Your First experience with Shopify: The Basics

Ecommerce is on the rise! In order to take your business to the next level, you’ll need an incredible website. It’s estimated the ecommerce market will inflate to $6.5 trillion in worldwide sales by 2023. [NetSuite] What makes a great website? Don’t worry, in this blog we’ll go over the basics of website design and SEO, as well as Shopify. We’ll answer questions like:
  • What exactly does Shopify do?
  • How much does Shopify Cost?
  • How do you use Shopify?
  • How to sell on Shopify?
  • Can you customize Shopify websites?
  • How much does it cost to hire someone to build a Shopify store?
  • And lastly, should I pay someone to build my Shopify store?

What is Shopify?
According to the Shopify website s, the platform is a complete commerce tool allowing individuals to grow and manage their online e-commerce business. Based on a subscription, users have access to host a website built specifically to support their online store. The Shopify platform will take care of everything from inventory tracking, discount and gift cards, fraud analysis, and other online services.
    Shopify offers:
  • Quick-start online store design wizard.
  • Built-in payments via Shopify Payments.
  • Built-in shipping label printing with shipping discounts.
  • Inventory, product data and collection management tools.
  • Integrations for dropship vendors and print-on-demand suppliers.
  • Multichannel marketplace selling on Amazon and eBay.
  • Social selling on Facebook Shops and Instagram.
  • Built-in marketing tools for Facebook ads, email and abandoned cart recovery.
  • In-person and in-store sales using Shopify POS.
  • 24/7 customer service to help you get set up or troubleshoot issues
Depending on the plan you choose, you will get access to additional features.
Shopify Pricing
There are several different subscription plans to choose from.
shopify pricing sheet
How do you use all these features, and take advantage of them?
    How to use Shopify
    The best way to jump into Shopify and get the most for your money, is to start with a free trial. The free trial period lasts for 14 days, in this time you can test out the platform for yourself. Build your own online store, test out the free Shopify apps, and with heavy promotion, perhaps generate your first sale. Getting started is easy. The short list of tasks includes:
  • Set up an account
  • Build your website
  • Add products
  • Set up a domain
  • Set up payment
  • Launch your site
Seems simple when you put it like that, huh?
Setting up a Shopify store & Selling on Shopify
The nitty gritty of setting up your Shopify store starts with creating your account. Once you’ve created your account, you can start configuring your account and ecommerce store. Now before you start setting up your Shopify store, you should have a business name, a logo, products to sell, photos and descriptions, andwe’d recommend you have some social media accounts to help promote your business.
First, you’ll start adding your products, make sure to include photos, descriptions, price, and inventory tracking. Then you’ll configure the shipping section. Add in your product variants and customize your search engine listing. Once your products have been added you’ll start designing the core pages page of your website.
shopify core page
  • Contact page
  • About page
  • FAQ page
  • Policy page
  • etc.
The content of these pages is created before your website is fully designed. Once practically all your content and products have been created and added to Shopify, it’s time to design your website. Choosing a theme is the easiest way to start designing your Shopify website, each theme has multiple styles to choose from, enabling you to semi-customize your pre-built theme. There are many free themes as well as paid themes. Shopify integrations and apps (some of these add-ins are complimentary, others have a fee) can bring new functionality to your website which would otherwise be unavailable or require custom coding.
shopify google
For an in-depth walk-through check out Start an Online Shopify Store on the Shopify blog.
While Shopify has all the ecommerce features you may want, it’s always good to do your research into what the competitors offer. What do they offer that Shopify doesn’t? What circumstances would you choose WordPress over Shopify?
Shopify vs WordPress
A similar build-it-yourself website platform is WordPress. While WordPress is also easy to use and generally multifunctional, let’s go through a few of the pros and cons of both, discuss which platform is best for what function. We’ve already talked about what Shopify does, and the pricing plans, let’s talk about a few of the draw backs, and what differs with WordPress.
The first on our list of Shopify cons are the transaction fees. If you don’t use Shopify Payments to process payments for your orders, you’ll pay an added fee per sale of 2%, 1% or 0.5%, depending on your store’s monthly plan. [NerdWallet]
The second con are the blogging features and overall limited capabilities, unless you upgrade your plan and pay more monthly. The blogging capabilities are very limited unlike with WordPress, a content-oriented platform. Content is king, in terms of SEO, writing blogs on a consistent basis is crucial to expanding your ranked keywords, and overall site visibility.
    With it being stated that WordPress is content oriented, that doesn’t completely rule out the option to host an ecommerce store on the platform. WordPress offers an ecommerce plugin, compatible with any website hosted on the service, adding features:
  • Create an online store with a robust, full-featured, single-user or multi-contributor blog.
  • Add traffic-driving features like online forums and video channels to an online store.
  • Enable blog-based commerce and sell items directly from your blog posts.
  • Turn any existing WordPress blog or website into an online store.
  • Combine affiliate income and physical product sales within one website.
  • Sell both physical items that ship and digital goods via download.
  • Sell products through dropship vendors and print-on-demand suppliers.
  • Sell access or memberships to an educational portal or members-only content.
  • Market events, take reservations and sell tickets online or via download.
  • Market local services, take bookings online and require deposits or prepayments.
  • Offer partner advertising or guest posting for additional income.
Depending on the ecommerce plugin, features may vary. Some plugins offer quick setup, however not all plugins are created equally. The drawbacks of WordPress include varying costs, ongoing maintenance on plugins, security (if you don’t keep your plugins up to date it’s a huge security risk), and there is very little support from the platform itself.
Shopify and WordPress aren’t the end all be all of do-it-yourself website building. However, they are the top platforms at the time of writing this blog, so we won’t be going over the other platforms.
At the end of the day, which is better for ecommerce? Well, the platform built specifically for an online store. We’d recommend Shopify for your specific ecommerce website. For any other website purposes, we’d recommend WordPress, the flexibility, and various features and easy to use CMS capabilities.
Maximizing the potential of your Shopify store can be tricky, there are several ways to get the most out of your website. Intentional and modern web design, technical SEO, intuitive user interfaces, the list goes on. While that may seem like a tall order, we’ve got you covered.
Custom Shopify website
If you were wondering, “can you customize Shopify websites?” The answer is yes. “But if Shopify is so easy to use and set up, why pay someone to create a custom site?” There are several improvements your business will experience after our professional website developers deliver a custom Shopify website. With the help of a website development firm, you’ll receive fast and reliable dev support for any issues that may arise due to an update, additional feature implementation, custom Shopify plugins to allow for a custom user experience, and beautifully modern website design.
For Glorious PC Gaming Race , we built custom Shopify plugins to allow users a unique purchasing experience while maintaining the technical integrity of the website and creating a fully custom look and feel.
How much does it cost to hire someone to build a Shopify store?
At Nexrage Studios, we charge a baseline of $6,000 for a standard custom Shopify website. Depending on the complexity, number of plugins, add-ins, etc., the potential total could go up to $12,000. For more information on pricing and services, contact our help team.
contact us
“Should I pay someone to build my Shopify store?”
Now why would you pay someone to build your Shopify store? Our website developers are experts when it comes to website design, development, and implementing technical SEO. There are so many elements and aspects that go into a beautiful, high-functioning website you may not thinking about. Let’s dive into a few points you need to think about when you start your Shopify e-commerce website.
Website Design and SEO 101
What makes an exceptionally great website? Is it the design? The content? The SEO? Well yes, with the addition of easy-to-use UI.
What makes a great website?
One of the important pillars of a website is clarity. Ensuring all your design elements, content, copy, etc. convey a unified message. What is the goal of your website? In terms of the Nexrage website, all our content points to website and software development. We have supporting content on our blog, plenty of information on our services page, and our design elements support our technological branding.
We wrote a blog discussing some of the top website design trends. Top web design trends 2022 We covered a variety of design elements and trends that can be implemented to improve your user’s interface and experience.
organic site
It’s all fun and dandy to have a beautiful website, but what good does that do if nobody sees it? It is very important to ensure that your website is search engine optimized and mobile friendly. Search engine optimized doesn’t just mean keywords. It includes things such as load times, alt-descriptions, author bios, accessibility, and of course UI/UX.
On the topic of SEO, one of the biggest tasks that should be added to your to-do list, if it hasn’t already been implemented, mobile optimization. We cannot stress enough; how important it is to have your website mobile ready. Your mobile website is expected to be on par with or better than your desktop website. Design your website for mobile viewing. While ensuring your site’s design is mobile friendly is important. There are a few technical items needed to get your site properly optimized.
flex dashboard
First, compress large images to help your page load speed. The average desktop website fully loads in 10.3 seconds while the average mobile website loads in 27.4 seconds. [Backlinko] If an ecommerce site loads slower than expected, over 45% of people admit they are less likely to make a purchase. [Unbounce] Ideally, you’ll want your website to load within three seconds, or two seconds if it’s an ecommerce site. The two-to-three second mark is the turning point where bounce rates skyrocket – in fact, 40% of consumers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a site. [websiteBuilderExpert]
How does everything come together? The outcome of a professional developed Shopify ecommerce store will have the look and feel of a totally custom website without the user being able to tell Shopify was used.
Shopify website examples
One of our flagship clients serves as a wonderful Shopify website example. Glorious PC Gaming Race contacted us for an intuitive and fully personalized ecommerce website.
Our experience
Glorious PC Gaming Race
glorious
Glorious PC Gaming Race is a legendary computer accessory retailer, providing top of the line fully customizable mechanical keyboards, mice, and other accessories geared toward avid gamers. We optimized their ecommerce platform, and built out their product customization flow, ensuring their customers satisfaction.
glorious gif
Access the Glorious responsive ecommerce website from any device. Our team utilized Shopify, Numerous Custom Shopify Plugins, Custom built from scratch theme and responsive design. With customization available each step of the way while building your own keyboard, we had to ensure we optimized the Shopify cart to showcase each option visually to the user.
In the end, our team delivered a fully custom website, utilizing Shopify as the ‘back-end’ to manage sales. The aesthetics and functions were all completely custom built for Glorious. Our team was able to develop a fully customized website optimized for mobile viewing and fast page speed, ensuring customer satisfaction.
While you’re focused on the business side, we’ll have your back with website and ecommerce development.
Nexrage Studios prides itself on efficient, precise, transparency and clean coding. Contact Us today to get your project started!
Be sure to tweet us your thoughts @Nexrage 👋
Check out our blog on Top Web Design Trends of 2022.