Why Go With Visual Society vs. Shopify?

Thad Allender

by Thad Allender

Dec 31, 2020 · 4 min read

Setting up shop online for your photography business can be a smart choice. You stand to reach a global audience with your art. However, just as it’s important to situate a physical storefront in a prime location, it’s also critical to evaluate your e-commerce platform options carefully before settling on one.

Your choice can determine your ability to make your business a success. To get you started, we’re pitting our very own photography-tailored platform, Visual Society, against Shopify, a more generic e-commerce solution. We’ll compare key features from both, to help you decide which is a better fit for your online shop.

In this article, we’ll discuss why it’s important to choose the right e-commerce platform for your photography store. We’ll also explore why you might want to consider setting up shop on Visual Society instead of Shopify.

Why Your Choice of E-Commerce Platform Is Vital to Your Photography Business

It’s smart to set up your photography store on an e-commerce platform that can help you earn the best possible return on your efforts. This is especially important because as much as 95 percent of shopping is expected to be facilitated by e-commerce by 2040.

Conducting your due diligence before settling on an e-commerce platform can be rewarding. For example, when you’re just starting out, you’ll want to keep costs low while still having access to the features you need. In other words, you’ll be more productive and efficient right out of the gate if you go with a platform tailored specifically to photographers, but you don’t want to break the bank in the process.

Why Go With Visual Society vs. Shopify? (5 Reasons)

As we mentioned earlier, Shopify is a powerful but generic e-commerce platform. In contrast, Visual Society is targeted specifically towards photographers and can help you build a personalized store. Each of these options has strengths that allow it to shine in particular contexts, so let’s take a closer look at what Visual Society has to offer. 

Q: How would you describe Visual Society in one sentence?
A: Exactly what I was looking for and everything else I didn't realize I needed! 
~ Tamara DeOrio, Beverly Farms, MA

1. Visual Society Is Fully-Tailored for Photography E-Commerce

We alluded to this earlier, but it’s worth reiterating. Unlike Shopify, Visual Society is targeted exclusively towards photographers who want to run an online shop easily, while staying in control of the whole selling process.

This can ensure that you only ever need to concern yourself with features you actually need, both now and down the line. One of Visual Society’s core features is the ability to sell different kinds of products, such as prints, posters, and canvases:

Additionally, unlike Shopify, Visual Society can automatically fulfil print orders. It also doesn’t rely on third-party apps for core functionality expected by photography business owners, whereas Shopify often does.

2. Visual Society Is a More Cost-Effective Option

A second reason you might choose Visual Society over Shopify is that it can be more cost-effective. For instance, the cost of third-party apps on Shopify can add up quickly. Additionally, even the platform's basic plans start at $29 per month.

On the other hand, Visual Society has plans starting from $5 per month, and you get to keep 100 percent of your sales profits and control your prices. You also won’t have to worry about needing to migrate to a different platform later on, when your business needs to scale.

3. Your Content Is Protected By Default

Shopify doesn’t automatically block right-clicks when users browse your store. This means that anyone can copy your content and use it to promote their own store, leaving your audience wondering whose images are the originals. This isn’t ideal for branding and reputation.

To protect your content on Shopify, you’ll need to install a third-party app. In contrast, Visual Society prevents visitors from saving images using the right-click functionality. You can also watermark your images if needed. Additionally, your files are stored in a protected directory that is not accessible on the web.

4. Keywords Are Auto-Applied to Your Images

Another reason Visual Society can be a better option than Shopify is that image uploads are processed by Google Vision, a machine learning technology with image recognition capabilities. This makes it possible to automatically apply keywords to all of your images, saving you from the tedium of doing so manually.

These photos are categorized and displayed in search results. Note that Shopify does allow you to enter relevant keywords that customers might use to find your products. The difference here is that Visual Society automates the process, freeing up your time for other tasks.

5. You Can Get Help With Your Content Marketing Strategy

Finally, Visual Society provides help for optimizing your content for increased search engine visibility. For example, the Content Marketing Generator can be used to create high-impact headline ideas for your niche.

One challenge with creating unique blog content is generating original and interesting ideas for your audience. This means that Visual Society provides a key advantage over Shopify, as you can focus on creating content rather than on brainstorming ideas.

In addition, Visual Society's SEO tools can help you rank higher for the keywords that are most relevant to you. Your website also includes RSS feeds that broadcast your content across the web. In general, the more visibility your content receives, the more attention your store stands to attract.


There are several reasons you’ll want to engage in in-depth research before deciding on an e-commerce platform for your photography business. For example, you’ll want to ensure that you’ll be getting support from people who understand the unique needs of your industry, and make sure that your site can scale without any hassle.

In this article, we discussed why you might prefer to set up shop on Visual Society rather than Shopify. Five key reasons include:

  1. Visual Society is fully tailored for photography e-commerce.
  2. It’s a more cost-effective option.
  3. Your content is protected by default.
  4. Keywords are auto-applied to your images.
  5. You can get help with your content marketing strategy.

Do you have any questions about how to set up your photography store on Visual Society? Let us know in the comments section below!

Image credit: Pexels.

Category: Business
Thad Allender

Thad Allender

Founder / CEO

Thad Allender is the founder of Visual Society. He leads a team of passionate designers and developers working to revolutionize the way photographers and artists sell online. He lives north of New York City in the Catskills.