Here is why I recommend Shopify for your Online store
There are lots of ecommerce solutions, starting with WordPress , and other open source online shopping cart software. Most of them are free and you could just install them on any cheap Shared Web Hosting like these ones listed here.
So, why use Shopify?
Shopify is a paid platform. The 14 day trial is just to get you to create an account .That will not be enough time to test out the platform extensively.
If you want to sell products directly to customers, Shopify is a great choice. The following are the reasons why I recommend Shopify as the best alternative for creating your online store.
1. It is well architectured
Shopify is very well architectured and is very easy to use. Shopify is usable by everyone and anyone. Whether you are a developer, designer or just Joe who doesn’t even know how to operate his smartphone.
Adding products is very straight forward. Adding pages is also very straight forward. Once you create the first page, you can create as many as you need to. Creating blog posts is also very intuitive .
Everything is well labeled, be it the settings for Checkouts, Products, Customers and the store. Even if you haven’t taken any tutorials yet, you can just click on something and see what settings you can tweak.
If you are a developer or a designer, you can extend the appearance of your theme by learning basics of Liquid, the templating engine used by Shopify to populate page items. If tinkering with code is not your cup of tea, then you can just customize the theme using the options that are readily provided on the Shopify menu.
I could go on and on with this.
The point is, Shopify has a great User Experience. It is well architectured and it is easy to use and learn . Once you take a few tutorials you will become extremely comfortable working with it.
Related : TOP TEN SHOPIFY TUTORIALS
2. Unlimited on all plans
You will get Unlimited file storage, Unlimited number of products and Unlimited bandwidth. You can only understand and appreciate the real benefit of ‘unlimited-ness’ if you have dealt with the ‘affordable unlimited webhost’ lie. Spoiler alert, it is never unlimited.
Shopify will actually give you unlimited file storage space and will enable you to add unlimited products on any of the available plans. This is very crucial towards your growth.
When you open a store on shopify.com ,you won’t have to deal with the hustles of Web Hosting. If you are nerdy and geeky, Web Hosting is never much of a pain for you since you can always switch from one Host to another. In most cases you can go for months and months without ever talking to support. This is because you are your own support. However, for the majority of people this is not the case.
For most people they heavily rely on support to fix most of their arising issues. I came to this realization when I noticed that the majority of people who leave reviews for Web Hosts are mostly the less technical . I am talking of the reviews on web hosting forums and web Hosting review websites. The number one complaint for most customers is poor support from their Web Host.
I have never engaged with the Shopify support, at all. With that said, they offer support 24/7 . The word around the internet is that Shopify support is reliable. The fact is, the amount of support you will need will probably be very minimal as compared to if you were running WooCommerce or any other ecommerce software on a third Party Web Hosting Server.
Rejoice in the unlimited features offered by Shopify because somewhere right now, a store owner is on the support queue with their web host, trying to get their site back up because they surpassed their bandwidth usage. Another one is also reading a warning email from their Web Host, pushing them to upgrade their account lest their account be deactivated.
3. Too many payment Gateway alternatives
This means you can use it in whichever country you are in. They’ve been able to integrate a whole range of Payment alternatives. Ranging from PayPal, Bitcoin APIs, Stripe and a whole bunch of other Credit/Debit card processing companies.
If you do business in your local area, you may also activate Cash on Delivery (COD).
There are so many different payment gateways on Shopify. You should therefore activate the ones which are most convenient for your target customers.
Too many Payment Gateway alternatives is a good thing.
4. Blogging by default
If you are a lazy marketer, you HAVE to be involved in blogging. Especially if you don’t have the budget for consistent paid ads.
I like to classify blogging under a type of Marketing that I call, Longevity Marketing. Write a great post once and let it bring you visitors and customers for a long time to come.
You don’t even have to write the posts yourself. Go to Fiverr.com, try out different writers until you finally find one or many writers who will keep your blog busy and active.
Blogging capability comes by default with all Shopify plans. It is as easy as you do it on WordPress. Just create your blog posts under Online > Blog posts . Then go to Navigation to create a Menu item. Give it a name and then associate the link with Blog, then choose the blog.
The beautiful thing about the Shopify Blogging system is that you can create different blogs. You can create as many different blogs as you may want. May be you want a blog which only has videos. Create that. May be you want one which will be for news and press releases. Create it. Or maybe you want one where you will be adding Guest posts. Create that.
It is entirely up to you. It is also very easy to achieve.
Shopify has blogging capability , so ensure you utilize it when you create your store .
5. Extend it just like WordPress
The reason most people love WordPress is due to the belief that, with WordPress, you can build anything without coding. The ecosystem of WordPress plugins and turnkey themes has made WordPress loved by many non-coders.
Shopify also has a wide range of Apps. With Shopify Apps you can extend the functionality of your store. Some Apps are free and some are paid. Some Apps are built by Shopify while others by third Party developers. Shopify supports and promotes growth for their partner network. The network of app developers, theme developers and affiliates.
Shopify gives their partners a platform to learn, build and share their creations. This in turn brings most ideas to life. Which in turn helps improve Shopify as a whole. There are a bunch of Apps which have been built to make doing or using certain things easier.
These Apps will enable you to extend your store as much as you may need to. If you just want to sell T-shirts, there are apps to help with that. If you want to start a dropshipping business, there are Apps to help out with that too.
Using Apps, you can extend your Shopify store just like you do with WordPress. You can also change the look of your site by choosing from the many themes that are available on the Theme store. Both Free and Paid.
Related : TOP TEN SHOPIFY TUTORIALS
6. Sell on social Media
This is from the Shopify Lite page: Sell on social media, in person, or on an existing website with Shopify Lite.
With Shopify Lite you are able to embed a buy now button on your website or blog. You are also able to set up a store on Social Media such as Facebook, sell your products and have all the transactions handled by shopify.com. Lite is much cheaper than the other plans ,so if you want to abandon your online shop and set up a store on Facebook or on your current website, then give it a go.
7. They have been doing it for too damn long
From Wikipedia , Shopify was founded in 2004. It was launched as Shopify in 2006. Since then, they have been able to amass over 350K Merchants.
If you know what I know, then you’d agree that success is in data and experience in the field . And Shopify has a ton of both. A huge amount of growing data, and a ton of experience in the field of e-commerce and commerce.
I know, with pride and ego you may feel the need to go out, get web hosting and install, Prestashop, or Woocommerce or Magento or whichever. Then start selling whatever you want to sell. It is important to acknowledge that they know something that you and I don’t.
I bet all the tutorials they give on YouTube, the various posts and tips on their blog have some justification and vindication.
They have been doing it for too damn long. They’ve got to know something that we don’t.
There you go. If you want to start an online store, I would highly suggest that you fly with Shopify.
These are the reasons why I recommend shopify to you. I have used a bunch of the open source alternatives on self hosted environments, so if you are not a tech nerd/ geek , using Shopify will save you a lot of web hosting pain.
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