The Shopify Platform
Shopify is the most popular eCommerce platform to build and launch an online store. And there’s a good reason for this popularity.
Shopify offers online retailers a simple, user-friendly suite of tools to build and run their eCommerce store. The platform’s services include hosting, payment collections, marketing, shipping, and customer engagement.
With Shopify, you can sell through an online store, on social media, or in person. You’re even encouraged and empowered to sell your products through other channels.
Gross Merchandise Volume
The question for online store owners, who already use Shopify, is this, Are you using everything Shopify has to offer in order to grow your business?
Below, I provide a few examples of Shopify tools that you may find valuable.
How does Shopify work?
If you plan to launch an online store, then Shopify offers the suite of tools you need. It doesn’t require any technical training – no coding or graphic design skills.
- Create and customize your online store
- Market and sell in multiple places (e.g., web, mobile, social media, and online marketplaces.
- Manage products, inventory, payments, and shipping
- Access hundreds of helpful apps (like Mochi) to help you accomplish goals across your business activities.
Website Design and Hosting
We all know that Shopify offers a wide variety of themes that make it easy to design and launch an online store.
These themes are great because they are customizable and are mobile-ready out of the box.
Did you know that Shopify also offers additional branding services to help you prepare your store for launch?
The Shopify name generator helps you come up with a name for your business. At first, this may seem like a silly tool, but anybody who has ever tried to name something (whether it be a business or a child) knows that it can be difficult and stress-inducing.
To use the name generator, simply enter a few keywords related to your business or product idea and the query will provide you with about 100 potential names.
Of course, you don’t have to use any of the provided names, but they can help you with ideas for keyword driven shop names.
Hiring a designer to create a logo for you can be expensive. The Shopify logo creator offers you hundreds of modern logo templates, so you can DIY your logo in minutes.
The Shopify logo design maker produces high-quality images with professional level design, and you don’t need any experience with graphic design to make your logo pop. You can start with a simple template and customize the look and feel to match your store.
The tool even lets you download the logo in various formats, so you have the right size and proportions for your social media accounts, website, and merchandise.
Shopify also offers free, high-resolution stock photos through Burst, Shopify’s free stock photo site. Quality images are essential to making your online store pop, but finding those good photos at an affordable price is not always easy.
You can use the Shopify stock photos for your home page, catalog, or blog. They’re all free and all have commercial use rights, so you never have to worry about copywriting issues.
The most successful Shopify stores are able to carefully curate their product catalog, to ensure they are selling quality products that align perfectly with their target customers.
Whether your just getting started or looking to expand your product offering, Shopify will actually help you source and ship your products through Oberlo.
Oberlo is a dropshipping service that you can use through your Shopify account. It allows you to easily import dropshipped products into your Shopify store and ship them directly to your customers.
Finding products to sell is not always the easiest thing to do. It can be a time-consuming, painful process. There is also a lot of trial and error to go along with that process.
But, if you want to have a successful Shopify store, it’s important that you curate the right products for your customers. Using Oberlo through Shopify allows you to find the right products then dropship them and never deal with holding inventory, managing packaging, or shipping orders.
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is another very popular option for working with suppliers. Dropshipping is a business model where your store doesn’t hold the inventory it sells. Rather, when a customer buys a product online, it is shipped from a third-party directly to the customer.
With a dropshipping model, you would never actually see or handle the products you are selling.
Dropshipping is a great way to get started quickly, with lower upfront costs. There are a number of positive benefits to using a dropshipping model, such as a lower initial investment, the time to market is shorter, reduced overhead costs, and your working capital is not tied up in inventory.
There are also a number of negatives to dropshipping, such as lower profit margins, inventory management issues, and relying on the quality of service and care of your third parties.
Each founder must decide for themselves what makes the most sense for their business – dropshipping or managing inventory internally. For more on dropshipping check out this post from Shopify titled Understanding Dropshipping.
If you haven’t used Shopify academy then you’re missing out on some very good content that will help you build and grow your Shopify store. The material is delivered through video and is produced by highly successful Shopify store owners and eCommerce experts.
The greatest advantage any business has against its competition is the ability to learn faster and adapt quicker to changes in the market. By continuing to learn the techniques used by other successful Shopify stores, you can increase your chances of finding success.
The best thing about Shopify Academy is that it’s absolutely free. You don’t even need to have an operating Shopify store in order to register and begin learning.
If you have specific questions about how to improve your store or sell more products, you can likely find the answer in the Shopify Academy catalog. Or, even if you don’t have a specific question, you can browse the courses and look for inspiration on how to improve.
One of the biggest challenges for any business is consistently attracting the right consumers and converting them to paid customers. Shopify offers a number of marketing tools to help you do just that.
Once you’ve identified your ideal customer, the next step is bringing them to your online store. Shopify offers a few tools to make this easier.
With Shopify’s built-in blog platform you can create and publish content relevant to your audience. For many customers, it can take several interactions with your brand or store before they are ready to make a purchase. So producing relevant, interesting content is a great way to create those interactions.
Shopify is also built with SEO in mind, so you can begin to rank better in search engines. Use this Shopify Academy SEO training to improve your search rankings using Shopify – SEO Training for Beginners.
With Google Ads, you can broaden the reach of your marketing, as your ads can appear on mobile and desktop in Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, and the Google Display Network. Google uses some very smart technology to ensure your products are displayed to the shoppers who are most interested in them.
With Facebook, you can create the campaign and the ads right in Shopify. On top of that, Shopify will help you target the right audience for your store.
Another great Shopify tool to use is the Marketing Dashboard built right into the Shopify admin site. With this dashboard, you can track all of your marketing campaigns across multiple channels and see which ones are driving the most visits and conversions.
If you aren’t tracking your marketing metrics, then you will never know what is working and how to improve. Fortunately, the Shopify Dashboard is built into your admin site, you just need to use it.
For a deeper dive on how to market your products to potential customers, check out 10 Marketing Channels for Your eCommerce Store.
Many of the stores built on Shopify are purely eCommerce, but for those that already have a physical location or are considering opening a physical location, Shopify offers a Point of Sale system.
What is Point of Sale (POS)?
Point of Sale is a term that describes the location at which goods are sold or retailed. In other words, POS is when you sell your products in person, rather than online.
Shopify offers out-of-the-box hardware that integrates with their software and makes it very easy to get started selling in person. You can integrate the POS system with your existing store, thus expanding your sales channels through Shopify.
Just like their online offering, the Shopify POS provides secure transactions, multi-channel selling, discounts/promos, and 24/7 support.
Of course, the Shopify POS is not for everyone, but for those of you who are looking to expand it is a great option. You can use it at a physical store, at trade shows or conferences, or even at your local farmers market.
Once you have your Shopify store up and running, you will find an unending list of tasks that you need to accomplish. You’ll be managing inventory and suppliers, sales and marketing, packaging and fulfillment, and a whole host of one-off tasks.
Automating processes using apps and software can help you scale while keeping costs relatively low. Here is a list of app categories that you may find useful on the Shopify App Store.
Chat and Customer Support: Live Chat (such as Mochi), Returns, CRM
Source New Products: Dropshipping, Suppliers, On Demand
Access New Sales Channels: Marketplaces, Retail, Social Media
Improve Your Store Design: Layout, Features, Navigation
Expand Your Marketing: Ads, Content, Retention
Sales and Conversions: Cart Abandonment, Pricing, Bundling
Manage Orders and Shipping: Delivery and Pickup, Fraud Prevention
Over to You
In this post, I provided an intro to the Shopify platform and some stats to show how big the platform really is. I provided an intro into how Shopify works and then offered suggestions for tools you may not yet be leveraging.
These suggestions included Shopify’s hosting and design features, product sourcing tools, Shopify Academy, the Shopify POS, and the broad range of apps that are available on the platform.
Now, I’ll send it over to you. You can take all or parts of what I’ve shared here and incorporate it into your eCommerce business.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave us a note below. Thanks!