Shopify is an eCommerce platform that can have you up and running in under an hour!
Bored of using fiddly or expensive tools and software to sell online? Time to give Shopify a try!
Over the past few years, Shopify has come out of nowhere and quickly become one of the most powerful and accessible eCommerce platforms online and they show no sign of slowing down!
With their stocks roaring and user base constantly increasing Shopify seems to always be doubling down their efforts to make eCommerce easier for everyone while also adding innovative features you won't find anywhere else.
If you are new to running a business online and want to setup your first online shop or you are a veteran who has been using one of the other popular eCommerce platforms or software over the years it's time to try Shopify and never look back.
The time you can save compared with using other tools and apps on the market will allow you to double down on your marketing efforts and focus on driving more sales to your shop.
Not only that, I think Shopify also packs more features in than any other solution with the massive bonus of things working and not having to deal with compatibility issues like you do with WordPress plugins and other software.
To top it all off you can start experimenting with Shopify for free, no coupon codes needed and then upgrade to a paid package when you are ready and earning money though there are some advantages to having a paid account from the start.
Benefits of Using Shopify
So why all the hype What are the benefits of using Shopify you might ask?
Well, there are a lot of advantages to using Shopify over other tools and many reasons why it is becoming the popular choice for web shops all over the world.
Shopify is suitable for both small businesses all the way through to major enterprises and is an affordable solution that runs in the cloud.
Setting it up is extremely easy and fast and you can have a basic web store with some products live in under an hour because it requires no coding experience or technical knowledge which is unheard of in eCommerce, ask a developer! You can customize the look, feel and content using a drag and drop interface and refer to an extensive knowledge base and documentation to help guide you along.
You can customize the look, feel and content using a drag and drop interface and refer to an extensive knowledge base and documentation to help guide you along.
There are thousands of apps available on the marketplace you can install to extend the functionality including Facebook store and messenger integration. Selling products inside Facebook Messenger conversations is an extremely powerful feature on its own.
Want to sell offline or at trade shows? There is even a Shopify POS (Point of Sale) system you can use that connects and syncs with the website when you connect back to the internet.
The sales reports and reporting tools available make keeping on top of your progress and finances a painless task and the customer support available is second to none.
There are very few limitations when it comes to Shopify and you can be reassured there are thousands of competent professional designers and developers online you can hire to assist you.
Connecting to payment gateways is a painless experience and pretty much every payment solution online is compatible including popular choices like PayPal & Stripe.
Shopify Inc is one of the companies online that are truly innovating, they even have a virtual reality app available for the Oculus Rift where you can demo T-Shirt designs for customers in the virtual world.
You can already connect your Shopify store to Amazon Alexa & Echo devices and have her read out your daily, weekly or monthly sales reports while you work on something else. Pretty impressive I think.
Shopify Templates & Themes
One of the great features of Shopify is the fantastic selection of different templates and themes aimed toward different aesthetic styles as well as industries and much more.
There are layouts and setups suitable for a store selling between 2 and 10 of their own products in which case there is a lot more focus on the products. Then the other end of the spectrum which includes layouts for large web shops which require more of a catalogue-like appearance to present a large number of products easily and concisely.
The Shopify templates feature lots of styles from minimal and clean to more fancy and illustrative aimed at both masculine, feminine and unisex audiences and also templates specifically designed for the fashion industry, general retail, high end and luxury boutiques, product inventors, artists, photographers, beauty companies and many more.
The apps available within Shopify are what makes it really interesting. These apps allow you to extend the functionality of your website and store both on the front end for your visitor's shopping experience and also on the back end to help make your life easier.
These include a virtual assistant and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) app that can help guide you and assist you in the process of managing and optimizing your store for search engines and ensuring you stay on top of orders and the day to day responsibilities of being an online store manager.
Other notable apps include Oberlo which is an app that connects your store to AliExpress so you can setup a dropshipping website in minutes and in just a few clicks automatically import your products from AliExpress into your Shopify store adding the price difference using a formula to ensure you always profit on each sale.
Another is Printful, this tool allows you to connect to Printful.com and design your own T-Shirts, Dresses, Caps, Pillows and other merchandise to sell on your Shopify store. What's great about this is that you could mix products from other sellers and some of your own products you have designed into one easy to manage webshop.
Want to find out more?
Our Shopify Review
I have been using Shopify for several projects over the past year or so both for a few clients and for myself and even I am surprised to say have been blown away.
Mostly by how easy it is to use, you need little to no technical background to get started which is extremely impressive on its own but the ability to integrate other services, dropshipping via tools like Oberlo allowing you access to the entire inventory on AliExpress is a game changer. These days Shopify is one of my most valued eCommerce resources.
A lot of people want to see a comparison article comparing Shopify with other eCommerce solutions like WooCommerce, Magento or BigCommerce but this is really difficult to do because they are so different.
For one there is no exorbitant costs, nor an exhaustive setup and build process. The tool works more like eBay, BigCartel, Etsy and other ready made solutions that you can just sign up for, do some of the basic setup and you are pretty much ready to go.
The Shopify pricing is very reasonable with a 14 day free trial of the full features, you can use the free starter version without a domain name at the very start while you practice and work on getting things ready and then the basic package is $29 per month. You can upgrade later to unlock more features and possibilities if and when required.
Of course, you can completely develop a Shopify store from the ground up and you can invest weeks or months in tweaking and refining the functionality but while nice to do if you have the budget and time it's not necessary to do this to start making sales and earning some money.
I remember doing this the manual way nearly a decade ago using a Wix website and to compare the two processes isn't like comparing apples and oranges it's like comparing the abacus to an iPad.