Shopify is definitely among the biggest names when it comes to online website builders. If you want to create your online shop, this platform can provide you with every necessary feature. You will be able to add everything to your website that ensures its growth and satisfies its customers. Since this is a theme-based platform, all you need to do is to pick an appealing template and start adding products to your shop.
Shopify takes care about every aspect of an eCommerce site. Payment processing, shipping, product management, website management and many other tools are available, enabling you to create a modern online business. The platform has a completely beginner-friendly interface. You can choose from over 100 pre-made templates. This is quite a lot, considering that most other platforms offer fewer templates.
From their extensive list, only 10 templates are free, but the rest of them are surely worth your money. They made sure that all of them can be found easily, enabling you to sort them by category or the type of layout. Each template is versatile, allowing you to choose from a set of styles that can be displayed before you finalize your choice.
Features in Shopify
Shopify comes with a range of professional features that can greatly improve your store. For example, your potential customers can create an account on your site, which is not only beneficial for returning customers, but also encourages any customer to revisit your store and buy. Users can also leave reviews to your products, recover their abandoned cart and choose from plenty of payment gateways. Shopify makes sure that the tax and shipping rates are correctly calculated for every customer.
Numerous features are available that you can use for your marketing practices. It is easy to give out gift cards, offer discounts and send out emails to all your potential customers. You can keep track of everything that recently happened on your site by checking out the reports provided by the platform and using Google Analytics. With the Shopify app, you can log in via your smartphone and accomplish tasks even while traveling.
No matter which plan you choose, there will be barely any limits. The amount of products you sell, the disk space and bandwidth are all unlimited. Also, there is no need to pay for an SSL because Shopify gives you a certificate as gift right after you sign up.
Plans and Prices
You can get the eCommerce software with an abundance of features for as low as $29 per month by choosing the Basic Shopify plan. This is recommended if you run a business where gift cards and advanced reports are not mandatory.
There are some slight transaction fees as well depending on the plan you pick. Shopify has its own Payments scheme and as long as you use it, there will be no transaction fees. However, if you pick a different option, they take a 2.2% plus 20p cut after every credit card payment on the Basic plan. In case you choose an external payment gateway, it will be only 2%. Also, you can have only up to 2 user accounts with this plan.
The second plan is called Shopify and it costs $79 per month. With this one, credit card charges are 1.9% plus 20p and in case you pick an external gateway, it is only 1%. This plan enables you to offer gift cards, get in-depth reports and register up to 5 accounts which are certainly useful if you work in a team. They can log in anytime and take care of all the tasks related to your online shop.
If you want some extras, you can always sign up to Shopify Lite for only $9 each month and enjoy the benefits. It enables you to sell products on social media sites and to take credit card payments. You will be also able to take orders and process payments in your physical shops. If you are interested, go ahead and take advantage of the 14-day trial that Shopify offers. It requires no credit card information and you will have plenty of time to decide whether you want the full version or not.
Working with the Shopify Dashboard
Signing up to a Shopify plan is quite straightforward. They will ask for basic information like your name, email, physical address and phone number and you’re set. Once you are done, you will be able to log in to your account and start working.
You will gain access to an interface that has the bare minimum of options to make sure no one gets confused. There will be a menu on your left with options like Orders, Products, Customers, Analytics, Discounts and Apps. If you don’t know what to do next, there is no need to worry because your first steps will be highlighted on the dashboard. It is a system that is completely designed with inexperienced users in mind.
Since their approach is quite minimalistic, you are probably going to get stuck occasionally until you get used to the platform. If you need help, you can always use the search bar which helps a lot of people to decide what to do next. It will start to suggest some interface options before you even finish typing the first word. For example, if you try to type in the word PayPal, the result will be instantly Payment Provider Settings. Then you just need to click it and it will take you to the particular settings section.
Creating Your Store with Shopify
At Shopify, adding your first product will be the very first step of building your new website. All you need to do is click the Add button and go step by step. An Add Product form will appear, asking for the typical product data that any other platform would require you to enter. You can provide the product description, images, tags, category, related videos, shipping, the price of the product and some additional info as well.
As you add the description to the form, you will be able to attach some simple tables or video content by copying the embed code into the Insert Video section. If you already have a product catalog on a different platform, you can import that too. When it comes to imports, you can import any CSV file into Shopify as long as its size is below 15MB. This might be a bit confusing task if you haven’t done it before, but there is a sample file that you can read where everything is explained.
It is rather easy to set up shipping on Shopify. The settings are all straightforward and you can add as many shipping zones to your site as you want. As usual, the shipping rates are calculated by taking the country and the weight of the product into account. If the rates are already calculated by a shipping app or the service provider itself, then the results will be imported from there.
With Shopify, adding a payment provider to your site is easy as pie. PayPal Express is the default service that takes care of the checkouts on the platform. Stripe also partnered up with Shopify, providing their payments system which allows your customers to pay via credit card. Additionally, Amazon Pay is also available or you can add alternative payment options which can be completely arbitrary.
Essential Tools and Add-Ons
Once you are done building up your online shop, it is time to take advantage of the tools and add-ons that help you maintain it and attract customers. It is no wonder that Shopify is one of the best platforms, as it has all the tools necessary to run an online business. As we already mentioned, it has a mobile app that supports both Android and iOS devices that can make it easier for you to accomplish regular tasks on your account.
You can easily add, remove or edit products on your site through the application. Furthermore, it allows you to process orders, refund your customers, consult with your team or send messages to your customers. As long as you and your staff have a smartphone in hand with the application installed, your business will be able to respond to customers at any time. The quicker the response, the more satisfied they will be.
There is an analytics service integrated into the platforms that keeps you up to date by providing business stats. You will know the total amount of products you sold, the best-selling products, the total traffic on your site, the different sources of traffic and much more. Shopify clearly has a lot of useful tools to offer, but we didn’t even talk about the extensive amount of add-ons available in the store.
If you need some additional tools, you can always visit the App Store and fill your account with third-party applications. These might come in handy if you want to improve your marketing, inventory management, reports, customer service, shipping and so on. For example, by downloading a social media app, you can allow users to register to your website by using one of their social media accounts. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
You can take advantage of all your social media accounts by downloading apps that automatically post new or best-selling products on them. There are also apps that display the reviews that people posted on social media about your official site. The majority of these apps are free. Even if you find a premium one, it most likely has some features that you can use for free. All in all, if you want to take your online shop to a higher level, you should definitely download every app that seems useful.