The advent of the internet and e-commerce has revolutionized the global market space.
Every day we hear of success stories, from small businesses making a fortune to consummate e-commerce giants benefitting from their online stores.
Apart from selling physical products, a web store can be used to sell digital products, appointments, consultations, intangibles and much more, making it ideal for all kind of businesses.
Among all e-commerce solution providers, Shopify has ranked high over the years as the most preferred marketing platform for both novices and experienced business freelancers.
Shopify is a powerful e-commerce platform that businesses can use to build and run a custom web store.
In this Shopify review, we discuss some of the reasons you should be using Shopify and also offer some helpful tips for setting up a web store for your online business.
What is Shopify?
is “all in one” ecommerce platform which allows you to build an online store with a great user experience.
With Shopify, you can:
- Create and customize an online store.
- Sell in multiple places, including web, mobile, social media, online marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops.
- Manage products, inventory, payments, and shipping.
To build your online store using Shopify, you can get a 14 days free trial with Shopify, with no credit cards required.
Since Shopify is based on a subscription business model, the monthly price after the trial period starts from $29 .
For enterprise business, you can consider using the .
Why do freelancers like Shopify?
Shopify’s template system offers some of the most elegant designs you will ever see in online shops. It is also extensible enough to accommodate your needs.
You can be sure to find a theme that represents your business values while offering customers the best feel of your store.
Ease of Use
Shopify is a breeze to work with and the platform is user-friendly for users that are less tech savvy.
It has a simple set-up process that does not require too much technical knowledge to get your online.
Its backend (administrator) dashboard interface is also extremely easy to operate.
Shopify provides all that functionalities that an online store requires.
Handling transactions, tracking orders, and managing inventory among other business processes are easy to complete through this popular platform.
Shopify can be fully customized on both the front- and back-end.
You can easily plug in applications and themes to modify the look and overall function of your store.
Additionally, the wide choice of templates and applications gives every store a distinct look.
Technical Assistance is Provided
This features comes in handy particularly for freelancers that have little knowledge of design and development.
Shopify has a team of experts that can help you build your store, secure it, and offer long-term technical support.
This team takes care of hardware security, data back-up, SSL certificates and other technical issues so that you can focus on more important aspects of running your business.
Shopify is affordable which is one of the key reasons many freelancers find it appealing.
The platform offers three different plans to choose from – Basic, Shopify, and Advanced, all which are tailored to accommodate the e-commerce needs of your business regardless of its size.
Secure and Reliable
It’s easy to integrate Shopify with your current website and enhance the functionality of your online store without worrying about virus and Trojan attacks.
Shopify developers monitor their network consistently to ensure you are always safe.
How to setup your first Shopify store
Shopify is undoubtedly one of the most popular and superior site-building platforms for businesses looking to enter the e-commerce world.
However, there are a few crucial elements to keep in mind when creating your store; some of these determine the functionality and overall performance of your store in the e-commerce market.
From acquiring a Shopify domain to choosing efficient shipping methods, here are some actionable steps on how to set up your Shopify web store.
Acquiring a Shopify domain and email hosting
The first step to establishing your brand on Shopify is buying a domain.
However, if you have an existing domain from a third party provider, you can use it for your e-commerce store by transferring or connecting it to Shopify.
After acquiring a Shopify domain, you can proceed to configure a hosting service for your Shopify store.
Unfortunately, this e-commerce software does not provide its own email hosting service which means you’ll need to acquire services of a third-party company for the service.
This dedicated Shopify email hosting provider is a great place to start especially if you need a service that offers you unlimited email addresses for your custom domain.
Choosing a Shopify theme
As mentioned earlier, Shopify offers a wide range of templates (themes) to choose from; you’ll never have to worry about finding an amazing theme for your store regardless of your market specialization.
Be sure to browse through the hundreds of templates with a keen eye on the demos to find one that reflects the value of products on your Shopify store.
Remember, the key to choosing an appropriate theme that suits your online store is looking past the aesthetics; you also need to consider other crucial factors like its load speed and whether it supports all the key functionalities you’re looking for in a store.
Although Shopify templates are categorized by markets, the best approach to choosing one is testing out as many demos across these markets as possible to find one with the right functionalities and key usability features.
Creating Shopify Collections, Tags and Filters
After customizing a Shopify template to your needs, it’s time to start thinking about the products you will be importing into your web store.
The first step here is to iron out your collections tagging options, filtering choices, and product types.
This makes uploading the products easier and consistent.
Shopify collections (categories) are a very powerful tool in your web store when created carefully.
A collection provides two options for adding your products – manual importation for a small inventory and automatic which works best for a large inventory.
To add products to your collection automatically, you’ll need to set some conditions.
Conditions are simple case sensitive statements that may take the form: “Product Type X is equal to Accessories Y”.
This way, any product of type X added to the store automatically falls into a category of accessories named Y.
Conditions are not limited to product type; they can also be based on price, vendor, inventory, tags, color, size, and so on.
These are incredibly important when creating filter options for products on your collections.
Planning your Shopify collections, tags and filtering options in a spreadsheet will make the process much easier. Remember that consistency is the key when creating collections and adding products to your store.
Shopify Shipping Options and Strategies
One final tip – it’s important to determine your shipping strategies early enough or else it will be a roadblock to launching your Shopify store.
Unless you are dealing with pure digital services that do not require shipping, you need to start figuring out the shipping methods to use the moment you start building your store.
Reach out to various shipping agents, discover their rates, and choose one or several that best suit your customers’ needs and locations.
How Shopify helps your freelance business stay competitive
E-commerce has brought a lot of transformation in the modern business world.
From global trade and vast catalogues to secure online payments and instant communication with clients, businesses can leverage the internet for unlimited growth.
Millions of people continue to shop online and this has contributed significantly in the growth of the e-commerce market.
If you’re a freelancer looking to edge out your competition and exploit new opportunities, you certainly need to learn and implement e-commerce as soon as possible.
This is one of the most effective ways of modernizing your business while also keeping up with the changing market demands – and Shopify is the platform to help you stay competitive.