Starting an Online Business
Whichever level of business you are operating, you need to incorporate e-commerce as one of your transaction platforms. The world is now operating online, and if your business does not hop on this opportunity, you risk losing out on profitability and business expansion. However, your ecommerce success also depends on the sort of software you decide to use. Current cart generating software has overtaken the traditional way of making e-commerce portals. The modern cart generating software reduces time wastage, development efforts, physical server costs, and reduced staff costs. Shopify takes the world by storm by solving all of these. Let’s take a look deeper.
What is Shopify?
Before you commit yourself to use Shopify for your business, you must understand what the platform is and what it offers to your business. Shopify can be simply described as the one-stop-store for all your e-commerce needs. Shopify currently serves over 500,000 businesses across 175 countries and serves as the one-stop-store for any form of e-commerce.
Before we look at the list of Shopify’s features which can be overwhelming, let’s review a summary for a prior assessment if Shopify is indeed worthwhile to explore:
- Shopify is the full package; from web hosting to marketing tools (think email marketing, integration with Facebook Ads, branding presence, call-to-action popups etc.), backend product listing and management, frontend customer-friendly interface, a secure payment gateway with shipping calculation, and many more functions that simply makes online stopping easy and reliable, and online selling effective and efficient.
- Shopify users can create multiple web and product pages with its in-built online editor with ease and no technical knowledge
- It empowers businesses to grow in different places through its integration of local language support and customized online stores
Why Use Shopify
Has the summary above hooked you? Here are our 10 reasons in no order of merit:
1. Full Suite Host
Whether you are starting an e-commerce from scratch or transforming from offline to online, the process is tedious. If you are running on a thin budget, then all the more, thoughts and efforts need to translate to good results. Of course, it would always help if users had a certain level of technical experience and startup knowledge. However still, spare time is something that most startups do not have, much less an established brand. Shopify comes to the rescue with its fully online setup and hosted solution. This means users need not worry about the technicality associated with servers and databases. The online store could be managed just with a device (phone, tablet and mobile) and internet connection. Yes, you read it right! In fact, Shopify have an app version, making management of your store mobile-friendly. Most importantly, Shopify’s attention to payment gateways ensures businesses enjoy reliability and security in payment while your customers stops without worry.
2. Built-in Marketing Tools
Shopify not only provides the platform for selling, but also ensures your products could be marketed. Think SEO tools, email marketing, marketing automation, a dashboard which provides marketing insights allowing for targeting, retargeting etc., integration with Google Ads, Snapchat Ads, Instagram, Pinterest, Hubspot and even a Blog! Perfect for your content marketing strategy! With integration to some of the most popular social media such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, your store promotion could enjoy visibility across multiple channels. The all-encompassing built-in marketing tools simply makes the job of managing the business and store easy which reduces the costs in operating the business.
3. Support Availability
At any time when you hit a roadblock while setting up your store, you would be pleased to know that Shopify offers 24/7 technical support. If it is not urgent, hit their online Help Centre which provides lots of step-by-step help – some even with videos. Know as well that Shopify runs a forum with over 700,000 members. Ask and you will be surprised with how much help you could get with fellow peers!
4. Speed Plus Security
We know that the faster webpages load, the lesser likely that visitors will leave. We also know that when shoppers stay in a shop longer, the more likely they will buy. Both are applicable in online shopping as well. Hence, Shopify pays consideration to speed seriously. Over the years, they had made various upgrades among which, in increasing their number of servers globally and reduction of image file sizes. All these without decreasing security performances. Shopify’s security systems are able to detect and lock suspicious login attempts. It also has two-step authentication to add on an additional layer of security.
5. Customer Data Error Validation
With a few clicks, shoppers could easily make payment with their existing stored information. For new customers checking out, certain data fields contain validation detection which ensures the right data is keyed in such as phone number, email and card details. These reduces error in data being passed over to the Shopify store for processing, which simply means lesser failed delivery, lesser customer complains and enquiries, faster and secured checkout. The outcome is an all-round positive experience where customers are more likely to return for another purchase.
6. Features Add-Ons and Customisation
This is a very nice feature to have and totally makes Shopify stands out against other competitors. With a Shopify App Store, it has a huge collection of apps which could be downloaded, installed, and customized to the Shopify store to increase its existing list of features. Thinking of doing a ‘Sure-Win Wheel Spin’ promotion, How about a Claw Crane Pop-up? Or an automated back in stock alert? The App Store has all of it. Some apps even support up-selling and cross-selling, currency conversion, barcode labels and finances dashboard among others. If you wish to know what are some of the most popular, visit this Site.
7. Secure Payment Gateway
Customers might visit the store, but they will only purchase and entrust their payment details when there are secure payment options. Shopify has integrations with some of the most recognised payment gateway such as PayPal, Amazon Pay and Google Pay while they have their own gateway too. Shopify’s own gateway, called Shopify Payments, have no transaction fees and charges less on credit cards. In fact, a user does not need a merchant account to use Shopify Payments.
8. 14-Days Free Trial
What could be better than having a free trial to test out the features before buying? You only need to create an account with a few personal details, and you could literally proceed to setup your store. However, do note that a free trial does not allow the connection of own domain. Shopify will provide theirs in the format (which is equally presentable) like this: trialstore.myshopify.com
9. Professional Online Store
With ready to use themes, users can setup their store readily within minutes so they could focus efforts on selling and operations. If you are a startup, it is also recommended to choose a theme from their library and then edit them accordingly to create a unique branded website. Of course, if you are a developer, you are not left out too as editing the theme code is possible to create an even advanced look! If you are really keen to develop your site on your own without coding knowledge, you could always download a drag and drop app from their App Store.
10. Flexible Payment Plans
Shopify offers five payment plans for businesses to choose from depending on the desired features. Indeed, (look closely) it is five plans with a lite plan starting from US$9 per month and an Plus Plan starting from US$2,000 per month. To highlight, the lite plan does not provide any hosting or website management. It only provides users with a ‘buy button’ for them to add into their own blog or website. If you prefer to have a website, then choose from their other four plans. Shopify also allows plan cancellation and upgrade or downgrade at any time although with certain terms and conditions.
If you have not considered e-commerce transformation, you could be missing out on complementing your offline business presence. If you are considering, then one of your stops should be at Shopify. In this age of digital transformation, more and more businesses are done virtually. In fact, more than 50% of shoppers research online before committing to a purchase. Without an online presence, it is already disastrous, but without an online store, it is certainly doom because online research could always lead to online purchase! If you are not doing it, others are, and that is competition no businesses could afford.
How have an online store been critical or is your business still at e-commerce transformation? Tell us with a COMMENT below!
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