Getting The Most Out Of Shopify

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As I’m sure you know, Shopify is one of the biggest players in the eCommerce world. This shopping cart currently hosts over 500,000 users—up 200,000 from just last year! If you’re one of those users (or are considering becoming one), you may be wondering about the best way to implement your platform.

You’re in luck. Here at Merchant Maverick, we’re very familiar with Shopify. In the following article, we’ll be presenting our favorite Shopify features and a few instruction about how you can best use them.

If you’re just looking for basic information on Shopify, it might be best for you to first read our full Shopify review. (You’ll get the full scoop on what Shopify has to offer, including its strengths and weaknesses.)

Otherwise, keep reading to learn how to make the most of your Shopify account.

Note: Shopify has recently introduced their own business financing service, Shopify Capital. Through Shopify Capital, you may be eligible for a merchant cash advance (MCA). Read more in our full review of the service.

Look Into Shopify Payments

If you’ve read our review of Shopify, you know that one of Shopify’s biggest downfalls is their transaction fees. Shopify charges between 0.5% and 2.0% on every transaction you make using their platform (depending on your plan). However, if you choose to use Shopify’s in-house payment processor, Shopify Payments, you can have those transaction fees waived.

Another benefit is that Shopify Payments offers reduced processing fees to clients on higher level Shopify plans. Take a look at Shopify Payment’s rates below.

A word of warning: Many Shopify customers complain that they aren’t permitted to use Shopify Payments. Make sure you read through the Terms of Service before you count on using Shopify Payments.

You should also look into your other options for payment processing before you commit to Shopify Payments. Sure, it would be great to get your transaction fees waived, but you may find that another payment processor can offer you a better deal. It’s best to do your research and crunch the numbers before you commit to any processor.

For more information on selecting a payment processor, take a look at our Beginner’s Guide to Payment Processing. It explains everything from understanding rates and fees to negotiating for the best deal.

Utilize Shopify’s Design Tools

Shopify is best known for ease of use and modern web design. Here’s a sample of Shopify’s themes.

In particular, I’m a fan of Shopify’s new(ish) editor: Sections. Sections lets you edit the look of your homepage using drag-and-drop design tools.

Take a look at Shopify’s explanation of Sections or watch the video below for a quick summary.

I love how easily you can rearrange pieces of your main web page. I only wish Shopify would hurry up in extending this level of customizability to other aspects of their storefronts.

Become Multichannel With Shopify POS

If you’re a multichannel merchant who sells in-person as well as online, Shopify is an excellent choice. Shopify makes it easy to sell in brick-and-mortar and pop-up shops with their in-house POS system.

When you sign up for Shopify’s eCommerce store, you’ll also automatically register for Shopify POS. Shopify POS lets you easily complete in-person retail transactions and process credit card payments. Your online store and POS system will be synced so that every inventory change you make on one platform appears on the other.

If you’d like more specific information on credit card processing and ease of use, we’ve actually written a full review of Shopify POS.

Try Selling Digital

Shipping is one of the biggest hassles involved with online selling, and it can really cut into your profits. Selling digital products allows you to benefit from all the perks of selling online while eliminating one of the major downsides.

Using Shopify’s native digital products features, you can sell downloadable merchandise. Market your MP3 files, printables, videos, and eBooks. Disable shipping on those products, and you’ll be able to deliver download links right to your customers’ email.

In order to automate the delivery of your digital products, you’ll need to implement an app. The Digital Downloads app in Shopify’s marketplace might do just the trick. The app automates your delivery by providing download links to your customers upon purchase and sending an additional downloadable link via email on your behalf.

Load up a few downloadable products and start fulfilling customers’ orders faster, without spending a penny on shipping.

Start A Blog

Maintaining a blog can work wonders for your online store. Not only do regular blog posts boost your SEO rankings, they also help to build your brand’s identity. I’ve actually written an article about all of the reasons you should keep a blog. Take a look to learn more about how your store’s blog can influence SEO and customer connection.

Fortunately, Shopify is one of a handful of shopping carts that comes with built-in blog features. You can write, edit, and publish blog posts right in your admin panel.

For most merchants, Shopify’s blog functionality will work perfectly fine, but I should warn you: As with many of Shopify’s features, Shopify’s blogging is fairly basic. If you want your blog to be the main focus of your online store, Shopify may not be the right choice. You might instead look into WooCommerce, which lets you add a shopping cart into a pre-existing blog instead of the other way around.

Alternatively, you could use this BlogFeeder app to link your WordPress account with your Shopify store. This app lets you manage your blog on WordPress and then import it to Shopify, which may give you access to more robust blogging features. 

However you do it, you should start a blog on your store. It’ll do you good.

Tap Into Customer Service

We love SaaS solutions like Shopify for a variety of reasons. Not the least of them is customers’ ready access to free technical support.

Shopify is one of the eCommerce industry’s leaders when it comes to customer support; they offer support options in every avenue you might hope to find, including phone support, email support, live chat, written documentation, video tutorials, webinars, and a community forum. (Because the Shopify community is so large, you can expect that forum to be active. You’ll be able to reach out to other Shopify users, express your frustrations with different features, and contact Shopify representatives for assistance.)

With so many support options available to you, you’ll never have to go it on your own. When you run into a problem, contact support. You’ll receive a response within a short period of time. And if it isn’t a dramatic fix, it won’t cost you anything at all.

Take Advantage Of Your Add-On Options

Shopify’s Marketplace is packed with a whopping 1500+ add-ons. Because Shopify comes relatively light out-of-the-box, you’ll likely need to add a few integrations. But with so many add-ons to choose from, you’re certain to find the extensions you need.

In particular, you should look into incorporating a shipping software to beef up your order processing. Take a look at my top recommendations for shipping software, or look at my abbreviated version below:

  • ShippingEasy: ShippingEasy lets you import orders, create shipments, and pay for and print postage. And fortunately, it is indeed easy to use. View the ShippingEasy integration in Shopify’s Marketplace or read our full review.
  • Ordoro: Ordoro is a shipping solution that includes inventory management (if you choose to pay for it). Customers are especially fond of Ordoro’s dropshipping features. Take a look at the integration page in the Shopify Marketplace and read our review to learn more.
  • ShipStation: ShipStation is arguably the best-known shipping software on the market. It integrates with nearly all of the most popular shopping carts and marketing software, and it’s relatively affordable. Once again, for the full details, look at ShipStation’s page in Shopify’s Marketplace and take a look at our review.

How Are You Making Shopify Stronger?

Like I said, we think Shopify is one of the best eCommerce solutions on the market, and yet, we recognize that it isn’t perfect. Hopefully, using some of the features and add-ons listed above will give your Shopify store the boost it needs.

Do you have anything to add? We’d love to hear about your quick tips and recommendations for making the most out of your Shopify platform. Leave a comment below to join the conversation.

And for more information on building an online store, download our free eBook, The Beginner’s Guide to Starting an Online Store.

Liz Hull

Liz Hull

Liz is software review writer living in Oregon. As of late, she can often be found haunting eCommerce forums and waiting on hold with customer service representatives. When she's free, Liz loves to rock climb, watch Spanish dramas, and read poorly-written young adult novels.
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