At first glance, developing a website, especially an e-commerce site, looks very difficult. If you’re not a technical person, you might be lost from the get go.
However, if you take a little time to learn, it’s not all that hard. If you’re looking for an easy platform to start an Internet business, Dinarys recommends creating an e-commerce website with Shopify.
The simple answer is that you can do it by yourself, without hiring specialists. It’s ideal for small business or solo operators.
Shopify bills monthly, starting from $29. At this price, you’ll receive a tool that makes your e-commerce store look as professional as nearly anyone else.
If you have any doubts, Shopify offers a 14-day trial period for new users. Take advantage of this to thoroughly test the platform before paying money.
Read on as Dinarys developers provide their expertise and experience in how to create an E-commerce shop on Shopify, and the platform’s pros and cons.
Why You Should Choose Shopify Website Development
As of 2017, Shopify is the third most popular E-commerce platform in the world.
The platform allows entrepreneurs to easily build a working e-commerce website, without needing to hire an e-commerce agency. The site looks as good as anything built by most pro developers.
And it does it all at a reasonably monthly fee.
This platform was first developed out of necessity. A group of snowboarding enthusiasts were seeking a way to sell snowboarding equipment online. When they couldn’t find a good platform to suit their needs, they decided to create their own. One of them had some development skills, they created a basic version, and built from there.
The rest is history.
Today, the platform has a great reputation, and they’re well on their way to becoming a top brand like Apple, Magento, and others. The platform is very flexible, able to fit a huge variety of industries and markets. Whether you need to sell a small selection of handmade goods, or expand your successful brick-and-mortar store to the Internet, building an E-commerce website on Shopify is a great step for any business.
Keep reading for the Dinarys comprehensive guide on how to create a Shopify website, and the cost to develop a custom Shopify website, all based on our own first-hand experience.
What Makes Shopify Unique
Shopify is a complete platform for online retailers. It includes every feature needed for a successful online business. When you create a seller account on Shopify, the platform will allow you to:
- Create an E-commerce website
- Choose from a wide variety of design templates to fit your industry
- Choose a brandable domain to associate with your products
- Add products, with descriptions and images
- Process customer orders
- Take payment using several different options
- Offer your customer discounts and specials
- And more
Best of all, building an E-commerce website with this platform is much more affordable than hiring developers or an agency. Remember, though, that Shopify won’t be quite as flexible or reliable.
An outsourced development team can customize an online store to precisely suit your needs, and they can ensure that it stays operational, taking charge of bug fixes and software updates. A strong customer support team will be best for constantly upgrading software.
How Much Does it Cost to Build a Shopify Website
For background, over 3,000 new Shopify stores launch every month. As these businesses grow and develop, they may need new design or custom features that aren’t available in the basic platform.
That’s where an E-Commerce agency comes in. They can provide services such as:
Setup – The basic setup of an online store, integration of third-party apps, and populating the catalog with products generally costs about $500.
Online Store Customization – The most popular service offered by agencies. This includes adding custom features like contact forms, a custom logo, and new colors. The cost starts from $1,000.
Custom Theming and Design – Generally, this costs about $6,000.
The lowest-priced service is about $500. This includes the price of a good theme (about $170), and basic setup of the store.
As a Shopify design and development agency, Dinarys only charges from $3-$6 per hour for setup and customization of an existing theme.
To create a custom theme and integrate it into the platform, we charge from $10-$20 per hour, depending on the custom features needed.
Advantages of Using Shopify for Your E-Commerce Website
Developing an E-Commerce website on Shopify does not require any design or development specialists. The platform itself provides users with a wide variety of beautiful themes to create your store. Most of them do not require any special skills to implement. Like WordPress, Shopify also has many custom plugins, extensions, and an intuitive admin interface.
As you grow, you can scale your online store at anytime without help. How much does it cost to build a Shopify store? One of the platform’s advantages is that you can easily and inexpensively grow your store alongside your business. This platform offers five plans to suit any need and budget, with prices ranging from $14 per month to $179 per month. They also offer flexible payment methods.
Shopify offers a large number of apps with which to customize your E-commerce website. It’s easy to add custom features to your storefront on your own. If the apps don’t fit the need, you can hire an E-commerce agency to create one for you, or customize an existing option. The most popular apps for Shopify online stores are product reviews, customer loyalty programs, and expanded shipping options.
Many online retailers go through a lot of stress about shipping, but with Shopify, it’s easy. The platform has several shipment options built in from the start, including flat rate shipping charges, or calculating based on the weight and size of each item.
Shopify is easy to use, even for beginners. If you’re taking your first steps into the world of E-commerce, Shopify is the best choice for you. The platform is intuitive, making it easy to create an attractive storefronts and add products to your catalog. However, if you’re looking for a platform with a fine degree of control and plenty of customization, you should investigate Magento or another CMS.
Even if you’re selling products online for the first time, Shopify will make the process easy.
Shopify is a simple tool to build E-commerce websites. It’s designed from the ground up for beginners in the online retail space. With this platform, you can create a great-looking website that performs fast, and helps bring in more customers.
However, you should be aware of its limitations.
The Disadvantages of Using Shopify for Your E-commerce Website
In most respects, a Shopify store is very easy to use and customize. However, many users run into issues with the checkout page. Because of the way Shopify is built, it’s difficult to impossible to customize the checkout page without specialized development experience. So, if you want to properly brand the payment page, you will need to outsource to an E-commerce development team.
The other big disadvantage is that Shopify charges a fee on every transaction. So, if you plan to use Shopify to exchange money, be aware that they charge 2.9%+30p on every purchase.
However, this can be mitigated by upgrading to one of the higher-tier plans. If you upgrade past the $29/mo basic plan, the fees start to go down.
How to develop e-commerce website with Shopify
So, with that out of the way, are you ready to launch your Shopify online store?
Keep reading for the Dinarys step-by-step guide on making your first online store, using this platform. We detail the main steps, from niche selection, to choosing a theme, building the site, growing your business, and marketing.
Create a Shopify Account
Visit the Shopify website, and click on Get Started. Fill in your personal details, and choose a name for your store.
Choose one of the plan options, then go to the next page.
You’ll need to fill in some additional information, set up your inventory and tax rates, and then click Next Page.
Now, decide how many goods you plan to sell. When you’re done, click the button marked Enter My Store.
Add Products to the Catalog
When you visit the Admin panel, you’ll be presented with detailed instructions on how to develop your E-commerce website. Take note of the button marked Add Products.
After you’ve taken or obtained quality photos of your products, click Add Products.
The actual process of adding products to an online store is very similar to WordPress. You’ll need to enter titles, descriptions, and prices. Try to give as much information as you can that would be helpful to prospective buyers.
When you’re done, don’t forget to save your changes.
Customizing Your Shopify Online Store
If you’d like to offer more of a personalized experience to your customers, go to the admin panel and click Customize the Look of Your Website.
From here, you can control everything from colors to logos. It looks simple at first, but you might find that a complete overhaul takes more time than you expect.
So, have patience, and keep at it.
You can also purchase a premade theme by clicking the Visit the Theme Store button, or hire an E-commerce agency to develop and implement a custom theme.
So, you now have a functional store, with its own design and template. Great! To really make your store official, you should now select a domain name.
Go to the admin panel and click Add a Domain. From here, you can register a domain for your new website. Take some time to think of the best domain for your store.
After purchasing the domain, you will need to select a payment method for your account.
Now that your domain is active, you’ll soon be able to see your Shopify store on the Internet.
Payment Processor Activation
You’ll notice the Payments button on the left side of the admin panel. Click it, and you’ll find a wide range of payment processors with which to accept customer payments.
Many online shop owners use Authorize.net and Stripe. Shopify also offers their own payment processor, which is extremely easy to integrate into your store.
Once you’ve chosen a processor, go through its activation steps as described on the site. Now you can receive payments from your customers.
After completing all the above steps, click on the Launch Website button to make your store live.
You did it! You developed an online store, and you can immediately start selling goods.
How to Market and Advertise Your Shopify E-Commerce Website
As an online retailer, you should always be trying new ways to attract visitors to your store. Today, the most successful online marketing techniques are social media marketing, PPS, and content marketing. However, there is no single magic solution for any business. You will need to try all of these techniques and more to find what works best for you.
You should also create an account for your business on Twitter and Facebook. On these social media platforms, you can share both funny and relevant content to attract an audience made up of your target customers.
Social media offers several advantages over other channels. First, it gives potential customers a chance to see products themselves, before they even visit your store. You can showcase select images of actual customers using your products. This will help to build a strong community around your brand.
This community, in turn, adds credibility to your E-commerce store. Everything feeds into everything else to help make the purchasing decision much simpler for your prospects.
Don’t Give Up
When you create your E-commerce website, prepare for success, but also for the long haul. You could hit it big at any time, but you can never know exactly when. You might spend months, weeks, or even years. Or, it could happen on your first day.
Just keep going, and be ready to strike when the moment arrives. If a big opportunity comes and you’re unable to fill the orders, your competitors will be more than happy to pick up your slack.
In other words, plan to scale, right from the beginning.
Every business needs to maintain a scaling plan. This doesn’t mean that you need to rent a huge fulfillment center with 100 employees from the very beginning of your journey. However, you should keep in mind a plan to handle a sudden influx of orders.
What Dinarys Can Offer
As an outsource E-commerce development team, Dinarys can make an online store setup and customization easy. In addition to Shopify development, we create responsive shopping carts, handle payment gateway integration, CMS-based product management, migration to Shopify from other platforms, and much more!
We hope this article was educational in your journey to creating a successful online store on this platform.
If we can be of further assistance in your E-commerce needs, we would love to speak with you! Fill out the contact form, and we’ll be in touch ASAP.