Last updated - February 24, 2020
Are you ready to dip your toes into the eCommerce waters?
If yes, you might need to keep a few things in mind when building your eCommerce store.
There are plenty of eCommerce platforms you can use to build your store, but you need to choose the one that is cost-effective and easy to use.
Similar to the role of the physical location of a brick-and-mortar store in a traditional business, the eCommerce platform will have as much impact on your online business. It will either expand your business or severely limit your opportunity, making it difficult for you to keep the business running.
One of the preferred choices for online businesses who want efficient stores with rich features is Shopify. It is excellent for businesses that offer products and services that require minimum configuration.
There are many other reasons why brands prefer Shopify, but before we get to that, let’s dive into a bit of Shopify background.
A brief know-how of Shopify
Shopify is one of the most recommended web applications in the eCommerce space. It is used by more than 1,000,000 businesses and has generated over $1.58 billion in revenue in 2019.
The eCommerce platform allows business owners and merchants to create their own stores and sell their digital & physical goods around the world. Whether you want to launch an online leather jacket store or set up your own cosmetics line, Shopify offers services that suit all sorts of business needs.
A prominent feature of Shopify is that it lets you build an eCommerce store without requiring the technical and design skills of an agency or a web developer. However, familiarity with HTML and CSS will give you more control over the layout and design of your store.
Shopify makes financial prospects brighter for businesses with its strong market position and massive user base. We will look into Shopify’s main features shortly, but first, let’s check out their costs.
Shopify offers a number of pricing plans and a free 14 days trial, with no credit card required. The lowest plan starts at $29 per month that includes some eCommerce features and a range of associated tools. Here is a breakdown of the pricing plans offered by Shopify:
- Basic Shopify plan: The lowest tier starts at $29/month with 2 staff accounts and 2.9% + 30¢ online credit card rates.
- Shopify plan: The Shopify plan clocks at $79/month and offers 5 staff accounts with gift cards and professional reports. The online credit card rates for this plan are $2.6 % + 30¢ per transaction.
- Advanced Shopify plan: This is the highest tier plan offered under the standard plans and starts at $299 per month. The Advanced Shopify supports 15 staff accounts with online credit card rates reaching up to 2.4% + 30¢ per transaction.
In addition to these plans, Shopify also offers a Shopify Lite and Plus plans for small and large businesses.
The Shopify Lite plan allows you to sell your goods for as low as $9 per month. The Shopify Plus is an enterprise-grade solution for high-volume merchants and large businesses.
So, is Shopify the perfect solution out there? Let’s review the features and find out.
Being a ‘perfect’ choice is subjective. The right choice for your eCommerce store depends on your objectives and resources. With that in mind, let’s review Shopify as an overall eCommerce solution.
1.Great customer support:
Website downtime and performance issues can severely damage the reputation of your online store.
While enterprises may deploy a team of technicians to resolve such issues, small businesses usually lack the resources to afford full-time technicians.
Shopify makes it easier for online businesses to avoid issues by offering 24/7 customer support that is fast, reliable, and helpful.
They provide email, live chat, and phone support as well as a database of Frequently Asked Questions to address store-related problems.
2. A reliable hosting platform:
A study from Akamai found that 40 percent of online consumers will abandon a site if it takes over 3 seconds to load.
Similarly, many users avoid eCommerce stores due to privacy concerns. Shopify solves these issues by allowing you to customize the web hosting process and reduced loading time.
Businesses can avail unlimited bandwidth to speed up the eCommerce experience for users. They can also implement SSL to keep sensitive data such as phone numbers, credit card information, and the entire transaction process secure.
3. Mobile optimization:
Mobile commerce is the top trend in the eCommerce world right now. By 2021, mobile commerce (m-commerce) is expected to dominate online sales, generating a staggering $659 billion in sales.
With the growing trend in mind, eCommerce stores need to ensure rich experience across mobile devices.
Shopify helps businesses to optimize their eCommerce stores for mobile by providing responsive themes and built-in m-commerce shopping cart.
The Shopify App allows business owners to fulfill orders, accept payments, contact customers, and manage their eCommerce operations from their mobile devices.
4. Built-in themes and plugins:
Shopify offers numerous built-in features, themes, and plugins to accommodate all your eCommerce needs.
Most of the core features are free, but you can also get paid features to get ahead of the competition. They also have an app store where you can find all the features that directly integrate with your Shopify store.
Additionally, the flexible Buy Button is also a huge pro for brands that work with Shopify.
5. Social media integration:
Social media is increasingly influencing customers’ purchasing decisions. Platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram are also driving significant traffic for many eCommerce businesses.
Shopify has understood the role of social media in online sales and rightly invested in its social media integration. You can add your social media buttons to Shopify and drive more sales through maximized exposure.
If you are looking to build your eCommerce store, you will find platforms like BigCommerce, Volusion, and Squarespace at your disposal. But with the price plans and features listed above, Shopify emerges to be a perfect choice for all your eCommerce needs.