Shopify – Get Your Own Online Store Even If You Dont Have A Product | Building Websites for Dummies

Shopify – Get Your Own Online Store Even If You Dont Have A Product

After recently writing posts about turning your hobby into a business and learning affiliate marketing, I decided to turn my mind to Shopify and how you could get your own online store, even if you don’t have a product of your own to sell.
Shopify is a trading platform which from my research gives you the opportunity to have an online store, just as good as the usual shops we buy from online. It certainly leaves Ebay and Etsy, way behind in the online shopping world. It works equally well for those of you have a product to sell and for those of you who don’t.

Shopify Review

Overall Ranking: 95/100
Price: $9/ month for Lite, $29/ month for Basic, $79/ month for Pro, $179/ month for unlimited, plus transaction fees added from 0.5% – 2% depending on package.
Website: www.shopify.com

What is Shopify?

Shopify was launched in 2006 when the owners built a tool to sell their snowboards directly to their customers online. It grew from humble beginnings but it was obvious that others could make use of their tool and today it has over 600,000 users, over a 1,000.000 Customers and has generated over 55 billion in sales.
Their platform manages every aspect of an online sales business for you. Easy website builder, inventory, sales channels, payments and shipping.

 

Selling on Shopify without a product

Who is Shopify For?

Shopify is a simple and practical, all in one solution for anyone that is wanting to sell products or services online. From total newbies to seasoned sellers.
As they have a 14 day free trial with no credit card required, I decided to see how easy the platform is to use and so I could give you a hands on rather than a generic review.

My Experience

In a previous life I owned a Vintage Shop and still sell stock I have left over online but on eBay and I tried Etsy too but I didn’t get on with that one. So my first thought was to create a vintage shop on Shopify. First of all I got to upload an image and name my site and create a tag line ( telling people what you do ) I quite liked it and it was very simple. You do get access to 1000 s of photos if you don’t have one for your branding. You can also choose to add your own domain name rather than the one Shopify assigns to you.

Setting Up A Shopify Store

The next step is uploading your products. Title, description, image and price. You also get the option of creating categories and who the vendor is. In this case it is me but if you choose to sell other people’s products and use drop shipping ( more about this later ) then it would be the supplier you use.
You get options for shipping, this can get a bit more complicated if you choose to ship overseas. You can also add variants e.g a t shirt in different sizes.
Your final options are to add an SEO listing preview. This means that the search engines will find your product.

Setting Up A Shopify store

So far so good but at this point I decided that I was not sure about selling my vintage online, despite it being a free trial the product would immediately go online. Knowing my luck it would sell, giving me a job I don’t have time for right now ( these posts don’t write themselves you know! ) Taking photos and making a listing seemed a bit pointless as one of my aims was to show you how you can sell even if you don’t have a product.
So off I went to see what my options were. They have tons of apps some are free some are paid. Some are useful for expanding your store with your own products or for finding products to sell or anything else you can think of. If you are an app designer you can upload your own to the platform.
I’m beginning to see that the possibilities with this platform is massive. But I am running away with myself here. I chose Oberlo a free app for finding products first. In the screenshot below you can see that it seems it can do everything for me. Installing was easy peasy and they provide several training videos to help me on my way.

Oberlo app on Shopify

The choice of products are vast here and come from ali express. The price you pay is shown and you put the mark up you want. There are suggestions for you and there is a video to help you. When it sells they ship it for you.

Shopify app oberlo

 

Now at this point I realise that the possibilities are endless and I need to make some decisions on which way forward my Shopify store is going to go. I’ve only checked out one app. I’m only on day one of my free trial so if you don’t see a post from me in a while, you know why
What I do know is that a Shopify store is something I would definitely recommend, even if you only give it a go for the free 14 days. I know that you can build a successful business on this platform if you follow their advice and training.

Shopify Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 14 Day Free Trial
  • The customer support is excellent. You can reach them 24/7 via telephone, online chat and email.
  • Shopify is flexible and has lots of apps to suit your own personal needs and add the functionality you need for your online store
  • Lots of themes to choose from so your store can look like you want it too.
  • Integrates with over 70 external payment gateways
  • Mobile commerce ready
  • You can use and purchase your own domain name directly through Shopify
  • You can work with a Shopify expert directly to fully customize your online store
  • Full website builder, you can host your entire website on Shopify
  • Full blogging platform which helps you to promote your wares
  • Secure shopping cart
  • Complete store management including customer profiles, customer accounts, customer groups, fulfillment centres, order fulfillment, drop shipping, refunds, email templates and the ability to manage your online store on the go with Shopify Mobile.
  • Search Engine Optimized
  • Sitemap automatically generated
  • Offers gift cards
  • Social media integrated
  • Product reviews
  • Email marketing (Mailchimp)
  • Sell on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and more
  • Full Product Management: inventory, product variations, product organization, multiple images, SEO product tags, digital products, import/export, unlimited products
  • Web hosting: unlimited bandwidth, daily backups, email forwarding, Level-1 PCI compliant, SSL certificate, instant upgrades, 99.9% up-time and 24/7 monitoring
  • Analytics: actionable dashboard, product reports, export reports, Google Analytics, traffic/ referral reports
  • Ecommerce University which will teach you everything you need to know about selling online (eBooks, webinars, video series and more)
If some of the above worries you or doesn’t make any sense, don’t worry, the language of the online world will become second nature and the training will help you to understand it all. It’s a lot simpler than it sounds. I’ve added the complicated sounding stuff for those who have already entered the online world and know how important some of these factors are in achieving success.

Cons

  • If you decide to leave Shopify you will only get is an exported csv file of your product information. This makes moving over to another platform or your own self hosted store a hassle.
  • It will take some time to learn how to use Shopify, if you are a beginner. Sometimes the technical jargon can be confusing but you will get used to it.
  • Be aware of add on fees (some of the themes and applications and external payment gateways)have an additional cost) These can add up if you are not careful.Sell on Shopify free traial

How much does Shopify Cost?

The price varies per package, from $9 per month for the Lite Package to $179 per month for the Unlimited Package. $40 is added for a Retail Package and there are also transaction fees ranging from 0.5% to 2% for transactions depending on which package you take.
Shopify is more costly on a month to month basis than you would pay for your own self-hosted website store, however adding in all the applications included with Shopify will cost you a whole lot more and will be more complicated to achieve. Definitely not an option for a beginner.

In Conclusion

I highly recommend Shopify especially for anyone that is new to working online. The all-in-one solution makes it very simple for you. They will take care of everything you need to work online, leaving you to focus on selling your products/ services.
You will need to spend a bit of time learning how to use the Shopify platform and setting everything up. Once you have put that work in, it will be well worth the effort and you could have a very successful business on your hands. Okay there are a few cons associated with this platform, but the pros and the features they offer far outweigh the minor negatives which are not really negatives at all, just things to be aware of.
If you think this might be for you start your free trial by clicking here

Get Your Shopify Store Here

 

If you have had any experience with Shopify or have any questions please feel free to leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
If you have decided that Affiliate Marketing might be a better choice for you then take a look at my No 1 recommendation by clicking here.

 

With Grace and Gratitude
Karen
Please be aware that this post does contain affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you anymore.

6 Comments

  1. Richard U.

    at

    Great article and thank you for sharing this. I have known many eCommerce platforms out there that really do a great job, but Shopify trumps them all.

    I like how their geography expanded to as many countries meaning you can easily set up your eShop from anywhere in the world and get paid for your item sold.

    I also like that they very simple to use point of sale which allows you to collect payment is any currency and you still get value for your good sold.

    Well done for the great job here and I will surely be coming back for more updates.

    1. Karen Noone

      at

      Hi Richard and thanks for reading. You have added some more great advantages of Shopify here that I had left out of my review. Maybe I should update the post to include your  great advantages of using Shopify.

      With Grace and Gratitude 

      Karen

  2. Dallas McCalister

    at

    Hi Karen – I love your site name… you must have been shocked when you applied for that domain name, right?

    Your review on Shopify is great. I heard about it but had no idea what it was until reading your review, wow, they have done well.

    The 14 day, no credit card required is a great idea, although risky on their part – it must work well with all those customers they have.

    I too can see the potential with this tremendous online business model.

    Shopify seems like a great way to get a global eCommerce business going with lots of help and not too much expense.

    Enjoyed your review Karen, how is your Shopify business going now that you’ve had a chance to work at it?

    As an affiliate marketer and student of this income model Shopify is something, thanks to your excellent review, I am going to try.

    All the best
    Dallas McCalister

    1. Karen Noone

      at

      Hi Dallas and thanks for stopping by. Fabulous name by the way. 

      Yes I was a tad shocked that buildingwebsitesfordummies was available but then I believe that somethings are just meant to be.

      I’m pleased you found my review on Shopify useful. As I only wrote the post yesterday and am only into day 2 of my trial, I am still deciding on my direction but it will definitely be the drop shipping route.

      I will Keep You updated.

      With Grace and Gratitude 

      Karen

  3. Sean Hines

    at

    Hi there! I remember coming across Shopify when I started looking for ways to earn money from home. I think I’m still hung up on the process of selling other peoples’ products instead of your own (that part makes sense). You mentioned selling product from ali express (I’m assuming a supplier). Are you essentially buying products at wholesale then reselling them online at the suggested mark-up? If that’s the case, how much money should be prepared to spend upfront on buying products on top of the monthly fees and shipping/service fees? This definitely seems like it could be very lucrative with time, I’m just curious about the initial investment. Your review and high praise makes me want to delve a little deeper into this marketing method. Thanks for the review!

    1. Karen Noone

      at

      Hi Sean and thanks for reading,

      You do not have to put in any investment with drop shipping. The customer buys from your shop and will pay the appropriate shipping cost. The owners of the product ship the product on demand. They take the cost of the product (wholesale) and the shipping cost and the mark up you have put on it is yours.

      I hope this answers your question.

      With Grace and Gratitude 

      Karen 

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