Shopify is a powerful option that business owners can choose as their e-commerce platform. The benefits of using Shopify are many with the platform being able to accommodate e-commerce stores from a start-up level all the way to large corporate enterprises. In this article I will detail some of the main benefits of using Shopify as a platform, what it offers to its users and the many features which can you help you and your store to better succeed in the online world.

Easy To Install, Operate & Maintain

Shopify was a platform created by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake in 2004 while they were attempting to create an online store selling snowboarding equipment. But in the process of creating their store, they realised that at that time, there just wasn’t a solution that allowed them to do what they wanted to do and so they created their own solution, this would later become to be known as Shopify.

Shopify is a platform for those looking to sell products online but don’t necessarily have any coding experience

When a person signs up to get a Shopify store, after choosing their plan, they will be provided with all the necessities needed for running an online store. One of the benefits of using Shopify is that there are free themes/templates to choose from which will give a user fast access to a professional look and appearance. A user once logged into the back-end and having chosen their theme will also see that they can add products to their shop’s inventory with only a few simple clicks in the menu and Shopify allows for multiple product categories and collections. There’s also the ability within Shopify to add a blog to your store so you can do a little bit of content marketing or showcase certain products and deliver announcements. All of this can be done with no coding experience at all.

An example of the many themes available on Shopify which define your shop's appearance and make up the foundation for where your store will be built

An example of the many themes available on Shopify which define your shop’s appearance and make up the foundation for where your store will be built

With little coding experience, you can get your store online quite quickly and possibly even within a day if you’re a fast mover with only a few products to add to your store. When operating your store, having some knowledge of inventory management and also accounting so that you can determine your profit margins would be useful for fast starters. But Shopify does allow for some easy inventory management, with visible stock levels and the ability to track and adjust your inventory levels.

Another of the benefits of using Shopify is that maintaining your Shopify store is quite easy once logged in. Shopify does offer some very useful statistics about your daily visitor numbers and what they looked at as well as your daily sales. There’s also the ability to link Google Analytics to your Shopify store so you can track even more statistics.

On the go, you can also download the Shopify app which is available for IOS or Android which will let you run your store from your phone. You will be able to see your stats, inventory and sales all from within the app whenever or wherever you need to see them.

Mobile Responsive Stores, SEO Capabilities & Marketing Tools Available

From a marketing perspective, Shopify offers store owners the ability to promote their online store and present it in a way that is professional no matter what device a customer is using. Mobile responsive themes are a big factor in being able to do this and Shopify themes are all mobile responsive themes. What this means is that no matter what device your customer is using to view your online store, the store will move to fit the screen. The text, images and cart buttons will automatically format to be the right size for your customer’s device. This will hopefully lead to increased sales in the future for you and your business.

An example of Shopify theme Pop which is responsive and able to fit on both mobile and desktop screens

An example of Shopify theme Pop which is responsive and able to fit on both mobile and desktop screens

Shopify stores have built-in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) features which help you to better optimise your site so that you can get better rankings in Google, which is important for getting visibility for your products. Some of the built-in features included within Shopify include auto-generated canonical tags which are added to pages to prevent duplicate content from appearing in search results as well as an automatically generated sitemap.xml file which contains all of your site’s content that you can then send to search engines such as Google and Bing. You can also edit the title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs for blog posts, web pages, products, collections and alt tags for images.

Shopify has many marketing tools and many benefits from using each of them separately. It is important to have a marketing plan for what you are trying to do with your store and a strategy to use the tools available. Some of the marketing tools include setting sale prices, using discount codes, optimising ads with the Facebook pixel, tracking Google AdWords conversions, sharing on social media and e-mail marketing. Many of these tools can be quite powerful for your online marketing efforts and with the right strategy and dedication to your cause, you could possibly be quite successful using them.

Useful Apps & POS Integration

As much as the default installation of Shopify can do, there’s always more you could do with your store. For example, you might want to add a countdown timer to your product page which lets customers know your sales promotion is ending soon. But you can’t just add one in the default set up, you need to download an app for that and luckily Shopify does have an app for countdown timers and many more. With the various apps available on the Shopify store, there’s a lot of possibilities for what you could do.  Shopify app categories include marketing, sales, social media, shipping, inventory, customer service, accounting and reporting.

Many of the app categories have their uses depending on what you want to do. But if you’re looking to save money and time on your bookkeeping and are making sales, you’ll want to connect Shopify to your accounting platform. You can actually download and install Shopify’s Quickbooks Online app or Xero which will both help you with this need. The Quickbooks online Shopify app is, however, $29.99 a month, while Xero’s integration app is free. Again it depends what you want to do with the apps, or which accounting platform you use (Xero and QB aren’t the only ones available either, there are others too) but the apps can be useful for saving you both time and money and are worth exploring if you have a Shopify store.

An example of a few of the many accounting apps that can be used with Shopify setups

An example of a few of the many accounting apps that can be used with Shopify setups

One of the benefits of using Shopify for store owners that already have a retail store or are looking to expand to a retail location is that Shopify offers a POS service. This service will help you to sell your products in person rather than online. The hardware will need to be purchased separately, but it’s useful for those who want to have everything integrated together with an all-in-one solution.

Secure & Reliable

Shopify is the largest e-commerce platform in the world and is a publicly traded company with hundreds of thousands of customers that they support. Unlike other platforms such as WordPress which is open source, Shopify is a closed platform. When updates are needed on Shopify regarding security, these are rolled out automatically to everyone on the Shopify platform without any of their customers needing to do anything at all. As opposed to something on an open platform like WordPress, updates are optional and people can run the risk of having an outdated site which may become vulnerable over time.

For store owners worried about fraudulent customers, Shopify does offer some fraud analysis support within its platform. This can help to identify orders which may be fraudulent based on several common indicators that are known to Shopify. This is important because it can help to reduce chargebacks. More information about this feature can be found here.

Shopify's Fraud Analysis indicators

Shopify’s Fraud Analysis indicators

If you would like to know more about Shopify and its features or need some help with your store, its setup or have any questions. You can book a free scope call with us here.