginning of your end.

In a moment you receive a notification allegedly from PayPal stating that the buyer has initiated the payment and is awaiting the product tracking number as the money is put on hold by PayPal.

Since sellers are out there to make a kill before close of the books of accounts at the end of the year, many sellers will send the goods in a mid to get the tracking number to forward it to their customer and get money put on hold by PayPal released.

Initially, PayPal holds funds up to 21 days. For except, in this case, money put on hold by PayPal exists in the seller’s thoughts, and PayPal has no idea what you are talking about. That way, the customer gets free products as the seller counts lose at the end of the day.

Remedy

To secure your transactions and seller protection, stick to operations within the Shopify Platform and no products should be shipped without full receipt of the amount.

If any outside deal is to be carried out, use an escrow service to secure the transaction, but you cannot trust anyone off the wind, you never know what their next move is.

The Doctored Purchase Order Scheme

This is way too sophisticated than you can anticipate. A customer stores a copy of your Shopify checkout sheet in their drive and alters the submit button link so that it patches directly to their PHP software or program thus capturing all the data your check out form disseminates.

Then they modify the data making appropriate adjustments and send the ‘doctored’ piece to your payment gateway. Your customer gets an invoice from the payment service for a lower price, checks out the payment, and sits back as you send their consignment.

That way your customer gets subsidized products without your consent, and before you realize it, you just sold an entire shipment at a lose. If the Shopify scam is not successful, they initiate a chargeback, that way it’s a win-win situation for them.

Remedy

Now that you know, the best solution for such fraudulent activity is to be vigilant of the order price of each item.

Shopify scammers can throw in this strategy on a few products on a large scale consignment hidden in between inexpensive products on their purchase list which is hard to notice the difference.

Trade slowly on such incidence as reporting them again can turn around to your doorstep.

The Counterfeited Return Ticket Scheme

The Shopify scams intensify day by day with almost every stage of the customer purchase cycle viewed as a potential loophole to perpetrate fraud. Every business that has shipping involved probably has a return warrant, and scammers will coil their move around that.

A returning client makes a return purchase of similar products from your Shopify store, which is good for your business. However, this is where it turns out tricky.

The client initiates a return of goods citing product received not as described and files for refunds. When returning the goods, they switch them with the first products initially purchased.

The scammers end up getting a replacement of worn out merchandise, and in good days sometimes they get their money back which is denting to your business.

Remedy

As a merchant, you should view your business from all angles. The best practice is to add a unique serial number to all products that ship from your store. For it would be real hard to prove the customer wrong without something to counter their claim. I mean the “customer is always right!”

The bottom line is there are a lot of people out there who work pretty hard to separate you from your hard earned money. Putting up a Shopify store that can attract a reasonable business, means that it can as well, and will draw an enthusiastic den of thieves.

Keep your stats up, and learn the pros and cons of any e-commerce venture including Shopify and always exercise safe practice as a merchant or even a customer; equip yourself with a bank full of choices and information about the Shopify platform and how to turn that in your favor.

Most of these Shopify scams are made possible due to ignorance or lack of know-how by its users. Now that you know, there are rules everywhere and they cut across the board whether you are a merchant, a customer or just a window shopper.

Let it be known today, the Shopify scams are guided by rules best known to the scammers, and they cut across the board too!

Online Shopping Scams

AARP | Comments: 0

En español | The internet continues to reshape the way we shop, with retail apps and social media stores adding to consumers’ online options. Cybercriminals are keeping pace. Online purchasing was the most common scam type reported to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in 2020, representing nearly 1 in 4 complaints, and the one that most often led to a financial loss, according to the BBB’s annual “Scam Tracker Risk Report.”

Have you seen this scam?

  • Call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline: 877-908-3360
  • Report it on AARP’s Scam-Tracking Map

Sign up for Watchdog Alerts for more tips on avoiding scams.

The typical shopping scam starts with a bogus website or, increasingly, mobile app. Some faux e-stores are invented from whole cloth, but many mimic trusted retailers, with familiar logos and slogans and a URL that’s easily mistaken for the real thing. They offer popular items at a fraction of the usual cost and promise perks like free shipping and overnight delivery, exploiting the premium online shoppers put on price and speed.

Some of these copycats do deliver merchandise — shoddy knockoffs worth less than even the “discount” price you mistook for a once-in-a-lifetime deal on, say, Tiffany watches or Timberland boots. More often, you’ll wait in vain for your purchase to arrive. And your losses might not stop there: Scammers may seed phony sites, apps or links in pop-up ads and email coupons with malware that infects your device and harvests personal information for use in identity theft.

Clothing and jewelry, furniture and home decor, electronics, cosmetics, health and nutrition, and pets are among the most common categories of products in shopping scams, according to the BBB. Not surprisingly, these frauds flourish during the holiday season. You need not forgo the ease and endless selection of online shopping, but these precautions can help you make sure you get what you pay for.

Shopify Review

Shopify Ecommerce Platform
Recommended For
    Great speed and load times Set up over a weekend Custom domain name Add-ons Great design
Websites Using Shopify Ecommerce Platform
  • Blu Kicks
  • Tattly
  • Graydon
Shopify Ecommerce Platform

One of the most well-known ecommerce platforms for SMBs, Shopify is a top-rated solution that has everything a merchant needs to set up shop online and even offline. In addition to allowing you build an online store, Shopify has social media selling tools and it integrates with marketplaces like Amazon.

The solution also has payment capabilities that enable merchants to accept credit cards directly from Shopify — i.e. no third party accounts required. With their payments offering, “payment details are clearly synced with orders, making it easy to see how much you’ve been paid without ever leaving Shopify.”

Credit card rates range from 2.9% + 30 cents to 2.4% + 30 cents depending on your Shopify plan.

Advantages
    Fully-hosted, so you won’t have to worry about server maintenance and costs Numerous Shopify partners that can provide support Highly engaged community Support of multi-channel retailing — i.e. online, offline, social
Disadvantages
    Additional transaction fees for using external gateways No free plan available (just free trial) Customization limited to theme and platform capabilities No B2B capabilities out of the box
Reasons to use Shopify Ecommerce Platform
    Online store Retail POS Buy button Social selling features including Buyable Pins, Facebook Shop, and Facebook Messenger Amazon integration

What is the Shopify Ecommerce Platform?

Shopify is one of the leaders in the e-commerce space, and perhaps the easiest-to-use tool to build your online store with. Their mission is to build a hassle-free platform for setting up your e-commerce business.

No matter if you’re just starting out (and have no website or e-commerce experience at all), or if you’re looking for a way to take your business to the next level, our Shopify review promises to have something to suit you!

But is Shopify really as great as the marketing material says? Is it really the most beginner-friendly platform out there?

Shopify Ecommerce Platform Review Overview

In simple terms, Shopify is an online platform for all forms of e-commerce. It allows you to set up your online store and sell whatever you wish (goods and services). You can organize your products, customize the way your store looks, accept payments (online and credit cards), track and respond to orders, and you can do it all within Shopify’s interface. Shopify is a fully integrated e-commerce solution, providing ready-made online shops that you can tweak and customise til your heart’s content. Shopify has the capacity to be feature heavy out of the box, but that doesn’t drag load times or the slickness of using a Shopify site. Payment plans are based on monthly billing, but for anyone running a profitable store, these should quickly become negligible costs.

Using Shopify is quite intuitive and easy to grasp right from the get-go. You just have to sign up, and then you’re taken by the hand through the whole process.

To start with, you get to choose from over 100 optimized online store designs – so you don’t need to either have design skills yourself or hire a designer. The designs that Shopify offers are really top-notch and optimized to generate good conversion rates from your visitors.

Does Shopify include Web Hosting?

Yes. One of the convenient benefits of Shopify is that it also takes care of hosting your store for you. This means that you don’t need to sign up for any external web hosting service. Everything is neatly handled in just one place. Shopify uses an optimized server structure, built specifically with ecommerce in mind, so you know that you’re getting the good stuff. Shopify is what is known as a cloud-hosted ecommerce platform.

Who is Shopify best suited for?

Shopify stands apart from other e-commerce solutions mainly due to its multipurpose nature.

  1. Shopify is extremely easy to set up and get going, so it can be used by beginners who have never gotten their feet wet in e-commerce.
  2. The whole tool is very affordable (more on that in a minute), so it’s an attractive choice for small businesses that are just starting out and want to minimize on costs.
  3. Shopify offers many template designs/structures for you to take advantage of, so you don’t have to hire anyone to help you with the store. You can literally build, style, and launch your online store all on your own.
  4. We’re almost done … Shopify also offers offline solutions – you can use Shopify in your actual brick-and-mortar store, integrating it with the operation that you have already set up.
  5. Finally, Shopify scales really well, so it will be able to grow with you regardless of the number of products you have on offer, the volume of your sales, and the number of customers that have bought from you.

However, if we were to point out the absolute perfect user, the kind of user who will get the most out of Shopify, we’d say that it’s beginners. People and business owners who are just starting out in the e-commerce space and want to get the best solution possible, while at the same time minimizing the costs as much as possible, will find Shopify to be the most beneficial.

Which brings us to one particularly important part of this Shopify review:

How much does Shopify cost?

Before we list the plans available, we should mention that there is a 14-day free trial available. It unlocks all the features, so you can test the platform thoroughly before committing to any of the premium plans. You can also cancel your trial account at any time.

Here’s the official Shopify pricing table:

2020 Shopify Pricing Review Shopify Basic Shopify Shopify Advanced
Monthly Price – $/month $29 $79 $299
1 Years Price – $/month $26.10 $71.10 $269.10
Savings (%) 10% 10% 10%
2 Years Price – $/month $23.20 $63.20 $239.20
Savings (%) 20% 20% 20%

Which Shopify plan is best to choose from??

It depends on your requirements. The option that’s the most sensible for anyone who wants to launch a new online store is $29 / month. It lets you in on all the features you might need, and also handles the payments and the technical back-end of your store.

If you want to, you can hook up a custom domain name to your store (either buy it through Shopify or import from a third-party domain registrar). If not, your store is going to be available under something like YOURSTORE.myshopify.com .

As part of the $29 / month price tag, you get access to:

  • Shopify’s online store module (the thing you came here for),
  • the Point Of Sale (POS) system (allowing you to collect payments offline through an iPad),
  • the Facebook and Pinterest modules (sell directly on Facebook and Pinterest),
  • the Shopify Buy Button – allowing you to add a custom “buy button” on any website (not necessarily your online store).

It’s also worth mentioning here about the Shopify transaction fees. Whilst not part of the pricing, if you’re not using Shopify Payments, you’ll be charged their subscription transaction fee on every order processed in your store. To learn more about Shopify transaction fees, visit the Shopify site.

Is Shopify easy and simple to use?

In today’s online space, every tool out there promotes itself as ‘easy-to-use’. But few actually are. The tough part about being easy-to-use is that a truly friendly platform should be usable right from day one, and not once you invest hours of your time learning about it. In that manner, anything could be labelled “easy-to-use.”

Shopify’s e-commerce platform doesn’t share this problem. You don’t need to be a Shopify expert to set up shop and you can easily launch an online retail store within a matter of minutes. The main traits that separate Shopify’s ease of use from everything else out there are:

  • The platform gives you an already working online store structure, so instead of building a store piece by piece, you can just adjust the pieces that are already there (tune them to your liking) but essentially the core of the platform works right away (more on this in a minute).
  • You get to choose from ready-made designs (templates), so you don’t have to possess any design skill either (again, more on this in a minute).
  • The templates are also automatically responsive in design meaning that your site will be optimized for mobiles as well as desktops and tablets.
  • Online payments are handled for you – no need to actually work with sensitive credit card data yourself. And you can even sell your products directly to your Facebook contacts (among other things).
  • You get your product catalogue handled through an easy to grasp module within Shopify (more on this in a minute too).

All of the above add up to a really reasonable solution – something that’s truly targeted towards novices and doesn’t require any technical skills.

Okay, to the nitty-gritty of this Shopify review:

How does Shopify work review?

Right after taking care of a standard sign-up form (your name, email, etc.), you get to use Shopify’s wizard that will help you get through the whole building process of your e-commerce store. First, they ask you about the things you’re going to be selling:

Giving the most accurate answer here will make your future experience with the platform even easier, so try not to select something at random.

Next, you get to choose from a handful of the most popular options (the first one – “Create an online store” is what you’re likely here for):

In the next step, you will have the option of selecting a design for your online store and decide on how it is going to look:

The online store designs and Shopify Themes.

No Shopify review can skip the design talk! Onward!

Shopify offers contemporary, sophisticated designs – over a hundred of them(!) – so you are sure to find something that suits your style and the personality of your e-commerce store. Additionally, everything is optimized to be viewed on desktop, mobile and tablets.

Read our more detailed post on ecommerce themes and templates.

When picking your design, you don’t need to pay much attention to what kind of products are on sale within that demo template – this is only example stock, and you can sell whatever you wish through whatever design template you select.

The theme we selected to test in this review is called Solo. It’s a simple, minimalist design yet functional for most purposes.

Whatever template you decide to go for, you can make adjustments – a couple of tweaks here and there – to make it look exactly how you want.

Shopify’s customization interface provides a range of options neatly displayed one after another, so you can just go through them from top to bottom and fine-tune every little detail about the design.

The things worth doing right away are:

  • changing the colors to your default company colors
  • adding a logo
  • selecting what should appear on the homepage (screenshot below).

Basically, Shopify’s e-commerce store builder is very intuitive and easy to use. Instead of giving you a blank canvas, where you’d have to pick the elements one by one, you get a ready-made design, and through the options panel you can adjust the elements already there (plus add new ones).

This is a very beginner-friendly approach because it’s not confusing at all, and allows anyone to just jump in and create a quality store design for themselves.

How to edit text on the page

To work with the text on the pages, you need to go to the Pages section in the dashboard:

There, you can pick the page that you want to edit and then use an editor screen that’s likely to be familiar to you thanks to tools like MS Word or Google Docs.

How do I add and manage my products on Shopify?

Since you’re reading this review, you’re more than likely interested in finding out how to use Shopify to add and manage your e-commerce store inventory (or whatever it is you want to sell), so it’s high time we talk about how this is done!

The first thing you should do is configure the general settings about your store. For this, go to Settings from the left sidebar:

There, you get to set every piece of standard information, like your store’s name, address, time zone, currency, and so on.

Shopify Online payments

The next important step is configuring the online payment options that you’re going to be offering your customers (under Settings / Payments).

Shopify allows you to accept credit cards through various gateways (there’s a good selection of those) and even set up Bitcoin payments if you want to go that route. Plus, there are also manual payments available, like bank transfers or cash on delivery.

Does Shopify accept PayPal?

Yes. Shopify is also conveniently integrated with PayPal (as soon as you open a store, you’re set up with a PayPal Express Checkout account).

What are Shopify Payments?

Shopify Payments is the simplest way to accept payments online. It comes fully integrated with your store eliminating the need to set up a third-party gateway and/or merchant account and there’s no need for the laborious task of inputting the credentials either. Shopify Payments allows you to manage your entire business and financials in one convenient place.

Shopify Payments allows you to:

  • Automatically set up to accept all major cards as soon as your Shopify store is up and running.
  • Select your card rate based on your Shopify plan. If you change your mind later down the line, Shopify of course makes it easy for you to change it as and when you want.
  • Track your pending payout balance and your payout schedule from the Shopify admin.
  • View how much you’ll receive for any order or charged in payment fees since payments are linked to their corresponding orders.
  • Easily recover lost sales from chargebacks using chargeback responses compiled by Shopify for any affected orders.
  • Depending on where you are in the world, you may not incur additional transactions fees above the card rate e.g. United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Should you choose to operate with Shopify Payments, you will be exempt from Shopify’s subscription transaction fees. These are only payable by store owners who choose to use a third-party payment processor on top of their gateway or merchant account provider’s credit card fees.

Other Shopify online store settings

Apart from the payments, Shopify lets you set every other important store setting. Here’s what’s in the options menu:

Just to discuss a few in a little more detail:

  • In Settings / Checkout, you get to choose if your customers are required to open user accounts with your store or not. You can also select how much data you need from each customer when making a sale.
  • Also in Settings / Checkout, you can set your order processing workflow, the checkout language, your refund policies etc.
  • In Settings / Shipping, you can set everything related to your shipping costs. This also includes international shipping.
  • In Settings / Taxes, you can take care of all the tax-related (boring) realities of your business. Shopify helps you with the maths here.
  • In Settings / Notifications, you can set both how your e-commerce store will be contacting customers, and also what sort of messages you will get whenever a new order comes in.

How to add and edit your products in Shopify

Accessing the store module is simple, just select Products from the left sidebar:

There, you get to set everything related to the items/services that you’re selling in your online store.

Again, things here are extra easy to grasp. For instance, to help you get started, Shopify displays a large button for adding your first product:

In the next step, it gives you an editor-like window where you can input all the important details.

The most important parts:

Title and description

This is the main description of a given product – it’s what’s going to be displayed to the customers.

Images

Below the title/description block there’s place to upload your product images. The nice thing here is that it works through drag-and-drop, so just grab an image from your desktop and drag it onto there.

Pricing

The next step would be to set the pricing for your product. There are a handful of options here which you can see in the screenshot above.

Visibility and Organization

Finally, you can set if the product should go online right away and be available to your customers. You can also categorize it for better browsing and management experience.

Once you’re done with all that, you can just click the Save button, and your product is now online.

How to list your products on the homepage in Shopify?

The one thing you’ll probably want to do is showcase some of your products on the homepage of your e-commerce store. In Shopify, this can be done through the theme customization panel that you used when adjusting your design right after sign-up (left sidebar: Online Store / Themes).

Clicking on Customize Theme brings you to a page where you can pick what exactly is going to appear on the homepage:

Basically, you can select whatever product or whatever category of products. You can also realign the product blocks on the homepage, or even display an entirely different piece of text there. It’s up to you.

In this example, we decided to display two products on the homepage inside the Featured Products block:

Reporting – AKA. checking how your store is doing

Selling is one thing, but knowing where your business stands and reviewing it regularly is another. Shopify has you covered here as well.

Everything happens in the Reports section of the dashboard:

Here you will find every piece of data you might need as an online store manager. You can browse through your gross sales by product title, by month, by channel, by payment method, taxes by rate, by traffic, and much much more.

Additional site elements

Although selling is going to be the main activity within your store, you probably also want to include other elements to make your store look more complete, and be overall more appealing to your customer base.

Those things can be done from the Online Store section in the dashboard (we already used it to adjust the store’s theme).

  • So the first thing you might want to do is create a blog and add some blog posts. This can be done through Online Store / Blog Posts.
  • The other thing you can do is add new pages and edit the existing ones. This is done in Online Store / Pages. (A good starting point here would be to create an About page for your e-commerce store.)
  • Finally, you get to set the navigation and pick what should appear in the top and footer menus on your site. This is done in Online Store / Navigation. (You can edit the individual links by clicking “Edit link list.”)

All of the above options will come very handy once you start adjusting your store to fit the exact needs of your business. Shopify delivers just the right number of possibilities here.

How to make your Shopify store available to the world

To finally launch your e-commerce store – and start marketing to actual customers (accepting their payments and so on) – you need to unlock it. This is done, again, in the Online Store section of the dashboard:

To fully unlock the store, you’re going to need to select one of the available plans. As we mentioned earlier in this Shopify review, the most sensible one if you’re getting started is $29 / month (entry-level plan). If you ever need more functionality, you can always upgrade later on.

And that is basically it! At this point, your e-commerce store is online.

Other Shopify FAQs

  • Is Shopify the best/a better platform for eCommerce?

Shopify is certainly a great place to start if you are looking to set up your own ecommerce site and is suitable for businesses of any size, catering for a wide range of industries.

Whether it is the best will largely depend on the requirements of the user including their budget. There are many alternative ecommerce platforms out there, including WooCommerce reviewed , Magento reviewed and Bigcommerce reviewed.

  • Which ecommerce platform is the best for a small business?

Shopify is ideal for small businesses who typically have limited resources, especially in time and money. With Shopify, small business owners can set up their online store and have it up and running in no time. There is no need to learn or know any code beforehand and with so many design templates to choose from, small business owners can literally build, style, and launch their online store all on their own without any help.

Depending on their requirements, they also have a selection of price plans to choose from that suits that budget so it is an attractive choice for those that are just starting out and want to minimize on costs.

  • Is Shopify a good platform for beginners to ecommerce?

Yes. Shopify is one of the easiest e-commerce builders to help beginners and small business owners set up and run their online store for the first time. With process straightforward and painless processes and ready made store design templates, Shopify is so user-friendly that even those with no prior ecommerce experience or coding knowledge can create an online store fairly quickly.

  • Which ecommerce platform will give a greater, more relevant audience reach?

Regardless of what ecommerce platform you decide to go with, whether it be Shopify or Woohoo, your audience reach will largely depend on how your website is marketed and not the technology it is built with.

  • What is the difference between a content management system (CMS), like WordPress, and an ecommerce platform, like Shopify?

A content management system (CMS) is designed to build and manage dynamic web pages within a website e.g. a blog or corporate website. An e-commerce platform on the other-hand is designed to sell goods online and process payments.

There are plugins available that will allow site owners to manage ecommerce activity within a CMS like WordPress.

  • Which is the best mobile/responsive ecommerce platform?

Most of the ecommerce platforms on the market are responsive so they have the capabilities to handle mobile and tablet customers, including Shopify.

  • Why use Shopify or any paid ecommerce platform over a free ecommerce platform?

Whilst there are ‘free’ ecommerce platforms out there, Shopify is designed for convenience and is ideal for business owners who have little or no knowledge and/or experience in ecommerce. For those who are considering a free ecommerce platform, be sure to assess other costs such as:

  • Domain name
  • Web hosting
  • SSL certificate
  • PCI testing and certification
  • Ongoing software and security updates

Shopify Review Conclusion

Is Shopify the right tool to set up your online store with?

Shopify is really effective at providing you with a working online store solution that’s easy to set up, and then easy to use on a day-to-day basis.

Even though Shopify isn’t expensive by any standard (considering that it’s going to run your whole online business), there are even more affordable solutions out there, like Wix, for example (read our review of Wix).

Here, Shopify dominates completely. The platform is as easy-to-use as it gets, and even a complete beginner shouldn’t have any problems working with it. To add to that, with this entirely hassle-free solution, you can have a new online store launched in a matter of minutes (and we’re not exaggerating).

Shopify has full 24/7 customer support: telephone, chat, and email for all regardless of which plan you’re subscribed to. There’s also a whole knowledge base platform available, with answers to all the most frequently asked questions that users have had asked in the past.

To say it simply, Shopify offers everything you might need as an online store owner. You get full product and inventory management, with the handling of payments, taxes, the reporting of sales, and your e-commerce store is also completely optimized for search engines. But that’s not all; there are also offline solutions – you can use equipment and software delivered by Shopify in your physical store location. That way, you can keep all of your sales info in the same place. Extra handy!

Pros of Shopify Ecommerce Platform

  • Speed and Load Times: When you build an ecommerce site you need it to be fast and secure – two often mutually exclusive goals for all but most often comes with expensive hosting packages. Even fractionally longer load times can send your paying customers on to the next site, costing you potential sales.
  • Security: With Shopify, your site is ultra-fast, while being totally secure for handling sensitive data and processing payments.
  • Great Design: Shopify is largely about great design, and you will quickly find there are plenty of templates available, both free and paid, that will leave your site looking aesthetically pleasing whilst also professional.
  • Add-ons: There are plenty of add-ons available for Shopify, so you can expand the feature set if you need it. That means you probably don’t have to worry about hiring a coder just yet – the easy interface means you can quickly bolt on new features and functions within your site.

Cons of Shopify Ecommerce Platform

  • The Cost: Shopify costs money, both monthly and in terms of individual transaction processing fees (if you don’t choose to operate Shopify Payments). You need to take account of these when comparing packages to get your store off the ground, especially if you intend to sell in volume.
  • Uniquely Coded: While Shopify can be made to do pretty much whatever you want out of the box, if you do have to explore the back-end, you’re going to be dealing with proprietary coding. In a nutshell, this means that you need someone who knows what they’re doing, and has the time to learn how to work with Shopify particularly, to get the job done. This can increase maintenance costs and result in delays in managing your store.

SCAM WATCH

Online shopping scams involve scammers pretending to be legitimate online sellers, either with a fake website or a fake ad on a genuine retailer site.

How this scam works

While many online sellers are legitimate, unfortunately scammers can use the anonymous nature of the internet to rip off unsuspecting shoppers.

Scammers use the latest technology to set up fake retailer websites that look like genuine online retail stores. They may use sophisticated designs and layouts, possibly stolen logos, and even a ‘.com.au’ domain name and stolen Australian Business Number (ABN).

Many of these websites offer luxury items such as popular brands of clothing, jewellery and electronics at very low prices. Sometimes you will receive the item you paid for but they will be fake, other times you will receive nothing at all.

The biggest tip-off that a retail website is a scam is the method of payment. Scammers will often ask you to pay using a money order, pre-loaded money card, or wire transfer, but if you send your money this way, it’s unlikely you will see it again or receive your purchased item.

A newer version of online shopping scams involves the use of social media platforms to set up fake online stores. They open the store for a short time, often selling fake branded clothing or jewellery. After making a number of sales, the stores disappear. They also use social media to advertise their fake website, so do not trust a site just because you have seen it advertised or shared on social media. The best way to detect an fake trader or social media online shopping scam is to search for reviews before purchasing.

Warning signs

  • A product is advertised at an unbelievably low price, or advertised to have amazing benefits or features that sound too good to be true.
  • The other party insists on immediate payment, or payment by electronic funds transfer or a wire service. They may insist that you pay up-front for vouchers before you can access a cheap deal or a give-away.

The social media based store is very new and selling products at very low prices. The store may have limited information about delivery and other policies.

  • An online retailer does not provide adequate information about privacy, terms and conditions of use, dispute resolution or contact details. The seller may be based overseas, or the seller does not allow payment through a secure payment service such as PayPal or a credit card transaction.
  • Protect yourself

    Check if the website or social media page has a refund or returns policy, and that their policies sound fair. The better online shopping and auction sites have detailed complaint or dispute handling processes in case something goes wrong.

    Avoid any arrangement with a stranger that asks for up-front payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency, like Bitcoin. It is rare to recover money sent this way. Never send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you don’t know or trust.

    Have you been scammed?

    If you have bought something online and there is a problem, you should first try to contact the retailer or auction service. There may be a legitimate reason for the problem.

    If you are not satisfied with the response and suspect that it may be a scam, you may be able to arrange a charge-back through your bank or credit union if you have paid by credit card. You may wish to contact your local consumer protection agency to seek assistance.

    We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page. This helps us to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screenshot.

    Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them.

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