According to the latest stats, 40% of worldwide internet users have bought products online via desktop, mobile or tablet devices. That’s a staggering one billion people who are enjoying the occasional (or frequent) online shop. It’s no wonder then that so many companies and hotels extend into the arena of online shopping. If you believe your customers would be happy taking home a piece of your brand then it’s an option worth exploring.
We run several online shops with our clients, including the the luxury dog accessories of House of Mutt, Peruvian-inspired jewellery of Chavin and the fine, Italian olive oils and wines of Castelfalfi resort. For these, we have officially partnered with the e-commerce engine: Shopify.
Shopify currently powers over 100,000 online shops. With its fully comprehensive, tried and tested ecommerce functionality and an offering of many different shop looks or ‘themes’, you can set up an online shop with the click of a button. Shopify also lets web companies like us work alongside it to build our clients a completely one-of-a-kind shop.
Here a few of the reasons why Shopify keeps both us and our clients happy:
1. Speedy set-up: Between stock handling and payment gateways, there are a lot of complexities involved in building a shop site that could mean months of development. Thankfully Shopify has already taken care of the functional intricacies. As Shopify founder Tobias Lütke said: “What used to take months in 2004, can now be done in about 20 minutes on Shopify.”
2. Slick design: With the nuts and bolts taken care of by Shopify, you can focus on the paint finish. Shopify offers over 100 professional templates which means the even the least technical can give their shop an instant makeover. Even more importantly for us, the themes are not a closed shop: designers and developers can get access to the code for full customisation. As you can see from our Shopify sites, our team can take a basic theme and style it into something entirely unique.
3. Mobile friendly: Shopify themes are responsive meaning they will work on a device of any size. Shopify also includes mobile shopping cart features so customers can browse and buy from your store direct from their mobiles.
4. Secure and fast payment: Shopify offers multiple payment gateway options in different currencies. They also guarantee a secure shopping cart which is Level 1 PCI compliant and includes an SSL certificate that uses industry standard 128 bit encryption technology. What’s more, it’s fast and, if ‘a 7% drop in sales can be seen for every one second in page loading time’ is anything to go by, speed is very important.
5. Easy to use: Shopify’s ‘back-end’ aims to be as simple as possible with an intuitive dashboard and straightforward interface. It’s possible to add, organise and maintain your product inventory individually or in bulk.
6. Appy Extras: You can add to Shopify’s baseline functionality thanks to their app store which contains over 500 plugins, all designed to enrich your store with specialised features. They cover a range of areas including marketing tools, social media tools and inventory management. If there’s not an app for what you want, Shopify’s code allows companies like ours to build a bespoke one for you; we’ve already built a couple for our clients.
7. SEO: Shopify’s code is optimised for search engines and it automatically generates sitemaps.xml files so new products appear on search engines quickly. They also offer custom title tags and meta descriptions for your collections and products. We worked with our clients to devise a keyword strategy for their shops to help make the most of the SEO opportunities.
8. Promoting: Getting the store online is only the beginning. Shopify has plenty of features that can help you actually promote your products and get people buying. For example, you can quickly create extra pages on your site for specific campaigns and integrate the site with your social media channels. There is a Shopify coupon engine which allows you to create discount codes and coupons to for sales and specific promotions. What’s more, Shopify has deals with Google and Facebook offering reduced fees if you to sign up with Google Adwords or Facebook advertising to go and promote those products.
9. Blog: You can add a blog to your shop, giving you the opportunity to carve out your brand identity further and promote your products. It’ll also help to develop the SEO of your website.
10. Reporting: Shopify has it’s own set of reporting tools in the dashboard which allow you to keep track of your shop’s performance from visits to product orders, from checkout flow to month-to-month sales and from referrals to customer demographics. Shopify can also be integrated with Google Analytics.
11. Support: If anything goes wrong with your shop then we can, of course, investigate. However, if the problem lies with Shopify it’s extremely easy for us to have a chat with a Shopify developer. They have 24/7 support as well as online live chat which makes finding the solution a painless experience.