Shopify & Ecommerce

There's been a lot of hype surrounding Shopify. In fact, it's become the one-stop go-to shop for online business owners.

But what exactly is Shopify?

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👇 Here's everything you need to know about this ecommerce powerhouse and what it can do for your business.

  • What Is Shopify? 💭
  • How Does Shopify Work 🧐
  • How Much Is Shopify? 💵
  • What Can I Sell On Shopify? 🛒
  • Pros And Cons Of Using Shopify 💁‍♀️
  • Who Uses Shopify 🕴️
  • FAQ About Shopify 🙋
  • Wrap Up - Should You Use Shopify? 🎁
  • What Is Shopify? 💭

    Shopify is an ecommerce platform that hosts online businesses and gives them all the tools needed to find, sell, and market products.

    It also easily integrates with traditional brick-and-mortar stores to manage inventory across different channels.

    Shopify is the brainchild of three entrepreneurs who, when they couldn't find an adequate online marketplace to host and promote their snowboarding gear business, decided to create one.

    Since its inception in 2006, the Shopify platform has grown to host thousands of businesses and has truly revolutionized the way businesses operate.

    With Shopify, you can create a store, find and add products, manage your payments, market your business, and manage relationships with your customers.

    Here's how it works 👇

    How Does Shopify Work 🧐

    Getting started with Shopify is so simple, you don't need any technical knowledge to get your business off the ground.

    We broke down the process into four easy steps:

    1. Create An Account

    Firstly, head over to Shopify.com where you'll see the following screen:

    Click on the "Start free trial" button and you'll see Shopify's "Get to know you" questionnaire.

    💡
    The series of questions will help them determine key details about your store such as the type of products you'll be selling, whether you're a first-time business owner, and if you're selling across multiple platforms.

    In the end, you'll be prompted for the store name you'd like to use, but if you're unsure, they do give you the option to add it later.

    Once you're done with the questionnaire, you'll need to let them know which country your store will be operated from (this is crucial for tax purposes).

    And that's it! you're ready to create your account using your email address, google account, Facebook, or Apple account.

    2. Set Up Your Store

    Once your account is created, you'll need to make your store look pretty and ensure the store's functionality.

    👉 Shopify offers a range of beautiful themes that you can choose from to get your interface looking the way you want it.

    You also have the chance to add a custom domain name (shopify provides a free one that puts your store name in front of myshopify.com), add pages to your site, set up your contact information, payment methods, banking details, shipping, taxes, and other administrative bits.

    These are all the backend processes that you only need to set up once. We created a comprehensive guide on starting a Shopify store to help you breeze through those steps.

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    3. Start Selling Online And In-person

    Once your store is set up and ready for business, you just need to add products and start selling.

    In most cases, you've already decided what items or services you're going to be trading. If you already have your own supplier or are creating the goods yourself, then you just need to add the product descriptions to your store so that people can view and purchase.

    💡
    If you aren't sure exactly what you want to sell or want to dropship on Shopify, then rest assured, Shopify makes that process relatively simple.

    Shopify's app store provides merchants with a range of product sourcing apps as well as reliable dropshipping suppliers. In fact, there are apps for sales analytics, liaising with customers, inventory management, marketing, and much more.

    It's also important to note that Shopify is not just an ecommerce solution, they have also made it easy to integrate your brick-and-mortar business with the Shopify POS system.

    Charged at an extra fee, you can turn an iPad into your physical POS device and use it to check out goods at your store.

    The POS app automatically syncs with your online store so you have multiple sales channels for your business.

    4. Market Your Store

    The great thing about Shopify is that it powers your store and makes starting a business super easy. The negative of that is, everyone else can use Shopify to do the same thing.

    So, how can you ensure that your ecommerce business is a success and that you're ahead of the competition?

    Marketing, marketing, marketing!

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    There are so many ways to advertise your Shopify store and promote your products such as:

    Email Marketing - By integrating an email marketing platform from the Shopify app store you have a tool that will manage, track, and help you optimize your email advertising strategy.

    💡
    Email marketing tools like Shopify Email, Klaviyo, Drip, and Sendinblue will help you boost conversion rates, automate marketing emails, set up abandoned cart emails, and improve customer loyalty.

    Social Media Marketing - Engaging your audience on social media platforms is a great way to bring awareness to your store. You can also use influencers in your niche to promote products to potential customers.

    💡
    Social media accounts are a great way to connect with your target audience and learn their lingo. Understanding the way your customers speak will also help with your content marketing texts.

    Paid Ads - If you have the budget for it, paid ads are an excellent method of drumming up business on social channels and through search engines.

    Whichever marketing strategy you use, you will be wholly supported by Shopify's integrations.

    Just searching for "marketing" on the Shopify app store produces 2000+ results of free and paid apps that you can use to aid your efforts.

    How Much Is Shopify? 💵

    To get started with Shopify, there is a 14-day free trial with no credit card details required.

    After the trial, Shopify has five different pricing plans on offer depending on the size and nature of your ecommerce business.

    Plan  Price  Features  Best For
    Shopify Lite (Starter) $5/month Add a "buy button" to your social media posts and bio Merchants who want to sell on social media only
    Basic Plan $19/ month
    • Full ecommerce platform
    • Unlimited products
    • 4 inventory locations
    • 2 staff accounts
    • 2.0% credit card payment transaction fees
    Startups and pop-up shops
    Shopify  $49/month
    • Full ecommerce platform
    • 5 inventory locations
    • 5 staff accounts
    • Ecommerce automations
    • 1.0% credit card payment transaction fees
    Medium to large-scale business
    Advanced Shopify $299/month
    • 8 inventory locations
    • 15 staff accounts
    • Advanced Reporting
    • Ecommerce automations
    • 0.5% credit card payment transaction fees
    • Third-party calculated shipping rates
    • Automatically calculated duties and import taxes
    Large stores with more staff 
    Shopify Plus From $2000/month
    • Create unlimited online stores 
    • Sell in different currencies and languages
    • Access to the merchant success program
    • 99.99% uptime for your site
    • Automate most of your processes
    • Manage your entire business and staff across all stores from one admin panel
    Large businesses with high sales volume

    🔔
    Note: Shopify also offers the POS add-on from the Basic plan upwards. When using this feature you can opt for the Shopify POS Lite which is free but very limited in its offerings or go for the more robust POS Pro plan which sets you back $89 per month per location.

    What Can I Sell On Shopify? 🛒

    Shopify merchants have a range of online businesses that can sell:

    • Physical products
    • Digital products
    • Gift cards
    • Services

    In 2022, some of the niches you'd want to look into for your store include:

    • Travel - The aftermath of covid has seen a large influx of people make up for the lack of travel in the past years. It's being called "revenge travel." This means an increase in sales for all travel-related goods and services.

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    • Food Items - Now that consumers have performed online shopping for groceries and everything else imaginable, they don't want to leave their homes for this task. The online shopping culture is here to stay, meaning Shopify businesses can make a lot by tapping into the food industry.

    • Health & Fitness - In addition to the traditional upsurge in health and fitness product sales in January (those resolutions), we are now seeing more people wanting to lead a healthy life every day. Things like yoga mats, smartwatches, and vegan products are top sellers.

    • Smartphone Accessories - You can never go wrong when selling mobile accessories as this market grows each year. The introduction of new device models, as well as new technical apparatus, means there will always be an extra accessory that people need.

    Pros And Cons Of Using Shopify 💁‍♀️

    Now that Shopify has cemented its place as a formidable e-commerce platform, a large number of competitor sites and apps have popped up. So, what makes Shopify stand out?

    Let's delve into the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself!

    Shopify Pros ✅

    • It's super simple to get started with Shopify even with no technical training or coding expertise.
    • Shopify provides advanced features that turn your store into a multichannel powerhouse.
    • Introduction of Shopify Payments, an integrated payment processing system with lower fees, while still having the luxury of using third-party-payment gateways.
    • A wider range of free and premium themes.
    • Low startup costs
    • Makes dropshipping a breeze
    • Mobile-friendly store designs
    • A range of integrations and plugins from the Shopify App store.
    • 24/7 customer support
    • Social media and email marketing management.
    • SEO tools

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    Shopify Cons ❎

    • Higher transaction fees/credit card rates unless you're using Shopify payments.
    • Shopify Payments is only available in selected regions.
    • Add-ons from the app stores can be expensive.
    From where we're standing Shopify has more pros than cons which is why it's so powerful in the online sales industry.

    Additionally, Shopify has improved with its offerings throughout the years, leading us to believe that when there are issues, they get attended to.

    Who Uses Shopify 🕴️

    Shopify is versatile and this can be seen in the different types of users it has. From small startups with pop-up stores and social media buy buttons to big wigs in the retail industry, Shopify powers them all.

    Here are some well-known brands that use Shopify for their e-commerce businesses:

    1. Red Bull
    2. Lindt
    3. Kylie Cosmetics
    4. Victoria Beckham Beauty
    5. Netflix
    6. Tesla
    7. Fitbit

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    FAQ About Shopify 🙋

    What is Shopify and how does it work?

    Shopify is an ecommerce platform that hosts online businesses and gives them all the tools needed to find, sell, and market products.

    Is Shopify free?

    Shopify has a 14-day free trial option, after which you have to pay for a monthly plan.

    Do you need a business license to sell on Shopify?

    No. You can start selling immediately without a license.

    Is Shopify better than Etsy?

    Etsy is a marketplace to showcase your products while Shopify allows you to create a store.

    What is Shopify Dropship?

    Shopify allows you to easily source and trade dropshipped products on your site.

    How many apps are in the Shopify app store?

    Over 3200 apps.

    What is Shopify payments?

    Shopify payments is an in-house payment gateway for processing customer payments.

    Is a Shopify store worth it?

    Shopify has great options for small, medium, and large businesses so it's definitely an option to consider.

    How much money can you make on Shopify?

    The average Shopify seller makes around $29 000 per year.

    Wrap Up - Should You Use Shopify? 🎁

    Shopify is an incredible platform for powering your online or brick-and-mortar retail store.

    If you're still wondering whether it's for you, let's recap the benefits:

    • Store builder with no coding required
    • Beautiful themes
    • Product Sourcing
    • Product management
    • Dropship products
    • Low monthly plans (Starter and Basic)
    • Marketing automation
    • Access to thousands of app integrations

    If you're looking for a custom solution for your ecommerce needs, we'd have to conclude that Shopify ticks all the boxes. They even offer Shopify capital to stores that want to start a business but don't have all their funds in order.

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