Shopify: The Best Ecommerce Solution
We are Shopify setup experts, so we may seem biased in our opinion of Shopify, but this opinion was formed long before we were approved to be Shopify experts.
We have been using Shopify since 2011 as users. From that time, we began developing sites using the Shopify platform for our clients. As a business and web development company, we look for the most practical, efficient, and cost-effective solutions for our clients. Time and time again, Shopify has provided us with the best solution over other platforms. Our clients enjoy the flexibility of the Shopify system and the easy to use content management approach. Over the years we would provide our clients with choices between different ecommerce platforms and would try to remain objective in this presentation. However, this approach has not always worked in the customers favor because they would often opt to choose platforms such as WordPress because they thought they would save money. Today, we offer different methods, but we are highly detailed in what we believe are the costs of using cheaper platforms. In many instances, we have turned away work because we believed the clients were making a mistake choosing an inferior ecommerce system. You may ask why we would take such as stance with development? The answer is simple- it’s the right thing to do.
As a business consultant, we would be remiss in our duties to provide our clients with the best possible solutions. We would be neglectful of our clients if we simply blindly followed their desires- knowing that it could damage their business in the long run. We are not just web developers- we are business developers. This means that we cannot just look at the business through the lens of ecommerce or through website design. This client centric approach allows us to provide our clients with detailed solutions for managing their business or ecommerce needs.
So why Shopify?
As we stated before it’s the most practical, efficient, and cost-effective solution for most businesses. Our reasoning is as follows:
- It’s a complete POS- no need to integrate payment systems because it’s all out of the box.
- It’s a flexible model- although the backend of Shopify is the same for all store owners, its themes and design can be significantly differentiated to showcase different brands. Each store has its choice of hundreds of paid and free themes that are all backed by support.
- Support- the first time you need help with WordPress and you have to go digging through forums for hours and hours trying to find a simple solution to a problem- you will wish that you had the email, chat, and phone support that Shopify offers.
- More efficient- do you really want to learn to code a web page or do you want to post your products and run your business? You are a business owner and you don’t have time to be learning code because you need to market and run your company. Shopify requires no coding experience to build and maintain your website.
- Its cost effective- once you add up the costs of using “so-called” free platforms you will easily see that Shopify is the better deal. The time alone learning to integrate different apps and payment keys into a free website will outweigh any saving you thought you were getting.
- Just a great network- you don’t just get support from Shopify, you also gain a community of entrepreneurs, experts, and gurus who are intent on helping one another actualize their goals. If you decide to work with an expert such as us, you will gain yet another layer of support assistance getting your business up and running.
There you have it- all the great reasons that we think Shopify is the ecommerce platform of choice for you. If you are looking to start a business or trying to improve your existing ecommerce, please feel free to contact us. CCI can provide you with consultation and quotes for whatever your needs may be. If you desire to setup your Shopify site and do it alone, please continue reading and learn how to setup your store.
Shopify Setup Documentation
(Note we are currently updating our documentation so if you need assistance with something and cannot find the answer, please feel free to contact us.)
This documentation is setup to help customers walk through the process of getting their first Shopify Store operational. This documentation is designed to provide a quick start for CCI clients and follows and assumes that you have read the CCI education articles. This is by no means a complete guide to the Shopify system nor is it meant to be. For a more detailed guide you can visit Shopify. This documentation is meant for setup of a store and does not discuss marketing strategies in depth. For clients working with CCI, this is a step by step process that provides tips for a direct method of setting up your store and getting a domain. What is suggested in this documentation may or may not be the same as what Shopify suggests in their documentation.
Getting Setup with Shopify
So now you have a basic understanding of eCommerce and what will be involved in developing your business. It’s now time to create your shop. Getting started with Shopify can be done very simply. There are two ways that you can get started. You can use my directions below and continue working using my tutorials on this site. If you do not feel comfortable setting your shop up you can choose to work with me directly and I will help you setup your shop. If you desire my assistance please go to Shopify Development With CCI.
Steps to Setup Shopify
1. Click on this link and a new window will open.
2. You will be taken to the sign up screen on Shopify where you can input your email.
3. Fill out the email and passcode (make sure you use a 12 digit passcode that uses upper lower case and symbols.)
4. You will now be asked to choose the type of store you will be running. If you are going to be selling strictly online choose the the Online Store option. If you are going to be selling in a store or in person choose the Retail Store or Pop Up Shop. Most people choose the top option and this can be changed later so don’t feel pressured to make a choice if you are unsure.
5. You will now be required to enter your name, address, and other personal information.
6. In this section you will be required to enter some basic information about your business.
7. Once you have entered your store you will be take to your dashboard. Congratulations! You are now setup with your very own Shopify store. You should take some time and familiarize your self with your dashboard and features. When you are ready you will be begin working on your theme.
Setting Up Your Shopify Theme
Shopify provides numerous themes with some being free and some costing money. Third party developers also create many nice themes for Shopify so the choices for a theme are enormous. In order to choose a theme you will need to go to Online Store/Themes and then press the button in the upper right corner that says Visit Theme Store.
Once you are in this section, you can begin looking at the various themes. You should analyze these themes and look at all the features that they have before choosing one. While it is possible to add features and alter themes through customization, this can be time consuming and expensive. You also want to be happy with the way that your theme looks. Even though Shopify makes themes interchangeable, each theme must be customized in its settings and each theme varies in its features. For example, themes that have multi tier navigation will require a large alteration to the site when changing from a single tier navigation theme. This is not to say that you cannot change themes its just that you don't want to do it often.
From the theme store you can demo themes and look at all of the features they have. Spend some time in this area and see what you like. I find that many people rush through this part in the anticipation of getting the site up and running. The way your site looks is a tremendous element of your success. The look of a site can impact credibility, trustworthiness, as well as consumer desire to buy.
Before you make your decision here are some tips that will help you decide if a theme is correct for you:
- Does the theme have a good review? Shopify themes always have reviews posted below them. These reviews tend to be trustworthy and it is prudent to look at them.
- Does your theme have the features you need? For example some themes are designed for photography and others are designed for large numbers of products, there are even eBook themes meant for one book. Make sure that you are getting what you need.
- Is the theme a Shopify theme? There is two sides to this coin. Many of the really nice themes are made by third party companies. If the theme is made by Shopify then Shopify supports it. Third party companies can be good at service but they can also be bad. It has happened where someone bought a theme and the company no longer exists after a year. Again, look at the reviews or even test the company by sending them an email. See how long it takes them to respond and how they respond.
Once you have decided, go ahead and install your theme and you will be ready to begin designing your store.
As we discussed in SEO Monster, domains impact SEO and need to be considered carefully on this basis. Domains also need to be considered in terms of their ability to be remembered and entered easily into the browser. While this seems like an odd thing to many people unfamiliar with ecommerce, it is actually extremely important. For example, your domain URL should not be too long. Really long URLs can be problematic for customers because they cannot remember them or misspell them. For example, the name creativeconceptindustries.com was not the best choice for my domain for this reason. The most important is that it does not speak to what I do. This was a tradeoff that I made because I wanted to build a brand around this name because I was involved in multiple creative areas of service. The other problem is that it presents issues with email because the name is so long people cannot remember it easily. Again, this is a tradeoff due to my desire to have a stronger brand recognition on creative work.
It is really a personal choice, but domains should either represent the company name and brand or you should build your company name out of the best SEO practices. So if you have a company that sells Frozen Pizzas you might want to think about devising a name that is relevant to this product such as BestFrozenPizzas.com or BobsFrozenPizzas.com etc. If you are ready to pick out a domain or would like to check to see what names are available then you can access domain names on the Domains, Hosting, and Email page.