A Comprehensive Review Updated For 2014
One of the most prominent and useful shopping cart platforms available to online shoppers and Internet merchandisers is Shopify. The design is straightforward and uncomplicated, which is appealing to masses of web store surfers and designers. Let’s take a look at the simplified and user-friendly set up process for opening a store with the help of Shopify!
A first time shopkeeper can learn about the simplicity of designing a store by looking through a gallery of high quality ready-made layouts and diagrams, determining ad dimensions and diameters, checking on domain name authorization or generating an original domain name, and choosing convenient applications to improve the usefulness of an online shop through the use of this program. It’s designed for ease of usability and effective functionality for all users, without being overwhelming or confusing to those who may still be learning the ropes of online merchandising, and simultaneously, it is not so amateurish that web savvy individuals might have no use for it.
Though the selection of layouts is narrow and their modification can be occasionally tricky or challenging, there is justification in the value of the product in its entirety. The cost of the merchant’s agreement is fair and for all but one package, Shopify does retain a small commission of each purchase. One caveat to be wary of is that by and large, most of the applications available to merchants are not provided pro-bono, and some of the more practical and desirable ones may cost a pretty penny. When building a shop, the seemingly nominal expenses of each application can add up, creating a larger expense to the shopkeeper in the end. Select only the apps that are most sensible for your store and useful for your clientele while keeping the cost of the apps within your budget.
Shopify grants a preliminary pilot storefront to initial online marketers, and provides an easily navigated system through which they may design, build and publish an online store. Listed below are seven simple points to aid you in successfully opening an online store. They segue naturally from one step to the next, and the flow of operations is logical and user friendly. Each of the following sections is accessible from the Preferences menu.
You’ll start by showcasing the products available in your store.
Begin by adding images of the goods that you wish to sell in your store. The preset design of your pilot store will display a polished presentation of your wares. When you’ve finished stocking your store window, navigate to the next page.
Create a look that emphasizes what you will offer and reflects the style you wish to convey to the public!
In this section, you may alter your preset theme and design your shop any way you like. If you’d prefer to view some variations of other market model concepts, you may select that option further down the page.
When viewing template options, you may notice that there is some repetition in the available selections. As a time saver, here’s a helpful navigation hint: minimize your choices by selecting the cost option that is most beneficial to you.
Though there are complimentary presets, expense for some motifs can be as much as $80, extending upward to almost $200. It’s important to note that not all of these can be mobile-friendly. It could be said that you get what you pay for in this instance, as the quality of design is largely proportional to the money you’re willing to spend on it; especially for mobile functionality. Such is the way of customization. Keep in mind that enabling your customers with the ability to shop via mobile devices is just as important as facilitating desktop shopping for them.
Efficiency is all the rage: select a preset that works well for your intended budget or style by using the sorting tool to help you find your best option. Consider though, that while some alternatives may be trendy, it also means that they are being used often, and there’s something to be said for originality, particularly if one wishes to stand out a bit in the web of worldwide shopping.
For those with more specific composition ideas or needs, Shopify can provide customization options. Authorized specialists will create an ideal look to suite your requirements, but understandably, it comes at a price. You’ll be charged by the hour for their work, as opposed to other similar companies like InstanteStore who feature a fully refundable fixed price for customization, with unrestricted modifications after delivery. Compare the cost before making a commitment, and discuss all the parameters of your design and budget with your specialist right from the start.
When you’ve got the look you want, submit your URL and finalize the design. In some rare instances, processing this change has taken considerable time, which could be helpful to know before you begin working on your shop.
Shopify does offer an option to have an alternate look for your mobile website, and while some people may prefer the diversification, in terms of solid marketing concepts, uniformity in logo, content and presentation can be extremely important, so a visual divergence in thematic display from your primary shop may not be the best choice in creating a successful online marketing presence. The implementation of this option may be determined solely by your target audience; it must be attractive to them while remaining true to your image and product.
You’ll have the capability of getting a sneak peek at the end product before publishing your website, so you can make any necessary changes to it prior to placing it on the Internet. This is particularly useful as some of the presets show ad dimensions and you’ll be able to get a good look at layout to see what fits and what works before it’s published.
On to the content! This is all about you and your purpose for selling on the web, with just a touch of legality.
The content section is a triad. You have the ability to create a welcoming page for people who check out your site, as well as a presentation page to describe yourself and your business, and lastly, you may add a blog to post updates about your products and business.
The ‘About’ section is almost effortless to personalize, and it gives you an opportunity to showcase the shining attributes that make your shop stand out in the marketplace. If you wish, this page can be kept from online view until you choose to make it public.
In your ‘Welcome’, you can roll out the red carpet and share some of the best points of your shop and products with your guests. This is a good place to make a lasting first impression and give a quick snapshot of your business. Keep it friendly and informative, but succinct. Oftentimes, less is more.
You can include a blog in your shop! This easily implemented tool will enable you to keep your guests up to date on the goods they can find in your market or the latest word about your business. You may choose to include a connection to Shopify’s own blog on Ecommerce, which could be an interesting and valuable educational resource.
You’ve got the goods, now for the money! Setting up and checking out is next in line.
- Ready To Purchase
Your pilot shop comes standard with Paypal ability enabled. If you’d like to change that, you may make payment option modifications at this point. Shopify will suggest payment solutions applicable to your country of residence. Modes of payment alternative to Paypal are available, should you prefer them.
More traditional forms of payment such as money orders, direct deposit into financial institutions, or even COD are offered for those people who do not wish to make an online monetary transaction.
For some legal protection in the matters of monetary reimbursement to your customers and the confidentiality of their information, you may decide to develop and write your own company policy protocol, another possibility is that you can use the standardized version made available to you, or you could modify the generalized documents that Shopify provides. It’s a wise decision to lay some ground rules out for the benefit of your customers and the preservation of your business.
There’s no business without Uncle Sam and a contribution to the establishment. You’ll need to add taxes.
Because tax rates vary by region, Shopify will determine your location and adjust the tax percentage accordingly, should you wish to charge taxes on the purchases that your customers make. You will have to pay taxes on every product sold, and passing that expense on to the customer purchasing the product is standard procedure.
Federal taxation is also an available option, in the event that you wish to use it.
Part and parcel of the online shopping experience is getting it there! Let’s take a look at your shipping page.
There are two shipping options available for you to better serve your customers.
You may choose pre-priced shipping through agencies such as the United States Postal Service, UPS and Federal Express, for which the shipping prices are calculated dependent upon the desired delivery date as well as package size and weight.
The alternative is to establish shipping costs personalized to your products, in relation to the weight of the order, and though pre-determined suggestions of global rates are offered by Shopify, those amounts may be modified to suit your preferences. You’re able to set those numbers yourself before your store sees the public eye.
What’s in a name? That depends upon whether you were the first to think of it or not, but not to worry, you’ve got some help in claiming your own bit of domain on the World Wide Web.
- Domain Name
This is the final phase of your online store setup.
Perhaps you already own it, and if you do, you may use a previously established domain name, but if this is a fresh endeavor, you can create and register a new one with the tool that Shopify provides. If the name that you’d like to use is already taken, Shopify will propose possible substitutes similar to your original preference. Fine one that suits your store and your style and make it official.
Now that the creation of your shop is complete, you can choose from among the financial proposals that Shopify pitches. One of the bonus features is that the first month of the agreement is cost-free, giving you the ability to test-drive your new store, tweak it and make changes as desired. Another perk is that there are no bandwidth restrictions, but be mindful of the fact that the package you choose will determine the amount of space available to you for your store. Purchasing the Unlimited package is the only option by which you will avoid transaction charges through Shopify.
There is an app market where you can buy any number of apps, gadgets, gizmos and components to implement into your website and aid in the usability and functionality of your store. A limited number are complimentary, but most of the apps can be purchased for a one time price or obtained with a regular subscription. Go through the app market and find the best choices for your shop; remember that not all of them are necessary or applicable to your purpose and design. Be aware that some applications are charged by each and every use, which is a cost that will add up quickly.
Shopify is a truly valuable tool and an ideal resource for Internet markets and shopkeepers. The layout and simplicity is attractive and its usability and components are practical, effective and convenient. For those who don’t speak HTML, it’s a relief to be able to create a functioning and profitable online market with a professional look while maintaining simple mechanics behind the monitor. The setup is easy to follow, cultivating creativity and managing a natural, logical flow of process. This is one of the better go-to tools in creating and publishing an Internet marketplace.