Whether you are a seller or affiliate, only start your business or already have an offline store, the day when you decide to create a shop will definitely come. Seems that in our modern digitized world it’s impossible to stay apart from Internet technologies.
Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to start selling goods online. A smart web developer, professional system administrator or quality assurance team are not required. Just some fair amount of money together with a good website builder including eCommerce features are enough. Today we will look & describe one such service, popular, trustworthy and easy-to-use. It is called Shopify.
Since 2006, when Shopify hit the market, it has hosted more than 800,000 stores. It is focused on eCommerce, offers comprehensive cart, payment gateways, marketing tools and many other useful things for websites creation. From your first online bargain till your enormous popularity in Google Search, Shopify covers your back & gives strong development kit for various needs.
Main features list
Shopify helps each customer start, develop and lead a business to success. It covers all stages of an online shop creation and here they are:
- Domain name registration: your starting point in eCommerce journey. Choose wisely, it should be easy & sound memorable.
- Find the product line you should sell. If you already have an offline shop or some ideas about which things will be valuable for your potential customers, it won’t be a problem. If there is no ideas yet, keep in mind that anyone can buy ready-to-use business at Shopify Exchange. We’ll get back to this pretty interesting marketplace below.
- Select primary theme of your store — color palette, style, fonts. All those things that will distinguish your shop from other ones. Best choice is something unique and at the same time convenient. Fortunately, Shopify helps by offering numerous templates to select from.
- Adjust, re-order and change chosen template just as it is required. Drag-n-drop elements, see how it works and how it looks.
- Download free stock photos for lively & lovely design. If there are some images created personally for your business, it is even better.
- Add eCommerce features: set & adjust your cart, connect several payment providers, make noticeable “Buy now” buttons. Think about how you are going to manage orders, which shipping options will be provided. Nothing comes to mind right now? Then take a look at Oberlo — partner service Shopify recommends. It takes care of door-to-door shipping and will be suitable even for those who do not have a personal stock.
- You may also add offline payment options and lead your customers to your store directly. Even if there is no need to sell online, Internet showcase creation is always a good idea.
- Add more payment options together with sales channels. Connect social media, popular marketplaces, etc. In order to sell more, be versatile and convenient.
- Go deeper exploring marketing strategies: help potential customers find you using embedded SEO tools, advertise your products inside Shopify community, try paid ads or use as many social media channels as it is possible to handle.
- Monitor marketing results, launch A/B tests, try various options & look at how they influence on sales.
- Run promotional campaigns, offer discounts or presents, giveaways or competitions.
- Check the dashboard to find out everything about each sale, each customer or each visit.
- Generate new purchases from existing customers by offering exciting personalized deal or special program.
- Monitor your statistics online, either from web-based dashboard or mobile app.
Lots of things needed and lots of them may be performed with some help from Shopify. This service is truly powerful when talking about online stores. However, it is not perfect still. Go throughout the web and you’ll see numerous complaints from existing customers of this service that are here and there. Most negative reviews are touches two things: prices plus support.
Main thing that spoils Shopify ratings is add-ons. Uniting an incredible functionality in all-in-one platform, Shopify marketers forget to mention that half of the tools won’t be available for an ordinary customer without additional fees. At first glance, the service seems to be pretty cheap (or even free in some cases). But once you go deeper, adjust more, try various options for the better performance, you will notice that it requires new apps that cost an arm and a leg. Well, frankly speaking, each separate app is not that expensive but so many of them are needed. That is why take Shopify prices with a grain of salt — you’ll spend much more if you do want to create something beautiful and profitable.
Another one complaint is about Shopify’s support team. Lots of sellers say that guys from Shopify do not provide professional customer care. From other side, many positive reviewers assure that they got efficient help. Seems tastes differ, no one can give an objective mark.
Selling on Shopify: reviews of several original stories about efficient business
There are a few ways to start an online business using Shopify. Most logical one begins from store creation. Fill it with products you sell offline or do not sell yet but always wanted.
In this case, create a website, choose marvelous template, add products, select one or few payment providers & adjust compelling Checkout button plus some marketing strategies. Once your customers purchase something, you ship an item and get profit. Please note that there are additional payments that are charged for each online transactions. These fees are pretty fair actually but still be prepared that your share will be less than it may be expected.
There is a Starter Plan to check this scheme in action. It costs $29.00 per month, has a limited but still working features list. Also, go not miss a free trial option that gives you all Spotify powers without any charges for a 14-day long period. Lite but important functionality plus support team that covers your back while you make your first eCommerce steps sound pretty cool.
If there are many products you sell each day, then consider more advanced plans with comprehensive functionality. They offer gift cards, professional reports, more accounts for your staff and — most valuable thing — better commissions. Also, you will be able to use Retail Package feature — the one that allows adding the products via their barcodes, easily & quickly. Previously, it was distributed as an add-on but now is included in medium & advanced subscription plans.
Most powerful plan costs $299.00 per month that’s almost $3,600 per year. Before you spend this amount, use the trial & check whether this service meets all your requirements or not.
Next option of selling goods online is called Dropshipping. The title speaks for itself. It means that any Shopify user can literally drop shipping issues and hand them to service provider. Here’s how it works:
- Choose those goods you want to sell.
- Create a store using good-looking modern template.
- Add payment methods, sit back & wait for the first customers.
- Once someone purchases your product, order it from your supplier.
- Spotify contacts him & ships the product to the end-user.
- Your customer gets his product, you get a profit, Spotify covers the shipping and get its commission.
Finally, there’s third option for the laziest people ever. It suggests you buy a ready-to-use business from other Shopify users. No need to seek for appropriate products, make a website, choose templates or even set prices. Everything is already working, so you can just invest and wait for your profit. If this option is just the one you always dreamed about, do not hesitate to visit Shopify Exchange Marketplace. Prices vary depending on business quality, monthly volume, customers base. Still, there are lots of interesting options.