If you have ever done some bit of research about building website design eCommerce, there are high chances you’ve heard of the name Shopify. There are quite a number of eCommerce website builders out there but Shopify is one of those that has been on top of their game for more than a decade. In 2019, Shopify reported over 1,000,000 businesses that use their platform to build and manage their ecommerce websites.
If you need to know more about Shopify, how it works and how you can use it to build your online store, this article is for you. I am going to share with you everything you need to know about Shopify, their pricing plans, how it is different from other eCommerce website builders and steps you can take to build your own online store with Shopify.
About Shopify and its major features
Shopify is a Canadian based eCommerce multinational company that helps businesses build and run their online stores to reach a bigger market worldwide. This platform was founded in 2004 by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake but it was launched as Shopify by the Snowdevil founders in 2006. The company has been growing over the years and has made it possible for many small businesses to get their businesses online.
Some of the key features of Shopify include the following;
It is a web-based eCommerce website builder.
This platform is suitable for mainly online stores so most of its features are engineered with that in mind. If you want to build another type of website that’s not eCommerce, Shopify is not for you.
It has thousands of themes that you can install into your website.
Most of the unique themes with appealing UI features are however paid for. Free themes are used by many sites and will need lots of editing to make your site look different from the rest that used the same theme.
Multiple language support.
Shopify supports over 50 languages. So, chances are high you know at least one of the languages they support.
It has over 100 payment gateways.
However, these depend on the region you’re in and the payment gateways that are allowed to operate in your country. Before you choose which one to use, make sure you confirm whether it is available in your country. Some of the most famous ones include stripe, Skrill, PayPal, Shopify payment, etc.
14-day free trial.
Before you subscribe to the paid plans (I am going to talk about these later), you can start by using their free trial to explore their various feature and how exactly the platform works.
Social media integration.
If your business is available on social media, you can add some of the links for the social media marketing agency melbourne on any of your eCommerce website’s menu. Some of your social media content is also displayed within Shopify (mainly Instagram posts).
Once you create your website with Shopify, it will automatically be optimized to perform well in search engines. So, you just have to change a few things to polish it up and make it work better
You can post unlimited products.
Shopify doesn’t limit the number of products you post on your online store. You can post as many products as you wish
Automatic integration of shipping rates into the website.
When someone adds a product to the cart, they’re automatically taken to the checkout page where they also view the shipping rates depending on the shipping companies available in their country.
Shopify has inbuilt email templates that you can use for email marketing. This helps in getting more traffic to your Shopify site.
It offers unlimited bandwidth for their websites.
This make the sites reliable and fast enough not frustrate customers who try to access them.
Shopify has 3 pricing plans that include the following;
The Shopify basic plan at $29 per month
This is the cheapest Shopify plan that is normally suitable for small businesses. On top of the $29, you will also be charged 2.9% + 30¢ per online transaction. So, the $29 is the subscription and these other fees are charged only when the customer buys a product from your site.
The standard Shopify plan at $79 per month
This plan is the middle ground for many people who cannot afford the premium plan but need to scale up their online stores. On top of the $79 subscription fee, you will also be charged 2.6% + 30¢ per transaction
Advanced Shopify plan at $299
This is the most expensive plan that is more suitable for bigger businesses that have big stuff numbers responsible for managing the site. On top of the $299 subscription fee, you will also be charged 2.4% + 30¢ per transaction when someone buys something from yours site
The major difference between these pricing plans is the number of staff members that are eligible to creating accounts for managing that particular site. For the basic plan you will be allowed to add only 2 stuff members, the standard plan allows 5 and the advance plan allows 15 members.
Why Shopify (pros)?
Here are some of the reasons why many people choose Shopify when it comes to building and managing their website design ecommerce websites.
It has in-built marketing tools.
The only way your website design ecommerce will make money is through getting enough traffic. Shopify knew this and it is the reason they made it easier for all the websites hosted on their platform to market themselves using the integrated tools within Shopify. Shopify makes email marketing easier through their email templates. You can also install Facebook tools like Facebook pixel that will help you monitor the behavior of traffic on your website to improve your Ad targeting.
They offer reliable customer support.
One of the things you always need to look at while choosing a platform to host your website is customer support. This is because once in a while you will run into trouble and you will need a technical person from customer support to intervene and help you out. Shopify customer support works 24/7. You can get in touch with their support team through a phone call, live chat or email and they will respond in a few minutes or even seconds.
Shopify is secure.
Shopify uses 256-bit SSL certificate to secure their websites. As an ecommerce website owner, one of your concerns should always be the security of the platform you are using to host important information about your business.
They have a wide range of payment gateways.
This makes it possible for almost everyone no matter their country to set up a Shopify store and be sure to find at least a couple of payment gateways that are available in their country.
They have thousands of customizable eCommerce themes.
The user interface of your website plays a key role in determining how long one will spend on your site. A great theme will attract lots of potential customer to spend longer time on your website and this will likely lead to more conversions.
Shopify websites are mobile-friendly.
Your website being easily visible on mobile devices is a plus as far as getting traffic is concerned. Most of the themes in Shopify are built to automatically make your content mobile-friendly once someone uses a mobile device to access the website.
Shopify supports blogs.
Most of their themes come with the blog section already integrated within the site. With a blog you can grow your website through great content writing services Australia that can get you lots of traffic from the various search engines.
Advance reporting systems.
Shopify will give you all the detailed information about your website without having to install any extra plugins if you don’t wish to. This information is important especially in making marketing and sales decisions.
They cut extra fees from your sales. Besides the subscription fees, Shopify will charge you a fee that is a percentage of the price you have sold your product if you don’t use their payment gateway. They charge is 2.9% for the basic plan, 2.6% for the Shopify plan and 2.4% for the Shopify advanced plan
How to create an eCommerce store on Shopify (step by step)
Step #1: Signup on Shopify
Their signup process is pretty straight forward. Simply visit Shopify and sign up to create your new store. On the first page for signing up, you will only be asked for your email address. After inputting your email, you will now be eligible to the free trial version. To get started with the trial version, you will have to enter a few more details like the business name for your online store, your names, address, country, contact, and some few details of the products you intend to sell.
Step #2: Set up your online store
After filling in all the signup information required, you will be redirected to the dashboard of your store. It will look empty at the start since there are currently no activities taking place on your store. So, you can start by setting up things like your payment gateways, shipping details, uploading a few products and any other basic information that you may find appropriate to add at the start.
Step #3: Install and edit the theme
For starters, you can install a free them if you don’t have money to buy the premium ones. Visit the Shopify themes store and choose a theme that blends well with your brand. While installing the theme, it is important you read through the reviews of the previous users of the theme to find out their experience about that particular theme. You can also preview the theme yourself and see how exactly it will look when you install it in your website. Remember a theme is what determines the basic user interface of your website. So, take enough time and choose one that will represent your brand in the best possible way.
After the theme is installed, you can start making basic changes to make it unique from other sites that used a similar theme. A theme will allow you to customize sections of the website pages, change colors, fonts, and many other user interface parameters. You may start with the basics like changing the color scheme, uploading your brand logo, changing fonts, etc. You can always change a few things one day a time because it is almost impossible to add all the details of your website UI in one day.
Step #4: Add more products to your online store
To add products, navigate on the left side menu and click products. You will be directed to the products page with an option of adding more products. Remember, customers love browsing through several products before making a choice of which one they need. If you don’t have enough products to fill up a couple of webpages you can opt to dropship some similar products from other websites.
Drop shipping is basically selling products of other sellers on your website and you earn by slightly inflating the price of the product. The difference between your price and that of the original seller is what you’ll earn. You can import products from other sites using plugins like Oberlo. It is safer to upload products from other platforms like Amazon, Alibaba or AliExpress after talking to the seller of the products. This will make the shipping processes to be a little smoother than when they are not aware that you are a drop shipper.
To make your store look organized you will also need to categorize your products. Categorizing also makes it easier for your buyers to navigate through the products as they try to find what they are looking for. You should also remember to price your products putting into consideration the payment gateway fees and the fees Shopify will cut if at all you don’t use their payment gateways.
Step #5: Add payment gateways
A payment gateway is basically an online payment method that allows customers to make payments for the products they buy on your website. To add a payment gateway, simply go to settings and select payment providers. Payment providers are already integrated within Shopify, so all you will do is to select the ones that you’re comfortable with. Make sure you choose one that is popular amongst your target customers but also makes it easier for you to withdraw your money.
Step #6: Add domain to your site
If you are using the trial version, this step may not be necessary. Your store domain name if you are still using the trial version will automatically be https://www.yourbusinessname.com However, this doesn’t look professional to your potential customers and you will need to purchase a domain name. You can buy a domain name either form Shopify or other domain name vendors like GoDaddy or Bluehost. After your domain name is fully registered, your website will now be live, ready to start getting orders.
Step #7: Test if your ordering system works
After setting everything up, it is important to test your ordering system through creating a buyer account and then trying to buy a product from your website. This is to enable you address any challenges that customers may find along the way while ordering products from your website. If all is fine, your store is now good to go. Congratulations!
Shopify has been trusted by hundreds and thousands of businesses around the world to build and manage their online stores. This is because Shopify makes it easy for even those with no technical skills to build their own stores using the inbuilt drag and drop tools. Their reliable customer support, friendly pricing plans and many other great features are also among the reason this platform is so popular when it comes to building eCommerce websites. If you intend to build an online store, Shopify will be one of those platforms that won’t disappoint you. Give it a try. Unless you want a more hassle-free option, we can schedule a quick call so we can provide you more options! Or simply look for digital marketing company in Melbourne.