The easiest route to enter the eCommerce world is Shopify. Most Shopify veterans will tell you all the pros and cons of the platform, and from their perspective, what not to do on Shopify. Shopify is a dedicated web host that gives you all the tools you need to run a store online, under one roof. As long as you have internet access, you can run a store on Shopify. In technical terms, Shopify has hosted software as a service tool. But you require little to no coding experience to become a Shopify store owner. If you’ve been thinking of organizing your eCommerce site on Shopify, this handy guide gives you the full rundown of the Shopify world.
Top 10 things to know about Shopify
1. How much does Shopify cost?
Shopify has five plans to choose from:
Basic Shopify: Costing $29 per month, basic Shopify allows you to open an e-commerce website and blog. You can also sell unlimited products. There are no setups. Just a monthly rental. You are privy to two staff accounts and sales channels. The site is secured with an SSL certificate. Some perks include abandoned cart recovery, manual order creation, and discount codes. The transaction fees for the basic plan is set at 2.0%, which means two percent of every transaction goes to Shopify.
Shopify: the $79 per month plan, gives you all the perks of Basic Shopify, except that your transaction fees are reduced to 1%. In essence, you would be paying $50 more for a slash in the transaction fees. Do the math, and see which one you are willing to part with. Apart from that, you also get Gift Cards and Professional Reports from Shopify.
Advanced Shopify: This plan will cost you $299 per month and slashes the transaction fees down to 0.5%. But the biggest and most crucial perk in this plan is that you can integrate third-party calculated shipping rates. This feature may not be available in your country, and you need to check before you buy it. You will also get advanced report-builder with this plan. You can run your marketing analytics through the site to check on your progress. It also helps when you want to carry out A/B tests for Conversion Rate Optimization.
Shopify Gold: The enterprise-grade solution from Shopify, this plan is ideal for high volume merchants and large businesses. With this, you also get bank-level security and international currency transaction.
Shopify Lite: The lite plan is ideal if you already have an eCommerce platform set up through another host, but you want the perks of Shopify. The fees are $9 per month, and you can sell directly on Facebook or an existing website/blog. Shopify Lite allows you to turn any website into an eCommerce platform with a Buy Button.
With all plans, Shopify gives you 24/7 customer support, which is helpful for those who are new to the web development world.
2. How to set up your Shopify Store?
Setting up a Shopify store is a straight-forward process. The integrated guide on the platform takes you through the entire process one-by-one. But here are the basics you need to know:
Once you’ve signed up for Shopify, you will need to set up a domain (www.xyz.com). Choose a name for your business and add the billing information and currency of the transaction. You can also “staff” your online store – meaning you can provide limited access to anybody in your business.
Once you’re done with the basics, you have to start the process of making the store look beautiful. Choose a theme, add your products and organize the products into categories. Once that is done, you can choose your shipping settings and set up tax and payment gateways. The payment gateways part can be a little confusing, and it is best to read the guide on Shopify before you start this process.
Once it’s all done, perform some dummy transactions just to ensure that everything is running smoothly – from order creation to payment.
Once the above checklist is done, you are ready to launch! Remove the store password and give your customers access to the store. You can also use buy buttons and sell on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram.
Once this is all done, you can get to market your site online through social media platforms and SEO.
3. What Products to Sell on Shopify
If you already have a brick & mortar store, the answer is simple. Sell your items on shopify. But if you are looking into doing affiliate marketing, build your network first through blogging and find yourself a niche. You can also use dropshipping to find and import products to directly start selling on Shopify.
4. Best apps for your Shopify Store
Shopify allows you to integrate apps into your site (like plugins in WordPress), so that you can perform certain functions like running analytics, increasing sales, beautifying your store, and so on. Here are some apps that we thought you might like:
Kit: For those who are new to digital marketing, Kit is a great app to kickstart your online campaigns. You can run email marketing campaigns, Facebook Ads and get performance updates through Kit.
Order Printer: The bane of online stores is shipping. Order Printer aims to make this easier for you and helps you to print invoices, labels and packing slips to fast forward the shipping process.
Contact Form: A very crucial aspect of online marketing is that you provide a space for potential customers to send you queries, or notify you if something isn’t right with the product they received. Integrate Contact Form to help your customers find you online.
Rewards and Referrals by swell: If you want to start a loyalty-based rewards program to accelerate your online sales, bonuses & referrals have you covered.
Bulk Image Edit: A very important aspect of online selling is optimizing your website speed. While you can’t let go of using high-quality images, it will inevitably slow down the site. You Bulk Image Edit to speed up your website.
There are so many apps available for Shopify customers to help you with online selling. Make sure you try a few to see what works for you.
5. Best themes for your Shopify Store
Themes are the interior decorators for your online store. You must stay current in the game and use themes that suit the persona of your brand. Some themes we liked are:
- California: Simplistic grid layout theme with an inviting home page that’s nothing more than a hero image, logo, name, and CTA. What more could you ask for?
- Simple: A big hit for the minimalists, choose this theme if you have too many products and don’t want to make your site look too bulky. It is highly popular among men’s wear brands.
- Warehouse: Sometimes, it isn’t just about too many products – the problem could also be too many categories. If you’re stuck with this issue, go with Warehouse.
You can also shop for Shopify themes on sites like Themeforest.net to get you one step ahead in your UI/UX game. But no matter what, test your themes on multiple devices and see how they perform on mobile and desktops.
6. Power of Landing Pages
The lobby of your million dollars online mansion, landing pages are an invaluable asset to your online marketing campaign. Simply put Landing pages are the page on your site that your customer lands on when they come to your website through a Facebook Ad, Google Ad or an Instagram Bio. A Landing page is separate from your full website and can be used for anything from adding subscribers to your email list or providing a contact form for customers to ask their queries. Make sure that you integrate a landing page into your Shopify site, and have explicit goals set for it – lead generation, sales or customer engagement. Make use of content marketing guides, to plan the layout for your landing page.
7. Power of First Time Offers
If you want to be successful with eCommerce marketing, you need customer data. How do you get customer data? First time offers! Offer a discount to new users in exchange for their mail-id. This way it’s a win-win – They like you because you made an excellent first impression, and you want them because they’re open to receiving more emails from you!
8. Power of free shipping
60% of abandoned carts are caused due to expensive shipping prices. Before pricing your products, ask yourself this – would you be willing to pay XX amount more for the product or XX amount more for shipping. While free shipping isn’t always feasible, you can consistently offer it to first time users. Moreover, try and offset the balance between product pricing and shipping rates, and you’ll be much better for it. However, the best way to integrate free shipping is by offering it in return for a minimum purchase order.
9. Power of referral programs
Loyalty-based rewards programs are a thing of the past – you know, so offline! While you can do simply just this for your online store, you can extract more juice from the pulp through referral programs. Simply ask for a comment, a useful review, a tag on Insta with the product in use and provide something in return for the gesture. This will help you build your online presence, and your customers to keep returning to you. You can also integrate apps like Rewards and Referrals to make this process automated. Most importantly, if you plan to use influencers to sell your product, you’re going to need this program.
10. Power of coupon codes
Another tactic to extract the juicy data, coupon codes are much like a never-ending end-of-season sale. You must keep your customers engaged and informed through various online platforms – be it social media posts, stories or online marketing campaigns. Coupon codes can help you accelerate that CRO from 1% to 2%.
Whether you are new to eCommerce or just commerce in general, Shopify makes it extremely simple for you to get started on this journey. There are several resources and Shopify guides available online, which makes things simple. Once you get into the game, you can start running analytics full scale and automate everything from running ads to generating content in such a way that you just sit back and relax. The initial grind is all that’s necessary. Take things one step at a time, and you’ll make your mark in the online world.
Additional resources on Shopify Success
- Ultimate Guide to Selling on Shopify
- How to create your first Shopify Store?
- How to get more traffic to your Shopify store?
- How to get more loyal customers to your Shopify store?
- How to do Conversion Rate Optimization to your shopify store?
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