Did you know that there’s a simple, cheap and super easy way for you to take control of your business and run it more efficiently? It’s called Shopify.
Now, let me just start out by saying that I don’t have any real relationship with the guys at Shopify. I spent many years trying to build ecommerce stores on a variety of platforms until I came across Shopify. It was an instant game changer for me and it allowed me to be a better businessman, rather than worrying about server downtime, backups, updates and hackers.
It was instantly clear to me that Shopify have done to ecommerce what Apple did to computers and mobile phones – they made it intuitive. They made a platform that just makes sense.
In that respect, founder and CEO, Tobi Lütke, is as much of a genius as Steve Jobs was. It’s a big statement but that’s how much I value Shopify.
Nonetheless, I’ve continued to work with clients who run their ecommerce stores on other [bulky, annoying, complex] platforms and over the past six months I have come to the following conclusion:
Everyone should switch to Shopify! If you own an ecommerce business of any size and you’re not a massive code geek then you could save time, money and stress by switching to Shopify.
Disclaimer: Because we always recommend that clients use Shopify, we are on the Shopify Partner Program and all links to Shopify in this post are affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission if you chose to sign up. If you don’t fancy the idea of us making a commission then you can type shopify.com straight into your browser and sign up for a free trial.
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Why Shopify? Why not Magento, Joomla, or Woocommerce or Bigcommerce?
I’ve been working online since 2012 but I still wouldn’t consider myself to be very good with tech. I guess I’m tech savvy. But all that really means is that I know just how complicated tech really is and I know how to use it in its rendered form. By that I mean, I know how to use the tools, applications and software that the really clever people create.
How it’s made is just simply beyond me. I’m not saying I couldn’t learn it if i wanted to, it’s just not something I want to do.
Why wouldn’t I want to know how to build software? Because I prefer having fun using other people’s software to do amazing things. That’s just my thing. And it’s your thing too. That’s why you’re here.
I mean, I’ve even built websites professionally in the past.
Here’s a list of some of the ecommerce platforms and open source CMS’s I’ve worked with personally:
- Big Cartel
But I can’t do it as well as many professionals. That means that if I want to have a well functioning, beautiful website, I’m going to need the constant help of developers. In fact I’m going to depend on them completely for any store maintenance that needs doing.
This is a massive risk to me. It’s like owning a shop in the street and not knowing how to unlock the door. Or how to open the cash register. That would be crazy!
2 HUGE Shopify Myths
It’s safe to say that you may have heard a few rumours about why Shopify isn’t a good platform and how it won’t be a good fit for your business so let’s take a look at some of the most common ones:
#1 – Too Expensive
When I launched my first store on Shopify I thought the same thing. But I weighed it up and decided that it would be worth the expense. Since then, I have seen all the benefits of Shopify and I have to say… I think it’s a bargain!
Let’s go through exactly what it costs… REALLY!
Shopify Store Plan – $29 / month for a basic plan. This will need to go up to a $79 plan at some point but it’s really not necessary to begin with.
Credit Card Rates – 2.9% + 30c of every transaction. While it does go down to 2.4% + 30c on the top plan, this is often what puts people off because you have to pay them a bit of every sale you make. Here’s the way I see it though: Shopify makes sure that every payment goes as smoothly as can be. If you only make one sale of $100 each month, they’ll only charge you $3.20 per month because they’re not doing much work for you. If you’re on their Advanced plan and make $100,000 each month from 1000 sales then they’ll charge you $2700 per month because they’re taking care of a lot of important transactions and making sure that everything goes well. This seems perfectly reasonable to me. As long as they take care of everything and I don’t have to worry about it. As your business grows you’ll use up more of Shopify’s resources and you have to pay for that some how. Just be grateful that they’re charging for sales and not traffic!
Transaction Fees – Free! Shopify doesn’t charge you anything if you use Shopify payments to accept orders. For all external payment gateways such as Paypal, Apple pay and Amazon payments, you will have to pay 2%, 1%, or 0.5% of the transaction (depending on your plan) PLUS whatever the payment gateway charges you as well. This is where fees can get a little bit high. As far as I’m concerned, this is still a great deal. Just a few years ago there wasn’t an option to use Shopify for transactions so you had to pay those high fees whatever the case. What I would suggest here is that you make Shopify payments your primary payment method and then add the others as secondary ones. That way you’ll get most of the transactions for free but you won’t lose business if someone wants to use their Paypal account instead.
Apps – Expensive. It’s not that they’re expensive on their own. But it’s true that you do need a few of them to get you off the ground. Now this is another area that people seem to get a little upset about.
#2 – Not Flexible Enough
So the first thing you have to ask yourself when building an ecommerce store is: “What is the objective of my website?”
If the answer is, “to build the best blog in the world and then maybe sell a couple of products here and there,” then no Shopify’s probably not right for you. WordPress is going to be much more flexible and much mroe suited to your needs.
But if the most important objective of your website is to sell products, then Shopify is going to be the best possible solution for you for a number of reasons:
1. Shopify has spent years studying data and building the best, most optimised shopping cart you could imagine. That’s why a Shopify website will always perform 10 x better than anything you could conjure up on your own. If you think you could do it better, you’re probably wrong. PLUS it’s going to take you months, if not years to do it and it will cost you an arm and a leg in development fees. With Shopify you can be up and running in less than 30 minutes.
2. Their app store has been filled with apps built by geniuses who are obsessed with ecommerce. They then sell their work at ridiculously low prices. The app store is basically like posting a development job for something you need doing on your site – let’s say we want to add an upsell popup on the cart page for example – and then having developers compete by actually doing the work. You then get to test out all of their work, usually for free before deciding which one you like best and then paying them something like $10 for their hard work.
WHHHAAAAAT? That’s madness!
Even better, you can browse the app store and discover ideas that you would have never imagined in your wildest dreams – ideas that are going to helop you make more money!
Still Not Convinced?
Let’s take a look at an example from a company that we’ve actually worked with in the past:
For the sake of anonymity, we’ll call this guy Chris and we’ll say that Chris owns a manufacturing company that creates TV wall brackets.
When Chris was building his company, he needed a solution that could manage all of his inventory so that he could keep track of products being sold to his many distributors, products being sold on Amazon AND products being sold on his own store.
Every platform Chris tried seemed to come with a different issue, and he soon discovered that there simply wasn’t a perfect solution out there.
Chris settled for a platform called Netsuite, owned by Oracle, because it would allow him to manage all of his multiple sales channels under one roof. So we now have a guy, paying roughly $40,000 per year for a solution that isn’t perfect.
After years of working with Netsuite, everything seems to be working just fine. But Netsuite doesn’t have many native tools for marketing so he has to turn to the help of a marketing team. The marketing team proceeds to charge him $6000 per month for their services.
One of the first things Chris wants to work on is his email marketing. But integrating a marketing automation tool like Active Campaign or Klaviyo is no simple feat. No. Chris needs to pay money to a company to assist him with the integration. But even after more money has been spent, the integration still isn’t working properly. Hours go by. Weeks in fact. But the integration is so complicated that the team have to look for alternatives
This cost Chris over $8000 and provided 0 results.
Chris also wanted to add recommended products to the product page template and upsells on the cart page. Since Netsuite is so complicated, Chris had to pay developers in order to implement this.
After just a few weeks of work, the developers were running into so many obstacles – including a bug in the payment gateway that was stopping orders from going through – that they decided to abandon the project, costing Chris a few extra thousand.
By now, Chris has spent in excess of $60,000 with very little results to show for it.
But you see, Netsuite is supposed to be an incredibly flexible enterprise solution!
It certainly doesn’t sound so flexible to me.
If Chris had have switched to Shopify he could have integrated almost any marketing automation tool at the click of a button. He could have simply installed a couple of apps in less than 10 minutes and he would have had product recommendations and upsells on the website, all for less than $100.
Chris’ example may seem like an extreme one. But it’s a very real one nonetheless.
What Makes Shopify so Great?
So let’s go back to our Apple comparison. A Mac isn’t as customisable as a Windows PC. If you love the rawness of the system, then Windows is great.
People love Apple because their products just work. They’re sleek and intuitive and they allow you to focus creative work instead of worrying about hacking your own computer. That’s why creatives love them. They allow them to be what they want to be.
Shopify is the same for business owners. It allows you to forget about the complications of the digital world and focus on running a great business.
Try it out for yourself!
Shopify offer a free, 14-day trial so there’s no reason for you not to try it out.