Shopify: Smart Questions Blog
I love Shopify. Here's why:
Which ecommerce solution do you use and why?
Shopify! When I compared it to some other platforms out there, it won hands down. It does all of the things I need it to (sell product) and comes with things I wanted (blog, unlimited products and pages, easy SEO setup, MailChimp integration, etc.). Shopify also provides free templates, and an app store full of free apps to use with your website. Of course, you have the option to pay for templates and apps you really want or need, but it's optional; they don't try to make a buck off of you with every click you make. This also allows me to do what I do best: work on my business. I don't have time for a lot of back-end development, so I leave it to the user-friendly CMS (content management system) called Shopify.
Is Shopify only for selling products, or can I also use it to sell services and provide information?
Shopify is definitely geared towards selling products, complete with a back-end that tracks inventory and a POS system. With that said, on top of selling product, I also list services and know a lot of businesses sell service packages within their Shopify stores. If you don't need it to sell product, you may find other uses for it, such as package listings and free downloads to capture email addresses. I have found that my options to grown and expand quickly are more open-ended with Shopify than with any other platform.
Can I set up a Shopify store on my own, or do I need a developer and a graphic designer?
The reason Shopify and other CMS (content management system) platforms are so popular is because they are so user-friendly. You don't have to know any html or css, or even have the tools to design anything. If you already know or want to learn these skills, of course there is are options to get more customized; however, you don't need these skills to get started. Maybe a bit of tutorial watching is in your future, but if you can work a Word document, you'll do just fine figuring out the basics of getting your Shopify site up and running.
Will customers take you seriously if you have a Shopify store as opposed to a proper ecommerce website?
Say what? Most customers won't even realize you have a Shopify store. Those that do, won't care. I'd be more worried if all you had was an Etsy shop, or you only sold on Amazon. Those sites don't give you complete control like Shopify does, but that's a different talk for a different day! Once people hit your site, all they care about is learning more about you, your products, services, blog - what you're all about.
How can I bring more, free traffic to my Shopify store?
If free is what you want, utilize what resources you already have or that are free to start. Begin by creating a lot of free content to promote outside of your website, like blogs, downloads, pinnable images, and social media posts that bring value. People will wonder where they can learn more or get that free thing, and click to visit your site from external sources. I'd also recommend starting a podcast or YouTube channel - I hear they work wonders, but I can't yet say from experience!
What are the major differences between Shopify and Sqaurespace?
- Shopify is already set up to sell product, and has an app store to add more features without extra costs depending on choice, but is sold at a higher price point that Squarespace.
- Squarespace is geared towards web pages and blogs, has less built-in or freely available, but is sold at a lesser price point than Shopify.
- These are just the major differences between the two; click here for a more detailed look.
Would you recommend Shopify for a website that does not require a shopping cart?
Absolutely. If you're not selling anything, you're at least giving things away and/or somehow capturing information from your visitors. You can utilize the ecommerce area to keep track of your free product, how many people download what, and how often. And as mentioned above, you have room to grow with Shopify. I only had one idea of what I wanted to sell when I started my site (yeah, I jumped before I swam). Since then, I've been able to get product up, narrow down what I wanted to do, and grow my site accordingly. I now use several free apps that I never thought I would need before. This is a perfect example of Shopify's ability to grow with you, and most likely have resources already available for what you're needing.
What are the most useful apps for Shopify?
I can only speak for the one's I've used (feel free to comment your favs below!), so I'll list what, where and why I use them:
Free. Add digital assets to your products, or sell digital assets on their own.
Free. Generates discount codes for you, gives you the ability to give discounts for one use or mulitple uses per customer.
Facebook Chat by Beeketing
Free. Allows for live chatting via Facebook from your Shopify site. Gives customers an easier, faster way to contact you if they prefer.
Welcome Header Bar
Free. Fully customizable for promo codes, email signup, free product, etc.
How do you manage SEO in Shopify?
My basic tips are to make sure you have title tags and alt tags set up appropriately. For your website as a whole, every single page, every product, image and url should have title and alt tags. Shopify does a great job of showing you a preview of how your page will show up in search engines, and even provides the option to manually change it for better optimization. I found a few great articles specifically geared towards Shopify SEO, found here and here.
How do I choose the best Shopify theme for my needs?
I definitely had to do this via trial and error, because there wasn't very much information on questions involving specific themes. I did, however, do as much research as I could before I installed my current theme and set up shop. I tried installing numerous themes (around 8-10), poking around their features and figuring out which ones were a necessity, and which ones were wants. My list looked a bit like this:
- Customer login, order history, etc.
- Large home page image
- Product features display on home page
- Product filters (tags)
- Social media integration for product, blog, pages, etc.
- Nice blog layout
- Ability to sell and track downloads well
- Nice product layout
- Options to switch up appearance and features easily
I think a lot of templates offer these options, but it's more a matter of if they are free (love free!), how they are stylized, and how customizable they are without getting into html or css. I encourage you to 1) make a list of needs and wants, and then 2) play around with as many themes as you can in order to make the choice that fits your needs best.
Does a Shopify blog really help with your SEO?
I think no matter where you look, you will hear the same resounding "yes!" to this question. SEO, for those that don't know, stands for Search Engine Optimization. The way search engines like Google pick up your website (in a nutshell) is through content, frequency, and traffic. Search engine crawlers love valuable information (content), that is posted on a regular basis (frequency), that people actually visit your site to view, read or buy (traffic). Simply put, the more this cycle is repeated over time, the better chance your site has of reaching a higher rank and more eyeballs in the infamous Google search.
I'm starting a Shopify store, what can I do every day to work on it?
Create an action plan. It could be that you want to set it up to sell product, post blogs, provide service packages - whatever it is that you're wanting to do - create a step-by-step list on what needs to get done, and when. If you're unfamiliar with this concept or don't know where to start, check out the Monthly Goals checklist in the Radiant Rumble shop.
P.S. It's normally $2, but just for you, I've made an exception.
Use code: SHOPIFYSQ2016 at checkout to download for free!
How do I get traffic to and/or promote my newly launched Shopify store?
- Delivering valuable, uplifting, viral, free information wherein the prospect cannot help but share, comment, and like your content.
- Ask yourself, "Would I actually like or share this __(fill in the blank)__?" That question gets me every time!
- Create incentives for referrals and word of mouth, whether it be a free workshop, product, or coupon.
- Scout out and bring on Brand Ambassadors (read this blog post) to test product, write reviews, and share content to promote word of mouth advertising. Are you more likely to buy something because of a trusted friend's opinion, or due to a random "interest" some social media platform finds for you? Brand Ambassadors could be a great asset.
How do I follow up with customers that I gain through my Shopify site?
There are several ways to do this, both in and outside of Shopify:
- Each transaction captures an email address, and sends a confirmation of the sale. I recommend tweaking this to fit your needs. You can find out how to do that within your template by searching the Shopify FAQ.
- Integrate an email marketing management system into your Shopify website. MailChimp is what I recommend and use, and it's free to start. Check that out, here.
- Facebook Chat can be integrated as well. This is great for customers that have questions as they are on your site in real-time. You can find the free integration app for Shopify, here.
- Ask for email subscriptions and follows on social media; this could be incentivized by a coupon, free product, referral program, etc.
- Check out this great post for more ideas.
- Check out this great podcast for more ideas.
Where can I learn more about Shopify?
What's next? Download this Monthly Goals pdf for FREE (with code: SHOPIFYSQ2016) to write down your action plan and get started with your Shopify site!
**Even though I love Shopify, they in no way endorse this blog or post.
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