Throughout the pandemic businesses have had to continuously reinvent themselves using a variety of marketing strategies. As many “brick and mortar” shops were forced to close for long periods of time, they found ways to continue to engage their client base and sell their products or services. Businesses created safe curbside pickup options, shared new products on social media and many, for the first time, started to sell through their websites.
If you are looking to convert your marketing leads into sales in an accessible, cost-effective, safe manner, Shopify may be a good option. Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows anyone to set up an online store and sell their products/services. Merchants can also sell their products in person with a Shopify POS.
Why Choose Shopify?
Shopify is extremely user friendly and is quick and easy to set up. So much so that it can be done in one day! The backend does not require any coding or plugins and offers thorough explanations for each stage of the creation process.
With Shopify, businesses can create a full website that includes the online store and the ability to sell their products/services through social media. Indeed, many of the websites that we visit are created through Shopify.
It is also extremely affordable, with options that cater to small and micro businesses.
Setting Up Your Account
The first step in setting up an account is to go to shopify.ca and start your 14-Day trial. Though you cannot go live during the trial period, it gives you time to set up your store before launching.
Things to Keep in Mind
While setting up your store, there are a few things to keep in mind. Make sure that you set the correct standards and formats, meaning your time zone, unit system, and store currency. The store currency locks after your first sale and cannot be adjusted.
Shipping and Delivery options include regular shipping, expediated shipping, local delivery and local pickup. Shopify allows the business to include the type of packaging they are using, the weight of the package, shipping labels, and packing slips.
Choosing Your Plan
The Basic Plan is great for most businesses. It is $29 USD per month and includes your ecommerce website and blog, unlimited products, 2 staff accounts, 24/7 support, social media and online marketplace sales channels, up to 4 locations, and more. The Shopify Plan is $79 USD per month and the Advanced Shopify Plan is $299 per month.
The difference between the plans is in the number of staff accounts and locations permitted. Rates and discounts also change.
The POS Lite is great for on the go or selling at markets. It accepts credit cards and digital payments and it centralizes orders and products. The POS Pro is $89 per month and includes staff accounts, local pickup and delivery, and it syncs to your registers.
As the store owner, you will have full access to the account. You can then create staff accounts that allow your staff to access specific parts of the Shopify admin and enable them to perform certain tasks. You can grant them full permissions or else select the specific permissions required for each staff member’s responsibilities.
You can also use collaborators to give partners such as designers, developer, and marketers access to your Shopify admin directly through their own Partner Dashboard. Collaborator permissions give partners access to only the sections of your store that you want them to see. They also do not count towards your store’s staff limit.
Not only does social media help amplify your message and generate leads to your website, it now allows for businesses to sell their products and services directly through their sales channels. Facebook Marketplace, Instagram business accounts and Pinterest allow you to link your website and specific products/services directly so that customers can make purchases and conversions can be made on each platform.
Make the Most of Your Account
Once the backend of the website is complete, create the layout of your store by starting with the theme. The Debut theme, which people often use, is free but there are many others to choose from. Those that cost money are usually a one-time fee of $180. All themes are also mobile responsive, meaning that you do not need to adjust anything for the mobile or tablet layout.
After choosing the theme, create the different pages you would like to include on your website. Include a page where your products/services can be accessed, a Contact Us page and an About Page. Make sure to also include your legal pages. These can be placed at the bottom of your home page. Again, there are templates for all of these pages and so you never have to start from scratch.
Shopify has a robust, high-level analytics system. From here, you can measure and track your sales, sessions, returning customers, conversion rate, average order value, total orders, top products, sales by traffic source, top landing page and more!
If your business has quite a few products/services, the easiest way to add them to the website is by importing them through an Excel spreadsheet. Another option is to add them each manually. For each product/service you can include the title, informative description, images, variations and pricing and then organize it by product type, vendor, collection and group. Make sure to track the quantity of items if possible, add tags that make it searchable within the website, and include shipping costs.
Once you go live, people can find you! Be prepared to fulfill orders. Have your packaging ready to go and choose to create a shipping label through Shopify or purchase them directly at the post office. Once you’ve completed the order mark it as fulfilled.
If you need a little help kick-starting your Shopify website, contact us here.