The new year is the best time to start if you’ve ever considered launching an online store! Online store owners have so many opportunities in the eCommerce industry right now. We live in a post-pandemic world where we all live on our phones. Now more than ever, social media continues to be our safe place. Shopping online has just simply become a norm in people’s lives. When considering which platform to start your store on, Shopify is easily one of the most trusted. It has over one million stores – and is on the way to two million. Don’t worry about eCommerce being too overly saturated, though. Truly anyone can start an online store if they set their mind to it, follow best practices, and market themselves appropriately.
When the pandemic hit, people who had never shopped online had little to no choice but to do so. At the time, it was the only way to shop for anything, whether for food, clothes, or anything to spark joy during hard times. Even after the pandemic, shopping online is still a largely preferred method even though people are back to physical shopping. These five reasons are why we at Growth Spark feel it’s the best idea to start a Shopify store of your own!
5 Reasons to Launch a Shopify Store in 2023
Low start-up costs
Shopify makes store setup incredibly easy
There are plenty of industries to start with
More than ever before, there are more payment options available to us
Marketing in this social media-driven world is easy if you do it right!
#1 Low Start-Up Costs
With Shopify, it doesn’t require any money upfront to start your own eCommerce business. It offers six different plans to fit a variety of needs. Naturally, the more expensive the plan, the more features you get. However, you don’t need the pricier plans when you’re just starting out. Once your store gets more traction, you start making more money, and you can easily switch to a higher Shopify plan. As you grow, these plans grow with you.
Today I’m focusing on the first four plans, but stay tuned for a later post where I’ll walk you through every single Shopify plan in detail!
Shopify Starter – $5/month
Shopify Lite – $9/month
Shopify Basic – $29/month
Shopify Plan – $79/month
Advanced Shopify – $299/month
Shopify Plus – $2000/month
Shopify Starter – $5/month
Shopify Starter Plan Graphic – shopify.com/starter
The Shopify Starter Plan is for merchants (or store owners) who want to sell to their customers only through social media platforms and/or messaging apps. With this plan, you won’t be maintaining an online store website. This plan allows you to create product links that you share on your social media posts or in messages like in the image above. The only caveat is that this plan is only available for new merchants and those in Shopify’s free trial period. Shopify Starter is perfect if you want to test the waters of selling your products on social media without running an online store.
Shopify Lite Plan – $9/month
Example of Shopify Buy Button on a Showit website – saffronavenue.com
Shopify Lite is for merchants who want to sell products but still don’t want the responsibility of maintaining an online store. You can simply sell your products straight from any non-Shopify blog or website like WordPress or Showit. This works by using the “Shopify Buy Button” that you embed directly onto your blog posts or website to sell your products. When a customer clicks the button, it opens up a Shopify checkout page so they can buy the product without being directed to an online store to complete the purchase.
Another advantage of this plan is you can sell products in person using Shopify’s POS [point-of-sale] app. This opens up possibilities to sell almost anywhere online or in a physical space! The best part, Shopify POS is available on ALL plans except the Starter plan.
Shopify Basic Plan – $29/month
The Shopify Basic Plan is for merchants who dream of starting an online store where you can create, customize and maintain your products all within one place. Your store’s admin is where all the online magic happens! This plan provides features such as creating your online store, competitive transaction fees, a blog, SSL certificates, and international commerce. The reporting you get in this plan is incredibly beneficial for your growth. You can view and track actions such as financial reports, product analytics, inventory reports, marketing reports, and more. This plan provides you with everything you need to run a successful online store! Shopify Basic also allows for up to two staff accounts, so if you and your bestie want to run the store together, you can!
Shopify Plan – $79/month
The Shopify Plan is the one that we recommend if you can spare a little bit more money a month! You get everything listed in the Shopify Basic Plan with the addition of lower credit card rates and transaction fees. This plan also includes more robust reporting. These additional reports are sales reporting, profit reports, customer reports, and more. This plan also allows up to five staff accounts if you want to run a business with a group of friends!
Tapestry Girls Product Grid – tapestrygirls.com
Each plan is valuable for its own reasons. Whichever one you choose, just be sure it fits your wants, needs, and goals. Shopify Lite may be best for an artist that sells physical products and focuses on in-person sales at flea markets. Shopify Basic or the Shopify Plan may be best for an online clothing store just to get started in the industry. Look at each plan individually and compare them while you imagine the store YOU want to create. With Shopify, you can always upgrade or downgrade if you need to! To get a closer look at each plan, check out Shopify’s pricing page for details! Once you select your desired plan, it’s time to create your store – our absolute favorite part of the process!
#2 Shopify makes store setup incredibly easy
At Growth Spark, we love showing every one of our clients how easy it is to use and maintain a Shopify store. You 100% do not need to be an eCommerce expert to get set up. To date, Shopify has 111 free and paid-for Shopify-vetted themes that you can choose from. A theme is the appearance or “skin” of your store. It gives your website and online shop the look and feel of your brand. With Shopify, you don’t have to worry about setting up anything regarding the buyer’s journey (adding a product to the cart and checking out). Shopify has all of that automatically configured for you. All you have to do is choose a theme you like, set your fonts and colors, add content and images that fit your brand, add your products, and go live!
A major benefit of using a Shopify theme is that your store will automatically be built for every device size. These themes are built responsively, meaning they’ll adjust whether you’re shopping on your computer, phone, or tablet. Mobile eCommerce has seen particularly rapid growth worldwide, with Insider Intelligence forecasting that m-eCommerce will grow at a 25.5 percent compound annual rate until 2024.
There are websites where you can purchase themes for your Shopify store, like Themeforest, but we don’t recommend using those. Themes displayed in Shopify’s Theme Store are reviewed and given the stamp of approval by Shopify developers themselves. They all meet specific requirements and standards that keep you and your customers in mind. Choosing a theme from the Theme Store will ensure a successful build and launch. With Shopify, you’re in good, supporting hands.
Screenshot of the Shopify Theme Store – themes.shopify.com
#3 There are plenty of industries to start with
If the desire of owning your own store is getting stronger but you’re not sure where to start or what to sell, we’re here to let you know that you that you can sell just about anything! If you have a physical, local business already, you can easily create an online version with Shopify. Don’t have products to sell? Shopify doesn’t just make it easy to sell products. You can also sell services! The only difference would be, we would recommend finding a more content-heavy theme than a theme strictly for shopping. Service-based Shopify stores are just as valuable as regular eCommerce stores.
Here are some industries that continue to strive on Shopify and eCommerce.
Clothing and fashion stores
Art and home décor stores
Electronics and gadget stores
Jewelry and accessories stores
Food and drink stores
Beauty and health stores
Home and garden stores
#4 There are more payment options available
In the past, there was only one way to check out on an eCommerce store. You couldn’t pay if you didn’t have a credit or debit card. Stores eventually started using payment options such as PayPal to check out in addition to a card. This option has since expanded to many payment options offered by Shopify. You can now accept Meta Pay (formerly Facebook Pay), Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, and even cryptocurrency!
A popular payment option has been “Buy Now, Pay Later,” or BNPL, apps. These apps make it easier for people to pay for items. They make their purchase and then make small payments until the item is fully paid off, similar to that of a credit card. Affirm, Sezzle, Afterpay, and Klarna are all popular options of this payment method. You may have already seen some of these in stores you’ve shopped at! The benefit of these payments is that most of these do not come with interest charges as long as people make scheduled payments. According to Investopedia, each app is best suited for specific types of checking out. These are something to consider for your store.
- Best Overall: Affirm
- Best for Flexible Payment Plans: Sezzle
- Best for Students: Afterpay
- Best for Large Purchases: Klarna
Another popular option Shopify offers is called a Dynamic Checkout Button. Typically, a user will see an “Add to Cart” button with an addition of either a “Buy Now” or “Buy With ---” button. The “Add to Cart” button simply adds the item to their cart. Then the user can view their cart and go check out. The “Buy Now” button skips the cart and takes the user right to the checkout page once the button is clicked. It’s great for getting your users to purchase faster and easier. The “Buy With ---” button lets you check out with a user’s preferred third-party application to pay. Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Shop Pay, and Venmo are all examples of these third-party apps.
Example of a Dynamic Checkout Button
All of these payment options put the purchasing power in the hands of your customers. It gives them control over their buying process. The easier the checkout process is for them, the better experience they have overall with your brand, and makes it more likely that they’ll come back to shop again!
#5 Marketing in the social media-driven world is easy - if you do it right!
When marketing both your store and products, the goal is to get your products out to the specific audience(s) that will purchase from you. The more niche your products are, the better. Your niche is the specific group of people you want to sell to that will buy your products. If you want to sell merchandise that’s geared toward movie buffs, roll with that and get even more specific. Maybe you want to create items with your favorite Harry Potter quotes or references to your favorite Horror movies. When you post about these products on social media, simply use hashtags (#) that Harry Potter or Disney fans use. The more specific your hashtags are in your posts, the closer to your audience you will get.
Social media is dominating the eCommerce industry and for good reason! Nowadays, social media is being used to not only market your products but to also sell them. As much as a website is needed to thrive, there are now other means to get your products out there. You can sell on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest in addition to your Shopify store.
When shopping online, the first device people usually use is whatever is most convenient at the time. Most of the time, that’s their mobile phone. According to Forbes, social commerce is expected to grow 3x as fast as traditional commerce by 2025. Millennials, Gen-Z, and Gen-X are taking advantage of these digital times, and store owners should be doing the same. This means you need to be where your audience is.
When it comes to marketing, each social media platform has different strategies and best practices. The same strategy that works well on Instagram will not work the same on Pinterest. We recommend you doing your due diligence and study up on each platform to learn the tricks and techniques that will get your business to the people that want to see it. One type of content that works great across all platforms is video. Video marketing is huge today. People love “video shopping!” Depending on your audience, they will prefer either watching long or short-form videos. YouTube is the best for longer videos, and TikTok or Instagram Reels are best for shorter videos. They want to see the products in use and watch the proof as the products do what they’re marketed to do.
Shopify’s YouTube channel has great videos on how to take advantage of social media platforms and how to market your products.
Have we convinced you yet? 😜 Let's sum it up!
Starting a Shopify store in 2023 is a great way to earn extra money or passive income. With low start-up costs and how easy Shopify makes setting up a store, we absolutely recommend you give it a shot! You can be successful in any industry if you have a passion for the products or services you create and have a place to sell them. You want to give your customers a good shopping experience so they’re more likely to come back. That means selling products they’ll love and relate to, ensuring your site is easy to navigate, and making sure they can check out with ease. Allowing them to check out with the use of Shopify’s Dynamic Checkout Button will certainly help with that. Once your store is set up, start marketing your products everywhere your customers will be. Who do you want to sell to? What platforms do they like to use? Where do they like to shop? Answering these questions will only make things easier for your marketing strategy!
For online stores that are more established that require help with sales, brand recognition, or migrating to Shopify from another eCommerce platform, Growth Spark can help! To ensure best practices and a quick launch timeline, we custom-select a Shopify theme and use its provided out-of-the-box features to create a site for your business. For Growth Spark+ clients, we then customize the theme for your brand and configure it to meet yours and your customers' needs.