If you’re running an eCommerce business, you’ll know there’s a whole lot to consider when you’re choosing which platform to use for it. Ecommerce is booming and expected to make up almost a quarter of global sales within the next few years. In fact, nowhere else has unprecedented and unforeseen growth occurred as in the digital and e-commerce sectors, which have seen steady growth amid the COVID-19 crisis.
So, whether you’re running or starting an eCommerce business you want to get it right. Competition is high and you need a platform that’s going to help you go the distance.
At Socialike, our favorite and a favorite of our eCommerce clients is Shopify. Why? Here are a few reasons why this eCommerce platform gets our tick of approval, which we’ll break down in this blog.
So, what is Shopify?
Shopify is a subscription-based software that allows anyone to set up an online store and sell their products. However, Shopify isn’t just a store builder. Shopify is a commerce platform that offers a way to quickly launch your dream business and start selling to your customers, wherever they are.
A dream business isn’t just a nice-looking storefront - it’s the sales, marketing, inventory management, shipping, and much more. Without a good platform, making each one run smoothly can cause some headaches, but that’s where Shopify comes in. It’s specifically designed to help you with all of these things, allowing you to customize your online shop and promote your products through social media, email, and campaigns. Pretty impressive right?
11 reasons you should be using Shopify for your eCommerce business
1. You can get your store up and running in minutes
First, let’s start with the easiest point. Shopify is for want of a better word, easy. You want to make it simple and easy for your customers to buy from you and Shopify wants to make it simple and easy to help you get there.
Shopify has a clean and easy admin interface with logically structured features which are intuitive to use. What’s even better is that if you do get stuck, they’ve got a bunch of resources (like this step-by-step guide to set up a shop), which can answer any questions that you do have.
You’re also able to customize your shop heavily. It doesn’t matter if you’re a well-established brand or are on your way toward one, Shopify works with you to let you develop a look and feel that’s all your own.
2. No coding or design skills required
You’re focused on your product, not coding or design. The great news is that Shopify doesn’t require any technical expertise whatsoever.
Unlike other platforms such as Magneto and WooCommerce Shopify provides all the software and hosting you’ll need for your online store so you don’t get access to the full codebase.
That might sound like a downfall but it actually makes things much, much easier. Remember, it’s designed for business owners, not techies who want to code. This means you can choose a professionally designed, amazing-looking template site with little to no design background.
3. Affordable for any budget
So, if Shopify offers your business so much, does that mean the price tag reflects that?
In fact, the opposite is true. Other eCommerce products are not fully hosted, meaning you’ll have to pay for a server price on top of them.
That’s not true with Shopify and prices range from $29 to $299 a month. Shopify comes with a number of plans and monthly subscriptions to suit your needs. If you’re unsure of which one is right for you, Shopify is free for 14 days, so you can set up your online store and choose a plan later.
If you’re wanting to save even further, Shopify also provides discounts for those in it for the long term. If you prefer annual payments, you will receive a 10% discount, and if you prefer biennial plans, you’ll receive a 20% discount.
4. Over 150,000 app integrations to help you run your business smoothly
Yes, you read that number right! Remember how we said Shopify was fully customizable, much of your ability to customize your store comes from the wide variety of apps available for Shopify. If you’re wanting to add some type of functionality to your store it’s almost guaranteed that there’s an app for what you’re needing to do.
You can add reviews, loyalty programs, customer wishlists, get in-depth analytics, print labels and packing slips, integrate with accounting software, shipping programs, and social media sites.
Whatever your business needs, there’s likely an app for it.
5. Hosted on their servers
As we mentioned previously, Shopify is a fully hosted e-commerce solution, meaning every brand on the platform is hosted on Shopify’s servers and this is a big deal.
Why? Not only does it make getting set up far easier but being fully hosted means that Shopify gives you quick, reliable loading all over the globe that’s extremely secure ( which we’ll talk about in our next point!)
You’ll never have to worry about an increase in traffic bringing your website down and your server costs up. You’ll also never have to worry about software updates and you’ll get immediate access to every new feature before you even have time to think about it. Some recent examples include Apply Pay, multi-currency, and Augmented Reality.
6. It’s secure and reliable
Shopify’s hosting is super important when it comes to security. Magneto and Woocommerce have both had security issues due to the fact that they’re self-hosted, which is one of the main reasons we recommend staying away from them.
If you’re going to be taking customer's credit card details you need to be PCI DSS Level 1-compliant. Shopify’s hosting means that your store automatically has this and you don’t need to worry at all. You can rest easy knowing your customers’ payment info and business data is always going to be safe. If you wish to start accepting payments from a payment gateway of your choice, you’ll never have to sweat either.
Shopify’s hosting also means it has an excellent fraud prevention system to flag potentially fraudulent orders. Additionally, your store will be issued with an SSL throughout. Your SSL certificate is included in your monthly Shopify fees and there are no additional costs involved.
7. You’ll be optimized for mobile so you can reach more people
It's estimated that this year over half of all online sales will be made on mobile devices.
That means that if you have an online store, having a mobile-ready site that
serves your customers with fast, safe, and reliable service is a must-have.
Shopify will make sure that your online store is mobile-friendly and display how you want it to on any device, so you can reach people wherever and whenever.
8. Great customer support 24/7 from real people
Keeping an online store running can be a challenge at times, even if you have the right software behind you.
If you do run into a curveball, Shopify's customer support should be able to set you right. The customer service from Shopify delivers quick responses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you can get in touch by phone, email, or webchat.
If you think it’s likely someone’s already had your question before, or it’s a fairly common one, you can browse the Shopify Help Centre, Guides, and community forums.
9. It’s easy to manage your SEO
You can build an amazing site, but you won’t sell a thing unless you get people coming to it. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is vital to making that happen.
Because Shopify was designed for e-commerce marketing, it’s got you sorted when it comes to SEO. Shopify’s SEO tools help you get as high as possible in search engine rankings with the ability to easily add and edit keywords, title tags, URLs, meta descriptions, and alt text for products and collections of products, as well as for pages on your site and blog posts.
On top of that, your store will automatically follow some SEO-friendly best practices. This will include the use of standard characters in URLs, a content hierarchy, and much more.
Shopify’s analytics tools will make sure you’re refining your strategy even further by showing you exactly how people are reaching your store. There are also resources to help teach you how you can improve your store’s SEO game.
10. Marketing automation is built-in
Abandoned cart an issue? Want to bring customers back with a discount? Not only does Shopify delight your customers by helping you provide an awesome shopping experience with your online store, but you can use the software to help reach customers in their inbox too.
Multiple e-commerce automation systems for Shopify exist. Shopify itself offers Shopify Plus and a number of apps compete to be the app of choice. Most of the apps work by trigger conditions and actions for example:
- If a customer adds something to their cart but doesn’t go through with the purchase, tag them as an abandoned cart
- If a customer purchases a product, mark them as being interested in that type of product
- If a customer buys from you more than once a month, tag them as VIP
- If a customer has made their first purchase, tag them as a first-time buyer
Using this you can then trigger emails which can help build customer loyalty or bring customers back. For example:
- Send discount codes to first time purchasers or VIP customers
- Send abandoned cart emails to people who abandoned their cart
- Send specific emails about a product to people who you know are interested in it
This type of automation is powerful, it can improve your conversion rates and your overall bottom-line if executed in a smart way.
11. Shopify integrates with all the most popular payment gateways
Use PayPal, Stripe, or Bitpay? No matter what payment system you use you’ll be able to integrate it with Shopify.
If you don’t, there’s good news, Shopify has its own payment system that’s already integrated into the platform. If you use this, you’ll forego transaction fees and can end up paying less in credit card fees. That’s not bad at all!
Get success with Shopify
Keen to get success with Shopify? Because Shopify focuses largely on the marketing side of running your eCommerce business it’s the perfect tool to get the results you want.
However, just because it’s easy to set up a Shopify store, those who are most successful know just how important it is to take full advantage of all its more finely detailed features.
Need some help getting started? We’d love to help! Our team will work with you closely on customizing a proven strategy and implementing a range of tactics. Contact us today to get in touch with our team. Your success matters!