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Class 1: Intro to Selling on Shopify


Intro to Selling on Shopify

Two Makers Crew - Merina & Bjorn


Are you ready to sell online? What’s the best platform for your business?


In this class Merina and Björn of Two Makers Crew go over pros and cons of the most popular selling platforms, why they’ve chosen Shopify for their own online store, and walk through a pre-trial checklist of everything needed to quickly set up a Shopify store - before the trial ends.



Marketplaces vs. Online Stores vs. In-person sales


Online Marketplaces

A marketplace is like a shopping center. Customers go there to shop because they know, like, and trust the platform and are ready to buy. As a business owner you pay to have access to the customer base (via fees). However, since you don’t own the customer data, capturing emails can be difficult and running off platform ads impossible. Buyers can easily compare similar items which leads to price comparison and lack of brand awareness. With a low barrier to entry, marketplaces are a great place to learn the process of e-commerce since you don’t have to find buyers or maintain a website. 


Examples: Facebook Marketplace, Etsy, Amazon, eBay.


Online Stores

A website is your home online. You own the data and have complete control. This means you have the autonomy to make decisions that are best for your business and capitalize on your data (like sending newsletters and running online ads). However, you, as the business owner, are responsible for driving traffic, website maintenance, and monthly costs. Good for makers who have an established audience (social media following or selling at markets) or for those running ads for unique products, have a line of production products or sell high ticket items.


Examples: platforms like Wix, SquareSpace and Shopify.


In-Person Sales

In-person markets and craft fairs are fantastic places to get instant feedback on your designs and buyers wants and needs. You get a chance to meet buyers and build loyalty. However, you have to create enough inventory to fill a booth and restock for the length of the show, fees are often due months in advance, and weather can have a major impact on sales. Oh, and you have to wear pants. 


Examples: Farmer’s markets, craft fairs, pop-up shops in retail locations. 


Why choose Shopify?


It all depends on your goal. Many online platforms make it easy to build a website without previous experience and offer an option to add an online checkout. However, these platforms are designed to make it easy for the user (you), leaving the buying experience confusing. Have you ever tried to buy something online, only to be confused about how to checkout? The website was probably really easy for the business owner to set up, but not easy for you, as the customer, to buy from them. 


This is where Shopify is different. Shopify has always put the buyer experience first. If your goal is online sales - make it easy for people to buy from you, wherever they are! With Shopify you can sell through your own website, social media, messaging apps, market places and in person while managing all orders and inventory in one admin. 


Pricing and plans

Shopify is designed to scale both up and down depending on where your business is at and very quickly. The plans are tiered and designed for businesses to upgrade as their business grows. 


However, there are really only 2 options you need to focus on:


Shopify Starter Plan (designed for selling on social and messaging apps)

Plan costs $5 a month, or $60 for the year.

Online credit card rates - 5% plus .30 cents USD

In person credit card fees - 5%


Shopify Basic Plan

Plan costs $39 a month, 25% off for the year.

Online credit card rates - 2.9% plus .30 cents USD

In person credit card fees - 2.7%


Every plan starts with a free trial, giving you time to set up your store and get ready for launch. Use the checklist below to gather all the information, data and photos you need before starting a Shopify trial. 


Generally a Shopify free trial is 3 days, but you can use this link to add your first month for $1.


Pre Trial Checklist

  • High quality product photos (5-10) of each product. Short videos if possible

  • Alt Tag Descriptions

  • Product titles and descriptions

  • Product sizes and weights

  • Product prices

  • Product categories

  • Banking info (Account must accept ACH transfers) 

  • Facebook Page and Instagram setup as business accounts

  • Set up a Meta Business Manager Account 

  • Set up a Google Merchant Center Account

  • Set up Google Analytics

  • Store Meta Description

  • About us page write up with photo

  • Brand colors

  • High resolution brand logo

  • Tax info if applicable 


Resources

Shopify Help Center - Shopify's how to manual

Shopify Blog - deep dives into anything Shopify you want to know

Shopify Supply - fun Shopify swag like our Shopify counter

Shopify Hardware Store - POS and shipping hardware

The Shopify Podcast - weekly conversations with entrepreneurs and industry experts

Shopify Community - a discussion board connecting Shopify merchants, experts and Shopify staff 

Shopify YouTube Channel - How to videos, merchant stories and new feature announcements

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