How to Create a Business Website – It’s EASY with Shopify!
Having an online presence is crucial in this day and age where pretty much everyone has internet access and a mobile phone to browse the internet. Best of all, you get global access to all your potential customers worldwide! That’s a hell of a lot more than the couple thousand in your neighborhood. So the big question is, how to create a business website? I want it to be easy to setup and manage, look amazing, and be able to do transactions to sell my product. And the answer is, Shopify!
What is Shopify?
Shopify is the best e-commerce platform on the market today. They are the world’s fastest growing commerce platform with over 275,000 active global retailers with over $17 billion in sales. It’s no wonder because it’s so simple to use and everything a business needs is already built in!
Is Shopify for real? You bet it is! They’ve quickly grown as the ease of use and power in it’s ability to handle the biggest businesses has attracted both small and big businesses worldwide. Some of their big clients include General Electric, Tesla Motors, Amnesty International, and many more. If Shopify is trusted and is used to power mutli-million dollar companies, why not yours?
They have a FREE 14 day trial when you sign up so you can get a feel for what they offer.
Storefront – Incredible Professional Designs
To start off, you need to build your website. You’ll get over 100 professional themes that are created by world-renowned designers. You’ll be amazed at how awesome they look and will be proud to have your very own business website that’s ready to generate more money!
It’s easy to customize these themes to your business as it comes with its own intuitive settings. Shopify has a built-in website builder that has a full-featured content management system so it’s super easy managing your site.
Remember how I told you how almost everyone has a smartphone nowadays? Well since 2014 the number of mobile users actually surpassed desktop users and that number is steadily increasing. This means it’s very important that your website is mobile ready. With Shopify it automatically is. The templates are responsive so it can be seen on desktops, tablets, and mobile with no problem!
Every professional business has their own domain name. With Shopify, they make it easy for you to purchase one from them or transfer your existing domain with ease. And even after all this if you need help, you can get one of the Shopify Experts to help customize your store from the ground up.
Shopify lets you focus on selling your product so you can make money, they have a built in shopping cart so your customers can easily browse and buy from your store. It’s so simple to setup you can start selling right away!
Shopping Cart – Start Selling NOW!
You’ll be able to accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express the minute you launch your store! Low credit card rate and no hidden fees. With 70 different payment gateways to choose from you can use popular ones like PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.Net to name a few.
Security is of utmost importance so they even give you a free 256-bit SSL certificate so that all your pages, content, credit cards, and transactions are all protected by the same level of security used by banks. Now that’s security!
The shopping cart is fully customizable so you can improve your order size by offering free shipping or get integrated shipping rates from major shipping carriers like UPS, USPS, and FedEx with real-time carrier rates. Now that is handy!
Oh, did I mention that they even have an option where an automatic email is sent out to prospects who have added your product but abandoned the shopping cart? This is so powerful because it encourages them to complete their purchase which they would have otherwise forgot about.
Another great feature is that their shopping cart handles taxes! Shopify will automitically handle major country and state taxes so you won’t have to deal with the headache of implementing that yourself.
Store Management – So Easy and Efficient!
If you have your own products, great! It’s easy to add them to your site and start selling immediately. If you don’t, Shopify is fully integrated with fulfillment centers such as Amazon, Rakuten Super Logistics, and Shipwire. They are also integrated with various dropshipping solutions such as Ordoro, Inventory Source, and eCommHub so you won’t ever need to touch the product or even deal with packaging and shipping the item!
A cool feature is that they have an option for customers to create an account during checkout. This allows you to gain insight on their shopping habits as you’ll be easily able to check their order history very quickly. Of course with that enabled customers will also have the option of checking out as a guest user without having to create an account.
Order fulfillment is a breeze with Shopify. You’ll be able to quickly fulfill multiple orders at a time using their easy management interface. This allows you to save more time on management and free yourself for more productive things like marketing your site and getting more sales.
Your store will also have automated emails that go out to notify your customer of their order. This is fully customizable as you can choose the design and content yourself if you want.
Marketing – Very Important If You Want Traffic
More traffic equals more sales so marketing is vital to your business. What are some good ways you can market your site with Shopify? Well first of all, to start you off they give you $100 credit towards Google Adwords if you spend $25. That’s FREE advertisement on Google!
They also allow you to provide discount codes and coupons to your customers so they can save money. Who doesn’t want to save money? These sales and promotions will attract customers and you’re able to customize the discount whether it’s by a dollar amount, a percentage, or free shipping. They’ve thought of everything!
Another great way to market your site is by allowing customers to purchase gift cards for your store. They can give them away as birthday gifts, wedding gifts, graduation gifts, or any other gift you can think of. That’s an extra customer who never knew about your site but now will because of the gift card!
Email marketing is huge. Keep in contact with customers and notify them of sales and new products. Shopify is integrated with MailChimp, a popular email marketing application. This makes this whole process extremely easy to manage.
Social media is super powerful as it has the potential of making a product viral and selling thousands of product withing a very short time. Shopify websites has social media integration built right in which allows viewers to quickly and easily share your product with their network of friends. Imagine if one customer shares your product and then a couple of their friends share your product…and a couple of each of those friends share…and on and on. You can see how your exposure has the potential to grow exponentially which can help you increase sales.
Speaking of social media, Shopify allows your Facebook fans to browse your products and make a purchase without leaving Facebook! The more convenient you make it for your customers, the more likely they will buy and continue to buy from you.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Get Worldwide Customers!
SEO is one of the most important activities to boost your page up the ranks and gaining exposure worldwide. How many people do you think use the internet today? Over 3 billion people! And when they’re looking for something to buy, they often look to search engines for products to buy. In fact, online sales are continually growing steadily each year so you might as well take a chunk of the profit!
Think about it. In this day and age everyone is online. When you think of buying something, what’s the first thing you do? You don’t just pick a place and just buy that item. Usually you would at least do some research whether it be on which one is the best or which store has them on sale or read some reviews to see how other customers like the product.
With Shopify all HTML code, which your website pages are made from, all follow SEO best practices to help rank your pages higher. A sitemap, which is used by search engines, is automatically generated and allows search engines to display your products, pages, and blog posts.
Products – What Your Business Is All About
You need to have products to sell so you can make money. Whether it’s a physical product or a digital product, Shopify has you covered. They allow customers to order and download your digital products right from your online store. If you have a physical product to sell, their amazing inventory management system allows you to keep track of stock and automatically stop selling them when they run out.
Shopify has thought of everything. If you have variations of products like different sizes, colors, materials, etc. you are able to set them with their own price, weight, inventory, etc. This is great if you are selling products like shoes, clothes, or other products where you want the customer to be able to choose the size, color, or other variation.
When you sign up, you won’t have to worry about any product limitations because you’re able to upload unlimited products! You won’t be restricted here plus they even have a handy import/export tool where you can quickly and easily import/export your products using CSV files or one of Shopify’s apps.
People want to know what they’re buying and images are an important way of showing just that. Add multiple images for your product so your customers know exactly what they’re getting. Entice them with stunning photos or show off your product from different angles.
Web Hosting – Super Reliable and Secure
Hosting is included in your subscription and you’ll be getting unlimited bandwidth so even if your store grows like crazy and your visitors increase considerably you won’t be charged a cent more!
As I mentioned before, your store includes a 256-bit SSL certificate so all your customer information and your business data is safe. Since you’ll be doing a lot of online transactions with your business you’ll be happy to hear that Shopify is level-1 PCI compliant which means that you don’t have to worry about the security of your customers’ credit card data.
Shopify has 99.99% uptime and 24/7 monitoring so you’ll be glad to know that your clients will always have access to your website. Along with their amazing uptime, they perform daily backups so all your information is secure in the event they need to be pulled up again.
As Shopify is continually improving, if they have any updates, they are automatic. Which means you’ll be able to access the latest features immediately without having to wait or any hassle.
Analytics – Stats Galore!
Stats are a powerful thing. Know who your clients are. Know which products are selling the most. Know where your clients are coming from. Track your referrals.
You’ll have access to a ton of data like product reports which analyzes your store’s growth and gives you insight on which products are selling or which ones aren’t. With this knowledge you can create effective marketing campaigns or swap under-performing products.
You’ll also have traffic and referral reports so you know where your visitors came from and how they found your site. You’ll easily be able to tell whether or not a marketing campaign was successful or a flop so you can take advantage of knowing whether or not you should repeat the campaign.
Almost every professional site has Google Analytics and Shopify is no exception. It is a very powerful tool and gives you even more insight on how your site is doing.
With all this data in the palm of your hands you’ll be able to optimize your site and make even more money!
24/7 Support – Dedicated Support Team
People may not realize this but support is an important factor for the success of your business. If you ever get stuck or there are issues with your site and there is no one to help you out, your business will falter.
Shopify has a world-class dedicated support team that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so you’ll be sure to get help no matter where you are or what time of day it is. You have options on how you want to contact them as well as they provide support via email, live chat, and phone.
If you want to learn more about Shopify and how to use it, they have a very thorough knowledge base where you’ll find the most common asked questions, user guides, and tutorials. They even have an e-commerce university where you can learn more about selling online. In there you’ll find ebooks, videos, webinars and much more to help your business succeed.
As I mentioned in the beginning, Shopify has over 175,000 active global retailers. Gain knowledge from existing successful businesses or take part in conversations on various topics like marketing, accounting, and much more with their discussion forums.
Learning is the Key to Success!
Everyone has to start from somewhere as even the greatest business person still doesn’t know everything. Successful people keep learning new things and improve as they go and that’s exactly what Shopify helps you in doing. I already mentioned their amazing support. They’re there to help you out with anything with your website and I’m sure you’ll learn a thing or two from them.
They also have a great selection of video tutorials so to teach you step by step what it takes to be successful. Along with videos they have a industry related articles to keep you up to speed with current trends and features. They even have useful guides and podcasts to help you learn all the tips and tricks.
Lastly, they’re so awesome they provide you with a bunch of FREE Tools! Some notable mentions are the logo maker, business name generator, wholesale product search, business card maker, image resizer, and profit margin calculator.
Shopify offers a variety of apps that integrate right into your store to give you powerful additional functionality. There are a variety of categories to choose from that include marketing, sales, social media, shipping, inventory, accounting, customers service, reporting & analytics, and additional SEO support.
An example of one of these apps is Order Printer which lets you quickly and easily print invoices, labels, receipts, packing slips, and more. It lets you customize and create templates and also allows you to print in bulk to speed up your shipping process.
Another useful one is AfterShip which lets you auto track all your shipments from UPS, USPS, Fedex and 120+ couriers. It displays tracking results on your store and notifies customers when the shipment is in transit, out for deliver, and delivered. An important feature that all customers want when it comes to tracking their order.
There are hundreds more so be sure to check them out once you create your account.
Pricing – How Much Will This Cost?
As you can see Shopify has a wide range of features and not every business needs the whole world right off the bat.
Basic Shopify Plan
If you’re just starting out you might want to go with the Basic Shopify package at $29 per month which will give you:
- 2 Staff accounts
- Unlimited products
- Unlimited file storage
- 24/7 support
- Fraud analysis
- Manual order creation
- Discount codes
- Website and blog
- Free SSL certificate
This will get your business going and is good for startups or home businesses.
If you want something more powerful and want to have access to tools that will increase your sales and profit, I suggest the Shopify package at $79 per month. With the Professional package you get all the features included in the Basic package but along with that you get access to gift cards, professional reports, and abandoned cart recovery. The gift card and abandoned cart recovery is already worth it as it’s proven to increase sales that you wouldn’t have got without those handy tools.
This is the most popular plan as it contains all the features needed to quickly build a successful website and establish a good online presence.
Advanced Shopify Plan
If you want it all, are a bigger company, and want the ultimate package then go with the Advanced Shopify package at $299 per month. This gives you access to everything! You get all the features included in the other two packages plus you’ll get access to the advanced report builder and real-time carrier shipping which brings your store to the next level.
I told you what the power of data can do for your business. With the advanced report builder you’ll be able to create custom reports that will help you analyze and optimize your business for more profits.
The real-time carrier shipping is the biggest feature though. It allows you to get the best rate and protect you from losses as shipping costs are calculated automatically by the carrier at the exact time an order is placed. Carriers usually offer a wide range of shipping options but your customers will only be offered only those rates that are applicable to their order.
Shipping can actually make or break a business. Have you ever searched online for a deal only to find that the shipping costs were too high which made the deal totally not worth it? Well that store just lost a sale solely because of their shipping rates. If you set the rate too high, you won’t get sales. If you set the rate too low, the shipping will be cutting into profits.
Did I mention you can add a markup to the rates? This way you can make a bit of money off of shipping as well. if you’re selling high volume daily, you can see how much money that quickly becomes.
Say you have just 10 shipments a day. If the real-time carrier shipping can even save you even $1 for each shipment that’s already $10 (10 shipments x $1 savings per shipment) in savings just for that day. Now multiply that by approximately 30 days in a month and you get $300 in savings just for that month which already covers the cost of your subscription! Now let’s scale that and say you have double the shipments so you have 20 shipments a day. That’s $600 savings (20 shipments x $1 savings per shipment = $20 savings per day; $20 savings per day x 30 days = $600 savings per month)! Now let’s think BIG and say your store has 50 shipments a day. $1,500 savings! 100 shipments a day? $3,000 savings! And that is only based off of only shipment savings. We haven’t even talked about the sales you received because of the accurate, often cheaper, and more reliable real-time shipping rates.
That’s why in my opinion the real-time carrier shipping is a necessity for a business. This optimizes the rate based on exactly what was purchased so there’s no surprises. You can see that the potential loss of sales and the accumulation of shipping discrepancies easily make the real-time carrier shipping worth it especially if you handle a decent volume of sales each month.
Shopify POS – A Great Way To Sell
If you need a quick and easy POS system, Shopify has a POS Retail Package that you can add on to any of the above packages for an extra $40 a month. This allows staff to have their own individual PINs so it’s easy to track their sales and register usage. It integrates with an iPad and card reader so you can make transactions in person at your store. It can also be integrated with your cash register and a receipt printer.
If you sign up, Shopify will give a free 14 day trial! That’s right, they know that people want to try out a product before deciding whether it’s for them and they are confident that once you try it, you’ll love it, so they give you a full 2 weeks to get your website setup. That’s more than enough time to choose a template, add some pages, add some products, and get a real feel for what they can offer. If you have a business or are planning on having a business I highly recommend you giving it a try. I know you’ll be impressed with how easy it is to use and how powerful all the customizations are.
Still not convinced? Go check out some of their User Success Stories! It’s quite inspiring how a lot of them just started off as home-based hobbies that flourished into a full-blown business! Shopify can make your dreams come true. Forget your 9-5 job and enjoy the freedom of working from home.
Go ahead, give it a try! You have nothing to lose and a profitable online business to gain!
Click below to start your FREE 14 Day Trial.