What Is Shopify & How Do You Use It to Boost Your Business?

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Selling your products and services is easier than ever today – technology empowers people to purchase from the comfort of their homes and beyond. Mobile shopping is widespread, yet people still value interacting with brick-and-mortar businesses. Comprehensive solutions like Shopify make it possible for you to sell online and in-person.

What is Shopify and how does it work, you ask? Shopify is a powerful commerce platform that enables you to sell across multiple channels. It offers you the foundation to build an ecommerce store and gives you the tools you need to sell from wherever you are. If you use it properly, you can boost your company’s conversion rates and grow your business.

What is Shopify and How Does It Work?

Though most people think of Shopify as an ecommerce platform – which is one of the primary functions of the service – it is really a robust commerce solution for businesses of all sizes. Depending on what your business needs, Shopify offers five levels of service:

Shopify Lite: This is the most cost-efficient level of service. It’s perfect if you want to sell on Facebook or add your products or services to a website without creating your own.

Basic Shopify: It has a curated set of features that enable you to build your own ecommerce store. This is the lowest level of service you need to use Shopify with your own domain.

Shopify: When you are ready to grow your business, or if you need a commerce solution for brick-and-mortar locations or pop-up stores. This is the next level of service for small businesses.

Advanced Shopify: The most comprehensive level of service. With Advanced Shopify, you can expand your business and receive the most detailed reporting insight available.

Shopify Plus: Large companies and those who need enterprise-grade commerce solutions will appreciate this level because it is optimized for high volume businesses.

Shopify charges monthly to use the platform, but there are other fees to consider as well. While you won’t have transaction fees if you use Shopify Payments, you will pay fees for accepting credit cards whether you use Shopify or another payment platform. If you use another payment gateway, you may incur transaction fees. Shipping fees will also need to be accounted for in your costs, even if you plan to charge your customers for them.

You’ll also need to budget for any ads you create through Shopify or third-party integrations. Some of these costs may be due upfront, while others may be included in your monthly Shopify bill.

Primary Features and Benefits of Building a Shopify Website

While Shopify Lite is a great option for creatives and freelancers, you need to invest in a Basic Shopify plan at the very least if you want to grow a small business. Starting with features from the basic plan, these are some benefits of building a Shopify website.

1. Your Own Ecommerce Website and Business Blog

A Shopify website allows you to create a fully functional ecommerce store in a matter of minutes. With shop templates and an easy-to-use website editor, you’ll be able to add products and start marketing your store on the same day. You may even be able to take payments on day one.

If you already own a domain, you may be able to set up Shopify easily. If you don’t own a domain, you can still use Shopify to create your ecommerce store. You can upgrade to a domain later.

2. Unlimited Products and Multiple Sales Channels

The three standard Shopify plans allow you to add unlimited products. You’ll be able to upload images, write product descriptions, and manage your inventory in the same place. If you’re moving to Shopify from an existing ecommerce store, you can even bulk import your products.

Shopify makes it easy to integrate your store with other sales channels, especially social media platforms. You even have the option to integrate with Amazon and eBay.

3. Integrated Shipping and Payment Options

Whether you want to ship items yourself or use a third-party fulfillment service, Shopify enables your business to ship to as many places as possible. You can set up various shipping choices with different companies and include free shipping options for your customers.

Shopify makes it easy to accept payments both online and in-person. You can accept cash payments using their mobile app and credit card payments with their card reader.

How to Successfully Use a Shopify Website to Grow Your Business

Shopify is more than just a solution for displaying your products and collecting payments. They have a suite of marketing tools that can help your business grow. Those ecommerce marketing tools allow you to share your products and accept payments from more than one place.

If you want to see the most success with Shopify, you need to employ these three tips:

Connect your social media channels: You can use Shopify to sell products on your business’ Facebook page and send potential buyers to a specific product from Instagram.

Get a Google AdWords account: Shopify offers an AdWords credit for new stores, which can help you maximize the value of your initial marketing strategy.

Download the mobile app: Whether you want to upload products on-the-go or check reports while you’re on vacation, you can manage your business from anywhere.

Once you connect your social media channels and have a solid understanding of how the platform works, you can branch out and create paid social media ads directly from Shopify.

Is Shopify Right for Your Business?

Choosing the right commerce solution for your business is a big decision. The right ecommerce store can make it easier for your customers to find what they’re looking for and encourage them to follow-through on their interest. Shopify offers a practical set of tools for businesses at any stage, and it’s relatively inexpensive for most businesses.

If you want to set up a fully functional ecommerce store quickly with a platform that enables you to sell almost anywhere in the world, Shopify is an excellent solution.


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Lonnie Ayers

About the Author: Lonnie Ayers is a Hubspot Certified Inbound Marketing consultant, with additional certifications in Hubspot Content Optimization, Hubspot Contextual Marketing, and is a Hubspot Certified Partner. Specialized in demand generation and sales execution, especially in the SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Partner space, he has unique insight into the tough challenges Service Providers face with generating leads and closing sales using the latest digital tools. With 15 years of SAP Program Management experience, and dozens of complex sales engagements under his belt, he helps partners develop and communicate their unique sales proposition. Frequently sought as a public speaker in various events, he is available for both inhouse engagements and remote coaching.
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He also recently released a book "How to Dominate Any Market - Turbocharging Your Digital Marketing and Sales Results", which is available on Amazon.

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