With Shopify, you can design, set up and manage your store across multiple channels, including on-site, social media, brick-and-mortar and more.
Shopify currently powers over 800,000 businesses in approximately 175 countries and is trusted by brands such as Unilever, Kylie Cosmetics, Gymshark, and many more.
Choosing an eCommerce platform is a big decision, so you need to understand what factors influence that decision.
In this article, we look at the value Shopify brings, the features and functionalities of the platform, and how Shopify grows with you, as you scale your businesses.
A fully-hosted eCommerce solution
Shopify is a fully-hosted eCommerce solution. That means that your website files and data are securely held in the cloud. A fully-hosted solution comes with a series of benefits for shop owners.
Easier to build with
A hosted platform enables a simpler store setup process, by removing many of the barriers to entry that entrepreneurs face when starting a business.
The features shop owners need to get started are built-in, so getting started is easier. Shop owners receive native hosting, shopping cart functionality, and sales channel integrations with no additional fees or integrations.
Ready for optimisation
As a shop owner that grows and develops, it’s natural that you’ll want to optimise your stores continuously.
As a hosted platform, Shopify regularly pushes new improvements to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of stores hosted on the platform are built with industry-leading best practices.
Also, having a hosted platform means you have access to robust third-party apps and integrations that extend the functionality of your store to create a fully customised solution, big or small.
Simplified store maintenance
Because your store is fully-hosted, you can focus on running your business, while Shopify focuses on making sure the platform is maintained.
With robust technical support and ongoing platform maintenance to reduce downtime, your business will continue to run smoothly.
Shopify also has industry-leading security, including SSL certification, security patches, and more, ensuring that your eCommerce business and customers are secure.
Resources to get started
While Shopify is a solid solution for long-standing eCommerce shop owners, if you are just beginning your journey in eCommerce, you also have plenty of resources to help you get started.
With Shopify, you can find tools that help you generate a business name, create a logo, claim your web address, download free stock images, amplify your brand, find products to sell and choose a free store Theme.
A flexible solution
New and established eCommerce shop owners can extend the functionality of Shopify’s platform by downloading Apps and integrations from the Shopify App Store.
With over 2,200 apps, the App Store gives you the ability to access a truly customised eCommerce platform that serves the unique needs of your business.
The ability to sell anywhere
The Shopify platform allows shop owners to sell wherever their customers are, including online, in person, and everywhere in-between. Through multiple sales channels, you can connect with your customers anywhere.
Some of the sales channels available to Shopify merchants include:
- Online store
With over 70 themes, a drag-and-drop store builder, and custom domains, creating an eCommerce website is made easy.
- Buy Button
The Buy Button allows you to embed products, provide secure checkout, and add a customisable buy button to any existing website or blog.
Shopify’s POS solution allows you to offer better in-person shopping experiences with easy-to-use hardware and software with a unified back office.
- And more
With the ability to integrate with social media, online marketplaces, and more, you can reach your buyers no matter where they are.
Help with marketing
Shopify is also designed to help you market your businesses.
In addition to marketing apps available in the Shopify App Store, the following tools walk a merchant through the marketing process and provide platforms where you can connect with your buyers.
Online stores come with a default blog built-in, meaning that you can add a blog to your store to build your audience and boost store traffic.
- Search Engine Optimisation tools
You can help buyers find your store with SEO tools to edit title tags, meta descriptions, and product details.
- Google Smart Shopping
Google Smart Shopping allows you to set a daily budget, enabling Google’s technology to run strategic campaigns for you.
- Facebook Ads
Shopify helps you select an audience to ensure you’re targeting the right people with Facebook Carousel Ads.
You can create codes for a pound value discount, a percentage discount, or a free shipping discount.
- Virtual marketing assistant app
Shopify’s in-house virtual marketing assistant app Kit will help you automatically boost awareness, drive sales, and email customers.
- Marketing dashboard reports
The marketing dashboard in Shopify helps you track campaign performance from start to finish.
Tools to manage your business
Running a business means staying on top of lots of moving parts. Shopify makes this easier for you by providing one mission control for your business.
From your Shopify Admin, you can keep an eye on all components of your business, and ensure things are running smoothly.
Orders and fulfilment
Through the admin, you can process and ship orders and manage your inventory across multiple locations. Shipping and customer details are also managed from this central location.
For eCommerce shop owners outside of the United States and Canada, there are local app integrations available to help you find the right shipping solution for you, no matter where in the world you are.
Shop owners can also manage payment methods through the admin. In many countries, Shopify Payments is the simplest way to accept payments online.
It eliminates the hassle of setting up a third-party payment provider and allows you to manage your payment gateway directly in your Shopify Admin.
Payment details are synced with orders, making it easy for you to see how much you’ve been paid without ever leaving Shopify.
Also, with Shopify Payments merchants save on third party transaction fees and have access to the payment methods their customers want, including Google Pay and Apple Pay.
Shopify Payments comes fully integrated with your store, and includes a wide variety of functions that let you manage your entire business and financials in one place.
When Shopify Payments is not available, or in cases where you wish to offer additional payment options, Shopify supports a variety of third-party payment providers. This means that customers can still check out in a secure way that’s comfortable for them. For the full list of payment options available in each country, please visit the payment gateways page.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) launched in May 2018 and impacts how all companies collect and handle personal data about European customers.
Generally, shop owners control their customer data, which means they collect data and choose how it’s handled.
Shopify is designed to allow you to operate anywhere in the world, which means that features that enable you to be GDPR-compliant are built into the Shopify platform.
This includes features that allow you to offer your customers transparency and control over their personal data. It also includes technical measures to ensure their customers’ personal data is protected as it crosses borders.
Now that you understand the features, capabilities, and benefits of Shopify, it’s also helpful to understand Shopify’s payment plans.
You get 14 days trial before you start making payments.
Shopify pricing comes in several tiers:
- Shopify Lite All the basics for starting a new business – $9 p/month (~£6.80 GBP)
- Basic Shopify All the basics for starting a new business – $29 p/month (~£21.93 GBP)
- Shopify Everything you need for a growing business – $79 p/month (~£59.73 GBP)
- Advanced Shopify Advanced features for scaling your business – $299 p/month (~£226.06 GBP)
- Shopify Plus The enterprise solution for the world’s fastest-growing brands – Shopify Plus
As your business grows, you can easily change plans to ensure Shopify’s functionality always matches your needs. For the full information on cost, fees, and features, please visit the pricing page.
Exclusive with Blueocto – try out Shopify for more than 14 days!
For a limited time, we’re allowing you to sign-up and give Shopify a whirl, unlimited on the Basic Shopify plan, for 60 days.
You only start paying Shopify on a plan, when your shop goes live.
Get in touch today to see if we can help you migrate from another platform, or get you start completely new!