With each passing day, the internet is fast turning into a bustling business centre across the globe. Every entrepreneur worth his salt wields a web presence and e-commerce is the name of the game in the present times. Nowadays, you can set up your e-store in minutes and capitalize on the vast marketplace offered by the ever-expanding web world. There are a number of software options available out there to help you create your e-store.
But you need to be careful as plenty is not always a pleasant thing. If you really want to ensure a smooth-running and smart e-store you need to plan well. You need to pick the most amazing software tool or app available out there that will give you quick and lasting results. One such tool is Shopify which is a complete e-commerce solution for a variety of entrepreneurs looking to set up their shop in the web space in easy and simple steps.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a software platform or an application that will help you to design and build your own e-commerce outlet. With the help of this Saas (Software as a service) tool, you can create your e-store and also manage it in a seamless manner. This web application comes loaded with all the raw material that is needed to build a retail website and get it up and running on its feet. It has been created by Tobias Lütke, a computer programmer and an entrepreneur, who launched it in 2006 after failing to find a satisfactory e-commerce product to open his snowboarding equipment-selling online store Snowdevil.
Shopify is a complete e-commerce store builder that will set up the basic infrastructure for your e-store as in create the website layout and infuse it with the necessary functionality like navigation, check-in, shopping cart, payment gateway so that the customer can browse your e-store and do shopping in a smooth fashion. Shopify offers different templates to users to create different website designs and if you want you can also edit the design and functionality aspect if you know CSS and HTML.
Why Choose Shopify
Shopify is a cost-effective and competent web app that is user-friendly, secure, and customizable. It offers you a 14-day free trial, to begin with and offers five different plans to choose from:
1. Shopify Lite - Available for $9 per month, this is the most basic or the starter plan that lets you sell through your Facebook page. You cannot build a standalone e-store but you can sell goods on a pre-existing blog/site or use Shopify in a physical location to sell or manage your inventory.
2. Basic Shopify - Available for $29 a month, the Basic Shopify plan lets you set up a fully-functional and standalone e-store along with infinite bandwidth and file storage.
3. Shopify - Available for $79 per month, this plan offers the advantages of Basic Shopify along with professional reporting facility, gift cards, abandoned cart recovery option and 5 staff accounts facility.
4. Advanced Shopify - Offered for $299 per month, the Advanced Shopify gives the benefits of Shopify plan plus advanced reporting, real-time carrier shipping and 15 staff accounts.
5. Shopify Plus - The most premium package, its price is open to negotiation and offers all the above-mentioned features as well as advanced features related to security, APIs and fulfilment.
Is Shopify the best e-commerce platform?
There are numerous e-commerce platforms available in the market and therefore, it is natural to ask if Shopify is the best among the lot. Well, Shopify has many competitors but it is clearly one of the frontrunners. It is a complete e-commerce platform solution that offers some very favorable features.
1. Flexible - Shopify is a highly customizable e-commerce store builder that comes packed with multiple design tools and offers full scope for customization. Those who have knowledge of CSS and HTML can make advanced aesthetic and technical changes to create a personalized e-store.
2. Point of Sale system - Shopify is the only e-commerce builder which lets you sell products through a physical location as it comes embedded with a feature that updates sale and purchase in real time.
3. High degree support - Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform with a huge community of users which means that world-class support/advice is always available with mere clicks.
30 Things You Must Know About Shopify 2017
Shopify is a highly useful and impressive e-commerce web application that lets you crate your store in a jiffy and that too at a very small price. It offers limitless potential to entrepreneurs looking to kick-start their business as it is conducive for freelancers, small-time businesses as well as those operating on a large scale.
If you are still not sure whether to pick Shopify or go for some other e-commerce app then here we bring a roundup of 30 things that you must know about Shopify 2017, which will surely help you to make up your mind.
1. Over 500,000 merchants across the world use Shopify as their e-commerce platform and the total merchandize volume of Shopify is well above $40 billion.
2. Shopify's shares witnessed an increase of 20% in their value in Sep 2015 when Amazon announced that it would close its webstore service for merchants and migrate to Shopify. In Jan 2017, Amazon announced integration with Shopify allowing merchants to sell on Amazon through their Shopify stores leading to a further rise of 10% in the shares of the e-commerce platform.
3. Shopify offers ten free themes/templates to users along with two to three variations in each template. You can also select paid themes from Shopify as well as other theme sellers and avail the various featured offered by these themes.
4. Shopify lets you sell from your Facebook page as well as a site or blog. It can also help you build a self-sustainable and fully-functional e-commerce store.
5. Shopify is an affordable and cost-effective e-commerce platform. For a reasonable monthly payment, it provides plenty of useful features in exchange which can be used to increase the business and profits.
6. Shopify offers you five packages to choose from. You can select an option as per your budget and needs and there is plenty of freedom to pick as you please.
7. Shopify is a completely responsive e-commerce platform i.e. it loads well on small screens and smartphones. You do not have to worry about making technical changes to make your e-store mobile screen compatible.
8. Shopify comes embedded with a clean and easy-to-use interface that you can work with an easy manner. There are simple steps to follow and whether you have to tweak the design or add product images, you can do so with slight learning.
9. Speaking of product images, Shopify lets you create 100 distinct variants of a single product. For example, if you are selling t-shirts, you can allow customers to pick 100 different variants of a t-shirt with different size, color and style.
10. Shopify is a hosted solution and thus, you do not have to buy any web hosting or service or install any kind of software anywhere. Everything is readymade and you just need an internet connection and access to web browser to get going with your e-store.
11. Shopify allows manual addition of products to a category as well as automatic slotting of products in a category post creation of setup rules. This is a huge timesaver for e-stores with large number of products.
12. Shopify is perfect for dropshopping as it offers a wide range of dropshopping apps through which you can source and sell a number of merchandise from suppliers. Oberlo is a must-check in this regard. It is a dropshipping company that works exclusively with Shopify.
13. Since Shopify is a SaaS (Software as a service) tool, you only need to pay monthly fees for using it. Out of the five plans offered by the e-commerce platform, you can choose any according to your needs and you are good to go with your e-store operations.
14. Shopify is open to data transportation as in it lets you import and export data from a CSV file without any glitch. Even blog posts can be imported with the help of a third party app.
15. Shopify is completely customizable and there is huge scope for any user to tweak the features according to their e-store design requirements. From the layout to the font to the colors, everything can be changed in simple steps and those who have programming/designing knowledge can create high-level wonders with their skills.
16. Using the abandoned cart recovery in Shopify you can track those customers who went through the whole shopping routine only to abandon the picked products at the last moment. With the abandoned cart recovery, you can view such customers and send them an email or create an automatic alert for Shopify to send emails to such customers along with a link to their abandoned cart.
17. Shopify has a large app store with more than 2,000 apps available on its shelves like data tracking apps, reporting apps and apps in many more genres. You can make use of these apps to enhance the design and functionality of your e-store.
18. Shopify integrates with multiple payment gateways and also comes with a built-in payment system. If you use the latter, you do not have to bother about any kind of transaction fee but if you choose to go with a third-party payment gateway, you will have to pay a certain percentage of transaction fee or a monthly fee.
19. The good thing is that there are more than 70 third party payment gateways to select from and they are compatible with Shopify. It makes the e-commerce platform more usable.
20. Shopify is VAT MOSS (VAT Mini One Stop Shop) compatible. It caters to the sellers of digital products in EU as they do not have to create manual tax rules as the exact rate is calculated automatically.
21. Shopify is SEO friendly as it comes loaded with multiple SEO integrated tools. You can easily add keywords to the product images and pages of the site to attract more visitors and increase sales.
22. Shopify has various marketing tools integrated in its framework like discount codes, custom gift cards, store statistics, social media integration and much more.
23. Shopify comes with an app called Shopkey that lets you share product details with customers while chatting with them on Facebook Messenger, Snapchat or iMessage.
24. Shopify provides a wide range of reports covering search data, marketing, customer activity, abandoned cart and finance.
25. Shopify is secure and reliable which makes it a perfect fit for newbie entrepreneurs. It is a hosted solution and thus, the entire load of server maintenance and up gradation is taken care of by the service provider. You simply have to focus on your business and marketing.
26. Being one of the most popular and most-used e-commerce platforms, Shopify offers 24*7 customer support and there is a big community of users that keep posting updates on forums. So, help is always available.
27. Shopify is blogging friendly as it has a built-in blogging platform that allows you to create readable and rich posts in easy steps.
28. Shopify is also friendly with commenting tool Disqus. With little work, you can also embed it in your site and make it more attractive to readers.
29. Few months back in April, Shopify introduced a Bluetooth enabled debit and credit card reader for brick and mortar retail purchases.
30. Shopify suits a variety of business and industry verticals ranging from fashion to food to digital goods. It is a treat for startups and businesses from any and every segment taking baby steps in the e-commerce arena.
With so many good things associated with Shopify it goes without saying that it is an ideal e-commerce platform for entrepreneurs that has not just held its own amidst stiff competition but also promises to evolve and get better with time.