Look at any list or ranking of available ecommerce platforms and you’ll generally find Shopify ranked number one. It doesn’t matter if you are comparing all-in-one, hosted ecommerce solutions, ecommerce marketplaces, or self-setup with a platform like WordPress – it’s Shopify at the top of the list, consistently.
This isn’t because Shopify is the cheapest, it certainly isn’t for lack of competition, and it’s not like Shopify has the backing of a web-giant like Google or eBay. The reason is because Shopify’s features are, hands-down, the best.
Frankly, there are too many great Shopify features to compile in one place. And when you consider what is being added by the ever-expanding Shopify app store, a truly comprehensive list of features may in-fact be impossible. But, here are a few of our favorite Shopify features that we think go a long way to placing it in the number one spot.
Speed and Security
Speed is such an important part of the internet browsing experience these days. The longer a page takes to load, the less likely people are to sit around and wait for what is on the other side. According to Web Designer Depot, the average load time on the internet is 5 seconds. Load time is an even bigger deal for ecommerce sites. Google puts the “acceptable” load time for ecommerce sites at 2 seconds, but they aim for a half a second or less. Amazon says that conversions drop by 7% for every single second of delay.
That’s all to say that your ecommerce site needs to be blazing fast, both to get people in the door, as well as to install shopper confidence in a smooth checkout process.
The issue for a lot of ecommerce platforms is that processing payments online requires additional actions for security and compliance that can add strain on the backend, thus increasing load times.
Shopify nails it on both counts, every time. Their payment processing and hosting meet strict security requirements, they are level-1 PCI compliant, and every store comes with a 256-bit SSL certificate to display to your customers with confidence – all without sacrificing a millisecond of speed.
Sell on Social Media
This isn’t going to be for everybody, but we love this feature because it illustrates how Shopify is a great option for any type of ecommerce business. Through Shopify, even a small business without the need for a fully-fledged online storefront can sell products directly through social media.
Businesses can set up a fully integrated Facebook store, buyable pins through Pinterest, and even make sales directly through a tweet, with customers never having to leave Twitter. Not only that, but with embeddable “Buy Buttons,” store owners can add the ability to purchase a product to any website.
With Shopify, processing orders goes from being a hassle to a breeze. This is largely because Shopify automates much of the process, taking care of checkout and payment in the background. Customer items are saved to shopping carts, so all they have to do is choose their shipping method – using either your presets or automatically set carrier rates – then enter their payment information, and they are done. Orders show up in your dashboard and from there its as simple as handing a package to your shipping carrier.
Businesses that run entirely online, like web-based software platforms, frequently have a lot of trouble with customer support. Not so with Shopify. When something goes wrong, you run into the unexpected, or even just encounter something confusing while building or managing your store, Shopify is there with fast, accurate 24/7 customer support.
Beyond just responding to problems through, Shopify provides a wealth of resources, from online guides, to videos and podcasts, to a comprehensive ecommerce business encyclopedia, and a vast and active forum community where you can read and participate in discussions on the apps, accounting, wholesale, or even get feedback on your store.
One benefit of being the top ecommerce platform is that you know Shopify is used to handling boatloads of data. So, when it comes to analytics for your own store, you can trust Shopify to generate high-quality, accurate, detailed reports. They’ll show you where customers are coming from, how they found your store, which products are selling well and which aren’t, data about orders, data about traffic – and your store will work with Google Analytics, so you’ll have full access to Google’s suite of tools as well.
Marketing & SEO Tools
Ecommerce sites are frequently only as good as their marketing efforts. After all, it’s no good having an online store if you can’t get people to show up and buy things. Fortunately, Shopify provides access to a wealth of marketing and SEO tools. Many of the best features/most advanced marketing and SEO features are going to be available through the third-party app store, but Shopify does offer some solid basic options built-in from the get-go.
For instance, Shopify allows you to create separate landing pages from your main site for use in specific promotional or marketing campaigns. They also have great SEO features, with clean, crawlable code and the ability to add title tags and meta descriptions. Shopify also makes it easy to use Google AdWords, send newsletters through MailChimp, allows SEO-friendly product reviews, and much more.
Shopify’s feature set is second to none in the ecommerce world. So whether you are just dipping a toe into the ecommerce pool or you are running a huge successful online sales empire, Shopify is going to be a great option to handle your needs, and will give help you grow through the process, all on a single platform.
Ready to discuss your ecommerce website needs? Contact the team at 10twelve today.