Over the years, I’ve managed to accumulate a large handful clients that are using various types of terrible e-commerce platforms. I’ve struggled through these different solutions – wasting my time and my client’s money. I totally understand that finding the right e-commerce platform can be really difficult. There is no solution that is the right fit for every situation, it just depends on the details of the site you are building.
However, in my research and battle with the awful e-commerce platforms, I’ve come to love Shopify, a hosted e-commerce platform. After finding Shopify, I quickly realized that my clients and I would be way better off utilizing their platform. I saved so much time, they saved so much money, and it’s so much easier for all of us now.
In this article, I’ll walk you through 10 of the reasons why I “Shopified” all of my clients.
1. Quick & Easy to Set Up
One of the most attractive benefits of using Shopify for e-commerce is that it is easy, which frees up more of your time for other things like running your business. It’s possible to get a professional-looking e-commerce site set up quickly without the need to touch any code or hiring a designer or developer.
Shopify is a hosted system, meaning they handle the web hosting as well as the e-commerce functionality. This means you won’t need to purchase a separate web hosting account and install a complicated script or content management system (CMS) onto your server before setting up your site. When you sign up at Shopify you can start working on your site immediately with no need to install anything.
With the templates provided by Shopify (more on that later in this article) it truly is possible to get your site set up quickly with no technical skills or experience. And if you prefer to hire a designer/developer to create a custom template for you, that is possible too. Shopify has a directory of designers/developers who are experts with their system, so finding one is easy.
2. No Need to Worry About Security
If you’re a small business owner you probably have enough to worry about without the security of your customer data being added to the list. Since Shopify handles the hosting of all sites using their platform, they can also take care of the security details. Shopify is certified Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, and every site on their platform gets a free SSL certificate.
If you were to host the e-commerce site on your own, security could be a major concern. For small businesses that don’t want to worry about these types of issues a hosted system is ideal.
3. Beautiful, Customizable Templates
Every Shopify user has access to a large collection of website templates. Most e-commerce templates that you’ve seen in the past have probably been unimpressive and unprofessional. But Shopify’s free templates are surprisingly attractive.
For those who have a small budget to dedicate to the design, an even larger selection of premium templates is also available. These templates range in price from $100 – $180 (and Shopify themes can be purchased for even lower prices at ThemeForest), and they can help to give your site a look that will catch the attention of your visitors. No other e-commerce platform that I have seen offers templates of this quality.
The templates have been created by a variety of different designers, and if you are a designer/developer yourself you can make some money by creating your own templates to offer in their theme store.
Here is a look at just a few of the themes that are available.
4. Reliable Hosting
Having the web hosting provided by Shopify can be either a pro or a con, depending upon how you look at it. Some users have a specific web host that they would like to use, and with Shopify that is not an option since they would be hosting the site.
But in terms of simplicity, a hosted platform is a great option. Rather than having separate companies as a web host and an e-commerce provider, with Shopify you’ll get everything from one provider. That means you’ll have only one point of contact. If you need support with your site you won’t need to go back and forth between a host and an e-commerce provider. You can get help with anything related to your site from Shopify since they are also hosting the site. For most small businesses, this is ideal.
Shopify offers unlimited bandwidth and 99.94% uptime. They use a content delivery network (CDN) to deliver your website quickly to visitors, regardless of where they are located.
5. Great Support
Shopify offers support 24 hours a day by phone, email, and online chat. Regardless of what time zone you live in, or when you need help, you will be able to get assistance. If you’ve ever had an issue with your website over the weekend and not been able to reach someone for tech support, you know how valuable 24/7 support can be.
In addition to phone, email, and chat, Shopify also provides very thorough documentation and a manual that can help you to find answers to most of questions on your own.
In addition to support, they also offer free training through their E-Commerce University.
With the number of mobile visitors constantly increasing, having a site that functions well and is user-friendly on smartphones and tablets is essential. There are plenty of Shopify templates that will give you a mobile-friendly website, making it a better experience for your visitors. Customers can browse and buy using any mobile device.
In terms of administration, Shopify also offers a free iOS app that makes it easy to manage your site/shop from an iPhone or iPad.
7. Easy Content Management and Blogging
Shopify includes a full CMS that includes blogging functionality. You can easily manage all of the content on your site without the need to touch any code. It also includes SEO features like control of the page title tags and meta descriptions.
Blogging can be a great way to connect with your audience and attract new visitors to your site. The social networking integration features will help you to reach even more people and expand your site’s reach.
8. Abandoned Checkout Recovery
Every e-commerce site experiences abandoned shopping carts. With Shopify’s abandoned checkout recovery you can automatically email a prospective customer who put an item in the shopping cart but did not complete the order. Obviously, this can help you to make more sales an increase revenue.
9. Custom Gift Cards
The custom gift card functionality is a great way to increase your revenue, especially around the holidays. Customers can purchase a gift card for someone else very easily using this feature. The recipient can then check their balance at your site and make purchases using the gift card.
10. Tons of Apps for Added Functionality
While Shopify includes loads of functionality, there are plenty of other ways that you can extend the system through apps in their app store. Some of the apps are free, and others must be purchased. There are apps for just about everything you can imagine, and they are listed in the following categories: marketing, sales, social media, shipping, inventory, customer service, accounting, tools, and reporting.
Here is a look at just a few of the apps that are available:
Coupon Pop: $9.99/month
Add a pop up to your site to give special offers to visitors.
Track all of your shipments – UPS, USPS, FedEx, and 120+ couriers.
Product Upsell: $9.99 – $59.99 per month
Add upsell offers to increase revenue.
S Loyalty: $19.99 – $119.99 per month
Create a customer loyalty program to encourage more purchases.
Bonus: 14-Day Free Trial
On top of the 10 reasons we’ve already looked at, Shopify offers a 14-day free trial so you can you can give it a test run with no commitment. You don’t even need to enter credit card details in order to get started with the trial. If you think Shopify may be the right fit for you, visit their site to learn more or to start a free trial.