The Rise & Rise of Shopify

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If you are in the eCommerce world or run an online shop, you will undoubtedly come across Shopify on your travels.

Shopify seems to have come out of nowhere and is slowly increasing its share of the online eCommerce world.



Shopify, like all great ideas in business was launched out of frustration on the eCommerce industry. In 2004, Shopify founder Tobias Lutke opened a store in Canada to sell snowboarding equipment, when investigating their own eCommerce website, he was unsatisfied with the options available.

Lutke, a programmer to trade, got his head down and developed his very own eCommerce system using Ruby on Rails within 2 months. 2 years later the founders of the store, including Lutke launched Shopify as its own business… I wonder if they still run the shop?

Since then Shopify has grown from strength to strength, in 2009 it launched its API platform. In 2010 it launched its mobile app allowing shop owners to run their websites from their own mobile phones.

Then in 2013 Shopify strategically launched its payment system, allowing retailers to take payments via Shopify but also launched its iPad point of sale system.

By 2014 The take-over of the online eCommerce world was well underway, quite a business growth within 10 years of creation. Although everything was to change for the founders when the company went for IPO in 2015, trading at $28 a share, 60% more than the $17 expected.


So what has made Shopify so popular amongst online retailers?

Shopify was created out of frustration that there was no out-the-box system for eCommerce as well as a simple point of sale system for instore.

It’s simple, sleek, easy to use set up system has made it the go to for SMEs around the world on limited budgets, due to its monthly pricing and next to no coding ability needed approach.

This follows a wave of investments and development into the out-the-box hosted systems such as Squarespace, Wix and Weebly but to name a few.

These hosted platforms allow companies to set up shop and getting traded fast, for as little as £23 / $29 a month! That’s nothing!

However, there are some draw backs to the low entry prices such as limited reporting, gift card acceptance and the amount of staff accounts.


How do agencies use Shopify then?

I’m glad you asked! And there are a number of reasons…

The first is that while the set up and system are easy to use, some companies still don’t want the hassle of trying to do it and that’s where an agency can help! Agencies can help you design and launch custom branded designs onto your Shopify store as well help launch and connect everything up.

Secondly with the launch of the Shopify API system, agencies can help you connect third party systems to your website. Do you have a CRM or inventory system that you use? Using API’s agencies can help you connect and develop those systems to your site.


Is Shopify for me?

This is a really good question to ask yourself. Don’t assume that because of how popular Shopify is, or how good the system is that it is the right move for you.

That being said, companies from small local retailers right up to multinational companies are all using Shopify, so it certainly suits companies of all sizes.

When looking, ask yourself if Shopify is the right move for you, ask yourself these few simple questions….


  1. What are our plans online? How big do we want to grow our eCommerce business and will Shopify facilitate that?
  2. Who is going to be working with the system inhouse? Will this be the right and easy platform for them to use?
  3. What are the pros and cons of the other options available, compared to Shopify.


We also specialise in Magento and WooCommerce, and we regularly advise people on the right platform for them.

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