Every ecommerce platform has its own pros and cons, but somehow shopify doesn’t have much to complain about. This pretty much sums up my review on this online store platform already, but I will give you enough information to confirm that you have chosen the right option for your first online store or drop shipping business – just because that is what i do . If you are looking for a free online store solution, just stop right there – I kid you not! There is just no decent FREE software out there that will do this job properly.
I will also provide you with some other e-commerce options that are quite as good as shopify.
So what should I look for in an ecommerce platform solution?
Ecommerce is a little more complex than just a simple website, and so I would suggest that your go with a platform that gives you everything in one place so that everything is integrated and taken care off. As and online shop will involve , tracking inventory, emails follow ups to customers, marketing of your online store, processing or PayPal/credit card payments, refunds, and good design for your shop it is best all managed in one place and these both platforms do a good job of giving you all this and much more in their commerce platform.
Why create an online store?
Ecommerce makes it Simple to sell stuff and make money. But you can also do this ecommerce in different ways. (i.e. Sell stuff in different ways). Many people are right now making money with two methods DROP SHIPPING and Selling Health related products via shopify (online store).
In drop shipping you merely list other people’s product on your store and the whole packaging handling, posting etc. is handled by another vendor. You will sometimes need to do the payment processing bits and ensure everything is running smoothly. In comparison an Internet online store where you are selling your own products involves a little bit more work but can be more profitable.
With your own product in your store, you will be managing inventory, posting the product etc. But your receive the whole commission. If you are looking to get into drop shipping then World Wide Brands drop shipping database membership ($299) would probably come handy .Google it!- it’s like a drop shipping directory membership
In short this is how drop shipping works:
- Ø Customer Places an order on shop (your shop)
- Ø The shop places order with the supplier
- Ø Supplier ships order to customer invisibly
- Ø Shop alerts customer that order is shipped ( you get the mark up commission)
Some cons in this method are that the supplier can run our o stock and you have already sold the stuff on your shop, shipping or supplier errors. Your profit margin can be low based on what price supplier can give you. However the good points is that you do not need to do the supplying and postage etc. to customers and so you can focus more of your time on marketing the shop and getting more customers.
In drop shipping commission can be reduced due to the other vendor keeping his commission fee. But it sis till possible to make money with both methods. Many people are now using alibaba.com (on selling cheap Chinese goods) in their own shopify stores and also using eBay stores to sell goods.
Some tips to think about before you start your online store :
These tips or questions below can help your get a better start with better planning
- 1) Is your niche shop going to add value for your target market
- 2) Are you going to target the right types of customers (passionate, big spenders, etc?)
- 3) Is your price range attractive to your audience?
- 4) What is the projected or expected turnover?
- 5) Are your products from quality manufacturers?
- 6) Are your products hard to find locally
How can shopify help you create your online business?
[Img from pinterest.com]
Free trials: most new online shop software providers now provide a free trial for their new customers and you can make benefit of this by signing up and trying it out
Integrated Promotion Marketing and SEO tools.
You don’t need separate hosting for your online store as these platforms provide the hosting + selling services integrated for their monthly fee.
A ready suite of tools and services in shopify makes it easy for you to promote and market your new online shop with ease
Payment processing: Shopify supports PayPal but also Stripe. They make configuring stripe super easy and they have fair pricing so it’s a good option if you don’t want to sue PayPal.
How to promote your shopify business and get customers
Marketing is the hardest part of building a successful site. Social media is a new huge market that people and online marketers are tapping, the audience is huge on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and all these audiences can be reached by spending a little bit of money.
Learn how to promote your business by making Facebook ads and twitter ads either by yourself or with a little help from a On-line learning subscription websites like Lynda.com or then hire yourself a (local Internet marketing consultant) person who will do it for you. Google ADS AND Bing PPC ads are another option to get leads and customers from their respective search engines. It is suggested to keep an eye on your spending to know if you are not spending more on advertising than you are earning profits. But it is ok to lose some money with advertising in your first month while you are learning and tweaking your ads and returns to profit from it later. Keep in mind how much you are willing to lose initially to test out this marketing segment.
My top suggestion for you to market your online store, would be for you to start off with ppc advertising on various networks like Facebook and Google/Bing ads and also use SEO ( search engine optimization). Then analyse the traffic that you are getting from your paid advertising from face book ads ore google ads – and try to target that same converting traffic with SEO for your long term low cost strategy.
Other ecommerce platform solutions
There are many other popular big online store providers like Australian Big commerce, 3D cart, Magento ecommerce, Volusion and more. Most of them have similar pricing plans, however Shopify and Big commerce offer more bang for your buck, so to speak with more features than most other providers.
Magento and 3d cart are more suitable for people who are a little more tech savvy and have a bit more of a learning curve than shopify and bigcommerce
Cons of Bigcommerce & shopify
Most ecommerce platforms charge a transaction fee of around 2% so this while is normal with most ecommerce platforms, it can eat up into your profit costs. It is advisable to factor this cost in while deciding on your selling price for products.
Whatever you decide: be it drop shipping or starting your own shop with your products, make sure you take advantage of either shopify or big commerce’s trial offer.
I would suggest you put some time aside, sign up and go through the whole setting up process and you could possibly be the owner of a new online store in 1 or 2 days and possibly making some profits soon. Don’t wait – take action today!
To shed some light on drop shipping, shopify has a free beginner’s guide infographic to dropshipping as a part of their new Ecommerce University.
Below: Infographic Dropshipping + Christine Clayfield’s EBook
You can also check out Christine Clayfield’s EBook on drop shipping and ecommerce if you are going to pursue the drop shipping ecommerce method. This book gives you in-depth advice and information on setting up a drop shipping business.