What is Shopify?
Shopify is an online e-commerce platform, focusing on allowing merchants to showcase and sell their wares via an online store and could help you make money while you are at university.
Just kidding, Shopify is fully kitted out e-commerce platform, working much like WordPress.
With plans starting at just $9 a month, you can build and create an online store within about 10 - 30minutes!
Shopify works by allowing merchants to choose themes, or upload bought themes (check out the ecomTurbo review) and then giving them an online site builder to allow them to quickly change hundreds of different elements, such as site colours, social media icons, buttons colours and so much more.
Shopify also gives you access to reports and statistics such as live visitors, funnel rates (i.e where people have got too within the checkout process) and more including abandon cart statistics and most loved products.
Simply, Shopify is awesome for those who don't want to faff around with HTML, WordPress, Hosting, SSL Certificates, crap plugins or the other annoyances that come with trying to build stores via other means.
That doesn't mean you can't (check out the WordPress review as well) but it just makes life easier.
What can be sold on Shopify?
To be 100% honest, just about anything. Looking at Shopify's own marketplace (the exchange), you can find websites for pet stores, music & band sites, fashion & clothing, art & photography websites, you can even find websites selling stationary or office supplies.
You are basically only limited by your own imagination.
Obviously, you can't go selling illegal items, so don't try and become the next Pablo Escobar!
If you have a great idea or you are passionate about something, then you could use Shopify to make money while at university!
You can also sell digital products, such as workout plans, music or digital photos, you are not limited to physical products, which makes it really useful for those in the arts or music genres who want a shop front without having to buy expensive shopping cart plugins or similar!
How does Shopify help you sell?
Shopify offers a suite of marketing tools, allowing you to easily get your store in front of prospective new buyers and to scale to new heights.
Shopify allows you to modify your posts, blogs and product pages as you like, including changing the headline, titles, images, descriptions and meta tags. All of these allow you to increase your ranking in search engine results.
You can also get your customers to post reviews, both increasing your social proof AND giving search engines more information to increase your social ranking.
Shopify also allows you to create simple easy to view product pages, with large clear images, an easy to read descriptions and eye-catching 'add to cart' buttons.
Shopify also gives you the tools to add your Shopify store via Facebook, giving you the ability to promote or show your products to your potential Facebook followers and audience, taking the images and prices directly from your store.
This was a huge advantage for me at the time, as it meant I could focus my adverts or posts and tag them in photos, essentially putting your products right in front of your audience.
Social media should be at the forefront of your selling strategy especially if you want to succeed at making money with ecommerce.
Shopify also gives you access to multiple reporting tools, such as live visitors, returning visitors, where your visitors come from around the world and so many more.
All of this data allows you to hone your targeting for adverts, see which products are the most popular and also see where your customers may be dropping off (do they even reach the payment screen!)
Does Shopify Offer Addons?
Sadly Shopify can't offer everything, and you may find that stand-alone add-ons or tools are cheaper than upgrading to the next pricing levels.
Shopify has hundreds, if not thousands of add-ons, tools and reporting kits, ranging from £0 to £00's per month.
For example, you can install add-ons that offer gamified discounts to your potential customers such as the 'Wheelio App'.
Allowing you to collect potential customers emails in exchange for a discount of your choice.
Add-ons like this allow you to grabs these precious emails, easily and quickly in a fun way! Who wouldn't want to play on a huge game wheel to potentially win a discount of your choice?
These valuable emails can be captured and then used to send product updates, new sales or just general giveaways!
Other tools you can get from the Shopify Store include detailed reporting functionality. For example, the Semantics3 Analytics allows you to run reports on your most valuable products, which customers are more likely to spend more in your store (and the country) .
They boast 16+ reports and all for free, so it's definitely worth looking through the Shopify platform to find awesome tools to help you sell more!
Shopify Pricing, how does it work?
So, this is one of my annoyances with Shopify.
Their pricing can be a bit annoying and is basically broken into 4 separate payments.
Payment Pan - This will be your monthly billed amount, depending on the plan you go for, this will either be $29, $79 or $299 (or bespoke)
Shopify Credit Card Rate - This is the amount charged per transaction and will be shown separately, this is also split again depending on if you take a payment using Shopify Online store, or PayPoint.
Payment Gateway Fees - Using a payment merchant such as PayPal, you will be charged an additional fee on top of the other fees
Tools & Add-ons Fees - If you do choose one of the many many apps on the store, then you may be charged an additional fee (they do tell you if the tool will cost you an additional amount before you install). This can range from just a few $/£ too several $/£ a month so keep an eye on this!
The standard theme is boring, surprise me!
I'm glad you asked because Shopify offers hundreds and thousands of themes (a bit like WordPress does).
You can pretty much find any theme for your niche, quickly and easily.
Each theme allows you to look at demos, and you can spend your time looking around the demo store checking out how the themes look and feel!
As I have said before, the best thing about these themes is that they offer you loads of options to customise them as you see fit, many with drag and drop capabilities!
Want Access To My Number 1 Rated Theme?
converting customers on shopify can be difficult at times. as such having well laid out, easy to navigate themes can help! You can also save on apps and add-ons by choosing the right app. find out more below
So there it is, the quick-fire guide to Shopify, and a basic intro and overview -
I will be covering different parts of the Shopify platform in more detail as time goes on and the blog becomes a bit bigger so keep an eye out for it!
I will also be adding more reviews for certain add-ons that I have used in the past and of course themes.
Take your time to look through the Shopify website and see how it may fit in with your online strategy and you will soon be on the road to making money while at University!
James started The Online Student as a typical blog telling people about his struggles and woes with DropShipping, Amazon FBA and even Affiliate marketing. He then decided that blogging about it all would give people the skills, knowledge and apps to get up and running (while making a little extra on the side). After a few months he realised it was quite lucrative and decided to work his ass off making it a bit more than just a hobby!