How to start selling on Shopify - A few top tips!
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If you are looking to sell online, Shopify is one of the easiest eCommerce marketplaces to use. The process of setting up your store and starting to sell is very simple.
Shopify provides online sellers with huge possibilities, so below is a brief overview of how to get online and start selling. We have also highlighted some of the key things you should know about Shopify including pricing and shipping.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an eCommerce platform designed to help all kinds of sellers improve their business, whether you sell online, through Social Media or even if you own a traditional brick and mortar store.
Shopify is great if you are just starting out in eCommerce as not only is it a reliable platform, it has a vast number of useful tools that can help you grow and succeed.
Key features of Shopify
There are some great features on Shopify designed to help you run your eCommerce business efficiently. Depending on which Shopify Monthly price plan you opt for, you will be able to access;
A range of themes to make your store stand out from the crowd
A vast number of Shopify Apps through the App store
Shopify Payments to make sure you can take payments efficiently
Additional sales channels
The excellent Shopify blog where you can learn best practices and much more
Shopify experts to help you with everything from marketing to design
24/7 Shopify support to help with any inquiries
How does Shopify work?
Shopify works by collating everything you need to have a successful online store, all in one place. It allows sellers to use the numerous brilliant features, ranging from customizing a store to managing products and inventory.
Not only can you use Shopify as an online store, you can use it at a retail location, or if you are on the road at an event or fair for instance, as well as for making sales on a Wordpress Blog, on Facebook, Pinterest plus many more channels. The possibilities are endless!
You don’t need to know any code or have any development skills, the framework is already in place, so you can concentrate on sourcing great products, marketing, and selling.
What can I sell on Shopify?
All kinds of physical items are sold on Shopify, as long as it’s legal pretty much anything goes, even digital items and services can be sold! Sell items that offer value to the customer and that stand you out from the crowd. Shopify even has apps available to help you source products to sell.
However, do think about shipping - is it cost effective to ship very large items you have sold? Maybe consider selling large items to certain shipping zones. Likewise, if you are selling items that could cause an issue with Customs such as liquids, it could be wise to sell to the US market.
So, let’s get you selling on Shopify!
First things first, you can enjoy a 14 day free trial with Shopify, perfect for you to mess around with the platform, check out the features and get to grips with it.
Sign up for Shopify. Add your email and store name. The store name will be used in your URL so choose something nice and simple. Next a few questions - are you already selling? Can you give an idea of your current revenue? Are you building a store for someone else? These questions can help Shopify figure out which plan might be best for you!
Next up complete your address and contact info - very important so you can get paid when those sales come rolling in!
Add your products. You can enter the items that are you going to sell manually or by uploading using a CSV file. If you are selling elsewhere on eBay or another eCommerce marketplace, you can easily import your products to Shopify.
Customize your store design. Adding a theme that suits your brand is not only important it can also be great fun! You can use free themes, paid themes or even search for one that has been tailor made for your industry.
Name your domain. Get your domain name game on point - you are putting your name out there so this part is very important. You can transfer an existing domain name if you have one you are happy with or you can purchase one from Shopify.
Shipping and Taxes. Think about shipping costs and taxes that will need to be included on your listings. Shopify will set you up with this at the start but it is part and parcel of running a successful store that you get this correct.
Choose a payment method that suits you. When you have sold all those wonderful products, you are going to want to get paid - so this is vital to get right. US, Canadian and UK Shopify sellers can use Shopify Payments to accept credit cards without needing a payment gateway. You can connect with various payment gateways such as PayPal, Google Wallet or Amazon Payments.
Get Set...Check over your Shopify settings and pay close attention. Check for any outstanding settings such as Store Title and Description. You might want to think about adding tracking to your site as well. It is always useful to monitor the performance of your store - it can help you improve conversions as you move forward.
Go Live! Until you set your store live nobody will be able to see it, which is a good thing as you should give your store a thorough test before you go online. Once you are happy with it, put it live the public and you are now a trading Shopify store owner!
There are a few tiers of Shopify account. There can also be fees involved for credit card rates and transaction fees so it is worth taking the time to review the pricing documentation.
Basic Shopify | Recommended for starting a new business | $29 per month
Shopify | Recommended for growing a business | $79 per month
Advanced Shopify | Recommended for scaling a business | $299 per month
There is also a Shopify Lite available from $9 per month for selling on Social Media, Amazon, Wordpress or on an existing website.
Have a read through of the features you get for each tier to help you choose the one that suits your needs best.
There are Shopify apps for every aspect of running an eCommerce store - some of which are free and others are paid. Whether you need to set up a Live Chat or need to boost your engagement on Social Media, there will be an App to help.
Even if you are looking for products to sell, you will find an app to stock up your store! Spend some time trying out the various apps and you can find them all via the Shopify App Store.
We recently launched our own Parcel Monkey App, so that you can connect your Shopify store to our shipping calculator so that every time you have an order, we grab you a great value shipping quote that you can then add to your basket and book.
If you have made a sale, you are going to need an affordable way to ship your package to the recipient with a reliable and trusted delivery service. You can now fulfil your Shopify orders easily with us, either by connecting to our Parcel Monkey app or by downloading a CSV file containing all the details about your orders and uploading it to Parcel Monkey to get multiple shipping quotes all at one time!
Firstly, which shipping method is best for you?
Free shipping can encourage more sales as can enticing buyers to spend more by offering free shipping if they spend over a certain amount.
Free shipping will come at a cost to you, so it may be worth marking up the price of your items to cover this expense. Free shipping isn’t for everyone - you could also choose to charge a flat rate on all items being shipped that have been sold on your store or charge customers on a per item basis.
Shopify Shipping can be used so that you can print out their labels and attach them to your box ready to post to a customer. There is also a number of apps to use to help you access discounted shipping rates. Depending on each individual seller needs, can impact which courier is best.
Weigh it up.
Shipping costs are dependent on the size and weight of your package, as well as the delivery destination. Consider how quickly you want your packages to be delivered, or how much you can save on the cost of shipping by using a tracked mail or economy service.
When you list your products be accurate with the weight of your listing to ensure the prices are calculated correctly when your customer chooses the shipping method they want.
The internet has made the world a smaller place and businesses who offer to deliver goods to customers who live overseas are far more likely to succeed. There is no point turning away customers who would love to buy your product right?
We offer cheap shipping rates to destinations around the world at Parcel Monkey so see if we can help you expand your business by allowing you to ship to new customers cross-border.
You can handle all the customs documents and shipping information using our bulk CSV upload tool perfect for Shopify sellers!
It might not make sense to service all shipping zones - maybe your product isn’t suitable, has customs restrictions or simply is too costly to ship. You can manage the zones in your Shopify settings.
Hopefully, you can now go away and set up your Shopify store with confidence and start selling. A common question that comes up is ‘Is Shopify worth it?’ and the answer to this depends a lot on what you make of it.
It is an easy to use, all singing and all dancing platform so if you spend the time creating a great store, have interesting products and are willing to ship to customers all around the world it is well worth it. For some people, it can become the sole platform they use for selling online, whilst others use it as another channel in their sales mix.
We think it is well worth the time and effort creating a store and seeing if it works for you, especially as reaching new customers using cross-border shipping have now become easier and more affordable than ever before.
Why not try the Parcel Monkey shipping calculator so you can see how much you can save on shipping rates?