Running a business without having to spend on brick and mortar stores or bearing the pains of outlet expansions is possible with Shopify. But what is Shopify? It is an e-commerce platform that helps businesses run stores online, assuring better sales and ease. Starting an online store on Shopify is easy as it has features for all, including beginners and e-commerce experts. The technology helps reduce costs by automating CRM, transactions, inventory management, and more.
What Is Shopify?
Founded in 2006, Shopify is an e-commerce platform for online retailers. It has an easy-to-use application that also comes with a Point Of Sale (POS) app for payments in physical locations. Shopify allows merchants to create a multi-channel experience and enhance their brand awareness.
Shopify is a subscription-based platform with a 14-day free trial. You can create a website and utilize their shopping cart to sell, manage, and ship your products. This e-commerce platform also comes with various tools for analyzing every aspect of an online store, designing customized online experiences for visitors, and maximizing the Return on Investment (ROI) on marketing spending.
What Does Shopify Do?
Shopify provides retailers with a strong foundation to run an e-commerce business. Once you sign up for this online selling space, you have to open a storefront, put across products, engage with customers, carry out transactions, and all that is a part of the business. Shopify assists you in all those activities with its easily manageable tools. Thus, Shopify is a facilitator that eases the process of marketing products over the web.
How Does Shopify Work?
Shopify is a cloud-based solution that uses the software as a service (SaaS) model via monthly subscriptions. So, a Shopify user need not worry about upgrading or maintaining software but has the liberty to access and run the business from anywhere using an internet connection. It allows users to create and customize the look of their online store, sell on the web, mobile, social media, and online marketplaces, and manage products, payments, and shipping.
Shopify ensures safe payment info and business data as it is PCI compliant and supports 3D Secure checkouts. Shopify Payments eliminates setting up a third-party payment provider as it is automatically set up when you create your Shopify store.
What to Sell on Shopify?
There is no limit to the number of products/ services one can sell online via Shopify. It has room for a wide range of products, including
- Automotive accessories
- Bags and luggage
- Travel products
- Home accessories
- Baby or maternity products
- Beauty products
- Fitness accessories
- Pet products, and more.
Shopify also has strict guidelines on what you cannot sell. So, anyone who tries to sell the restricted products, some of which are listed below, gets suspended from the platform:
- Counterfeit goods
- Gambling products
- Certain firearms and their parts
- Adult products
- Regulated products
- Drug paraphernalia
- Event tickets
- Telecommunications equipment
Is Shopify Good for Small Businesses?
Shopify comes with cost-effective plans ranging from $29 to $299/month and a full suite of features that assist in launching and managing an online store, making the platform ideal for small businesses.
It is perfect for beginners as it doesn’t need coding experience or software installation. Moreover, there are minimal transaction fees levied on Shopify Payments. Shopify’s modern web design and ease of use have made it popular among small and large business owners over the years.
Pros and Cons of Shopify
Shopify offers many benefits that help ease e-commerce efforts, but the platform poses some challenges too.
Pros of Shopify
Besides producing additional revenue and increased access to potential customers, Shopify also offers the following benefits:
- Ease of use: It makes it possible to sell goods or services with minimal configuration requirements. There are no technicalities linked to hosting and site development.
- Mobile friendly: Enables 24/7 operation, allowing customers to view products on their mobile phones at any time of the day, increasing customer engagement and, consequently, sales. Shopify runs both on iPhone and Android devices.
- Excellent support: Offers round-the-clock customer support through email, phone, or live chat for any issue resolution. Shopify Learn provides access to free tutorials, webinars, and online courses for a better understanding of the platform and online sales.
- Ability to use your domain name: You can connect your domain name to Shopify. If you don’t have one, you can buy it via Shopify.
- Good themes: Facilitates customization of stores by altering the website theme to fit branding needs. Shopify’s Theme Store provides 70+ premium and free e-commerce templates.
- Dropshipper friendly: Shopify allows selling products with a supplier that holds the inventory and ships the products.
- Suitable plugins: Offers extension of the online site functionality via plugins. The Shopify App Store provides several free and premium plugins that help add specialized features to an e-commerce store.
- Built-in payment tools: Enable customers to make payments via credit cards using Shopify Payments or a third-party provider. It also allows payment via PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and cryptocurrency.
- Social media integration: Enables sales not only on the web but through online marketplaces and social media like Facebook and Instagram to maximize reach and target audience.
Cons of Shopify
Shopify does fall short on some factors. Some of the cons of Shopify for businesses are as follows:
- Theme customization challenges and different browser and operating system-related issues come in the way of ease.
- Application of 0.5% to 2.0% transaction fees. However, you can waive these fees by accepting payments via Shopify Payments.
How to Use Shopify– Building an Online Store With Shopify
Shopify can help you set up an online store within 15 minutes. The procedure to build an online store with Shopify is as follows:
Shopify Homepage for Signing Up
- Sign up for Shopify: Visit the Shopify website and click on the Get Started button. Enter the details, including your email address, a unique store name, and password.
- Upload a product and customize your store: After signing up, you will see the admin screen for the new website. Customize your store and add products. Visit the dashboard and choose the look of your online store, including theme, logos, colors, and more.
Shopify Theme Store For Selecting Themes
- Setup your domain: Click on ‘Add a Domain’ on the dashboard. You can either transfer a domain or register a fresh one. You can either purchase a domain from Shopify or buy a domain name from elsewhere and add it to Shopify.
- Activate the payment processor: The Payments tab on the dashboard allows you to select the payment processor. You can opt for Shopify’s payment processor for ease.
How to Grow Your Store?
A web presence is just the beginning of an online store; attracting customers, promoting products, and offering exceptional customer service are vital to maintaining competitiveness. The following tips will help you expand your online store on Shopify:
Optimize Mobile Settings
Mobile devices are major contributors to internet browsing and purchasing. You must make your online store mobile responsive to succeed in the online marketplace and maximize sales.
SEO for Shopify
You must optimize your web store for SEO to drive more traffic from search engines like Google. Rank high amongst competitors in organic search to get your daily traffic. For instance, adding blog posts helps drive traffic while boosting your store’s SEO. Also, SEO is cheaper than capturing customers via paid advertising.
Create Some Ads
You can run ads on Google and social networks to efficiently increase your traffic. It is vital to first identify the platform your audience spends their most time on and one that best suits your niche. However, watch out for mounting costs.
Add Positive Reviews
Rather than praising your products/services, opt for social proof like good reviews and star ratings that help shoppers make decisions faster. It also builds a positive reputation and positively impacts your sales.
Use Social Media For A Boost
Social media integration helps in creating a relatable brand for customers. It facilitates connecting with customers, leading to a direct increase in sales. So, integrate your Shopify store with social media accounts on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Which Shopify Pricing Plan Would Be The Best for You?
Shopify offers five plans for its customers, understanding that pricing is an important aspect of any business. It also offers a 14-day free trial to try and check whether Shopify answers your requirements. The plans are as follows:
$9 per month
2% per transaction
Basic Shopify Plan
$29 per month
2.9% and 30¢ per transaction
It offers basic e-commerce functionality, including
You can include two staff accounts.
$79 per month
2.6% and 30¢ per transaction
In addition to the Basic Shopify Plan feature, you get the following benefits:
Advanced Shopify Plan
$299 per month
2.4% and 30¢ per transaction
$2000 per month
2.15% per transaction
Note: Transaction fee is applicable only when not using Shopify payments
1. What is Shopify POS?
Shopify Point of sale (POS) is an app that enables the offline selling of products. It allows you to sell products in person at a physical store, pop-up shops, trade shows, and other events and accept payments with your Android, iPhone, or iPad using the POS app.
2. Can I use Shopify on my phone?
Shopify can be accessed both on the web and on mobile phones. You can install the Shopify mobile app, log in to your account and run your online store. It also allows you to include staff accounts that can help manage your business, but the other linked accounts will have limited access, i.e., they can view only the areas they have the permissions for.
3. Can I pause my Shopify store?
Store owners can use their Shopify admin dashboard to pause their Shopify subscription temporarily or close their store completely. Shopify offers two alternatives: store owners can pause their store and continue to work on it or pause their store completely. However, you cannot pause your store during the free trial.
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