What is Shopify?
Shopify is an all-in-one ecommerce system. For a low monthly rate you can host a web store and have access to all of their design, product management, and online shopping tools. Everything is right at your fingertips and very easy to use. We use it for the majority of our new branding clients, because we feel it’s the best choice for most online sellers.
Having everything all under one roof streamlines and simplifies the task of running the shop, leaving you more time to work on your business, not in it. It’s a great resource for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time and money with website development and maintenance.
There are literally countless reasons to choose this platform as your e-commerce super-station. Having worked with hundreds of clients on website development, setup, design, management, and maintenance, Shopify is a Godsend.
Especially if you’re new to the online selling scene. Back in the day a new seller had to go to one site to secure a URL, another to set up hosting, find a content management system (CMS), choose payment processors, find a shopping cart provider and then figure out how to put it all together. On top of that, they had to hire a designer and developer to produce the visual brand they had in mind. Getting started was a full-time job all its own. But gone are those days. Shopify has it all and, beyond the customization options which are all yours, the majority of it is done for you, right in one centralized place. No extra fees for every little change or update. I can’t say enough great things about it.
Some key features include:
- Hundreds of intuitive themes make customizing your own brand a snap
- Eliminate the need for a developer with their intuitive design tools
- Quickly and easily customize every facet of your storefront
- DIY content management system
- Expert assistance is always available
- Includes a built-in mobile commerce shopping cart
- Use your own domain name, or purchase one through Shopify
- Free SSL certificate to show shoppers your store is safe and sound
- Multiple languages helps translate your store and reach more people in more countries
- Integrates with over 70 external payment gateways from around the world (from bitcoin to PayPal)
- Shopify will automatically handle major country and state tax rates
- Set up shipping rates your way (fixed-price, tiered pricing, weight-based, and location-based rates available)
- Get automatic shipping rates from major shipping carriers like UPS, USPS, and FedEx
- Recover lost sales by automatically sending an email to prospective customers with a link to their abandoned shopping carts
- Accept credit cards
- Know who’s buying from you with the Customer Profile feature
- Encourage repeat shopping with account creation, or let customers check out as a guest
- Capacity to work with drop shippers and fulfillment centers
- Plenty of professional Email templates available to customize your communications
- One click order fulfillment
- You can even manage everything from your phone
Marketing & SEO
- SEO is automatically optimized for you
- Create your own coupons, gift cards, and discount codes
- Help with email marketing
- Product reviews
- Simple social media integration
- Sell on Facebook, accept credit card payments, and use Buy Buttons for only $9 per month
- Offer product variation (size, color, style)
- Manage inventory with ease
- Sell physical or digital products
- Organize products by category, type, season, sale, and more
- Use multiple images to showcase your items
- Sell an unlimited amount of products
- Import or export your products using CSV files
- Never run out of space with unlimited bandwidth
- Daily backups
- Email forwarding (Create email addresses like [email protected])
- SSL certificate
- Instantly updates the latest features
- 99.99% uptime and 24/7 monitoring
- Actionable dashboard shows everything in a single snapshot
- Google analytics so you get the whole behind-the0scenes picture of your traffic
- Product reports to see what’s selling and what’s not
- Traffic and referral source reports available
One of the best features is their 24/7 support. You’ll always have help when you need it through a dedicated support team, a knowledgebase, forums, and detailed tutorials.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Open a Shopify account.
Head to their website and click the Get Started button in the upper right hand corner. Enter your email address, then your desired password and store name. If your store name is already taken, you’ll need to choose some derivative of it for the purposes of getting set up. For example, if your shop name is TLC Designs, you may need to opt for TLC Designs Online.
You’ll be prompted to a form where you can add your address to set up currencies and tax rates. Then, a few more simple questions to help them do their part to set up your store and get you up and running.
2. Customize The Look
You can perfect customize each element of your visual brand and storefront using from colors to logos and beyond. Choose a theme of your own or visit their online theme store. There are literally hundreds to choose from. See what strikes your fancy.
3. Set up your domain
You can register a new domain name or use one you already have. The process is simple and the prompts walk you through exactly what you need to do.
4. Choose a 3rd Party Payment Processor
Click on the Payments tab to select from over 70 different payment processors such as Paypal, bitcoin, Stripe, Authorize.net, etc. Shopify also offers its own easy to use payment processor. (Hint: If you’re new to online selling, I recommend starting out with the Shopify proprietary payment processing option.)
Choose the ones that you’d like to work with and follow the steps to activate and set them up. And just like that, you can accept payment for your goods and services.
5. Add your products
Shopify makes it very easy to populate your site with products. Just fill in details (title, description, price, vendor, etc.), add your image(s), and click save.
6. Launch It
That’s it! Click the Launch button to bring your store to life.
While you’re in the developing mood, stop by and check out this post where we share our picks for the ten best sales and marketing apps available on Shopify right now.
Congratulations! You now have a fully functional online store of your own.
Ready to share it with the world? Check out Get Famous and Get Social, our guides to breaking into the social scene and getting eyes on your brand.
P.S. If you’re hesitant and want to test drive it first, Shopify offers a 14-day free trial. (Click here to get it.) You don’t even have to share your credit card information with them until you’re ready to commit. Follow this link to get our exclusive Mogul Mom discount!
That’s what we love about Shopify- everything is at your fingertips and on your terms!
If you think Shopify is as awesome as we do, but you’ve already got a WordPress platform in use, you can now use Shopify’s new WordPress Plugin to turn any WordPress site into an ecommerce site.
Do you have experience with Shopify? Tell us about it in the comments.
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