Shopify is an online area that allows people to establish stores to sell their wares. It is essentially an eCommerce website builder, designed to make it easier to set up and run online stores.
With the increase in people wanting to be their own boss, eCommerce is a rapidly growing arena.
Shopify is a subscription-based model, making it very easy to use. Shopify is not limited to eCommerce, there is the ability to sell in physical stores too. This is done through the use of the Shopify POS (point of sale) app and the accompanying pieces of hardware.
You can sync up the online and physical stores, meaning that the inventory and stock are sync across all platforms. This makes it much easier to manage your business from a singular, central device.
Over 800,000 businesses across the world use Shopify. There are no specific skills required to use the platform, and if you are savvy about the way that you use it, it can be relatively cheap to operate. This means that novice and seasoned business owners alike can utilize the platform to further mobilize their business.
What are the benefits of using Shopify?
Shopify is designed to be able to handle large inventory lists and stock counts. This makes it a great platform to use for your established or rapidly-growing business. This makes it easier to manage and scale your store thanks to the powerful backend editor.
Shopify allows for multi-platform selling. You can use Shopify to sell on Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, and eBay, to mention a few.
As well as this, Shopify is very convenient to use. The platform supports more than 100 different methods of payment, including their own gateway.
There are more than 3,000 apps and third-party extensions available in the Shopify library. These are free to use and can help you elevate your store to the next level.
As well as this, the platform offers a huge range of free and premium templates for your store. This can help to improve the aesthetics and functionality, drawing more customers in.
If none of the templates satisfy you, there is also the option to design your own from scratch.
The Shopify app has a dedicated customer service team, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means that no matter when you need help, someone is there immediately.
What are the downsides of using Shopify?
The editorial aspects of Shopify have been dubbed less intuitive than other eCommerce platforms. Many users have said that it is not as easy to work and takes a little longer to get the hang of than other platforms.
The reason that there are so many applications associated with the platform is that there are much less built-in features. To get the most out of Shopify you will need to utilize the apps to improve the design and functionality of your online store.
The flexibility with payment options makes sense when you notice the transaction fees. Shopify Payments is the best option to use in this regard, as all of the other methods incur relatively high fees as well as payment gateway costs. This can begin to eat into your profit margins if you are not careful.
Overall, running costs associated with Shopify need to be closely monitored. If not managed correctly then they can rapidly begin to run-up.
As we have mentioned above, Shopify is not the most user-friendly of all eCommerce platforms. The interface is clean and simple and the editorial function can be used with ease once you get the hang of it.
There are 2 editors, a frontend editor function for the aesthetic display of the website, and a backend editor that allows you to modify how your products are displayed.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial period for their eCommerce builder. This gives users the chance to try out the platform without committing financially. This gives you the chance to get used to the platform so that you can edit with ease by the time you start paying for it.
There are 5 different subscription levels for Shopify. These are Lite, Basic, Shopify, Advanced, and Plus. Each comes with its own price point and additional features.
Shopify Lite costs $9 a month and takes a 2% transaction fee if you do not use Shopify Payments. This allows you to add eCommerce to existing websites and Facebook, meaning you do not need to create a website from scratch.
Shopify Basic costs $29 per month and still takes a 2% transaction fee unless Shopify Payments is used. This plan allows you to fully build your own store from scratch.
Shopify is $79 per month. This plan is ideal for growing businesses as it allows you to use additional features, like creating gift cards. The transaction fee for payment options aside from Shopify Premium is reduced to 1% with this subscription.
Shopify Advanced is $299 per month, and is ideally suited towards larger businesses that are looking to scale up. This allows you to generate advanced reports and shipping rates. The transaction fee has been reduced again, to just 0.5%.
Shopify Plus is not given a standard price point. You will communicate with the platform and they will generate a custom quote for you based on your needs. This is more of a bespoke package for high-end businesses that need top professional support.
SEO and marketing tools
Shopify has a lot of SEO (search engine optimization) tools at their fingertips which help you rank more highly in Google searches and therefore generate more business. When you add new products to your store, Shopify’s SEO tools will help you choose the best phrasing to use.
Shopify stores are automatically secured, unlike sites such as WordPress where the onus falls on you. Shopify runs software to protect you from cyber threats. It also automatically runs updates and ensures your site meets the compliance requirements for online transaction handling.