The Internet is quickly becoming the marketplace of choice for many consumers.
A small business or business startup that neglects the potential of online retailing does so at their own peril. Although there's no such thing as a sure thing in business, here's something you can count on . . . Your competition is online and they're doing everything they can to capture your share of the e-commerce marketplace.
The good news is that taking your business online doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. If you're intent on creating your own, in-house e-commerce platform, you better have deep pockets. But if you're like many retailers, you will find that a third-party online shopping cart provider is more than capable of getting the job done at an affordable price.
Shopify is considered to be one of the easiest to use hosted shopping cart solutions. If you are an experienced technology user, you will appreciate the broad range of features and benefits Shopify offers for small retailers. Novice users, on the other hand, appreciate the fact that Shopify is designed to be highly accessible to the beginner level online merchant – regardless of their technological expertise. Here are just a few of the many features you can expect from this simple and streamlined e-commerce software solution.
- Easy setup. Setting up your online store couldn't be easier than it is with Shopify. You have the option of choosing from over 50 free and premium Shopify themes or designing your own theme with HTML and CSS access.
- Product management. Shopify is know for providing retailers with a simplified user interface for product management. Their UI lets you quickly classify products, create product descriptions and generate product tags to help your customers locate your products.
- Marketing resources. Another nice feature of Shopify is that it is a search engine friendly shopping cart. The system automatically generates a site map, which is a useful tool for indexing your site with popular search engines. Google Analytics can be integrated into your storefront so you can analyze how your customers are interacting with your site and design strategies to encourage deeper site penetration.
- Order processing. The UI is also designed to give you no-hassle tracking of customer purchases. Customers can make payments through integrated payment processing with Google Checkout and PayPal. Although you can opt to handle your own shipping, you can also choose to set up a bulk shipping account with Shipwire or Fulfillment (Amazon) and let them make sure your customers receive their merchandise.