Why You Should Use Shopify-One Stop Shop To Help You Make All Of The Money In The World
If you’re interested in starting an online business, there are literally hundreds of ways to do it. You can monetize a website endlessly, and you’ve probably heard of many different ways to do this by now.
For example, some people put ads on their site and make money from that, while others use affiliate marketing. People love these methods because they’re passive and don’t take much setup. Though these approaches can certainly be very lucrative, they’re not the most lucrative.
Think about it: Ultimately, to make money, a product or service has to be sold. Running ads on your site or getting into affiliate marketing allows you to get a cut of that, but there are also a lot of people in between taking a cut, too. All things being equal, the less people between you and the end product or service, the more money you will make. This is why the most lucrative way to monetize your site is to sell your own products. After all, you keep all of the money!
Selling products online used to be a complicated and daunting affair. That’s just not the case anymore, since now we can leverage great tools like Shopify. In fact, let’s take a look at this popular tool in particular and what it has to offer:
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an ecommerce platform that greatly simplifies the prospect of building an online store. You can build one from the ground up with their system or incorporate a store into your already existing site. You don’t need to be a web designer, either—they have templates that make it easy to build the kind of shopping experience that your customers want. Once everything is set up, you can sell nearly any kind of product.
Shopify handles everything—credit card transactions, shopping cart software, and even domain name registration if you don’t have one already. It’s the perfect service both for beginners and for seasoned pros who just don’t want to drown in the details anymore.
If you’re a novice in the Internet marking world, then it’s easy to get bogged down with all of the things you have to do. Shopify is so feature-rich that it takes tons of things off your plate, so you can concentrate on the important stuff: actually selling your product.
Some of the more incredible features of Shopify include:
- Access to an easy ecommerce site builder with attractive templates. You don’t need to know how to code, just how to point and click. The templates that Shopify offers are also proven to give good conversion rates. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here, especially if you’re a beginner and you might not know what you’re doing. These templates are both desktop and mobile friendly, so you never have to worry about losing a customer due to a poor interface.
- A hosted store. While you can integrate Shopify into an existing website, Shopify will also host your site. Considering how expensive hosting can be with other services, especially as your site traffic grows, Shopify is an incredible deal.
- Access to a Point of Sale (POS) system that you can use online and offline. Do you eventually want to sell your product in person? You’re going to need a point of sale system. In the past, it took a mountain of red tape to find a suitable POS, but Shopify lets you skip this step and just use theirs. Just this feature alone is worth Shopify’s low price. They handle all of your credit card transactions, both online and offline.
- PayPal integration. You can get a PayPal Express account through Shopify, which is convenient for you and for customers who don’t like to spread around their credit card info.
- Shopify Button. This is a widget that you can put on other websites, not necessarily your shopify site. In other words, if you own a blog or something, you can link to your product from your blog and people can directly buy it without leaving your site.
- Sell products to your Facebook contacts. Yes, that’s right: Shopify allows you to directly sell to people that you know on Facebook. You can also sell on Pinterest using a Pinterest module. This can be a huge money-maker. (If you haven’t yet heard, Pinterest is one of the most lucrative social media platforms in existence. People on that site are eager to buy.)
Shopify offers all of these features and more for very low prices. They have a tiered price plan that basically goes like this:
- Lite: Build a site with no online store. What is the point of this? I don’t know. Perhaps it will help you get a feel for Shopify, but it’s not recommended obviously if you actually want to make money. This option is $9 per month.
- Basic: Start your own basic online store. With this option, you will have the nuts and bolts you need to build your first store and start making money. All of the essentials are included: the online store, the POS system, the Shopify button, the social media modules, etc. You can also add an unlimited amount of products and you’ll have unlimited file storage. Your transactions are also free if you use the Shopify payment gateway; if you use external payment systems, there’s a 2% fee. This option is $29 per month.
- Pro: This option is a good upgrade as your business starts to grow and it also works great if you have a brick-and-mortar store. While the Basic version has 2 staff accounts, this one comes with 5. It also offers gift card features, abandoned cart recovery, and more detailed reports. The fee for using an external payment gateway is reduced to 1%, and credit card rates are lower. This one is $79 per month.
- Unlimited: This version comes with everything that Pro comes with, but with even more advanced reporting, 15 staff accounts, and the ability to calculate third-party shipping. The fee for using an external payment system is down to only 0.5% if you use this version, and credit card rates are even lower than the Pro version. This one will set you back $299 per month and is suggested for scaling your business.
As a beginner, though, there’s no reason to worry about the options with the more advanced features. A Basic account is really all that you need to get started.
If you’ve ever used content management software before, like WordPress, then the Shopify interface will seem extremely intuitive. Even if you haven’t, it’s as easy as using any other application online. If you can play around with your settings on Facebook or Gmail or wherever, then Shopify is a snap.
1) Tell Shopify About Yourself
After you sign up and sign in to Shopify, they’re going to ask you a bit about where you currently are in your ecommerce journey. Are you already selling online? Are you selling in brick-and-mortar stores, but not online yet? Are you a pure beginner? This will help them configure your experience.
2) Decide What You Want to Do With Shopify
Next, they will ask you what you want to do. Are you going to make an online store, add a store to a site that you already have, or use Shopify to sell on Facebook or in person? Obviously, if you’re looking to build an online store from scratch, you would pick the first option.
3) Pick Your Design
Now you choose the design for your site. As I already said, this is incredibly easy because they provide you with tons of templates and you can tweak these to your liking without any coding experience at all.
4) Add Pages, Posts, and Other Content
After you choose your theme and design the site, you can add content. Naturally, for both SEO and user experience purposes, you’re probably going to want a blog with interesting content. Put up some posts, as well as basic website staples, such as an About page, a Help page, and so on.
5) Set Up Payments
From here, you can go into your settings and set up your payment gateways in just a few minutes. You can even set up PayPal payments.
6) Add Your Products
Once your website is pretty much built, you can start adding your products. This is also very simple to do using the menu on the left. You can add an image of your product, a title, and a product description for your customers read (though they probably won’t, let’s face it). Here you can also input the price, inventory information, shipping, etc.
7) Launch Your Site
There’s tons of other elements to tweak on your site, of course, but the above are the basics that you need to get going. Once these are set up, you can launch your site if you want. You can do this by simply going to Overview > Unlock your store. It is here where you will choose your Shopify plan, if you haven’t already.
Overall, this doesn’t need to take very long, and the most time-consuming part will probably be choosing your design and adding your products. The system itself is so incredibly easy that the learning curve is practically zero. In fact, I found the interface to be extremely reminiscent of WordPress, except even simpler. So if you have experience with WordPress, you can hop right onto Shopify without a problem.
Now, we’ve talked about starting your own online store, and the above is basically all you really need to know to get started. Shopify makes the process so incredibly simple—from hosting your website to giving you a ready-to-use POS system—that there’s really no reason to use anything else if you are a beginner.
However, maybe starting an online store isn’t for you just yet. Maybe you don’t have the capital to buy your own inventory, which Shopfiy obviously doesn’t provide. If you want to find a way to make money online that doesn’t require this kind of investment upfront, then you can still make money with Shopify in another important way.
Just like many other online services, Shopify offers an affiliate program. You can sign up with them to promote Shopify, and you’ll earn a cut of what Shopify makes from their customers. They will give you a unique affiliate link and reward you for anyone who buys using that link.
What makes the Shopify affiliate program particularly lucrative, though, is that they give you the first two months of a user’s subscription fee. This means that you can make up to $498 dollars per sign-up. This is ridiculously high for a random affiliate program, but it makes sense considering that Shopify makes so much money in the back-end (monthly fees, plus transaction and credit card fees).
You can make money from their affiliate program in a number of ways:
- Build a website about ecommerce and offer advice. Leave your affiliate link for Shopify in some of your posts.
- Make banners or other graphics and put them on your site like ads. These ads will point to your affiliate link.
- Give advice to friends and family who are looking for an online shopping cart. Tell them about the virtues of Shopify and offer your affiliate link for them to sign up with.
- Print out flyers or business cards with your Shopify affiliate link and offer it to people. (This will probably have a lower conversion rate, but you’ll be targeting unexploited areas, since most affiliates work online only.)
- If you already run a business that serves the Internet marketing sector—for example, you have an SEO service—then you can promote Shopify to your customers and offer them your affiliate link.
Really, there are endless ways to promote Shopify. It’s a great service, so it basically sells itself for people who truly need it. Once you have enough capital from affiliate sales, you might even start your own store.
Whether you choose to become an affiliate or to build an ecommerce site of your own, it’s worth it to check out Shopify right now and find an option that works for you.