Let me start with this: I love Shopify. I rely on this platform for all of my income, and it is a fantastic solution to sell products. Please take this article with a grain of salt and do not make it part of your decision-making process for selecting an e-commerce website. I could pick apart any application no matter how great it is. With that said, shall we get started now? Here are my main pet peeves with Shopify.
Shopify does not give fees back for refunds.
Following the likes of Payal and Stripe, Shopify does not give back commissions and CC charges if you refund a customer. I think it is a pretty crappy way to treat shop owners, but Paypal showed they can get away with it. No wonder cryptocurrency is gaining traction. At the time of this writing, other large companies (such as Square) do return the original fees associated with a transaction upon a refund.
The ‘Shopify Email’ app is poop.
Don’t worry, there are multiple powerful email marketing apps available in Shopify’s app marketplace. Shopify Email is not one of them. Email marketing is not a problem at all in this ecosystem. BUT – A while back, Shopify and MailChimp bumped heads leading to MailChimp removing its app from the app marketplace. Honestly, Mailchimp is an excellent email marketing service, but their Shopify app was always lacking. I stopped using it long before they left in favor of other apps that seemed more dedicated to e-commerce. However, Mailchimp’s departure spurred the notion that Shopify should create their own solution for storeowners.
Shopify decided to create their email marketing app, and it isn’t very good. It is poop. It does not make sense that a billion-dollar public company can’t make a reasonably nice email marketing app within THEIR OWN platform. The templates are bad. The usability is bad. The email recipes are bad. Hopefully, the Shopify Email app improves over time. For now, you should stick with a different email marketing app.
The ‘search products’ function while drafting custom orders is terrible.
In Shopify, you can create custom shopping carts and send them to your customers. When drafting a new order, the search function for finding products is terrible! You can always grab the item ID from your URL on the website or admin section, but seriously people. I do not understand why this search area is so clunky, while other search features within the Shopify admin area work far better. Just look at this example:
I love and hate variants (options)
Variances are so darn annoying and awesome at the same time. My biggest complaint with Shopify is the core limitations of product options. Variants are Shopify’s solution for multiple options. Companies that need many customizations for products must use third-party apps for help. The core Shopify platform limits storeowners to 3 options and 100 variants, which runs out FAR too quickly.
Once you mix multiple options that affect price, Shopify struggles BIG TIME. Sometimes, we need to needlessly break up products into multiple pages, offer fewer options than we would like, or sacrifice control on prices. Yes, there are some nice apps that provide bulk discounts and new options fields, but you will learn quickly those still lead to compromises.
Managing orders that require steps before shipping is impossible without a third-party app.
If your products are custom made, managing orders will probably require an order manager made by a third-party developer. The order manager we use is no longer available in the app store, and the other ones we have tried are lacking. Shopify should provide a clear way to manage and review custom statuses for orders.
I can’t add new products on the home page!
In Shopify, there is no easy way to dynamically post your newest products on the home page. Okay, I admit this is not totally true. You CAN feature a “collection” (Shopify’s version of categories) that includes ALL of your products and post that on your home page with the latest products displayed first. Yes, this is a reasonably easy solution but has many flaws. When creating a collection, you cannot add a condition by date, which would be great. I would love to see conditions based on time.
I think conditions such as “Posted Today” or “Posted in the last 30 days” or “Latest 20 added products” or “New July Products” or ANYTHING like that would be a nice addition to Shopify collections.
Be careful about how many 3rd party apps you install.
Apps stores for e-commerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce is the foundation for customization. You can pretty much add any feature you can think of to improve the experience for consumers and administrators. However, apps can also have their drawbacks. They can slow your site down, not perform as advertised or cost more money than expected. Worst of all, Shopify grants (forcing your permission) a huge amount of information about your customers. I go into more detail about this in another article called “Privacy Concerns With Shopify Apps I Think About.”
Shopify does not credit you for their fees back on refunds.
Shopify charges you a percentage for each order. These transaction fees vary based on what plan you’re on and if you use Shopify payments over a third-party payment processor. If you issue a refund, you do not get that fee back. This policy is a common trend among payment companies, including Paypal and the major credit cards.
To be honest, that isn’t too bad, right? Trust me, the Shopify platform is wonderful, but like anything else, there are things that might drive you a little crazy!