Today, with the disruption of various services and businesses crumbling right in our faces, eCommerce serves as the best means of growing one’s product to a global market. According to statistics, the US has over 190 million shoppers’ online, hence making eCommerce a necessity for most companies.
Importantly, many business owners see the need to take their product or business online. This has led to an increase in online stores. If you want to build an online store that generates the kind of result expected, the right platform and software are essential. Many are turning to Shopify as the best and most reliable way of managing their business online.
If you are a beginner in the eCommerce industry, you will learn everything you need to know about Shopify. At the end of this article, here is what you will learn
- What is shopify
- How Does it work
- What Can You Sell on Shopify
- Why You Need Shopify
- Cost of using Shopify
- Lite plan
- Basic Shopify Plan
- Advanced Shopify Plan
- Seven Steps to setting up your Shopify Store
- What we like
- What we don’t like
However, if you don’t need an eCommerce store, then considering starting a blog. Without further ado, let us begin.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an online eCommerce service that enables both individuals and companies to set up online stores to sell their products and services. It is a complete package to set up an eCommerce platform. It doesn’t focus on the selling of products and services but also the marketing, checkout, payments, and shipping of the products. Shopify serves as a one-stop-shop for serious business owners because everyone wants a platform that provides the best option to reach out to customers.
How does Shopify Works?
Do you have a unique product worth selling? If yes, then Shopify offers an all-inclusive eCommerce website builder with free responsive themes and templates.
To gain access to the Shopify website builder, you must sign up first. The platform offers a 14-day trial period for new customers with an option to pay if they find the platform suitable for their business. This allows potential customers to “test the water” before dipping their leg.
All you need is to select the template of your choice and customize the videos, text, logos, and images to complement your product or brand. Immediately you decide on the theme of your choice, your eCommerce site is up and ready after integrating the payment system.
What products or services can one sell on Shopify?
Now you know how Shopify works, it is time to know what is salable on the platform. Generally, if the product isn’t illegal, such as digital products, physical products, or anything allowed online, you can sell on Shopify. Anything worth selling online is sellable on the platform.
However, to ensure you don’t violate its policy, you can visit the sitemap and check under the “E-Commerce by Industry” to get a comprehensive list of what is allowed. Hardly, can you find a product that you cannot sell.
Note that Shopify is not like Amazon, which is an e-eCommerce market. So you don’t sell anything on the platform instead you sell your product through Shopify.
Why do you need Shopify?
Is it necessary to get your product displayed on Shopify? Well, Shopify offers useful and advanced features that merchants want such as social media integration and SEO-friendly features like Meta tags, titles, and headlines.
Additionally, customers can post SEO-friendly related reviews on products, which can help build credibility. In business, the more sales you make, the higher the chances of your profit. With Shopify, you can expose your product to a global audience effortlessly.
Cost of using Shopify for your business
Small business owners will want to first know the cost before considering if it is a wise option to use Shopify. Well, in comparison with other eCommerce platforms, Shopify is very affordable for any serious business owner. Let’s take a look at the four different pricing tiers that customers can choose from when using Shopify.
This plan costs as little as $9 per month and is suitable for smaller companies. It gives such businesses the tools to sell on Facebook, allow clients to pay using credit cards, and has a buy button. Although it doesn’t look like a regular online store that has a shopping cart, it does the job as needed.
The plan is for small business owners that want to add an eCommerce functionality to their information or blog site. You need to have a fully hosted website to enjoy this package.
Basic Shopify Plan
This plan is a super upgrade to the Shopify Lite Plan with fraud analysis tools, discount code engines, and the opportunity to upload an unlimited number of products. The setup works massively for a fully functional blog and website. With this, you can seamlessly manage your products and orders through the platform.
The plan comes with other benefits such as shipping labels, manual order creation, a free SSL certificate, a 24/7 support system, and unlimited storage. The plan costs $29 per month, which is better than the previous plan since you have an unlimited number of products in your store.
By far the most popular plan, which includes the features of the Basic Shopify plan and much more. The plan costs $79 per month with the features as mentioned above on the basic plan and access to gift cards, abandoned cart recovery, professional reports, and Shopify POS.
The plan is top-rated because of the abandoned cart recovery feature, which allows business owners to gain access to information of potential buyers who didn’t complete their orders. Furthermore, you can send a reminder or promo message to users who abandon their purchase within six hours.
The Shopify plan works for companies or businesses that want unlimited storage and products to fit in their website. Furthermore, if your website generates over $5,000 per month, then you need this is the ideal plan for you.
Advanced Shopify Plan
The final package is the advanced Shopify plan, which contains all the features of the aforementioned plans. However, it has other additional features such as unlimited product uploads, third-party calculated shipping rates, advanced-report builders, and much more.
For a price of $299 per month, you have all of these features. Nevertheless, those who subscribe to this plan can give up to 15 users to the Shopify dashboard.
Seven steps to setting up your Shopify Store
Now you have subscribed to one of the plans; the next step is to set up your store. Here is a step-by-step guide on becoming a proud owner of a fully functional online store.
Step 1: Sign Up with Shopify
You can take advantage of the 14-day free trial period by signing up. It will require your email, password, and business or store name. Once you click the “create your store” button, another form will popup, which requires completion before going to the next step. You need to fill details such as if you have a product, what you will be selling, and so on.
Step 2: Setting up your unique store
Once you complete the first step, it will direct you to the admin screen. The area becomes your dashboard, where you can perform various activities. You can customize your store here, upload products, set up payment, and shipping activities. Here is the exciting part of the whole process; it requires your creativity.
Brace yourself up because you have a lot of filling and selection to make here. Take your time to choose because it can impact the functionality of your online store.
Step 3: Selecting the Perfect Theme
Each Shopify store looks distinctive, and this is possible through Shopify themes. There is a vast collection of templates and themes to use. Although you can use the free themes, Shopify has its official theme store, where you can buy premium themes. These themes come with unique features that don’t require any coding, especially if you are a novice.
This doesn’t mean you can’t use the free themes. There are cool themes that can get the job done correctly. The premium themes are suitable for people who don’t have time or experience to code. Shopify Experts also help to code your online store to what you desire.
After finding the perfect theme, click the green button. Then you need to confirm before the installation process begins. Once completed, your new theme will be displayed. Furthermore, you can add other features to your stores, such as fonts, logos, videos, product photography, and other customized content.
Step 4: Add Your Products to the store
Now you have the essential branding sorted out; it is time to add products to your online store, which is the essence of using the platform. To do that, on the left-hand side of your dashboard, you will see “Products.” Click on it, and it will show “All Products”, and you will find “Add Products.”
Here you will upload the pictures of all your products you want to sell. Immediately the upload is completed, you can sort them depending on the order of your choice. Ensure the image quality is top-notch with suitable resolutions. Furthermore, you have to ensure the size and style of the image matches the image holder.
Once you are through with the upload, you can click the “Save Product” button, which is visible on the top and bottom right corners.
Step 5: Configuring Your Payment System Properly
Here you can configure your payment system to allow customers to make purchases on the frontend of your store. The critical aspect of this step is adding how customers will pay for the products. For residents in Canada, the USA, and the UK, they can take advantage of the Shopify Payment system, which allows credit cards. This doesn’t require any third-party payment gateway. You can integrate multiple payment services such as Google Wallet, Amazon Payments, and PayPal.
Besides this, there are other things to understand and put into consideration if you want to get the best out of your online store. These include transaction fees, card types, offsite checkout, and so much.
Step 6: Test Running Your Online Store
It is advisable to test run your new store before a customer starts taking orders. To do this, you can use the “Bogus” gateway to verify that the settings for shipping, inventory, order processing, taxes, and notifications are working correctly.
You can also perform a real transaction using a credit card and inserting all the required information. If the fund transfer is successful, endeavor to cancel the order to avoid any transaction fees while you get a refund.
Step 7: Buy a domain name for your store
Finally, before going live, you need to add your domain name to Shopify. With this domain name, customers can easier find your store.
Summary of setting your Shopify Store
Here is a rundown on the steps to get your Shopify online store from scratch
- Sign up with Shopify
- Setting up your Shopify Store
- Selecting your theme
- Adding products to your store
- Configuring your payment system properly
- Test running your online store
- Buying a domain name
What we like
- Unbeatable speed and security – If you want an online store that runs without a glitch, with Shopify you to achieve this feat seamlessly at high speed. Importantly, it possesses a high level of security because the payment system is integrated into it. With this, online shoppers can confidently use their credit cards without any fear of being defrauded.
- Highly flexible Platform – Once your online store is complete, Shopify provides varieties of tools for customer service, reporting, inventory management, social media, shipping, marketing, and much more. These tools allow you to automate your online store effectively.
- Attractive Themes – Shopify provides numerous professionally designed themes in its stores. These themes are responsive and available in both free and paid versions. Furthermore, they are designed to help optimize your website since the themes cut across different industries, including jewellery, art, clothing, education, etc.
- Unbeatable Customer Service – It boasts of a robust customer support system, which includes live chat, email, and phone calls. Besides this, customers have access to a vast collection of FAQs to deal with any uprising issues. The online live chat system provides customers with a real-time solution to questions and issues they may face while using the platform.
What we don’t like
- Require knowledge of coding – To customize your website base on what you need, you need a foundational knowledge of CSS, HTML, and Liquid (the Shopify coding language). If you need any alteration in the default code, you must hire a Shopify expert or learn it on your own. Hiring an expert comes with additional expenses.
- Pricing Structure – Another drawback to Shopify service is its monthly charges. Besides this, there is also a transaction fee imposed. Furthermore, based on the plan selected, additional fees ranges from 0.5% to 2%. Nevertheless, if you use Shopify payments for any transaction, you are exempted from any transaction fee.
Do you still have unanswered questions?
What do you think? Is Shopify a wise investment for any eCommerce business? Are you facing challenges with Shopify? Are you thinking of starting a new eCommerce business? You can ask your questions and share your thoughts in the comment box below. Our priority is to provide the best possible advice to help you achieve your goal.