Global retail sales dropped by more than 5% in 2020 as the pandemic devastated businesses making them lose out on revenue worth over $1 Trillion. Although COVID-19 shocked economies worldwide, e-commerce saw an unprecedented rise of 5% in 2020. To put this in perspective, e-commerce grew by around 7% from 2011-2019 according to the US Department of Commerce. The initial shift from brick-and-mortar stores was a survival necessity but as situations are starting to stabilize, e-commerce continues to grow and people’s preference for online shopping continues to rise.
Shopify is at the forefront of this revolution. With revenue growth of 96% in 2020 alone , Shopify continues to be the leading e-commerce solution. Although it is not the leading e-commerce platform , Shopify has become a trending name among businesses of all sorts who are trying to develop an online presence and expand their customer potential.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a user-friendly all-in-one e-commerce solution package, that allows users to create and host beautifully designed websites and manage day-to-day operations. The platform allows owners to view business performance, track sales and inventory, link to social media platforms in addition to providing life-changing marketing tools.
How is Shopify changing the game?
The platform not only makes it easy to host websites compatible on all devices, but also provides valuable tools and suggestions for the online shop. Some features why Shopify has become a favorite are as follows:
- Ease of use:
Creating an online shop has never been easier. With drag and drop features, a functioning website compatible on both web and mobile platforms can be created from a bunch of free templates within a noticeably short period. Moreover, if experts want to delve into the lines of code, they can do so as Shopify uses open-source frameworks.
Shopify’s dashboard is extremely easy to use and appealing to the eye. A shop owner can get all the relevant data, including sales, inventory, pending payments, and much more at one glance from the homepage. The homepage also provides a list of shortcuts for the owner so that every aspect of the website can be accessed and edited. Moreover, the homepage provides valuable suggestions in terms of marketing and customer retention tactics. Shopify’s usability makes it highly appealing to business owners who are just starting out and may not have an expert grasp of technology and web development.
- Efficient product management:
Whatever the shop might be, adding products to showcase on a website is easier than ever before because of Shopify. The platform dedicates a separate section for uploading products and stores the information. This is important because, if an owner chooses to change the look of the website and use a different template, the product data previously stored can be used again. This gets rid of the need to re-upload product information on the website.
Moreover, inventory can also be viewed and tracked through Shopify so that an owner never has to worry about running out of stock. Some more features include creating gift cards that can be sent to customers to improve brand image.
- Customer segmentation and targeting features:
Every order is tracked and stored through the Shopify store, making it easy for owners to use their customer lists to filter out specific groups at different times. Owners can create customized lists of their customer groups based on different criteria like purchase amounts, purchase dates, number of orders to date, and many more. These lists are stored and can be extremely useful in marketing products to the desired target audience.
Shopify also segments customers based on buying patterns and suggests taking actions for them. For example, if a customer has not purchased in the last 4 months, Shopify would be smart enough to suggest emailing that customer and getting them back.
- Informative analytics:
Sales data and purchase trends are automatically generated on Shopify. This dashboard allows owners to track total sales, conversion rates, purchase rates, average order values among many other key variables. This information can be especially useful in making decisions and generating solutions in case of a sales drop.
Detailed reports of key metrics can also be generated upon upgrading which can provide even more insightful data and trends. Analytics is useful especially for new businesses as they can understand what actions are working and which are not.
- Marketing Solutions:
Shopify offers valuable marketing solutions in the form of campaigns and emails. Customized social media campaigns can be hosted and managed directly from the Shopify panel. A fixed number of free emails can also be sent to customers every month to promote products of discounts. Discount codes can also be generated from a separate Discount tab. Owners can come back and track progress on any of their campaigns or discounts and get an idea of campaign responses, sales from campaigns, and the benefits from those marketing campaigns. All these data are automatically generated and presented in a user-friendly manner making Shopify an amazing hub for marketing actions.
- Social media gateway:
Shopify also allows owners to directly link their Facebook and Instagram pages to their online shops. Owners can then tag their products on images and posts to gain more website conversions instead of posting for products individually. This makes the shopping experience smoother and more pleasant for the customer.
While Shopify is not the only tool out there for businesses, it has surely created more impact than any other because of the neat and convenient features. Whether or not Shopify can continue their applaudable growth is not part of the discussion. Rather, as moving into the digital arena is inevitable for all sorts of businesses, Shopify can be used as a vital tool for a head start.