The past pandemic has led to a situation where lockdowns, stay-at-home orders are seen in many countries, and millions of people are now taking up and reinforcing new online buying habits.
If you are, at the moment, having problems with your current business, or owning a big store but you want to create a website that can help boost your revenue and gain more customers, then using a proper online platform that fits your budget and strategic marketing plan is what you need right now, especially in this unfortunate period of time.
One of the leading E-Commerce solutions in the market that I would like to mention is Shopify, a big platform with over 1 million businesses in more than 175 countries around the globe.
For those who need to know more about Shopify or are confused with what services to choose for your online store, I hope this article can be helpful with an overview of this huge platform.
Related Article: What Do Business Owners Say About Starting Up Online?
I. What is Shopify?
Basically, Shopify is an e-Commerce platform or a third-party website builder that allows anybody to bring their business into an online space where they can promote and sell their products. And by doing so, they can reach a higher number of audiences in order to generate more revenue.
Shopify is reputedly known as an easy-to-use platform, so if you are a newbie to the online market, don’t worry because Shopify is designed to meet sellers at any level whether they are beginners or experts. And if you are running a small or medium-size business, you can consider Shopify as the first choice for your e-Commerce journey.
If you want to learn more, check out our playlist on Shopify 101.
II. How does Shopify help your business?
- Customize your online presence: Obviously, as a store owner, you want to design your own website, right? Shopify can help with that! It provides tons of templates to choose without having a big worry of coding and stuff if you don’t know anything about it. Sellers can customize their logo, text, images, colors and videos to make your storefront design with brand consistency.
- Help manage your business: By using the platform, you are allowed to access the admin panel where orders are processed, products are managed with prices, inventory, shipping. Shopify partners with around 100 gateways (check available payment gateways in your region) for you to accept many types of payment methods, which is easier for store owners who run businesses worldwide.
- Support your marketing activities: You can use Shopify analytics tools to stay updated with your daily total sales or how many customers are returning to your website and many other metrics, which are essential for further marketing plans. Also, if you already have social media accounts such as Facebook or Instagram, Shopify allows you to integrate them into your online store for selling directly on these channels.
And, if your business is facing any difficulties, Shopify has implemented many strategies and gives support in various ways for small businesses. Growave's starter pack on the must-have essential Shopify apps is worth checking out too.
Normally, there are common doubts on “security” of the business when store owners want to start their online selling space with a certain platform, which has raised to a BIG question below:
III. Is Shopify secure to use?
Both sellers and buyers are secured since Shopify is certified Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, which means Shopify payment transfers are protected, cardholder data are prevented from being stolen or leaked. You can learn more about PCI compliance here.
Shopify also provides fraud analysis features in the system whenever you are suspicious about any fraud transactions.
For European store owners or sellers who want to sell products to this big market, Shopify already built GDPR-compliant in the system to make sure customer data are completely secured and controlled by buyers.
IV. The Pros and Cons of Shopify:
Well, any e-Commerce platform has its pros and cons, and Shopify is no exception. So, before actually deciding to sign up for it, you should first consider both sides of this service.
- Easy to use. As mentioned before, you don’t have to know about coding or be a web developer to create your store. Shopify has them all for you to edit your website on your own (add products, promotions, sales, etc.). It provides hosting and available basic features for an online store.
- Fast loading speed. Many people will abandon their cart or stop surfing your website because of the slow loading speed. Don’t worry because Shopify is considered a great service with handling page speed at a global level.
- Allows you to sell on multiple channels. With Shopify, merchants can sell products on social media, Amazon, or by connecting to your Apps.
- Support in many languages.
- Great level of support. You can call by phone, chat, or use email to be helped by the Shopify team 24/7. (A+)
- Need developers for advanced customization. Since Shopify is not an open-source platform, and it uses Liquid code language, you will need coding experts to help customize your online presence with new themes.
- Costly add-ons. Though it seems that plugins are one of the great parts of Shopify because they can help you with extended e-Commerce solutions, most of the Apps will charge you monthly. So, carefully consider which apps could be worth to your website before adding more unnecessary costs to your business.
- Inflexible system for SEO. There are some strings added to URLs that are fixed when using Shopify. For example, if there is a blog page, it must have ‘/blogs/blog-category/’ in the URL. And so, it is not easy to create marketing content with the system.
V. Any Businesses are using Shopify right now?
There are many great examples of live stores with Shopify that could be mentioned such as Bluboho, Ratio Coffee, Ivory & Deene and more. Most of the stores have really easy-to-use interfaces and simple navigation bar. Plus, when entering these websites, you can easily access products with high-quality images and shopping carts with eye-catching CTA buttons.
2. Ratio Coffee
3. Ivony & Deene
And that, the ease of use is one of the strongest points that Shopify platform users love about.
VI. Is there a free trial on Shopify?
Right on the front page of Shopify website, you can see it offer you a 14-day trial without providing any credit card information.
After the period of time, there are 3 options for you to start the plan of your online business depending on your budget:
- Basic Shopify Plan – costs $29 per month
- Shopify Plan – costs $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify Plan – costs $299 per month
Learn more about Shopify Pricing plan here.
VII. Where to learn about Shopify and how to use it for free?
You can learn more about Shopify through the Shopify help center where there are many topics revolving around your online business such as products, payments, shipping, taxes, etc. There is also a Shopify Partner Academy that provides a great number of videos and courses which help develop sellers management and marketing skills to grow their businesses. Or, if you want to have a quick look at how to create a web store using the Shopify 14-day trial, check out my video below:
Shopify is a great e-Commerce builder service for many store owners who want to start their business online. Especially, if you run a small business and love to build your website with everything at hand.
In this ultimate guide, we'll go over how you can build, design a high-converting Shopify store, how you can get traffic and convert them to sales, and more importantly, how to build an eCommerce brand everyone will love.
Building an eCommerce brand is not as easy as it’s made out to be. Here is collection of insightful talks and discussions on everything eCommerce. Click righ here to explore: