Using Shopify for Your Online Store

Linda Jenkins, August 01 2017

FYI - This post was originally published in 2015. Shopify has changed their service to include the updates in red below:

Everything you need to sell online

Looking for an all-in-one solution for selling products online?

This is why I chose Shopify to power GoldAllianceGroup.com:

After trying competitor platforms from 2008 to 2014, I made the decision to use Shopify to manage Gold Alliance Group's sales. Shopify is a more robust solution that has analytics tracking, a blogging platform and lots of apps and other very useful features worked into their plan. I also greatly appreciate that their back-end admin links to a vast knowledge-base, and connects with experts that can help me build-out and promote my store. Gold Alliance Group has also been an authorized affiliate of Shopify since 2015. 

I use their Digital Downloads App in conjunction with the Shopify platform to automatically deliver products to customers after payment is accepted, an easy plugin. (This step is only necessary if your products are digital.) Shopify also has lots of options for setting up fulfillment and shipping for physical goods. Shopify's payment gateway allows me to easily offer MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover in addition to PayPal and other payment options. Funds are automatically transferred to my own business bank account about three days after sales are made. I can also automatically build a list of customers that wish to receive future e-mail communications from my company and easily integrate that information with Mailchimp, my email newsletter marketing service. Some other great features include:

  • Gift Cards & Coupons Engine
  • Abandoned Checkout Recovery
  • Carrier Calculated Shipping (for physical goods)
  • Ability to sell directly from Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
  • One click payment from mobile

So far, I only have three complaints about Shopify...

First, redirecting checkout from the site owner's domain to the shopify domain is not ideal. Although my site does not have a high cart abandonment rate, I am sure some potential customers have been lost because of this issue.

[August 1, 2017 Update: Shopify recently fixed this issue so checkout remains on your domain.]

Second, Shopify needs to offer a better solution for backing up the client's entire site. Yes, I can already export my customer list and theme code, but backing up product descriptions, custom pages, blog posts and other general settings requires more of a manual effort. This forces me to keep meticulous copies of the custom files I create on Shopify. Several other merchants have asked about this in the Forum, so I am hoping that it gets addressed soon.

[August 1, 2017 Update: Rewind, an app from the Shopify appstore, is a great solution for automatically backing-up and restoring your entire store!] 

Third, they need to tell clients at signup that their staff can only offer technical support on the code for certain themes. (I found this out after using a custom theme -- not a nice surprise). Not a huge deal, but I would probably have chosen another theme if I knew this upfront. 

Overall, I highly recommend Shopify as an e-commerce solution. Their payment processing, orders database and report options are excellent and the Shopify App allows me to keep up with my site's traffic and sales from my cell phone. Shopify can accommodate a wide range of business types. So, no matter whether you have very light monthly sales, or need an enterprise-level ecommerce solution, you are covered by a plan tailored to your site's needs. Shopify makes it very easy to open an online store quickly by providing all the tools and help you need.

Click here to try it for free!  

 

Linda Jenkins

President - Gold Alliance Group, Inc.

 

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