Shopify is a platform that allows you to set up and manage your own website. It is a subscription service perfect for running an online store. The best thing is that is is incredibly easy setting up a Shopify store.
You simply need to sign up, add your store name, select your theme (some of which are free). Then you can add your products, plugins, payment options for customers and start adding information to your website. It is that simple.
You could have your online store set up and running within a day ready for your first purchase. I would highly recommend this platform especially if this is your first website as it is very easy to use and has more than you need to run a successful online store. You also have a free 90 day free trial, which gives you plenty of time in setting up a Shopify store. If you set your store up and realise it’s not for you, you can always opt out and not have to pay a penny.
setting up a shopify store. Pros & Cons
- Don’t need Web Hosting
- Easy to integrate POS (Point of Sale) and Online Sale
- Little to no knowledge of coding needed
- The platform is specifically designed to build an online eCommerce store.
- Can install plugins that help the sales funnel and increase sales
- SEO friendly – built-in SEO features to help organic reach
- Can sell across and integrate multiple platforms (e.g. Amazon, ebay, etsy etc).
- Pre-existing template to use
- Fast loading speed – increases with higher plan
- Powerful Marketing Tools
- Reporting metrics on best performing products
- Mobile Friendly
- Good pricing for all the features you get
- Wide Range of apps (a lot of which are free) to help drive sales
- Growth opportunities with upgrade plan features
- The basic plan only offers several free themes. Most themes are paid
- Some essential apps do cost (however, you can normally find good alternatives, free or cheap)
Here is a deeper dive into the Pros and Cons of setting up a shopify store.
Shopify Pros & Cons
1. You don’t need to know how to code.
For most people, like myself, coding is not easy. You have to do tons of research and watch a load of “how-to” videos. However, with Shopify, they really do have pretty much everything covered in terms of providing top-class store themes that don’t require any coding.
Some of these themes and plugins do cost but you can get a lot of high quality free ones. I have personally had to learn some basic coding (for example) how to add security badges in a product page. Something like this below, to help create trust. But this was quite simple to do even for me.
2. Can integrate Physical and Online Store with POS (Point of Sale) system
If you have a physical store it is easy to integrate with your online store. With Shopify’s POS (Point of Sale) system, you can integrate this into your physical store so that you can manage your inventory, sales, customer data etc in one place.
Those who decide to sign up to this feature will receive everything they need including a receipt printer, Cash drawers, a card reader and a socket mobile barcode reader. Therefore, if you have a physical store, setting up a Shopify store is definitely a good option for you.
3. Easy to install apps/plugins to help manage and grow sales
Within Shopify, you have an app section where you can download apps that will help your business. There are certain apps that you will need, including email marketing plugins, cart abandonment apps. If you want to build a strong sales funnel and automated retargeting then you will need to install plugins.
4. SEO Friendly – built-in features
Shopify has its own SEO optimization features built in to help website performance and google rankings. However, in order to start climbing the rankings on google you can’t rely on these features. You need to educate yourself as much you can and put in the ground work to see results. Shopify does give you the basic features like most other website platforms. It is up to you then to create good content e.g product descriptions etc. Some of these features include:
- Meta Descriptions
- Meta Titles
- Common URL’s
- Product Categories
- Editable Image Tags
These are all provided, which some other website building platforms do not provide. Again this takes the legwork out for you so that you don’t have to study loads of coding etc. Shopify does it for you!
5. Can sell across multiple platforms all integrated into one interface
On Shopify, you can integrate your amazon, ebay or etsy all within store. This way you can manage all of these seller accounts within the Shopify platform. For instance, you can link your amazon account and manage product listing and order fulfillment on Shopify.
This way, it helps you to manage your inventory across all platforms. You can also link your Facebook page to your Shopify account. This feature allows you to sell products directly on Facebook whilst automatically updating your sales and inventory.
6. Fast Loading Speeds
Your website loading speed needs to be fast in order to improve your site’s google ranking and also so that you don’t lose out in potential sales. Lowering your web loading speed will significantly lower your bounce rates and keep users on your website, increasing your chances of making a sale. Amazon calculated that increasing the load time by even 1 second would cost them $1.6 Billion in sales every year. Shopify has built-in features to help keep a low load time.
7. Good Pricing for what all is included
For the number of features you get with the different plans, Shopify is definitely worth the cost. You could run a very successful store for $29 a month. That is really good given that you don’t need to buy a web host or worry about creating a website using coding. It is all pretty much done for you. You can start adding your product right away with ease.
You could set up your store with Shopify within a good solid days work. The plan upgrades also provide you with good growth opportunities and extra features. Also, the themes are mobile-friendly and with so many people now shopping using their smartphones, this is an essential feature for your business.
1. Most Themes are paid
Despite several store themes being free, most of them are paid. This is not to say that you will not find a good free theme, but you may need to invest in a theme that suits your business better.
2. Many apps are paid
Again, there are many apps that are free; however, like most things, the best ones are not. This is not to say that you can’t get good apps for free. With new apps being born every day, there are also good free/cheap apps that can do just as good a job as the more expensive ones. It is down to you to research the apps, read reviews, trial and error with apps in order to find the best at the lowest cost.
Conclusion – is shopify right for my store?
Shopify is the most popular ecommerce platform for starting off. I have used it and can tell you that setting up a store with shopify is incredibly easy. You can create integrate sales funnels using extra plugins, most of which are free or very cheap. By integrating email marketing and sales funnels you can build a automated sales powerhouse.
In order to get traffic to your store you will need to learn SEO, paid ads (namely Facebook) and how to build your social media organically. So there is a lot of work you need to do when starting off in order to gain traction and build your empire. It has a 90 day Free trial so try it out and get the hang of it, start running ads and see if you can make your first sales.
If you need extra help setting up a shopify store, contact me and I will help.