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Shopify is a highly regarded complete ecommerce solution that allows you to build and run your own online store. It's simplicity and ease of use means that over 15,000 businesses across the web have chosen Shopify to power their online stores. It's easy to create a great looking online store and manage it using the powerful management tools on offer. What's more, with the Shopify app store anyone can add new functionality to the Shopify framework and you can install it at the click of a button. We think it's a great choice for anyone looking to run their own online store.
When it comes to designing your online store only the best will do and Shopify's store builder interface is certainly that. Whether you want to create a design from scratch or use one of the professionally designed templates, this is your first stop when creating your store. The templates on offer are very well designed, but are fully customizable so you can put your own stamp on them and create your own identity. If you are handy with HTML and CSS you can also create your own template from scratch using the Liquid template framework to really highlight your individual brand. However, if you aren't so technically minded Shopify runs an excellent service to put business people in touch with web designers with the right skills.
Once your store is up and running you can access the management console to take control of every aspect of it from inventory management to customer engagement. The console offers too many features to go into detail here, but is very fast and easy to use. All the tools on offer are well documented and intuitive so you should have no problem processing orders. Shopify integrates with a number of different payment gateways to allow your customers a choice of payment options. As a bonus it also provides fraud detection features to mitigate the risk of processing fraudulent transactions.
Shopify knows that marketing and promotion are the key when it comes to pushing sales through your store so provides some excellent tools to help you out. Anyone on the professional plan or above can create coupon or discount codes to send out to potential customers in order to drum up interest. This is a tried and tested method and is sure to get traffic flowing to your site. It's also possible to use the analytics tools to discover more about where your customers are coming from and what search terms are generating the most traffic. You can use this to come up with targeted email campaigns all from the central admin console. With the Shopify app-store providing even more useful features from third party plugins, Shopify really does offer an excellent range of marketing tools.
Shopify is a complete all-in-one solution so your store is hosted on Shopify's servers and takes advantage of the infrastructure they use. This means that your store is fully PCI compliant making it safe and secure for your customers. We were also very impressed to see that unlimited bandwidth comes as standard on all price plans – which is something you may have to pay for with other services. The infrastructure itself is also very reliable and fully backed up meaning you should have little to no downtime and your site will operate at lightning speed.
Shopify is an excellent ecommerce solution and is constantly updated with new features and functionality. For a fully hosted solution the prices are very reasonable, although all but the smallest stores would be best to opt for the professional level plan or above in our opinion. Check out the huge range of tutorials, guides and examples Shopify has on its website to see why we rate this ecommerce solution so highly.
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