When you need to build an online store, there are countless eCommerce platforms to choose from, but they vary in terms of features and usability. Some produce beautiful storefronts but are difficult to use on the back end. Others are user-friendly but lack good design.
Despite all this, you don’t have to sacrifice usability just to get a good-looking store. Shopify picks up the slack where other platforms fall short, and as you read this article, you’ll find out why.
- What is Shopify?
- What makes Shopify the best?
- Shopify will handle fulfillment and returns
- SEO is a priority for Shopify stores
- Shopify prioritizes cybersecurity
- Shopify is a hosted ecommerce solution
- 2 Reasons hosted solutions are superior
- You will pay a bit more for a hosted solution like Shopify
- Should you hire a developer to build your Shopify store?
- 4 Advantages of hiring a Shopify developer
- Get your ideal Shopify eCommerce store with Website.design
What is Shopify?
In today’s world, a significant portion of commerce takes place online rather than in brick-and-mortar stores. Shopify is a platform that facilitates online sales without forcing business owners to learn code or hire a professional development team. For the most part, anyone can sign up for an account and build an eCommerce store with ease.
Shopify has rightfully earned an amazing reputation in the business world by simplifying the process of building an online store. It’s truly the intuitive, all-in-one solution most people want.
What makes Shopify the best?
The main element that makes a web platform superior is ease of use. Business owners don’t have all the technical knowledge required to build a store from scratch, so they’ll choose the platform that best meets their needs.
Shopify offers the following features:
- Easy setup and management
- A visual online editor with drag-and-drop capabilities
- Built-in SEO tools
- Multiple product variations
- Mobile-friendly storefronts
- High-level cybersecurity
- Over 100 payment gateways
- Facebook integration
- Multiple languages
- Abandoned cart emails
- Dropshipping options
- Powerful analytics
- No bandwidth caps
- Excellent customer support
In addition to these features, Shopify automatically calculates shipping costs and sales tax based on the buyer’s location. This helps business owners stay on top of paying their taxes.
Shopify will handle fulfillment and returns
Shopify is more than just a platform for running an eCommerce store. Through fulfillment service providers like Amazon, you can have Shopify fulfill your orders, handle returns, and issue refunds. This is perfect for business owners who don’t have the space to store inventory nor the time to manage returns.
SEO is a priority for Shopify stores
Several important SEO features can be integrated into your storefront through plugins. For instance, you can get optimized page titles and meta tags, and an xml sitemap will be automatically created for you.
In addition to extra SEO features provided by plugins, Shopify is naturally fast, which means you won’t lose customers from slow loading pages. Reducing your bounce rate is essential, and Shopify will give you a head start.
Shopify prioritizes cybersecurity
Every Shopify account comes with a 256-bit SSL certificate, which encrypts all data processed through your site. Having a valid SSL certificate also helps with SEO, since Google looks down on sites without one.
If you’re going to accept credit card payments online, your processor must be PCI-DSS compliant, or you can face hefty fines and be forced to stop doing business. Shopify is Level 1 PCI-compliant, which means your customer’s credit card data is secure.
Shopify is a hosted ecommerce solution
Unlike WordPress, which requires you to self-host, Shopify is fully hosted. This is a primary benefit because nothing is more frustrating than having to build a website from scratch when you have no technical knowledge or skill. Of course, hiring a professional developer is always an option, but that isn’t in everyone’s budget. As a hosted solution with a drag-and-drop editor, Shopify makes it easy for anyone to build a storefront without paying a pro.
You might be wondering what the specific differences are between self-hosted and hosted solutions. After all, many businesses seem to have no trouble building their stores on WordPress. Here’s a simple explanation.
2 Reasons hosted solutions are superior
1. Hosted solutions are generally more secure
You can’t skip cybersecurity when running a storefront. Hosted solutions are generally more secure because they are managed by the company and not the end user. According to Stanford research, more than 80% of all security incidents are caused by user error, and hosted solutions drastically reduce this risk. For example, Shopify provides the SSL certificate needed to encrypt data and follows required regulations for credit card processing. Without a hosted solution, you’re on your own to maintain compliance.
Another security benefit of a hosted solution is that you don’t need to install patches and updates. Shopify is constantly being maintained, updated, and patched on the back end. With self-hosted solutions, like WordPress, the end user is responsible for keeping core files, themes, and plugins updated.
2. You’ll only have one account to manage
Self-hosted solutions require multiple accounts: a hosting account, a domain name registrar, and an account for the themes and plugins you purchase. You might also need additional accounts for a payment processor or other software.
As a hosted account, you can do everything through Shopify, including register a domain name, and hosting comes with your Shopify account.
You will pay a bit more for a hosted solution like Shopify
One of the only true disadvantages to a hosted solution is the monthly fee. However, you would still be paying a monthly hosting fee for WordPress, so there’s no way around this expense. Between the two options, you will pay more for hosted ecommerce, but you also get more value and convenience.
Another expense is having to pay for third-party plugins/extensions. With self-hosted platforms like WordPress, many developers create and maintain free plugins that add functionality to your site. Where hosted platforms are concerned, most extensions are sold in a competitive marketplace. Some come with a one-time fee, but most are billed monthly.
Although managing a budget is important, cost shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when choosing your eCommerce platform. There is no substitute for a smooth-running store and sometimes that costs more money. You might pay a little more to run your business through a hosted solution, but you’ll make up for that with satisfied, repeat customers.
Should you hire a developer to build your Shopify store?
You might be wondering if you should hire a professional website developer to build your Shopify store. The answer depends on what you need. Technically, you can build your store without a developer, but hiring a pro will give you a serious advantage.
4 Advantages of hiring a Shopify developer
1. Advanced customizations
There are different levels of customizations you can apply to your Shopify store. Some are surface level, while others are more advanced. For instance, you might be able to change your text size and color, but you won’t be able to create an entire CSS typography set from scratch. You also won’t be able to make significant changes to your theme or adjust your margins or padding easily.
Shopify is built on Liquid, which is a special templating language that requires familiarity to modify. Most people can follow basic tutorials, but you’ll need a pro to get extensive customizations. If it’s possible to customize, a Shopify developer can make it happen.
2. A completely custom design
A Shopify developer can create a completely custom website design for your store from scratch. This means you’ll get exactly what you want, and your store will fully represent your brand.
Sometimes existing themes look good but aren’t a great match for your needs. With a Shopify developer, you won’t have to settle for a decent theme when you can get your perfect theme made from the ground up.
3. Custom graphics
Outstanding graphic design boosts conversions. Stock images won’t cut it – you need custom design work.
You can use custom graphics with an existing Shopify theme, but you’ll need to go through a pro to get this service. Many developers partner with graphic designers, which means you can turn your storefront into a beautiful representation of your brand.
Whether you need a version of your logo made just for your Shopify theme, or if you want to replace some of your theme’s graphics and buttons, a professional developer will make it happen.
4. Professional advice
While it’s entirely possible to build your own Shopify storefront with a free or cheap theme, you miss out on valuable advice from experts. Working with a developer gives you an advantage in this area. A developer will tell you if your ideas are going to work against your marketing efforts or other goals. They’ll let you know if something you request is going to hinder your conversions or drive visitors to bounce.
When you build your own site, you could end up implementing features that increase your bounce rate, frustrate your prospects, and deter sales. You can always make your own decisions, but it pays to get design advice from someone with direct experience.
Get your ideal Shopify eCommerce store with Website.design
Setting up your eCommerce store on your own can feel overwhelming, and that’s where we can help. Whether you have a handful of products or hundreds of variations, we will add them all for you and make sure every possible selection is perfect.
Our professional Shopify development team will create your ultimate eCommerce storefront that fully represents your brand and makes your customers happy. If you need a custom design, we’ll do it for you. If you have already found a theme and need it installed, we’ll get you up and running fast.
Want to maintain your own site? No problem! Once you have your store up and running, the user-friendly interface will make it easy for you to make changes and manage your products and sales on your own.
There are many eCommerce options out there, but most aren’t all that powerful or easily customizable. Don’t risk starting your project on a random platform and finding out it won’t work. When you choose Shopify, you won’t be disappointed. Contact us today to find out how to get started with our professional design services.
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