Shopify is well-known in the e-commerce industry as one of the easiest-to-use integrated hosting platforms. Using Shopify, store owners can quickly create a professional, clean, and fully-responsive site without any programming knowledge. The shop templates available are top-notch and specifically optimized for high conversion rates, and the servers and infrastructure have been designed with e-commerce in mind. This means that loading times, payment integrations, customizability, and even analytics are all superbly put together, ensuring you have everything you need to run a great online store.
Build and Run Your Online Store Effortlessly with Shopify
Shopify is one of the largest companies in the e-commerce sphere. In fact, it’s as big as Amazon! But you might not have heard of it at all since it’s the engine behind hundreds of thousands of independent online stores, and not a selling platform with a name of its own.
Shopify’s platform is full of features that makes it quick and easy for anyone to create an online store. After selecting a theme, use the dashboard to add products, configure your store’s shipping charges and tax, and integrate your payment gateway (100 payment gateways from all over the world are compatible with Shopify!)
In addition to organizing products by categories, you can create a collection of select products from across your inventory. For example, create a collection named “Wedding Gifts” or “End of Season Sale” and include any product from any category in that collection.
If you sell your products in person as well, Shopify can integrate and synchronize your point of sale and online store, allowing you to manage your entire business from one dashboard.
Shopify Themes Are Easily Customizable, Even Without Coding Knowledge
Shopify offers free and premium themes, so you are sure to find one that best suits your business. Even after selecting a theme, several additional styling options are available to give your site a one-of-a-kind look. Within the dashboard, fonts and colors for the site’s main components can be changed with just a few clicks. More advanced users can get into the minutiae of customizing every aspect of their site by accessing the CSS and HTML files.
Using familiar drag and drop technology, the home page can be effortlessly redesigned. Don’t want the slider where your theme placed it? Just drag it to your preferred location. Rearrange, delete and add sections, until your front page is just how you want it.
One of Shopify’s most impressive customization tools is the ability to create custom templates and then assign these templates to individual pages. While this requires coding knowledge, it allows for an even more customized look between pages.
(Note: Availability of features depends on the plan purchased)
SEO: Shopify uses customizable H1, title, and meta tags for every page and product on your site. Additionally, you can customize previews as you want it to appear in search engine results.
Analytics: Depending on your plan, there are several types of analytical reports Shopify can generate. These reports deliver important insight into which products are selling (and which ones aren’t), where your visitors come from, and how they found your online store, as well as other information integral for creating an effective marketing plan. Google analytics is also easily integrated into your store.
Gift Cards: Shopify allows your customers to purchase a gift card in any amount you set. The cards are created with unique codes and delivered to customers instantly via email.
Discounts and Coupons: Create coupons that offer discounts for a specific amount or percentage off, free shipping, etc.
Downloadable Products: Customers can order and download your digital products right from your online store.
Shopify Shipping: (only available for stores based in the USA and Canada) This feature displays real-time shipping charges from several carriers for customers to select at checkout. For an additional charge (which gets lower as plans price up), this feature can be used to generate and print pre-paid labels for shipping.
Import/Export: Easily import or export products and customer information using CSV files, or one of Shopify’s importer/exporter apps.
Product Images: Like many shopping carts platforms, several images can be uploaded for a product. The Shopify feature that takes it up a notch, is the ability to assign an image to a particular product option (e.g., color), which then becomes the product’s featured image when selected by a customer.
Extensions/Apps: Enrich the Shopify experience for you and your customers with numerous third-party apps that seamlessly integrate with your store. These apps can add features such as marketing, social media, and customer service, among others.
Abandoned Carts: Recover missed sales by automatically emailing a prefilled cart link and customized message to customers who don’t complete their purchase.
Shopify’s dashboard makes it easy to view all the components of the front and back end of your store in one place. From here you can configure your store’s settings, view order and customer information, add/delete/modify products, and design your site.
Instructions are straightforward and uncomplicated, using familiar icons and drag and drop technology. In the event you need additional help or information, support is easy to find.
Customer support at Shopify is as good as it gets!
While Shopify is intuitive enough for you just to dive right in, there are several options available when you do need help, Watch Shopify’s video tutorials or find answers quickly by entering questions into the search field and scrolling through the returned results. Support is also available via chat (24/7), Twitter, email or phone.
Additionally, there are discussion forums and an “E-commerce University” with free tools and resources to help successfully grow, launch and build your business.
Three Payment Tiers – Three Options for Your E-Commerce Store
Shopify offers three level of e-commerce plans. Each higher tier of pricing offers additional features and lower payment processing fees. You can upgrade your plan at any time as your business grows.
All plans include hosting, an SSL certificate for secure checkout, as well as an unlimited number of products, file storage, and bandwidth. The optional Shopify POS (Point Of Sale) for in-person sales is available for an additional fee and will integrate with any of the plans.
When using a third-party payment gateway to process credit cards, Shopify charges a percentage-based transaction fee for each order. This percentage is highest on the least expensive plan and decreases as plans level up. If you use Shopify as your credit card processor, there is no transaction fee on any plans.
Using Shopify, store owners can create a professional, clean, responsive site quickly without any coding or programming knowledge. Products can be added either through the back end or by importing an existing product database. Store settings for taxes and shipping are easily configured to get you up and running quickly. The back end is easy to navigate, and support is immediately available.
For owners of an existing brick and mortar store, Shopify’s Retail Package integrates their in-person and online presence so information is shared and accessible across the board.
With its many useful features and the ability to integrate third-party apps, Shopify offers you everything you could want in an e-commerce platform.
Gail Lobel Rand
Gail is a Technical Editor and Interviewer for Website Planet. Her first PC was a TRS-80 which required a cassette tape to boot up. Producing websites, emails, and banners combines her love for design, technology, and of course, writing.