Shopify Review: World-Dominating E-Commerce for Bloggers
Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms and for good reason. With its intuitive presentation and hefty list of features — including hosting, e-commerce, and a website builder — it’s a claim that might be easy to believe.
What about the e-commerce needs of bloggers? A huge enterprise-grade platform would be overkill, and a self-hosted program like Magento is beyond the scope of the layman.
Luckily, Shopify has strong, user-friendly e-commerce options for bloggers. Social media, online, on your existing site, or even in person — no matter what you sell or what sort of business you run on the side, Shopify can handle it.
A Centralized E-Commerce Platform
You can set your store up before you select a price plan. Shopify offers an idea-based platform and you’ll find it easy to select a plan. First, let’s examine what Shopify does as a whole.
Shopify offers a bundle of essential features necessary to starting up an online store. You don’t need to use third-party websites at all; everything except a custom domain name is covered for you. From the site design phase to setting up your store to downloading add-ons, it’s all contained in a single hub.
Product limits and storage space are unlimited. Sell what you want, how you want, with over 70 payment gateways including Shopify’s proprietary one. And managing it all is easy from the dashboard, thanks to multiple staff account access.
Along with the core features, there’s a substantial number of resources available. The blog is a great place to start, providing both info on recent updates, success stories, and advice. The app and theme store is the next area to visit. From free to bulk to monthly payments, these stores are stuffed with helpful apps and beautiful themes.
But that’s not where it ends. If you get stuck, or just want to brush up on your knowledge, take a look at the guides — in article or video format — podcasts, or the business encyclopedia. Learn from other users on the forums, or make use of the free tools and stock photos. When you’re done with that, stock up on office hardware like printers or even find new products for your store. Shopify really takes “all-in-one” to the next level.
Shopify’s Side Plans
Though most bloggers won’t need to worry about this, there’s an enterprise option for when the main plans just aren’t enough. With features like special wholesale stores, campaign launching capabilities, and even automation of manual tasks like restocking, this is only for large companies.
If Shopify’s main product doesn’t seem to fit, the tiny plan was made to suit much smaller businesses. If you’re just selling a line of swag to support your blog, or testing things out with a handful of products, this plan is for you.
There’s little cut from the product here. You can sell on Facebook, on a pre-existing website such as WordPress, or in-person with the POS (point-of-sale) app. Even the invoicing feature is included. If Shopify itself feels like too much, don’t hesitate to try the mini plan out.
Promote Your Blog with Custom Products
One of the coolest things about Shopify is that they have third-party apps that connect you directly with companies that will manufacture and ship your product designs. You could design t-shirts and coffee mugs for example, to promote your blog and brand. Simply upload your designs to a third-party like Printful or Merchify.
Tip: Don’t underestimate the power of a branded t-shirt. Offering t-shirts can be an effective way to obtain contact information to market to customers.
Once your customers order a product from your store, your third party will be notified automatically and will produce that item on-demand (no inventory needed). They’ll ship it in packaging that makes it look like it came directly from you. These are some of the custom products that you can create designs for:
- Mouse pads
- Cell phone and laptop skins
- Yoga mats
- Onesies for babies
Ways to Shop
You won’t have to compromise your sales vision because Shopify has nearly ten different sale methods. Run a brick-and-mortar store with an online presence, sell on your WordPress site, or interact with customers through social media among other options.
The main option is an online store powered by Shopify. The drag-and-drop builder is easy to use. Even those who can’t afford themes should be able to find a suitable free one. There are plenty to choose from. With your business fully managed, all you need to worry about is building the site, marketing the products through your blog, and watching from the dashboard as your sales grow.
What if you don’t need a Shopify website? Maybe you have a WordPress blog or your own website already? You can embed products, collections, or shopping carts directly into your existing website. It’s as simple as that. Invoicing is still done through Shopify’s dashboard.
Did you know can use Google Analytics to track offline sales? Explore the free Google Analytics Academy courses to learn more.
In-person and retail owners could use the POS (point-of-sale) software to process credit card payments. Even the tiniest of shops or individuals can do this, and the chip and swipe reader comes free. Included software allows you to track sales, give discounts, or issue refunds. If you get the POS and its cash register set, you could track employees’ sales, and accept cash as well as credit.
The third-party options include Facebook, Pinterest, and Amazon. List your products on Amazon with just a few clicks, set up Pinterest pins, and design a Facebook store. Social media is becoming more and more popular as a sales point for small shops, and while it’s no replacement for a full-fledged online store, it’s a great way to draw in new customers.
A Winning Package
Shopify is definitely a worthy contender for your e-commerce plans. There’s little dispute here: Shopify is great for bloggers looking to start a store with minimal complications. Travelers who meet fans to sell in person, artists who want their creations on shirts and mugs, or large projects simply backed by a blog; all are served here.
If you can dream it, Shopify can do it. And that’s where the appeal comes from. Shopify manages to make every project seem unique, each feature special, and give all users with potential the ability to grow. It’s a platform that appeals to everyone, but doesn’t forget the individual. And that’s where it shines.