Shopify Dropshipping Guide – Branding & Advertising Tips To Create a Successful Store

This guide will show you how to make a good Shopify store within a week’s time. Most Shopify stores fail, but this guide should give you the tools you need to succeed. Since drop shipping products aren’t custom made, having a distinct Store Brand and a good marketing strategy are the things that will help your business make a profit.

Since drop shipping products aren’t custom made, having a distinct Store Brand and a good marketing strategy are the things that will help your business make a profit.
Things this guide will not cover and should be researched based on your own region

  • Setting up your business license
  • Handling sales tax

photo-1461072905169-7ca88b4d7b77

Setting Your Business Plan & Shopify Store Brand

If you are planning to drop ship on Shopify using aliexpress there are a couple of things you’ll need to consider before committing to selling certain products.

Do not pick whatever looks, cool, hot, profitable because you will more than likely lose money without doing your research first. Most People when they start selling for the first time, think to stock these items in their stores, so you’ll need to specialize.
The best niches require a passionate follower to invest both time and money into it (like hiking), and gives their life a notable edge/perspective.

truck-1030846_960_720

Traditional Dropshipping versus 3rd party sourcing

In traditional drop shipping, you go directly to the manufacturer to work out deals with them to sell their products at a reduced rate. In some cases, this is legally necessary when it comes to licensed merchandise.
In other cases, you can source non-trademarked merchandise from marketplaces such as:

  • aliexpress
  • alibaba (similar to Aliexpress but for larger orders)
  • madeinchina.com
  • tmart.com
  • dealsextreme
  • dhgate
  • sammydress
  • banggood
  • blinq
  • taobao
  • gearbest

Dropshipping Delivery Options

When you are drop shipping from far away destinations, such as warehouses and manufacturing companies in Asia while using alibaba/aliexpress, you will find that the shipping times for the products can average from 2 weeks or more.

E-packet is the most affordable delivery option that most overseas distributors use to ship products and one that ranges from about $1-$3 per package but can take 2-3 weeks to arrive. On aliexpress, there are some vendors who have stock in the USA or have a faster shipping option for higher pricing. This is something that you will need to consider based on the price point that you sell your products for.

You should mention on your site the estimated time for shipping products to their destination to avoid issues. Creating a Delivery/Shipping Info page, terms of service, privacy policy, returns, and about and contact us page will also lend you credibility and make it easier for users to do transactions with you.

photo-1441136345657-65d1e963406e
The Difference Between A General Store & Niche Shopify Store?

General stores have a lot of non-related products in them. usually, people judge us by the company we keep and the products are no exception.
You’re less likely to buy a beer shirt if it’s next to a baby rattle on the same page.

General stores are as good as poison to an inexperienced Shopify seller.

If you don’t know your way around online advertising, or social media outreach, you need to stay far away from these stores. They will only make you pay a lot of money (to Facebook and other platforms) for a hard lesson and dwindling profits.
General stores also require more trust from the buyer for them to click sale, leaving you to have to overinvest in your theme, lower prices and so forth.
There’s only one method of using a general store that I’ve seen work:

Why general stores can be good: If you already have several successful niche stores (Pro), and you use a general store purely as a test bed for products/ad testing.

How the pros use a general store (from Kingpinning):

  • Step 1: Create a Facebook fan page, get the pixel setup and add sync between your Shopify and the facebook so that people can buy directly on Facebook from that page.
  • Step 2: Create niche fan pages to test out different categories of products. Ex: “StrictlyDucks” fan page for duck related products to test.
  • Step 3: While the page is growing in followers, create a category for your general store: yourstore.com/collections/ducks and use that as the link that “Strictly Ducks fans use to see only duck products.
  • Step 4: Keep creating pages as needed, and if a collection really takes off in sales, export the products/collection to a niche store and change out the link on the fan page.

If you are new, I would STRONGLY advise selling a specific type of related products to one niche. (your wallet/purse will thank you)

photo-1452456972043-e3fd21612d9f
Finding your Shopify Store Product Niche

Your chosen niche must have sellable items that can’t be commonly bought.

Question: Why would you buy toilet paper from a Shopify store, when you can get it from Amazon, or your local grocery store/pharmacy/gas station?

Usually, you wouldn’t… but what if I sold you toilet paper that had $100 Bills printed on them? some of you would still pass, but a small majority of you who are into quirky products and gifts like that would be interested.
That is exactly the kind of niche audience you are trying to create a store for. The people who are in your niche and their behaviors are more important than the potential profit/markup a product could bring.

Questions to Test Your Product Niche

  • Are    _________ broke?
  • Is       _________ an expensive/time consuming hobby?
  • Are    _________ price conscious/cheap? (check Amazon for reviews on similar products to see if price is brought up a lot)
  • Do      _________ have supporters? Family, etc who would be proud to let others know what they do?
  • Have _________ people bought this sort of merchandise in the past? (more on how to test this in the advertising section)

The Community Building Test

  • Is being a _________ something to be proud of / people would want to share with the world? ( ex: Firefighter Squad instead of being in addicts anonymous)
  • Is/Are ____________ Content hard to find on the web?
  • Are the ____________ community chatty enough? (1:2 Like to share ratio)
  • Are there enough related niches to gather content from? (example equestrian riding = horses, saddles, leather goods, Derby, etc)

photo-1493019985176-c49a12dbdb72

How To Tell If Your Dropshipping Product Is Worth Selling

  • Is this product too risky? (Ex: electronics that break, things that can cause bodily harm that you don’t want to deal with or things that get a lot of refunds like shoes and clothing for sizing issues).
  • On Oberlo it has had a solid amount of sales this month > 50
  • On Aliexpress the Reviews for the item are nearly all positive 4.8 Stars+ and there are thousands of buyers and hundreds of reviews. Also, read the reviews and check the customer photos to double check the quality.
  • Does the product deliver via Epacket, and in how many days? (12-20 is the standard).
  • Does the seller have excellent ratings? (diamond sellers and up/ 97% or more ratings).
  • Checking Watchcount.com to see how many times it has sold on eBay from Asia. If you are seeing 400+ sales on the exact product you are onto something.

photo-1496674465282-b5b74c6caff8

Facebook Ad Competitor Check

This determines how well your competitors have sold your product and gives you insights on the type of likes it can bring.
Just type in 2-3 words that best describe your item in the Facebook search. Then click on the photos/view all section for the like counts. If you are seeing likes that are hitting 100+, that’s an indicator, but what you really want to see are Shares and comments.
Check out one of the comments for the photos. If the comments look like people are happy with the product and want to buy, then you may have a good product to test.

  • Bonus #1: Use this method to spy on your competitor’s pages, and find their other successful drop shipping products that match your niche.
  • Bonus #2: When on the fan page of a competitor, just go to the “Photos” tab, you can find most of their ads/popular products if they aren’t using unpublished/dark posts.
  • Bonus #3: We will use the actual people in the comments to create a targeting profile via Benmalol’s method / The Sherlock Method.

photo-1460661419201-fd4cecdf8a8b
Building Your Ecommerce Store Brand

Get a good theme. If you have money to invest go to either the Shopify paid theme section or better yet go to Envato themes for a Shopify theme that millions of others do not have.

The Key to success with Shopify apart from getting visitors to your store, and having great product descriptions is having a site that looks like it was made for the audience that you are bringing in with advertising and word of mouth.

The more custom tailored a site looks, the chances are the more successful it has become. It’s just easier to sell when the user hasn’t seen this template 100 thousand times before.

Storemods is a service that helps you make custom changes to your Shopify store to make it unique and useful.
A good looking paid theme will take care of the mailing list/newsletter setup, take care of the pop-in modules and have bonus features like a wishlist or a promotional banner.

If you decide to go the free theme route, you will need to get these added via free Shopify apps:

Plugins change all the time, but basically, you need to plugins that can do the following:

  • Privy (Popup App)
  • Mailchimp addon to add buyers to your mailing list
  • Zotabox – Promotional Announcements Banner
  • Aftership (So customers can track their shipments)
  • Oberlo (for dropshipping from aliexpress)
  • Free Persistent cart app (so that if a user leaves the site and comes back their cart is still full)
  • A product review app like Shopify’s app.

These are the basics and should all be included in your store that are free to use. Once you start getting more sales, you will be able to afford plugins that give you more functionality:

An upsell auto-mailer service like soundest, takes care of everything ($10)

photo-1471154002441-695e079a9c84

Advertising Your Shopify Store & Product Catalog

Influencer Marketing for social media

If you have a bike accessories store, you would sponsor a post on popular Biking Instagram accounts with a link to the promotional product.

You can go about finding influencers naturally through just messaging them through their social media platform, but there are also popular marketplace sites, that let you buy sponsored posts while brokering the transaction for you.

The upside to Influencer marketing is that you don’t have to build a large following to get great sales on a product. The downside is that the marketing only works in short bursts, and to make it a successful strategy, it has to be used often and paired with other marketing methods.

The best system is to use this while building up your own channel so that you can eventually not need to buy attention to your products and brand.

The fan page model (from kingpinning)

Essentially you will want to create a fan page around an existing passionate niche. Your goal is to make a page that you would want to spend 20-30 minutes reading and viewing if you were a fan/passionate follower of your niche.

There’s no exact science to it, but there is a simple method to grow the community

  • Source really viral content from popular related websites and other social media accounts (that are not original – i.e memes, and good feeling posts that have been widely spread)
  • Ask the audience engaging questions such as “which Corgi Halloween suit did you prefer (1|2|3|4)?” or double tap to see the corgi do a backflip.
  • Encouraging/cute posts
  • Community User submitted photos / contests
  • Every 8-14+ posts, post a product to the page that they are sure to like and ask them to share with a friend.
  • Customer photos of products that you’ve sold and they loved.
  • In the about section have something like “Like us if you think _______ are awesome/amazing” + 1 sentence about what you sell.

Social Media Tools:

  • IFTTT – To Cross-post Instagram posts to Facebook
  • LATER – To Schedule pre-made Instagram posts
  • REGRANN – To Repost Instagram photos + shoutout
  • JARVIS – To schedule Facebook fan page posts.People to watch on youtube for education
  • Bing Ads PPC Tutorial – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ae8IvLxVbWY
  • Ben Malol – Teaches you about targeting ads for custom audiences
  • Kingpinning – Teaches you how to build real Facebook fan pages/communities and flex that into profitable Shopify stores

Take Time to Learn the Facebook Ad Terminology DPA, WC, ATC, Purchase and basic paid advertising terminology.

When users are finally responding your ads, make sure to invite them to your page by clicking on the invite button for all of them. If you search in certain Facebook ad groups, you can find of way of doing this in bulk easier.

We made a Spreadsheet, to help you determine what your target CPC should be when buying digital advertising from any platform:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1T2JdL5MEWGDrYOOf62fJtABAkJQ0UT0VYNdF-NMlk40/edit?usp=sharing

You can download this as an Excel/CSV file and If you have a Google account you can create a copy for your own google docs account.

photo-1490670096971-8005fec55d50

With that, you should be well on your way to running a successful Shopify store. Do you have any tips for a new Shopify store owner that we didn’t mention? We would love to hear them! Leave them in the comments section below.

Etsy Versus Ebay Ecommerce Comparison

Comparing Etsy and eBay

Are you wondering which marketplace you should use to sell your products? If yes, then you’ve probably looked into different online marketplaces to sell your products but there are a lot of options to choose from. You could either use a standalone service such as Shopify or perhaps a marketplace like Amazon. It can be overwhelming to figure out where to focus your time and effort on — so here, we’ll be comparing two of the largest services, Etsy and eBay!

 

The difference between Etsy and eBay?

Etsy and eBay attract two fairly different audiences. Etsy allows sellers to advertise homemade items or vintage items over 20 years of age; whereas eBay allows sellers to sell pretty much anything, including wholesale items, handmade items, vintage items, antiques, etc.

 

Etsy will prove to be more beneficial for you if you plan on selling more individualistic items rather than mass-produced ones; eBay, on the other hand, will be more useful if you plan on selling items that are mass-produced and fit into a diverse range of categories.

 

Etsy is more boutique and therefore attracts customers who are looking to purchase unique and original products. On eBay, customers are looking to purchase mass-produced items at a cheaper price.

 

Which is better for your business, Etsy or eBay?

It depends on what type of products your business plans to sell. If you’re selling a fresh and unique product that isn’t widely available, then Etsy will likely be the better choice; whereas eBay would be recommended If you’re selling a widely available and mass-produced product.

 

Pros and Cons of eBay:

The pros of eBay include the ability to list products easily. The listing manager makes selling your items efficient and straightforward! There is also a huge potential for sales as eBay statistically has hundreds of millions of active users from around the world — therefore, allowing your product to be viewed and purchased by more people.

 

The cons of eBay include the fact that eBay favors buyers over sellers. Many sellers have complained that disputes over items usually result in favor of the buyers rather than the sellers. Not to mention the expensive fees which eventually add up. It costs $0.35 to list an item on eBay and the final sale charge is 10% of whatever you sell. That’s a whopping amount if you plan on selling expensive items.

 

Pros and Cons of Etsy:

The pros of Etsy are that the audience consists of members who are specifically looking for unique or vintage items. The customers don’t mind paying a little bit more for products, whereas eBay’s customers are usually seeking for a bargain. Sellers also receive the ability to quickly set up a brand, payment options and generate shipping labels for orders.

 

The cons of Etsy include the fact that the fees are expensive. Much like eBay, there are listing and final sale fees too. There is also a severe lack of customization as every item listing looks the same apart from the photos and descriptions. You may also start to notice that copycats are replicating your work especially if you have a fantastic brand and product — thus leading to competition.

 

Why you should have your own online store!

Although Etsy and eBay are both good choices, you should view them as a temporary way to get your products out to the world rather than a permanent option. You will inevitably end up losing money as both Etsy and eBay largely profit off of your hard work. Therefore it is highly recommended to open a standalone website on an ecommerce platform such as Shopify.

 

You have the freedom of customization with Shopify — you may even include your very own blog! You have the ability to include discounts, offers, and other promotions. You can truly solidify the style and branding of your company!

 

Having your own Shopify store can be more advantageous than selling on eBay or Etsy as you have total control of your store and profits! After all, the ultimate goal of ecommerce is to have a large customer base that specifically visits your website to buy your product!

reasons why the best ecommerce platform for small business is shopify

Why Shopify Is The Best Ecommerce Platform

In a market as saturated as the ecommerce platform market, it can be very overwhelming to figure out which platform is most suitable for your needs. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, it’s always wise to choose a well established platform as it’ll ensure better performance, security, and stability.

Which platform is the most well established in our opinion? It would undoubtedly have to be Shopify!

Shopify Platform for Desktop, Tablet and Mobile POS.
Taken from the Shopify Media Asset Page.

Why Shopify is the best ecommerce platform

Shopify is one of the most popular and well-established ecommerce platforms to date. As a result, it is heavily maintained and has built a large and active community that will continue to expand on this platform for years to come! Shopify provides the best of both worlds as it is simple enough for the average user and advanced enough for the advanced users.

 

Shopify is hosted software!

Therefore you won’t need to go through the hassle of purchasing a separate hosting account! You no longer have to constantly upgrade the shop software as Shopify will automatically roll out bug fixes, security improvements, etc.

 

They consist of a great team and provide outstanding customer service!

You will be assigned your own account representative that can help you out whenever you have any questions. They are invested in helping out small businesses. I highly recommend that you check out their blogs and documentation as they are packed with great advice.

Shopify's App Store Has a Growing Selection of Addons to Improve your customer's purchase experience

Will Shopify provide you with the features you need?

Well, Shopify is very extensible as they have a large app store. If there’s a feature that you’d like to have on your website; chances are that you’ll be able to find what you need in their app store. If not, then you can always hire a Shopify expert if you need some more in-depth customization.

 

Shopify isn’t just your shop, it’s your entire website!

You may include a simple blog or even a forum if you wanted to. It’s more than just a shopping software; it’s a content management system since it provides you with significantly more options than other ecommerce platforms.

 

The diversity is immense!

Shopify is targeted towards both simple and advanced users. You may choose a theme from their theme store and be up and running with a professional design right away, without any knowledge of how to build a website. Or if you’re a more advanced user, you may dig into the HTML and CSS to develop any design that you desire.

 

Other benefits of Shopify!

Shopify includes a very user-friendly admin interface. You’ll have an easy time managing orders with their simple and clear back-end management tool. Shopify is also pretty global. They work with many languages and currencies.

 

If you’re looking for an ecommerce platform that can provide you with exactly what you need, then we highly recommend the shopify platform.

Creating a Viable Business Plan for Shopify

Writing The Ultimate Ecommerce Business Plan

Ready to start your own ecommerce business? If so, you should definitely consider creating a business plan beforehand; it’ll help you out in the long run, no doubt!

If you happen not to have your brand name picked out yet, test our Ecommerce Business Name Generator Tool. The Generator can help you generate new brand names, check domain name and social media account availability.

Writing a business plan is an important factor for any business’s success. It’ll not only help you with your business in the long run, but it forces you to consider all aspects of your business. Creating a business plan is seen as a chore to many; that’s why we’re going to provide you with the necessary tips and advice to help you build an effective plan!

The Background to your Business!

 

What truly influenced you into joining the ecommerce industry? How long have you been thinking about this business? How many people are or will be involved in it? Have you carried out any work for it thus far? Also consider thinking about the potential constraints that may arise and perhaps a possible solution to them.

 

Creating Your Business Plan

You need to sum up your business at a glance in a clear and concise manner. This will help you to solidify your goals.

In your summary, you should describe the product you will be selling; explain how it is different and what the advantages are. Is your product something that is not yet available? If so, explain what makes it stand out from your competitors and how it’ll prove to be useful.

 

Include your financial projections and how you plan on building a profit — be realistic with your projections! Try to also include the estimated amount of funding you will need; make sure that it’s in sync with your financial projections.

 

Marketing and Sales!

Marketing and sales are the key to revenue and profit. There are many aspects that come in consideration when dealing with marketing and sales.

 

You need to figure out the proper pricing for your product — both wholesale and retail. Take into consideration what category your product falls in; what is the quality of it? How will your product meet the needs of the consumer and how is it superior to its competitors?

 

It is necessary to know how you’re going to advertise your product. There are plenty of advertising channels to choose from such as Google AdWords. Establish a presence on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps you rank higher on search engines; thus attracting more customers. Other tactics include affiliate marketing and advertising on the sites of others.

 

A final consideration is, what contribution is each part of your business making to your overall profit? For example, if you’re selling fashion accessories and most of your revenue is coming from watches; include that in your plan.

Operations and Assets!

Explain the operations that will exist in your company and provide detail of the assets of the company. Figure out what is necessary and what isn’t.

 

Do you need your own website to sell your products? Online marketplaces such as Shopify, Squarespace, and Bigcommerce are a good place to start before building your own ecommerce site. Figure out the facilities that may be needed such as fulfillment centre to process your orders. How many people do you plan on hiring and what will their cost be? Are there limits to your production ability? Will there be a problem with over stocking?

 

These are the type of questions you must ask yourself beforehand as it’ll greatly benefit you once your business starts to expand!

 

Management Team!

It is crucial to build a team with a compatible and complete skill-set. Explain the qualifications of your management team. What are their strengths and weaknesses? What is the background of each individual and how is that relevant to their current position? What experience do they have and how will certain skills be distributed among the team?

 

It is essential to describe your team when creating a business plan; your team will be responsible for a significant part of your success so keep that in mind!

 

Be Realistic with your revenue expectations

These forecasts are the proof behind your previous statements about your intent for the business. You should be realistic with both your sales and financial forecasts! It can be difficult but we’ll provide you with some useful factors to keep in mind.

 

For sales forecasts, you should consider how long it will take for you to start selling. What’s the potential for loyal customers? How will you be able to capture potential customers? How often will leads turn into sales? Figure out the average price of your stock within certain categories.

 

For financial forecasts, you should estimate what your monthly income will be. How much profit are you gaining? Does your business have enough money for it to thrive in today’s tough environment? Will operations, wages, etc. be a problem to your business’s profit? Include your profit and loss forecast as this gives investors a clear view of what you plan to achieve.

photo-1429051781835-9f2c0a9df6e4

Potential Risks

It is necessary to consider where your business could go wrong. Could you expand too quickly and lose customers as a result? Is there a possibility of losing a large amount of staff some day? Are you making loss more than profit? What do you plan on doing when these potential risks arise?

 

Always consider the worst case scenario and how you will adjust accordingly in any circumstance. Risk has always been a part of business, but by being observant, you should be able to keep your business running smoothly.

To better understand what the roadblocks may be in your business, there is a concept created by MJ Demarco called the CENTS principle for his book The Millionaire Fastlane.

CENTS EXPLAINED:

  • Control: You must be in full control of the income stream. This means that there cannot be anything someone else (who isn’t the government) can do that can interrupt or take away your income stream. For this reason, the stock market and affiliate marketing are NOT fastlane.
  • Entry: There must be a high barrier of entry, or a low chance that a newcomer can just come in and compete with you. Essentially, if all it takes is a WordPress account, $40 and a registration then it’s not Fastlane. If it’s easy to do, it’s probably not worth doing.
  • Need: There must be a market need. This is probably the easiest to fulfill because we all need things and services.
  • Time: There must be a low (or no) correlation between your income stream and your time spent. If your marginal income is directly dependent on your time, it cannot be Fastlane. This is why not all businesses are Fastlane.
  • Scale: There must be an ability to reach out to a large audience. Large is subjective: if your entire town can use the product and WILL use the product, and your town has 40,000 people in it, it could very well be Fastlane. Of course, this is where Internet companies shine. If your idea(s) can meet the needs of CENTS, then you have a worthwhile fastlane business that you can fully scale. IF not, then no matter how much work you put in, you will find yourself in a few months or a few years packing it up because of missing something here.

This can help you determine what type of idea you have (full time business, part time hobby/side hustle)

From this you can find the flaws in your business and work to improve them.

 

Presenting The Plan!

You must present your plan in a way that will impress the person reading your report. Avoid writing a lengthy business plan and be concise! Make it clean, organized and professional as possible. Adding a title, headers, etc. will give your business plan a more legitimate feel.

 

Make your key points more prominent to the reader so that they are able to understand your intent. Proofread the document for any spelling or grammatical errors. Feel free to show the plan to friends or experts and ask how you can improve!

 

Ultimately, you now have a guidance tool that provides a clear vision of where your business is headed!

Drive Traffic To Your Shopify With Adwords and Google Shopping

Benefits of Google AdWords For Shopify

Knowing how to bring traffic to your Shopify or ecommerce store is essential to long-term profitability. Positioning your store in the search engines results for popular terms in your niche can help to boost traffic. If you are having trouble with optimizing your search results (SEO), there is a way to boost your traffic without ranking in the results.

Google provides an advertising service called Google AdWords that can easily allow you to shows your ads at the top of search results for user queries that you specify.

AdWords is a simple tool used by businesses from around the world to boost their popularity! We’re going to explain the benefits of AdWords and why you should consider using it.

 

Faster and easier than SEO

Although search engine optimization is still very important and should not be neglected; it can be a hassle as it requires you to use proper titles, headings, meta descriptions, alt tags, etc. which can take months to be implemented before being able to attract customers or rank higher on Google’s search results. AdWords significantly simplifies this task as improving your ads to appeal to search users is all that’s needed is all that is needed!

 

Attract customers instantly

A significant amount of Google searches made are for products and services. Now imagine how many visitors your site could attract with your website immediately being above the search results. By bidding on keywords related to your product or services, you can have your website gaining a steady flow of potential customers quickly. 

Find out what converts

AdWords can help you easily figure out which type of marketing works for your store and which doesn’t. It can also help you in knowing which ads or keywords are converting and which ones aren’t. As a result, you will be able to know how to reach the relevant customers for your website! You can also use this information to help you in your organic SEO efforts as you’ll know which keywords convert the best.

 

Target specific Customer locations

If you’re targeting your products/services for a specific location; you can adjust AdWords to only show your ads to people searching within that city, state or country. For example, if you’re selling a localized product or service, you have the option to make sure that your ads are only seen by people near your location.

 

Lower advertising costs by targeting customers directly

You only need to pay every time someone clicks on your ad, not when it is shown as a search result. In other words, you’re only paying when there is a possibility of making a conversion on your site; this guarantees that you’re getting what you pay for! You can also set a daily budget for your campaigns to avoid huge costs

 

AdWords traffic converts well!

Believe it or not, AdWords traffic sometimes converts better than organic traffic. Some studies have revealed that clicks through AdWords ads are just as likely to convert as organic result clicks. This is most likely due to the fact that ad copy is directed at selling rather than informing. People are also aware that ads are there to sell to them rather than being product reviews or news stories.

 

Many people believe that no one clicks on ads — that is a myth! When searches are made containing commercial keywords, the majority of the resulting clicks are on ads. By avoiding AdWords, you are also missing out on a lot of potential customers. It’s really as simple as having a well written AdWords ad and of course a beautiful website to garner plenty of traffic.

How to Install Google Adwords On Shopify

There is an app in the Shopify app store called Clever Adwords, developed by CleverPPC which can help you to easily configure and integrate AdWords to your store in minutes.

The Shopify development team has created an app that helps to put each individual product in your inventory into the Google Shopping results page through your AdWords account. What this does is suggest your product to google search users who are looking for specific products that you may have available.

If you have a product or service that deserves a better ranking on search engine results; Google AdWords will prove to be the most reliable at providing you the simplest and most efficient way to do so!

How To Take Brand Product Images For Shopify

Consistency in your product images is an integral and essential part of your brand image. Presentation of your product is key to whether a customer purchases from your store or not. We’re going to provide you with advice on how to achieve consistency in your product images!

 

Why consistency is essential to customer loyalty

Consistency means ensuring that the products that you place on your website are the same size and angle. The lighting and colours should also be the same throughout. This makes the shopping experience significantly more satisfactory for the consumer; they can then compare the different products in a logical way and will be more likely to end up purchasing a product from your website.

 

Consistency will define your brand; how you represent yourself on your website will be the impression that your consumers get from your overall business. In a sense, your product photos are the most important communication you will have with the customer since it is the first thing they see and the closest they can get to the product without physically touching it.

 

Comfortable Club     

 

Miguel Madrid is the creator of the company called ComfortableClub, a luxury undergarment brand. In one of his blog post he shares how consistent branding and investing in better photography helped him to clear $500k in 8 months for his business, as a one man operation.

Branding helped Miguel to solidify his brand, and paired together with a flexible fulfillment network, he was able to delegate most of the shipping and processing work to third parties.

Shooting consistent brand images

There are methods you can follow while you are shooting the photo of your product to ensure that the images come out consistently. The most important factors to note are the type of lens you use, angle of the camera, lighting and the background of where the shooting is taking place. Feel free to take influence from other ecommerce shops in your competing niche to see what your can do in your own photoshoot. We have written a guide to beautiful DIY Photography that should provide more details on having a better photoshoot setup and taking store defining   trendsetter images.

 

After you’ve taken the photos, you will always want to set a standard for processing. This includes saturation and sharpening. You should keep them the same for each photo. You should also ensure that the size and quality of the images you produce are kept the same for when you upload them to your website.

 

The type of shots you take is also an important factor. A lot of websites favour on-white shots. These can come in two different types. The first is where the product is left to sit out on a white background. It will contain the shadow and perhaps also the reflection but this is dependent on the area of the surface you are working with. The second option is a complete cutout; this is where the whole product is cut out from the background and placed onto an entirely new white surface.

 

It is advised to use the highest quality possible as this will make the images look attractive to potential customers. Since you will be taking these images over a lengthy period of a time; it is advised to stick with the same photographer and studio if feasible.

 

Text Font Typography, Color Scheme, and Copywriting

Images are crucial, but your text style and descriptions can also play an important role in consistency. You must make sure to make the best-matched fonts, text size, and colors. You should pick a few fonts that resonate with your audience and what you are selling. This may require some experimenting with color, font, and size combinations to get the branding that best complements your imagery.

 

It is advised to stick to one to two fonts throughout your entire website but size can be changed when appropriate as long as it is done consistently. You should also think carefully about how the descriptions and titles of your products fit in with the images of the products you decide to use.

 

In conclusion, brand consistency is a vital aspect for your product sales,  so uniform website and photography style should not be neglected. The best images of your product can speak a thousand words, and attract more buyers to your store!

Comparing Shopify and Squarespace

Are you wondering which ecommerce platform you should use to build your online shop? There are plenty of options to choose from but we’ll narrow it down to two of the most popular ones; Shopify and Squarespace. In this article, we’re going to highlight the pros and cons of both to help you decide!

Shopify Ecommerce Dashboard

What is Shopify?

Shopify is one of the most popular and well established platforms to date. There are only a handful of platforms that have as many benefits as Shopify does. Hundreds of thousands of stores are currently using this platform and its popularity is increasing day by day.

 

Shopify is a hosted solution. This means that Shopify will host your shops on their servers but you will not have access to the back-end code. This shouldn’t be a problem for most retailers as Shopify already provides loads of customization options.

 

Pros of Shopify:

Your own custom-built website

Every website made using Shopify shows little to no trace of the platform used. In other words, Shopify provides a diverse range of customization! It provides a wide range of themes to choose from via its theme store. You have the ability to make comprehensive changes to these themes if you have a good understanding of CSS, HTML and Liquid.

 

You may also completely manipulate the theme, allowing you to create a custom look and feel that is unique to your brand. If you’re not experienced in coding, you can always hire a Shopify expert to design themes for you!

Shopify App Center For Implementing Extensions to Improve Store Functionality

The Shopify app store

Shopify has an app store full of official and third party apps that you can get to add functionality to your store. If there’s a feature that you’d like to have on your website; chances are that you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for in their app store! This is one of the most useful elements of Shopify and something that Squarespace lacks.

 

The app store has a wide range of apps to choose from. For example, if you need to analyze your shop’s analytics; Kissmetrics can do just that! Or if you need to send out targeted email campaigns to customers signed up to your mailing list; MailChimp is there for you!

 

Wide range of payment gateways

Shopify believes that each seller is unique and should therefore be given as many choices as possible. Due to this belief, Shopify not only has it’s own payment gateway, but it has also integrated over 70 payment gateways! These include Paypal, Stripe, Paymill, SagePay, Braintree, etc. This is a huge plus for Shopify because Squarespace only offers Stripe as a payment gateway.

 

Shopify Experts

Shopify experts are designers, marketers, programmers, web developers, etc. that have been listed in the Shopify Experts directory. They can assist you in creating a beautifully customized ecommerce store! Experts are thoroughly rated and reviewed so you can choose which expert meets for your needs.

 

Squarespace on the other hand, does not offer anything to compete with this. This means that you’ll have to rely on your own knowledge of the platform since it’ll be harder to seek assistance. Having a community of experts allows Shopify to be accessible to people who do not have an expertise in web creation!

 

Superior customer service

Shopify offers an astounding 24/7 support on phone, email and live chat to all of its users with no additional costs as it’s included in the monthly fee. Shopify’s 24/7 support is a massive benefit to any online retailer; online shops don’t have open and closing times so this constant support availability is hugely beneficial. If you’re in need of assistance, their service is always available for you!

 

Cons of Shopify:

Expensive monthly fees

Shopify comes with a few pricing plans to choose from. All of which can be considered expensive especially for new businesses. The pricing plans are:

 

  • Basic – $29/month
  • Shopify – $79/month
  • Advanced Shopify – $299/month

 

To learn more, read our guide to choosing the best Shopify’s pricing plan for your business.

 

Poor multi-currency support

Shopify does not allow you to specify currency rates which can be a problem for online retailers who want to sell their products internationally. Another downside is that although the customer may be browsing in their own currency, the final payment must be taken in the store’s default currency. Therefore, it is advised that your warn your customers of this beforehand; otherwise your business will seem untrustworthy to customers.

 

Unsupported third party apps

The vast majority of apps are built and supported by third parties. As these apps are not distributed by Shopify, they will not be supported by Shopify’s excellent 24/7 service. This can lead to issues especially if you rely on third party apps to help your store function properly.

 

Third party apps are not guaranteed to be fully functional and therefore the app store may have inconsistent levels of quality and cost. Installing a lot of apps can also make your implementation a bit sluggish. It is recommended to avoid third party apps that aren’t properly supported.

What is Squarespace?

Initially, Squarespace was intended to create an all-in-one web publishing platform. However, it later branched out into the world of ecommerce. Since it is relatively new to the ecommerce world, it may not be able to compete with giants like Shopify yet, but it definitely has a lot of potential!

 

Squarespace is a hosted solution like Shopify. Squarespace will host your shops on their servers and as a result, you will not have access to the back-end code. However, Squarespace provides a powerful and dynamic styling editor which allows you to customize your store they way you want.

 

Pros of Squarespace:

Squarespace Bedford Template For Business

Gorgeously designed templates

Squarespace’s unique selling point is their expertly designed templates. Their templates will instantly catch your attention as they are clean, minimalistic and highly professional. The templates are truly magnificent as they give off an air of elegance due to their sheer beauty and simplicity.

 

Although Shopify’s themes are aesthetically great for the most part; you’ll have a hard time looking through their theme store to find a theme best fit for you. With Squarespace, you’ll definitely feel more comfortable and less overwhelmed with the themes.

 

Extensive styling options

Albeit their customization options aren’t anything groundbreaking in terms of web design; their Style Editor makes it exponentially easier for a non-technical person to customize their store without having any knowledge of coding.

 

With the Style Editor, you can adjust colors, fonts, background images, opacity of images, spacing and padding, page-specific styles, etc. There is also a built-in CSS editor allowing advanced users to maximize the customization of their website.

 

Discounted Getty images and free Typekit fonts

Squarespace is partnered with Getty images. Getty images are one of the world’s leading creators and distributors of high quality photography. As a result of this partnership, Squarespace customers can purchase images from Getty at an exclusive rate of just $10 a photo — talk about a bargain!

 

Squarespace is also partnered with Typekit and luckily to our benefit; more than 65 Typekit fonts are available to Squarespace customers at no additional charge. Typography is one of the very core factors to influence a customer’s perception of a brand. This partnership with Typekit makes it simpler for you to construct a brand for your business.

 

Excellent marketing tools

Search engine optimization is built into all websites created with Squarespace. This makes it astoundingly easier for search engines to index your website and resultantly you will attract potential customers. Read more about SEO tactics and its benefits here!

 

You will also be given access to analytics that are updated in real time; this will help provide you an insight on your customers. This analytic tool provides you with a tonne of quality information; ranging from page views to your audience size. Squarespace is also dedicated to social integration making it easier than ever to connect with your customers on social media websites.

 

Social media integration

Squarespace provides a social integration feature allowing you to easily share store news and updates to all of your customers and social media followers in a seamless manner. You no longer have to manually post updates to your social media platforms.

 

Simply connect your social media accounts with Squarespace and then adjust the settings for how people can connect with you via those social networks. Having the ability to automatically post new content to all of your social media accounts; it not only helps you save time and effort, but it ensures that your followers are kept up to date!

 

Affordable monthly fees

Albeit it is not as feature extensive, Squarespace is definitely more affordable than Shopify. If the many features of Shopify do not interest you, then Squarespace is your best bet at creating an elegant ecommerce store. The pricing plans are:

 

  • Personal – $12/month
  • Business – $18/month

 

To learn more about Squarespace’s pricing plans, check out their pricing section here!

 

Cons of Squarespace:

It is not open source

One of the biggest downsides of Squarespace is that it isn’t open source. This means that they do not allow external designers to design for their platform; everything is designed by the Squarespace team. This leads to a lack of customization for templates.

 

Another downside of it not being open source is that support can only be provided by the Squarespace team. This can be a bit frustrating especially when you’re in need of urgent help and Squarespace support is unavailable at the moment.

 

Editing mode is inconvenient

During the process of altering your template, you are unable to see a real-time editing screen. This means that you can’t preview your website before publishing it. Instead, you will have to constantly go back and forth in order to edit your page which can be very much of a hassle.

 

When using the editing system to move blocks (images, text, videos, etc.) around the web page; the editor sometime gets confused and people often report that this issue hinders and slows down their customization ability. In spite of this, the editor is still very intuitive.

 

The Style Editor can be overwhelming

The style editor is packed with a lot of features for customization. It includes a tonne of tools, sliders, widgets, fonts, etc. The downside is that this can be overwhelming to newer users who are unaware of this environment.

 

If you’re a skilled web designer, this probably is not an issue for you. However, this can be an issue for the non-technical user due to the overload of options thrown at you in the style editor.

 

Lack of payment gateways

Squarespace only offers Stripe as a payment gateway option. It lacks the more popular online payment methods such as Paypal which is a huge downside for a majority of people. Shopify on the other hand, offers over 70 payment gateways including Stripe which is a massive advantage!

 

Squarespace uses Stripe to process all of your customer payments. This may potentially decrease your sales as most people do not use Stripe. If you think your customers are more likely to prefer alternative payment gateways such as Paypal, then it’d be recommended to use Shopify.

 

Lack of 24/7 customer support

Unlike Shopify, Squarespace does not offer the outstanding 24/7 support for its customers. Considering that Squarespace is targeted towards people who aren’t web experts, you’d expect for there to be a quality customer service. Nevertheless, when support is available, they do provide an excellent job!

 

Their lack of 24/7 support is slightly overshadowed by the easy to use interface. However, having instant assistance is very important and should not be neglected under any circumstance.

 

Final Review of Shopify & Squarespace

Both platforms have their own positive and negative traits. Although Squarespace is a great ecommerce platform, it is still not up to par to a giant platform like Shopify yet. Squarespace may be less feature extensive, but it is also notably cheaper than Shopify. Nonetheless, these platforms provide a unique and immersive experience to their customers regardless of their differences.

 

Shopify Payment Gateways versus paypal

Paypal Versus Other Gateways On Shopify

Shopify provides a variety of payment gateways but the most popular is none other than Paypal. Although Paypal is most likely the best option for newcomers, the fees will eventually skyrocket once you start earning a fair amount of revenue.

Since Paypal is the most widely accepted payment method, you’re probably a bit hesitant on moving away from it. We’re going to discuss the conditions for when Paypal should be used and when it should be sidelined.

paypal-784404_640

The advantages of using Paypal for payment processing

Paypal is the most popular payment method and is accepted in nearly every online store. It is pretty global as it is supported in over 200 countries! It is also very well established and therefore has very high standards for security and keeping your personal information safe.

 

Creating an account is fairly easy and doesn’t require any thorough verification process. There are no monthly or yearly fees involved. They also provide an outstanding customer service. Best of all, it is very easily integrated with Shopify!

 

The disadvantages of using Paypal

There is a fee for every transaction; the typical rates being 2.4% + $0.30. In some regions however, the fees decrease as you do more transactions. Although these fees may not seem threatening to you at first, they are more significant than you may think.

 

The fees will likely not be a problem for smaller sales but companies earning a larger revenue will be heavily impacted. For example, if you make a sale of $100, the fees will be $2.70. But if you make a sale of $10,000, the fees will be $240. These fees will eventually add up and will end up costing you thousands of dollars!

 

How to find the best alternative to Paypal?

A couple of factors come into play when choosing an alternative to Paypal. IF you are working with Shopify, you are able to select from their supported payment gateways. Another factor that comes into play is that you need to choose a payment gateway that is supported in your country.

 

Once you have found a potential alternative, you should compare its transactional fees to Paypal and see whether switching over is worth it or not. Keep in mind that even a minor difference in fees can save you a whopping amount of cash in the long run.

 

Some gateways require you to pay an annual fee with less transactional fees. Although annual fees can be very off-putting to most people, it can actually prove to be advantageous in some cases. For example, if your store is making a large number of sales; an annual fee is likely going to be more cost efficient than higher transactional fees!

 

To sum it up, Paypal can be very expensive in the long run. It is recommended for stores with a larger revenue to consider moving away from Paypal to avoid larger fees. You must carefully decide whether or not it is worth switching payment gateways — Hopefully, we’ve made that decision simpler for you!

 

What is a shopify expert

What is a Shopify Expert?

Are you in need of an expert who can assist you in building your Shopify website? Well, rest assured as there are plenty of Shopify experts out there. Shopify experts are designers, programmers, web developers, etc. that have been listed in the Shopify Experts directory. If you ever need help with your online shop, don’t hesitate in contacting one!

The Expert Program is greatly beneficial to store owners and suppliers because let’s be honest, we all need help sometimes. It provides a platform for Shopify experts from all over the world — you may even find an expert near your area!

Are you a Shopify Storeowner in need of professional assistance?

Well, you’ve come to the right place because we’ll provide the necessary info that you should always be wary of before finding a Shopify expert.

They are not Shopify employees!

Shopify experts are members of the vast Shopify community that are willing to assist you whenever you are in need of assistance. They are not employees of Shopify, but curated lists of people who want to help you get the best from your shopify store.

Being listed as a Shopify Expert does not make them qualified.

Although there are some requirements needed in order to be listed; in reality it is relatively easy for both trustworthy experts and sketchy people to jump on board. Therefore, not everyone listed as an expert is fully reliable or trustworthy and you should do your homework before deciding to pair up with a team.

An Expert can only help as far as their expertise.

Being listed as an “expert” doesn’t guarantee that they are experts at everything. They may be experts in design and programming, but lack in knowing how to deal with things such as client liaison, fair cost pricing. professionalism, etc. Before agreeing to work with them, you should consider viewing their previous work to make certain that they fit your needs.

There is a ratings/review system!

Of course, not all of these ratings are legit. However, it is fairly easy to differentiate authentic reviews from unauthentic ones. It is always a good idea to check the ratings of an expert to ensure that they are what they claim to be. An expert can not modify their reviews/ratings whether they are positive or negative.

Unsatisfactory Experts will eventually be removed!

Experts with repeated complaints get removed from the list. Hopefully that’ll make you more optimistic about the Shopify Experts directory! There is proper moderation that is constantly preventing sketchy people from being able to scam customers.

Now that you know about Shopify experts, feel free to contact one if you’re truly in need of any assistance. You’ll definitely find someone to make your shopify shine.

Shopify SEO For Beginners

Basic SEO Marketing For Your Shopify Store

Finally set up your own Shopify website? Well, then you’ve probably put tons of effort into creating a site so beautiful and eye-catching that it looks and feels just as good, if not better than most popular ecommerce sites.

Now it’s time for the marketing aspect which will make all that hard work and effort finally pay off! With the proper marketing and strategies, you’ll inevitably achieve success in the long run as an online retailer. But where should you begin?

The best way to achieve organic traffic is via means of search engine optimization (SEO). This makes it so that your site is ranked higher on search engines, thus attracting more customers. We’re going to discuss the “do’s and don’ts” of SEO!

Continue Reading

  • 1
  • 2