As we talk with people about setting up a new site or migrating to a new one, we often hear, “Why Shopify?” And it’s a completely valid question. You’re investing your time, energy, and hard-earned money into your budding e-commerce business, and you want to know that you’re choosing the right platform.
When clients come to us ready to start an e-commerce business, their first question is always, “What platform do you recommend?” Many times they’ve heard a variety of different names thrown around and are feeling overwhelmed with possibilities and unsure of what they should choose. Sound familiar?
At Daybreak Commerce, we’ve built e-commerce sites on just about every platform out there, and we’ve concluded that Shopify provides the best of what our clients are looking for.
In this post, we’ll share everything you need to know to decide if Shopify is the right e-commerce platform for your business.
Shopify’s Features and Benefits
Easy Setup and Customization
There are various benefits that Shopify provides for your online shop—especially if you are a new business owner. With built-in tools and services available through the Shopify platform, managing your business has never been easier. The first advantage of Shopify is its simplicity. The whole platform is designed to be user friendly and take the hassle out of setting up and running an online product-based business.
Shopify offers templates (known as themes) to get you started building your online store and the ability to fully customize your setup. Oftentimes, new sellers get bogged down in setting up everything—the technology and business itself—but Shopify helps create a smooth setup for even those who might not be as tech savvy. Depending on your comfort level and what you hope to accomplish, you may choose to hire a professional web designer to bring your vision to life. This is recommended when you’ve exhausted the basic customizations and need to make changes to the underlying code of the site.
To expedite the setup process, Shopify offers a multitude of themes that fit a variety of product categories, from jewelry to food and beverage to clothing and more. Shopify offers a few free themes (like the Express theme) if your budget is a primary concern. These themes are simple yet powerful, built with everything you need to get started selling online. Shopify’s theme store also offers a huge selection of premium themes which require a small investment, usually $200-$350. These themes are built by professional development teams with a variety of features and functionality built in and out of the box.
Functionality Extensions Available
Similar to other hosted e-commerce platforms, plug-ins (known as apps in Shopify) are available to further customize and extend the functionality of your shop. These apps can be used to improve customer service, shipping, accounting, inventory, and more. By integrating the right apps, you can consolidate the management of your business and keep things in sync, leaving you with more time to focus on growing your business.
While some apps are available for free, many require a monthly subscription fee, much like running a brick and mortar business such as having to pay for services. These apps are optional, but by choosing the right apps for your needs, they have the ability to make running your website so much easier. Otherwise, you will have to spend time doing it all yourself or paying someone else to accomplish tasks that could be handled for you by an app.
Built-in Marketing Tools
Shopify offers a variety of built-in marketing tools that will help you run your business. One of the most useful is the customizable abandoned cart campaign. When customers place items in their cart but leave without completing a purchase, they’ll receive an automated email encouraging them to head back to the site and complete their order. You can personalize this with branded messaging and include any additional offers.
Shopify also offers the ability to create, manage, and track coupons. Customers love getting deals and are likely to buy from your shop if you offer some sort of deals/coupons on occasion. Another great tool is the ability to easily optimize your pages and listings for search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial to any successful webpage; so, it is no surprise that it is also imperative for your store. The more traffic to your store, the more likely you are to make a sale.
Discounted Shipping Rates
Using Shopify as your e-commerce platform gives you access to discounted shipping prices from all the big name companies like USPS, UPS, Fed-Ex, and DHL for international shipping. Because you will get these discounted rates, you may be able to pass those savings along to your customers. Free shipping or reduced shipping costs often entice people to purchase from your store over another.
If you ever have any issues or questions—no matter the time—Shopify offers support via email, chat, or phone. They have a team dedicated to both customer and technical support. In addition, Shopify’s help center includes a community forum where both users and professionals work together to answer questions and solve problems collaboratively.
Along with the 24/7 support comes security and peace of mind. Shopify offers secure payment gateways, has an included SSL certificate, and flags orders that have a higher fraud risk. All of these features help keep your shop and your customers safe.
Ready to Open Your Online Store?
To briefly recap the benefits of using Shopify as your e-commerce platform, Shopify offers:
- A turnkey e-commerce platform
- Support for a blog alongside your online store, which is a great tool for content marketing
- Tiered subscription pricing
- A huge selection of themes available (typically $200-350 each)
- Scalability for both large and small product lines
- Built-in payment processing, including options for PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, etc…
- Everything you need to run an online store is built-in
- Helpful blog, how to articles, and videos
- Integrated marketing tools, analytics, and reporting
- Paid and free third-party apps available for extended functionality
Shopify is a great platform to get your small online business up and going. There are so many pros to using it and even though it might seem too good to be true, we promise you, it is not. We are Shopify Partners and highly recommend it to our clients.
Please Note: There are subscription fees associate with selling on Shopify. You can choose from their pricing plans to find the one that best suits your needs and budget.