Do you dream of having your own business? If so, you aren’t alone. Many people would love to run their own business and quit the daily grind of a dreary dead-end job.
While there many types of businesses you could start, one you should definitely consider is e-commerce.
E-commerce sales have grown exponentially in the past few years, and they are predicted to continue. In fact, e-commerce sales are predicted to increase from $2.3 trillion in 2017 to $4.5 trillion in 2021.
Who wouldn’t want a slice of that pie?
So, if you’re ready to venture into the world of e-commerce, to help you start your own business, Shopify can help.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that enables people to create their own businesses from home and sell products over the internet. It has been around since 2006 and can help you make money with less overhead.
When you choose Shopify they assist you with everything you need to get started with your own business.
They have a resource list that includes videos, guides, podcasts, and many other types of instruction to help you make money through a virtually automated process.
What it Costs
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial. After which, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan.
There are three plans to choose from:
- Basic Shopify
- Advanced Shopify
Basic Shopify costs $29 per month. Additionally, there are transaction fees for credit cards. On the basic plan, the online credit card fees are 2.9% + $0.30 for each transaction. In-person credit card fees and fees for other types of payments may be applicable too.
The next largest plan, just called Shopify, is $79 per month. However, credit card fees are reduced to 2.6% + $0.30 for each online transaction.
Advanced Shopify, the largest plan, is $299 per month. Credit card fees are reduced to 2.4% + $0.30 for each online transaction.
The larger and more costly plans also have some additional features that can be utilized to help your business continue to grow and earn more profit.
If you aren’t sure which level to sign up for you can begin with the free trial first and upgrade later as your business needs change.
Decide What to Sell
Before signing up you need to determine what you want to sell, unless you have already figured that part out. If you aren’t sure what you want to sell, don’t make a snap decision.
Do some market research first. Take some time to figure out what products you want your store to carry. A fast judgement could cause your business to fail, so you want to be confident about this choice.
If you still aren’t sure what to sell, Shopify can help with that too. Right on the homepage you can find a link to help you find products to sell in your store.
Once you know what you are going to sell it’s time to set up shop. Sign up at Shopify.com to establish your online store.
Shopify has lots of features that you can pick and choose to make your store unique to your business.
Some other features include the ability to set up a shopping cart on your site, manage credit card transactions, and decide on shipping fees. Another great thing is that you can do it all in multiple languages, making international sales much easier.
When it comes to sales tax, you don’t need to sweat it. They are figured automatically to ensure speed and accuracy.
Monitoring customer shopping habits can also be done through Shopify. This includes the ability to send email reminders when customers don’t complete their shopping cart checkout. Using this feature can increase your sales and your profits.
Using Shopify’s tools, you can add photos and descriptions to your products. This makes it easier to get sales and equals more money in your pocket.
It is possible to add a mobile responsive element to your website so your customers can easily shop using their smartphones if they choose to. This feature will likely increase the number of hits your site gets as well as sales.
Staff Management for Larger Businesses
If you have staff members in your business, they can use Shopify too. Shopify allows you to set different levels of permission for each staff member so they can only access the things that are needed for their job. This allows you to manage your shop, whether online or physical, as well as your staff in the most effective way possible.
SEO and Marketing
Without SEO, or search engine optimization, your website has a much smaller chance of being successful and earning you income. Shopify knows this and strives to help you improve SEO.
Shopify supports many SEO functions like keyword selection, meta tags, and more. They also provide you with a sitemap to make it easier for Google to crawl your website.
Other marketing benefits of Shopify include the ability to offer discount codes and coupons, gift cards, and email marketing through their partnership with MailChimp.
Shopify also integrates with the major social media platforms for increased visibility. If a customer is on Facebook, he can even buy products without having to leave Facebook to complete the purchase.
There are many other features you can use that will help you successfully manage your online store and generate profits as well. The great thing is that you get to pick and choose which ones you want to use.
Choose a Template for Your Website
You can fully customize your website so your store is set up the way you want it to be. Choosing from many different themes allows the look of your site to be unique. You can even add your own logo.
Shopify can help you organize your website in an easy-to-read, organized way. They have more than 100 templates for you to choose from.
Some of the templates are free and some come with a cost. However, it may be worth the investment of a couple of hundred dollars for a professional looking website.
When you first start your store with Shopify, you can create a very simple website with only a few products and pages. Then, you can easily add to your site later as you increase the number of products you offer.
Making money through Shopify can be done easily through drop shipping. The beauty of drop shipping is that you don’t have to carry any inventory of the products you sell.
Instead, when a customer buys a product from your store, you go to your wholesaler to buy the product they want. After you buy it from them the item is delivered straight to your customer. The difference between your cost and what you charge the customer is your profit.
Another Shopify advantage you can utilize are integrations, such as Amazon.
Because Amazon is so widely used, integrating with it increases visibility.
Integration also saves time and helps you better manage your retail store. For example, you can sync your inventory so you always know what you have on hand. You can also create listings directly in Shopify and run reports.
eBay and Shopify have also joined forces to give you another avenue to sell your products and make money. Similar to Amazon, you can sync with your Shopify store to keep inventory and other information accurate and up to date.
Using the mobile app from eBay allows consumers to shop your products due to greater access to them. Furthermore, you can run revenue reports and monitor shipping costs.
Order fulfillment is also easier using eBay and you can set prices specifically for those listings separate from the ones on Shopify. Messaging customers can be done making use of eBay’s communications system.
POS Systems for In-Person Sales
Let’s say you run a brick and mortar retail store along with your website. The Shopify POS, or point of sale, lets you receive money for sales in person right on your phone. In addition, you don’t have to use PayPal or any other service provider to process transactions.
They have a new Chip & Swipe Reader that is easy to use for your business no matter if you are in a shop or at a festival or craft show. As the name implies, the reader will take both cards with a chip and also those with a magnetic strip on the back of the card.
It will take all three of the major credit cards and comes with a charger and USB cable making it easy to take with you to shows and events. The great thing about this reader is that it is free.
But they also have a card reader that accepts contactless cards as well as chip and swipe cards. This reader costs $89, but is an affordable way for you to complete credit card transactions.
The POS system through Shopify also allows you to apply discounts and process refunds with ease from wherever you are.
Does your customer need a receipt? It is no problem with Shopify. You can text or email one directly to them so there’s no piece of paper for them to lose track of.
Consider Starting a Blog to Go With Your Site
If you want to reach out more customers, create a blog through Shopify. You can advertise new products and include pictures and features about them. Plus, blog posts can help drive more traffic to your products as they are more easily shared on social media.
Shopify Security Features
Shopify handles the security upgrades so you don’t have to.
That means you can rest easy about the possibility of being hacked. They are Level 1 PCI compliant and use levels of encryption that rival those used by large banks.
As far as backing up data, they do this on a daily basis so you can keep your focus on building your business and increasing profits.
Support from Shopify is never far away since they are available 24 hours a day every day of the week. You can contact them by email, phone or live chat.
If you have questions or a technical issue, this is a great customer support tool available to you. That limits the length of time you are experiencing problems before they are corrected.
Should You Use Shopify?
Anyone with a business, whether retail in a physical shop, or online, can use Shopify.
What if you already have a store? You can add Shopify to your existing sales structure to enhance your services and make them easier.
Do you have a customer database? Add it to Shopify so customers can login and make buying easier. They will appreciate have some control over their information and can update it as necessary.
If you have thousands of customers Shopify won’t charge you more for bandwidth. It is unlimited so you only pay the monthly fee.
Sign up today and automate your shop to make money with Shopify.