Like a ton of online entrepreneurs - we started our e-commerce business (Liberty Jane) selling on eBay then added a Wordpress site. Then discovered Shopify in 2013.
Looking back, it's obvious now why Shopify is superior to Wordpress, but at the time, we weren't sure.
In this post, I'll share why (functionally) we prefer Shopify for e-commerce selling. But first...
Disclaimer: I use Wordpress sites, both hosted and self-hosted, for blogging - and really like them for that purpose. I'm not trying to bash Wordpress in any way.
But if you're an e-commerce entrepreneur trying to decide on website options, I think this article will shed some light.
The first real problem we encountered with using Wordpress for e-commerce is, there is no such thing as a "self-hosted" Wordpress site. This confused us at first. What is "hosting"? But over time our thinking got clearer. What is implied by the phrase...
Starting a new Shopify site can be intimidating. Here is a checklist that will help you make it systematic.
Domain Name Availability: Check on www.godaddy.com to see if the domain name you want is available. If you can't get the Dot Com version, move on to another idea. Your primary goal should be to pick something that is available, memorable, meaningful, and easy to say.
Search Engine Availability: Google it - and make sure there aren't people, products, or companies that are already using the name you want. If it looks like it is a crowded field, with well-established sites and brands operating professionally - go back to the drawing board and look for another naming idea.
Trademark Availability: Go to www.trademarks.justia.come and search to see if someone already owns the name as a registered trademark in the industry you want to operate in. If so, go back to the drawing board.
Business Name Availability: Go to your...
Commerce is in the middle of a massive transition - slowly creeping from offline transactions to some version of their online equivalent. Like an iceberg, slowly moving downhill, this creeping transactional - transition is at the same time incredibly slow, and crushingly fast.
I feel lucky to be an observer, right up close, seeing the transition from ground level. As a former SVP of Marketing at an old-world organization (A University) I led a team as we struggled through the transition to online selling (and online delivery of our programs) - and as a kitchen table entrepreneur with my wife, we struggled (and struggle daily) to find our way in the brave new world of competitive online selling.
I've also had the privilege of teaching Online Marketing at the University level - as well as teaching my Shopify Power course to over 1,000 students via Udemy (an online learning marketplace).
In this post, I'd like to share what I call the E-commerce Formula - The...
The Shopify platform allows you to build an ecommerce website using a technology concept referred to as "What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG).
Via WYSIWYG you edit your site to create a unique homepage, product pages, blog posts, and other pages like the About Me page. The editing system is not overly complicated and it has enable millions of non-coders to manage websites effectively.
And Shopify has fantastic tutorials to help you at every step of the journey.
Learning Website Basics
But using WYSIWYG functionality is a trade skill that does take time and talent. I call all of the skills associated with this topic the website basics. These are things you need to learn to operate a site effectively. They include:
The Shopify platform is designed to work well for non-technical people. By that I mean, people who don't know how to code. But that doesn't mean it's totally simple either. The best practical training you can get prior to setting up a Shopify site is to have sold previously on another ecommerce marketplace site such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy or even Craigslist.
If you've never sold on one of those platforms, then it'd be a wise idea to try to sell there first. You'll learn what I call the ecommerce basics, concepts like:
How to create sales volume, plan growth, and forecasting demand based on customer signals
These ecommerce basics aren't complicated to learn and they form the foundation of an effective...