What is Shopify?
Shopify is a popular ecommerce platform that allows you to create virtual stores and sell goods or services. It helps you to start, manage and grow your business.
It is specially designed for people who are not familiar with web development or graphic designing. So, there is no need of you to learn programming in order to create your online store. With Shopify subscription you will get everything necessary to start selling on your own website.
The best thing about Shopify is that you can use it for 14days free of charge, before you pay for subscription. You can explore the platform and decide whether or not it is suitable for your business.
During the free trial period you can try all Shopify features, customize themes and create your online store. After enrolling on one of Shopify’s paid plans you can even start selling in the trial period.
What are the benefits of Shopify?
Easy to setup:
Shopify offers an extremely easy and quick way to launch your online store. Creating the store does not require any technical skills, software and hosting is provided by Shopify. It also offers many pre-designed templates and these templates can be further customized as per your needs.
One the big advantage of Shopify is the security and reliability it provides. Shopify is certified level 1 PCI DSS compliant. It means that the owner and customers are secured at the stage of transactions and card data entry.
In addition every store comes with a free SSL certificate. SSL certificate ensure secure communication between your website and customers.
Shopify provides outstanding 24/7 customer support to its users. You can resolve all the issues by contacting support team via email, chat or phone. Detailed documentation and video guides are on Shopify site to help customers.In comparison to many other ecommerce platforms, Shopify’s customer support is reliable and easily accessible
Shopify App Store has wide range of free and premium apps. This store has plugins for every need an online store might have. There are apps for managing accounting, inventory, shipping, customer service and many more. Although shopify store comes with many features, these plugins can be used to improve the functionality of online store.
Own payment gateway:
Shopify supports all major payment gateways and also has its own payment gateway called shopify payments. Shopify does not charge any transaction fees if you choose to use shopify payments instead of any third party integration.
Abandonment cart recovery:
Shopify plans offer abandonment cart recovery feature which is a great tool to increase sales. It allows you to identify customers who have unfinished carts. You can then send remainders to these customers to buy the products that they have chosen but failed to purchase. Shopify also offers an automatic option, where shopify send emails to customers after every abandoned cart.
How to start your own online store with shopify
Step 1: Create Shopify account:
The first step is to sign up to Shopify. Visit shopify.com and click the “get started’ button to start your 14 days free trial.
Shopify will ask you to enter name, email and store name to move to next page . Fill out all the necessary details in this page and click ‘enter my store’.
Step 2: Add products:
After you click on ‘enter my store’, you will be taken to your store admin screen. You are now allowed to customize themes, add products, and add domain.
Adding products with Shopify is very easy. Simply on click the add product button, upload product pictures and input product information. To boost sales write detailed descriptions and helpful information about each product.
Step 3: Customize theme:
Next step is to customize your storefront to make it different from other Shopify stores. Depending on your needs you can choose free templates or premium ones. Before selecting a theme check demos, previews and reviews it holds.
After theme selection, you can personalize it according to your brand. Press the customize theme button and start editing. You will now be able to edit the code, add images, change text and do much more.
Step 4: Add domain:
The next step is to add domain name to your online store. By default your primary domain will be written as ‘examplestore.myshopify.com’, but you can purchase a custom domain or add custom domain you already own.
You can choose to buy custom domain from Shopify or by any third party service. Buying domain directly via Shopify will save your time and it will cost anywhere from $9-$14.
Step 5: Add payment gateway:
A payment gateway allows customers to make purchases on your Shopify store. To add this, go to settings and click the payment icon.
Shopify provides two alternatives for payment integration: Shopify payments and third party payment providers.
Step 6: Add shipping:
Go to settings and in settings dashboard click the shipping icon. Enter the ‘shipping from address’, this allows Shopify to calculate rates during checkout. You can add shipping zones, shipping labels, third party shipping features and choose shipping costs.
Step 7: Select a paid plan
Shopify offer 14 days free trial period, but you will have to upgrade in order to publish your store and start selling. You can upgrade anytime during the trial period by hitting the “select a plan’ button, present at the bottom of every page.
How much does it cost to open a shopify store?
There are five Shopify plans available:
Shopify lite is a great way to get started in ecommerce business. It is Shopify’s cheapest plan, providing opportunities for online and offline selling.
At just $9/month, you get all basic ecommerce functionalities. You can setup products and integrate them on your websites or social media.
Shopify lite does not allow you to build an online store, but you can turn your existing website or social media into online store using Shopify buy button feature. Offline selling of products can take place using Shopify point of sale app and a card reader.
This plan is ideal for people who already have a website or good social media presence and would like to sell products on these platforms.
Shopify basic plan costs $29 per month. It is the cheapest Shopify plan which enables you to create fully functional online store.
Basic Shopify allows you to post and sell unlimited number of products. This plan also includes other features like Two staff accounts, discount on shipping rates, free SSL certificate, abandoned cart recovery, fraud analysis and 24/7 support.
This plan is best suited for small businesses having limited budget or businesses that are new to ecommerce. Once you start getting huge sales, you can easily upgrade the plan and this will further reduce the transactional charges.
Shopify is the most popular and standard Shopify plan available for $79/month.
This plan comes with everything you get from basic Shopify plan. Additionally you gain access to Shopify POS, 5staff accounts, gift cards and professional reports.
Shopify plan is perfect for growing businesses or established businesses with low to medium sales.
Advanced Shopify plan is priced at $299/month. It includes all the functionalities of Shopify plan and 15staff accounts.
Shopify plan comes with two important features that are not included in the previous plans: Advanced reports and real time shipping rates.
Advanced Shopify plan lets you create your own custom reports and manipulate your Shopify data. In this plan shipping costs are automatically calculated by a carrier when an order is placed.
This plan is for businesses with high volume of online sales and wants to book shipments in the Shopify platform.
Shopify plus is the most expensive plan offered by Shopify with fees of $2000/month.
It includes many great features like customizable checkout, advanced Shopify apps, Merchant success program, advanced security and unlimited staff accounts.
Shopify plus allow creating clone stores along with the main store and you can add up to 100 themes to your account.
Shopify plus is ideal for high growth online stores and large scale businesses that require advanced features for growth and maintaining efficient ecommerce site.
How to Attract customers to Shopify store?
Strategies to promote your Shopify store:
The best way to market your store is by having your own Shopify affiliate program. Collaborate with people having popular websites to bring more customers to your store. The best thing about this program is that you pay affiliates only for successful sales.
Social media is a great platform to promote your Shopify store. Facebook is a good way to start sharing details about your store. Other social media channels you can consider are instagram and pinterest. Paid social media ad campaigns can also be used to increase the online presence of your brand.
Influencer marketing is a marketing strategy that brands use to promote their products by collaborating with popular social media users. Influencers or Social media celebrities are highly trusted by their followers, so getting them to promote your store will dramatically increase your sales.
Search engine optimization is the basic thing you need to get more organic traffic. It is the process of making your online store more discoverable to search engines and rank higher in search results.
One of the best ways to get more customers to your store is by offering sales and giving small discounts on your products. Discounts attract more people, as most people like to explore options before making a purchase.