Why Shopify is the Best Ecommerce Platform of 2016


Hey, Digital Fam! My name is John D. Saunders and in today’s Digital Block, I want to talk about the specific reasons why Shopify is the most kick-ass e-commerce platform right now. Let’s go.

So, really quick, Shopify is an e-commerce platform. You can create your website, set up a theme, sell products, sell digital goods— basically everything under e-commerce. Now, there are direct competitors, right? You got Magento which was a really detailed e-commerce platform. You also have WordPress with certain plug-ins like WooCommerce which I’ll talk about in a few, can help you expedite the process and really get your e-commerce store going on the WordPress content management system.

So before I get into Shopify and why it’s above the competition, I want to breakdown the top three, right.

So let’s start with WooCommerce  on the left hand side. Now, of course, one of the best pros for WooCommerce is it’s totally free. It’s a totally free plug-in that you can add to your WordPress content management system to go ahead and add payment integrations pretty quickly and efficiently, right.

WooCommerce, you could also create a custom design. So, if you have a developer, you can have them do a custom, totally custom PSD design of your website and then they can integrate WooCommerce into it. WooCommerce also has the largest themed library of all three, meaning, these themes are what you can download to give your site a certain aesthetic look.

They also have the largest 3rd party extensions. So, for different attributes and different things that you want your site to do in regards to e-commerce, WooCommerce definitely has the most robust.

And the last pro for WooCommerce is probably its excellent SEO. We all know WordPress which is a blog platform is made for excellent SEO, meta data, descriptions, titles, the host plug-in. There’s a ton of things that really held SEO when it comes to WordPress.

Now, a couple of cons are more plug-ins are recommended. So, out of the box, WooCommerce can pretty much do one thing, go ahead and let you purchase on the site. But if you want to add a Facebook integration, Facebook shop, you want to add more social attributes, you want to add multiple payment system, you’re going to need plug-ins for all of that and they can range from $5 to $500 a year.

So, with that being said, you also need to purchase separate hosting. So with WooCommerce, you’re basically hosting your site so you need hosting, you’ll need plug-ins, you’ll need to purchase the domain name, all that stuff separately on your own.

So if you’re not the best with website design and website development, WooCommerce might not be your best bet. But that’s just to break it down. It’s still a great platform if you’re wanting to use it, that’s okay, too.

Next up is Magento. Now, Magento is open source so anyone can go on and develop custom things for it just like WordPress. Now, the only thing with Magento is it’s extremely robust, right. The backend takes some learning. So I’ve put it in the pros and the cons. The pro, meaning, it has a lot of attributes, a lot of different things it can do, a lot of integrations but there is a steep learning curve when it comes to the platform.

Another pro is totally free, of course, just like WooCommerce. As opposed to WooCommerce though, Magento is its own standalone of platform while WooCommerce is a plug-in for WordPress.

Another thing is powerful SEO. Magento has been around a while so they’ve really perfected the SEO and the metadata integrations, also, its lack of social media and social media integrations like Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Some of the cons, also robust backend, can be a little bit complicated for a lot of people especially starting out. The extension store is lacking. Because it’s open source, you have normal developers who are creating plug-ins and extensions for Magento. So sometimes, you’ll have issues, you’ll have ones that don’t work. Their extension store isn’t great as WooCommerce.

Also, they have no support so you’re pretty much on your own when it comes to Magento. You have to either hire a developer or learn how to develop these things on your own.

Okay, guys, so this is our brand new store. We just launched it yesterday. Basically, we sell travel dry bags, nothing crazy, but just take a look at the site, extremely clean. it’s also responsive as well. So with that being said, I won’t take too much time on the frontend but let me show you the dashboard so you guys could take a look.

So number one, it has a seamless dashboard. When you come to the dashboard, you basically get everything you need on site at that moment. So this tells me how many sales I’ve had today, how many visitors. It will tell you sales based on time as well.

And then what’s really cool is Shopify integrates with multiple sales channels so you could see where those sales came from in retrospect of Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and through my online store.

If I scroll to here, it’ll show me updates and advice and more insights so you guys can take a look at that. But where it really shines is all of these integrations that it has is on this side panel. So for example, shipping integration, right. For orders, I can go to my order list here and I could click this order. These are already fulfilled so I can’t show you in a live environment but it will show you all the information about the invoice.

Here’s where you will be able to print a label. You can integrate it with the USPS. It will pull it, it will ask you the cost and then you will be able to fulfill that all from within the system. And this is all stock with Shopify as soon as you set it up. So you don’t have to add any additional integration or plug-ins or anything like that.

It also provides a timeline and you can print this and include this with your product that you’re shipping for your customer. So, just a nice customer experience for them to be able to get this and it’s all clean and has their e-mail, their shipping address and all that good stuff.

Shopify also includes, let me hit this again, abandon checkouts. So you’ll be able to see anyone that has come on the site, tried to purchase and, well, add it to their shop and left, right. So you’re able to go in here, I can send them a cart recovery e-mail. You can either e-mail this link to recover their cart or hit this to send them an e-mail and you can customize it.

So for example, someone comes on this site, they add it to their cart, and they’re like, oh, well, you know, I don’t want it anymore. We can assume that maybe the shipping was too high.

So what we could do is maybe say, hey, you know, here’s 50% off of your first purchase and that just helps bring the customer back in. This is also stock with the Shopify system. So you could see it has tons of integrations already included in its interface.

Next up is themes, let me show you guys really quick. So with themes, Shopify comes with 11 for free, right. So you can download any of these themes for free. They’re pretty nice, they’re all responsive, super clean, big images. Here’s free to check those out. And you could check out these, pretty clean.

Now, one con with Shopify is, in comparison to the others, the themes can be a little bit expensive. I think we paid about $180 for our theme but, as you can see, it has a nice, clean aesthetic to your site. So these are some of the paid themes. You could see this one’s $180.

But like I said before, these are all handpicked developers. Shopify handpicks these developers to work on these themes and they provide really clean, concise code. So it’s definitely worth it to upgrade if you like. However, you could still get away with any of these free themes and still have your site look modern and clean as well as responsive.

So another bonus with Shopify is all of the sales channels that you can add to your store. So, we’ve added Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and the buy button which is [07:48]. The buy button is the piece of code or snippet that you could put on any site and your product show up on that page.

So if you have another store that wants to feature your product or a blog, or maybe you’re doing some link building or outreach to other bloggers to feature your products, all you do is give them that buy button snippet then boom, they’re good to go. I’ll show you guys an example to see what it looks like.

So here is where you could select the product collection. I’m going to hit select collection. I’m going to hit our main collection and then it will show you what it would look like live on the page. And then you can customize the color and design of this. So this is what it would look like.

All we have to do is hit generate and get code, boom, it gives us that code so we can send it out.

Now, Pinterest is cool, too. Pinterest adds a buy button to your Pinterest page. So for example, ours looks like this and you can look at pins and you can shop.

And people can actually shop directly from Pinterest. They don’t even have to go to Shopify. They can make a purchase directly through here without even leaving which is awesome. And then all the funds and everything, the whole transaction’s done through my Shopify store thereafter.

So really quick, the last piece I wanted to show you guys from Shopify is their additional apps integration. So, [09:04] Shopify comes with tons of awesome tools but then they also have developers that go through a rigorous program where they’ll be able to sleaze their apps and integrate it with Shopify.

So here’s some of the apps that we have, product reviews, ad reviews on the site. Plug-in SEOs gives us like an SEO feedback but we already had analytics and search console installed. Lucky Orange is awesome. [09:25] tells you where the customer is going, lets you do outreach and then these others here.

So, if you can’t find something that you’re looking for in Shopify that the site doesn’t do, you’re able to find it through these apps. Now this is a pro and a con, a pro because it adds additional attributes to the site, con because a lot of these apps do cost funds. Some of them are free but a lot cost a little bit of money.

So lastly, Shopify has tons of resources and a robust blog on your website. So they have a blog that has case studies. They also have resources that include how to drop ship, how to find new product and just tons of other content for free.

So overall, hands down, Shopify takes the cake in regards to ease of use, information, customer service, design, look, I mean, it’s just really killing it right now. All three are great for what they do. At Shopify, sometimes when you have a larger store, I’m talking about tens of thousands of products, it might not be the best bet for you. You might want to go with Magento or custom design through JavaScript.

But essentially, Shopify for the normal consumer, the normal seller, even some bigger stores, are using Shopify as their e-commerce platform.

All right guys, that’s what I’ve got for you today. I’ve posted the Shopify link below so feel free to get that. Check it out, I think you get about two weeks trial period. So test the waters and see how you like it. Other than that, if you have any questions, sound off on the comments and please, please, subscribe if you like our content. Thanks again, peace.