If you’re going to open an online store, or a website for any reason, you’ve got quite a few options to choose from now, as you’ve surely seen from all the different ads going around.
We’re looking at Shopify today because, even though others like Squarespace and BigCommerce can provide everything you need, Shopify is one of the all-around, best ecommerce platforms that you will find and features you don’t get elsewhere. This platform should at least be on your list of companies to build your business website.
Fully Customizable Website, Online Store, & Blog
When they say you can customize everything, they mean it. Create everything exactly the way you want, from the bottom, up. The themes you can choose from are made by designers from Happy Cog, Clearleft, Pixel Union, and others.
Your entire site will of course be mobile-optimized for customers to use it on any phone or tablet, and there is also a built-in mobile commerce shopping cart. If you already have an existing domain name, then you are free to use that one or buy a new domain name through Shopify.
Once you have your domain name and begin to build the site, you will have full access to the HTML and CSS of your store; so, you or your designer can customize every aspect of it. As far as web hosting, you don’t have to go to a third-party service unless you want to because Shopify does that, too. They have a full blogging platform included, as well.
And the best part is that you can select a professional to help you build anything you need, including a 3D modeling expert, setup expert, designer, developer, marketer, or photographer. Search for someone directly through the Shopify website.
Unlimited Bandwidth & Product Inventory Management
First and foremost, manage your entire inventory through the platform. Not only do they let you sell an unlimited number of products from your store, but you can offer different product variations, each with its own price, SKU, weight, and inventory.
Then, organize them by category, type, season, sale, and more. You can even assign meta tags, titles, and URL handles to each product for better SEO. Sell digital products from your online store, too. Basically, you can sell any product you want through Shopify, as many products as you want, and organize all of them exceptionally well.
Sell on New Sales Channels like Instagram & Amazon
The ecommerce industry becomes more advanced and diversified every day, which means that there are going to be multiple channels through which to sell product. Shopify makes it much easier to sell products across multiple channels with a unified platform, helping you to keep track of everything clearly and professionally.
You will have a high-functioning admin panel with all the tracking tools you’re going to need to manage orders with useful analytics and metrics.
While the admin panel has the usual tracking tools, it also includes tools for tracking sales and growth trends across all channels where you sell your product. You’ll always know exactly where and when you’re selling the most, and what might require adjustment or attention.
Additionally, you can fill orders from any channel in a single step, which, if you have a positive surge of sales and people are buying your product through all of your channels at the same time, this allows you to make sure you serve them quickly, no matter where they’re buying from.
Accept Credit Cards Instantly with Shopify Payments
The payment experience has to be smooth, both for you and for the customer, and Shopify makes it really easy to process all of your payments. There is no need to use a third-party payment provider because you can do everything with Shopify Payments, including watching your cash flow, accepting payments in person, and accepting payments online.
Track your balance and payment schedule right from your admin panel, and when funds are added to your account, you’ll immediately get an email alert. If you take physical payments as well, the Shopify POS system lets you accept major credit cards from your phone or tablet using the card reader.
The Shopify POS doesn’t require the use of any third-party provider, either, so you have a POS system that you can literally take anywhere or turn into a permanent fixture in your brick-and-mortar store. They even have their own payment method, Shopify Pay, that lets customers pay with a single click.
Shopify Shipping & Discounted Rates
One of the most integral elements of an ecommerce business is shipping, and the Shopify platform gives you some seriously efficient features to make the entire shipping process as seamless as possible, not to mention the discounts you get with major shipping providers.
Give customers realtime updates and shipment tracking from anywhere in the world. Offer your customers exact shipping rates provided by the carrier, or give them flat rates. Print your shipping labels yourself from your computer or phone, at no extra cost.
They offer shipping through DHL, UPS, or USPS, and since one may be a better option than another for your particular business, you can set up an integration with whatever option works best for you. Bulk order fulfillment and label printing is also available.
Pricing & Features
Basic Shopify: $29/month
- Gift cards
- Professional reports
- Advanced report builder
- Third party calculated shipping rates
- Register shifts (POS)
- Hardware peripheral reports (POS)
- Unlimited Shopify POS staff PINs (POS)
- Third party POS apps (POS)
- Advanced report builder
- Third party calculated shipping rates
Advanced Shopify: $299/month
(All available features included)
If you’re interested in trying Shopify, just visit shopify.com, and you can also take advantage of their 14-day free trial. You don’t even have to provide a credit card for the trial.
There some great ecommerce platforms available today to serve the growing number of online businesses starting up every day, but once you check out Shopify, you probably won’t even want to look any further because they really do give you everything you need in one place. It’s the least amount of hassle that you can get, so you can get your store online and start selling product.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.