Are you tired of applying for remote jobs? 9 to 5 does not make sense anymore? ME TOO! Everything changes today. No more cubicles, no more Bosses! That’s right! You know what they say “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Let’s build that door!
Let me introduce you to Shopify – the #1 e-commerce platform that will make you money online so you don’t have to go back to work again. You must have heard by now how everyone talks about selling online these days. “Hey! I made $223,508 this month” and so on. If it worked for them, it should work for you too. Read till the end so your mind gets tickled by product ideas. Shopify could really be a game changer for you.
We have many e-commerce platforms today. With modern technology, it becomes quite easy to create an online store. Even large department stores acknowledge that having a brick and mortar store simply isn’t enough for today’s shopping trend for a number of reasons. The modern consumer (sounds sexy, aye?) is choosing to shop online. If you choose to go this route, you need an online presence in order to reach your potential customers and without this your business could, well, fail. Don’t panic yet. One of the bonuses of online shopping is that wherever your customers may be in the world, they can visit your online store 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Perhaps you’ve heard of Shopify already, but you’re not really sure what it is and how it can help you reach hundreds of thousands of people.
Before we discuss Shopify, let’s take a quick look at the differences between Amazon, eBay, WordPress (with WooCommerce) and Shopify, and why Shopify is the greatest choice for anyone with products to sell, this includes solo entrepreneurs, small entrepreneurs and established entrepreneurs. The Shopify platform is ideal for anyone looking to set up their online store in a short period of time. And for the budding entrepreneur, you don’t even need products on hand to sell. You can make money from Shopify by using the concept of dropshipping (more on that later).
Comparing Shopify with Amazon and eBay:
So let’s compare Shopify with today’s well-known e-commerce platforms – Amazon and eBay. Speaking of e-commerce, most people think the big brand websites like Amazon and eBay appear to dominate the world of online shopping. If you’re a solo or small entrepreneur and you’re looking to make money out of this commercial e-commerce trend, that’s certainly an option for you. You can jump into the eBay or Amazon marketplace and become a seller on their platforms. In favor of this approach is the fact that both Amazon and eBay have millions of potential buyers searching for their sites looking to buy anything that can be sold on the market. The downside is that these are both huge marketplaces and you will face a lot of competition and there are many sellers out there trying to sell the very same product that you want to add to the market (bummer).
Another disadvantage of these marketplaces is that your buyers’ information stays in the hands of eBay and Amazon, so you don’t have access to that information because you’re renting someone else’s property and you only have partial control over your own store. If you’re an entrepreneur who prefers to have total control over your own store, you need to set up your own e-commerce website where you can deliver great products and offer your customers great customer service. The first advantage of this concept is that now you’ll have your customers’ information, which means you can resell to these customers over and over again. There are many well-known e-commerce solutions to help you set up your own e-commerce store such as WooCommerce (with WordPress), Shopify, BigCommerce, Volusion and others, but let’s dive into WooCommerce and Shopify as they’ve become a very popular platform.
WooCommerce, WordPress & Shopify
WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin for WordPress which allows you to create your online store. It’s free to use, but it does require some technical skills. Note that you will have to pay for hosting to get your website on the Internet plus there will be continuous technical stuff to deal with because you will need to keep your WordPress website updated with the latest version and ensure that it’s secure and functional. On the other hand, if this all sounds too technical and you’d prefer to focus on marketing and selling your products, then Shopify is the perfect solution for you.
Shopify was created by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake back in 2004. They wanted to sell snow boards online and they couldn’t find a platform that suited their specific requirements so they cleverly created their own solution which eventually became Shopify brand in 2006. Today, many many store owners are using Shopify. Perhaps the main downside of Shopify is that in order to use this platform you need to pay a monthly subscription. However, the benefits far outweigh the negatives of using Shopify. There’s no complicated technical stuff to deal with because Shopify is a hosted platform and they take care of updating the software.
Shopify also deals with all security issues because it is an online shopping store, it’s important that customers know their information is safe and secure with you. Shopify proudly boasts one of the highest rated security features of any e-commerce platform today. It is very easy to use and if you’re familiar with WordPress, it won’t be long before your online store is up and running.
WordPress on the other hand offers countless things to help you create your website. Shopify also offers many fantastic themes that optimize with e-commerce in mind while WordPress provides many plugins to create your website the way you’d like it. Shopify have provided many apps in their Shopify app store for both free and paid options. These apps are designed to add more functionality to your e-commerce store, offering greater performance in terms of selling, marketing and good customer relationships. This brings us to a burning question.
Who is Shopify for?
Shopify is ideal for people who already have the bricks and mortar store and wish to expand to an online presence. It’s also perfect for people who have products to sell and wish to have an online store. And thirdly it’s important to remember that you don’t need to have a product or service to sell. You can make money online using the dropshipping (more on that soon) concept.
What types of goods and services can you sell with Shopify?
Physical products that you own or you can sell using the dropshipping concept, digital products such as software, ebooks, online courses, music and so on. Shopify can also be used to sell membership services and other services. However, creating your Shopify store is just the beginning of the whole process. The challenge of creating a standalone website is that now you have to attract potential customers to your site. Below we have listed a few effective ways of driving traffic to your website where potential customers can view your products.
Every day people perform billions of searches via Google and among these people are your potential customers who are looking to buy your products right now, but you need these people to find your store not your competitors and that’s where Google Adwords comes in. Google AdWords is a great way of advertising your online store. Most people go on Facebook on a daily basis and even though social media was not designed for marketplace, there are people very successfully selling their goods on Facebook. These people took the time to create a Facebook page for their business and learn how to communicate effectively with their customers and fans. There’s also an enormous amount of traffic on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram, so why not use these platforms to connect with your customers? You can either promote your website for free or use their advertising channels for expanding your reach to potential customers.
Apart from advertising your products in your online store with Shopify, you can also use their blog section to create great content and communicate with your readers and customers. Blogging does take time to bring your store to the forefront of search engine results, but it is free and blogging provides the most effective method of gaining your customers’ trust. People on the Internet love watching videos. You could also consider creating videos that will draw traffic to your site. More traffic sources the better for your business. You could also consider a behind-the-scenes video of your store or how your products are produced like how OnePlus brand did for their OnePlus 6 flagship smartphone.
Email Marketing is also a great marketing technique for your brand. Because you own your store, you have access to your customers’ information. With this information you can continue selling to customers who have previously bought from you. Consider offering birthday discounts or promotions to loyal customers. When people already know and love your products, these small gestures are always very well received.
It’s much easier to sell to a customer who already knows and trusts you than it is to a first time customer. There are many methods to attract and retain online customers and you’ve probably got some great ideas of your own. Try everything and see what works best for you. In conclusion, if you’re looking to have an online store that looks beautiful and is optimized for e-commerce purpose then Shopify is definitely your best choice. Your potential customers are hanging out online now. You can get your idea up and running online if you have made your decision by signing up today for a 14 day free trial!
Disclosure: We may receive referral fees from any companies mentioned in this post.
Shopify Plus – The Big Brother
Shopify Plus is Shopify‘s enterprise eCommerce platform for large and growing online stores and brands. Currently, there are about 500,000 merchants on Shopify and about 3,600 merchants on Shopify Plus. On Shopify Plus, you’ve got brands like Kylie Cosmetics (FYI Kylie Jenner owns it). So why is Shopify Plus better and why are brands on it? Let’s look at the differences. The first one is you get an Account manager for your store. When you sign up for Shopify Plus, you get a dedicated Merchants Success Manager and they basically are the masters of all answers, so anytime you have a question or an issue, all of your problems get expedited and you get answers and solutions almost immediately. The second difference between Shopify Plus and Shopify is Shopify Flow. The beauty of Shopify Plus is that you’re able to automate back-end processes and systems. It helps you save money. The third difference between Shopify Plus and Shopify would be ‘Scripts’ and these are rules that you can write in the backend that allow you to do all those special things that you’re always dreaming you want to do with your store like bundles, discount on bulk orders, VIP benefits for your most loyal shoppers and such. Unfortunately, you can’t do these with just Shopify.
The fourth difference between Shopify Plus and Shopify is ‘Regional Stores’. Let’s say you operate a business in the US, but you also have a Canadian branch or this could be literally anywhere else in the world, this allows you to set up two separate stores in either country and helps with exchanges and currencies. The next difference would be ‘Staff Accounts’. If you currently just have a Shopify account, you know that you can only have 15 staff on the account at a given time, but with Shopify Plus you’re allowed to have infinite. If you have a huge team and you’re struggling with passing around passwords and usernames and you don’t have enough access, Shopify Plus is going to give you all the access for all the people. The last and final difference that we thought was important to note is ‘bandwidth’. Shopify Plus can handle up to 10,000 orders a minute, so if you’re currently scaling and you need to be able to sell a lot more, Shopify Plus is going to help you do just that.
Who is Shopify Plus for?
When you start to hit that 1 to 2 million mark annually, that would be about the time to think about switching to Shopify Plus. If you’re just starting out, Shopify has affordable monthly plans and you can get started today. You can always have Shopify Plus goals and if you’re reading this and have reached that point, it’s time to switch. Nothing comes for free and this holds good for Shopify Plus, too. Typically it’s about 0.25 percent of your monthly revenue and then it’s a minimum of two thousand dollars, so it’s not terrible but again if you’re not hitting that 1 million mark, it’s probably not the right choice just yet. Let’s move on to the part you’ve been waiting for – Dropshipping with Shopify.
Dropship Like A Pro
Before we begin, let’s understand what dropshipping is all about. With dropshipping, you can sell stuff online without the products ever being in your hands. All you need is a computer, an online store, and a basic understanding on how to market and sell online. Here’s how it works – First, you find what you want to sell from a supplier then list that product on your own website at a price you set. Next, when someone places an order for that product, your customer pays you the retail price you’ve set, and you make a profit. Then you’ll place the order with your supplier at their wholesale price and have it shipped directly to the customer. Sounds doable, doesn’t it?
AliExpress dropshipping is one of the most popular marketplaces for online entrepreneurs using the dropshipping concept. You can import the product content and images from AliExpress.com directly to your store and the best part is that after you sell a product, you purchase it from a supplier on AliExpress and then have it shipped directly from their warehouse to your customer. Building relationships with the suppliers will make you more successful because of the control you will have over shipping and quality of the products.
But why wouldn’t somebody just order the product directly from the supplier’s website? Firstly, customers may not know about the supplier to buy from directly. Secondly, when people buy things, they’re not just buying products. They’re buying into the marketing, positioning, trust, brand and lifestyle those products represent. With dropshipping, you can focus on marketing your products and saying the right things, at the right time, and on providing real value to the right people because you’re not warehousing any inventory, or dealing with most of the other challenges that come with running an e-commerce business. A couple of big challenges that need to be considered with dropshipping are finding credible suppliers with good quality products, and making sure you have visibility into your customer’s fulfillment process. You can find suppliers on your own. However, when you’re dropshipping completely on your own, you can end up spending a lot of time researching and negotiating with suppliers to guarantee your customers’ satisfaction.
Another option is a tool like Oberlo, with which a few clicks gives you access to millions of products to sell, and has dozens of other features to make your life easier like monitoring inventory levels, automatically calculating profit margins, fulfilling and tracking orders, monitoring shipping stSatus, measuring delivery performance and more. Oberlo Supply is also a part of the product, which helps you partner with trustworthy suppliers of great quality products, faster shipping times and awesome customer service with thousands of different products available for you to choose from. All you have to do is open a Shopify store (start with a free 14-day trial), install the Oberlo app, find products and start selling online.
Why should you consider dropshipping?
It’s really fast and easy to get started and you can dropship with incredibly low investment costs. You don’t even need to have an established business entity when you start, though it’s smart to have one once you grow. You don’t have to worry about managing inventory, packing or tracking, which means you can focus on marketing, promotion and merchandising. You have access to millions of products instantly that suppliers are constantly researching to determine what’s trendy and what will sell. You set the retail price, so you control the margins. And dropshipping is really easy to scale because you can hire virtual assistants as your order volume increases.
Of course, there can be some challenges with dropshipping too, because it’s really easy to get started, there’s a higher potential for competition. That is why you’ll find a lot of advice out there to start off finding a niche audience – like gamers for example- so you can operate with less competition. Next, there are supplier errors. Though uncommon, it is inevitable that a supplier will mistakenly ship the wrong item to your customer. If this happens, don’t take it personally and handle the returns like a professional – either order a brand new product from the supplier or offer a complete refund. Also, since many dropshipping suppliers are based in China, shipping times are generally longer, turning some consumers off. ePacket makes it easier, delivering some orders in as little as two weeks, but generally speaking, if you make your shipping times clear throughout the buying process, many visitors appreciate the clarity – especially if you’re selling an item or in a niche where delivery times are less crucial.
Steps to get started
Start with a free 14 day trial on Shopify. Install the Oberlo app from Shopify store. Find products from the app you’d like to sell and add them to your store. Enable a payment gateway so you can start accepting money. Shopify Payments is a great default option if you’re in one of the supported countries and you may want to enable a few other gateways like Paypal, Apple Pay, Amazon Payments or any of the 100+ payment gateways that Shopify is integrated with. Once you have all that, you’ll need to create a plan for sending traffic to your store. Finally, try to produce quality content for your store. From eye-catching photography to engaging product videos to great posts for your blog, your audience loves to know more about your products, how they can be used, and the story behind them.
Now that we’ve covered all of the things you need to get started, here are a few additional things to keep in mind. Dropshipping is pretty easy to learn, but there is a learning curve, and you will experience challenges along the way. However, mistakes can become learning opportunities, and if you can develop resilience along the way, there are plenty of people out there finding a lot of success dropshipping products. While there is a significant advantage in terms of capital investment over traditional e-commerce, dropshipping isn’t free. You’ll likely have to spend money to drive traffic, market your products, and handle returns.
There is no overnight success, and this isn’t a get rich quick scheme. Dropshipping still requires you to work consistently for your store. Yes, you will need to dedicate less time compared to a traditional e-commerce businesses, but it’s not going to succeed without your hard work. You’ll always need to invest time improving your business. Don’t source copyrighted items. This is illegal all around the world and can cause you some serious trouble. Choose products from Oberlo Supply – a network of trusted suppliers who make it a priority to avoid copyright infringements. This way, you can rest assured that you won’t infringe any copyright laws.
If you’re completely new to dropshipping, start small with a single product or a small handful of complementary items from a single supplier. You can always add more to your inventory as you become comfortable, but it’s better to start small and build than to start big and become overwhelmed.
Many dropshippers don’t rely on a single store for their entire income stream, but operate a series of stores targeting various niches to build multiple sources of income. You may want to consider doing the same and see what niche works for you best and take it from there. Make mistakes early on and learn. Always keep an eye on your store and your marketing methods so you can alter your strategy based on the data you collect. In the end, just making minute changes in your strategy for sales will make a huge difference. That’s it! Hope you learnt something from this blog. You can do all of the above from home or traveling around the globe. You choose your lifestyle. If you think Shopify is not right for you at the moment and may want to consider just working from home, you can find remote jobs on our site here. Feel free to follow us on Twitter. To your success! – Remote Age