Using Shopify for Your Online StoreLinda Jenkins, September 19 2015
Looking for an all-in-one solution for selling products online?
I have used both Shopify and Digital Product Delivery to manage Gold Alliance Group's sales. Shopify is a more robust solution that has basic 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.
I use their Digital Downloads App in conjunction with the basic Shopify platform to automatically deliver my products 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 system allows me to easily offer MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover in addition to PayPal, Apple Pay 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
So far, I only have three minor complaints about Shopify. First, they need to provide an icon and link for Linkedin. They already offer multiple automatic links to social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Vimeo and Instagram, so I am not sure how Linkedin got overlooked in their theme manager.
Second, they need to offer a better solution for backing up the client's entire site. Yes, you can already export your 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 Shopify Forum, so I am hoping that it gets addressed soon.
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 which was not a nice surprise). Not a big deal, but I would probably have chosen another theme if I knew this upfront.
Overall, I highly recommend Shopify as an e-commerce solution. They can accommodate a wide range of business owners. So, no matter whether you have very light monthly sales, or need an enterprise-level ecommerce solution, you are covered. Shopify makes it easy to open an online store by providing all the tools and help you need. Click here to try it for free!