As of 2020, Shopify is in the top three e-commerce platforms worldwide, with over 500,000 active stores. While various e-commerce stores have achieved massive success for a number of reasons, the e-commerce platform they chose to run on is often a strong factor.
For every little thing you may want to try out on your online store, there has to be a part of the platform’s functionality that can accommodate it.
If you’re just starting out and wondering what platform to go with for your e-commerce store, let’s clue you in on the benefits of choosing Shopify
This has always been an important aspect of any technology. A lot of the people that use e-commerce platforms are trying to do business. If you happen to be one of those people that aren’t very tech-savvy, Shopify’s administrative panel will most likely be a delight for you.
It’s the part of the store that properly categorizes every store element, from the look (typography and color) to shipping settings. Everything is labeled in a straightforward manner and you can just click your way through most of it.
You’ll be offered the software and hosting services to launch your Shopify store. This means that you won’t have to worry about what code to write for an action, or how a server will communicate with a client.
With online shopping fraud growing at a rate of 30% since 2017 (twice the rate of e-commerce sales), security is a major concern for both sides in e-commerce. About 19% of consumers say they wouldn’t return to a breached store even after the issue has been fixed.
If you’re going to develop an e-commerce store successfully, security should be guaranteed and Shopify is one of the closest in this area. The platform supports HTTPS and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates which come with a badge of security that visitors can easily see.
The SSL feature is fundamental when it comes to encrypting sensitive information moving through the store’s website. The platform also adheres to the PCI (Payment Card Industry) Data Security Standards.
Their regular upgrades and maintenance of the hosting service are also helpful in ensuring that every other store element is always available online. The platform has also spent over $850,000 on ethical hackers to identify weak points and ultimately produce a more secure experience.
Just like you wouldn’t want to spend that much time inside an ugly physical store, the same goes for online stores. In the case of the latter, you’re even more limited since all you have is a website to try and produce the same feeling derived from exquisite furnishings or lighting.
Shopify e-commerce themes come in plenty, both free and premium. They also offer a variety of options when it comes to redesigning the look of your store. Not only can you make it attractive, but you can also do it in a manner that is more likely to increase conversions.
These features include smooth navigational menus and well-timed CTAs (calls-to-action). You can find a good example of a free theme with superior add-ons that can help you build a high-converting Shopify store.
Keep in mind that all Shopify themes are responsive, allowing for a consistent experience on desktop, tablet and other mobile devices. These themes also offer excellent performance in regard to page load speeds and other metrics.
Multiple Payment Options
To increase your chances of getting that sale, you want to make sure that shoppers can use different payment methods during the checkout process. For starters, Shopify provides its own native gateway powered by Stripe.
On top of that, you can also enable other local currencies and card options to improve your chances of converting. Be it PayPal, VISA, AMEX, MasterCard, ApplePay or GooglePay, your shoppers will be spoilt for choice.
Remember that crypto-currencies are gradually gaining ground and Shopify has already made moves to accommodate them. Find out more about how you can enable crypto payments on your Shopify store here.
Robust Customer Support
Whenever there’s an issue with your service, especially if it involves a customer complaining, you want to be able to solve it quickly. This usually involves doing some troubleshooting to find out whether the fault is on their end or on yours.
And in the case where the customer isn’t to blame, there are still several possible points of error including your dropshipping supplier, configurations set by you and the platform’s technology. A good place to start is by reaching out to your platform’s support team.
From there you can find out what to do next if things weren’t clear. Shopify has people ready to assist you 24/7 via email, phone or live chat. This is particularly important if you sell to people in different time zones since queries may come in at all sorts of hours.
One of Shopify’s major selling points is its app store. Whether you want to set up a referral program or run a donation drive, there’s an app to help you manage all the work. Most of these apps are also packaged to be easy to install and operate.
Another advantage here is that you don’t have to build your store while worrying about every activity you might ever want to carry out. You can start with a simple set up and when you find yourself needing say, an image optimizer or charity app, you can check out the store.
Many of these apps are available for free so you won’t always have to worry about paying for some of the integrations you need. The Shopify ecosystem continues to attract developer talent to innovate at a rate faster than many major brands can handle.
The platform creators understand that different people selling online have a varying set of needs. Shopify therefore offers a number of plans with specific functionality for each one of them.
As of writing, those looking to keep it simple can start with the $9/month Shopify Lite to get a “Buy” button usable on other sites and also manage and sell inventory in physical stores. If your business is of a larger scale with more complex needs, you can try the $29, $79 and $299/month plans.
There’s also the option of Shopify Plus. The major variations in these plans are in areas such as number of staff accounts supported, card transaction fees, professional reports, shipping etc.
All this means that if you do not yet have a good idea of how well you’ll be doing in the short-term, you don’t have to commit to unnecessary options at a higher price. You can learn more details about the different Shopify plans here.
Strong SEO And Marketing Tools
For anyone just starting out in the e-commerce space, getting your store out there and having many eyes on it can be difficult and expensive. Organic traffic is tough to compete for and the quality and quantity of traffic from ads isn’t always reliable.
The basic version of Shopify comes with some helpful SEO features (Search Engine Optimization) to help you rank higher in search engine results, plus e-commerce analytics tools to track progress.
Some of the essentials include email marketing and product reviews.
Shopify’s various plans also allow you to set up a blog which can be crucial in your content marketing strategy. In the case where you might want to run discounts, free shipping offers and distribute coupons as part of your strategy, Shopify has several settings to make all this tidy.
You can also create beautiful landing pages to support your pay-per-click ads and rely on neat code to improve your website’s rank. The platform also allows for better control over site architecture, metadata of various elements like images, and sitemaps too.
With Shopify, you have the ability to sell on a variety of channels including social media (Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest), Messenger, Amazon etc. The Buy button and POS (Point Of Sale) options also help you to boost your chances of making a sale.
In conclusion, Shopify excels at all the major pillars of an e-commerce store. These can be summed up as security, usability, marketability, and cost-effectiveness. In all these areas, Shopify channels the start-small-and-grow-big philosophy.
It leaves room for flexibility and scalability, knowing well that business can be very dynamic. What starts out as a makeup store can be a full-on beauty and fashion products store in less than half a year.
Shopify also makes it easy to add products, with the help of services like Oberlo that create a smooth link with dropshipping suppliers like AliExpress.
The platform aims to be the top global retail operating system and has been advancing when it comes to support for emerging technologies.
If you at some point plan on incorporating AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning into your e-commerce store, consider choosing Shopify. Those in industries like makeup that also benefit from augmented and virtual reality can get the right support on this platform.
Ricky Hayes, Debutify
Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify – free Shopify theme, helping drop shippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies and mentoring programs.