Shopify is a platform specifically designed for the e-commerce environment. In a way you can say it is the same as WordPress. The major difference being that WordPress was originally developed as a Blog website and Shopify purely for selling online. Why I personally like Shopify is because it is a really easy platform to use for adding products and analyzing your store. It has its own analytics that shows you all the valuable customer information that you can get from Google Analytics, but in a more digestible layout and without leaving the back end of our store. It also has Informational videos and blog posts that help you grow your online store, with new recommendations appearing as your store grows.
Integrations:You can integrate with Facebook and Instagram to make your products available on these platforms without hours of tedious programming. The link is set up as soon as you create the Sales Channel and then all you need to do is to specify the products that you want to make available on these channels.
Pricing:As far as the pricing goes, they have the following options available: Basic at $29 a month, Shopify at $79 a month and Advanced Shopify at $299 a month. It might sound expensive if you think of it as only a Shell that you still need to work on. However included in each plan is the hosting for your website. You just need to register a domain. (Should you not know how, please follow this link: Help with my domain and we can help you set it up). You also get 24/7 Support from Shopify with any queries and an SSL certificate for your website. Another great benefit is unlimited storage for your images on their own CDN server, which helps with your site speed for your Google search ranking. Their image servers are optimized for a fast image load time.
Negative:The only negative for me, is the transaction fees that they charge on each transaction, but at a maximum of 2% of each transaction and the amount of awesome content that is at your disposal, it is not the end of the world.
Little Extra info:Something that is really awesome that I discovered is, that, even if you do not have a website, but you do have a Facebook page, you can set up a Facebook only store that people can buy from for only $9.99 a month called Shopify Lite. If you need help marketing your Facebook page, please contact us here
Payment Providers:You can receive payments in various ways on your Shopify web store. You can enable up to 4 payment options. These options include direct payments using Shopify Partners including PayFast, PayGate and PayPal for international clients. The platform also allows you to accept bitcoin and good old-fashioned EFTs.
How to set up a shopify account:
- Visit https://www.shopify.com or click here.
- Click on the Get started button located in the top right hand corner of the screen.
- It will ask you to enter your email address, password and your store name. (This will be your URL until you claim a custom domain.)
- Click on the create your store button. (You get a 14-day free trial to try it out.)
- Your store is now setup and you will be greeted by the following screen:
- Now you can start adding products or customizing the appearance.