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7 Critical Shopify Tips You Need To Know Before Starting An Online Store

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Shopify is now one of the leading platforms when it comes to creating and running an eCommerce store. Shopify says it does all the heavy lifting for you, and all you have to do is just count the profits. Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Shopify does manage a lot of things for you, but you need to know some key details before you pay for a plan. This ensures your store runs at 100% efficiency from day one.
Here are 7 Shopify tips to get you started on the right foot.
#1. Focus on mobile while designing a website
Shopify has a great website design tool. All you have to do is just drag and drop elements and set up a URL structure. What many first-comers forget about is creating a great mobile version of the website along with the desktop version.
Why is this important? Adobe’s 2015 State of Content report shows that 8 out of 10 people won’t continue to browse your website if it’s not displaying properly on their device. That’s 80% of traffic lost due to one mistake.
Normally, Shopify will tweak things to make your website look good on mobile. Don’t stop there, double-check the website to make sure it’s performing well on the most used devices. Here are the best practices of mobile-first design you want to implement:
Make the header fixed
Make CTA buttons bigger
Make images the focus of attention
Show as little text as you can
Minimize the number of popups
Optimize for different screen ratios
This Shopify store made the mobile version of their website all about images and big CTA buttons, and it works fantastic for them.

Image Source: Pure Cycle
#2. Stick with Shopify hosting
You can’t underestimate the power of web hosting. Website speed largely depends on it, and customers will leave if the loading time is over 10 seconds.
Even if you’re buying Shopify Lite to boost your already existing website, consider switching to Shopify’s hosting. It’s incredibly fast and has a CDN. A CDN, or content distribution network, is a network of servers located all around the world to make sure customers from Japan and the US have the same site loading speed.
#3. Don’t use a free domain
Shopify will give you a free custom domain, but it’s pretty much useless. It’s a subdomain, and it looks like this: jeffstore.myshopify.com. Needless to say, it’s no way to build a brand. Besides, all your SEO efforts will go towards Shopify’s main domain.
Don’t wait for the store to grow before you buy your own domain, do it now. A domain name may only cost you $20 a year. You’re getting a lot of value for that money. You can build your brand, your SEO works only for you, and you can leave Shopify while keeping the authority your domain generates.
#4. Grab some plugins
The best thing about Shopify is the number of plugins it has. The platform scores high on Apps & Community on this website builder comparison, and there’s no other platform like Shopify that has that amount of customization.
Make the most of this. First, get yourself a HubSpot Shopify plugin. It allows you to automate marketing and takes the routine from your working day. For instance, you can make the plugin send a customizable email exactly 10 minutes after a person has abandoned a shopping cart. This helps you get customers back without lifting a finger. It’s free, too.
Another plugin you need is social login. Use One-Click Social login or Oxi Social Login, they’re the best ones on the Shopify Store. Social login is a simple feature that costs a couple of bucks a month but it means a lot for your business.
It allows for seamless authentication before making a purchase. Why is it important? Because people will abandon a cart if making a purchase requires filling in multiple fields. These plugins let users proceed by clicking one button.
The last plugin that has to be in your collection is Product Reviews for Shopify. It allows users to leave reviews on the website, pretty straightforward. What you may not understand is that this is crucial for your store.
Bright Local statistics show that 57% of people won’t even consider a business with less than 4 stars rating, let alone one without reviews. Having reviews also allows your website to have this appealing rating feature on search engines.

When your website is the only one in search results with a rating, you’re going to attract more customers.
#5. Never forget about photography
Even though Shopify is going to do a lot of things for you, it can’t do everything. One of the most important features that means everything for your sales is not on the list. It’s photography.
Your website can be perfectly built, but if photos of the products are poor, you’re getting nowhere. This is especially relevant when catering to audiences who want to look good. Niches like clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry, etc. are completely photography-dependant. Here’s how a prominent Shopify store handles photography.

Image Source: Tattly
Invest in a good photographer to make quality, creative photos of your product. Build your website with these photos, and it will convert significantly more people.
#6. Learn the basics of SEO
It may take you a long time to get to link building, content marketing, and the like, but it’s worth spending a couple of hours to learn the basics. Shopify offers you all the instruments, all you need to do is use them. It’s not hard either, here’s what you have to do:
Create and submit a sitemap
Optimize images for website speed
Add relevant keywords to corresponding pages
Add unique title and meta tags to every page
Sure, these steps aren’t going to help your website’s visibility unless you start building links and promoting it. However, you should start doing on-site SEO early on. Otherwise, you may end up with a website that needs hours of work to make it Google-friendly before you promote it.
#7. Use Facebook Messenger
According to EConsultancy research, 79% of users prefer to live chat rather than email because it’s faster. 54% prefer to just talk over social media. Shopify lets you combine these two channels with Facebook Messenger integration. It looks super neat too.

Image Source: Facebook
But Facebook Messenger is not just a way for you to talk to your customers directly. It has a feature that will make the customer experience in your store outstanding. It’s the ability to set up a chatbot.
Once you write answers for the most asked questions, your chatbot will answer them for you. It will also direct questions it can’t answer to your team. Your customers get instant answers, and you get more free time. It’s ideal for both of you, and it’s free.
Start small, but aim big
These 7 tips will give you a head start at running a Shopify store. The best advice you can ask for is not to stop there. Start small, use what you can for free, and learn all there is to learn about eCommerce and the promotion of your website.
But you’re not content with that, right? Aim big, and use the knowledge you gain on your journey to reach your goals.
Guest author: James Riddle is a multi-topic writer at WhenIPost.com passionate about new technologies, marketing trends and branding strategies. He is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth and is convinced that it’s always important to broaden horizons. That’s why James develops and improves his skills throughout the writing process to help and inspire people.
James Riddle

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