This episode was surprisingly hard to plan out because I have so much to say about working with Shopifyand just how great it is a website platform for shop owners.
I have clients with stores on other website platforms and honestly, I wish they were all on Shopify. The Shopify platform can be as simple as selling a single digital product or robust enough to run a store with multiple locations including a pos system. It’s really the most versatile website platform for running an e-commerce website.
Today I want to go in-depth at some of the best features and reasons why your store should be on Shopify.
Alright, talking about all things Shopify today. This will definitely be one of many episodes that really dig into Shopify since it’s my area of expertise.
We have to start off with the current situation, at the time of recording this, it’s May 2020 and we are in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic. When this started, stores and businesses were forced to shut down in order to stop the spread of the virus. One of the things that impressed me right away is how the Shopify as a company stepped up to support its clients and potential clients.
It was crucial for so many businesses to move their operations online and Shopify was there to support them. They started offering the ability to sell gift cards to everyone, which was formerly something you got on their second-tier plan.
They also offered a longer trial period, changing it from 2 weeks to 90 days, so that you have a little more time to get your store set up for before you started paying for your subscription.
It was really inspiring to see Shopify take action so quickly to support their merchants.
Since those first weeks, they’ve continued to expand the ways they are able to help you as a shop owner and help you support your own clients. From things like touchless pos systems to options for local delivery and local pick up on your website.
It’s clear that the retail industry is changing and Shopify is here for the long run. They are making improvements all the time. If you want to check out more information about how Shopify is supporting store owners right now, head over to www.Shopify.com/covid19
Ok, let’s talk about just how powerful Shopify is as a sales platform. You can pretty much sell anything and everything on Shopify.
Right out of the box Shopify is designed for selling physical-products, so it starts out with everything to sell those products, including products with multiple variants.
And then you have the ability to add apps to give you more options for selling different kinds of things. There are hundreds of apps in the Shopify app store. You can set up your store to sell digital products, memberships, tickets to events, subscription-based products like monthly subscription boxes or magazines, courses using the Thinkific platform, even services if that’s a part of your business model.
It can do it all.
Let’s talk more about those apps, there are apps to help you with anything and everything. You can integrate your store with other software you use like your email service and social media.
The ability to link your store with all of the other tools you are using really makes your website a powerful tool for your business.
There are apps to make marketing your business easier. They are constantly rolling out new features, recently they added the ability to send emails through Shopify so you can use Shopify instead of something like MailChimp.
And there are also apps to offer upsells and cross-sells, and even make shopping easier for your customer. Like adding a live chat or the ability for a customer to create a wishlist.
I’m not joking, there’s an app for everything.
One thing I do like to point out is that some apps, I’d even say most apps cost a few dollars each month. There are many free apps. But to get some of these more robust features you usually have to pay a few more dollars per month.
Eventually, we’ll have to do a full episode about our favorite apps and which we install on every site we design. That will be fun.
There’s also a lot of things that are built-in that you don’t need an additional app for like abandoned cart emails, shipping profiles, and tax calculations. This stuff can be stressful, but with Shopify, you really don’t have to worry about it after you get set up once.
So many times, my clients are worried about all the steps, but once they see how easy it is to get set up, they breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Another one of the main reasons our clients love Shopify is that you don’t need to be super tech-savvy to use it. Creating a new product, a new blog post, and even a new page is pretty much all the same. The only difference is really where you find those different pieces in your dashboard.
You can definitely learn how to use Shopify, even if you feel a little bit intimidated by managing your shop. One of my core values is empowering shop owners to feel like they control their shop. So having the ability to add a product, run a promotion, or publish a blog post when you feel like it is important.
The part that’s a little more complicated is the design and set-up of the template but it’s truly not impossible, even if you aren’t tech-savvy. Which leads into talking about the theme shop.
The template shop is where you go for the design and layout of your store.
All of your brand settings are controlled by a template in the customizer. You really don’t need to know any code to customize your shop.
I recommend buying your template from the template shop on Shopify. There are free and premium options with a bunch of examples for inspiration. The premium themes are definitely worth the price, around $140-200. There are a lot of great templates in the shop.
The biggest difference between the free and premium templates is functionalities. The paid templates have a lot more features built-in, like expanded product pages or the ability to filter products.
All templates come with the ability to add it as a trial before you purchase it so you have a chance to dig in and see if it’s going to work for your business before fully committing.
All of the templates in the theme shop are well designed and created by approved Shopify developers, which means they also come with full documentation. You don’t have to figure it out all on your own.
You really don’t have to figure it out on your own because of the available support. Shopify store owners have access to support 24/7. You can call or email. There are also written and video tutorials for everything you can imagine.
But my favorite bit of support is the community forum. Every question has already been asked and fixed by someone else. The Shopify team even replies to the community forum questions, so it’s always helpful to start there when you run into a problem.
There’s also the support that you don’t see and hopefully never have to worry about is the technical support that keeps your website running and secure. Shopify maintains all of the hosting and updates. It’s also built to keep your client’s information secure, so you don’t have to worry about PCI compliance.
This type of stuff is honestly a huge headache and keeps me up at night worrying for some of my clients who aren’t on Shopify.
Another one of my favorite Shopify features is that they’ve built-in ways to be more strategic with your Search Engine Optimization. If you stick around here for any length of time you’ll hear me talk a lot about SEO, I even have a mini-course. It’s not enough to have a pretty website, but you also have to focus on the strategy.
The way Shopify has a built-in area for SEO makes it so easy to be really targeted with your keywords, and structure for better results.
Ok, I feel like we better wrap this up before it’s a full-on lovefest.
All in all, Shopify is the best platform for shop owners, it’s basically the Swiss Army knife of website platforms. I have designed and developed stores on other platforms, and the shop on Shopify is the site that has the least amount of issues. Nothing beats the peace of mind when it comes to running your online store.
If you haven't signed up for a free trial of Shopify, you can do that by following this link.
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