If you are reading this article we believe that you have finally decided to start an online store and take the road to entrepreneurship, but are looking for the starting point, we suggest you start by reading our post on Top Tips to Plan a Shopify Store.
But if you are undecided on the platform and want to know whether Shopify is the right choice for you or not, then you have come to the right place. In this article we have covered everything there is to know about the platform to help you make a sound decision. So, without further ado, let’s begin:
Considered one of the best e-commerce platform builders, Shopify is undoubtedly one of the easiest to set up your website. And, the plans they offer are the cheapest to invest in. One of the reasons why going for Shopify has lower risks is that it provides a free trial of 14 days.
You don’t have to provide any credit information either to get this free trial. Another reason to pick Shopify over its competitors is that it provides free POS Lite, which allows you to sell your products offline with the same ease.
Shopify was created to ensure that even a layman could easily create and manage their online stores. There’s no need to know technical coding languages. Building a website on Shopify is as simple as drag and drop.
However, you will need to be clear on your long-term plan for your e-commerce store before you start with Shopify. As that plan will help you decide on which one of its plans to choose.
The Basic plan costs you a meagre $29 per month, Shopify goes for $79, and Advanced will cost you $299 monthly. However, all three of these options come packaged with hosting and a custom domain name.
This cancels out your need to purchase a separate hosting plan and avoids the synchronization problems that can often occur with low-quality and low priced hosting services.
The Basic plan has its limitations but can work for most people. With a defined plan for your e-commerce business, you can upgrade your plan down the line if needed. The only immediate restriction you will see with Basic is that you won’t be able to get reports generated.
Once you have finalized and selected the plan to go with, you have to lock your domain. The domain should reflect your brand name obviously, but if it’s not available, you can look up alternate suggestions too.
Next, you will need to pick a theme that reflects your brand and can connect with your target audience. Shopify has loads of free and paid themes to choose from, all of which can be customised to match your branding.
Another benefit of getting the theme from Shopify is that all their themes are responsive, so your website can adjust to the display of every device. This is a huge advantage since most people prefer shopping online on their phones. Remember, a bad mobile experience will mean that people become 62% less likely to buy from you again.
After finalising your theme and domain name, you can start implementing your website design and create all the pages.
Typically an e-commerce website should have the following pages:
- About page
- Product Listings page (categories if you have different product categories)
- Policy Page (You don’t have to include this in your menu, but it should be in the footer)
- Contact Page
- Blog Page
Although with your theme you will have a proper layout for all of the pages, you can also customize them to suit your audience and brand best. Our advice: have a look at how your competitors have designed their websites for inspiration.
When it comes to payments, Shopify gives a bit of a letdown. Unlike other e-commerce platforms which have lowered or eliminated their transaction fees, Shopify still charges a percentage on all transactions, unless you use Shopify Payments.
On the bright side, Shopify can integrate with just about every payment platform on this planet. So, if you have a specific platform choice, you will definitely find it on Shopify.
After you have taken care of business at the back and front end, you can go ahead and publish your website for the world to see and shop from. Shopify also provides the benefit of selling directly through your social media handles. It is a perk we haven’t seen any other platform offer yet. More on this ahead.
Shopify and Campaigns
One of the best features that Shopify offers is its integration into your social media pages. For example, you can sell from your website directly on a platform like Instagram. This allows you have a single command centre that is available virtually everywhere.
If you have opted for Shopify’s Shopify plan, then you can also generate detailed reports for any campaigns that you run (these include your social media campaigns too). Reports generated from a single source will help you determine which platform is performing better without the hassle of acquiring reports from every social media platform. In other words, Shopify can be a strategist’s dream come true.
Similarly, Shopify’s POS Lite also helps keep track of your inventory both, online as well as in your physical locations. Even with Shopify Basic, you can set up your inventory management for up to 4 physical locations. This means that your inventory stays updated at all times.
Shopify is designed to cater to businesses that want to reap the fruits of e-commerce without having to invest in professionals. Also, a website builder that comes with its own hosting and security provides a neat setup for any layman to own an online business at a reasonable cost.
Of course, we understand that handling an e-commerce store with an already operational brick and mortar store can quickly become overwhelming for even the most veteran of businessmen. For such instances, Swift E-Commerce offers its order fulfilment services to take the load off of your but keep the profits rolling in. For more information, schedule a call with us now!