If you’ve ever contemplated using Shopify to create your online store, you may have wondered about its credibility. The straightforward response is affirmative.
Shopify is a reputable enterprise that was established in 2006. It specializes in offering an “ecommerce platform” that allows individuals to build online stores, even without extensive coding skills. This means that beginners can confidently launch their businesses with visually appealing websites and integrated payment processing tools for online sales.
Originating in Canada, Shopify has expanded its reach and now operates numerous facilities and offices worldwide. Additionally, it is publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange, underscoring its legitimacy and financial standing. With over 4.1 million online stores powered by Shopify, it has established itself as a trusted platform for ecommerce businesses.
Related: Is Shopify Safe and Secure?
Is Shopify Legit?
As mentioned previously, Shopify is widely acknowledged as a legitimate, trustworthy, and reliable solution for businesses seeking to establish their online presence. It is often regarded as the leading ecommerce platform available. Not only does it meet the highest industry standards for security, but it also offers remarkable versatility and an extensive array of features.
Shopify is a publicly traded company and holds accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, with an “A+” rating that reflects its exceptional commitment to consumer and seller protection. The Shopify ecosystem continually evolves to provide enhanced support to its users.
Beyond its excellent resources for business leaders and a vibrant community of accredited developers, Shopify offers exceptional service through its customer support. Moreover, it incorporates robust built-in security features and provides users with options to enhance their online safety through various add-ons and plugins.
It’s important to note that, like any digital product or software solution, Shopify has faced challenges in the past, including data breaches, security issues, and customer service complaints. However, these instances do not diminish its legitimacy. Shopify remains a highly respected platform that offers numerous advantages.
While Shopify is a legitimate and trustworthy platform, it cannot guarantee the success of every entrepreneur or business owner. It is still necessary for users to take measures to promote, protect, and secure their businesses while utilizing Shopify.
Shopify does not eliminate all the challenges associated with running an online store, but it significantly simplifies the process of getting started. With Shopify, users have access to all the necessary tools for secure payment processing, content sharing, and establishing an online presence. However, it is ultimately up to the users to ensure the success of their stores.
Is Shopify Safe?
Shopify currently empowers over 4.1 million online stores and facilitates billions of transactions annually. It is widely recognized as a secure and reliable platform, although, like any prominent Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, it may encounter security issues from time to time.
Related: Is Shopify a Scam
As with many popular ecommerce and software platforms, Shopify has been targeted by malicious actors in the past. In 2020, a data breach occurred, resulting in the theft of personal information belonging to approximately 200 merchants. However, it’s important to highlight that Shopify was highly transparent about the breach and has since taken measures to enhance security.
To bolster the safety of both sellers and consumers online, Shopify offers various features and capabilities. These include PCI compliant payment processing, secure point-of-sale systems for in-person transactions, and data encryption to safeguard customer information. Here are some key factors that contribute to Shopify’s reputation as a secure solution for retailers:
- Automatic provision of SSL certificates for encryption on all stores.
- Hosting of product pages and other site assets to protect data.
- Implementation of a “bug bounty” program to identify potential vulnerabilities.
- Utilization of risk analysis tools within the platform to mitigate fraud.
- Routing all traffic through TLS certificates to enhance security.
- Availability of security tools in the Shopify app store for additional protection.
While Shopify takes significant measures to ensure security, it is essential for merchants to exercise caution and make use of available security tools to further protect their online stores and customers.
So Shopify Isn’t a Scam? What About Hidden Fees?
Absolutely not. Shopify operates as a reputable and prominent solution for building online stores.
Losing money unintentionally with Shopify is highly unlikely due to the transparent subscription process. Shopify generates revenue through subscriptions, where store owners pay a monthly fee that varies (ranging from $9 for Shopify Lite to $299 per month for Shopify Advanced). Store owners have the freedom to cancel their subscription at any time. The Shopify website provides detailed information about the features included with each subscription, and users can sign up for a 14-day free trial without providing credit card information.
Shopify ensures transparency by providing invoices in the user dashboard and via email, allowing store owners to track their monthly charges. Additionally, Shopify presents a clear breakdown of charges, without any hidden fees apart from regular taxes. Unlike some other companies, Shopify does not impose additional “service” or “admin” fees.
It’s important to note that monthly ecommerce subscriptions are not the sole source of revenue for Shopify. The company earns income through various channels, such as payment gateway fees, hardware sales, app store sales, referral fees, theme sales, the Exchange Marketplace (a platform for buying and selling established ecommerce stores), email marketing, domain sales, Shopify Capital, fulfillment services, and investments.
Regarding additional products and services, Shopify maintains legitimacy in its operations. Store owners may encounter credit card transaction fees, which are customary for all online stores. However, Shopify does not impose any additional transaction fees, distinguishing itself from many competitors. The processing fees associated with credit card transactions (typically around 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction) are charged by credit card companies.
Shopify openly explains these fees on its pricing page, demonstrating its commitment to transparency and making it difficult to argue otherwise.
Is Shopify Legit with its Apps and Themes?
Selling software or apps and then requiring additional purchases of add-ons, extensions, or plugins can be seen as dubious by some individuals.
Fortunately, with Shopify, there is no obligation to buy apps or themes for the platform to function properly. Your subscription already includes all the essential tools for ecommerce, such as:
- Integration with payment providers like Shopify Payments and PayPal
- Support for unlimited products
- Dropshipping options
- Multi-channel selling on platforms like Amazon and eBay
- Shipping and tax settings
- Domain name services (although domain purchases incur separate costs)
- SEO tools
- Social media marketing options
- A comprehensive checkout and shopping cart system for your online store
- SSL certificates for security
- Storefront product galleries
- Page templates
- Customer support
- Protection against fraudulent activities
- PCI compliance for secure transactions
- Inventory management
- A free Myshopify.com subdomain
- Real-time statistics
Therefore, beginner merchants and smaller stores do not necessarily need to delve into the app store. Additionally, while paid apps are available in the app store, Shopify offers hundreds of free apps that can enhance your store’s functionality. These free apps are well-categorized and easy to discover, allowing you to expand upon the built-in features without extra costs.
The same principle applies to themes. Shopify provides several attractive free themes to ensure affordability for all merchants. While the selection of free themes has decreased over time, this does not make Shopify deceptive. It’s important to keep in mind that, at some point, you may want to consider a premium theme and paid apps. Why? Because many of these options are specifically designed to increase your revenues, allowing you to quickly recoup your investment.
Premium apps typically range from $5 to $100 per month, depending on the product or service offered. Shopify templates can be relatively more expensive, but they are one-time costs ranging from $50 to $300.
Rest assured that Shopify’s pricing is in line with industry standards, and you won’t find cheaper theme or app options from competitors like Bigcommerce, Wix, or WooCommerce. In fact, WooCommerce often necessitates the use of more premium plugins to effectively run an online store.
It’s important to note that none of the additional fees charged by Shopify are hidden, and you have the flexibility to opt out of most of them.
Here are the optional fees that you may never need to pay:
- Shopify apps
- Shopify themes
- Point of Sale (POS) hardware
- Additional processing fees for third-party payment gateways (if you choose not to use Shopify Payments)
On the other hand, here are the fees you can expect to incur, some of which require specific actions:
- Your monthly subscription fee for Shopify
- Credit card transaction fees
- Chargeback fees (only applicable if a customer initiates a chargeback on their credit card)
- Domain name pricing (typically around $10 per year)
By understanding these fees, you can make informed decisions regarding your Shopify subscription and additional services, ensuring transparency and control over your expenses.
What About Those Credit Card Fees? That’s a Lot of Extra Money!
Indeed, you’re correct. Credit card processing fees are typically around 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, which can add up and impact profit margins, especially for high-priced items or businesses with a large volume of lower-priced transactions.
However, it’s important to note that this is an industry standard followed by credit card processing companies such as Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net, and Square. These fees contribute to maintaining the secure infrastructure necessary for processing transactions.
The positive aspect is that Shopify is transparent about its credit card processing fees. Moreover, Shopify provides the same functionality as Stripe without any additional transaction fees through the ecommerce platform. Additionally, the payment processor fees decrease as you upgrade your Shopify plan. For instance:
- The Shopify Basic plan, priced at $29 per month, has a 2.9% + $0.30 online credit card fee per transaction.
- The Shopify plan, priced at $79 per month, has a 2.6% + $0.30 online credit card transaction fee.
- The Advanced plan, priced at $299 per month, has a 2.4% + $0.30 online credit card transaction fee.
As you can see, the credit card fees decrease as you upgrade your plan, aligning with the growth of your business. While you may be paying more for the subscription, a successful business should also generate more revenue. This structure is a unique offering from Shopify, as it is rare to find discounts on payment processing fees with other ecommerce platforms. Shopify Plus plan users, designed for enterprises, even have the option for more customized transaction fees.
The only additional fee associated with payment processing occurs when opting for a third-party payment gateway instead of Shopify Payments. Our previous Shopify reviews have revealed that third-party transaction fees range from an additional 0.5% to 2% depending on your subscription plan. While it may appear to be a subtle hidden fee, Shopify does display this information on their pricing page.
Although it can be seen as a push to encourage all Shopify users to use their own payment gateway, it’s part of Shopify’s business strategy to expand the adoption of their processing tools. However, we understand that not all merchants can use Shopify Payments due to industry or location restrictions, and it may not always be the most cost-effective choice for every business operation.
Is Shopify Legit When it Comes to Safety?
When it comes to ecommerce, both small businesses and large enterprises prioritize safety for their customers and protection against fraud and backend attacks. Shopify understands these concerns and offers comprehensive security measures to address them.
One of the advantages of using Shopify is that it provides extensive tutorials on its website to guide merchants in protecting their websites. Additionally, Shopify simplifies overall security by integrating it into the system, reducing the hassle for ecommerce businesses.
Shopify employs a robust security infrastructure designed to block fraudsters, backend attacks, malware, viruses, and other threats. Key security elements working behind the scenes in every Shopify store include:
- Automated account locking: When an individual or bot attempts to access your website in an unusual manner or makes multiple login attempts, Shopify automatically locks the account to prevent unauthorized access.
- Two-factor authentication: Online business owners receive security notifications with codes to log into their accounts. This additional layer of security requires users to authenticate their login with two devices, effectively preventing unauthorized access.
- Identity confirmation tools: Shopify sends notifications to ecommerce site owners when suspicious activity occurs or if there hasn’t been a login to the account for an extended period, helping to ensure account security.
- SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates: Shopify provides a free SSL certificate that adds the HTTPS protocol to your site, encrypting all transactional data. This is essential and often legally required for running an online store with payment processing. With Shopify, owners can quickly add a Buy button without worrying about SSL.
- TLS (Transport Layer Security): A newer form of protocol for online stores, TLS is often implemented in newer Shopify stores due to its ability to block malicious external scripts and enhance security for both shoppers and merchants.
- Cloud-based hosting and website building: Shopify operates on state-of-the-art cloud-based technology, eliminating the need for users to manage their own servers or worry about vulnerabilities. This approach ensures reliability, security, and fast website performance. The user-friendly website builder is also designed to facilitate ease of use.
While Shopify provides a secure environment, it’s important to acknowledge that, as a business grows, it may become a target for intruders. However, this doesn’t indicate any lack of legitimacy on Shopify’s part; it’s a reality of conducting business on the internet.
To enhance the safety of customers and protect your business, we recommend following these procedures:
- Schedule automated backups: While Shopify automatically stores database and website backups, you can further strengthen protection by installing backup apps or performing external backups to secure locations, such as your own cloud system or office-based server. Starting with Shopify’s auto-backups ensures your inventory, designs, customers, and content are always saved in case of any issues with your website.
- Restrict public access to sensitive content: Shopify offers apps that allow you to block certain sections of your website, whether they contain sensitive business information or are meant for admin access only. Utilizing these apps can provide an additional layer of protection.
- Use a password manager and regularly update passwords: If multiple users have access to your Shopify website, it’s crucial to use a password manager to avoid reusing passwords across different sites. Password managers generate strong, unique passwords that you don’t need to remember. Changing passwords periodically further increases the difficulty for potential hackers to compromise your site’s security.
By implementing these practices, you can ensure the safety of your customers and protect your business’s online presence.
Warning: Shopify is Legit, but it’s Still Possible to Get Scammed
To reiterate, let’s clarify once again: Shopify is a legitimate platform and not involved in any scams. It is widely regarded as one of the safest and most robust ecommerce platforms available, making it an excellent choice for starting an online business.
However, it’s important to acknowledge that the internet can be a complex and risky environment, and even Shopify cannot completely protect shoppers and merchants from potential scams that exist.
Let’s address some of the risks and scams that merchants may encounter, despite Shopify’s efforts to protect them:
- Shopping fraud: Merchants should remain vigilant against various fraudulent tactics. These may include individuals pretending to be someone else, using false payment information, falsely claiming non-delivery of packages (when they were actually received), shipping packages to unauthorized addresses, or engaging in package theft. To minimize fraud and chargebacks, merchants can utilize Shopify’s fraud-protection tools and exercise common sense when accepting orders.
- Website hacks and malware: Unauthorized access to a merchant’s login system can lead to website hacks. To mitigate this risk, it is advisable to use a password manager to generate and store strong passwords for the entire organization. Regularly checking and strengthening passwords is crucial, as a weak password used by one employee could compromise the entire system. Additionally, activating security measures like two-factor authentication and hidden login pages can provide an added layer of protection.
- Transactional data theft: This type of scam involves intercepting data exchanged between the merchant and the customer. Hackers may target larger businesses for the potential rewards of acquiring lists of customer information and credit card data. Fortunately, Shopify implements security measures like TLS (Transport Layer Security) and PCI compliance to combat threats of data theft.
Consumers should also be aware of potential scams and attacks, as scammers can use Shopify as their website builder:
- Identity theft: Scammers may send links via text or email, leading unsuspecting individuals to websites that appear legitimate but are actually designed to capture and record payment information. Consumers should exercise caution and avoid providing payment details on suspicious websites.
- Insecure websites: While Shopify activates security measures like TLS, it is possible for merchants to unintentionally or intentionally remove certain security features from their websites. As a consumer, it is advisable to look for SSL or TLS certificates, an “https” prefix in the domain, or a lock icon in the URL section of the browser to ensure a website’s security.
- Dropshipping scams: Dropshipping on Shopify is generally legitimate, but there are instances where dishonest merchants take advantage of the low-inventory model. These scammers may list products without any intention of fulfilling orders. Additionally, some dropshippers may not disclose lengthy shipping periods or make it difficult for customers to return items. Consumers should exercise caution and be mindful of potential dropshipping scams.
- Physical theft: Regardless of location, consumers are at risk of having packages stolen from their doorsteps. This risk is unrelated to Shopify itself. To mitigate this, consumers can consider having packages delivered to their office, installing a video doorbell for added security, or arranging for deliveries to be left in a secure location.
By staying vigilant and employing precautionary measures, both merchants and consumers can mitigate risks and protect themselves from potential scams and attacks while using the Shopify platform.
How to secure my Shopify Store: Quick Tips
As previously mentioned, Shopify is a highly secure and dependable platform. It employs stringent security measures to handle transactions and refunds with the utmost care. However, as a Shopify store owner, there are additional steps you should take to ensure the protection of your website. These measures include:
- Implementing two-factor authentication: Shopify provides the option of enabling multi-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security to prevent unauthorized access to your account. This feature can also be extended to customer accounts for enhanced protection.
- Prioritizing admin security: As the administrator, it is important to create separate accounts for your team members with appropriate permission levels. Grant access to sensitive data only when necessary, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access.
- Utilizing fraud protection: Shopify offers a feature called Shopify Protect, available on most pricing plans, which helps safeguard your store against fraudulent chargebacks. This tool can be instrumental in reducing potential risks associated with fraudulent activities.
- Employing strong passwords: Encourage everyone with access to your Shopify admin account to use robust and unique passwords to deter hackers. Consider utilizing a password management tool to generate and store secure passwords effectively.
- Leveraging add-ons: Explore the wide range of plugins and add-ons available on Shopify to enhance the security of your store. These extensions can provide additional privacy, security, and compliance features. However, exercise caution by thoroughly researching and vetting each plugin before integrating it into your store to ensure its credibility and reliability.
By implementing these practices, you can further fortify the security of your Shopify store and protect it against potential threats and vulnerabilities.
Is MyShopify Legit?
When you sign up for a Shopify account, you have access to MyShopify, a free URL solution provided by Shopify. It enables you to use a sub-domain name for your website until you decide to purchase your own domain. MyShopify is a secure and valid option, but it may not be the most effective method for establishing your brand presence. It is advisable to consider acquiring your own domain name for better brand representation and recognition.
Where is Shopify Located?
At present, Shopify has its headquarters situated in Ottawa, Canada. Nevertheless, it serves as the backbone for numerous business stores worldwide, spanning over 175 countries. To ensure customer satisfaction, Shopify has established customer support teams in various regions across the globe. These teams are readily available to assist you with any technical challenges or concerns you may encounter while managing your store.
How to tell if a Shopify store is legit?
Although the Shopify platform is reputable and trustworthy, it remains the responsibility of business owners to establish the security and reliability of their individual stores. If you are contemplating making a purchase from a Shopify store, it is advisable to thoroughly review the website’s information. Take the time to read reviews from other customers and ensure that the store provides accessible contact details for the owner, should any issues arise.
Conclusion: Shopify is Legit
Shopify is a reputable platform for building ecommerce websites, and it provides high-quality products to its users. Like any website building platform, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider. While Shopify is legitimate, it’s important to be aware of potential fraud, hackers, and scams that exist on the internet. However, Shopify offers various tools and features to help mitigate these risks. It’s crucial for users to take proactive steps and follow recommended procedures to minimize interactions with such issues.
As an AI language model, I don’t have personal experiences or opinions. However, Shopify has gained a positive reputation for its user-friendly interface, extensive features, reliable customer support, and secure infrastructure. Many businesses have found success using Shopify to create and manage their online stores. Nonetheless, it’s always recommended to do thorough research and consider individual needs and preferences before making a decision.