Its time to go online. Its time to elevate your business to the next level. Its time to start an eCommerce store.
Therefore, here I'm with a detailed Shopify Reviews (Australia) to help you decide if Shopify is an eCommerce builder worth a try.
With increasing competition, sales have been shrinking. No, its not just you facing this problem. Merchants all across the world are going through the same.
But, as we say, every problem comes with a solution.
What's the solution here? Take your shop online. Reach out to new customers. Go global. Let not be there a limit on your dreams.
So, are you ready for an exciting eCommerce ride? Yes? Let's go then.
Shopify allows you to link your own custom domain to your online store. Look, when you create a new Shopify account, by default, you're given a Shopify sub-domain name as your store address like: https://your-store-name.myshopify.com.
Shopify allows you to use your own custom domain like: https://www.your-store-name.com. All you've to do is follow these steps:
Thereafter, depending on your domain name registrar (from where you've bought the domain), you can follow this tutorial to connect your domain name with Shopify.
If you haven't bought your domain name yet, Shopify gives you an option to buy it directly from Shopify. In that case, you don't need to connect your domain name with Shopify (it get auto-connected after purchase).
No, nothing to worry about. Buying a domain name is as easy as buying grocery from Amazon. It hardly takes a few minutes, all you got to do is add an available domain name to your cart & proceed to checkout.
Adding your own domain name gives a unique identity to your business & is great for branding/marketing as well. So, do not skip this feature.
Shopify comes with in-built support for custom themes. That means you can change the front-end look & structure of your store by installing a custom theme. Think of theme like the skin of your Shopify store. A good-looking theme makes your store look beautiful & encourages your visitors to stay around longer.
Free themes mean the themes which are available without any cost. Whereas, premium themes are the themes which are available at a price (generally within $ 50 to $ 100 one-time).
To buy & install a premium theme, click on "Shopify Theme Store".
You can also, alternatively, buy Shopify premium themes from marketplaces like ThemeForest or MyThemeShop.
Shopify comes with support for responsive themes. That means if you install a responsive theme, your store will look good irrespective of the device its being browsed on. This responsive feature is also otherwise called "mobile friendly".
All premium themes & most free themes are 100% responsive. However, do your own check before installing a theme. Generally, all themes comes with demo pages. View those pages on your mobile to see if they look good.
Do you see a lock icon to the left of a web address you visit on browser. That's a SSL icon that tells website visitors that the website is secured by SSL & has a valid SSL certificate. What SSL does is that it encrypts the data flowing in & out of a website so that they can't be hacked by the hackers.
And, when it comes to an eCommerce store, SSL becomes really important. Why? Because as an online store owner, your website will be dealing with customers' sensitive data like credit card number.
So, how do you install a SSL certificate on a Shopify store? Well, all default Shopify sub-domains(https://your-store-name.myshopify.com) come with SSL pre-installed. So, you don't need to anything with that regard.
If you're using your own custom domain, Shopify will automatically detect & install a SSL certificate. Yes, its that easy. However, the SSL installation process may take up to 48 hours.
Unlimited Products & Bandwidth
Shopify supports unlimited products & bandwidth.
Unlimited products - Add as many products as you like
Unlimited bandwidth - Bring as many visitors as you can on your website. Shopify server will handle that.
With Shopify, you're not just limited to your website. Shopify also helps you to sell products on Facebook shop, Messenger, Instagram & even on Amazon & eBay.
All you've to do is integrate your online store with the aforesaid platforms - boom! all your products(with images & description) get automatically uploaded on those channels. And, the best part? You can manage all multi-channels sales orders from Shopify Dashboard. All your inventory at one place, so less headache, isn't it?
Here're some platform-specific features that Shopify supports:
- Shoppers can browse your product catalogue directly on Instagram
- You can tag your products to any Instagram post or stories
- You can add product stickers to your Instagram stories
- Shoppers can browse your products directly on your Facebook page
- Shoppers can access product catalogue directly on Facebook Messenger
- You can set up a Chat Bot - to automatically reply customers with menus, product links & more
- You can directly chat live with your website visitors or customers
- You can send automated order notifications like shipment tracking number directly on Messenger
- A great alternative to providing manual support
- Sync products including images, description, price & inventory directly with Amazon
- Process Amazon orders directly from Shopify (including FBA orders)
- Sync products including images, description, price & inventory directly with eBay
- Process Amazon orders directly from eBay
Point of Sale (POS)
- Sync your products with Shopify POS (in case you're running an offline store)
Yes, this multi-channel sales feature supports inventory sync. That means if a product goes out-of-stock in Shopify it'll automatically be reflected as out-of-stock on all integrated channels like Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Amazon & eBay. Makes sense? And, this sync feature isn't only limited to inventory - it works the same with product title, description, price, images, etc.
Product Variations & Tags
In Shopify, you can organize your products by the following types:
- Physical/Digital Product
- Any other custom variable
The aforesaid organization can be done on the product page itself. Here're the screenshots to give you an idea:
In Australia, Shopify supports the following major payment gateways:
- PayPal Express Checkout
- PayPal Payflow Pro
- Shopify Payments (Shopify's default payment gateway)
A payment gateway is nothing but a secured medium to process your customers' credit cards & deposit the sale proceeds into your bank account.
All you need to do is open an account with one of the aforesaid payment gateways & you're good to go. The fastest & easiest option to go with is PayPal.
Once you've created a payment gateway account, you can link the same with Shopify. Here's how to do that:
You can also add other forms of payment like cash on delivery, bank transfers, etc.
Here's how to do that:
Note: Shopify charges transaction fees for using payment gateways other than Shopify Payments (Shopify's default payment gateway). More about this in the pricing section of this post. Stay tuned.
By default, Shopify Payments is, by default, activated for all Australian merchants. You can however disable the same:
You can find all your orders under "Orders" menu/link on the admin dashboard. Here's how a sample order (paid but not fulfilled) looks like:
To fulfill this order, we need to do the following:
What I just showed is a manual way to fulfil orders. If you've a shipping account with carriers like FedEx, you can integrate the same with Shopify, which will free you from the hassle of feeding manual tracking information. I'll talk more about this is the Custom Shipping rules section.
Automated Order Notifications
With Shopify, you can send automatic order, shipping, delivery & account notifications to your customers (via email & SMS). Here's how to set up notifications:
By default, the email templates are already prepared. But if you need to edit you can do so by clicking on "Customize".
Shopify is also, reportedly, working on native email marketing support. Using that feature, you can send promotional emails to your customers right from Shopify dashboard itself.
Custom Shipping Rules
As I said earlier, you can integrate your shipping account directly with Shopify. That means you don't need to manually fulfil your orders. As & when orders come, all you need to do is generate a tracking number, schedule a carrier pick-up & create a shipping label. Yes, all directly from the Shopify orders page itself.
Under Shipping settings, you can also define custom shipping rules like:
- Standard shipping (normal shipping rate)
- Premium shipping (premium shipping rate for faster delivery)
- Shipping rates as calculated by carrier (works with shipping integration)
- Shipping rates based on weight
- Shipping rates based on product price
- Different shipping rates for different products
- Different rates for Australia & rest of the world
- FREE shipping rate (Leave the amount field blank)
Here's how you should proceed to set up custom shipping rules:
Custom Discounts & Gift Cards
Wanna give custom discounts to your customers? It's easy-peasy. There're two types of discounts supported by Shopify:
- Discount codes
- Automatic discounts
Discount codes are the codes that your customers need to enter during checkout to avail discount. On the other hand, automatic discounts are the discounts that are already applied at the checkout. Hence, the customers need not manually enter a code to get a discount.
You can set up various custom rules for discount codes & automatic discount like:
- Percentage of sales amount (25% off on purchase price)
- Fixed amount ($ 25 off on purchase price)
- FREE shipping
- Buy X Get Y FREE
You can further customize these discounts to only apply in the following situations:
- Number of times the discount can be applied (Example: For only first 100 customers)
- One discount per customer
- Discount start date & end date
- Discount only for a specific group of customers (Example: Repeat customers who've bought more than once)
- Discount only for products with specific tag or collections
Here's how you can set up the aforesaid discount rules:
You can also create gift cards in Shopify. As you know, these are cards with a specific money value. Example: $ 25 gift card. Customers can buy these gift cards & gift (hence the name) the same to their friends or family. The recipient can then use this gift card to purchase products on your online store.
Needless to say, discounts & gift cards are great ways to entice casual website visitors to purchase. And, it also helps during festivities like Christmas, black friday, cyber monday, etc.
Invoice & Tax Compliance
Invoice is a must-send document for every eCommerce store owner. Without it, the transaction isn't complete, at least in legal terms. Luckily, Shopify helps you to generate beautiful invoices right inside the admin dashboard. So, you don't need to go to another app for your invoicing purposes.
And, you can customize these invoices as per your needs - color, logo, terms & conditions, etc.
To customize, go to Home > Settings > Notifications > Order confirmed.
Note: Shopify will automatically send invoices to your customers via email. You don't need to manually set up anything.
Similarly, you can set up tax rates applicable in Australia by going to Home > Settings > Taxes. You can also set up prices in a way that it includes taxes.
You can manage your inventory right from Shopify dashboard itself.
You can further click on a product to customize various inventory elements like:
- SKU (Stock Keeping Unit)
- Country of origin (for international shipment)
Digital Products' Support
Not only physical, you can also sell digital products on Shopify. Like eBooks, Videos, Software, Courses, Memberships, etc.
To create a digital product, go to Product > Add Product & unselect the option "This is a physical product". Doing so will turn off all inventory, shipping & fulfilment options for that product.
Yes, you can sell both physical & digital product simultaneously from one store.
Digital products are awesome in a way that you don't need to store, pack & ship products. Therefore, they come with lesser costs & more margin. However, its not that easy to sell a digital product (as compared to a physical one).
Accounting & Reports
Shopify comes with various kinds of analytical reports like:
- Sales reports (based on time, product, variant, customer name, SKU, customer location, etc)
- Traffic report (Website visitors)
- Profit margin report (based on product, variant or SKU)
- Finance report (Total sales, taxes & payments)
- Behaviour report (Traffic, conversion rate, online searches, landing pages, etc.)
- Inventory report (average inventory sold per day, month-end inventory status, percentage of inventory report)
- Marketing report (sales due to marketing campaigns)
To view the aforesaid reports, go to Home > Analytics > Dashboard. You can also create a custom report based on your preferences.
Also, there's this "live view" feature under the Analytics menu which helps you to view details of your live visitors (like country).
Refunds, Return & Cancellation
You can easily refund & cancel orders in Shopify as per your terms. To issue a refund:
A refunded order is automatically considered cancelled. You can also cancel an order that's not paid or fulfilled. Yes, you can also partially refund & cancel an order. That's possible. Just enter the refunded quantity in the quantity field.
If your customer hasn't yet returned the product then unselect the "Restock" checkbox. Makes sense?
Refund will be issued to your customers automatically by the payment gateway. You don't need to do anything at your side. If you're using Shopify Payments, then the refund amount will deducted from your next pay-out.
Marketing & Paid Ads
Paid ads are one of top ways eCommerce players drive traffic to their stores. And, chances are there, you'll also most probably do the same. Well, then, Shopify just made your work easy.
You can run Facebook, Google, Instagram & Snapchat ads right from the comfort of your dashboard.
Based on campaign objective (brand awareness, clicks or purchase), you can run your paid ads. The creatives like images, product titles, description & price will automatically be pushed from Shopify to the ad platform. Yes, you can also customize these creative manually on the ad platform, if you wish to.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is one of the popular ways to drive traffic to online stores. It simply means optimizing your store for easy discovery by search engines like Google & Bing. The better your SEO, the more likely you'll rank on search engines. Example: If someone searches for "red t-shirt", your product page (featuring red t-shirt) will show up on the first page of the search results. You can also optimize your homepage to rank for main keywords like "t-shirt".
SEO generally consists on the following elements:
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
On-Page SEO means optimizing various meta information of product pages like title, description, images, headings, etc. These meta information are prepared so as to include "target keyword" (keywords for which you want to rank for).
Off-Page SEO, on the other hand, involves growing your site authority by acquiring backlinks from reputed websites. Example: If a reputed website features your product(s), your online store will get valuable backlink that'll help it to gain authority & hence will rank better on search engines. The better the rank, the more visitors you get.
If you're serious about SEO, you'll have to spend 80% of your time doing Off-Page SEO; it's a critical factor for ranking on search engines.
As you can understand, Off-Page SEO is a marketing technique you do "outside" of your online store. Whereas, On-Page SEO can be done right "inside" of your online store. Yes, you guessed it right, Shopify supports On-Page SEO.
Here's how to do it:
You can also set up On-Page SEO at site level. Here's how to do that:
Product reviews is an important element of product pages. These reviews sow trust in the minds of the first-time visitors & entices them to buy. Think yourself as a customer buying on Amazon: Do you read reviews before buying a product? Sure you do. Every shopper does. The same phycology applies to your online store as well. People will be more willing to buy if they see credible reviews from other customers.
No, you don't need to mess with codes. Shopify comes with in-built support for product reviews. All you've to do is install Product Reviews App by going to Apps menu on the homepage. Click on "Product Reviews" & install the same.
The Product Reviews app is built by the Shopify team & is free of cost. The best part? It allows advanced customization options as well.
I'll talk more about Apps later in this post.
24*7 Live Chat Support
In case of an issue, you can always contact Shopify via their 24*7 live chat. The waiting time is around 5 to 10 minutes & their support staff are well-informed.
You can also, alternatives, check Shopify's resources like tutorials, guides & community forum right from the admin dashboard.
Here's an example:
Shopify also provides support to its merchants via telephone & email.
Shopify comes with an in-built android & iPhone app for its merchants. Using the app, you can view your real time stats like visitors, sales, inventory, orders, etc. You can also enable notifications to get notified as & when sales happen.
Here's a screenshot of the Shopify's mobile app:
Shopify's Apps feature helps you to further customize your online store with custom features. These features aren't available by default in Shopify or the theme. Example: If you wish you add a wishlist feature in your online store, you can do so by adding a free app named "Wishlist plus". Or may be you want to add a dropshipping feature to your store, you can do so by adding an app named "Oberlo". You name a feature & Shopify's app store has an app for it. All you need to do click on the app & install the same on your store. Boom! you've a new feature!
Shopify apps can either be free, paid or freemium (paid apps with a free plan). Here're some of the popular FREE or freemium apps:
- Privy (Popups)
- FREE shipping bar
- Loox (products reviews where customers can add their product photos)
- Ultimate sales booster (urgency or countdown timer)
- Kit (Facebook ads automation)
- Bold upsell (Upsell related products on checkout)
- Google shopping
- Oberlo (Dropshipping)
- Pushowl (Web push notifications)
Here're a few popular premium/paid apps:
- Shogun (Landing page builder)
- InstaPics (Instagram feed on your online store)
- Native mobile apps (convert your online store into a mobile app)
- Referral candy (Customer referral & loyalty program)
- Bold subscriptions (Subscription & recurring payments)
Most of these premium apps come with free trials. So, install them & test for a few days to check if it meets your needs.
Note: You should only install apps that really adds value to your store. Unnecessary apps may make your online store slow & hence annoy your visitors.
Shopify Australia Pricing
Shopify in Australia costs the following:
- Basic Shopify Plan = $ 29 a month (around 46 AUD a month)
- Shopify Plan = $ 79 a month (around 126 AUD a month)
- Advanced Shopify Plan = $ 299 a month (around 476 AUD a month)
Following are the features of the Basic Shopify Plan (46 AUD a month):
- Unlimited products & bandwidth
- 2 staff accounts
- All sales channels
- Discount codes
- Free SSL certificate
- Abandoned cart recovery data
- Transaction fees = 2% of sales (only if you use payment gateway other than Shopify payments)
Following are the features of the Shopify Plan (126 AUD a month)
- All basic Shopify plan features
- 5 staff accounts
- Gift cards
- Advanced reports
- Transaction fees = 1% of sales (only if you use payment gateway other than Shopify payments)
Following are the features of the Advanced Shopify Plan (476 AUD a month)
- All Shopify plan features
- 15 staff accounts
- Advanced report builder
- Calculated shipping rates on checkout
- Transaction fees = 0.5% of sales (only if you use payment gateway other than Shopify payments)
Shopify Payments is Shopify's in-built payment gateway specifically for Shopify merchants. Its good with the only issue being their pay out schedule. They transfer money to the merchants once a week (on Fridays). Other payment gateways like PayPal are a bit faster.
Note: You'll also be paying credit card charge (the charge that payment gateways mandatorily deduct for any transaction) irrespective of whether you use Shopify payments or not:
- Credit card charge on the Basic Shopify Plan = 1.75% + 30 cents
- Credit card charge on the Shopify Plan = 1.6% + 30 cents
- Credit card charge on the Advanced Shopify Plan = 1.4% + 30 cents
If you're willing to minimize cost, the best route would be to go with the Basic Shopify Plan + Shopify payments ($ 29 a month + credit card charge).
Shopify Tutorial Video
Here's a tutorial video to help you better understand Shopify & see if it meets your requirements:
Example Shopify Stores
Following are some examples of successful Shopify stores:
Feeling inspired? You should be.
Shopify Social Review (Reddit, Twitter & Quora)
3rd Party Review Sites
Shopify's merchant rating as per Capterra, a popular 3rd party review site.
Shopify's merchant rating as per G2Crowd, another popular 3rd party review site.
Shopify is definitely worth the hype. Its, no doubt, one of the best eCommerce website builders out there. Its trusted by more than a million merchants from 175 countries worldwide. They've been successful on Shopify & so can you.
Just take the first step - open an account on Shopify & you'll be surprised how easy it is to set up & start your own eCommerce business. Something you always dreamed of. Didn't you?
Unlike a physical store, with an online store, you can reach out to customers from all across the world. The sky is literally the limit. So, what're you waiting for?
Start online. Start your dream. Start earning.