If you have products you would like to sell online, you need a venue. Do you think you should open an online store? If so, is Shopify the best ecommerce platform? Here is some information about Shopify that will help you make your decision.
Product name: Shopify
Price: Basic: $29/mo; Shopify: $79/mo; Advanced: $299/mo.
Owners: Tobias Lutke, CEO; Daniel Weenand and Scott Lale
Overall Rank: 4.2 out of 5
Shopify was founded in 2004. In 2015, Amazon selected Shopify as the preferred migration provider. Amazon now allows merchants from Shopify to sell on Amazon.
Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows you to open your own online store. To learn if this product is a fit for you, there is a 14-day free trial.
HOW IT WORKS
With Shopify, you can set up your store by using a checklist of steps to get started. Here is a summary of the steps:
- Pick a plan
- Add a domain you purchased elsewhere
- Choose your design/template/theme
- Add products, page content, payment options, etc.
- Find customers
You will find instructions for how to accomplish all of these steps. A “menus and links” page teaches you how to organize products, collections, web pages, store sales or blog posts so customers can find them. Then, a section of pages and blog posts defines these and teaches you how to set them up.
Dynamic checkout buttons will accelerate checkout, with a “buy it now” and “buy with PayPal” button.
You can upload files, images and logos. There are instructions for doing so.
When you set up online store preferences, you can edit title and meta descriptions, add tracking codes, enable or disable the password page and enable reCaptcha for checkout protection.
A fully featured search engine is provided to allow customers to search your site.
A backup system is available.
FEATURES YOU WILL GET WHEN YOU SET UP YOUR SITE
Shopify uses free or paid themes, though there are a limited amount available. There are 10 free themes and 61 that you must purchase.
There is an assortment of free and paid apps available that you might need to expand your business and make it more functional.
A great feature is a free credit card service. Shopify allows you to accept credit cards directly. You will need to do no set-up and no third-party verification is required.
You can set up an online store or you can sell in person by using Shopify’s POS (Point of Sale) system.
Varied Training Avenues Available
There is a Shopify blog for business ideas, growing sales, product updates, and founders’ stories. There is also the Shopify Academy, which gives on-demand courses, live workshops, and has a library of free resources. The Academy has many training modules available on a variety of subjects.
I signed up for Shopify some time ago, though I’ve never opened a store. One feature I really like: Nearly every day I receive a post from the “Shopify Digest” that covers some facet of online ecommerce. They are on topics that all of us involved in online marketing can find interesting and valuable. This is a very nice feature.
The Shopify Academy has many training modules on a variety of subjects. There are experts available to help you launch your business online or, if necessary, to do a seamless migration of your shop from another platform. Design experts can help you tweak a template or design your store from scratch.
There are video tutorials, a shop community, and webinars. In the Shopify Community Forum, an external group of merchants will share skills and experience with you. They can even give you great feedback on other stores.
Classes include in-person events such as workshops, ecommerce guides, free books and articles about selling online. Podcasts feature audio broadcasts for entrepreneurs. Success stories are available to help motivate you.
I watched a Shopify training video on SEO. The presenter started with an interesting statement. She said that 60 to 80%of all traffic starts with a search. She says, and we can agree, that keyword research is the most important factor for SEO rank; in fact, it is the foundation of SEO.
I found her explanation as to how to find keywords a little confusing. Shopify uses Googles “Keywords Everywhere,” which, when I looked at it, seemed incomplete. You can find many keywords, but it doesn’t give you figures for average number of searches per month, traffic, and QSR the way our Jaaxy platform does.
The company has a number of good shopping features. They are as follows:
- Bulk order fulfillment and label printing are both available
- Every part of your order is tracked, so you do not need to copy and paste addresses
- You can choose to show the exact rates from carriers or you can offer a flat rate
- You are able to print labels from phone or computer using a thermal label and desktop printer
- Shopify targets the full gamut of business sizes, from startups to enterprises
- All you need is a computer, an internet connection and a good reliable browser
Comparison With Similar Companies
Which ecommerce platform is best for your online business? Here are three that I found with comparisons from a couple of sources. The first two came from https://www.merchantmaverick.com/reviews/shopify-review/
In comparison to Big Cartel:
A customer comment from Rob Starkman: The difference between Shopify’s and Big Cartel’s customer service is “like night and day. Customer service was decent, but not always sufficient. Shopify’s customer service has been nothing short of incredible.”
From Leo Wolff: “Shopify is the bees knees of ecommerce platforms. There is a lack of customization available in Big Cartel.
In comparison to Bigcommerce:
A commenter felt that with Bigcommerce, there is not enough help for those who don’t have HTML or CSS knowledge.
Another person didn’t feel like questions were answered when they contacted support. They felt like the staff was anxious to “close the deal.” The staff seemed to be motivated by earning commissions (comment from Brian.)
These comparisons between Shopify and Volusion came from https://www.stylefactoryproductions.com/blog/shopify-vs-volusion
Shopify’s user face is much easier to use
Shopify provides a wide range of free templates and has more apps available
There are no limits on products or sales to worry about
The drop shipping system is better, as well as the SEO features
Basic plan at $29/month is quite affordable
With a 14-day free trial, you can set up your store and pick out a payment plan later
Built-in speed and security
Excellent customer support; team is available 24/7
You don’t have to build a whole website
There is a built-in credit card transaction program, with no transaction fees
Their buy button allows you to use Shopify as a Point of Sale (POS)/inventory option
Awesome add-on apps
Requires a little tech knowledge
Limited ability to change checkout page
Not many themes
Does not have Jaaxy
Not worth it for selling a single digital product
SEO less complete than with WA
You don’t learn the process of building a website from scratch
Monthly price and add-on fees, especially advertising, can add up
You can’t do much customizing of your theme: What you see is what you get
I think the Shopify platform is a good one, and if I still had my store and wanted to sell my merchandise online as well as in a brick-and-mortar, I might well use it. However, I like being able to advertise other peoples’ products and not have to order, store, and deal with merchandise. Been there, done that.
I’m especially impressed with their training. Though Shopify does not have the interactive community that we do at Wealthy Affiliate, they do have many training offerings, designed to answer as many questions as they can. They also have a great shipping platform, designed to make that part of your job simpler.
Now that I am active on Wealthy Affiliate, if I wanted to open an ecommerce store, I’d do it right from the Wealthy Affiliate platform. Other platforms expect you to pay for advertising. At Wealthy Affiliate, that is not necessary if we choose not to buy ads. Our method of building SEO ranking takes us longer, but when we finally reach success, we’ll make more money.
In Wealthy Affiliate, we offer products and then use content marketing to draw traffic to our site. Because we have no advertising expense, we will make more profit per sale. When we write our content, we have the best keyword tool available, Jaaxy, to help us improve rankings. What’s not to like?
===>Become a Wealthy Affiliate member and multiply your advantages.