2015 Wix Review: Is It Your eCommerce Solution?

Wix.com Logo
There's no denying the realm of digital commerce is growing at leaps and bounds. In order to stay competitive you must offer customers a stable, functional and captivating eCommerce solution.

While there are many well-equipped solutions on the current market, many start-up ventures and established retailers continually turn to Wix for their eCommerce solution. Take a moment to explore the features, technologies and cost-advantages of this engaging eCommerce interface.

Wix eCommerce – Simplifying the Art of Digital Sales


Along with offering standard features, such as a fully-functioning website builder, Wix has cultivated a series of features and technologies geared toward the digital retailer. Before delving into specific features, the following highlights are why Wix has quickly become the go-to eCommerce solution.

  • Payment Methods - Unlike many eCommerce solutions, which feature limited payment options, Wix offers its users access to a variety of online and offline payment methods.
  • Fully Customizable Product Page Layouts - The design and layout of your products page plays a direct role in visitor conversions. Wix now offers an enhanced product page layout tool capable of custom-designed layouts with a simple click of a button – no coding required!
  • Captivating Visual Effects - Modern online shoppers are picky. Not only do they require a fast-loading website, but once loaded, they demand visually captivating layouts. Wix offers a variety of custom visual effects designed to highlight products without distracting visitor attention.
  • Customer Engagement - The most important step in retaining a customer is through valuable communication. Wix offers a host of customer-centric features, such as a custom “Thank You” post-purchase message, which assist in solidifying customer loyalty.
  • Mobile Store Optimization - Not all customers use a traditional browser. The use of mobile devices to make online purchases is ever-increasing. Wix offers built-in mobile store optimization for all hosted eCommerce store fronts.

Add a Dose of Character and Personality To Your Online Store


Unlike many other eCommerce solutions, Wix offers a host of store design features. You only get one chance to make a great first impression. With the following features, attracting and sustaining visitor attention through design is simple and powerful.

  • Pre-Designed Templates - Do you desire a breathtaking online store, but don't know the knowledge or budget for a professionally designed website? Wix offers a solution for you. With 100s of visually captivating templates, Wix allows even novice online retailers access to aesthetically pleasing websites.
  • Product Page Customization - After you've chosen the overall layout, customize the final style by selecting a unique product gallery color scheme, row widths and page elements.
  • Product-Specific Pages - The more information you offer a potential customer, the greater the likelihood of a conversion. Wix allows each product in your store to have its own page. When a visitor clicks on a specific product in your gallery, its assigned page is automatically populated, which provides visitors with in-depth information and streamlined checkout.

Simplify the Complicated With Advanced Payment Options


The appearance of your eCommerce store is valuable; however, its functionality is the true marker for success. Wix understands this concept, and has developed a host of payment-oriented features to streamline payment while supporting a host of payment options.

  • Simple Purchasing Power - Prevent losing another customer due to a long checkout process with Wix eCommerce. Once implemented, customers may access their shopping cart and proceed to checkout with only a few clicks of their mouse. Access to their shopping cart is never lost or buried, and finalizing the checkout process is fully-supported.
  • Payment Flexibility - Attract a larger audience by accepting a variety of payment options. Wix supports online payments through PayPal, Authorize.net, PayU and WebMoney – just to name a few.
  • Offline Payments - Not every customer wishes to pay online. Cater to this specific group by accepting offline payments without complicating the process.
  • Accepted Currency - eCommerce has made the digital marketplace a small arena. To maintain forward momentum, it's essential to accept a variety of currencies. Wix supports almost any currency, which allows you to accept orders from around the globe.

Simplified Shipping Techniques


Take the confusion and frustration out of shipping your products with Wix simplified shipping. Shipping rules and financial considerations can dramatically vary based upon what you're shipping and its final destination. Wix understands this, and has implemented a variety of features to streamline this complex process.

  • Product-Specific Shipping Rules - Stop trying to figure out shipping costs and other product-specific considerations. Wix allows you to designate shipping rules for specific products, such as price modifications based upon customer location, product weight and shipping service.
  • Shipping Limits - Don't worry about accidentally accepting an order from a customer who's outside your delivery area. Wix limits customers based upon your approved geographic area.
  • Customized Handling Fee - Preparing products for shipment can be a time-consuming process. Wix offers an optional “Handling Fee” to be automatically calculated into the final sales price.

Manage Your Store With Accuracy and Precision


Much like a traditional store, managing an eCommerce store is essential for success. Wix offers its customers a variety of administrative-level features and technologies. All features are designed to simplify the often complex process of tracking, managing and overseeing orders.

  • Manage All Activity - Wix offers administrator's a private-access page, which displays all administrative data and information. From here, organize and add products, establish payment options, set product-specific pricing and even create and distribute coupon codes.
  • Track Orders with Ease - Never become overwhelmed by tracking new and completed orders. Wix automatically gathers and organizes order-related data. To assist in this process, the Manage My Store option assigned a unique ID number to all orders, and automatically updates inventory and other spreadsheets.
  • Customer Tracking - Explore customer-specific orders and information based upon customer name or email address. From here, you may explore order history, contact information and order status (shipped, in-transit, delivered, etc.).
  • Manage Inventory Like a Pro - Never receive an order you can't fill with the Wix inventory features. Inventory amounts and details are automatically collected and updated with each order. With various alert thresholds, you'll receive an alert the moment a customer attempts to order an out-of-stock item, which allows you to instantly connect with this customer to resolve the issue.

Wix eCommerce Plan Options and Pricing


The Wix eCommerce solution is available in two price options. While these are among the more expensive plans offered by this company, you're given not only access to the eCommerce solution, but also a myriad of advanced-level features and options.

The Unlimited Plan

This is the plan they say is for you entrepreneurs & freelancers.  I would call this a middle of the road plan with some great features at this budget friendly price.

  • Free Domain for 1 year
  • Free Advertising Vouchers
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • 2 Premium Apps Free
  • 10 GB of Storage

The eCommerce Plan

Classified as the best plan for small businesses, the eCommerce Plan offers users not only access to the entire eCommerce library, but also features, such as:

  • Free Domain for 1 Year
  • Free Advertising Vouchers (up to $350)
  • Free Premium App Vouchers (up to $118)
  • 20GB of Storage
  • 10GB of Bandwidth
  • Google Analytics
  • $24.90 Per Month – Note: Wix runs regular specials, which reduce the overall cost of this plan.

The VIP Plan

The VIP Plan is the highest-rated plan offered by Wix. This top-of-the-line plan provides access to the complete eCommerce feature library, as well as unique features only available to subscribers. Top features of the VIP Plan include:

  • VIP Support Line – Provides instant access to professional support staff 24 hours a day, seven days per week
  • 20GB of Storage
  • Unlimited Monthly Bandwidth
  • Professional Site Review – Have your entire website critiqued by a design specialist.
  • Priority Service – Receive priority access to phone and chat support staff. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of this feature is the Instant Response feature, which instantly connects you to a support specialist, regardless of the time of day or night.
  • $39.90 Per Month Note: Wix runs near-constant specials and discounts, which significantly reduces the monthly VIP Plan rate (in some instances, by nearly 50 percent). 

 

Wix Arena 

 

The Wix arena is pretty cool, you can hire a designer to get it done for you.  So for instance, maybe you want a detailed and unique website template to start your eCommerce website.  Well you can get quotes and more here for that.

No commitment quotes - the nice thing is you can reach out to these pros in their field and get a quote from them without having to worry to pay up front.  Nice to know what your getting in to with this.

Wix Forum - Wix has a forum in their arena where you can bounce ideas off the pros or get some site feedback.  A great addition to get your site up to the level you want it to be.

Become a web designer - Wix gives you the ability to not only run your store, but also jump in and offer your skills for hire.  A nice additional way to help, and as well, profit from this area.

This also gives you the ability to create quite a portfolio of customers that could end up being repeat too, just a FYI.

Budget Awareness - To me it sounds like Wix wants to make sure they cover different budgets and makes you very away of this.  I like that, because personally web design can be quite expensive.  And yes, maybe once your eCommerce website grows you can afford it.  But it is good to know that a web designer is here that is right in your budget.  


Wix History & Company Info

 

I figured I’d share some stats I found about Wix and their history.  

Founded – 2006 by Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami and Giora Kaplan.  Wix entered an open beta phase in 2007 which used the Adobe Flash platform.  In April 2010 Wix reached 3.5 million users and raised $10 million in series C funding provided by Benchmark Capital.  In 2011, Wix had 8.5 million users and raised $40 million in Series D funding.

Wix locations – San Francisco, New York City, Dnipropetrovsk (don’t worry, can’t say it either, Vilnius, Beersheba and Haifa.  Headquarters are in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Sock Symbol - WIX <--- located on the Nasdaq

Services - Website builder & website hosting

Source: Wix Wikipedia Page

Ready to get started?

 

Flexibility for All Stores and Budgets


While some eCommerce sites may find a few drawbacks with Wix eCommerce solutions, the advantages and capabilities of this provider are leaps-and-bounds greater than many of its competitors. Explore the many options not discussed by visiting Wix eCommerce, and see for yourself whether its features and options can benefit your growing business.



Wix Features That I like



Simple Set Up 

When I clicked on a link to head over to Wix to at least sign up I was figuring 15 minutes total might do the trick.  When I had a website up and my account done in less than 5 minutes I was pretty shocked.  It really is super easy with just a few clicks.  Even when I got to the part in choosing my template it is all broken down for you.

 Plenty Of Plans To Choose From

I like the idea of being able to choose from quite a few different plans, which Wix offers.  From free to $24 bucks and up they have plans that fit your budget, which is important.

My Final Thoughts On Wix:


Wix is a great option for any person looking to build a website.  I had mine up in a matter of minutes and that is no joke right there.  Check it out and see what you think.

Written And Published By Christopher Pontine
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Bigcommerce Review And Guide: Check It Out

Bigcommerce LogoThe realm of eCommerce has evolved from a relatively small sector of Internet users to a $1.2 trillion industry. While traditional storefronts are still a primary point of sale for millions, the injection of digital offerings, and the simplicity of online shopping has led to a statistically significant increase of digital buyers. In fact, the latest research suggests that by 2018 nearly 47.3 percent of all Internet users will purchase products online.

Due to the fierce competitiveness, eCommerce retailers must maintain exceptional user experiences in order to attract and maintain user attention. While the foundation of online success involves the performance and functionality of your website, the design and functionality of an online store is the ultimate deciding factor.

The modern eCommerce store industry is filled with various options and programs designed to “increase your sales,” and “protect your brand.” Although many of these digital storefronts provide solid services, few offer the flexibility, simplicity and branding capabilities as Bigcommerce. With over $4 billion in sales from more than 55,000 digital retailers, Bigcommerce is quickly becoming the top choice among serious eCommerce businesses.

Although its performance statistics are impressive, how does Bigcommerce differ from other eCommerce store applications? Moreover, how can Bigcommerce enhance your sales and brand?

Bigcommerce – Fully Equipped for Success


Upon first glance, Bigcommerce seems quite similar to other eCommerce store applications. However, as you delve into its capabilities and offerings, its potential to skyrocket sales and solidify your online reputation become clear.

This goal is accomplished by offering a digital enterprise complete control over every aspect of their online store. Moreover, its features delve far deeper than a secured shopping portal. Unlike other eCommerce solutions, Bigcommerce allows users to control, market and analyze store performance via the latest in eCommerce technologies.

Create a Visually Captivating eCommerce Store


Internet users are driven by not only performance, but also aesthetics. A well-designed store not only attracts, but also maintains user attention. It's no secret Internet users are fickle.

A single design flaw could result in a potential loss of revenue. Bigcommerce understands the true value of a thoughtfully designed storefront. Therefore, it offers users nearly 15 individual features created to promote visually arresting stores and streamlined navigation. Some of these features include:

  • Pre-Designed Themes - Bigcommerce offers a myriad of professionally designed store themes for all users. All themes provide stunning graphics, high-end navigation and swift rendering speeds for most user platforms. If you have very little design experience, but wish to avoid spending hundreds on a professional graphic designer, these themes may be your saving grace.
  • Code-Free Design Editor - Instead of implementing a pre-built theme, Bigcommerce offers a Style Editor for customized store elements.
  • Streamlined Integration - Users who have an existing eCommerce store can easily integrate their design into the Bigcommerce interface. With a few clicks of a button, an entire enterprise is seamlessly imported and set-up to be used with other Bigcommerce features.

Professional Marketing Capabilities


While you may have a visually compelling eCommerce store, if you don't have visitors then its design is pointless. Bigcommerce understands success is closely connected to marketing. Therefore, all users are offered over 30 features specifically created to assist in your marketing efforts. The most notable features include:

  • Shopping Cart Saver - Did you know that over 70 percent of eCommerce shopping carts are abandoned before the user finishes the checkout process? There are a myriad of reasons as to why this statistic is so high; however, the most successful digital stores are those that assist buyers, even if the shopping cart is abandoned. With the Abandoned Cart Saver feature, user shopping carts are automatically saved for future use. Moreover, this feature allows enterprise administrators to send customizable emails to users in an effort to lure them back. Increase your conversion rates by including a unique coupon code to encourage users to finalize their purchase.
  • Customizable Coupon Codes - Provide discounts and special deals to select users with fully customizable coupon codes. Digital coupons allow full customization, such as limiting code usage, establishing an expiration date and offer a specialized product or shipping discount.
  • Shopping Comparison Sites - Showcase your special pricing or great deals by automatically integrating specific products to various comparison sites. Doing so not only encourages users to check out due to your competitive prices, but displays a sense of loyalty to customers. You wish to get them the best deal, not just make a sale. This “personality” element promotes customer loyalty and brand appeal.

Bigcommerce offers other marketing features, such as:

  • Gift Certificates
  • Customized Promotional Banners
  • Google Analytics Integration
  • Bulk Order Discounts
  • Promotional Campaigns
  • Live Chat Software Integration

Boost Search Engine Page Ranking for Greater Organic Traffic


According to the latest data from Alexa, out of the top one million websites in the world, roughly 10 percent, or 110,000, of these websites were eCommerce. While this is only a small snapshot of the number of digital retailers, it's clear that in order to remain competitive, your business must rank well in major search engines.

Bigcommerce offers users advanced-level features geared toward improving search engine rankings, which is essential to increase organic, and highly-targeted, traffic. SEO-specific features include:

  • Custom URLs - Increase traffic to specific pages through customized page URLs. Bigcommerce allows users to customize: product pages, category pages, web pages, custom pages and bulk URL updates.
  • Automatic Redirects - Prevent users from reaching unavailable pages with automatic redirects. These include 301 redirects and incorrect URL redirects.
  • Custom Page Optimization - Signify specific pages, and boost their rankings in search engines, with custom on-page optimization options. These options include: page titles, meta description, product descriptions and category page descriptions.
  • Automatic HTML Sitemap Creation - Promote higher search engine rankings with a professionally created HTML sitemap. This feature is essential for search engine crawlers to identify and place your website among relevant search results.

Bigcommerce – A Plan for Every Store and Every Budget


The flexibility of Bigcommerce is not only related to its design and features. Administrators for small start-up ventures or sprawling eCommerce corporations can find the ideal solution based on their budget and performance requirements. Bigcommerce offers three primary plans. While the features and capabilities of each plan slightly vary, all are free of contracts. This means you can cancel at any time without facing penalties or fees.

  • The Silver Plan - This entry-level plan offers users access to over 150 single-click features and applications, as well as unlimited product listings. Priced at $29.95/month, this is the ideal option for startup ventures or those new to online selling. The Silver Plan offers 3GB of storage and a 1.5 percent fee on all transactions.
  • The Gold Plan - This is the most popular plan option offered by Bigcommerce, as it provides slightly enhanced hosting and feature options. Priced at $79.95/month, Gold Plan users are offered unlimited data storage and access to over 20,000 application transactions per hour. Unlike the Silver Plan, the Gold Plan does not feature a transaction fee.
  • The Platinum Plan - The Platinum Plan is the highest-rated, and most expensive, option offered by Bigcommerce. Priced at $199.95/month, it offers professional-grade design and control options, which are fully scalable for your business. Along with supporting every feature Bigcommerce offers, Platinum users enjoy unlimited storage, 60,000 application transactions per hour and Google Trusted Store Certification, which may significantly enhance website traffic.

While there are some drawbacks associated with Bigcommerce, its reputation among eCommerce enterprises, and its dedication to the success of their clients, make it one of the most respected and functional eCommerce solutions today. Want to see if its benefits are truly worth the price? Access and test-drive all of its features without paying a dime. The best part – the trial doesn't require a credit card, so it's truly obligation-free.

Bigcommerce Video Guides:


Bigcommerce guided tour: check out all the different features about it.





Conclusion:  Bigcommerce is a solid player in the world of website builders for ecommerce website owners.  You can easily head over there and check it out and see what it is all about.  Well, go check it out.

Your thoughts?  So what you do you think about the Bigcommerce platform and have you personally used it?  Or had some experience with it.


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Build A Shopify Store In 25 Minutes

Shopify Website Builder Logo
Build A Shopify Store
This Shopify video tutorial is going to help you get your eCommerce website up and running in 25 minutes or less.  I thought this method will help you better visually go through the process instead of just winging it in general.

Personally I have better success if I can watch a video like this why I am setting mine up.  So if your ready to open your very own online eCommerce store, go ahead and click here to get to Shopify's home page.

From here start the video just below and put both on your screen so you can follow along.  Enjoy the video, Shopify did a great job.


Conclusion:

Remember, Shopify is a leader in building a online store and its a valuable all around driver for your online store.  If your having any questions pop up in your head just leave a comment below and I will get back to you on it. 


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Shopify Review And Guide: 2015 Edition

Shopify Review And Guide Text In Green Circle
Shopify Review
OK, well here we go with the Shopify review and guide.  My goal for this page is to give some insight on what Shopify has to offer for your ecommerce website, but as well outlets and resources for you to check out in making your decision to use them.

I think we can both agree, you either clicked on this in the search engines or found it somewhere because you have a huge interest in using Shopify for your eCommerce option to start your business.

I'm gonna keep this short, sweet, scannable and simple so you can look everything over easily.  And well if your like me, you want it simple, as in a get to what I need please.

For me, Shopify offers you everything under one roof to run a successful online eCommerce store, I mean over 120,000 online stores trust Shopify, that is a really flipping large number in my eyes.

What stands out to me with Shopify and what I would want to see in a website builder, and well, I do with Shopify is great shopping cart features, marketing, seo and product options.  

Let's go ahead and go over each of these areas really quick.  Don't worry I'll try to make it easy on your eyes so you can get moving along :-)

This Shopify Review Was Last Updated January 24th, 2015

Affiliate Disclosure:  Just letting you know real quick that I'm an affiliate of Shopify.  What does this mean?  It means most likely if you click a link through to this site and use their product I can get paid out, with no cost to you though.  First of all thank if you do use my links, it really helps this site grow and provide more info.  Second, this review is just a review on Shopify, plain and simple.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it, and updating it.

Shopify Neon Sign
Image Credit


Shopify Shopping Cart Features  


A secure shopping cart - all your customers can be happy to know that you will be using the same level of security used by banks which is a 256-bit SSL certificate at the moment.  This is a huge think with all the debit/credit card fraud going on in the world these days.


Automatic shipping rates -  I love the fact they integrate this right into their shopping cart and make it really easy on you.  You just don't have time constantly keeping track of this.


Abandoned Check Out Recovery - Ever get that email from some company cause you didn't complete your order?  If not, this is a huge feature to help you capture potential sales that could be lost.  This type of tool is huge because there is no reason to lose a sale if you don't have to.  


Payment Gateway Options - I have been in some stores that I actually had to walk out of because the payment options they offered were so minimal I just couldn't make a purchase.  Shopify has a crap load of payment gateways, which when they say payment gateways they mean like Paypal.

 

Automatic Tax Rate -  Shopify will update the tax rate based off of your location, and as well it will automatically take control of your major countries and state tax rates itself. 


Shopify Marketing & SEO (Combing These TWO Amigos)


Gift Card Options - This to me is just cool.  You have the option to offer gift cards to your customers to give out as gifts.  What a great marketing option for you to utilize.


Discount Codes And Coupons - Many popular stores have deals and coupons going on.  Look at Kohl's, we all love their 30% off coupon code we get.  Well now you can create your own for your customers, and get the words out about them.  A very nice feature to get your name out there and possibly get your discount code to go viral on popular deal blogs and websites. 


Shopify SEO Options - Shopify took the work out of SEO and makes it easy for you with the ability to customize H1 Tags. Meta Tags and more.  Trust me, super important, this is what gets you found in the world of search.  


And if you were like me when starting you might not know the first thing in regards to SEO, and I don't want to get in to it here because that would be a whole new article.  But Shopify has a nice section dedicated to this.


Product Options


Digital Products Download - I like the fact Shopify gives you a way to offer products on your site like this.  Great for eBooks.


Product Tags - This falls underneath SEO too, but gives you the ability to tag everything in regards to the product to make it easily found for search engines.  Huge plus in my eyes.


Multiple Images - A picture is worth a thousand words right?  Sure, but also it's nice to show your customer every possible side for your product just as if it was right in their hands.  It's a huge feature to help your customer interact with the product as much as possible.


Inventory Management - I like how you can manage your whole inventory really easily with Shopify.  In fact, Shopify knows when your out of inventory and will stop selling it for you.  

 

Unlimited Products - Shopify give you unlimited number of  products regardless of which plan you choose with Shopify.  Big plus as you grow your business and don't have to worry about upgrading just because you need more products.


Shopify Web Hosting Features


Daily Back Ups - When I worked in an I.T. department we did this daily too, which when I saw them promoting this I was very happy.  Can you imagine losing all your info?  Shopify does daily back ups for many different items such as business information which includes customers, orders, inventory and products.  This is one of those things that may not seem like a big deal, until it happens to you.

Unlimited Bandwidth - This is more common in general, but I am personally glad to see it out on their website letting everyone know.


Auto Upgrades - Shopify does all the hard work when it comes to upgrade.  All of them will be automatic for you, so no worries on your end.


SSL Certificate - This keeps all your customers data and information secure.  With all the data breaching that has gone on with companies like The Home Depot, Target and more it's good to have something in place that reassures your customers.  

 

Shopify Hardware Solutions


Shopify actually offers a full line of hardware if you compliment your online ecommerce shop with a retail location.  They offer all your top of the line gear such as card readers, cash drawers, gift card stock, receipt printers and more. 

They also offer packages such as having all the key components to set up which was a nice added touch.  This might not really fit your needs because you’re looking for a fully online ecommerce solution, but it is still nice to know they have this if it is ever needed.

Shopify App Store


The app store is a great feature of Shopify for tons of different reasons.  Let’s say you want to run a marketing campaign to capture emails out in the world.  Well you can head over there and purchase it and get it going through the Shopify app store.  Keep in mind, some are free and some aren’t.

Shopify Marketing Apps

 

The marketing apps Shopify offers has a ton of different ones that can help you in the world of attracting new visitors, driving traffic, promoting and more.  You will be very happy.

 Shopify Sales Apps

 

These apps are awesome if your looking to help with abandoned carts, powerful recommendations, ways to increase your overall revenue per order and more.  

 

Social Media Apps


Social media is a powerful thing, and it helps to have some drivers in place to assist in increasing your social media power.  The shopify social media apps will help you promote your ecommerce store via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more.  


Shipping Apps 


This section alone probably will be a life saver.  From helping you ship via FedEx to helping you full fill orders, these apps will get it done for you.  


Inventory Apps

 

Let's face it, keeping track of inventory can be super hard, and as well, super important at the very same time.  The inventory apps in Shopify will help you manage this a lot easier.  These tools help cover area such as monitoring your stores products, updating inventory, out of stock notifier and more.  

 

Accounting Apps

 

Accounting apps are important for your day to day numbers and Shopify hooks you up with some great apps that can be synced directly to your own account software.  Some of the apps include quickbooks, quickbooks integration, inventory management and more.  


Customer Service Apps

 

I'd have to say these apps will be your bread and butter.  If customer aren't happy there might not be a reason to need accounting software.  The shopify apps here give you the ability to offer better email support and live chat solutions. 

My thoughts on this

 

Tools are needed one way or the others and Shopify's app area has you covered in just about any way you can think.  Some are free and some aren't which you will look at a monthly charge for these.  At the same time, these tools can be so valuable to you that they are a no brainer, so having these options is something to be happy about.

 

Ready to check out Shopify?

 

Shopify Themes


Internally shopify has a nice selection of themes to choose from for your website.  They range from free to paid, so you have a nice option at least to choose from.   The nice thing too, when you click on the theme it will give you a little info about it and let you view a live demo, which for me that can make or break it.

Free Shopify Themes

The free shopify themes are very nice actually and cover all the different industries such as art, clothing, fashion, furniture and toys.  The free themes area a  great touch and you will see they are a bit limited in selection but are still very professional shopify themes.

Premium Shopify Themes

Just like the free shopify themes, the premium ones cover all the industries and you have a larger selection to choose from.  From what I could tell is they range from $180 to $80 bucks which isn’t that bad at all.  In my opinion, a small price to pay to have a such a nice website.  Keep in mind, these are the ones that are shown on their site, so I’m sure other developers offer them externally for different price ranges.

Custom Shopify Themes

So if you’re just not certain if one of these shopify themes are good for you, or in a scenario maybe you like one that might not be a responsive shopify theme, your still in luck.  In the experts section of Shopify you can connect with designers to help you create one from scratch.

Want to go check Shopify out? 


Shopify Expert Area


Store Set Up Experts


You can hire a shopify expert to help set up your store completely.  Personally I feel this could be really helpful if you are migrating from another platform where many factors could take place and you want to make sure it's totally seamless.

Also though, this might be a great option if it's not your area of expertise and having someone do all the work is a ton easier.

Designer Experts


Shopify has a list of their top designers to help you design and tweak a template that you like but just need that nice added touch to it.  Or, if you really want to they will help create one right from scratch so it fits all your personal needs.

Developer Experts


I really like this one, because they help turn your really awesome idea into a actual possible shop.  I mean think about it, you have a great idea and really aren't sure where to turn to for it, well, no you do with the shopify developer experts.

Marketer Expert


These shopify experts will help you attract the customers and as well help boost sales with different methods such as brand awareness, social media campaigns and SEO.

Also, keep in mind some of these areas are a total art in the marketing area and it could pay off big to hire these experts and learn from them also.

Photographer Experts


This is kind of cool because when I first read it I was thinking just a main photo and not really make your products shine to the fullest.

Keep in mind these experts aren't cheap, but at the same time how can you argue with top notch experts shopify hand-picked to represent their areas of expertise.  In fact, look at it at this way.  If they cost $500 bucks and you end up having a great ROI how can you go wrong with this.


Shopify eCommerce University


Shopify has a very powerful section for anybody looking to learn about Shopify and different help sections.  It’s called there ecommerce university.  In this area they are all about helping you learn to build your website, launch your website and grow your ecommerce website.  Check out the different sections below for the shopify ecommerce university.

Shopify Forum & Discuss


The forum has a ton of sections to network with others on different topics such as accounting and taxes,  ecommerce marketing, wholesale & drop shipping and feedback on your store.

Shopify Blog


Shopify doesn’t mess around with their blog section.  It is updated constantly updated with data driven discussions that our presented very well and easily scan able.    To sum it up, they don’t mess around in educating others on ecommerce solutions.  From what I can tell they grade on SEO, store usability and social presence.  


Here are some of the titles and topics they cover

Should you be Charging Sales Tax on Your Online Store?
3 Common Misconceptions About Conversion Rate Optimization That Are Wasting Your Time
6 Foundational Ecommerce Marketing Tactics to Stop Your Bucket from Leaking
5 Data-Driven Tips for Smarter Pinterest Marketing


Shopify Stories


They want you to know how they rock and they put this in a whole area of stories of successful owners that have done an awesome job.  It is a very inspiring area on their blog that you have to check out.

Shopify Grader


Pretty cool area to let Shopify examine your website.  It makes sense anyways because this tool might make you convert into using Shopify.  Test drive it and see what they think of your site.

My thoughts on Shopifys ecommerce university


I think this area on their website just screams “see how much we care”.  I mean they are in the business of making money when you sign up and use them, but at the same time they offer you so many tools in this section it is just awesome, it really helps you set up to succeed in all the areas that you need to.

Go check Shopify out


Shopify Pricing Plans


Shopify actually has 4 ways you can go which starts with sell online, sell online & in store, sell in store and Shopify Plus (Enterprise needs or high volume).  Just below I'll show you each one so you get an idea of what each one offers.  Just a quick note, prices can change so they could reflect a little off once and a while.  Sorry human error.


One Quick Note:  Some features are for certain packages such as the professional plan.  Check it out more below to compare, and I put a link below the pictures too, so you can actually go over to the website to check the plans out.


Sell Online

Shopify Pricing Plan For Selling Online

Sell Online & In Store



In Store Only 

Shopify In Store Prices Only

Want to head over to the pricing page?  Click here.

If you need something even more powerful head over to their Shopify Plus if your a really high volume store, or if you think you are, Shopify will totally talk to you and get you started.


Shopify Video Resources


How to build an eCommerce store - I'd personally have to say this is a great follow along video if your planning on opening your store.  It breaks down everything to get your store up in 25 minutes.  If you want click here before starting the video and follow along while you open yours.




Shopify Intro Video - Just a nice quick introduction to Shopify.  I personally enjoy these because they quickly give you a feel for shopify visually.




Setting Up Shipping Rates - This is another valuable piece of information going over how to get everything going with shipping.  A very valuable thing for any business owner.




Creating Discount Codes - Earlier I mentioned as a perk of the ability to be able to do this with your Shopify site.  This video will go over it so you get a better understanding of what it is all about.




Feel like you wanna give Shopify a try?  Click Here

Here Are What Others Are Saying About Shopify


Make sure you check out their awesome website, I was blown away personally by what they were willing to do in general, and pretty pumped to hear that Shopify is their eCommerce website builder of choice.  


“Shopify is helping people who don't necessarily have the web development skills to connect directly to consumers. I see that as a real shift in the opportunities available.”

- Patrick Buckley — Co Founder of Dodo Case 


"You can change the task of designing a website from taking several months to no time at all. That's so valuable. You can't really put a price on it."

- Dave Petrillo — Co Founder & President of Coffee Joulies  


"We're looking forward to building GREATS into one of the success stories everyone reads about and we couldn't do it without Shopify."

- Jon Buscemi — Co Founder of Greats


"It used to be so expensive and you needed to have expertise in those areas to setup an online store. Today, you can basically set up a store using Shopify for nothing."

- Cameron Parker — Marketing Manager for Black Milk Clothing  


Nice testimonies and sites right?  I was blown away too.  If you want, head over to Shopify and get started on your site right now.

Want to know what personally sells me on Shopify?


120,000 + Businesses using Shopify - This is a crazy amount of stores using Shopify, and were not just talking brand new businesses that you never heard of.  The L.A. Lakers, Budweiser and G.E, heard of these?  Heck yeah you have.  Click here if you want to see some other big time stores that have too.


Mobile Commerce Ready - Holy Crap, this is a big one.  So many people are now shopping on their phones, and it's super important you are ready too.  


1.2 billion people are accessing the web from their phones and 58% of all U.S consumers already have a smart phone to do it, also did you know 30% of mobile shoppers abandon the cart when it isn't optimized for mobile?  Yikes. (Source For Data).  I kind of personally feel mobile commerce ready sells itself totally.

It's So Easy And Fun - One thing they do great is make it simple.  What I mean by this is if you can't code yourself, it doesn't matter because its all done for you.  

 

You just put it together visually with no coding needed.  If you aren't good at SEO and Marketing that's OK to, they make it easy, and as well explain it more on their documentation page. 

 

Their Customer Service -  I contacted Shopify in regards to something I was trying to figure out in regards to a Shopify feature that I was interested in.  I was very happy with the turn around time which was about a day or less, and on top of that was happy with the conversation. 


Now on top of this too, I felt they left it in my hands, as in gave me options but were willing to go an additional mile if I needed them to.  This personally made me very grateful for customer service, especially cause I am in this field too.


14 Day Free Trial - Now many sites give you a free trial, trust me I know this because I totally use them whenever I can.  Want to know what I like about a 14 day free trial instead of 30?  It gets your butt going once you have started to see the potential faster.  


Sometimes we don't focus and wait till the last minute, yup procrastination.  Embrace 14 days because your going to learn faster and harder because of a time crunch.  Use this to your benefit.


Shopify Banner




In Conclusion


Shopify overall is going to be something you really enjoy.  If you truly take the time to get using Shopify you have huge potential for your eCommerce business.  I mean how can you go wrong with great support, great templates, easy to use tools and great supporting documentation.  

Enjoy Shopify and check out the free trial, it's for 14 days like I mentioned earlier.  I think though you will most likely be up in running pretty well in the first day or two if you really take the time and get going.

Have any questions, feedback or great stories?


Drop some good conversation below so we can all chat about it.  



Shopify
Reviewed by Christopher Pontine
Rating: 5
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Bigcommerce Website Builder Info: Visual

Bigcommerce Website Builder LogoYou might be personally debating on using Bigcommerce for your ecommerce website builder.  I don't blame you, and in fact they probably don't either.  You personally should look around and see the different options to get a feel in which one holds the best features and potential for you.

Also, I don't know about you, but for me I love to see a few options cause it makes me feel better about selecting the option I do.  Check out the Bigcommerce info-graphic below to learn more about it.

Key Features I Picked Out About Bigcommerce:

* 50,000 Bigcommerce Clients

* 89% Growth In Revenue Per Store In The Automotive Field

* 31% Jump In Revenue For Jewelry Stores 

Bigcommerce Website Builder Info

SO are you ready to try out Bigcommerce, and if the answer is NO, not a biggie.  If yes though head over there now.  And if your still debating I would recommend reading the following article to see what the best ecommerce website builder is for you.


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Get To Know The Owner From Website Babble A Bit

About Website BabbleHey everyone, if your reading this you may have already been to the forum website babble and saw Lisa hanging out in some discussion.  If you haven't Lisa is the owner of website babble, which I personally really enjoy because of all the topics it covers for anybody with a website or creating a website.

So I thought it would be fun to just go ahead and reach out to her and ask her a few questions in regards to the website and see what she has to say.  Also, this should give you a feel of what she thinks in regards to the forum and what it has to offer and more.




Q: When did you start blogging?

I started blogging in 2006.

Q: When did you start your forum? and why did you create it?

I created my forum in 2007 because I wanted a way to help more people at once and publicly.  It was getting difficult to keep up with email so I launched the forum to provide  another way for my visitors to get help.

Q: What do you feel makes your community special, or stand out, or well, just amazing?

Many members of the forum are there because they genuinely like to help others.  While so many other forums are flooded with spam, we have a very strict no-spam policy which keeps the forum clean and useful for those who want help.

Q: OK OK, here is a tough one.  If you could give your members something amazing what would it be?

A discount to my latest affiliate marketing course that will be launching soon.

Q: If you could ask your group members one thing and get an answer from all of them, what would that question be?

What does Website Babble need to make you want to visit more often?

Q: Any of your forum power writers come to mind?  Anybody to give a shout out to that adds HUGE value?

A couple of my moderators have been active members of the forum since 2007.  They help me keep the forum clean of spam and answer questions when I cannot.  I appreciate their contributions so much!

Q: What are some of the hot topics that seem to always be discussed within the forum?

Building traffic is always the toughest and most challenging part of building a site so we get lots of questions on that subject.

Q: If someone is NEW to the forum, what would you recommend they do first?

Read the Marketing Tips tab at the top because it covers a lot of what newcomers need to know when starting.

Q: What do you think is the toughest part about creating a website?

Building targeted traffic.

Q: What tips can you recommend that you’d only share with a close friend (and everyone reading this blog) about starting a website?

Take your time and really focus on YOUR UNIQUE ANGLE.  So many people think success is about content on a page, but if you can't stand out, then you are going to be in trouble in today's world.

Thanks Lisa

Have you used website babble yet or had the chance to go over and check it out?

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15 Facts About ECommerce That'll Keep You Up At Night

Scrabble Pieces Spelling Stats

When you think about e-commerce, you probably picture a store online that is constantly promoting new deals, products, services and so forth. E-commerce involves a lot more strategy from a marketer's point of view.

Even though some marketers are looking towards other markets for big gains, the e-commerce market has tons of potential. Internet businesses are easy to start and still booming according to these facts and statistics.

While it's still a relatively new technology and form of sales, e-commerce can provide you with a steady amount of income, and if you are a small or major retailer with a physical location, you can improve your sales growth just by adding this online element to your sales funnel.

The following 15 facts will make you not only want to improve your e-commerce store but also provide inspiration for a variety of other outlets for online income.  Most consumers prefer to shop online for a variety of reasons. Some of these include:

  • Time saving
  • Less taxes
  • Easy to compare prices
  • No crowds
  • More variety
  • No driving or gas expenditures

In addition, many shoppers prefer to research products online first and get an idea of the price before they go to a physical location. If fast and free shipping is offered, many shoppers would rather purchase online than go in store for items that don't require you to see the merchandise firsthand.

However, shoppers are less likely to jump on deals for items online that require more research in-person. For example, shoppers may go in-store to look at shoes, but they may still buy online if they find a better deal while browsing their phones in-store. 

A Note on Mobile E-Commerce


As the following statistics will show you, mobile e-commerce is very important to retailers who decide to provide online stores. If you don't have a store that is accessible through a phone or that is optimized for a mobile device, you will have a much harder time getting people to purchase items from your store especially if it is an item that they can find from another retailer.

Mobile-optimized online stores feature quick and easy checkouts, one tap navigator, bigger images and intuitive interfaces that respond to touch scrolling. By creating an online store that can be accessed from a tablet or smartphone, you likely reach thousands of new customers each month.

Let's Start with the Basics


1. E-commerce actually started in 1979. Michael Aldrich connected a domestic television set with a phone line to create online shopping back, which boomed in the 1980s and 1990s before the Internet took off.

2. Amazon launched in 1995. However, Amazon didn't start turning a profit until 2003. The average order value as of 2012 for Amazon is $47.31, and of course, Amazon is known as one of the largest online retailers.

3. Netflix was not the first online DVD subscription retailer. Blockbuster created Blockbuster.com in 2004, but it's not clear when the service began that was like Netflix. Ultimately, Redbox and Netflix led to the downfall of what used to the biggest name in home video entertainment.

4. As of the third quarter in 2012, $4,423 in transactions occurred through Paypal per second. Paypal has expanded in recent years becoming the most well known way to pay online without having to give up your credit card information.

5. Groupon turned down a deal from Google for $6 billion in 2010. The online deal broker became an IPO the next year.

How Social Media Affects E-Commerce


6. Zappo makes money off of referrals from social media. The online retailer takes $0.75 from Pinterest, $2.08 from Facebook and $33.66 from Twitter.

7. 46 percent of online shoppers count social media when deciding whether to buy something online.

8. 47 percent of shoppers say that Facebook has the greatest impact on what they buy.

9. 54 percent of Facebook members use their phones to browse. There's no doubt that mobile e-commerce has grown rapidly and continues to bring in billions of dollars for retailers who have mobile accessible online stores.

10. Polyvore has the largest average order value maintaining $66.75 per order.

Facts on E-Commerce Growth


11. More than 80 percent of the online population has used the Internet to purchase goods and services.

12. 50 percent of the population online has shopped at Internet retailers more than one time.

13. E-commerce sales grow more than 19 percent a year and will reach almost $1.4 trillion by 2015.

14. The highest growing country for e-commerce is India followed by Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Australia and Philippines. The least growth for online shopping includes Latvia, Ukraine and France.

15. Mobile e-commerce shoppers will grow to 23.8 billion in 2015. This is up from just 1.2 billion in 2009.

Some Other Statistics About E-Commerce


From the above it's clear to see that connecting mobile and social media together with e-commerce is essential for prominence and growth with any online retailer. However, you can learn a lot from the following statistics as well including what are the biggest e-commerce stores, what age groups love shopping online and what types of payment make it easiest for customers to purchase online.

Most online shoppers use bank transfers or credit cards to pay. In fact, 40 percent of online purchases are made by credit card. However, Paypal is quickly growing at 35 percent.

North Dakota shoppers spend the most money online. Typically, this state's residents spend 16.17 percent of their income on online purchases.

The biggest e-commerce store now is Amazon. Second is Staples, followed by Dell, Office Depot, Walmart and Sears.

Online shoppers in the 31 to 44 and 55 to 65 age groups spend the most money shopping online at 68 percent.

Online shoppers spend between $1,200 and $1,300 on purchases made over the Internet each year.

Pizza Hut was the first pizza chain to offer online ordering in 1994.

Most shoppers at 71 percent believe that they can find a better deal when they shop online rather than going to a store.

It's expected that the number of online consumers will grow to 201 million by 2015. As of right now, there are 195 million online consumers buying things every minute through e-commerce stores.

Predictions for E-Commerce in 2015 and Beyond


Most of these statistics point to the fact that e-commerce is already the best way for businesses to expand their inventory and sales growth. In the next decade, it's likely that shopping online will increase dramatically to the point that most purchases are made online even for items that may have required "to be seen" first.

This is due to new technology, faster checkout and easily compared prices of goods. However, more people are also concerned about the lack of security for online shopping. With several breaches in online security for major retailers like Target, Home Depot and Neiman Marcus, people are looking for safer ways to pay online that don't require them to provide a credit card number directly.

The next steps for e-commerce must evolve around the safe, fast and mobile shopping. If retailers can ensure that their shoppers will have the most pleasant experience by shopping online, there's no reason for shoppers to go in-store.

Sources:

https://blog.paymill.com/social-media-ecommerce/
http://www.factbrowser.com/tags/ecommerce/
http://mashable.com/2012/11/06/ecommerce-statistics/
http://www.fortune3.com/blog/2011/07/ecommerce-facts-and-statistics/
http://getlevelten.com/blog/julie-miller/10-shocking-e-commerce-facts
http://www.internetretailer.com/


So, do any of these stats stand out to you?  Or possibly see any stats that really stand out?  For me, it was the fact that "$4,423 in transactions occurred through Paypal per second".  Pretty crazy to hear that.


Image Credit: Lending Memo 
Written And Published By Christopher Pontine

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