How and why does shopify work

Kas

Why use Shopify?

The title of this article is a big question that gets bigger everyday. The answer tends to be the same, though the impact of the answer becomes more and more relevant.

Shopify, like other front end retail eCommerce solutions are meant to help stores get online. More and more people are not heading out to the malls anymore and simply rely on shopping via the internet.

Why? Well it’s easy, convenient , can  be done at any time of day, night, weekend, and even holidays.

So why, of all the options, do we choose Shopify??

Answer 1

Shopify is not Amazon!

Don’t get us wrong, Amazon is an amazing marketplace and it makes a buyer haven when looking for different products and almost anything under the sun. Now, you may ask, is this a promo for Amazon on why to use Shopify article?

Amazon VS Shopify

Furthest thing from it. As an eCommerce based company, your goal is to sell as much as possible, at the highest price, with the fewest fees possible.

This is where Shopify makes all the difference.

Consider the following:

  • Amazon charges an average of 13% per sale + shipping (as most customers have prime). That’s a healthy margin.
  • Amazon charges you for storing the unsold products in their warehouses
  • You are competing against every other single retailer for the same product type

These drawbacks are all bonuses for buyers, but nightmares for the seller (you).

Shopify charges you a monthly fee for using the software and that’s it, you’re free to do whatever else you like to manage your business. Yes, you don’t get the free exposure of your product being seen on Amazon (note, many sellers sell on Amazon and Shopify) but that is where good digital marketing comes into play to draw buyers to your site.

Don’t get us wrong, Amazon is a remarkable company that does remarkable things. This is why many choose to sell on Amazon even with a private platform like Shopify at their side. Again the downside is that you’re paying money to Amazon, but that can be a legitimate business expense

Answer 2

Shopify! It’s easy to use

There are lots of choices to build eCommerce sites, but a big reason why Shopify is on our choice list is because it’s just that easy to use. The system provides a robust back end (adding products, prices, discounts, images, categories) and that’s just the interface!

Shopify provides an open market solution that allows you to single click integrate to 100s of 3rd party tools and services so you can customize exactly what you want to happen when you want it to happen. There is very little in the modern era that Shopify doesn’t connect to make your eCommerce store run like clockwork.

Oh, it gets better.

You can build the front end (the site people actually see) all within shopify as well. You can either do it from scratch or use their proven to convert templates and plug in your logos, products, and overall customer user experience on your brand new eCommerce website.

Gone are the days of having a developer or programmer have to modify, Shopify makes it easy and the right way to do business.

Several programs as you’ll see below still operate off needing a developer to make that perfect solution for you such as WordPress. Shopify realized this early on (so did other companies like Wix) that if you want to be successful in the online marketplace from websites to eCommerce platforms, even down to web searches, it has to be easy and simple to use.

For our developer friends, it kind of stinks, as these types of sites were the bread and butter of the development world. These seasoned professionals, like everyone now, have to adapt to building solutions that non developers can use on their own.

The world is getting smaller, smarter and more robust, and Shopify is leading the way to making consumer’s and shopkeepers (you) have the best experience possible.

Answer 3

The plugins and 3rd party

Touched upon briefly above, but the plugins are nothing to shy away from. Some of our favorites are the out of stock plugins that enable you to give your customers notifications when something comes back into stock and even deprioritized the out of stock product while its out of stock by moving the positioning of the product to the bottom (so customers can focus on what you do have in stock!

The 3rd party connections are amazing, such as Klaviyo, an email marketing solution that was designed with Shopify in mind. Klaviyo helps you automate your processes for email notifications from sales emails, shipping notifications, abandoned carts and more to help maximize your sales and your customers’ experience when interacting with you.

Remember customer experience is key to retaining those hard earned customers

The plugins and automations don’t stop there, there are literally marketplaces in Shopify to find exactly what you want, which are rated by experience, cost, stars and more. Shopify’s searchable mammoth database is at your fingertips to discover exactly what you need and how easy they make it to implement, usually just a click of a button.

Answer 4

Letting Shopify run your business while you grow your business

Similar to the above, Shopify automates everything from website, to the sale, to the fulfillment of the sale, connecting until the product sold is in your customer’s hands. What a relief! Taking care of your store, whether its brick and mortar or digital can be a daunting task. In the real world there can be a spill and a cleanup on aisle 7! In the digital world, the page may not load! Shopify takes care of those digital bumps in the road for you, so nothing to clean up (and their technical support is top notch).

Shopify’s robust and redundant secure system enables you to have peace of mind that your store is running at its best level and can handle all of your business traffic, while maintaining a secure system to avoid issues and hacking.

The Pros and Cons of Shopify

Shopify is great (if you have not been able to tell) but there are some drawbacks to the program. Below are the Pros and Cons of using Shopify.

 

Pros

  • Free 3 month trial.
  • Super Easy to use.
  • Flexible design for your front end website.
  • A super cost-effective way to build your online shop.
  • You own your own store (as opposed to being a part of Amazon, eBay etc)
  • Access to 1000s of powerful ecommerce apps and plugins
  • Simple to manage and create
  • Mobile and tablet compatible store
  • Around the clock security
  • Unmatched technical support
  • No server costs

Basically,  With Shopify, the pros are just awesome! You can get access to the starter plan, design and build your store and trial it for 3 months completely on the house. During your trial, you can use the  “Shopify payments” feature (which is also free) so you’ll get a better idea of how your Shopify store will work for you. With its flexible platform with access to ecommerce tools and apps, getting started and expanding has never been easier. In addition, it all runs on Shopify’s servers, so there is no need to buy and support!

Security wise, Shopify invests millions of dollars every year into making its platform secure and comply with PCI regulations and rules. Security is obviously critical in building your and your customers’ trust, and when you, the shop owners are taking buyer credit cards to complete transactions, it’s key that you are PCI compliant and your website displays “HTTPS” when customers come to process their orders. Shopify takes care of all of this for you.

Support wise, a super reliable and responsive technical support team is crucial when running any business, but especially an online store. If your website goes down or a payment method stops working, it’s key you can get a hold of someone no matter day, night, or weekend, which is a giant benefit that Shopify has.

Cons

  • You have to do your own marketing
  • You don’t get Amazon’s name, you have to build your own
  • Potential monthly fees based on your package and add ons
  • Reports only available in upgraded plan
  • Transaction fees apply if not using shopify payment portal

Basically,  The most important part of Shopify is to be aware that marketing is something you not only need to handle, but prioritize.

You won’t see any reports on the basic plan either, so you’ll need to keep track of data yourself. Remember too that if you don’t use Shopify payments, you’ll incur a transaction fee on all your sales.

Ok so why Shopify vs any other platform

Who are the other players in the game?

Wix Stores Wix stores, presented by the same folks that bring you Wix itself would be our 2nd choice for providers. The system prides itself on Wix’s platform making an easy to access editor and backend system. Wix Stores promotes 500,000+ customers (so still way behind Shopify) but they are growing at a great speed. Wix Stores doesn’t yet have the reach of Shopify in terms of 3rd party connections but does work well within its own platform. If you are already using Wix, then this may be an option if you’re looking for a lower level ecommerce platform compared to shopify.

Wix’s Verticles

Arts & Design
Food & Beverage
Beauty & Cosmetics
Fashion & Apparel
Sporting Goods
Toys & Games

Square One Square One is designed for smaller businesses looking to get off the ground. It has a simplistic website designer functionality that is great for less tech savvy members. The challenge (compared to Shopify) is that once you’ve grown out of your britches, you’ll probably need to migrate to Shopify or another solution. For obvious reasons, we still go with Shopify

Big Commerce Big Commerce is all in its name, a platform polar opposite from square one, designed for large scale eCommerce stores. Their specialty is SEO (making sure you’re found online) which is super important when you’re looking to be found compared to Amazon. A great solution, but we prefer Shopify that also gives superior SEO and all its other features.

Big Commerce Verticals

Fashion & Apparel
Health & Beauty
Sporting Goods
Food & Beverage
Home Furnishing
Automotive
B2B (wholesale & distribution)
CBD

Square Space Square Space (not to be confused with Square One) is an excellent platform that offers state of the art templates for building your website and promises hassle free experience. This is a great option for artsy and perhaps more sophisticated product lines. Shopify provides great templates as well as several more integration options to make your experience second to none.

Square Space’s Verticles

Arts & Design
Food & Beverage
Beauty & Cosmetics
Fashion & Apparel
Toys & Games

Network Solutions Network Solutions is designed for small businesses but does require you to be more technologically savvy in terms of hosting and other nitty gritty items that Shopify takes care of automatically for you. The benefits are price and discounts available for this solution, but we prefer the done for your package that Shopify offers.

Web.com Web.com is one of the older solutions similar to Shopify. Web.com boasts and easy to create websites and management. The infrastructure is designed again for small businesses which means that once you are successful instead of a simple upgrade, you will probably need to migrate to something else, namely Shopify.

WordPress Yes, Worpress itself has its own ecommerce platform. WordPress, which has a commanding presence in terms of websites that use it has appended a new solution in their eCommerce platform. The issue is the same as usual wordpress, it’s difficult to use unless you are tech savvy, even at the developer level. The SEO benefits are natural, but unless you know what you’re doing, you’ll need serious tech support. Shopify blows this one out of the water.

Magento Magento ranks for SMB businesses that have already achieved presence, as well as brand recognition, developers and skill to build your own site. The platform is indeed very powerful and has options of over 5,000 extensions. Sounds nice, but requires a much longer development time and a bigger budget than most of its competitors. Shopify takes the cake in terms of power and simplicity.

Magent’s Vertices

Beauty & Cosmetics
Consumer Electronics
Fashion & Apparel
Food & Beverage
Home Furnishing
Sporting goods

WooCommerce WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin owned and developed by WordPress (see above). It is one of the most popular eCommerce options on the market and runs on 30% of all stores on the internet. The challenge being the building and maintenance of the site on the wordpress platform which can suck up much development time and cost:

For those willing to put in the time and coin, WooCommerce has a reputation for being one of the best ecommerce platforms for small businesses (of course that already have a site on WordPress), or who are on a shoestring budget, but still want a good online presence. It has 1000s of 3rd party themes and plugins, giving it a great deal of flexibility to accommodate most needs. Shopify boasts the same positives without having to deal with wordpress and can scale for large businesses as well

Woo Commerce’s Verticles

Beauty & Cosmetics
Consumer Electronics
Fashion & Apparel
Food & Beverage
Home Furnishing

Big Cartel Big Cartel is an ecommerce platform by artists, for artists. This SaaS site builder focuses on creators who need a place to sell artwork, clothing, jewelry, and photo prints. An excellent solution if you are working within this particular niche with beautiful templates.

Big Cartel excels  being one of the best ecommerce platforms for artists and aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking for another option to Etsy. Big Cartel knows their niche and the builder itself is simple to use, and helps artists put their best foot forward.

Shopify’s templates match 1 to 1 as well as having more available plugins and 3rd party solutions to match any need.

Big Cartel’s Verticles

Arts & Design
Clothing & Apparel
Makers
Photographers

Salesforce Commerce Cloud  Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a high level ecommerce platform that offers a complete range of features, plugins, integrations, and capabilities that make it a perfect fit for international companies that process multi-millions of dollars in orders.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud excels at being the choice for enterprise companies with complex requirements. Again, this is not for beginners and indeed a complicated but highly able solution that has many solutions to cover practically any business application, whether B2C or B2B. IN addition, as a Salesforce product, Commerce Cloud benefits from Salesforce’s robust platform.

The downside (if you couldn’t have guessed) is that it’s complicated, Shopify keeps it simple and is robust enough to keep up with even the fabled Salesforce!

Salesforce’s Verticles

Beauty & Cosmetics
Fashion & Apparel
Sporting Goods
Toys & Games
Food & Beverage
Cars & Automotive
Parts & Manufacturing
Chemicals
Other B2B applications

Volusion Volusion, First created before the turn of the millennium back in 1999, Volusion is one of the longest-lasting ecommerce platforms in the market. It still remains popular despite its competition at the creation of recent competitors like Shopify, with over 30,000 stores using the system and having generated over $28 billion in sales.

Volusion is the best when it comes to ecommerce platforms for new companies and startups and small businesses who want to get started quickly but still have room to grow within their chosen option. Unlike other solutions that require you to go through an app store or integration,, many important features are already included as part of the standard dashboard. Volusion shows its age in many areas, but it’s still a robust system that serves most business needs. While Volusion holds its own, it doesn’t hold its candle to how far Shopify has progressed both in capabilities and in popularity.

Volusion’s Verticles
Beauty & Cosmetics
Consumer Electronics
Fashion & Apparel
Food & Beverage
Home Furnishing
Sporting goods

In Conclusion

In conclusion, whether you are thinking about going up against (or combining with) Amazon or against the plethora of other options, Shopify has stood the test of time and continues to innovate and build on its brilliant reputation as the #1 leader in eCommerce platforms on the marketplace today.

Can it be overthrown, yes, but the geniuses  behind this giant eCommerce platform have been ahead of the game since 2006.

Shopify’s sheer flexibility does not constrict itself to a particular niche, but seems to excel at all of them. Whether you are a technology eCommerce store to an artsy one, Shopify has you covered.

Its core product is robust, its upgraded version, Shopify Plus takes you to a whole another level, and with its 1000s of 3rd party solutions and plugins makes it nearly impossible for you to not create and make the perfect site, backend, automation to make your eCommerce store shine.

The automations are one of the brightest features, essentially combining multiple programs in to one to extend your reach of your business needs and goals far beyond once what was thought possible,

Shopify has the bright future facilitating small Small to medium sized businesses all the way to $100Million dollar companies all within the same smooth platform

Its support is unprecedented and something they took to heart. Shopify knew that to be successful, its customers need to be happy, and that is exactly what they did. Every aspect of Shopify’s mammoth program is an expert waiting to help you answer questions you may have, to make your experience the best experience for selling online.

Whether you are looking to get started with your eCommerce empire, have some experience, and already well established, we 100% recommend Shopify. The one thing you never want to do is migrate systems and Shopify makes sure that they grow with you as far as you can reach, the sky is no longer the limit. Shopify is designed with you in mind, with the users in mind and with the buyers of your products in mind, all for the strict purpose of creating a better user experience.