Is Shopify The Right Place To Launch Your Online Store?
A number of reviews I came by for Shopify all mentioned how great and flawless of a system it was, so I decided to give it a try myself.
Here’s What I Found…
Although it is a wonderful platform in many ways, it is not perfect. So how does Shopify work? (learn how to Get Started using Shopify below.)
What Is Shopify
Shopify is an ecommerce (online) store builder that allows you to sell your products on a website of your own.
There are many advantages to ‘setting up shop’ online such as the number of people who can reach your product, affordable start up costs, and you can even begin running a website almost on autopilot after the initial work is put in.
I created my own account with Shopify to see what all the hype was about. The website’s back office (where you access, organize, and essentially build your whole website) were efficient and the support was awesome.
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Shopify is ideal for those wanting to launch an online shop, or if you already have a physical store, but want to continue to grow your business by selling your products online.
It caters to a wide range of industries such as art and photography, ebooks, electronics, food and beverage, jewelry, home and garden, furniture, toys and games, sports and recreation, etc.
Basically any sort of gadgets or widgets or physical products that you can sell, Shopify can help make this an easier process for you.
IF you know what you are doing and are familiar with website creation, you won’t run into many obstacles. Newcomers to website creation however may have a different experience using Shopify.
How Does Shopify Work
The whole idea behind shopify is for YOU to be able to build a user-friendly, profitable online store.
Building a website can be done with ease regardless if you know anything about coding or lack any programming skills. This is true today for any website builder.
I created my own account with Shopify and it was as simple as giving my email, choosing a password, and naming my store. Followed by a few other details such as name and address.
Next you are presented with a short series of questions where you can tell them a little more about yourself – if you’re new to online business, do you have an existing business anywhere, how much revenue does your business currently make, etc.
Insert those and Shopify goes to work and begins setting up your store…You can also see the pricing plan once inside (see below)
Then you’re in….
This is you’re back office, where you have access to tools and to set everything up, you can:
- Insert content (webpages & blogs), products images and details
- Organize your products into categories (makes it easy for prospective customers to find what they need)
- Manage your inventory
- Discount code engine (Compare similar items and insert discounts)
- Track customer and order details
- Install secure shopping cart (with over 50 different payment processors in different currencies)
- Set up customer accounts (so your customers can log in into their private accounts to manage their personal information such as address, credit card information, so it’s easier for them to buy next time)
- Sort your customers by location, money spent, etc, so you can better understand where your customers are from and their spending behaviors, so you can market better to them
- Manage multiple staff login – so if you have staff helping you, you can grant them different permission levels to help you manage your online shop
These are all necessary tools integrated into your online shop and back office. This is however where I encountered my first problem with the platform.
They don’t do a good job of explaining what to do next. There was not a system tour or any helpful tips on exactly what I should do to get the ball rolling with my new store.
With the Home tab selected they give only the slightest hints on what you “should” do, but I don’t feel it as being an accurate starting point. Especially for a newcomer to building a website.
Above is your “to-do-list” given by Shopify and as mentioned, I don’t feel it’s a good starting point at all for a beginner.
Adding a product is of course important if you’re going to be running an online store, but why is this first on the list?
I am still unsure.
Important things like where and how to title your page or even how to create a page are left out. How do you set up your own website, what type of content should you be adding, how to attract customers!! These major aspects were missing.
Don’t Fret – Start Here With Shopify!
For those actively using Shopify or considering opening up your own online store, I did a lot of digging in order to provide you with the best starting point to begin your own online store with Shopify! (feel free to bookmark and come back later)
The only useful Getting Started video:
Some more helpful items compiled – all accessible with a free trial:
Pros And Cons Of Shopify
- Shopify offers you over 100 beautiful and professional themes (templates), so your online store can look professional and appealing to visitors. This helps and builds credibility and trust right away. First impressions are meaningful online, believe me. There are both free and paid themes to choose from, I recommend to start with a free one!
- Shopify is very flexible with all of it’s tools and Apps to meet the needs of your customers and yours to create a great overall (and profitable) experience with your online store. While it will take some initial work and setup on your end, these tools and Apps help you in the long haul with running your online store on autopilot.
- True 24/7 support. This is a major bonus to anyone. There are going to be times you may need to reach out and ask for help, Shopify does a good job providing you that help. Yes, even at 2 in the morning. Contact them through live chat, and they even list 4 international phone numbers to call so you can choose the number fitting your region. Very resourceful to anyone building or running a business, you may need help most when ‘normal’ office hours aren’t running, Shopify is there.
- No Website Hosting, has to be done externally. Though Shopify provides you with just about everything you need, even choosing a domain name (website url), they do not host any websites. You will have to go through another source like HostGator for website hosting and monitoring.
- In addition to the monthly service fee, Shopify charges it’s customers a 1 – 2% transaction fee for their lower pricing plans, “Unlimited” plan is excluded. With the Basic or Professional plan you can expect to receive this charge. (Update: If you are using Shopify Payments, it will waive all transaction fees)
- Monthly fee for some Apps. As mentioned above, Apps are a key feature and provide additional functionality to your online shop. Many of which are not free.
Q: What is the Shopify website builder
A: It’s a platform allowing you to create an online storefront from scratch using a computer. Selling any products or good of your choosing.
Q: What is a shopify store
A: With over 200,000 businesses powered by Shopify, chances are you have purchased from a store built using Shopify, or browsed goods from one at least.
Q: What does Shopify do
A: It allows you to set up an online store to sell your goods. It lets you organize your products, customize your storefront, accept credit card payments, track and respond to orders, all from a CPU.
Q: What is better than Shopify
A: Though Shopify is great, I know of some better options.
Q: Is Shopify worth it
A: After taking in all the info provided here and any other research you may have done, only you can make that decision.
Q: Is Shopify safe
A: Shopify is indeed safe. Just expect to put in some time and effort into your online store before expecting results.
I feel Shopify is an excellent source for those familiar with website creation and are looking to bring and existing business to the online world.
It has all the tools and functions one would need to succeed at building a profitable website and business.
Below are examples of beautiful, active stores that were created using Shopify:
For newcomers to working online that are interested in ways to earn money from a computer, give WA a visit. It is hands down my top recommendation for building a profitable business online for any level of expertise (complete noob to advanced).
It offers the websites, support, hosting, training and tools you need and I can ensure anyone will learn and earn here. See my WA review, it is FREE to get started.
I’ll lay out some of the similarities and differences between the two below!
Did I leave anything out? Wanting to learn more? Leave a question below and I will be sure to respond.