Start Your Shopify Store For Free
Managing a profitable online store is not an easy task. You need to perform so many duties and deal with different types of situations. Choosing the most appropriate solution for building and managing your online store can help you with these tasks.
Among the various solutions for managing an online store, Shopify is one of the most popular names. This excellent e-commerce solution comes with all the necessary features for creating a fully functional online marketplace. In this post, I will discuss why Shopify is good platform to start your e-commerce business.
Ease of Use
Shopify makes it very easy to get started with your online store. Even if you are just a beginner, you will be able to set up all the necessary options on your own. Once you log in to your account, you will be greeted with a simple dashboard accompanied by a navigation menu on the left. If you are familiar with the WordPress dashboard, you will find the user interface very similar.The dashboard also includes separate shortcuts to the most used features.
There are three steps to creating your store –
- Adding a product,
- Customizing the look and
- Setting up your domain.
When adding a new product, you can provide the product title, description, images, set pricing, inventory, shipping options, product type, vendor, tags etc. It is also possible to import product in CSV formats or import directly from Magento and eBay.
As Shopify provides full access to the HTML and CSS files of your online store, you can easily apply any custom look. If you are not a fan of editing the codes, you can choose any of the professionally designed Shopify themes. There are 166 themes in total, which includes 24 free themes. Thanks to the integrated content management system, it is also possible to publish articles and accept comments from your visitors.
Easy branding is another notable feature of Shopify. As there is no visible branding from the platform, you can easily establish your own brand. You can also setup your own domain or purchase a domain from Shopify.
Solid Inventory Management Options
You will need solid inventory management options to manage your online store. And Shopify has made it a point to provide all the relevant options in this regard. For instance, when a product runs out of stock, the system will automatically stop selling for that product.
You can also set up different varieties like color, size, and material for the products. And for each variation, it is possible to set up a custom weight, SKU, inventory and price. The products could be organized by using type, category, season etc. You can also group products by using the price, vendor or inventory level.
If you are selling digital products, Shopify has got you covered too. Your customers can easily purchase and download digital products right from your website. Shopify allows you to optimize the product pages by using SEO-friendly title, meta tag, URL etc. As a result, you can enjoy better search engine ranking for your products.
Powerful Store Management Features
Being a leading online store management system, Shopify features all the store management options you need. In order to learn more about your customers, you can encourage them to register with your online shop. It is possible to view the contact details and purchase history of the registered customers.
The powerful order fulfillment options allow you to take care of the orders with a single click. You can also connect to third-party fulfillment centers like Amazon, Shipwire, Rakuten or even set up your own fulfillment system. Whenever necessary, you can refund a specific amount or the full amount of any order. The platform also allows you to customize the notification emails sent on various occasions.
Thanks to the global tax and currency support, it is possible to cater to your customers located anywhere in the world. Having access to 70+ international payment gateways will be another huge benefit when creating a fully featured online store.
Strong SEO & Marketing Tools
As I have noted in the previous section, Shopify comes with the necessary options to optimize your products for search engines. The platform will also create and update your sitemap file with all the products, posts and pages of your online store.
Thanks to the built-in social media integration feature, you won’t have to use third-party tools for the social purpose. These integrated options will allow your visitor to share your products or posts in various social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr. It is also possible to sell your products on Facebook. Your fans can purchase the products right from Facebook.
Shopify allows your customers to leave product reviews. This will boost your search engine ranking and increase sales. Email marketing is a reliable promotion tool for modern online stores. Featuring seamless integration with MailChimp, Shopify makes it simple to manage your email marketing campaigns.
Arranging different types of promotions is a proven way of increasing customer engagement. And Shopify provides you with several ways to do that. Your customers can purchase gift cards to use as store credits. You can also provide special discounts or coupon codes on various occasions.
Solid Security Features
Since your online store will accept payment from your customers, you must apply the essential security steps. Luckily, Shopify has taken care of this aspect for you. When using this all-in-one solution, you will enjoy automated daily backup of your valuable business information including the customers, orders, products and other details.
What’s more, the system complies with level-1 PCI standard. And when you sign up with Shopify, you will receive a 256 bit SSL certificate. Therefore, your website will be able to store and transmit the user data without being compromised.
Shopify developers are always looking for new ways to streamline the security and performance of the platform. As the updates are automatic, your website will always enjoy the latest security and usability features once they are available. With round-the-clock monitoring and an intriguing 99.99% uptime record, you won’t have to worry about your store performance when its built using Shopify.
Analytics and Add-ons
There is an analytics dashboard to keep track of your traffic, orders and sales. You can find where and how the visitors have found your store. This helps you to get valuable insights about your store and find out the best-performing products. It is also possible to export the reports to analyze them by using other tools or a professional accountant.
Along with the existing features, you can extend your online store by using thousands of free and premium apps. It doesn’t matter what type of feature you need, chances are high there is an existing app for that purpose.
Excellent Mobile Support
In this age of mobile, any business tool should have full mobile support. And Shopify is no exception here. This excellent online store solution includes all the features you need to run your online store from mobile devices. The dedicated mobile dashboard provides access to the important events along with the latest trends.
What’s more, you can use the mobile device to perform various inventory management tasks like adding products, changing product price, taking product photo etc. You can browse the list of customers and contact them through email or phone. You will get instant notifications about new orders. By using the mobile device, you can confirm the payment and fulfill the orders. You can use Android and/or iOS devices to manage your online store.
Well-known Customer Support
Unlike most other online store solutions, the professional support team of Shopify is available 24/7 any day of the week. You can access the customer support by live chat, phone or email. The user-friendly documentation includes FAQ, detailed tutorials and step-by-step user guides to address various known issues.
You can also discuss issues in the discussion forums. You will definitely get some valuable advice from the active community members. Ecommerce University, another interesting feature, provides valuable practical knowledge about online selling. You can access the video tutorials, read e-books or join live webinars.
If everything else fails, you can always consult the Shopify-certified experts to help your business. There are professional developers, designers and marketers available to help you with any kind of issues.
The great features of Shopify are supported by a convenient pricing plan. There are three pricing plans available – Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify. These are priced at $29, $79 and $299 per month respectively. All of these feature unlimited products, unlimited bandwidth, fraud analysis and 24/7 support.
However, if you are not confident enough to start with these plans, you can get started with Shopify Lite, which starts at $9 per month. There is also a 14 day trial to test various features of the platform. If you want to get a taste of the experience before diving in, you can do so by using the trial.
As you can see from the discussion, Shopify comes with excellent features for all types of users. It doesn’t matter whether you are getting started or have some experience in online selling, you will find Shopify a very useful tool to grow your business.
So, what do you think about Shopify? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. And if you have used Shopify already, don’t forget to share your experience with us.
Start Your Shopify Store For Free