Start an Online Shop With Shopify

If you’ve looked into setting up your own shop online, you’ve probably found that it is a super confusing world out there. There are so many different ecommerce programs, and if you’re not a “techie” kind of person, how on earth are you supposed to sort through all the feature lists and find the right one for your business?

We have been designing and developing for the Shopify platform for a couple of years now, and are very  happy to have something we can fully recommend. Aeolidia has been building ecommerce websites for over eight years, and as a team, we’ve worked with many different software programs, many different web hosting companies, and set up hundreds of online shops for small creative businesses. Shopify is head and shoulders above anything we had previously worked with.

Shopify

Why we recommend Shopify:

It’s hosted software. Shopify is your web host, and you won’t need to purchase a separate hosting account. You won’t be responsible for upgrading the shop software (or hiring someone to upgrade it for you, or, worse, not upgrading it and ending up with a hacked site). Shopify will automatically roll out upgrades, bug fixes, and security improvements. We haven’t had a single complaint from one of our clients about a site being down or getting hacked.

They value customer support. With other shop software, you may find that there’s just one guy behind it, or maybe a bunch of developers working independently, with just a support forum, rather than customer service. Shopify has a great team. You will be assigned your own account representative that can help you out with your questions, and they can be reached by phone, and are available around the clock.

They’re invested in helping small businesses. Obviously they make money if you make money, but the lovely symbiosis here is that you get all their awesome marketing tips and help, as well as the great documentation (including videos) and customer support. Seriously, check out their blog – it’s packed with great advice, and I’m constantly sharing their articles.

Shopify is very extensible, as they have a large app store where you can add new features when your store grows. For instance, if you decide you want to integrate a POS or accounting software, you may find just what you need in their app store.

The admin is user-friendly. Our clients have an easy time adding their products and managing orders with the simple and clear back end management tool (which is also available as an iPhone app).

Shopify is a content management system. Shopify isn’t just your shop, it’s your whole website, including informational pages, and even a simple blog.

Shopify is pretty global. You can use Shopify from most anywhere, and they work with over 70 payment gateways, and allow multiple languages and currencies.

You can choose a theme. You can choose a theme from their theme store and be up and running with a professional design right away, without any knowledge of how to build a website.

You can hire an expert. If you do need some more in-depth customization, they have an “Experts Directory” that connects you with a reputable company to do some work for you.

They allow full customization. Though you won’t need to do this yourself as a shop owner, Shopify allows us to dig into the HTML, CSS, and Liquid code to develop any design we dream of. We can make a Shopify site look any way we want.

See some of our Shopify designs below:

 

Shopify designers - Example: Emily Ley

Emily Ley, by Lauren Hardage

Shopify designers - Example: Lindsay Letters

Lindsay Letters, by Margot Harrington

Rare Device, honored in the 2013 Shopify Design Awards

Rare Device, honored in the 2013 Shopify Design Awards

Lovely stuff, don’t you think? It feels great to be able to recommend a program we can really stand behind. Learn more about Shopify and set up your free trial here. If you have any questions about Shopify, or would like to run your particular shop scenario past us, please send me an email – I’d be happy to share my thoughts!

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