Do you have any products to sell? Have you been looking for a way to take your products online? Perhaps you create art prints, are a calligrapher, make dresses, specialise in creating tools or design toys, anything? Now there is a way that you can very simply make that into an online business – with Shopify
Or perhaps you know you want to create an online business, but don’t have any products to sell or even know where to start? Shopify can help with all of this as well. You can’t go wrong.
I will go into this in more detail right now with a shopify review.
Product name: Shopify
Website url: www.shopify.com
Price: LIte – $9 per month, Basic – $29 per month, Pro – $79 per month, Unlimited – $179 per month.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
What is Shopify About?
Shopify is any of the following 3 things:
Is it a place to build a website where you can sell your own products online
a place to build a website and use the training to FIND products to sell online
you can use it to add an ecommerce section or store to your existing blog or website
Creating a store online has to be one of the most daunting things you could try and tackle on your own. How do you build a payment gateway, how do you take credit card details. Isn’t there a load of merchant rules and regulations you have to adhere to? What about data protection? Not to mention how you functionally create a shopping basket and link related items. A massive headache. Believe me, I’ve tried it myself!
It’s an absolute minefield. Even if you are pretty au fait with WordPress, Drupal, Joomla or other CMS website builders, building an online store is a WHOLE different thing!
So, in steps Shopify. They have software that builds all of this for you and takes care of all the nitty gritty involved in an eCommerce store. This means that you can have a store as part of your website so you won’t have to use third party stores, such as ebay or Etsy, who take a percentage of your earnings. In addition, you can present a more professional look by have your own in built store.
Who is Shopify for?
Shopify can be used by complete beginners with no web presence or website experience or people who have an existing blog and want to add a store.
If you don’t have any products to sell and you are a new business, the training through Shopify helps you to find products that you can put on your store.
The platform is easy to use and intuitive although don’t expect to be set up in minutes. It takes some practice and getting used to. But this is a business afterall and you want to take time building it right.
What else do you get?
Besides the software to build your website and ecommerce back end, you get a whole host of other things when you join Shopify:
Shopify doesn’t leave you on your own, and this is one of the best points of the program. There is a whole host of training that is at your disposal when you sign up. It’s called the E-commerce University.
There are written guides and Video tutorials from which to learn. They help you with all aspects of building your ecommerce store. They help you how to develop your business plan, find the right products to sell, how to make your first sale, how to organise shipping, how to look into crowdfunding, how to build a facebook shop, how to create your own pop up shop, and then finally E-commerce technicalities and Dropshipping.
Apps and tools
There are different tools available depending on your price plan. See the pricing structure. Some apps are free but some you have to pay for, so make sure you fully understand the function and whether you need it before adding it, otherwise these costs can really pile up!
Have a look at some of the examples of the free apps that you can use.
- Purchase Orders
- Resizing Images
- Shipping Labels
- Gift Certificates
- QR Codes
- Calculating Advertising Campaign Effectiveness
How much does Shopify cost?
The best way to explain this this is to look at their cost breakdown. I hope you can see this ok, It was tough to capture the whole lot!? In my opinion Lite isn’t really much use unless you just want a website without the payment functionality, but there are ways to build a website for free instead of paying the $9
So I would recommend starting off with Basic and see if that works for you and you can upgrade when your business takes off. You actually get quite a lot with the basic package and certainly enough to start with.
- You get a 14 day free trial which I always like which means that you can try before you buy.
- Its very cheap to start, only $9 for the Lite membership, although I would only recommend the Basic for $29
- Its easy to use and very newbie friendly, although you will need to give yourself some time to get it all set up correctly
- There are plenty of designs to choose from with 100 or more template themes
- There are many different ways to organise your products in terms of layout and design within each theme
- Its responsive which means that it is mobile and tablet enabled, essential in these days
- All templates are built to be SEO friendly so they are optimised to be found through search engines
- You can design your store using a variety of their apps to tailor your store to your specific requirements
- The shopping cart functionality is in built regardless of your package level (excpet lite) its not an extra add on. It’s a fully secure set up.
- You can integrate with over 70 different payment gateways, so you can choose the ones you like.
- You can use your own domain so call you store what you like (this can be bought through your Shopify account if you prefer)
- You can set up email forwarding through the platform
- The training is excellent and plenty to get you started
- There are plenty of marketing tools to use to get going on social media etc
- Now you can choose a blogging platform too for a different style website
- You can add product reviews and sections for coupon codes and gift cards
- Google analytics is installed to allow tracking
- The support is brilliant, available 24/7 through phone, email or chat
- its your website and you can transfer it anytime you like although this isn’t straighforward, see below.
- It’s easy to use, but you will need some time to get to know the system, especially if you are new to website development. Each system has their own functionality and starting with ANY new platform will take some time to get used to.
- If you wanted to leave Shopify they provide your product information in a format that is not so easy to transfer. Your product data will be in a Csv file which is like excel so you may find yourself having to set things up again from scratch.
- You will be charged transaction fees from payment gateways
- There are various elements that you can add to your store to dress it up through their various applications, but each of these can cost extra, so be careful that your costs don’t get out of control
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Shopify is the best and most powerful way to create an online store. The templates are completely professional and can be tailored to your requirements. Your online store will look the business!
The help is excellent, which is what you need when you are building something so technical and if you are not an expert, despite the ease of use of their system, it is highly likely that you will need help.
You get a 14 day free trial which is plenty to have a dig around and see if you like it. I generally advocate products that offer this as this shows they have nothing to hide, and they feel that once you try, you WILL buy. A bit of product confidence, I like that.
And if you don’t have products to sell, they can help you out with this as well, as their training covers how to find these products in an area in which you are interested. So either way, it is definitely worth a try.
You CAN have that online business you have been looking for.
The ecommerce side of building a website is by far the most diffivult part, believe me, I have tried to build one from scratch, and having all this taken away makes the whole process so much easier.
In addition, Shopify is the market leader in ecommenrce website software, so you can be sure you are getting the best.
You can sign up here for your free trial.
I hope I have helped you find out a bit more in terms of what is Shopify about with a Shopify review. If you know anyone who has an interest in building an online store, share this article and it could help them!