The Simple Guide To Building A Business with Shopify

By Zack Rosenberg

Sounds like a nice dream, doesn’t it? Think of how much of a difference an extra $1,000 or $5,000 could make to your life. It could free you up from debt or allow you to quit that job. So, what’s Shopify and how is it going to help?

The bigger question is, HOW?

If you’ve landed on this article you either have an interest in Shopify OR in making $10,000. Let’s assume for the moment it is the latter.

dgbu-shopifyShopify is the premiere e-commerce platform in a box. Not a physical box, but literally anyone can open up an online store in minutes with just a few clicks of a button, a little bit of patience, and a great product. It’s that easy to be  off and running.

I can already see your eyes rolling. Nothing is that easy, right? Wrong. For over two years I ran an e-commerce business called DoGoodBuyUs, an online marketplace for socially responsible products. We featured hundreds of products that offered the promise of being good for you (organic, natural, sustainable) and good for others, since  the proceeds gave back to a worthy cause. This store was entirely run on Shopify.

Want to look for alternatives? Check out Magento, BigCommerce, and Woo Commerce.

Sign up: 14 day free trial of Shopify! No credit card required.

Here are four reasons I chose Shopify over their competitors and yes, I tried them all.

shopify wysiwyg editor

  1. Ease of Use:

    For someone without technical skills, the ability to make changes is as easy as clicking, dragging, and typing. If you can use Microsoft Word, you can use their system. See the example here.

    Next is their built in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. Don’t let the acronym scare you, all this means is a place to keeptrack of your orders and your customers. Each transaction is catalogued and easy to find. You can even setup special emails for when an item has shipped or if a newer version of your product is available.

    Tip: Start simple and focus on great photography for your products. After all, that is what you are selling online. In my experience, jewelry and accessories were very hot sellers and at nearly any price range. We found that $500 jewelry was just as likely to sell as $30 jewelry.

  2. Customer Service:

    Is there anything more frustrating than not being able to get a hold of the answers when you need them? I’ll answer this for you. No. There isn’t. When trying to build a business from scratch you are going to have A LOT of questions and seemingly no one to turn to. If that’s the case, you are in luck.

    Shopify offers 24/7 customer support for free. Most importantly, they are cheery, and will get you the answer. I spent many a day chatting with their team as our offerings expanded. We found ourselves in uncharted territory, but not for them. HERE is the best part, when I couldn’t figure it out, they just did it for me. Not a major site overhaul of course, but moving things around or adding an image or color changes, I never felt like I couldn’t get the help I needed.

    Tip: Call with a list. Since they will take the time to answer your questions, make sure you are prepared to knockout as many issues at one time as possible. Even if they can’t answer it, they’ll follow up with instructions. You may forget, but they wont.

    Sign up: 14 day free trial of Shopify! No credit card required.
  3. The App Store:

    I don’t know a thing about coding. Not a lick. While this may have seem shopify_app_storetroublesome at the start, the app store is the perfect solution for nearly anything needed. From creating custom shipping labels to adjustable pricing, so you know exactly how much to charge for your item there are thousands of apps to choose from. Since the store keeps expanding the possibilities become endless.

    Just click, “add to store” and you are all setup.

     

    Tip: Many apps are freemium, meaning they have several free features and several paid features. Be sure to read all the literature, watch the videos they must include, and the reviews to get a full understanding of all of the capabilities.

  4. The Price:

    It always comes down to cost right? Lets start with a 14 day free trial and no credit card is required. Oay, so that can’t be what’s holding you back, right? After that there are three plans based on your needs. Nothing crazy and you can decide at anytime if you need to go up or down.

    shopify-pricing
    Now that they offer a $0 transaction fees beyond the credit rates, you don’t have to sell very much for this to become a moneymaker for you. Especially because the more you sell, the lower the rates get.

    The biggest bonus is the speed at which you’ll get paid. All transactions show up in your account with 24 hours. Ever been paid that fast in your life?

    Don’t think it’s working out? You can cancel at anytime.

    Tip: Offline drives online. This is how we built our business. Setup shop at offices, local events, and schools. Prove to yourself that someone is willing to pay for your product. Since Shopify handles offline transactions, as well, you can accept credit cards anywhere your phone works AND it counts towards your online sales and ultimately reducing your fees.

    Sign up: 14 day free trial of Shopify! No credit card required.

Next Step: What to sell?

best-selling-products-12I’ll tell you this is usually easier than you might believe. In fact, the very idea is as old as commerce. Find an item at a lower price than you believe it can be sold for. That might mean an item you’ve created yourself OR an item/product found at a yard sale.

Start by thinking of your own experience and use the guide on the left to help. Also account for the expected cost of shipping and any possible taxes you may need to add to the product.

Shopify also has some advice and you can find it, here.

No need to fret, Shopify can take care of this for you, too.

My advice on running an ecommerce store

Be a great story teller. This might be the most difficult part. When trying to sell a product online, you must remember that your customer can’t feel, hear, or taste your item. This responsibility now falls on YOU to convince someone of the experience they will have AND it will take several iterations to get it right.

Next, the world is your audience and there is a market for just about anything. I have faith you’ll find 1,000 people to pay $10 for your product. So sign up and get started, because the best time to do it is right now. Whenever NOW is.

Sign up: 14 day free trial of Shopify! No credit card required.

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