Choosing the right e-commerce platform as a first-time online store owner is now tricker than ever. If you have already started your research, you might have already come across Shopify. But what Shopify features make the platform a worthy competitor in the market?
Year by year, there are tons of platforms popping up, and more and more stores are coming up online, trying to meet the growing demand of shoppers. What fuels this growth is undoubtedly the convenience and the vast offerings it brings to the table. And now, if you want a piece of this and are thinking of starting your own e-commerce store, you need a solution that not only helps you set up your digital storefront but also helps you scale up. And Shopify is just that and more!
In this article, we are going to discuss Shopify features in detail and how they enable merchants like you to build a strong retail storefront. So, let’s begin!
Why Use Shopify: 4 Best Benefits of the Platform
Here’s why you should use Shopify:
- Secure Platform
Shopify prioritizes the security of not only your business but also your customers. All stores with Shopify are, by default, PCI DSS compliant, ensuring they adhere to industry standards for secure payment processing while keeping your customer’s info and business data safe.
The platform also offers SSL certification, which encrypts data transmitted between your Shopify website and customers, protecting sensitive information like payment details.
- Less Build Time
Shopify provides an intuitive platform with pre-built features, themes, and a user-friendly interface, reducing the time it takes to set up your store compared to many other platforms.
While you may need to install apps to add specific functionalities, the overall process is still significantly faster, making it an excellent choice for businesses looking to launch or transition to a new e-commerce platform swiftly.
- Diverse Range of Shopify Themes
With over 150 themes to choose from, including those developed by Shopify’s own team and trusted partners, Shopify themes provide you the flexibility to save time and effort on design and development.
With these themes, you are sure to have a store with enhanced looks that functions seamlessly with the Shopify features to meet your business needs. Moreover, Shopify’s constant theme updates ensure your themes are relevant and upgraded to meet the growing demand of your customers. You can filter the themes by your industry as well.
For example, if you are running a fashion or clothing store, you can easily find Shopify clothing store themes using the filters. Also, if you ever spot a Shopify store with a great theme and wish to know which theme they have used, you can use a Shopify theme detector.
- Expand Your Store’s Functionality with Shopify Apps
Shopify offers a diverse ecosystem of over 8,000 apps catering to various customization needs. These apps undergo rigorous 100-checkpoint reviews before becoming available on the Shopify App Store, ensuring reliability and security.
Furthermore, Shopify’s merchant-powered algorithms provide tailored app recommendations, drawing from successful strategies employed by businesses similar to yours.
This extensive library of trusted apps enables you to fine-tune your store’s functionality, from marketing and sales to inventory management and customer support, making it easier to meet your specific business objectives.
8 Features of Shopify You Should Know In 2023
What makes Shopify unique? Here are 8 of the best Shopify features that makes it a perfect choice for businesses of all sizes:
- One-Stop Order Management System
The need for a single, centralized platform for efficient order management has become more critical now than ever. As businesses expand and customers increasingly demand seamless shopping experiences, the complexities of capturing, tracking, and fulfilling orders across various sales channels can pose significant challenges.
That’s why Shopify’s order management and delivery system is a remarkable feature for those who are looking to simplify the entire order-handling process. With this Shopify feature, you get:
- Effortless Inventory Management: Real-time control and easy replenishment from a single location.
- Streamlined Order Fulfillment: Simplify fulfillment with smart routing for efficient processing.
- Shipping Made Simple: Purchase discounted labels and enjoy global carrier rates.
- Customer-Centric Returns: Enhance trust with seamless, self-serve returns for customers.
- Smart Automation and Customization: Customize orders and automate processes for efficiency.
- In-Depth Order Insights: Stay informed with real-time analytics and automatic customer notifications.
- Local Delivery and Pickup: Offer flexible options and manage orders effortlessly.
- Inventory Mastery: Accurately track, allocate, and automate inventory tasks.
- Shipping & Delivery Simplified: Seamlessly integrate shipping with pre-negotiated rates.
- Returns and Refunds with Ease: Enable self-serve returns, set policies, and access performance reports.
- Enhance Your Visibility with SEO Tools
Enhancing your online visibility through SEO tools is made effortless with Shopify. Whether you’re a seasoned SEO pro or just starting to explore its potential, Shopify features and the platform itself are designed to give your online store the competitive edge it deserves.
With SEO built right in, Shopify ensures that your website is search engine-friendly from the get-go. Auto-generated canonical tags prevent duplicate content issues, while automatically generated sitemap.xml and robots.txt files ensure search engines crawl your site effectively.
Within Shopify, you also have complete control to optimize your content:
- Customize title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs for blog posts, webpages, products, and collections.
- Fine-tune alt text for images to enhance accessibility and SEO.
And if that’s not enough, Shopify offers a range of SEO apps, including image optimizers, landing page builders, and speed optimizers, to supercharge your SEO strategy.
But, getting your store out there and ensuring it is getting the visibility it deserves, you need to go beyond what is stated above. Here are a few things you should do when you are running your store on Shopify:
- Get a custom domain (e.g., brandname.com) for trust and memorability.
- Install Google Analytics to track website traffic and behavior.
- Set up Google Search Console for insights on ranking and clicks.
- Ensure your theme is mobile-ready for a seamless user experience.
- Remove password protection to allow search engines to crawl your site.
- Gain Insights with Powerful Analytics
The next one on the list of the best Shopify features includes the platform’s powerful analytics. Shopify’s analytics and reporting tools empower you to gain valuable insights into your online store’s performance. In addition to generic metrics such as average order value, online store conversion rate, sessions by device and location, traffic, POS sales, sales, and much more, you also get detailed reports across various subscription plans.
Here’s what you can expect:
- Analytics Page: Available for all users, this provides an overview of your store’s recent activity.
- Financial Reports: Including tax and payment insights, ensuring your finances are in check.
- Fraud Reports: Detect and address potential fraud issues.
- Order Reports: Available on higher-tier plans, offering comprehensive transaction analysis.
- Live View: Exclusive to Basic Shopify and higher plans, it provides real-time store activity.
- Acquisition Reports: Understand how customers find your store.
- Sales Reports: Detailed sales data to drive business decisions.
- Retail Sales Reports: Available on advanced plans, focusing on in-person sales.
- Profit Reports: Track profitability and optimize your business strategy.
Additionally, you can integrate third-party analytics services, like Google Analytics, to further enhance your business’s performance and growth.
Shopify analytics provides you with ample insights into your online store’s performance. All these are aimed at optimizing and strategizing your business’s sales and marketing, discounts and deals, product pricing, and much more. This gradually leads to reduced bounce rates, improved on-site conversions, and amplified sales, the primary goal for most stores.
- Dive Deep into Customer Profiles, Accounts, and Groups
Knowing your customers and their preferences allows you to customize your approach for effective communication, personalized or targeted selling, and, finally, for building a loyal customer base.
With Shopify, every customer order and their details are recorded and can be managed from the ‘Customers’ page in your Shopify admin. At the same time, when a new customer places an order with your store, their name and information are automatically added to your customer list, forming a customer profile. These interactions could be in the form of:
- Signing up for your mailing list or account
- Completing an order
- Initiating a checkout before abandoning it
With this information, you can reach back to your customers through email from your Shopify admin or send discounts and even group email messages by using customer segments.
The customer segments feature essentially groups customers with shared characteristics. Using customer segmentation on Shopify, you can:
- Enable targeted marketing campaigns
- Leverage personalized messaging to engage your audience
- Tailor promotions for regular customers
- Targeting specific geographic locations
- Craft relevant messaging
You can also check out this video below to learn more about customer segmentation on Shopify.
Exploring and understanding key information related to customers becomes easy when it comes to Shopify. It also provides valuable insights into purchasing behavior and demographics. In short, Shopify features are also focused on helping you refine your existing approaches and better connect with your audience.
- Recover Lost Sales: Review and Act on Abandoned Checkouts
Reviewing and acting on abandoned checkouts is vital for improving your online store’s conversion rates and customer satisfaction. Shopify helps you act on your lost sales and convert them into successful customers.
This works by sending personalized abandoned recovery emails. You can choose to send them manually or even automate it (using any Shopify app) after evaluating the following:
- Analyze abandoned checkouts to identify patterns and potential issues that hinder order completion.
- Track payment attempts noted in the ‘Timeline’ of the abandoned checkout for deeper insights into failed payments and customer struggles.
- Use payment event details to assist customers experiencing payment problems during checkout.
If you want more flexibility over your abandoned checkout emails, you can consider enabling the new abandoned checkout automation. It helps you:
- Send automated emails to customers who started checking out but left before completing their purchase.
- Access new settings in the Marketing section to customize email timing and recipients.
You can also measure the effectiveness of your re-engagement efforts through performance metrics available in the ‘Marketing’ section.
- Easy Payment Integrations and Options
Shopify offers a comprehensive range of payment solutions to meet your business needs and enhance customer convenience. You can either choose Shopify Payments or integrate with over 100 global payment providers.
The payment gateways include:
- Hosted: Redirects customers to the payment gateway page and back to your site after payment, ensuring security.
- Self-hosted: Collect payment information on your site and process it through a third-party gateway.
- Non-hosted: Ideal for larger enterprises, handling both payment collection and processing on-site.
Shopify Payments is the easiest method to choose, and it streamlines online payment acceptance, removing the need for third-party providers or manual credential entry. Upon store creation, you’re instantly equipped to accept major payment methods hassle-free. If you don’t want to use Shopify Payments but credit cards instead, Shopify offers 100+ credit card payment providers, including direct and external providers.
- Unleash the Potential of Dropshipping
One of the standout Shopify features is its integrated dropshipping capabilities, making it a game-changer for entrepreneurs looking to start their own online businesses. With drop shipping, you can operate a store without the hassles of managing inventory, packaging, or shipping.
When a customer places an order on your online store, Shopify seamlessly transmits the order to your chosen dropshipping supplier. They handle order preparation and direct shipping to your customer, eliminating the need for you to stock products or manage logistics.
This way, you can significantly reduce upfront costs and inventory expenses, as you only purchase products once they’ve been sold.
With Shopify, you can expand your market reach by selling to customers worldwide, thanks to dropshipping suppliers offering worldwide warehousing and fulfillment options. And yes, you can effortlessly set up your dropshipping partner with Shopify, and the platform works great with Alibaba, Oberlo, and many more.
- Rock Your In-Person Sales with Shopify POS
Shopify POS is one of the most outstanding Shopify features, as you don’t normally find an e-commerce platform that supports in-person selling and online selling so efficiently.
With this, Shopify equips retailers with a robust point-of-sale system that is designed for the modern business landscape. Its significance lies in its ability to streamline sales across multiple channels, offering:
- Omnichannel Capability: Seamlessly sell in physical stores, online, on social media, and through digital marketplaces.
- Efficient Operations: Manage staff, inventory, and customers effortlessly with a connected back office.
- Payment Processing: Accept various payment methods at competitive rates, ensuring smooth transactions.
- Inventory Control: Handle inventory, stock management, and purchase orders from a single platform.
- Customer Loyalty: Boost customer loyalty by tracking purchases and preferences through customer profiles.
- Comprehensive Insights: Gain insights into your business’s performance, from top-selling products to peak business hours.
Shopify POS also integrates seamlessly with a range of hardware options, making it accessible, user-friendly, and ready to use.
Take Your Store to the Next Level With Shopify AI
In the current competitive world of e-commerce, shoppers expect nothing far away from the best when it comes to online shopping. At a time when every click and every sale matters, Shopify was focused on easing the process of selling via the platform for its merchants.
The result was the use of generative AI. Here are two latest AI introductions on Shopify that the merchants can leverage:
According to Google, 85% of shoppers‘ product descriptions are important to them to make a decision on which brand to purchase from. If you have a large catalog of products, writing descriptions for each and every product becomes cumbersome. Shopify Magic aims to eliminate the tedious part of this job through AI-enabled automatic text generation to help speed up your writing process. You can use it for your product descriptions, email subject lines, and even headings in your online store.
An AI virtual assistant for merchants? Yup, that is exactly what Shopify is rolling out. The Shopify Sidekick has still not been launched, but we did our research and found some interesting facts about it.
Shopify Sidekick will help merchants with a set of pre-defined tasks, including creating a discount, analyzing stores, etc. You can even ask the chatbot specific questions related to your business and get appropriate and justified responses with even exact numbers! Although there is no official launch date on this, we are sure that Shopify merchants will find this extremely useful.
Inspiration-Worthy & Successful Shopify Store Examples to Checkout
Here are two successful Shopify website examples that you can take some inspiration from:
- The Sill
The Sill is a vibrant online plant store offering a curated selection of houseplants and plant-related products. What sets The Sill apart is its seamless shopping experience, thanks to Shopify’s robust features. With Shopify POS, The Sill effortlessly bridges online and in-person sales.
Moreover, the platform’s marketing tools and social integrations help The Sill’s products reach a global audience, while convenient one-click and express checkout options through Shop Pay enhance the shopping experience for customers worldwide.
- Muck N Brass
Muck n Brass is a vibrant online store that specializes in unique and upcycled home decor and furniture. Switching to Shopify from another e-commerce platform has also provided the founder, Zoey, with invaluable 24/7 support and comprehensive analytics to optimize the store’s performance.
In addition to this, with the help of Shopify apps, the store seamlessly integrates social media into its website. Deep customer insights obtained through the platform is also another feature Zoey liked, as it allowed her to tailor their offerings to meet specific customer needs.
The journey to success in e-commerce involves staying agile and making strategic choices. Shopify’s dynamic platform offers invaluable tools that can transform your business. The actionable step here is clear: explore the possibilities Shopify offers and leverage them to elevate your online store’s performance. And then sit back and watch your business flourish.