Shopify is an e-commerce platform which evolved into a complete online Epos with the addition of Shopify payments, a payment gateway. The story behind Shopify is an outlandish one, as it simply started with a frustrated e-commerce business owner... who was unhappy with all e-commerce platforms he would test for his own needs. The resulting solution became an instant hit and has been adopted by thousands of e-commerce businesses across the UK, and now, Shopify is competing against PayPal and the like. The e-commerce platform includes a lot of powerful features, and the payment gateway advertises a clear, simple and affordable pricing structure.
About Shopify payments
Shopify payments is actually the name of the payment gateway provided by Shopify, the popular e-commerce platform which was built by frustrated e-commerce business owners. So you can be sure Shopify was created from the grassroots for the user, by the user!
It all started with frustrated e-commerce business owners...
Shopify origins date back to 2004 when Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake were trying to launch their online snowboarding equipment store in Canada. Because they were not satisfied with the e-commerce platforms on the market at that time, they simply decided to create their own platform. The rest, as they say, is history as Shopify has kept growing ever since. Shopify is now listed on both the Toronto and New York stock exchanges, raising $131 million in the latter market alone. Today, Shopify reports more than 243,000 active Shopify stores and $14 billion worth of sales.
... and now Shopify Payments competes with PayPal
An e-commerce platform wouldn’t be complete without a payment gateway, so Shopify introduced its own gateway in 2013, called Shopify payments. It now competes with PayPal, under a similar pricing model, but also with other global giants such as Sage, WorldPay, authorize.net etc.
Shopify Payments features
The really cool thing about Shopify is that it can be used as a full e-commerce platform, including the Shopify Payments payment gateway - and that at the same time, Shopify does not force its users into using their own platform and branded products.
The e-commerce platform
Shopify is a powerful e-commerce platform with the following features:
- Website builder and full-featured blog included, in a CMS bundle;
- 70+ international payment gateways supported;
- Unlimited bandwidth and product support;
- Global tax and currency support;
- Search engine optimisation;
- Support for gift cards and discount codes.
But Shopify has also released its own Epos software, enabling seamless integration of online and offline sales. The Shopify Epos system allows its users to:
- Keep track of their consolidated daily cash flow;
- Manage all their orders;
- Track all sales;
- Manage multiple staff accounts;
- Accept all payment methods such as cash or credit, partial payments and split tenders, and even set up custom payment options;
- A Facebook “buy” button allowing users to directly buy from the social media;
But the real killer feature is that no merchant account is needed...
The payment gateway
Interestingly, Shopify does not seek to impose its own payment gateway to its user base, and more than 70 other payment gateways are supported by the e-commerce platform. There is a difference though, in terms of pricing:
- Subscribers to the Shopify platform plans pay 2.2% + 20p in credit card rates for online payments;
- Users of external payment gateways also pay between .5% and 2.0% in transaction fees, but these fees are waived for Shopify Payments users.