Name : Shopify
Price: 14-day Trial, Plans from $29
Ever think of giving your brand a ‘power boost’ in terms of increasing its awareness more within the online world? Would it not be a great notion, if your offline business had a greater outreach?
In this way, your target market would not just be limited locally but open to the whole world.And the best part is that people can visit your business from the comfort of their armchair.
This is what Shopify can help with. If you’re wondering, how does Shopify work, don’t stress, this post will give you a pretty clear picture of what it’s all about.
In a nutshell, Shopify is an all-in-one platform that allows you to build your own e-commerce site(mini-amazon)for your business, giving your business that extra edge.
Let’s see how this can help your existing business or even if you have just a single product and want to upscale its marketing.
Why Should I choose Shopify?
Here are some interesting facts about Shopify that may interest you
- Over 275,000 Active Shopify Stores
- Generated over $17 Billion worth of sales
- Have a 10 year history in the business
For whom is Shopify for?
Whether you are starting off with just ONE product, or have a range of items to sell, Shopify can cater for the needs of most merchants out there.
That’s great! Now the next question on your mind would be concerning the training or tools.
If I am a newbie, how difficult is it really ,for me to get started with building my online store?
I am glad that you asked.
Later on, I will take you through the process of how I started my first Shopify Store. This will give you a better idea of what Shopify is all about and how it works.
And the best part is, that you can try it out for free.
You get to TRIAL SHOPIFY FOR 14 DAYS. So, you really have got nothing to lose.
Let’s check out what Shopify has got going for them and its related ‘negative’ aspects.
Pros and Cons of Shopify
- Over 100+ Themes/templates to choose from
- Over 1000 apps to improve site functionality
- Awesome Support mediums(phone, live chat and e-mail)
- Cater for different markets( e.g clothing, fashion, jewelry, toys and games)
- Trial Available
- Fast loading times of store sites
- AppStore– to enhance store requirements
- Not ALL apps are FREE
- Personal DOMAIN is additional charge.
- Lack of SEO, PPC, keyword research Training
- Different pricing plans and fees can add up.
- Need some technical knowledge
My Experience with building my first Shopify Store
I was incredibly amazed at how Shopify had everything in one place. It was easy as pie uploading the products to the store. I was able to customize the look of the store to my own liking and the platform makes it simple to track the progress of the website’s success using the necessary analytical tools.
Join me as I take you through my experience. Alternatively, you can click on the link below to start your two week trial.
Shopify in Action
Let me make mention, that I am familiar with blogging and website building techniques.
Having said that, things like SEO, keyword search techniques, building a site from scratch, content research and architecturing is territory that is not new to me. This goes without saying that affiliate marketing is something that I enjoy doing.
But what about creating an e-commerce site?
This is new to me and probably for some of you too. Let’s see how shopify really works, by building a brand new store around a physical business that I own.
Are you ready?
The Business: Personalised storybooks
My wife and I bought this license a couple of years back and its been doing okay. My wife is studying at the moment, so we keep this business as a side thing.
What is Personalised Storybooks all about?
Very simply put, it’s storybooks with a special twist. These books are made with a child, or an adult being the central character of it. The story revolves around them and we can add family and friends as supporting characters within the storyline
There are lots of wonderful titles to choose from such as “The Train with No Name,” “My Birthday Surprise,” ” Soccer Book,” ” My Special Mum,” ” Baby Arrival,” and so on.
These books can also have photo sleeves or onion sleeves added to them, to make them even more personalized and cherishable over time.
How do I expect Shopify to help me?
This is how I envisioned my Shopify store
- A gallery displaying these books.
- A brief description of what the story is about and its accompanying picture.
- Dowloadable form(option)- to get particluars of the child/adult
- An additional extra’s option to further customize the book
- Checkout and payment gateway set-up
These are the steps that I have taken thus far.
Step 1: Registering my Store Name
Step 2: Added an address to set up currencies and tax rates
Step 3: Store all set up
Then my next step was to add products to my store and customize my website.This part was a lot of fun.I had images of these books already on my pc and it was a simple task to add them to the store.Mind you, it actually was exciting to see my products online. Next I just furnished it with a description and added in the price. Here is a sample of what my Shopify catalogue store looks like.And, would you like to see what the Customizable Store looks like ?
As you can see, the store is starting to take some shape now. The ABOUT US and HOME page are written up and you got a peek as to what my Catalogue page looks like.
Only one problem, how do I add a downloadable order form as a product option?
Remember, these are books that needs messages and information related to the child such as date of birth, personal dedications, name of friends , etc so that I can make them up accordingly.
So, I decided to contact the support team.
The Support of Shopify
This is one area, I think that Shopify does really well in. I have received numerous e-mails from them asking about my experience thus far and if there is anything that they could do to be of further assistance.
You can get a hold of them via e-mail, live chat or telephone.
It turns out, that I need to download an APP called Infinite Options from the Shopify App store. (The app store,is kind of like having ITunes and downloading the necessary app for functionality)As I mentioned, the support here was amazing. It turned out that Infinite Options was great to have but did not quite do it for me. It allowed one to add custom options to a product such as TEXT, BUTTONS, and DROP DOWN MENUS on my items, but no form to add to my books.
This means that I would be able to give a customer the option of wanting to add a photo sleeve or onion sleeve to the book, but still no way of adding the downloadable information leaflet.
The support came to my rescue again and offered me another app suggestion namely, PRODUCT OPTIONS.
Whilst Infinite Options was FREE, the Product Options does cost between $9.99 – $19.99 per month. However, there is a 90 day trial to see if it’s what I really need!
I am experimenting with this one at the moment.(Watch this Space!) I will announce when the site is up and ready to GO LIVE!)
In summary, building the store was relatively easy and this had taken me around +/- 2 days to build. Now it’s just a matter of adding regular blogs and posting onto Social Media.
The Other Aspects of Shopify
- Checkout and Shipping
There are a range of options that you can play around with, when it comes to your customers checking out.
You can customize the way you want your customers to check out, by
- getting them to create an account or simply purchase as a guest
- requesting a first name or full name
- opting to use the shipping address as billing address or default and so on.
Regarding the shipping, you can add a different delivery charge for domestic packages versus international deliveries. You can even specify the fee if a package is under or above a certain weight.
2. Attractive Sales Channels
Sales channels simply allows you to sell your products via different mediums. These are some of the awesome sales channels that Shopify has
- Online Sales( directly via URL)
- Buy Button– Allows you to embed this button on any website or via e-mail. In this way you can embed a single product or collections onto a website.
- POS(Point of Sale) – an APP that allows you to sell to anyone anywhere with a single transaction.
- Mobile APP.
3. Analytics and SEO
This is one of the places where I feel that Shopify does not do too well.
Sure, they allow you to place the all important “meta’ title and ‘meta’ description which is important for Google and helps to rank your site, but the training does falls short.
What I mean by this is, that if you are a newbie, you may be a little confused at what all this jargon means. Having a little information or training on the technical side can help make this transition a little easier.
If you are interested in learning all this stuff, and trust me once you get the hang of things it’s not bad at all, then read my review of this awesome online training university.
There is so much more to Shopify, and it will take me a good few pages to tell you all about it. One other thing I really like is the MailChimp app. This allows you to do e-mail marketing, if you so wish. As they say , the MONEY IS ON THE LIST.
The Price of Shopify
Here are the different pricing plans
In addition, it’s only fair that I mention that you may incur other additional expenses as well, such as
Transaction Fees– this is a fee that you pay to the platform as a percent of the sales generated.
Credit Card Fees
Add on Fees– Remember I mentioned that certain Apps are NOT FREE. This fee pertains to that, as well as other software you may opt for to ensure smooth running of your store. Budget wisely!
Domain Fee– This is separate. Add in an extra $13 a year for your own domain, otherwise you can settle for shopify sub-domain for now.
Overall, I feel my experience with Shopify was a positive one. Certain areas such as SEO training may need a little work. If you are looking for a company to promote your product by
- Providing a pre-existing website with a range of e-commerce options and great support,
- having an easily customizable template or
- providing an easy payment process for your customers then,
Shopify is for you. So go ahead and give it a try. Click on the image below to start your trial.
My overall verdict : 3 out of 5 stars.
Thanks folks for joining me today. I hope that this review has helped in shedding more light, as to how does Shopify work.
Did you try out Shopify before? How was your experience?
Would you try it ?
I would love to hear from you.
All the best