Not Sure What Platform to Use for Your eCommerce Website? Shopify is a Great Solution.
If you’re just starting out with eCommerce and looking for a solution that will provide a solid foundation for your online store, Shopify provides market-proven solutions that will help drive your business. Among the top ecommerce software options, Shopify becomes an excellent option for those seeking to engage a proven player in the field. Here is some background for why we have used Shopify for many of our clients who sell online. (Side note: there are hundreds of various eCommerce software products available, but choosing an esoteric software product or service can be risky, especially when trying to find developer support).
What is Shopify?
There are basically two types of eCommerce platforms: ones that are software packages that you download, configure, and run on your own website hosting account, and “hosted solutions” where the software runs and is maintained on the provider’s web servers by their staff. Shopify is an example of the latter – a hosted solution. With a hosted solution, you don’t have to worry about the software that runs your store as it’s all maintained by the company providing that software. This allows you to focus your efforts on getting your storefront designed, populated with products, and available to the masses.
Is Shopify right for me?
The question of which eCommerce solution is right ultimately depends on the unique nature of each online store. Sometimes eCommerce is a secondary goal for an online business, and if that’s the case, Shopify wouldn’t be a great choice since its sole purpose is eCommerce. For instance, if you want a website that has a robust content management system able to handle various types of content sections (e.g. blogs, photography and/or video portfolios, specialized member areas) and selling items is relegated to a corner of that website, you might be better off with something like WordPress and WooCommerce.
However, if your online business’ primary objective is to sell goods online, then determining if Shopify is right comes down to the size of your business and how much control you want over the software that runs your online store. Shopify fits the use case for small to medium-sized businesses that are just starting out (or maybe transitioning from an eCommerce solution with which they’re unhappy), simply need an online shopping site, and don’t require unique functionality that would be uncommon for typical eCommerce sites. Shopify has plenty of extensions and apps that can add functionality to a Shopify store, and the only development involved is building a great design and theme that makes your products shine. If you’re a larger retailer with the budget for a specialized solution – if you need a complex check-out process, for example, or maybe need specialized tie-in to your brick-and-mortar point-of-sale systems – then you’ll most likely need a non-hosted eCommerce solution like Magento.
Why we like Shopify
At Relish, we like simple solutions that work, and Shopify fits the bill for a lot of use cases. Both maintenance of the software and the servers running the software are handled by Shopify, and they have 24/7 support if anything goes wrong or for questions. From an administrative end, the online store dashboard is relatively simple to use and you don’t need to be a technical wiz to get around it, add products, see sales reports and orders, change settings, etc. It’s not the solution for everyone, however, which is why it’s important to work with an agency who can listen to your needs and help determine what works best for your online business.
Are you ready to launch your online store or just need some help navigating the options? We’re here to help answer your questions and get you up and selling. Give us a shout at 720.316.7787, we’d love to hear your story.