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A platform where you can sell almost anything to anyone? That’s Shopify in a nutshell. Once you unpack it, it's easy to see why it powers over 1 million websites and manages billions in sales.
Gone are the days of figuring out how to start an ecommerce website from scratch. With Shopify it is possible to set up a virtual storefront in a few minutes. It offers you numerous marketing tools to help you make your business a success right from the start.
Whether you're starting a small business or already making millions in sales, Shopify is an extremely powerful ecommerce website builder that will keep your online business empire running smoothly, tracking sales, and growing.
Shopify compared to the best ecommerce platforms
What makes Shopify different from other ecommerce platforms? To put it simply, it does a great job of managing all the moving parts of an e-commerce business by being accessible, versatile, and easy to use. While there are other ecommerce platforms like Wix or Bigcommerce, they have their limits on what you can and can't do.
Drag-and-drop builders, customer analytics, a built-in payment processing system, 24-hour support, and pre-built templates are just the tip of the iceberg when you're really looking at everything Shopify has to offer. But you shouldn't just take my word for it.
Check out all of our top tips to see how each ecommerce platform stack up to ensure you are making the best decision for your online business.
Who is Shopify best for?
Shopify is for anyone who wants to easily open an ecommerce store and increase online sales. Because of its all-in-one nature, it isn't just for one niche or type of business, which is great news for you.
Shopify: the pros and cons
While Shopify rules the ecommerce platform space, it may not always mean that it is the best platform for you. As with any other ecommerce platform, there are pros and cons.
Built-in payment processor: With Shopify, you don't have to worry about using a third-party payment processor. It's all built in for you and ready to accept payments once you've listed your products and hit the publish button.
With their payment processor, you can accept all major credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Amazon Pay and even cryptocurrency. This means one less thing to actively manage in your business and increases trust in your customers.
The ability to scale: With Shopify, you don't have to jump ship once you see your business growing in traffic and sales. It's engineered to support your business whether you make three million or three million sales a day.
Lots of instructions and documentation: Shopify does an amazing job of providing its merchants with plenty of how-tos, topic documentation, and an active Shopify community help forum of over 7,000 members to answer all of your Shopify questions.
Accepts different types of currencies: Using the Shopify Payments built-in gateway makes it easy to start selling in multiple currencies by adding a currency selection to your theme. If international customers want to see how much an item is in their currency, they can easily find out by selecting the appropriate currency.
Effective inventory system: Shopify gives you an accurate view of your inventory by keeping track of the number of items available when sold, adjusting the number of inventories, and viewing inventory history.
Free and paid apps and themes: As soon as you open a business with Shopify, a world with over 4,000 apps and over 100 business topics is at your disposal. Many of them are also free. This comes in handy when you're starting out on a tight budget.
Drag and Drop Theme Builder: The culmination of "easy" in building an online store is a drag-and-drop builder that Shopify uses to ensure that your store looks exactly how you want it – without drowning in endless code.
Excellent customer support: Once you start a business with Shopify, you can be sure that the customer support is second to none in terms of response times – especially 24/7 chat support. Personally, it got me out of trouble in a few minutes more than I can count.
SEO friendly: With Shopify, your products have a real chance of ranking in search engines by keywords once you've optimized your products and pages. This is made easier by providing numerous SEO-friendly features like setting alternative descriptions for images, meta descriptions and integrating SEO apps for advanced optimization.
Higher price for in-depth analysis: Shopify's Beginner Plan gives you access to a limited area of store analytics. To access in-depth analysis that can move the needle on sales strategy, you'll have to pay for a more expensive plan.
Transaction fees for payments to third parties: With Shopify, you can easily accept payments through the Shopify Payments gateway. However, if you choose to collect a payment through a third party, Shopify will charge you fees starting at 0.5 percent. This can affect your profit margins.
Limited blogging tools: No question about it, Shopify is the place to go to sell your goods. However, as a blogging platform, it is still limited as it only gives you the basic blogging tools for publishing content. If content marketing is a primary way of generating sales and traffic, this is an important aspect to consider.
Shopify offers three price points by default for small and medium-sized businesses that want access to a range of different store features. But it doesn't stop there.
It also offers a "Lite" plan for $ 9 per month, as well as a more powerful Shopify Plus plan that starts at $ 2,000 per month for large businesses that handle high volume sales.
- Basic Shopify – $ 29 per month
- Shopify – $ 79 per month
- Advanced Shopify – $ 299 per month
The basic tier of Shopify for $ 29 per month offers numerous dashboard analytics, fulfillment functions, and product list options. It's the best tier for new businesses just starting to figure out sales and branding.
This level offers an unlimited list of products and two administrator accounts.
When you're ready for the Shopify tier for $ 79 per month, you get access to five administrator accounts, a 2.6% + 30 ¢ credit card fee, and sell in up to two languages.
Finally, you have the Advanced Shopify option for $ 299 per month. This is a tier that you won't want to sign up for until you have a need for advanced features to scale your business and have a proven sales strategy with sustainable month-to-month sales. You get an online credit card rate of 2.4% + 30 ¢ and the ability to sell in up to five languages.
Note that each tier comes with a free SSL certificate, discount codes, unlimited products, 24/7 support, additional sales channels like eBay, Amazon, Instagram, and Walmart. There you get access to all of your settings, memory settings and a drag and drop theme builder. Before making any real decisions, we recommend checking the Plan Features page for a full list of features for each level.
Shopify Lite – $ 9 per month
You don't have or don't want a full-fledged business, but still sell products or services on your own website and on the Internet? Just use the Shopify Lite plan as an easy option to cover all of your bases.
The beauty of the Shopify Lite plan is how easy it is to add buy buttons to any website you want. You can accept credit cards anywhere – both online and in person with your POS app. You can create and send invoices, as well as custom orders, from the Shopify dashboard. Whatever you have updated about your dashboard will be updated wherever you have set up points of sale online.
Of course, you can also access support 24/7 via email or live chat. The Lite plan is a great option for an easier, no-hassle business. Not to mention, at just $ 9 a month, it's incredibly affordable.
Shopify Plus – $ 2,000 per month
More than 7,000 giants, including Rebecca Minkoff, Allbirds, Rothy & # 39; s, Good American and Heinz, trust the Shopify plus solution as the best, most cost-effective solution for their e-commerce needs.
The Shopify Plus plan is designed to support smaller, close-knit teams who handle millions of sales in one place: their Shopify dashboard. This means that you used to need 300 people to run your business, now you only have 30. If you move to Shopify instead of the traditional 6-8 months moving most of your business with Shopify, that time will be cut in half.
This may sound like an exaggeration, but it isn't – especially when you factor in some of the features of this plan.
Here are some of the best, and most powerful, features of Shopify Plus:
- 60% faster checkouts and 18% higher conversion rates
- Integrated AR, video and 3D media for each of your product pages
- Multiple stores, languages and currencies
- Extended discount and shipping costs
- 99.99% uptime so you never miss out on sales and traffic
- Avalara tax automation for automated current tax calculations
- Lots of automations and integrations at hand
You can forget about legacy business software when Shopify has all of the business power you need to sell successfully at scale.
So far, we've gone through the comprehensive list of features Shopify offers you to successfully host, store, and operate an online store. But everything I've highlighted so far is just the beginning.
Shopify offers a variety of additional tools – some for free and some for a fee – to aid you on your journey to ecommerce success.
Here is a quick list of additional Shopify tools you can access when you host a store on their platform:
- Facebook ad integration – perfect for driving paid traffic to your website
- Google Ad Integration – perfect for PPC campaigns for paid Google traffic
- Shopify Ping Apps – A free messaging app that allows you to reach more customers and chat with your team
- Business Name Generator – Perfect when you have no clue about your business name and need ideas
- Stock Photography – Access thousands of free stock photos for your storefront
- Themes – tons of free, paid, and customizable options
Did you know you can create email campaigns right on Shopify? Shopify Email gives you all the tools to help you track and create beautiful and fascinating e-commerce campaigns that will increase sales and retain your regular customers.
You can choose from a list of ready-made designs and push email analytics straight to your Shopify dashboard. You can add your logo and save colors for a more personalized email experience, as well as segment the people on your list for more specific campaigns.
The Shopify email feature is available on every Shopify plan. You get a monthly sending limit of 2,500 free emails and then $ 1 for every 1,000 additional emails. Not bad at all if you don't want to go through the hassle of adding a third-party email provider to your business that can cost you more in the long run.
You can easily buy a custom domain with Shopify if you don't want to buy it through a third party. Domain names through Shopify start at $ 14 per year and are auto-renewed every year.
This is a great option if you don't want to use the .myshopify.com name as part of your domain name.
The benefits of Shopify don't end in the online world. The point of sale option allows you to connect POS software, hardware, and Shopify's payment system to sell in person at pop-ups, retail events, and more.
Once you've set up POS on your online store, you can purchase Shopify card readers and payment devices to start selling right away.
Include your most popular POS devices on sale
- The tap-and-chip card reader – $ 49
- The dock for your tap and smart card reader – $ 39
- The Shopify iPad stall – $ 149
- The Shopify Tap & Chip case – $ 19
But it doesn't stop there. Choosing Shopify POS devices goes beyond the basics and ensures that you have everything you need to sell in person with no payment issues. Due to well-thought-out built-in features like these, Shopify considers the crown to be one of the most famous and reliable ecommerce platforms out there.
The best e-commerce platforms
Choosing the best ecommerce platform to build your business and increase sales can be overwhelming. Check out my top list of recommendations for ecommerce platforms to make sure you have all the tools and features you need.
- Wix – Best for flexibility and customization
- Squarespace – Best Ecommerce Platform for Creatives
- BigCommerce – Best for medium to large stores
- Shopify – Best All-in-One Ecommerce Platform
- WooCommerce – Best for WordPress Websites
- OpenCart – Best for selling digital products
- Ecwid – Best for integrating with your current platform
All in all, Shopify offers a reliable ecommerce platform with tools and features to make sure you keep it up and running, whether you're a growing business or managing millions of sales. Because of the ease of use, tools provided, and pricing, Shopify is one of my top recommendations for starting a business in any niche.
Try Shopify free for 14 days and start building your business.
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