How Shopify Makes Launching Your Next Business Idea Fast and Affordable

We don’t usually spotlight one brand but there’s always room for exception—especially when it’s something we feel is pretty awesome and will help out our readers.

Today that exception is Shopify, a one-stop-shop e-commerce platform that allows businesses to sell directly from their site.

First, before we begin, let’s acknowledge that running an online store can be daunting for small businesses with all its moving parts. There’s so much that goes into it—especially daunting if you’re new to owning and running an online business.  Although it probably won’t make or break you, the e-commerce platform you choose has huge implications on the momentum of your business’ growth.

Here are 3 things we think makes Shopify a great option for your e-commerce needs:

#1. Affordability: The cost of doing business is made both affordable and predictable. As of 2015, Shopify offers plans starting at $9 a month. These plans can be cancelled at any time and the fixed pricing makes it easy to factor in how much e-commerce will cost your business both monthly and annually.

#2. User- friendliness:  Creating an online store has never been so fast and easy. (Not trying to sound sale-sy, here—just reporting the facts). Shopify excels at simplifying the e-commerce set-up process.

We’ve found Shopify does this in 3 ways:

  • DIY (Do It Yourself): If you are in a position where hiring a third party to build and design your website from scratch is not an option, Shopify offers e-commerce website templates that are customizable. Each site comes with a blog that is also customizable. All you need to do is use the drag and drop feature to tailor it yourself. You can also add your own HTML code.
  • One-stop-shop: Shopify makes it possible to get everything in one place—from domain name and web hosting, to search engine optimization and social media integration, to email marketing.
  • Button-ready. If you already have a website and just want to add a sales cart, you can do that, too. Shopify offers a BUY button to place on your site or social media page (i.e. Facebook or Pinterest), allowing customers to purchase from you directly. They also offer a Point of Sale (POS) feature that lets you collect credit card payments physically using your ipad, laptop or other mobile device. This really comes in handy when selling items at tradeshows or markets.

These features eliminate the confusion of integrating what services you need from whom. It streamlines all the moving parts of an online store, allowing you to go live in a short period of time without a lot of help—depending on how familiar with website content management systems you currently are.

#3. Meets the Need for Speed. Site speed is critical when it comes to e-commerce. Most studies show that people will only wait up to 4 seconds for a site to load before leaving.

Shopify seems to agree. As one reviewer put it,

Shopify keeps their sites streaming fast, and integrates with payment providers well so that you can always gets paid, and customers are never waiting for their page to load.

Hopefully we’ve convinced you Shopify is as great as we think it is. There are others out there, of course, and we aren’t being paid for endorsement, but if you’re just getting started with e-commerce, aren’t very tech-savvy, or on a budget—maybe all of the above—Shopify is definitely worth a look.