If you’ve just started looking for software to build your e-commerce site , chances are you’ve come across Shopify . Shopify is an all-inclusive online selling platform. For a monthly fee, you can create and grow an online store from which you can promote, sell and ship your products. Shopify is popular due to its low start-up cost and easy-to-use interface. It’s possible to run a full online store for as little as $29/month, and you can have it all online in less than a week! Shopify is a great solution for many merchants, although it’s not perfect. Keep reading for more information on what’s included in a Shopify subscription, the pros and cons of the software, and how to set up a Shopify store.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a SaaS (software as a service) online store building solution. A monthly fee gives you access to an admin panel where you can enter store data, add products, and process orders. Additionally, you’ll be able to choose from a rich selection of free and purchaseable design templates. . These themes are clean and modern, and Shopify provides a variety of editing tools you can use to tailor your chosen theme to your brand. Plus, a Shopify membership includes hosting .secure and reliable for your website. You don’t have to worry about your site crashing during traffic spikes or hackers hijacking your transactions. With 99.9% uptime and a free SSL certificate, Shopify is the answer. Finally, your monthly payment entitles you to full 24/7 customer support . You will be able to contact support via phone, email and live chat. And you can also use the Shopify Knowledge Base to troubleshoot less serious issues yourself. Shopify boasts of being an all-in-one solution. With a Shopify subscription, you should have everything you need to quickly start selling on your own site.
What are the pros and cons of Shopify?
As you’d expect, Shopify is a great option for many merchants, but not everyone. Here’s a brief list of reasons merchants choose Shopify, followed by a list of the most common customer complaints.
- Easy to use: This is by far the biggest reason merchants love Shopify. Shopify is designed for technical illiterates. It’s simple to add products, create discounts, and process orders. Web design is friendly – and even easy – with the new drag-and-drop editing tool.
- Lower start-up cost : Shopify’s relatively low monthly fee makes setup affordable. How much does Shopify cost, you ask? The basic plan costs $29/month and the mid-tier plan is $79/month.
- Beautiful themes: Subscribed merchants can choose from a variety of free and mobile responsive themes. Premium (paid) themes are also available for merchants who want more options.
- Good for Dropshippers: Shopify is the platform of choice for many dropshippers. Integrations with Ordoro and Oberlo make it super easy to manage shipping from your Shopify admin.
- Plenty of Support Options: You can access technical support any hour of the day via phone, live chat, or email. Self-help options are also available. This type of support is offered to customers outside normal business hours.
- Limited functionality: Shopify comes preloaded with almost all the features that small merchants need to build an online store . However, every business has specific needs, and Shopify typically lacks the functionality to meet those specific needs. This is where add-ons come in. Many merchants end up needing to purchase a handful of add-ons to make that cart work the way they need it to.
- Expensive add-ons: Like I said, Shopify offers almost all the basic features, but the software lacks many advanced features. You will need to find these features as add-ons, which are not free. The cost of adding just three add-ons can double your monthly fee.
- Transaction Fees: While most shopping carts dropped their transaction fees altogether, Shopify kept their fees at 0.5% to 2.0% (depending on your pricing plan).
- Stressed Customer Support: While Shopify was known for its responsive customer support, it seems its support team has experienced increased strain over the past year. Shopify’s customer load is growing exponentially and support is struggling to keep up. Hold times of up to thirty minutes are not uncommon.
How to use Shopify
Wondering how to sell on Shopify? To get the most out of your Shopify subscription, you need to leverage the strengths of the software . Shopify offers a few feature modules that you can use to increase your administrative power and speed up your daily processes.
If you’ve read our Shopify review, you know that one of Shopify’s biggest drawbacks is their transaction fees. (We’ve written about the pros and cons of Shopify Payments in a full review, but for the abbreviated version, keep reading.) Shopify charges between 0.5% and 2.0% for each transaction made using its platform (depending on your plan). . However, if you choose to use Shopify’s internal payment processor, Shopify Payments , you may benefit from these transaction fees. Another benefit is that Shopify Payments offers reduced processing fees for customers of higher-tier Shopify plans. See Shopify Payment pricing below.A word of warning: many Shopify customers complain that they are not allowed to use Shopify Payments. Be sure to read through the Terms of Service before you can use Shopify Payments. You should also review your other payment processing options before committing to Shopify Payments. Sure, it would be nice to waive your transaction fees, but you might find that another payment processor can give you a better deal. It’s best to do your research and crunch the numbers before committing to a processor.
Use Shopify themes and templates
Shopify is best known for its ease of use and modern web design. Here’s a sampling of Shopify’s themes. I’m especially a fan of Shopify’s new(ish) editor: Sections. Sections let you change the look of your homepage using drag-and-drop design tools.
Go multi-channel with Shopify POS
If you’re a multi-channel merchant who sells both in person and online, Shopify is a great choice. Shopify makes it easy to sell in brick-and-mortar stores and pop-up shops with their in-house point-of-sale system. When you sign up for Shopify’s online store, you also automatically sign up for Shopify POS. Shopify POS lets you easily conduct in-person retail transactions and process credit card payments. Your online store and POS system will be synced so that every inventory change made on one platform will appear on the other.
Shipping is one of the biggest issues with selling online, and it can really cut into your profits. Selling digital products lets you get all the benefits of selling online while eliminating one of the major drawbacks. Using Shopify’s native digital products features, you can sell downloadable products. Market your MP3s, printables, videos and e-books. Disable shipping on these products, and you can provide download links directly to your customers’ inbox. To automate the delivery of your digital products, you need to implement an application. An app on Shopify’s marketplace might do the trick. The app automates your delivery by providing download links to your customers upon purchase and emailing an additional download link on your behalf. Load up a few downloadable products and start fulfilling your customers’ orders faster, without spending a dime on shipping.
Start a blog for seo
Maintain a blog can do wonders for your online store. Regular blog posts not only improve your SEO rankings but also help build your brand identity. In fact, I wrote an article about all the reasons why you should keep a blog. Take a look to learn more about how your store blog influences SEO and customer connection. Fortunately, Shopify is one of a handful of shopping carts with built-in blogging functionality. You can write, edit, and publish blog posts right in your admin panel. For most merchants, Shopify’s blog features will work just fine, but I have to warn you: like many Shopify features, Shopify blogs are pretty basic. If you want your blog to be the main focus of your online store, Shopify may not be the right choice. You could instead look to WooCommerce, which lets you add a shopping cart to a pre-existing blog instead of the other way around. You can also use this app BlogFeeder to link your WordPress account to your Shopify store. This app lets you manage your blog in WordPress and then import it into Shopify, which can give you access to more robust blogging features. Whatever you do, you should start a blog about your store. It will do you good.
Shopify customer service
We love SaaS solutions like Shopify for a variety of reasons. Shopify is one of the e-commerce industry leaders when it comes to customer support; they offer support options in every solution you could hope to find, including phone support, email support, live chat, written documentation, video tutorials, webinars, and a community forum. (Since the Shopify community is very large, you can expect this forum to be active. You will be able to contact other Shopify users, express your frustrations with different featuresand contact Shopify representatives for assistance.) options available to you, you’ll never have to do it yourself. When you have a problem, contact support. You will receive a response in a short time. And if it’s not a dramatic fix, it won’t cost you anything at all.
Take advantage of your additional options
Shopify marketplace is filled with more than 1500 add-ons or apps on shopify app store. Since Shopify is relatively lightweight and out of the box, you’ll probably need to add a few integrations. But with so many add-ons to choose from, you’re sure to find the extensions you need. In particular, you should consider integrating shipping software to enhance your order processing. Take a look at my top recommendations for shipping software or my abbreviated version below:
- ShippingEasy : ShippingEasy lets you import orders, create shipments, pay, and print funds. And fortunately, it is indeed easy to use.
- Ordoro : Ordoro is a shipping solution that includes inventory management (if you choose to pay for it). Customers particularly appreciate Ordoro’s dropshipping features.
- ShipStation : ShipStation is arguably the best-known shipping software on the market. It integrates with almost all popular shopping carts and marketing software, and it’s relatively affordable.
Other ways to get the most out of Shopify
- Shopify Shipping: Shopify ‘s new shipping modules allow you to integrate with major carriers to calculate real-time shipping rates. You can purchase and print shipping labels directly from your admin panel. Note that this shipping module does not allow you to display calculated rates in your customers’ carts.
- Dropshipping apps: Shopify lets you integrate a handful of dropshipping apps, including Ordoro and Oberlo. I have seen many reports of success with these apps in combination with Shopify.
- Mobile management: Shopify offers a mobile app so you can manage your store from anywhere.
- Integrations with Amazon and eBay : Connect your Shopify account to two of the largest internet marketplaces. Process orders from all your sales channels in Shopify. It’s worth noting that while we’re glad Shopify went to the trouble of creating these integrations, they didn’t get great reviews from Shopify users.
How to get started with Shopify?
If you’re considering Shopify, get started and sign up for a 14-day free trial. You do not need to enter any credit card information to access the trial version. they’ll just need you to provide contact information and answer a few questions about your business. During your trial, be sure to test every aspect of the Shopify software. Add products, create marketing campaigns, change your storefront design, and add an app or two. Make sure Shopify can handle all of your day-to-day operations. Find all the advanced features you might need, such as filtered search, abandoned cart notifications, and pop-up promos.appropriate tariff plan.and get moving. If you haven’t already done this during your trial, you’ll need to start by adding your basic business information. Providing an accurate location will help estimate shipping rates and taxes. You can then go to the product section to upload your items. Be sure to include the weight and dimensions of each item, as this will help Shopify accurately calculate shipping costs in Shopify Shipping.
When adding your products, you should keep your ultimate vision for your site design in mind. Take a look at Shopify’s selection and choose a theme that matches your brand and fits the number of products you plan to offer. For example, don’t choose a theme that doesn’t include drop-down menus if you plan to list more than 500 products. With so many items, you should be able to create subcategories. As you explore your new platform, don’t forget Shopify’s expansive app store. Shopify offers over 1,500 extensions and apps that can help fill in any functionality gaps you may find. And when you run into any issues, you can always reach out to Shopify’s support team. At this point, you can expect wait times of up to 30 minutes . So I would check Shopify’s knowledge base first before calling.
Shopify is a great shopping cart for many merchants. Its easy-to-use interface , reasonable pricing model, and beautiful themes make it one of our favorite e-commerce solutions, and we frequently recommend it to readers. But as always, I suggest you do more research before committing to the software. Sign up for a free trial to test the software yourself. Our reviews are just a place to start. Your own experience with the software is worth more than any advice I can give you. Good luck and good research!