If you are thinking about expanding your business with eCommerce, you are making the right move. E Commerce makes selling more innovative,engaging and most importantly, it grows sales. But what platform would you use to get started? In this week’s article, I’ll show you how to create an online store easily with Shopify.
How Does It Work?
Established in 2004, Shopify is an eCommerce solution that enables business owners to sell their merchandise online. There are generally three ways to do this; build an online store with Shopify, open a Facebook Store or embed product listing on your preexisting website.
1) Online Store
To get started with an online store, simply create a user account with a store name. On the user admin dashboard, you can choose from a variety of website themes which range from free to paid ones.
Theme customization is easy and you can change anything from design layout to your checkout point. Besides a product page, your online store will also have a blog feature which allows you to optimize for SEO through Page Title, Meta Description and exchange comments with readers. You may choose the subdomain from Shopify or use your own custom domain as the store’s address.
When adding products to your store, make sure you have this information ready as they are necessary for the shoppers experience as well as for search engine visibility.
- Product Title, Description and Images
- Pricing, Inventory and Shipping
- Product Categorization
The information will sync automatically and you’ll be able to see the product listing when you visit the store front. The next step is to add in a checkout system and then, you are ready to receive orders online.
2) Facebook Store
If your business already has some social following on Facebook, this eCommerce method is worth considering. To create a Facebook store, you must first read their sales policy as it would affect the way you process orders through the social media platform.
After connecting to a business page, Facebook will review your account. Once you have been approved, you will be able to create a ‘Shop’ tab on your Facebook page and start selling.
3) Buy Button
This method is great for businesses who already have a website and just wanted a simple eCommerce feature without having to relocate the entire site to Shopify’s hosting.
To create a Buy Button, you just need to select a product and copy the embed code. Then, paste the code in the HTML source of your web page and the front end would look something like this.
When customers click on the ‘Buy Now’ button, it would lead them to the checkout system for them to complete their purchase.
How Much Does Shopify Cost?
The Shopify solution is available in four types of packages – the Lite, Basic, Pro and Unlimited. It’s important to note that while the transaction fees varies, you can list unlimited products in all of them.
Here’s the breakdown of the different plans as well as the eCommerce features that they provide.
Shopify also offers a 14-days free trial where you can test out different features before deciding on a plan. They don’t require your credit card information so do check it out.
What Are The Pros and Cons of using Shopify?
For an eCommerce solution, Shopify stands out in many ways. Here are just some of the pros.
- Easy to set up without any designing or technical skills.
- Clean, professional looking and responsive themes for online stores.
- Contain features that are optimized for SEO.
- Extremely affordable. Even without a proper online store, you can acquire basic eCommerce features (the Buy Button) for as low as $9/month.
- Suitable for small, medium as well as enterprise business.
- Offers reputable technical support.
However, it’s not entirely a perfect software for these situations.
- All product sales are subjected to either a transaction fee or a credit card rate, depending on the type of payment system you use. The built-in payment system, which offers a lower rate, is only available in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK.
- To improve the eCommerce feature, you’ll need to install apps in which some are paid, thus increasing your overall maintenance of an online store.
So, Is Shopify Worthy of Your Time?
Out of the box, the Shopify solution is quite easy to use even for beginners and I think this software is a great option for those who want to start an ecommerce business either directly from an online store, through Facebook or from an existing website or blog.
However, after building an online store, you also need to promote it through various methods such as;
- Using keywords in the product SEO.
- Share it on social media.
- Create video tutorials to make your product/store more interesting.
- Write a blog to get more reader engagement.
- Do email marketing to showcase latest products or promotion.
- Use paid advertising on search engines or social networks to drive more targeted audience.
To learn more of these, I highly recommend that you check out Wealthy Affiliate University as it is the go-to platform for anyone looking to start an online business. They have some of the best tools, tutorials and even teach you how to build a website from scratch. Combining the eCommerce features from Shopify AND the training at WAU, you will be on the right track to create a successful online store.
I hope this article has offered you some helpful information. If you need any help getting started, just leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you.
“Overall the web is pretty sloppy, but an online store can’t afford to be.” – Paul Graham, YC
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