I have worked in web development for around 15 years now when I started the company I worked for developed all their websites from scratch. An ecommerce website would cost thousands and functionality would be extremely basic.

Things became exponentially easier with the growth of open source content management systems or off the shelf ecommerce applications, but you still required a web developer to design and integrate these things as well as host the new site.

In recent years we have seen the dominance of Amazon overwhelm the shopping industry and most successful stores export their products to Amazon to maximise their sales. Doing this through open source platforms requires paid plugins and more development from expensive professionals.

Shopify is an ecommerce solution that alleviates many of the issues companies face with online selling. Their system is fully hosted with an easy to use interface allowing individuals to bypass expensive web design services and set up an ecommerce store by themselves. The basic services start off at just $29 per month, and as your company grows, you can upgrade the features provided to you within Shopify.

For companies that want to maximise their revenue, Shopify has the Plus service which is their enterprise ecommerce platform. Last year they introduced integration with Amazon that would allow merchants to sell on Amazon from their Shopify stores. With Amazon owning over 50% of all online retail spending in the US it has become increasingly important for retailers to be selling their products on Amazon.

The Shopify Plus service has full multi-channel support and with over 20 channels that allows you to list your products natively on the world’s largest marketplaces and social platforms. Enable instant purchases through Facebook, Instagram, messaging apps, Pinterest, and more. Sync prices, orders, inventory, and fulfilment all from a single hub.

Traffic from mobile devices now accounts for over 52% if all traffic so it is essential that any ecommerce system is fully mobile friendly. With Shopify, you can craft mobile-first customer journeys by offering responsive storefronts, customised checkouts, and automatic discounting.

You also have access to over 100 gateways, including PayPal, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, and Shopify Pay’s exclusive one-field checkout.

Shopify Plus has an extensive range of features beyond just traditional ecommerce functions you find with other systems. For example, Flow is a first-of-its-kind ecommerce automation platform that reduces manual tasks and frees your entire organisation to focus on what matters. With flow, you can create logical business flows that help automate and simplify laborious business tasks such as inventory management, customer retention, personalisation, and automated identification of high-risk orders

With the Shopify launchpad feature, you can automate ecommerce campaigns and flash sales. Schedule, monitor, and manage everything in one place.

Overall, with Shopify, you are safe in the knowledge that you can start off small with minimal investment and scale your business up to be a multi-national store with multiple staff and efficient workflows.