Shopify, Sales and Sun Bowl Systems For SME
With over 800,000 businesses worldwide using Shopify as their sales center it is one of the more popular systems in the world, particularly for small businesses – part of this popularity is because it integrates well with Facebook and Google. Actually, Shopify generally plays nicely with other software and apps. If you know what you’re doing. And therein lies the rub.
If you are running a small to medium business you probably want to be focused on your products, and although every business owner knows that there is a lot of work that must be done behind the scenes in order to get those products into the eager hands of customers, knowing it doesn’t make it any easier to bare when you have to change focus to deal with admin tasks.
Most e-commerce specialists who know what they’re doing will provide you with how to guides and free information that gives you an overview of the basics for Shopify. People like Sun Bowl Systems are not trying to get you to talk to them about how to set up a product (although I’m sure they would if you asked), they want the really fun stuff – web designers and developers probably have a different idea of fun than you do.
Small Business Sales
You know that when you’re in a small business, every sale matters. You want happy customers, and you want to build you business up. One of the problems is trying to get your product in-front of people who want to buy it. Particularly for craft sales or small manufacturing businesses where you are making your own stock the market in your local area might quickly become quite limited, whether you have a store front or not.
Although the dot.com boom has long gone, the internet is still an excellent way to reach new markets if you are selling niche products. Unfortunately, most people in a manufacturing based small business rarely have the skills themselves to develop a full ecommerce system, so end up doing workarounds that put their potential customers privacy and security at risk (see here), or simply lose sales because purchasing from them is too difficult.
Sales with e-Commerce
This is why Shopify is so successful – it’s easy to use. It takes a few moments (quite literally) to set up an account, and then you are just entering in product information and information about your store. There is no programming, you don’t have to worry about hosting, everything you need is there and ready to go. It also helps you sort out the tax side of things, and allows you to have variations in your products, whether that is color, sizing or something completely different.
Of course, because Shopify is hosting your sales site, if it goes down (which is rare, but does happen), your sales site will also be inaccessible – but this is a risk on absolutely any platform. Even a bricks and mortar store can suffer from power outages or weather damage that forces them to close.
However, while Shopify is very easy to get going, to really get the best out of it you should talk to e-commerce experts who know the backend of Shopify inside and out. Like everything on the internet, there are multitudes of people all touting themselves as the experts who’s services you should buy.
Before you get overwhelmed, have a look at what ‘free’ information these experts offer. Because of the nature of Shopify there are a number of people who are really only offering to set your shop up or to add products for you – which you probably have already done while sipping your morning coffee.
Of course, there are a lot of other options for e-Commerce, and what works for you may not be what works for someone else. This is even more so if you are selling a digital product or service rather than something that can be shipped. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-commerce
One of the traps that small businesses can easily fall into is setting themselves up with a shop online, often free or cheap, spending a month or so in trying to add products, taking pictures, trying to make things look lovely, and then realizing that it is not going to fit for the way their customers buy the products. A cheap solution is only good if you don’t need to spend hundreds of thousands on modifications and customizations, so if you’re unsure, talk to a developer with skill in the e-commerce platform you are looking at.