Today, having an online store isn’t optional; it’s a priority, especially since the e-commerce boom brought on by the pandemic.
Thankfully, the barriers to participate in eCommerce have also progressively fallen for both sellers and buyers. And for the sellers, there’s more incentive than ever before to take their business online.
So, you’re ready to do this, and no doubt your first step will be to Google what your first step should actually be. You’ll be flooded with a host of eCommerce platforms, all promising good things. For a novice, it might sound amazing or totally overwhelming. And who needs that pressure when you’re already swamped with running your business – which means staying focused on your products – and all that admin that comes with that.
Either way, we’re here to tell you that there’s really only one platform you should consider: Shopify.
Here are 10 reasons why we think Shopify is the right solution for you:
Quickly launch your online store without the fuss of servers or the development costs that come with self-hosted platforms. The admin interface is clean and user-friendly, and pretty intuitive. You can also find all the help you need with video guides on the Shopify site. On top of that, Shopify has seamless plugins to help you set up tracking for your marketing campaigns, analytics for your customer funnel and email drips to help maximize customer lifetime value. Setting up a Shopify store with all the core technology ready to run can be done in only 1-2 days because the interface is so well built.
You also don’t need any technical expertise to launch a basic Shopify store. It easy to get up and running, and you have peace of mind knowing that Shopify’s hosting will be faster and more secure than what you could do on your own. Shopify also easily accommodate any spikes in traffic you might receive and takes care of all software updates.
As with any eCommerce store, there will be sensitive customer information, including credit card details involved. Shopify knows that your site needs to be fast, secure and always online. One of the significant advantages of a hosted solution is the reliability it provides. Shopify ensures regular server maintenance and upgrades to keep your store and shopping cart available at all times, with pages load quickly too.
SSL certificates can be enabled for your store to encrypt all data and pass it through a secure connection, plus Shopify takes care of PCI compliance for you (required when you deal with credit cards).
With mobile visits to websites now higher than desktop, it’s essential, not optional, to have a mobile optimized site. Luckily Shopify mobile is at the top of Shopify’s list too. All of Shopify’s themes are mobile responsive, and the platform includes a free built-in mobile commerce shopping cart, meaning your store looks great on all devices, and your customers can shop no matter where they are.
Make it your own
There are 160 themes to choose from (free and paid) in the Shopify Theme Store, plus hundreds more available on sites likes ThemeForest. And, if you are feeling brave, each theme is also fully customizable by editing the code.
Shopify’s app store offers tons of extra functionality that you can add to your shop. You can add reviews, loyalty programs, customer wishlists, get in-depth analytics, print labels and packing slips, integrate with accounting software, shipping programs and social media sites, not to mention all the marketing apps available.
It’s one thing to set up a beautiful online shop, but it’s not much help if no-one visits. Another of Shopify’s big selling points is its robust Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features to help your website rank higher in search results. You also have access to advanced analytics to tell you where your customers are coming from so you can tailor your marketing accordingly.
The app store gives you access to a vast range of marketing tools, including social media integration, product reviews and email marketing. Shopify also allows you to create discount codes and, depending on your package, gift vouchers too. Social media icons are included in all themes. Shopify Kit is also there to help, kind of like a virtual employee, recommending and executing marketing tasks based on your products, audience and store performance.
Abandoned carts, no problem!
Customers often place a product in their shopping basket but leave without actually buying it. According to statistics, over two-thirds of potential customers will do this. Shopify offers an abandoned checkout cart recovery service that automatically tracks and emails these potential customers to remind them to complete their purchase.
Payment gateways for the win!
Shopify has integrated with dozens of payment gateways, and it also offers its own solution powered by Stripe. If you choose to use this, you won’t incur any transaction fees, and you benefit from lower credit card fees. It also doesn’t require a merchant account to use.
24/7 customer support
Shopify offer tons of customer support. They are available whenever you need them, day or night, and their response time is reasonably instant, meaning your business is never on its own. You can get in touch via phone, email or webchat. There are also a number of community forums, extensive help docs in the Shopify Help Center and a range of advanced Shopify University guides.