With the advent of technology and the Internet, several types of activities have emerged. E-commerce is one of them and several sales platforms exist.
E-commerce is a very trendy activity that allows you to sell or buy products or services via computer networks, especially on the Internet. It can be practiced on several platforms and one of the most popular at the moment is Shopify.
It allows you to create an online store and this without you having any experience in web development or coding!
Here we will go much deeper and show through its features how Shopify has come to be considered as the best e-commerce solution today.
The story behind Shopify
Founded in 2006 by Tobias Lutke, Shopify has become one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world. But the creation of Shopify starts with the idea of creating a shop selling snowboard equipment online.
Indeed, passionate about snowboarding, Tobias Lutke had the idea of creating an online shop to allow people to buy their equipment without having to travel. But given the few solutions that existed, he decided to develop his own platform.
Its goal was to offer an easy solution dedicated to the sale of products.
He then created a model in which future sellers, to create their online shops, only had to insert the photos and product descriptions. This is how Shopify was created in June 2006.
Shopify, how does it work?
Do you want to create an online shop easily? This is possible with Shopify.
Whether you have computer coding skills or not, you can easily get away with it. Because the platform offers a complete website creation tool (CMS).
With Shopify, it’s more than 70 payment gateways with cash registers in more than 50 languages. This way, you can sell your products to customers all over the world!
Shopify has many features that make it useful for companies and individuals to display their products. The platform also offers referencing functions (titles, meta tags, etc.). These functions allow commercial sites to rank at the top of search results (SEO).
In addition, Shopify allows customers to post comments, give feedback on trendy products in your store.
But when you start on the e-commerce platform, Shopify offers you a 14-day free trial to test all the features and see if it suits you. You can then start taking out a subscription as soon as the trial period has expired.
These features that make Shopify better that other platforms
Shopify is an e-commerce platform with lots of features. These allow merchants to manage their stocks, modify the HTML and CSS code of their pages, and create discount coupons.
Here are some other features that Shopify has that make this platform better:
- The platform allows you to build websites
- There are more than 100 professional themes on Shopify. These are intended to modify the design of the site according to your needs or desires
- Buy a domain name
- Develop a new brand
- Manage stocks and track products
- Access information on past orders and purchase history
- Manage customer profiles by analyzing their purchasing behavior
- Personalize emails to send to customers
- Analyze and monitor SEO statistics using marketing tools
- Accept credit cards and PayPal
As the platform is constantly being improved, there are many other features that you will discover as you use it!
However, it may happen that you need a particular feature.
Shopify has more than 1,200 apps in its App Store. You will be able to find the application that suits your needs.
Shopify App Store
When you notice that a specific feature you need is not available, you can use the platform’s appstore to find plugins.
So you can search for the desired application or browse through the different applications to find the one you need. Since there are more than 1,200 plugins on the Shopify app store, here’s what you can do with their tool:
- Payment and transaction fees: With Shopify, you have different payment gateways. You can pay or get paid by PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay and Apple Pay, etc. You can find up to 100 payment gateways. Shopify also has its own payment gateway which is Shopify Payments. However, like credit card payment processing, each payment option involves a transaction fee. But when you use Shopify Payments, the platform waives transaction fees. You also have the possibility to sell in several currencies: GBP, EUR, USD, CAD, AUD, HKD, NZD, JPY and SGD. Depending on the customer’s location, Shopify automatically adjusts your site currency and changes the price of products based on the exchange rate.
- Shipping and inventory management: For shipping, there is 3D Secure that protects merchants when they process credit card transactions that may be fraudulent. With this option, only the bank is responsible in case of a problem. It is well known that shipments of goods can be very sensitive, especially when it comes to international companies. Aware of this, Shopify provides everything you need to ship products to your customers with unparalleled efficiency. Shopify partners with shipping service providers such as USPS, DHL Express, UPS and Canada Post. It is also possible to modify the shipping rates according to the value of the order, weight or location. Shopify makes everything available to you to make it easier for you to use.
- Integration of multiple channels: When you have good visibility, you are more likely to sell your products. Shopify allows you to integrate your shop with the main online channels. So, with this option, you can connect to a Facebook store, an Instagram store, eBay and Amazon. Multi-channel integration allows you to expose your products across multiple channels to maximize your chances of selling them.
- Recovering shopping cart abandonment: It is proven that the majority of online shoppers leave a website without buying a single product. This majority is satisfied with seeing the products, consulting the prices and leaving the site calmly once their curiosity is satisfied. Shopify comes with an abandonment recovery option. Abandoned shopping cart retrieval consists for your website to automatically send customers an email, if they leave the store without buying. This option can encourage the customer to buy at least one product before leaving the site. So you can configure your Shopify store to generate abandoned shopping cart emails. This way, you maximize your sales chances.
The Shopify themes: let’s talk about them
The layout of a shop in e-commerce is very important if you want to sell your products well. The more an online website has a well-structured visual representation, the more likely it is to attract customers and that is what distinguishes Shopify from other platforms.
You have the right to do anything to make your online store attractive!
Shopify helps you by providing you with free themes on its App Store but also paid themes – like Wokiee, which is my favorite one.
These themes will allow you to customize your website. Shopify is therefore hundreds of free and paid themes.
The most popular free themes are Brooklyn, Boundless, Minimal, Narrative, Simple, Pop, Venture, Supply, Jumpstart and Debut.
There are many paying themes and their prices range from $20 to $380. All these themes (free and paid) are sensitive to mobility. They can therefore be adapted to the size of mobile screens and tablets!
Each Shopify theme has its own features. It is up to you to determine the features you need.
However, finding a theme with all the features already in place will be easier than adding new features to a theme that didn’t have them. It should be noted that some themes are multilingual with the possibility of changing the language. You can also do an automatic translation of different pages in different languages.
As for the languages available in the interface, there are: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Portuguese.
How to create your online store with Shopify in 4 steps?
Are you ready to start your adventure on Shopify? Great!
First of all, you need to create your Shopify site. And to do so, click on this link to enjoy a 14-day trial. Once on the site, simply follow the instructions:
- Fill in the required fields. This is your email, your password and the name of your shop. This must be unique otherwise Shopify will ask you to choose another one.
- Click on « Create your shop » once all the fields have been filled in.
- You are now in the heart of the matter. All you have to do now is provide additional details (name, address, country, telephone number, etc.).
Once you have completed the registration, you will be redirected directly to the administrator interface.
This is where you can start by customizing your e-commerce store, downloading products and configuring payments and shipping. You can start by taking care of the look of your site by choosing a theme.
#1. Choose a Shopify theme
As we have seen above, the appearance of your online store is very important. Customers are usually sensitive to the appearance of a shop because a well-organized online shop, with its beautifully presented products, inspires more confidence in buyers.
You must therefore ensure that your e-commerce is presented in its best light. This is where the choice of theme is essential and Shopify makes it easy for you. This choice must take into account three elements:
- The nature of product you sell
- The theme of your shop
- The branding you want to send back to visitor
You also need to consider the language of the theme to avoid translation problems, even if Shopify simplifies the translation process as much as possible!
#2. Installing the theme
To install your theme, simply go to the « Themes » section in the left navigation menu. On the next page, you will see an overview of the theme.
This box has two buttons in its upper right corner. The first button gives access to some basic settings and also allows you to make a copy of the theme. The second button, on the other hand, indicates « Customize the theme ». When you click on it, you can then customize the different parameters of the theme.
To change the theme language, click on « Actions » and then on « Change languages ». This section allows you to select in which language you want to display your Shopify store.
#3. Adding products
To add products to your Shopify store, simply access the « Products » section in the left navigation bar. In the upper right corner of this page, you will see a blue « Add a product » button: click on it. Now fill in the different fields of your product.
If you want to do dropshipping with Shopify, you just have to download the free Oberlo app that will allow you to import products from Aliexpress in particular.
You can start by selling products you like or directly winning products.
#4. Payment management
To configure the payment methods on Shopify, go to « Settings » and then « Payment providers ». You can install payment methods like PayPal.
PayPal Express Checkout will allow your customers to pay by credit card via PayPal or directly from their PayPal account.
When you click on « Accept Credit Cards » you have access to Shopify’s various payment partners. There is also the possibility to add alternative payment methods or activate Amazon Pay.
Finally, the « Payment authorization » option allows you to decide whether to receive payments automatically upon sale or to validate them manually.
Shopify being one of the most popular e-commerce platforms of the moment, its use requires a subscription. But to allow the platform’s functionalities to be properly tested, a 14-day free trial period is granted at the beginning.
During this period, you will have to go through the different services offered by Shopify to see if this platform suits you!
After the 14 days, if you want to continue using Shopify, you must then subscribe. For this purpose, three basic price plans are available: basic, Shopify and advanced.
The packages for these plans are $29, $79 and $299 respectively. Since these packages are monthly, the prices obviously change when it comes to an annual package.
In addition to these basic plans, there is the Shopify Lite which is $9 a month. It allows you to sell via an existing site or via Facebook, Shopify also takes care of order management.
The benefits of using Shopify
Shopify has more than 700,000 users worldwide and has received so many positive opinions, which is why I use it for my e-business activities. These opinions are mainly due to the fact that the platform is practical and easy to use.
Shopify has many other positive points that make this platform a reference:
- Flexibility, system and basic models are of very good quality. You have full access to the code. You can therefore add new functions via the App Store.
- Shopify is a very powerful tool that fits perfectly into all sizes of online shops.
- Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce solutions on the market and is on track to last over time.
- It is a platform where all data are stored in the cloud and securely.
- Shopify provides you with well-designed beginner guides and extensive documentation as well as responsive support.
With its powerful management tools, themes, and features, Shopify is undoubtedly one of the best platforms for e-commerce in 2020 and beyond.
Whether you are an individual or a company wishing to develop an online business, I recommend Shopify!