Shopify is one of the world’s best direct-to-consumer subscription services. It’s an easy-to-use platform that lets business owners design and manage an online store.
It's the platform of choice for several big-name retailers and brands, including Heinz, Staples, and GymShark. Sportswear giant Nike also embraced Shopify to reach its customers during the COVID-19 lockdowns. And it turned out to be a pretty wise move; Nike's profits spiked by 75% in the first half of 2020.
But Shopify isn't just for big business. In fact, it provides an excellent service for small companies looking to establish an online presence and grow fast. And more than one million of Shopify's subscribers are entrepreneurs bringing their innovative products or services to market.
So if you want to learn how to launch your first online store, check out this infographic from business financing provider OnDeck. They outline everything small business owners and entrepreneurs need to know about building a successful Shopify store.
Why Use Shopify?
More than 44million people purchased something from a Shopify store during 2020. In other words, setting up your Shopify store is one of the best ways to expand your customer base. For example, Shopify lets smaller businesses sell products worldwide in different currencies and languages.
Shopify has helped thousands of ambitious people transform their exciting ideas into successful businesses. Independent sneaker designer Allbirds launched on Shopify in 2016. The company is now worth $1billion. And then there are people like Lauren Singer. On a mission to make the business world a much greener place, Lauren used Shopify to set up Package Free - a sustainable beauty and household items store that delivers products with zero packaging.
Shopify's Best Features
Shopify comes with a range of features that make designing and running an online store as easy as possible.
The online shop includes an e-commerce website, blog page, discount codes, and insightful analytic and reporting tools.
You'll also get Shopify's in-built marketing function to help you track performance and manage customer information in line with the latest data protection laws. You can even create unique shopping campaigns to promote new products or advertise an 'end-of-season' sale.
And these are just the basic features. Store owners looking for extra functionality can add additional apps that suit their specific business needs.
Some of the platform's most popular apps include Shopify email; it lets you create and send marketing emails to your customers. You can also track their performance via a detailed reporting tool. And for those who hate doing the ‘boring’ admin work, there's QuickBooks Online and Invoice Falcon. These automate much of your accounting and invoicing tasks, giving you more time to focus on the things you do best.
How Much Does It Cost To Use Shopify?
Shopify Basic is the entry-level package. Costing just $29 a month, it's the ideal option for sole traders or entrepreneurs launching a small range of products. That $29 a month gets you everything you need to set up and run a small virtual store, including an online shop with unlimited products, 24/7 customer support, and two staff admin accounts. And you'll receive a free SSL certificate, so customers will know your site is safe and reliable.
The mid-range package costs $79 per month and is aimed at medium to large businesses selling multiple products across the world. It comes with all the features mentioned above, plus professional sales reports and international domain and pricing.
Shopify Advanced is for large, established players looking to set up or expand their online presence. It's priced at $299 a month. Advanced Shopify offers up to 15 admin staff accounts, a detailed report builder for creating and customizing analytics tools, and third-party calculated shipping rates. Shopify Advanced also reduces additional fees for using any payment providers other than Shopify payments.
Setting Up Your Store On Shopify
You only need two things to get started on Shopify: an email address and business name. With these, you can set up a free 14-day trial, giving you a chance to see what Shopify is like before making a long-term commitment.
Once registered, Shopify will ask for some more details, such as company address. Then it's time to add a domain name. You can choose from Shopify.com or a custom name. Top tip: custom domain names are more memorable. But keep it short and snappy.
Now it's time to start designing your store. This is super simple, even if you've got zero coding or design skills. All you need to do is select your favorite store template, add your required features and apps, and then hey presto - you're a virtual store owner!
You can find more information on creating your site in the step-by-step guide below. Plus, you'll find some top tips on making your shop look great and turning views into sales!