As online shopping becomes more popular, small business owners need to keep up with the times and offer their products online. However, many small business owners struggle with setting up an eCommerce website due to limited resources, time constraints, and a lack of technical skills. Fortunately, Shopify, a popular eCommerce platform, can provide a solution to these issues. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why small business owners should choose Shopify to run their eCommerce store.
We can offer an honest point of view due to the fact we don’t just promote Shopify. We use it for our own store and have tried a variety of other platforms by way of comparison. In the last few years we have used WordPress, Wix and Squarespace to see which is best in a live setting.
What is Shopify
Shopify is a cloud-based eCommerce platform that allows small business owners to create and manage their online stores easily. It is a user-friendly platform that does not require extensive technical knowledge to operate, making it an excellent choice for entrepreneurs who may not have a tech background. You don’t need to have any knowledge of coding which can save you a lot of money when it comes to needing an agency to make changes in the future. Shopify has been around for a long time and is always being improved.
- Over 1.7 million businesses use Shopify to run their eCommerce stores.
- Shopify stores have processed over $200 billion in sales.
- Shopify has a 20% market share of the eCommerce platform market.
- Shopify’s app store has over 6,000 apps to help businesses customize and optimize their online stores.
- Shopify offers a 14-day free trial for users to test the platform before committing to a paid plan.
Examples of Shopify Stores
Over the past 5 years of working with Shopify, we have worked on some pretty cool stores. We thought we should share a few of them with you so you can spot a Shopify store and see how it works from a user point of view.
Calvert Jones is an online store with a physical location in Henley High Street. They sell a range of gifts which changes regularly. Shopify enables them to run both online and offline stores easily.
Located in Wiltshire, Momtes and Clark sell interior furnishing including lampshades, tableware, and ceramics. A beautiful range that can be sold online via Shopify or in their store in Tisbury.
Why is Shopify a Great Idea for Small Business Owners
Now let’s dive into the reasons why Shopify is a great choice for small business owners:
- Easy to use: Shopify is a user-friendly platform that is easy to set up and operate. The platform offers customizable templates, making it easy for businesses to design their stores without needing extensive design knowledge. Additionally, Shopify offers a drag-and-drop interface that allows users to customize their stores with ease.
- Secure and reliable: Shopify is a secure platform that offers a high level of reliability. The platform has a 99.98% uptime rate, which means that businesses can rely on Shopify to keep their stores up and running.
- Mobile-friendly: With over half of internet traffic coming from mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website is crucial for businesses. Shopify offers responsive templates that ensure that online stores look great on both desktop and mobile devices.
- Customizable: Shopify offers a range of customization options to help businesses create a unique online store that fits their brand. Shopify’s app store offers over 6,000 apps that allow businesses to add new features to their stores, such as social media integration, email marketing tools, and customer reviews.
- Payment options: Shopify offers over 100 payment options, including PayPal, Stripe, and Amazon Pay, making it easy for businesses to accept payments from customers around the world.
- SEO-friendly: Shopify offers built-in SEO features that help businesses optimize their online stores for search engines. These features include customizable meta tags, sitemaps, and URL structures, making it easier for businesses to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Affordable: Shopify offers a range of pricing plans that cater to businesses of all sizes and budgets. Shopify’s pricing plans start at just $9 per month, making it an affordable option for small business owners who are just starting.
What can you do with Shopify that is special
Shopify is a platform designed to help you sell online. The old adage build it and they will come unfortunately does not apply here. What we can tell you is that Shopify is excellent at converting customers, what it won’t do is drive them to your store. You need to do the classic marketing bit and generate interest all by yourself.
What Shopify does do well is integrate seamlessly with other platforms like Social Media (Pinterest, Facebook, Insta, and Twitter). You can add most of these as plug-ins for free and get your products listed on their sites immediately. Sometimes Facebook can be tricky with its automated rules and no support. If you need help getting your products on to Shopify then give us a call we have a solution.
If you are into direct marketing and using your database then Shopify has its own email system or you can integrate with the likes of Mailchimp and Klaviyo. Both of which are excellent for email marketing.
You can also work on rewards programs where your customers get rewarded for recommending a friend or they get rewards for shopping with you. There are a lot of solutions for this but they do come in quite expensive.
Our Favourite Shopify Apps
Our Favourite Shopify Themes
Building your store on Shopify couldn’t be easier. In the first instance, you need to choose between a free or a paid theme. The free ones like Dawn are very good and can be altered quite a bit. However some features are not present and require an app, so it is worth paying a one-off cost for a theme than gathering apps that will slow your website down.
What are the pros and cons of using Shopify
We have covered many reasons for using Shopify for your small business. What we have not covered is the cons. The most obvious of course is do you Why use Shopify for your business. If not then stay away and go to something more blog like WordPress. There is an excellent review blog on why choose Shopify here…
Pros of Shopify
- Simple platform with no coding
- Fantastic support and forum-based answers
- Theme-based support too
- Stock control and fulfillment all in one app
- Speed and security built-in as standard
- Purpose-built checkout
- The shop app is a must
- 80,000+ apps
- Shopify is regularly updated like this year with Shopify Editions and how they affect your website.
Cons of using Shopify
- Not the best blogging platform is you create a lot of content
- Can be slightly restrictive to the design genius
- High transaction fees
- Apps are extra costs and slow the site down
How much does Shopify cost?
Shopify costs as little as £25 a month. What you need to be aware of is the transaction fees and app costs. These can add up and must be considered when calculating your margins.
In conclusion, Shopify is a great choice for small business owners who want to create an eCommerce store without the technical knowledge and resources needed for building a website from scratch. With its user-friendly interface, customizable templates, and a range of features and pricing plans, Shopify is a reliable and affordable option for businesses of all sizes.