Welcome to E-Commerce - Shopify

Date: 21st October 2020  |  Author: Sean Toomer

E-commerce basically means selling stuff online from a website. This could be from a hosted website such as Shopify or Wix, selling any products – e.g. jewellery, clothing or tech stuff.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a very popular product when it comes to selling online.

“Shopify is a complete commerce platform that lets you start, grow, and manage a business; create and customize an online store; sell in multiple places, including web, mobile, social media, online marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops; manage products, inventory, payments, and shipping.

Because Shopify is completely cloud-based and hosted, it alleviates worry about upgrading or maintaining software or web servers – therefore you have flexibility to access and run your business from anywhere with an internet connection”. https://www.shopify.com/faq

In short, Shopify allows you to upload products to a website and accept payments from customers via the likes of credit cards, paypal etc, they can also manage your inventory and deliver it to your customers.

Rise in Ecommerce

‘Global retail ecommerce sales will reach $4.5 trillion by 2021. More and more people are jumping on the bandwagon – whether they sell bath bombs or toasters (same thing really) to cute tops with kittens on – you can pretty much sell anything.

What sells?

Clothing and accessories (particularly womens) have tended to be the most popular over the years. Next is jewellry, home & garden, watches, sports equipment, phones and toys/hobbies.

Definitely find your niche as well as a USP (it will make customer loyalty better). If you sold bikinis, you could throw in a package of resistance bands or workout/nutrition guides to make your product stand out from the competition as you provide more value.
Shopify features

You can customise the look and feel of your store with themes – some free, some paid and adding features and functionality is easy via apps.

Nearly every country in the world supports Shopify, and it can be used in so many languages. Shopify supports selling in multiple languages from a single online store, allowing merchants to provide the same consistent shopping experience in multiple languages, ooooo.

There are three options – Basic Shopify (all the basics for starting a new business), Shopify (everything you need for a growing business) as well as Advanced Shopify (advanced features for scaling your business). All are at different price points and offer you different features to best suit your business.

You can contact people if they got to the last stage of the process (to the shopping cart) and if they abandon their cart – it sends them an automatic email. Some sites allow you to send through discount codes to make them come back. From shopify, you can sell on stores such as Amazon, Facebook, Instagram and Ebay.

Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is for more complex, higher volume business structures. Pricing starts at $2000 a month (over £1500 a month) meaning that it’s not ideal for start ups, micro/small business owners. Multi million pound companies use Shopify Plus.

Shopify Lite

Shopify lite, however, has monthly pricing as low as $9 (around £7 UK). Immediately this is way more affordable for micro/small businesses.
The Shopify Lite plan comes with Shopify’s standard features for the point of sale and Buy Button sales channels, the Overview dashboard, and the Finances report. Shopify Lite does not allow you to build an online store.

Your typical Shopify store

Sell physical products – post multiple photos, product names, descriptions, sizing and select pricing. There’s options for your customer to select colour, style, size etc and then they can add it to their cart and check out.

Store owners can add in a blog section – bloody love a good blog – which will add value and rapport to your business.

How much does Shopify cost?

Without any credit card information required, you have a 2 weeks free trial.

They offer different prices to best suit your needs. Plus, they offer discounts for signing up for a year rather than paying monthly – however, if you were to pay monthly then it could cost you between £22.94 (Basic Shopify) and £236.49 (Advanced Shopify) – prices as of July 2020. As the pricing goes up you have more features such as more users or professional reports. Many business owners are advised to get monthly subscriptions as you can opt out any time.

You can use your own domain name with Shopify or pay for one through Shopify or a third party.

Pros of Shopify

  • Very easy to use
  • Reasonably affordable
  • Can customise your store
  • Very visually appealing
  • In the app store, there are thousands of appealing features/add ons
  • The stores are very fast
  • 24/7 reliable customer service support
  • Very secure

Cons of Shopify

  • Apps can be very expensive (monthly subscriptions)
  • Customisation is limited – very simple – good for beginners – some people may want to be more creative.
  • Can’t really improve SEO in Google
  • Does not offer support with Tax and VAT – need to handle yourself as a retailer
  • They take a cut of commission per sale you make – for example 1-2% (depending on a number of factors).

What now?
Why not start your 14 day free trial and keep your eyes peeled for more blogs like this one. We do at least one every week.

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