The History of Shopify
Shopify began in 2004. It is based in Ontario, Canada, and was founded by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand and Scott Lake. They currently have over 200,000 merchants that have online stores with their platform and the amount of merchandise volume that goes through Shopify stores is far greater than $10 billion. This is impressive when you think about the fact that three guys created the store just because they couldn’t find an e-commerce platform that they liked.
Most of the work on coding was done by Tobias Lütke. The guys were inspired to make this store because they wanted to make a sporting goods store called Snowdevil. The framework Ruby on Rails was used to create Shopify in the platform is actually launched in June 2006. Three years later Shopify released the App Store and API allowing people to create apps for the App Store. There are several companies that are in the business of making Shopify apps.
The platform joined the mobile revolution in April 2010. Their first mobile app was for the Apple. This allowed Shopify storeowners to manage their store directly from their mobile devices for the first time. They also began a contest that brought in several well-known entrepreneurs to mentor people who were building their businesses. The Shopify payments platform, which is one of the reasons that so many people go with Shopify, was released in August 2013. In 2014, the platform had 120,000 merchants and in 2015, the company released their initial public offering and began trading at $28 a share.
The platform has become immensely popular among just about everyone in the e-commerce industry. Shopify has made it easy for people to start their own e-commerce website and is hosting some very large and prestigious online retailers. With all of the options available that are native to Shopify, and all of the add-on options that you get with the App Store, you can’t go wrong with Shopify.
HOw to Know if a Product will Sell on Shopify?
Are you the person to market this product?
This is the first question that you should ask yourself because with the Shopify site specifically you are competing in a niche and the way that you’re going to make your business grow is by becoming an expert in that niche. If you are selling products that you know nothing about and that you’re not willing to learn about then those products are definitely not right for Shopify or any other e-commerce store that you’re considering.
Do people want the product?
The next thing that you’re going to have to figure out is whether or not people want the product. This can be done a few different ways. Obviously, you could do market research or have a company do it for you, which is usually prohibitively expensive. A much better way to do market research before you buy a product is to create listings for them and then make them out of stock. Then, you can try to get people interested in your “out of stock” products to see whether or not they would be viable for your Shopify site.
Can you Compete?
Another thing you have to decide is whether or not you can compete in this particular niche. Large corporations dominate the biggest markets out there but there are also some pretty solid companies that are dominating the smaller markets too. You need to look at the competition, and determine whether or not you can rank for any of the keywords that you’ll need to get people into your site as well as whether or not you can sell products at a low enough price to compete with these big-name companies that are likely able to get wholesale prices that are better than yours. If not, then you should choose a different product.
Shopify Action Plan - 9 Steps to ECom Success with
Why You Should Add Product Reviews on Shopify
They Influence Customer Options
The bottom line is, product reviews influence customer opinions. More than half of the people that buy products online read the customer reviews before they decide to part with their money. For these people, whether the positive reviews outweigh the negative ones is the determining factor of whether or not they’re going to buy.
Reviews Improve Your Marketing Efforts
Have you heard the Hollywood axiom that bad press is still press? Whether people are leaving good reviews or bad reviews on your products you are still getting reviewed and this will bring in visitors. Some companies even purposely spark controversy so that they can get traffic coming in.
Reviews Improve SEO
When it comes to search engine optimization, reviews are some of the best tools that you could have to improve your search engine rankings. That’s because reviews contain words and when you have more words on your site you rank for more keywords. In this way, even bad reviews are good for you once again; the more reviews that you have on your products the bigger the increase in traffic that you’ll get.
Reviews Show You’re Legitimate
Another thing that reviews do for your business is show that you are legitimate. With all of the scams that are online these days, people are wary about buying from sites that they haven’t heard of or haven’t purchased anything from before. You can combat this to a certain extent by using trust symbols and using Shopify’s own payment gateways so that people can know that their information is secure. However, that doesn’t tell them if they’re going to receive their product nor does it give them any information about what kind of shipping you do or what condition the product might be in when it gets there, as well as customer service experiences.
WHo are Shopify's Main Competitors
Bigcommerce is one of the major competitors for Shopify if you’re talking about platforms that do the same thing as Shopify. The truth is, Shopify has many more internet searches than Bigcommerce. However, the site isn’t doing too badly either. While Shopify can boast almost a quarter-of-a-million merchants, BigCommerce has 100,000 or so. They are fairly easy to use and have a lot of the same features as Shopify has, plus they have about the same pricing as Shopify does. However, Shopify simply does it better things to the App Store, the terrific interface, customer service and more.
If there was ever a platform that can compete with Shopify for the features that are available it is Magento. That’s because this platform is open source and anyone can build features to work with this program. However, Magento is not a full service e-commerce platform. It does not offer the support, the security for the company standing behind it. The people designing Magento are independent programmers working together to create a great e-commerce platform but for most people, Shopify works much better.
If you are familiar with WordPress you might’ve heard of WooCommerce. This premium WordPress addition is a solid program with a great team behind it. What WooCommerce has going for it is that it works with WordPress which is one of the leading content management systems in the world.
Shopify Wins by Customer Consensus
So these programs have been around for a while and others are little newer than Shopify but what they all have in common is that while Shopify’s interest from consumers has grown exponentially the interest in the rest of these e-commerce platforms has pretty much stayed the same as it was when they first released. That’s not to say that the platforms haven’t improved – they have – but they never really took off with consumers like Shopify has.
The 10 Best Shopify Apps to Enhance your Conversions Infographic
How to Make your First Sale with Shopify
So, you’ve opened up your Shopify store and you’re hoping to make your first sale soon. This is an exciting time and many storeowners refresh their admin area for hours hoping to see just one sale – the very first sale – happen. Eventually, you will get that first sale, but it may take some patients. Here are some of the ways that you can increase your chances of getting that first sale sooner.
Your Family & Friends
Your family and friends are going to be an invaluable marketing tool when you first launch your store. They may want to buy products from you themselves, just to support you, but more likely they’ll tell their friends and eventually someone will need something that your offering. Any sales organization will tell you that you start with your family and friends and then network from there.
Advertising used to be something that only the most successful businesses could do because it was expensive to advertise on television, radio or newspaper. But with the Internet, advertising has gotten quite a bit cheaper. You may be able to find a website that appeals directly to your customers and advertise there for a very low price. In addition, there is Facebook advertising, Google Adwords and various other low-cost methods of getting the word out there.
Deeply Discount or Give Away Products
Another method that you can use to get your first sale is to give out huge discounts. Obviously, when you make your first sale you are going to make very much money on it and in fact may lose money. However, the word will spread and you may be of the make a profit on other products that you are discounting. Giving away products doesn’t seem to make sense either but some companies set aside a certain budget for marketing and then use that to make up the cost of the items that they’re giving away. Then they advertise the free items in describe them as “for a limited time only” which usually brings quite a bit of traffic some of which may by something else.
Make Some YouTube Videos
Finally, you could make some YouTube videos. They can be advice videos or you could just be talking about how you are able to get your store off the ground. Adding links to your store may bring in traffic that will give you your for sale.
How You Can Use Drop Shipping with Shopify
One of the options that you have with your Shopify store is the ability to use drop shipping companies to sell products. This works very much in the same way as the Amazon affiliate program. You list products on your website and you do the promotion, and when someone buys one of those products you get a cut but you don’t actually have to do any of the fulfillments because it is all taken care of by the drop shipping company. So, how do you configure Shopify to use drop shipping and is it a profitable venture?
What is Drop Shipping?
Drop shipping is when a company like yours purchases a product from a company that will then ship the product to the customer. Your company doesn’t actually buy the product until the customer buys it from you. This makes for lower overhead and removes the need to warehouse and ship products. However, the disadvantage of drop shipping, is that you aren’t able to mark up the product very much before customers decide that they don’t want to buy from you because your prices are too high.
What Drop Shipping is offered through Shopify?
One of the drop shipping options offered through Shopify is Amazon itself. Amazon has a long history of allowing people to make a profit from selling their products on your website. This is a great deal because Amazon has amazing customer service and as a vendor that is selling their products you’ll benefit from that customer service reputation as well. Amazon is definitely the biggest drop shipping company that is offered as part of the Shopify platform as well as the most reliable.
Shipwire is another drop shipping service that is integrated into Shopify. Shipwire allows you to store and ship your products from their warehouses that are located all over the world, specifically: the United States, Australia, China and the United Kingdom.
Rakuten, which was previously called Webgistix, is the other drop shipping platform that is integrated into Shopify. They have a good reputation and quite a few shipping options which is great if you want to offer your customers the widest choice available of shipping. They have a reputation for delivering items fast and keeping up with modern technology, which you can integrate into your store. They also have great customer service according to the people that have reviewed them online.
Integrate Alibaba with Shopify for amazing Results
Shopify Costs versus Potential Sales
Your Shopify Plan
Your Shopify plan is the first thing that is going to determine whether your sales are going outweigh your cost or whether it’s going to be the other way around. There are four Shopify plans to choose from. The first of the plans is only nine dollars a month. From there it goes to $29 a month, $79 a month and $179 a month. With each of these plans, you get various benefits and features for your Shopify store. You also get discounts on things like Shopify shipping and on credit card processing fees so factor this in as well.
Your Product Choice
The next thing that is going to influence whether or not you’ll be above or below water with your Shopify site is what products you have chosen and whether or not you have chosen to fulfill orders yourself or you’re using a third-party like a drop shipper. On the product side, your profit will depend on how much you can save by buying the products wholesale and how much you can mark them up before selling them to the customer. However, if you are selling the items yourself and keeping them warehoused, you are going to have overhead and cash flow issues that may affect your profit.
The other thing that will determine how much you’re spending versus how much are making is what sort of add-ons you have and how much you’re spending on them. Some people have third-party applications that they use to manage their social media, other people have Shopify apps that they are paying a monthly subscription for and there may be other fees or costs covered under this miscellaneous umbrella. How much you can keep these costs down correlates to whether you can afford your payment or not.
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Garry Mclachlan is an talented internet marketer and hasCreated marketing funnels for some of the biggest names in the Network Marketing Industry. Welcome to his Team Mastermind Site designed for the Success Mastermind Online
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