The holidays are upon us and eCommerce has quickly become America’s favorite way to shop. According to Statista, there was $501 billion worth of e-commerce sales (of physical goods) in the U.S. alone in 2018. This number is expected to reach $740 billion by 2023.
Why wait in hours-long, freezing-cold lines when you can shop in your comfiest pajamas and still snag the best deals? As more and more US consumers turn to eCommerce, businesses can sometimes struggle to keep up. Enter Shopify. If you haven’t heard of it yet, then you will as it’s quickly become the most popular platform for businesses looking to increase their online sales.
Why are we writing about it? We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about what it is and how to use it, so we decided to go a little more in-depth into some Shopify tips and tricks on what it can offer you and how you can use it to help increase your sales.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a platform that allows businesses to quickly and easily set up e-commerce sites either through custom design or through pre-designed templates. Platforms in the same family are WooCommerce, Magento, PrestaShop, OpenCart, and BigCommerce.
Shopify has created a tiered system for its clients, meaning that different tiers provide users with access to different e-commerce features depending on their monthly subscription plan. Shopify can help you manage your products, your inventory, customer payments, and shipping all through the online platform.
The Shopify Tiers
Basic Shopify is still packed with features, including the ability to set up an e-commerce website and blog, the ability to sell unlimited products, 24/7 support, the ability to sell on multiple channels (including online marketplaces and social media), discount code capabilities, manual order creation, and more. It’s available for $29/month. Basic Shopify will give you everything you need if you’re just starting out.
For the Shopify tier, you get everything from Basic Shopify along with gift card capabilities, professional reports, USPS Priority Mail Cubic pricing, lower fees on using payment providers outside of Shopify Payments, and more.
Advanced Shopify is built for scaling larger businesses. In addition to providing everything that the regular Shopify tier offers, Advanced Shopify also provides an advanced report builder, the ability to calculate third-party shipping rates, and lower credit card rates and payment provider fees.
The Benefits of Using Shopify
So why exactly should you use Shopify over the many other e-commerce platforms that are out there? The following are just a few of the reasons why Shopify is such a popular option:
- Shopify is easy to use. Shopify has a reputation for being incredibly easy to set up and use. No technical expertise or coding know-how is required to set up and use Shopify. Adding products, processing orders, creating discounts, and more are all easy to do with its user-friendly drag-and-drop editing tool.
Side note: While Shopify is intuitive to some extent, it’s not fool-proof so make sure you’re planning ahead and giving yourself time to test things out before you want to launch! They have a pretty good content library so most of the answers you need you can find there.
- Low costs. Because Shopify is SaaS (software as a service), you don’t have to pay for an on-site server or for additional space to host your e-commerce store. All you have to pay for is the subscription, the low credit card fees on purchases, low payment provider fees (if you don’t use Shopify Payments), and any additional app integrations you want to purchase.
Side note: Be sure to do your own research! Low costs can be subjective, so do your research to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck!
- Shopify is customizable. You can customize the look of your online store using a variety of different themes. There are paid themes available too for even more options. It can also be integrated with apps, which means you can add all kinds of features and functionalities to your e-commerce page.
Side note: Because most of these sites are template-based, there are going to be limitations to some of the changes you can make on your own! If you have a coder on hand, that might be helpful to help with design or functionality updates that may not come standard with the theme that you pick out.
- Great support. Shopify provides 24/7 support through email, phone, or live chat to ensure that your online store is running smoothly at all hours of the day and night and to address any issues that may come up.
Side note: I don’t hesitate to use the word “great” here because I’ve dealt with Shopify support and they are a delightful crew. I have not been paid to say this, they’re just legit nice.
- Shopify is secure. Shopify is secure. They even provide a free SSL certificate, which protects sensitive data (your customers’ names and credit card information) from being stolen.
Side note: Security is a HUGE concern for online shoppers, so, again, do your research! Make sure you’re protecting them and your business.
Shopify is mobile-friendly. Many customers choose to shop online using their smartphones and tablets these days. Shopify uses a responsive design to ensure that your online store can be properly viewed and used no matter what device is being used.
Side note: This is important! More and more people are shopping through mobile!
- Shopify boasts excellent performance. Shopify is built on an exceptional infrastructure, which means pages load incredibly fast and there is minimal downtime. In fact, Shopify boasts 99.9 percent uptime.
Side note: I have experienced performance issues with Shopify BUT those issues have been a consequence of adjustments made to a theme that disrupted the page load time and wrecked user experience. Make sure you pay attention to your page performance whether you make a change or not!
Shopify Tips and Tricks
If you do decide to implement Shopify in order to set up your online store, then keep the following Shopify tips and tricks in mind:
- Consider using Shopify Payments. If you use other payment solution providers, you’ll have to pay anywhere from 0.5% to 2% on every transaction. By using Shopify Payments, these fees will be eliminated completely.
- Consider their multi-channel capabilities. If you have a physical store, then you could be using Shopify POS, which will sync with your online store to ensure that your inventory and sales data is accurate and up to date.
- Use Shopify’s customer service resources. Shopify offers many resources in the form of an active community forum, webinars, video tutorials, and more that you can use to improve your eCommerce page.
- Use add-ons. The Shopify Marketplace contains over 1,500 add-ons. While you have to pay for these, many are well worth the investment.
Integrate Shopify with other marketplaces. You can integrate Shopify with marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon so that all orders are processed in Shopify.
Setting up an online store is an absolute must if you plan on growing your business. When it comes to e-commerce, you’ll find that there are few platforms that are as easy to use and as customizable as Shopify. Need more Shopify tips and tricks? We’re happy to help!