Selling products and services online is no new thing, and if you’re one of the many who are considering growing your ecommerce store then there has never been so much choice in terms of platforms to use. Out of all of them, the one that has seen the biggest growth recently is Shopify.
THE RISE OF SHOPIFY
As more and more businesses (new and existing) look to boost their online revenue as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, shares in the Canadian based Shopify have increased by more than 100% over the last six months as consumer and business owners shifted commerce online to slow the spread of the disease.
New stores created on the ecommerce platform grew by 71% in the second quarter of 2020 while gross merchandise volume saw a huge rise of 119% year on year.
WHAT MAKES SHOPIFY SO POPULAR?
Building an online shop used to be extremely difficult, time-consuming and expensive but using an ecommerce platform such as Shopify allows you to set up stores relatively quickly while also offering a stack of features to help you manage stock, market your business and take payment – with excellent online support to help with any issues.
You can build a decent store and generate a lot of sales without the need for strong technical or design skills and, as it’s a hosted platform you don’t need to buy a web hosting service or install software.
You simply need a web browser and internet connection, then you pay your monthly fee and off you go.
Of course, you don’t need to use one of their templates; if you’re more ambitious and want something unique then you can design your own bespoke site to match your brand.
HOW SAFE IS SHOPIFY?
We live in a technological age where data rules and that data has a price on its head therefore security is a must for businesses dealing with personal and payment information of their customers.
SSL certification can be enabled for your store to encrypt all such data.
When it comes to payments, there’s nothing to worry about either. Shopify has partnered with Stripe to create its own credit card processor; The Shopify Payments.
It’s proven that a simple check out boosts conversions, and Shopify Payments allows your customers to pay using their preferred card or with Apple or Google Pay so they get the peace of mind they need and you get to close the deal.
A 24/7 SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
More than half of all online shopping is now done on a phone so having mobile responsiveness is essential for your ecommerce site and Shopify developed its interface with this in mind to make sure your store looks great on all the devices.
You can also manage your store through the app which means you can run your business from anywhere in the world – even your bed!
CHECKING IN TO CHECK OUT
How many times have you browsed for products online, only to leave them in your basket and log off? You’re not alone!
Two out of three customers abandon their carts without completing the purchase which is why Shopify implemented an ‘abandoned cart’ recovery system.
This does come at an extra charge but means that those customers who do leave without buying the products they’ve added to their cart will automatically receive an email to remind them to complete their purchases.
This is a great way to increase your online revenue.
BEAUTY IS ONLY SKIN DEEP
It’s all very well having the most beautiful online store, but if no one knows about it then what’s the point?
Another plus for Shopify is that it gives you access to a wide range of marketing tools such as social media, product review and email marketing applications. There are tools that create gift vouchers and discount coupons.
There’s no denying that using Google Ads or Facebook Ads will help you grow your business and Shopify makes it possible for you to create really good landing pages to help convert visitors into customers.
You can find out more about how we can help with your paid search campaigns here
CAN I SELL WHAT I WANT ON SHOPIFY?
On the whole, anyone can sell anything using the Shopify ecommerce platform and it’s used by people who have a side hustle selling jewellery right through to the likes of Tesla.
That said there are a number of businesses prohibited from using the Shopify platform, including:
· IP infringement, regulated or illegal products and services; such as gambling, pharmaceuticals, investment and credit services, virtual currency, and adult content and services.
· Video game or virtual world credits
· Social media activities
· Multilevel marketing and pyramid schemes
To learn more about what can’t be sold follow this link: https://www.shopify.com/legal/terms-payments-us
SPREAD THE WORD
We mentioned earlier about linking to social media and if you’re looking to make some serious money from your ecommerce website then you can’t rely on people finding you by accident.
Having your own online store is the first step but you need to spread the word and be seen by more people than just your close friends and family.
Shopify has a couple of tricks for you here:
- Sell your products directly on Facebook – Shopify will create a shop section on your Facebook page.
- Sell your products on Instagram by tagging your products.
- You can sell using Pinterest as long as you have a business account.
- You can also connect to popular marketplaces such as amazon and ebay.
These are just some of the more well-known platforms, to find out about what other channels you can use, click here (https://apps.shopify.com/collections/sales-channels?ssid=transaction_id&signup_code=signup_code&ref=affiliate_ref )
DON’T LOSE THE HUMAN TOUCH
Sure, the online shopping world is booming but as we start to ease out of lockdown you might be interested to know that you can sell your products and services the old fashion way using Shopify – yep, face to face (remember those good old days)
How? Well, you can integrate Shopify’s PoS (point of sale) with your physical sales channel – even if you are on the go – and it syncs with your reporting and inventory management so you’ll be able to keep everything up to date, no matter where you are.
You can start small, by selling items using the Shopify PoS app (e.g. using your smartphone or tablet) and accept payments.
You won’t need anything else unless you’re considering to sell a lot this way then you might want to check out some PoS hardware such as card readers.
ARE THERE ANY DOWNSIDES?
It looks like Shopify is the answer to all ecommerce prayers but there are some things you should be aware of before taking the plunge.
Nothing good comes free but the pricing is fair. You will need a budget but the starting packages are affordable.
If you don’t or can’t use Shopify Payments then you will be charged extra transaction fees which can add up so make sure you spend some time looking at your payment options.
If you need a multilingual store then you will incur further charges and it’s not an easy process.
Some of the coolest features are only included in the higher plans (e.g. abandoned cart).
Shopify is an extremely powerful tool when used right so don’t be fooled by its simplicity. For a micro or small business you can set up a store in a weekend.
If you’re looking for a more customised online shop then you can spend longer or engage a Shopify web developer.
You can do a lot more with fewer clicks than you can on the likes on BigCommerce and other platforms such as Magento are nowhere near in terms of ease of use.
Its price is suitable and fairly comparable to other solutions out there and it’s scalable so will grow with you – or you can downscale if you need to.
There’s also an option for a 2 week free trial so, if you’re considering taking your business online, it’s well worth checking out.
And remember, if you need more advice or would like to speak to us about how we can help you grow your online businesses then contact us today!
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