Grow your Online Business with a Shopify Shop

The vast majority of my clients use Shopify for their online store after either growing beyond Etsy or just wanting to have a professional e-commerce website for their business and I highly recommend it for small business owners who want to push their business forward.

Why Shopify and not Etsy/Folksy etc.?

Firstly, Etsy and Folksy are still great places to sell your creations but if you want to grow your business and OWN it; having your very own website with your products on it, blog, social media links and newsletter sign up is where you can GROW your brand. No longer will your customers say "oh this? I bought it on Etsy" instead they'll say "oh this? I bought it from the {insert name of your brand here}". 

Daily, I encounter Etsy sellers who all have the same gripes: 

"is it even worth being a seller in the UK on Etsy anymore, I feel like the US sellers get priority!"

"So many people are now making the same ceramics/jewellery/products as me, I don't even show up in search anymore!"

Not to mention, you don't own your customers on this platform; if Etsy closed down tomorrow; *POOF* so does your business.

Did you know; Etsy provides a space for 1.7 million "Hobbypreneurs" to turn a hobby into a profit-making venture!  That's  truly wonderful, but that is a hell of a lot of competition and research shows 32% of the UK is considering switching to a more rewarding career, such as turning a hobby into a profit-making venture. Eeek! Even more, competition to be seen in search.

Seen a sales slump on Etsy in 2017? You're not alone; this report makes for bleak reading stating that despite the increase in Etsy buyers, they're spending roughly 2.9% less each year, which in short, means MORE active buyers, but each is spending LESS. That's not good for business especially when 73% of all Etsy sellers consider their shop a business.

It is estimated that one in every 40 businesses in the UK —or 134,000 total—is a small creative business. Whether you call your Etsy or Folksy store a side-hustle or a hobby; let's get clear - if you're making money from it; even if it's teeny tiny - it's still a business and wouldn't it be great to see that teeny-tiny amount grow and grow?

 Bleak House is a beautiful online lifestyle store helping you to seek the adventure in everyday life.  Powered by Shopify.

Bleak House is a beautiful online lifestyle store helping you to seek the adventure in everyday life. Powered by Shopify.

Ok, so why do I want you to make a switch to Shopify; well not only will your marketing efforts be more fruitful because you'll be directing people from Instagram to your very own website where they can't be distracted by the competition. 

Right, so now I've got you wanting your very own website to really showcase your creations, why would you choose Shopify over let's say Squarespace or Wordpress? Squarespace is excellent - and it's what I use to host this site, but it's not really set up for retail (they are trying, but it's just not quite there yet).  It's great for selling downloadables, event tickets and services but it's just not fit for purpose for a retail business with multiple product lines and categories; maybe one day though.

Wordpress is also a great option, but you need someone to build it (£££) and maintain it (££) unless you're tech-savvy. As a small business owner (hello! me too!) time is precious and having something prebuilt but fully customisable is what you need; especially while you are a one-woman-band.

Instagram Shopping Tags

*update 20th March 18* Shopify also has, and this is my favourite feature, an integration with Instagram by way of Shopping Tags! This means that providing you have a Facebook Business Page with a shop, sell a physical product and have a Shopify site you can add shoppable tags to your Instagram posts and potential buyers can click directly through to your products and BUY THEM! Making it really easy to make that sale and create an immersive storefront for people to explore your best products. Shopping on Instagram allows you to tag up to five products in a single post, twenty in a carousel as well as add the usual filters and complete your caption (with a call to action - no more tap link in the bio, they can just tap the post!).

When the buyer taps the image they will be able to see the pricing and product details without leaving the feed. You will also have a Shop button on your business profile where they can access your shop. You can learn more about Shopping on Instagram here.

 Image from  Instagram .

Image from Instagram.

Whatever you choose to go with when you leave Etsy is I ask that you make sure that the following options are available on your platform of choice:

  1. Your website is mobile ready! In actual fact, think mobile first as the majority of shoppers will visit your site on their mobile first, and may never even see your desktop version.  Actinic's report on m-commerce states: "The number of people making a purchase through a mobile platform in the UK increased by 39% in 2016, comprising 86% of UK digital shoppers. Retail m-Commerce sales will total £31.42 billion in 2017. Online stores understand the importance of mobile sites, with 76% of them now providing a mobile version of their site."
  2. Your website is PCI DSS compliant. To put it simply If you handle credit and/or debit cards for any sort of payment (online, offline, telephone, etc.) – you need to be PCI DSS compliant. Failure to do so could cost your business thousands of pounds or even mean your business will be barred from accepting cards in the future.
  3. You have the option to add a blog. Blogging for business is super important, as you need somewhere to drive traffic to your website without all your marketing efforts sending your consumers to your homepage or to a specific product. SO many sites do not have this option and you have to host your blog separately. Not ideal. 
 Mamma & Little is an online store selling modern, fashionable silicone teething jewellery.  Powered by Shopify.

Mamma & Little is an online store selling modern, fashionable silicone teething jewellery. Powered by Shopify.

It will come as no surprise that all three of these features are available on Shopify and that PCI DSS certificate comes as standard, for free.

But, There are dozens and dozens of other features which you can read all about on the website, but they include:

  • Abandoned Cart Recovery. Did you know, 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes a sale! Abandoned Cart Recovery emails on average, recoup around 25% of these "lost" sales. 
  • Search Engine Optimisation. SEO needn't be something you have to outsource as Shopify make it easy for you to optimise your site and ensure you come up in Google search (something you can't guarantee on Etsy).
  • Product Reviews. Yup Etsy has this already, and you're probably keen not to lose this feature especially if you've got lots of positive reviews, well, although you can't import them you can still have product reviews on Shopify, and each review will sit with the relevant product. I'm sure you already know how critical reviews are for customers considering a purchase but did you know just how important? Well, a recent survey by Podium suggests that 93% say online reviews do impact their purchasing decisions. 
 Mister Hound, the one stop shop for treats for your pup.  Powered by   Shopify.

Mister Hound, the one stop shop for treats for your pup. Powered by Shopify.

Keen to switch over to Shopify? Well, let's get you started!

Click here for your 14-day FREE trial and Shopify will guide you through the smooth and speedy set-up process and you can start adding products straight away or decide on your shop theme. 

I would LOVE to see your new shop so do come and join us over in The Small and Mighty Business Community and share your link.

*Please note, I am a proud Shopify Partner and recommend Shopify to all my clients looking to grow their business through an easy-to-use e-commerce website. By clicking the links to Shopify on my site, as an affiliate, I may earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you sign up for the 14-day free trial or make a purchase. As always, thank you for trusting my recommendations.