Last updated on August 10th 2017
Do take note that Shopify.com may have changed. However, we will keep monitoring and deliver you the latest content.
It’s Easy, No Matter How Experience You Are
I’m sure you know how difficult it is to manage an e-commerce website.
There are a lot of things you need to take care of. For example setting up a template, adding products, adding prices, promotions, and etc.
Shopify is suitable for a complete novice in building websites. Even though you have zero coding knowledge, you are still able to land an e-commerce store. This is because Shopify has got you covered – with all the core features.
Besides, Shopify also able to solve complex tasks such as managing an e-commerce store with active sales and customers.
Shopify has all the potential you need to built, organized and grow your e-commerce store.
Selling With Other Sales Channel
As an e-commerce business owner, you should not merely depend on single medium for selling. A major risk is involved when you try to grow an online business completely depending on a website. If anything happens such as down or lost, you will have nothing to back it up.
You should explore on other sales channels!
3rd party sales channels can be beneficial if you promote it the right way. You have to promote your product in the right place having the right perspective. It can increase sales by a noticeable rate while securing the future of your business.
Shopify does help you built an online e-commerce store to showcase your products. However, they do encourage that you get on other potential sales channels as a backup plan.
Shopify has support for a number of popular channels with easy integration of products. Here are some of them:
Selling on Facebook
Create a “Shop” tab on the Facebook page and connect it with Shopify to fetch and show products. Customers can check out directly on Facebook if you’re eligible to use Facebook Checkouts.
Selling on Amazon
Connect Shopify to your Amazon Professional Seller Account. You can create, manage and process listing of products from the Shopify Dashboard.
Selling on Pinterest
You can add pins to Shopify products. Customers can make orders through those pins directly from Pinterest.
Selling on Mobile Apps
You can also sell Shopify products on the apps you developed. You can even manage in-app purchases through Shopify Payments.
Along with selling options on popular channels, your online business is in good hands with Shopify.
Features You Need to Know
If you are interested in creating a dropshipping business, Shopify comes with 3 dropshipping and fulfillment services. You can integrate with Shipwire, Rakuten and Amazon Fulfillment. There are also options to use other 3rd party services.
You can accept direct payment via credit card using Shopify Payment. It has inbuilt options for 3rd party payment services like PayPal, Amazon Pay or Apple Pay.
Discount Code and Online Gift Cards
Cards Discount Codes and Gift Cards are some of the best incentives for online based businesses. Shopify has integrated features to generate and distribute them in various ways.
Most Shopify themes support multi language. If your audience is local or country-specified, Shopify has an inbuilt setting to translate them to the supportive languages.
After sales customer management is an important task. It can be made into returning customers with good proposals. You can manage it in your Shopify Dashboard.
A blog can be the best maker for online business. Shopify offers their own blogging platform. You can maintain a blog within the admin panel. However, you are also allowed to link it to other third party software such as WordPress or Joomla.
You can also integrate Shopify POS in your bricks and mortar shop. You are able to share the same data between POS and online store. This is a huge advantage to expand your presence.
Shopify Themes and Designs
Shopify has a wide range of free and premium themes at their Theme Store. Most of them are mobile-friendly. The themes look professional and sorted under different categories. You could find the matching one for your industry easily.
The premium themes in their repository are somewhat pricey. However, they are highly customizable. It has the unique set of customization options that can make it up for you.
One interesting fact about Shopify Theme Store is that you can preview your live store on any premium theme before buying.
You can customize the theme while previewing it. You can have the advantage of matching the new theme with your store scheme before decided on it.
On the other hand, Shopify has a powerful website editor as you can look below.
If you are confident, you can take a free theme and use the editor (it’s intuitive) to customize it as your wish.
Shopify App Store
The functionalities of Shopify can be extended with the support of over 1200 apps from Shopify App Store. Many of the apps charge a monthly fee but you could find free items to get your work done.
If prefer Shopify native apps, their team has developed around 15-20 apps for its users. They are all optional, free and can be used to add a new horizon to the store.
SEO and Marketing Features
Built-in SEO Features
The basics and essentials of SEO are covered in the core area of Shopify. However, you are required to gather as much knowledge as you can about SEO to see some good results.
Here are the built-in features they offer. Please note that more features can be added from the app store if you need it.
- Editable page title, meta description, and URL
- Automatic canonical URL tag to prevent duplicate content issue
- Automatic but controllable sitemap.xml and robots.txt files
- Editable image file names and alternative tags
Site Speed & Security
Site speed and security are some of the most important things in the checklist of SEO. The modern form of SEO means that you have to provide better user experience.
Shopify features Certified Level 1 PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant shopping cart and hosting service that is committed to providing faster and secure shopping experience.
The payment processing and data protection are the biggest concerns and Shopify always tries to use the latest web security technology.
The drawback can be seen in the site speed. E-commerce websites are usually heavy and data-hungry. You might not see such a good speed unless you take the steps to improve it.
Wolfram Muller of PressKitHero.com was able to cut down his Shopify website’s load time by half doing a list of works.
Shopify Site Speed
As I shared with you above, site speed is important not only to SEO but also your sales.
Amazon’s calculated that a page load slowdown of just one second could cost it $1.6 billion in sales each year.
The majority of us won’t wait in line (unless we have to) for more than 15 minutes or less. Ask yourself, when was the last time you wait for a website to load in order to browse the content? 50% or more wouldn’t go back for the site that kept them waiting.
As usual, I created a free Shopify store with its free plan for testing purpose. Here’s the response time from my test website
Advance Shopify Features
Sales Taxes and Shipping Rates
One of the headaches of an e-commerce website is concatenating taxes and shipping rates to the original product price. Usually, you need a bit of calculation or some kind of support from 3rd party apps.
In Shopify, all sales taxes and shipping rates are handled automatically.
There is a core feature to calculate taxes and shipping rate. It calculates based on customer’s location and shipping methods. It also comes with a free option if that’s applicable to your situation.
Selling Digital Products
If you are selling both digital products and physical products, Shopify is the choice for you. You can handle both digital and physical products at the same time without getting your head hung. Digital products refer to products which “are shipped” through electronic mediums.
Shopify offers a free app “Digital Download” that will allow you to specify the types of your products. You can categorize your products as digital and handle those particular deliveries through email or downloadable online storage. The good thing is, you don’t need other 3rd party premium services to do it!
Shopify has a built-in Store Analytics that can benchmark online store performance or you can integrate it with Google Analytics if you want.
Shopify can provide the following reports depending on the level of account:
- Financial Report
- Overview Dashboard
- Sales Report
- Customers Report
- Acquisition Report
- Behavior Report
Free Advertising Credits
Regarding the advertising credit, Shopify is partnered with Google Adwords and gives $100 free when someone invests $25 on a new AdWords account.
Things to Take Note with Shopify
- The system of moving your business from Shopify to others is challenging. You can only generate a series of CSV files of your product information and customers. Although it’s unlikely you encounter with this situation, it’s worth to take note.
- You can’t host a domain based email address even website hosting is included in all Shopify plans. However, it allows you to setup e-mail forwarding. So you can forward all your mails from a temporary branded email to a 3rd party email service like Gmail, Yahoo.
- Shopify platform uses their own-developed PHP language “Liquid”. All themes are coded in this format. Unless you want to edit theme’s core files, else, you are safe. The alternative, you can learn Liquid or hire a developer of Shopify themes.
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If selling on social media platforms is your concern, you can kick start with Shopify Lite plan. It starts with $9/mo and you can start selling on platform like Facebook.
Doesn’t matter if you have a brick and mortar store or just starting out your idea, Shopify should be your top choice for online store. Besides some of the challenges you may encounter as above, it’s worth your investment (time and money).
Do I recommend Shopify?
Yes. Especially if you are looking to grow your online presence and grab a piece of cake from this online e-commerce market.
As a business owner, Shopify offers the flexibility and the ability to grow your online business. From creating your product page to delivery or download, Shopify has everything covered in between. With Shopify, you have every chance to increase your sales by integrating with the popular platforms.
How To Begin
It’s okay to have a risk-free minded. No one is ready to invest on a platform before trying it. So, Shopify offers 14-days trial. It’s fully free and you doesn’t have to fill in your credit card details.
You can follow the link to setup your online store with Shopify.
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