5 Tips You Need to Know Before Digitising Your Business on Shopify
8 minute read
Shopify is a well-known eCommerce platform used to build and run online stores. This platform is so great that more than 1.2 million people are using it in more than 170 countries worldwide.
Business owners use Shopify to sell both online with their own website or in person with Shopify POS. The best bit about this eCommerce website builder is that it was built for all users – from beginners to experienced eCommerce experts.
On top of that, Shopify can be used for all kinds of businesses. One can sell physical products, digital products, services, or even classes and lessons using the platform. This is why many entrepreneurs see Shopify as a great opportunity to expand their business operations digitally.
If you are thinking about doing this same thing, keep reading. Below you will find essential important tips that should be considered before giving Shopify a green light
Shifting to a digital platform
The first and one of the most important steps towards the digitizing effort surely has to be the shift to a digital platform.
This is a stage that is usually difficult, since you are required to use both technical and financial assets. To be precise, you will need to invest an amount of money and learn or hire an expert if you are not familiar with the technical side of things.
Next up is the leadership and the willingness to adopt new technologies. In order to go through this digital transformation, the leadership (leading positions) has to be up for certain changes.
First of all, a vision is needed in order to succeed. A good manager or an owner would then plan out each part of the way with the aim of leading the organization through this digital journey.
Additionally, the transformation that your business is about to embrace is a substantial one. It will require changes in more than your employees’ daily routines. Sometimes, this means changing roles, changing departments, or an overhaul of the organizational structure.
This is something worth considering. After all, making a change in job duties could enable some employees (if not all of them) to take a breath of fresh air when it comes to their career paths.
Finally, there are two more things to consider regarding the shift to a digital platform. One deals with the digital experience and the other, consequently, deals with the skills of your IT department employees.
For a business to succeed in a digital world and to go through this transformation smoothly, it needs to be staffed with people who live digital and breathe data. In order to fully comprehend the digital experience offered to customers, managers have to be comfortable with the new technology themselves.
Hence, your business has to be aware of how skilled and knowledgeable its IT experts are. Bear in mind that for digitally mature organizations the change is manageable, but some businesses might have to restructure and invest more deeply to embrace the digital environment.
5 tips to know before going Shopify
There is little to no sense in digitizing without proper preparations. If you do not have a plan, some kind of a roadmap for the future, you will have a hard time achieving what you want.
These tips should be taken seriously, as they will make the whole process smoother and both you and your team will not feel this transition that many find a bit difficult. Once you make the transition, you will be ready to adapt fast, since you went prepared from day one.
1. Define your priorities and set the goals
- What do you want to achieve by going digital?
- Is your business mission going to change?
- Do you need to redefine your target market?
These questions need to be answered if you want great results. Focus on aligning the business goals and your mission with the purpose of going digital.
Schedule a meeting with every stakeholder, check if your managers think that this idea is fine and that you really need that kind of move right now.
Once you have conducted this kind of evaluation and approved the idea with your colleagues, you will be ready to establish your business goals and desired results.
These questions need to be answered during the meeting with your team members:
- Why do you need to transform?
- What do you need to do it successfully?
- How can you do it?
2. Profile branding and marketing
Shopify is a platform that allows a high degree of customization. This means that all users can take advantage of this fact to bolster their branding and marketing efforts.
The platform allows a user to edit all the webpages according to their own style and needs. The best bit about this is that you do not have to be a professional to do something like that. Just buy an existing template if you are unfamiliar with the technical side of things. On the other hand, you could create your own template from scratch.
Companies that are large in number usually have employees that are capable of solving these requests. So, this should not be a problem if you have a good designer on board.
Do not overlook this tip. Customizing means setting yourself apart from the rest. Ultimately, that is what will give you an edge over the rivals. So, make sure to get creative with your team members and figure out what you need to do aesthetically to best reflect what your business is all about.
For a start, define your brand image. A solid and unique brand image helps customers attach value to your eCommerce brand’s personality. This covers various things such as logos, banners, marketing captions, social content, and so on, which should always represent your brand in the best light.
This is very important if you want to create value for potential customers and convert them into loyal customers. A great brand image helps a lot when it comes to customer retention, as it generates interest in what your brand has to offer.
As an eCommerce brand, you have to be on top of your game branding-wise. This has a direct impact on attracting product vendors as well as consumers to your online store. Vendors will be interested in using your marketplace only if it has a strong brand that keeps providing value to customers.
The number of sellers and customers you bring in depends on the strength of your eCommerce brand, and how well it delivers what it promises. If you are wise in your branding and consistent in your service quality, your eCommerce brand can achieve substantial success.
Remember, eCommerce branding influences the perception of your brand and its services. That is why you should create the best perception possible.
3. Set up domains, URL, and SEO
Once you start setting up your Shopify store, you will see that you can either buy a new domain or you can transfer the domain associated with your existing store to your new Shopify account.
If you’d like to get a new domain, you can buy it from Shopify. Once you have bought the domain, set your Shopify domain as your primary so it becomes the domain that your customers see in their browser, in search results, and on social media.
A good thing to do would be to set up email forwarding so your customers can email you at your new address connected to the domain. Also, send yourself a couple of test messages to ensure that you can receive customer inquiries.
However, using a third party domain (transferring it) is a bit more complicated. Once you get this step done, move on to the URL redirects setup. It is important to set up URL redirects for pages that customers might have bookmarked.
This minimizes the risk of losing customers who return to a page and find it unavailable after you have moved to Shopify.
To do this, log in to the platform you are moving from. Then, find the URL redirects section and enter your old URL in the from field and a new Shopify URL in the to field.
Repeat this process for all the URLs you wish to redirect.
Finally, it is vital to take great care of SEO. Search engine optimization efforts are what places your website high on the search results page. After all, eCommerce businesses can succeed or fail depending on the ability to attract new customers.
Most customers look for something online through search engines such as Google or Bing. These search engines are created to use a variety of information from websites to create a ranked list of results for a specific search query.
Search engines determine which websites are most likely to be relevant to the search. According to that, they then show the results in order of their relevance.
Logically, there are numerous factors that can either make your store appear higher in search results or not:
- Number of organic links directing to your store from other websites
- Authority of the website based on engagement and other factors
- Domain age
- Website structure and content
Bear in mind, however, that it takes time to build a reputation for your brand and get other websites to link to yours. So, plan for the long term and make sure you have that in mind when thinking about your content strategy.
In the short term, it would be very easy for your website to get more traffic by optimizing the content so that a search engine recognizes it as relevant to queries related to your products.
4. Additional plug-ins that can enhance your pages
Shopify has almost 4,000 different plugins in the store. More than 1,500 of them are completely free.
As a store owner, this piece of information should make you happy. This means that you can use a free plugin to automate some dull tasks that would otherwise get in your way on a daily basis.
Still, bear in mind that there are plugins free to download, but they may require you to pay to use their best functionalities.
Remember that each plugin takes time to set up and each one affects the loading speed of your website. Hence, it is crucial to know what you need and be selective.
Take a look at a few plugins that have worked well for most business owners on Shopify.
Stock Sync is a great plugin that deals with inventory management. It has more than 60 methods to load inventory feeds. Thousands of stores use this tool to update inventory or import products that do not even exist yet.
This plugin helps when it comes to managing a store with multiple suppliers’ feeds. A free trial is offered to test out the plugin.
Rise is a loyalty program, store credit, gift cards, and rewards plugin. It allows users to take advantage of gift cards to increase revenue and loyalty and to drive new customers to your store.
Yandex is a real-time traffic, performance analytics, and session replays plugin. This app allows users to easily connect their Shopify store to Yandex.Metrica website. The website is free traffic analytics similar to Google Analytics with several unique extra features.
5. Review customer feedback
As a store owner, you always need to listen to the voice of your customers, as evaluating responses signals respect and dedication. It is up to the business to evaluate and determine the feedback information with the aim of fixing what is broken and improving the business operations.
Hence, communication with customers offers valuable insight into what they like about you and your business. This is why this kind of feedback is important and can be used for the overall marketing strategy too.
Winning new customers and retaining old ones is getting harder, so offering an amazing experience that keeps your customers coming back and referring you to other people is the best way you can stand out from the competition.
That is why it would be wise to send out customer feedback emails. This allows you to keep your finger on the pulse, create a consistent and personalized experience, and retain customers if they grow frustrated or see something that they consider to be a better deal.
Fortunately, digital channels make it realistic to collect qualitative feedback with quantitative data.
Digital channels make it much easier for an organization to track and investigate why a client may not be reaching their goal. Shopping cart abandonment used to be difficult to measure and the reasons behind it even more so.
However, now it is easy to address this issue. It is worth investing in a sales funnel that is popular with customers, which, in turn, gives you the needed information to react and fix issues.
Shopify deserves all the glory it receives thanks to its great functionalities. That is why this platform is one of the best eCommerce platforms around.
Take these tips from this guide into consideration to set yourself up for success in the eCommerce world. It’s time to move forward and the only way to do so is to digitise. So be smart and do it properly.