Shopify: What is it?

Shopify, a subscription-based e-commerce app, is booming with popularity. Many small businesses sign up to use Shopify in order to expand their online presence and increase sales. Maybe you have a Shopify account or have been considering setting one up. Setting up a Shopify account can seem easy and inexpensive on the front end. However, there are many hidden fees that pop up once you start using the platform. In Episode 2 of Marketing Rocketfuel, Drew from Escape Plan Marketing and his good friend Michael help us understand Shopify and the work that is involved when setting up your Shopify account.

Exploring The Plan Levels

For starters, Shopify has various subscription plan tiers. The cost of each plan level increases with the more tools that you add to your plan. For example, Shopify allows you to add various shopping locations to your plan in which Shopify can be used. The term ‘locations’ simply means “where can I find your product?” Your locations could include a brick-and-mortar store or if your business has a space on Amazon. The cost of using Shopify can vary. When purchasing a plan, Shopify allows you to pay on a per-month basis or prepay for yearly access.

Therefore, Drew and Michael have a few tips for you if you decide that Shopify is the right commence tool for your business.

Tip 1: Start With The Cheapest Shopify Plan First

When setting up your Shopify subscription, Drew and Michael recommend starting with the cheapest plan. Allow your business to outgrow the plan, meaning, don’t buy tools that you don’t initially need. E-commerce companies, like Shopify, know what tools you need based on your business size and revenue. Once your business reaches a certain size, then you can purchase the extra tools that you need. Don’t buy extra tools and capabilities that your company isn’t ready for or doesn’t fit your model. This will save you time and money from the get go.

Tip 2: Add 2-3 Products Before Customizing Your Shopify App

Next, when attempting to customize your account, expect that it will look very plain at the start. Start adding life to your account by adding 2-3 products to the app. By adding products at the beginning, you will get a better frame of reference for how the site will look once you can see your products visually placed. If you customize first and then add a product, you may decide you don’t like what you have selected at all. Then, you are forced to completely re-customize the site which can be extremely time-consuming.

When you customize, there are some free themes available to you. Beware: if you select a free theme, you run the risk of looking like many other sites online. There are themes you can buy for another hidden cost. However, even with a paid-for theme, it is vital to change the colors and images to match YOUR business’ branding. For example, Drew and Michael mention that you may have to remove preloaded dental images from a theme you purchase if you are promoting a candy company. Take the time to customize whatever theme you choose to avoid a marketing nightmare.

Tip 3: Think Through The Entire Purchasing Process

If you have a physical product that you need to get to your customer, how will you get it in their hands? How will your customer pay you? You don’t want your profit margin eaten up with shipping and handling fees, making your online presence unprofitable.

Shopify allows you to use third-party shipping and processing companies, but they must have the ability to integrate with Shopify. However, Shopify does have its own built-in shipping and processing capability, for a fee. Because Shopify is so big, they can get your business a better rate of shipping, but you will pay for it. Therefore, you will need to determine if you will include the price of shipping in the product costs or will there be an extra shipping charge to the customer.

Finally, if you have a physical store, you will need a way to help customers check out at the point of sale. Shopify has a point of sale system they will send to you for use. Yet again, Shopify has fees associated with this system. While Shopify does not hide this fact, you might not be aware of this until you have committed to a subscription.

Moving Forward: How to Enter Products Into Shopify

There are a few ways to enter products into Shopify. Items can be listed one at a time. Depending on your product, you can enter many variations such as the color or size of the product.

Make sure to add “tags” to each product item. This is the way that you generate categories within Shopify. These will pop up as people search online for the item.

Also, there are unique SKUs (stock keeping units) for each variation of each product.

Sounds time-consuming, doesn’t it? It is. Therefore, you may want to use the spreadsheet option for product entry to save time. This will allow you to bulk upload your items. The bulk of setting up your online store is this step. Don’t skimp on taking the time to do it right.

Tip 4: Don’t Skip Adding Keywords For The Search Engine Listing Preview

It is vital to add keywords and tags for your company and product to actually populate in an online search. No one will know your product even exist on your site if you don’t take the time to add the keywords. While it may seem like a small action, it can make the difference in whether or not your site ends up at the beginning of a search or is lost in a sea of other online retailers.

Action Tip: Go Through The Process Of Making An Online Purchase

Do a little homework and go through the steps you yourself would take to make an online purchase. Start from the beginning and go step by step: from how to locate a product all the way through to the point of sale. Take notes on the ease of the process. Determine what type of experience you want your customers to have. What did you like or want to change about the purchasing experience as it relates to your business?

By putting yourself in the seat of the consumer, you can craft a purchasing experience that works for both you and your client.

Like, subscribe, and stay tuned for Part 2 of The Hidden Costs of Shopify.

Want to go further?

Reach out to Drew here at Escape Plan Marketing for Your Marketing Needs.