If you are just starting out with your online business, it pays to be cautious about your business model. An ecommerce store is a low cost way to enter the industry, but it can be complicated to set up an online store.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an eCommerce platform that you can use to set up your own store in very little time at all, without needing to know a single thing about coding. There are numerous positive reviews of Shopify from people that claim the platform has helped them promote their brand and start selling online with very little effort.
The platform offers loads of high quality templates that you can use as a basis for your site. Choose your theme, drop in your photos, play around with logos, etc, and you are ready to go live.
It is a pretty simple system to use, but is it worth the monthly cost, or is it all just smoke and mirrors? There are, after all, a few other ways that you could go.
Ebay or Amazon?
You could open a store on eBay or Amazon, with the added advantage of not having to pay anything unless you sell something. It’s a nice option in terms of monthly expenses, but standing out in that market becomes rather difficult.
After all, there is only so much tinkering that you can do when it comes to your store, and listing in the search results is also not something that is very easy to do.
If you want to establish yourself as a brand, starting out on eBay or Amazon might not be the right way to go.
What About WordPress?
Another option would be to download free software like WordPress and design your site from the roots up. This gives you the best options in terms of customization, but can be tricky to manage if you do not understand exactly how to use the software.
It is also very difficult to design a fully functioning site from the ground up if you do not have the coding experience. And, while there are templates that you can use, you come up against the problem of how much you can customize them as well.
Yet, another option is to have a professional web designer design a site for you. This does entail a higher upfront cost but, as long as you choose the right designer, you will have a fully functional and flawless site to work with.
The advantage is that you pay the designer and that’s it, you only need to pay your hosting fees going forward. The disadvantage is that redesigns down the line will cost you and your site could date quickly if you are not careful.
If you take all of that into consideration, the monthly fee that Shopify charges is not too bad, especially since you can update your site as and when you like, you have a fully integrated payment platform, and Shopify will help you advertise your site.
But Really… Why Shopify?
There is one thing that Shopify offers that might really blow all of these other benefits out of the water for you. It is its “Buy” button and the fact that you are able to use it as a point of sale system.
So, say you are just starting out and you want to go and take a booth at a local mall over the weekend. All you need is an Android or Apple device, and you can sign up for Shopify’s point of sale system.
Get the software to create barcodes, track stock levels, process payments, and a lot of other features besides. At present, there are over a million people using this aspect of Shopify’s service.
Is Shopify worth the monthly fee? You need to decide that for yourself, but it is something to think about. Want to find out some interesting statistics before you decide? The infographic below is packed with the information that you need.