As a beginner, building an e-commerce store can seem overwhelming when you have no clue about where to start, but not with Shopify.
With the emergence of online store-building tools, the process of reaching your potential customers has become significantly easier.
While there are multiple e-commerce solution tools on the web, Shopify is an excellent option for beginners as it covers SEO performance, shipping options, payment processes, and more, without the use of coding!
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a leading e-commerce solution for small and medium-sized businesses. The website builder is packed with effective features to start your own online store. What sets it apart is its ability to run on its own. This means you do not have to purchase web hosting or install any tools.
All you have to do is choose a price plan and utilize the features of this “hosted” solution as long as you can access the internet and a web browser. Plus, you can customize your online store to meet your specific business needs.
Why Should You Choose Shopify?
Shopify was founded by a German youngster, Tobias Lütke in 2006 when he started an e-commerce solution to sell snowboards. Fast-forward to 2021, it has more than 800,000 online and physical stores around the world run by 3,000 employees. If an e-commerce solution can grow at this scale, they’re definitely doing something right.
The main reason for Shopify’s exponential reach is its combination of functionality and ease of use.
The store builder ensures all the merchants that their businesses are in the right hands. Plus, whether you’re just starting your business or planning to grow it, it has every possible feature you can think of. Therefore, without a doubt, you should choose Shopify to take your business to the next level.
SEO and Marketing Features
Shopify provides an array of features for both SEO and marketing. If you have an existing store but the traffic is extremely low, you can utilize the built-in SEO feature that it offers so that your business can be found on big search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Plus, you can customize the settings on the SEO feature with targeted keywords and URLs so that you attract the kind of customers you want for your business. A fun bonus is the advertising money you can obtain from Google as Shopify has partnered with this search engine. Also, with the discount code generator, you can promote your products on various platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
With Shopify, you can tag your products and provide direct links to them on Instagram. Also, you’ve got the option to integrate the email collection form.
Inventory Management Features
For any store, inventory management is crucial for a smooth business process. Shopify does an excellent job of managing your inventory with easy-to-use features. The initial setup is extremely easy. Once you have a collection of inventory, you need to click on the “Products” tab on the sidebar of your dashboard. Here, you’ll find options to add every possible detail about your products including title, description, price, barcode, as well as a specified SKU.
Also, there’s a selection of other features on this page such as Transfers and Gift Cards. The Inventory tab allows you to keep everything organized and clean. Plus, customers can also view SEO, shipping, or added imagery when they land on a specific product page.
Overall Advantages of Shopify Features
1. Offers One of the Biggest App Stores among E-commerce Solutions
Shopify offers hundreds of paid and free apps that will improve the presentation and functionality of your store. The e-commerce solution covers multiple categories like social media platforms, marketing methods, customer service, and more. Since everything is under one dashboard, it makes running your business extremely easy.
Plus, you get to add additional pages to your website whenever you want with the help of the incredible content management system. Running your own blog will be effortless.
2. Excellent Dashboards or Control Panels
Shopify allows you to handle everything starting from product listing and order processing to inventory management and payment in one dashboard. Through this, you can manage everything in one space without getting overwhelmed especially if you are starting a new business.
The e-commerce solution allows you to customize websites and install themes whenever you want. It also offers Shopify Partners according to which you can play around with new website versions without opening free trials again and again. You can also obtain commission every time you bring a new client on board by using Shopify.
3. The Site Has Something to Offer for Every Business
Finally, Shopify is a multifaceted e-commerce solution that has got in store everything a user can be possibly looking for. Whether you’re trying to expand the reach of your physical store on the web or you’re planning to open a website from scratch, Shopify is there to help you every step of the way.
This is possible because it either has the required tools built in the platform or it allows you to install it through the app. So, even if you’re looking for a certain tool that Shopify does not offer, you can install it through a free app and integrate it into the platform to meet your customized need for your business.
How Expensive is Shopify?
Given the number of useful features that Shopify offers in each of its plans, it’s surely a good value for money. Before you choose one of the following plans, you can try the 14-day free trial to see whether the store building platform meets your requirements. Plus, the trial version does not require any payment details, so there’s no added pressure to sign up as well.
1. Shopify Lite
Shopify Lite is undoubtedly one of the most affordable pricing plans that any online store builder offers. Fixed at just $9 per month, Shopify Lite allows access to the Shopify Interface where you can list new products and add valuable information including description, color, size, price, and more. Then, you can set up individual Buy buttons which you can share on any platform.
For example, if you already have a good reach on any social media platform, you can use Shopify Lite to extend that by publishing the Buy button on your page. With Shopify Lite you can sell digital products such as courses, guides, eBooks, media files, and more.
Plus, dropshipping is available on Shopify Lite as well. Therefore, if you want to add an e-commerce solution to an existing website and require a backend system to manage that, Shopify Lite will be the perfect option for you.
2. Basic Shopify
Set at $29 per month, Basic Shopify allows you to form a standalone store, unlike Shopify Lite. This plan offers an array of impressive features including unlimited file storage and an unlimited number of products, a blog module, two staff accounts, fraud analysis, abandoned cart recovery, and more.
In the Basic plan, you’ll have access to more than 50 paid templates (which start at around $100) and 10 free ones. You can utilize the built-in blog module to increase traffic in your online store which will lead to more conversions.
The Abandoned cart recovery is quite useful as well since it helps you recognize people who add products to the cart but do not proceed with checkout. Through the Basic plan, you can send emails to those people reminding them to purchase their chosen product without any additional marketing cost.
The Fraud analysis feature checks whether the customer has provided the correct CVV code, whether they have any fraudulence history, and if they’ve tried to purchase through multiple cards. Overall, this plan is suitable for you if you do not have a huge budget but you still want to build a functional store.
The Shopify plan is priced at $79 per month. It includes all the features from the Basic Shopify plan plus additional ones such as professional reporting, full point of sale functionality, gift cards, and lower credit card fees and transaction fees. The Point of Sale system is the most outstanding feature of this plan, through which you can acquire access to register shifts, staff pins, receipt and shipping label printers, and more.
According to the Shopify Professional Reporting feature, users can have access to sales reports, profit reports, and customer reports to get detailed information on where your business stands.
The gift cards feature that the Shopify plan offers is great for established businesses where customers can purchase gift cards for their friends and family from your e-commerce site. All in all, the Shopify plan is ideal for users who already have high volume sales or a physical store location, and want to take advantage of gift cards and discount codes.
4. Advanced Shopify
Next is the Advanced Shopify plan that is priced at $299 per month. With the high price comes a bunch of impressive features such as advanced report building, third-party calculated shipping rates, up to 15 staff accounts, and 8 store locations in the point of sale module.
With the advanced report building feature on this plan, you can form customized reports which you can access at any point. The third-party calculated shipping rates feature allows users to utilize the carrier account and have access to discounted shipping labels from Canada Post or USPS. You’ll also have access to the shipping rates from FedEx and UPS.
Therefore, if you are a seller who has to process a huge number of transactions in multiple store locations with a big employee body, then the Advanced Shopify plan will be ideal for you.
5. Shopify Plus
Finally, there’s Shopify Plus that will cost you around $1,500 to $2,000 per month. With this plan, you’ll have a dedicated manager for your business who will help you through the onboarding process, account management, and any additional support you may require. By using Shopify Plus, you can integrate more than 20 channels with your business website including Instagram, Facebook, eBay, Amazon, and more.
You can also take help from Shopify partners to bring your custom app solution to life. Plus, you can always utilize professionally built apps and plugins that the plan offers. This plan processes more than 10,000 transactions per minute. Shopify Plus is ideal for businesses that have high sales volume and require guaranteed uptime.
Shopify Pros and Cons
- Allows you to sell across multiple channels including websites and social media platforms
- Promotes the selling of digital products and service, as well as shippable goods
- All the themes and designs are mobile responsive
- Extremely easy to use; does not require any technical knowledge
- The Shopify Plan allows you to form a website with different languages
- Offers excellent inventory system
- Promotes 24-hour support team
- The stores are hosted by Shopify which gives them control over taking them down if they want
- Content needs to be manually reformatted if themes are switched
- Professional reporting is not available on all the pricing plans
Who is Shopify Suitable For?
To simply answer that question, anyone can use Shopify. While it’s known to be an excellent e-commerce solution for beginners, Shopify is suitable even for multi-million dollar businesses. An example of one of its satisfied customers is Harry’s Razors.
So, as long as you have access to the internet, an idea, and a product to sell, you can bring an online store to live utilizing Shopify. It’s a powerful platform packed with effective features that can be used to form stores of any size.
Shopify is an e-commerce building tool that has impressive features, a great range of price plans, and a huge app store. This is why it outshines its competitors. With that being said, you must stick to a price plan that works the best for you. Otherwise, you’ll just end up paying more for features that you may not even utilize at a certain stage of your business.
Want to start your ecommerce business? Give it a try.