As an agency with a heavy history of custom developed websites, people are often surprised that we build on Shopify. Here’s the deal—not only do we build them, but we also love Shopify. What it really comes down to is finding the right solution for a client’s specific needs and situation (not our pocketbooks). Sometimes, that solution is Shopify.
Shopify was once viewed as a tool for just small businesses, more like a step up from having an Etsy store, or the e-commerce version of Squarespace. Since then, it’s evolved quite a bit as a platform you need to consider when you’re thinking about e-commerce, regardless of the size of your business. We’ve helped both small businesses who are getting started, and large established businesses scale on Shopify.
Okay, let’s jump into the weeds a little bit and talk about when to use Shopify and why we love this platform (and why you should consider it).
1. You Can Build Fast and Be Effective
It can be your MVP that generates sales
You’ll hear the term ‘MVP’ or ‘minimum viable product’ thrown around a lot in our growth department. That’s because it’s effective, and often the best strategy for small businesses. The concept here is that you get up the first version of your website up quickly, so you can create revenue and continue to grow from there.
To put this into context, a custom e-commerce website generally takes 5 to 10 months (depending on complexity) to build. With Shopify, a similar project would take between 6 to 10 weeks. This is because Shopify does all of the heavy lifting on setting up the base of your store, from security to the checkout system, and shipping options just being a few decisions and button clicks away.
With Shopify’s platform handling the majority of the backend logistics out of the box, you’re able to focus on design, messaging, and user experience. Answer and plan around questions such as – How do you want your brand presented? Why should people buy your product? How would my customers shop at my store?
2. It Directly Integrates with Facebook, Google and Amazon
It’s a match made in digital marketing heaven.
So, you have your Shopify site built… now what? Well, to generate sales, you need to drive visits to your website. Although SEO is generally the most durable strategy, paid advertising is the fastest way to streamline relevant traffic to your website. Luckily, Shopify makes paid advertising easier than ever to get up and running.
One of our favorite tools to use is the Facebook Marketing channel that Shopify. You can sync your store products dynamically – meaning it actively scans your website and updates the Facebook catalog. When a product goes out of stock, it gets updated on the catalog as well. This dynamic relationship between Facebook and Shopify is especially useful when it comes to establishing your social advertising strategy, where dynamic retargeting ads are always a high performing ad.
The same goes for Google and Amazon. Shopify’s Google and Amazon channels make it simple to create a dynamic catalog to promote your products on Google and Amazon. Ideally, it’s a simple way to manage your inventory all in one place, while maximizing your exposure.
3. There's Room to Grow
Set a baseline and scale!
To start off, when clients are working on a set website and marketing budget (I’m willing to bet yours isn’t unlimited either), Shopify is often a great solution. It’s pretty simple math.
Smaller Budget Dedicated for Your Website = More Budget to Drive Traffic and Sales
If your vision is to be a huge online retailer, don’t worry – Shopify’s platform gives you room for growth. Not only do they have different plans, including Shopify Plus, which is crafted for enterprise-level businesses, but their app store is jam-packed with tools that can amplify your sales.
A few of our favorite tactics to grow your Shopify store:
- Implement an SEO app and optimize your store for search
- Create more customized pages using a visual builder (use analytics and heatmapping to help make UX decisions)
- Enhance your email marketing and integrate it with your abandoned shopping cart automation
- Create a quiz to help potential customers find the products they need
Shopify is a simple, but powerful e-commerce platform that makes it easy for businesses to migrate, or start their first online store. It is a great solution if you’re looking to build an MVP, generate sales, and scale. However, it does come with limitations when it comes to customizations and functionality.
If you’re still deciding between Shopify and WooCommerce, don’t worry, we still have that debate internally all the time. Get in touch and let’s chat it out together!