6 Reasons Shopify is Perfect for Ecommerce
Have you ever heard of “digital-influenced retail sales”? This is the term marketers use to identify the intricate role that digital retail spaces play in driving offline sales. And indeed, for those brick and mortar stores with both an online and offline presence, a large number of sales happen across both channels. Some industry observers even predict that nearly 60 percent of physical retail sales will be influenced by retailers’ digital presence by 2023.
Increasingly, those brick and mortar stores with a strong online presence are also helping influence and empower customers who want to shop both online and offline. Developing an effective online presence can be a challenge, however. You need a digital retail store that has all of the necessary tools to make sure customers find what they want when they want, and that integrates well with your offline store.
There are a large number of ways to go about building your online presence. Some of the most effective online/offline retail stores we’ve seen, however, are those using Shopify to get the job done quickly and easily. We’ve found Shopify offers some key benefits to brick and mortar stores thanks to the powerful tools and user-friendly approach Shopify offers to retailers.
5 Key Reasons to Use Shopify
Shopify is one of several options on the market for brick and mortar stores seeking to enhance their ecommerce presence. It’s also one of the best options for most retailers, with some comparative advantages over ecommerce websites like WordPress + WooCommerce, Magento, or Squarespace.
1. Plug-and-play setup that requires no coding experience
Your primary business is running your store. Adding “web designer” to your list of trades would probably be nice, but might not be something you have the time to invest in. If you want to take a more hands-on approach to your ecommerce site, but don’t necessarily have the coding skills to use WordPress or Magento, Shopify’s user-friendly, plug-and-play approach to site building is consistently ranked among the best for newcomers.
Even the WordPress review site WPBeginner notes that Shopify is a superior option to the ever-popular WooCommerce WordPress plugin for those who want a hassle-free approach. This is because Shopify is designed specifically for those business owners without the time and background knowledge to build a specially-coded ecommerce site, but who still want a professional site with all the necessary bells and whistles.
Of course, you can still hire someone else to assist you in building your site on Shopify. After all, even with a plug-and-play approach, it still takes time to migrate your site, integrate the tools, populate your data, and customize your store. However, if you want to be hands-on, Shopify’s approach is easier for beginners.
2. Easy and extensive inventory management system
A web presence for your store is great, but your physical goods don’t live in a digital space. Many brick and mortar stores share their inventory across their digital and physical stores. The challenge is making sure your physical inventory is properly managed and represented in the digital store, as well.
Shopify has a unique and extensive inventory management system that helps keep track of every detail. The service’s inventory management includes:
- Barcode tracking
- Stock counts
- Product variation management
- Data insights into sales
This inventory management system makes it easier to avoid over-purchasing products when it’s time to replenish your stock, and importantly, can make sure customers don’t click “buy” on products that are out-of-stock in your physical inventory.
3. Integrate with multiple social media platforms
A strong social media presence is more important than ever. You start to grow an online presence through social media by launching separate accounts on major platforms. However, getting potential customers to head back to your site to buy is the challenge.
Shopify makes this process easier with unique social media integration. For example, you can integrate your ecommerce site with Instagram with Instragram’s shopping tags. These allow you to showcase your products on the social media platform with unique buttons that let customers click to view more details about the products.
Instagram requires you to have an approved shopping business on the site before you can start using shopping tags, but it’s a powerful tool that was cleverly designed for Shopify. There are other notable social media integrations available for Shopify as well, including Facebook Messaging, crafted social media ads and discount codes, and Pinterest sales channels.
4. Vast selection of apps and plugins to drive more sales
You may find yourself in need of a few additional features that are hard to build into a website. For example, what if you want customers to leave product reviews? Or maybe you want to send out reminders to customers who abandoned their shopping carts, or help returning customers keep the items they added to their cart?
Shopify has hundreds of apps (their version of website plugins similar in fashion to WordPress) which let you add all of the customizable features you want or need for an ecommerce store. Some of these apps come with an additional fee (like with WordPress), but many are free.
Shopify also makes it easy to navigate their apps store even before you create your ecommerce site. This way, you can determine whether Shopify has the type of plugins you most need for your business before you launch your web store.
5. POS system that allows both online and in-person sales
As a brick and mortar retailer with an online presence, you may often find yourself trying to navigate your physical and online sales systems. It’s possible to use two separate systems, but your life would probably be easier if you utilized an integrated POS system for both your online and physical sales.
Shopify also operates as a multi-channel POS system. You can make sales online, in your physical store, or on the road at trade and craft shows. All sales are processed and handled by a single POS system. You can also set up Shopify to accept payments from every major credit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and even cryptocurrencies. Shopify accepts payment from over four dozen payment providers in the US, and over 100 internationally.
Note that using Shopify’s point-of-sale system comes with an additional cost but is also completely voluntary. If you have a POS system you like, you can bring that with you to Shopify.
6. Customer Support
Anyone who runs a retail business and works with technology can tell you: Murphy’s Law is about as real as it gets. “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong,” as the saying goes. Websites go down for various reasons all of the time, and there’s a good chance you may not know exactly what to do when all hell breaks loose on your site.
Shopify is one of the only ecommerce platforms that offers a significant amount of customer support. Most review sites that compare different ecommerce site builders point to Shopify’s customer support as a key reason why some retailers may want to choose Shopify over other options. And indeed, if you know you won’t have the time or ability to deal with website problems yourself, Shopify is probably your best option thanks to the advanced real-time customer support it offers.
Already Have an Ecommerce Site? You Can Migrate It to Shopify
Even if you already have an Ecommerce site, you can migrate your existing store to Shopify. Thankfully, Shopify is also a web host, so you can migrate your entire site over to Shopify and even get customer support from Shopify and your current website hosting company to do so.
You can transfer your existing domain to Shopify, and migrate all of your store’s content, inventory, and customer data. All of that may be a bit more technical than you’re ready to take on, but your current web hosting company and Shopify can help walk you through the process.
If you’re looking to elevate your ecommerce platform through Shopify or other platforms, contact Madison Ave Media for a complimentary consultation.