When choosing an ecommerce platform, you obviously want to choose one that is safe for both you and your customers. Meaning, for example, that there is no risk that the platform might somehow scam you. Additionally, you want to make sure that the platform is legit. “Legit” in this situation meaning, for example, that it is not promising things that are not true.
On this page I share with you my thoughts about both if Shopify is legit and about if it is safe. The thoughts are based on my personal experiences of using Shopify and on following the company since 2014.
Is Shopify Safe?
In my opinion Shopify is at the time of writing this the safest e-commerce platform. And that goes for both when you use the platform to create your own store and for when your customers buy from the store you created with Shopify. From below you can find a quick list of some of the reasons why I consider Shopify to be safe. Those reasons are elaborated on lower on this page.
Why Shopify is safe – bullet points
- It has been around for more than 15 years with no major issues.
- It is listed in the New York Stock Exchange and has a market valuation of more than 100 billion.
- All Shopify stores get a free SSL certificate
- The company’s founder & CEO is extremely open about the company’s aims and situation.
- Great customer service.
- Shopify has always charged me the right amount for my Shopify plan.
- My Shopify store has always functioned as it is should
- Shopify hasn’t leaked my payment information.
Is Shopify legit?
Yes, in addition to being safe, Shopify is also legit: while some ecommerce platforms seem to be only interested in getting your money, it seems that Shopify is mainly interested in creating long-term win-win relationships. From below you can find a list of some of the specific reasons that make Shopify legit.
Top reasons why Shopify is legit
- They don’t overpromise things – e.g. claim that every store owner will become successful.
- They are open about the fact that the platform is not perfect.
- Their pricing is very open and clear.
- At least as far as I recall, there haven’t been any sudden price increases.
- It is easy to find examples of real Shopify stores.
- You can try the platform for free without giving credit card information or committing to a subscription.
- It is easy to downgrade or cancel your subscription.
More detailed information on why Shopify is safe
1: Shopify has been around for a long time and is listed in the New York Stock Exchange
At least in my opinion, one of the biggest indicators of ecommerce platform safety is how long a platform has been operating without major problems. Shopify was established in 2004 and has thus been around for more than 16 years, and during that time there have not been any significant security scandals with the company.
On top of that Shopify is currently listed on the New York Stock Exchange (see here). The listing means that it is very easy to get plenty of reliable financial information about the company and its operations, as well as there is an added level of scrutiny on the company’s operations.
It is also worth mentioning that Shopify has at the time of updating this a market valuation of over $190 billion – that is more than four times the market value of Twitter. The high market valuation can be considered to be a type of indicator of the fact that the company is considered to be reliable and honest.
2: Every Shopify plan comes with a free SSL certificate
SSL certificates offer an added level of security for using websites and they are especially useful for protecting the personal information and payment details of the people who buy from an online store. In practical terms you can see if a website has installed an SSL certificate by checking the address bar to see if the website address starts with HTTP or HTTPS – the additional “S” means that the website is using an SSL certificate. It is likely that having an SSL certificate will become increasingly important in the future as more and more ordinary online shoppers become aware of it.
The fact that Shopify offers a free SSL certificate can also be considered to be a nice way to save money. If you were to build a custom e-commerce store without any type of a platform you would have to pay the certificate separately and that can easily cost $50 or more per year. In addition to that Volusion, for example, only offers a free SSL certificate with their more high-end plans.
It is worth mentioning that you don’t need to have any type of technical skills to use the SSL certificate offered by Shopify. That is because Shopify will turn it on for your store. That is a nice additional benefit of choosing Shopify as in some other cases activating an SSL certificate can be a little bit tricky – although to be fair, it is usually quite easy.
3: Responsive customer service
If something were somehow to happen with either your Shopify account or with your store created with their e-commerce solution, it is good to know that their customer service is extremely good and helpful. It would be extremely stressful and highly annoying to end up in a situation where something needs to be fixed instantly, but the customer service of the platform is not able to help you quickly. Go to Shopify.
4: The company’s founder and CEO is very visible
With some companies, it can be difficult to know what type of a person is leading it. That does not appear to be the case with Shopify: its CEO and Founder, Tobias Lütke, gives a lot of interviews and is very active, for example on Twitter. This would also point to the fact that he has nothing to hide – i.e. Shopify should be safe and legit.
My personal experiences with Shopify in regards to its safety
As I’ve used Shopify to build my own store, I figured that I would also share my own experiences, in addition to those more general opinions and thoughts above.
I paid (check this page for: Shopify plan discount information) for my Shopify subscription with a credit card (well to be exact with a debit card) and was charged the correct amount and there were no surprise charges. However, regarding the charged amount it is good to note that Shopify’s listed prices do not include the possibly applicable taxes.
Outside the actual payment, it is has been nice to notice, that by all accounts it appears that Shopify has not leaked my credit card information to any unnecessary 3rd party, as there has not been anything that would indicate that it would have happened.
In addition to Shopify, in my experience, being safe when it comes to paying for your plan, Shopify has also been extremely good in that I haven’t received any unwanted emails that I would assume are the result of Shopify selling my email address to someone.
Shopify also appears to be honest in terms of that you get what you paid for: it seems that the Shopify plan I picked has included all the features that it should include.
Still, in addition to those things, it can be said that Shopify is also safe when it comes to pricing the products in your store: I’ve had no experiences in which the price of my products would have changed surprisingly (sudden and unwanted price changes could obviously lead to massive losses). Nor have there been other unexpected errors in running my store.
So all in all it can be said that Shopify should be safe – one should obviously always be careful with everything that involves money and the internet. Open your Shopify account now.
Good to know when using Shopify: Shopify has made it extremely easy to change your plan. That is obviously for the most part nice. However, it means that you should be a bit careful when clicking around in your admin panel as playing with some of the sales channel and plan options might lead to you getting charged for a plan upgrade. Go to Shopify.
Possible concern: Are Shopify stores safe to buy from?
If the reason why you are wondering about if Shopify is safe, is that you are looking to buy from a store created with Shopify, it is important to separate two things: 1) what Shopify can do to ensure safe shopping and 2) what the role of the store owner is. As is likely clear from above, I think that Shopify itself is excellent when it comes to safety.
However, as there are over 1 million Shopify stores, it is obviously impossible to guarantee that every single person or a company that owns a Shopify store is legit. As such it might be a good idea to look for, for example, reviews of the specific store you are looking to buy from.
Good to know: Red flags when it comes to the safety of a platform
Although I recommend very strongly Shopify for those who are looking to build a safe online store, there might be cases where you are trying to evaluate how safe some other solution is. For those situations, I have listed below five things that might indicate problems with a particular ecommerce platform’s safety.
1: There is no good information available about the company behind the platform
Before paying for a subscription to an ecommerce platform, it might be a good idea to look for some basic information about the company operating the platform. And if information such as contact details and the physical address of the company are not available, it might be wise to stay away from the company’s platform.
2: Website and / or content looks amateurish
If there are plenty of spelling mistakes, the website is clearly badly designed or the content indicates a lack of knowledge about the subjects, it is probably a good idea not to choose the platform.
3: No SSL certificate
We talked about the SSL certificate above and if even the platform’s own website doesn’t have it, I would strongly recommend considering twice before building your store with that particular store builder.
4: Very slow or no responses to customer service requests
One thing I do very often when I’m thinking of using a certain service to build a website or a store, is to test how good and fast the customer service of the company is. If the service is slow or otherwise bad, it might be an indication of also other problems.
5: Social media channels not updated frequently
This possible indicator of safety issues is a bit unconventional, but still something you might want to look into when trying to examine the safety of a particular ecommerce solution. As social media tends to be an extremely important communication and marketing channel for any company that is trying to succeed, one should wonder if there is something odd going on if the social media channels do not have fresh content.
In other words, a company’s social media channels not being updated begs the question of if the people running the company might also be less focused on other, commonly, important aspects of running a business?
Remember your role in e-commerce safety
Even though this page focuses on how safe the different e-commerce platforms, and in particular Shopify, are, it is always important to make sure that you yourself do what you can to increase the safety of your store. That starts from using the type of username and password combination that is extremely hard to guess and from having proper protection on the computer you use to operate your store. After all, you really don’t want anyone to have access to your store’s back-end or access to your customers’ personal information.
In addition to those basics, it is also obviously important to make sure that you handle the customer data in a responsible manner. This was always important, but now that things like GDPR exist it is even more important. You should also be careful when communicating with your customers so that no unnecessary private information is shared.
When it comes to your store’s safety the old saying “better safe than sorry” is extremely appropriate.
Looking for more information about Shopify? See my Shopify review.