From Kylie Cosmetics and Fitbit to local streetwear brand Artclub and Friends, Shopify is the e-commerce platform beloved by big and small businesses across the globe. Thanks to its ease of use and feature-packed offering, creating and running an online store is within reach of anyone who wants to cash in on the e-commerce boom. Whether you’re looking to add an online offering to an existing business, or launch a standalone e-commerce store, Shopify enables you to create and run an online business without the headache of finding multiple service providers.
Here’s why we love Shopify, and think you will too:
1. It’s ridiculously easy to use
If you can operate a mobile phone, you can use Shopify. Many e-commerce platforms claim to be simple to use, but after a couple of clicks away from the homepage, they soon become complicated and tricky to navigate. Shopify demystifies the process of creating and running an online store, so instead of wasting time trying to figure out how to add product descriptions or a payment gateway (we’ll get to that in a bit), you can spend time making bank.
2. It's built on robust, reliable e-commerce software and is managed by experts
Create and customise the front-end of your online store without having to worry about any of the technical stuff happening behind the scenes. You’ll never have to worry about losing sales due to a server failing or whether or not you’re a sitting duck for hackers – Shopify takes care of everything to do with the backend of your online store. This includes ensuring that servers are backed up and security is foolproof. Shopify boasts Level 1 Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance for secure credit card processing, and a 256-bit SSL certificate for data protection. (That last bit is complicated, if you’re one for reading the fine print, you can find out more about how Shopify protects you and your customers from fraud and data breaches, here.)
If the above technical jargon made you break out into a sweat, fear not. In short: your online store is safe from gremlins in the matrix that frequently trip up independently-run online stores.
3. Shopify enables you to market and sell on multiple platforms
Potential customers are everywhere, but running and managing multiple digital sales channels isn’t viable for the majority of small businesses. No biggie – Shopify integrates with multiple platforms including Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, Tik Tok, and more, which means that you can get your products in front of shoppers all over the web to turn followers into customers (without having to clone yourself).
4. It’s more affordable than ever
Some good news amidst Eishkom’s woes and various world-on-fire events is the fact that South African Shopify users (whether you’re new to the platform or already call it your e-commerce home) now qualify for reduced subscription rates. Monthly fees for their basic plan have been reduced from $29 per month to only $19 (around R310) per month, and the mid-tier packages have decreased from $79 per month to just $49 (around R799) per month. (A bargain when you consider the astronomical cost of paying for a designer, a web developer, and a hosting platform.) Watch this video for more info.
5. Online store templates for every type of e-commerce business imaginable
Choose from 100 plus (and counting) themes to build an online store that does your brand justice. Whether you sell juice cleanses or jewellery, building supplies or boerewors, there’s a theme for every kind of business imaginable. If you find the idea of endless choice paralysing (hi!), you can filter potential themes by industry, catalogue size, design type, and layout. And, if a theme is a few pixels shy of your vision for digital dominance, it’s chill – you can customise to your heart’s content.
6. Shopify gives you the tools to manage all aspects of doing business online
Running an e-commerce store isn’t as simple as selling products – you also need to market them, appease the gods of Google, organise shipping and delivery, run paid ad campaigns, and I’ll stop there lest you become overwhelmed. My point is – Shopify covers it all. With hundreds of free and paid apps and plugins, your online store can be as simple or as sophisticated as you like. And as your business grows and evolves, giving your store a glam over is as easy as a few clicks.
7. You can accept payments with Yoco Gateway
And now for the syrup on the koeksister: you can accept card payments on your online store using Yoco Gateway! Set up is easy and quick (I’m talking under five minutes), and all transactions are protected by sophisticated 3D-Secure technology. Plus, you get to keep more of your hard-earned money as our Gateway rates are the cheapest in South Africa, at a mere 2.95% (excluding VAT) for local transactions. 🙇♂️
Importantly, Gateway is reliable and consistent (boasting 100% uptime since its launch), so you’ll never lose sales due to Gateway crashing.