For those planning to launch an e-commerce store, Shopify offers a one-stop option with a high level of flexibility and is simple to manage on a day to day basis. While you can tackle the majority of basic management tasks simply enough, chances are that you will require the help of a Shopify expert at some point. Finding the right Shopify developer can help improve your e-commerce store in a variety of ways. But your first step will have to be identifying exactly what it is that you need, and evaluating the costs of that professional advice.
Digital marketing can be a competitive space....some might even say aggressive. If you want to help yourself stand out, it's a great idea to stay on top of the latest trends and movements within your industry while keeping an eye on everyone else if you want to identify key ways to beat out your competitors. Understanding your competitive landscape is an essential part of any business that allows you to have a clear look at your competitors and what they are currently doing to drive more traffic to their business. Don't know who your key competitors are? That's step number one. Identify them! This can be done with a simple google search! Start by googling three or four groups of keywords you would like to be found for. For example: If you are a beauty brand that works exclusively with organic products, think of the key phrases that you might think of to seek out that type of product. Natural beauty products, Organic beauty products, all natural, etc. From there, you will further be able to understand and identify the strengths and weaknesses of others in the industry, and further compare your business in relation to others. This also allows you to see certain gaps, and uncovers new opportunities to help differentiate your brand. When you are looking at the competitive landscape, always make sure that you are choosing the right metrics to look at, along with the right competitors, and from there- start your strategic planning so that you can compete effectively!
Last week, we took a surface level look at the different website CMS options available to business owners. In this week’s blog, we’re going a little deeper, comparing two of the most popular options: Shopify and WordPress. As we begin to compare the two, it’s worth mentioning both Shopify and WordPress are proven platforms that work for millions of customers. What distinguishes them from each other is how you plan to use them. Let’s break it down into some of the key ways people interact with these platforms. Blogging A regularly updated blog should form a central pillar of any digital marketing effort. In this area WordPress excels. The platform started life as a blogging tool that later implemented ecommerce as a feature. WordPress reportedly runs 65 per cent of all websites on the internet today. With its array of plug-ins and tools, it’s the industry leader from a blogging perspective. While WordPress is known for its blogging capabilities, Shopify is no slouch either. Though the focus is on ecommerce, each Shopify online store comes with the option to create a blog and the embedded capabilities will be plenty to meet your needs. All the blogging basics are handled in a smooth and elegant interface, covering common features like inserting images and video, automatic SEO and ability to schedule posts into the future. It’s not as robust a blogging platform as WordPress, but it should be more than enough for all but the most demanding of users. Ecommerce Ecommerce isn’t handled natively through WordPress. Instead, users install an extension called WooCommerce to conduct business. This free tool is made by Automatic, the owners of WordPress so it’s completely trustworthy and safe to use. Around since 2011, WooCommerce integrates seamlessly with existing WordPress sites. One area it falls down is design. To craft a beautiful WooCommerce platform the services of a web developer are usually needed. If you have the budget, great! However, it’s often not feasible for start-up businesses. Shopify’s strength is in its robust ecommerce offering. It offers dependable security and a range of beautiful templates that can be implemented without the use of a web developer. Shopify also offers a unique “ecommerce university” education platform, where users can avail of training, support and mentorship from a large community of users. Looking to add features to your store? Shopify has a convenient app store built-in to its platform. If you’re more focused on ecommerce than blogging, Shopify is the stronger platform for your needs. Hosting Shopify is a hosted web solution. This means your site will run on Shopify’s servers. Everything you will need to get your store up and running happens “off the shelf,” meaning no developers, no web hosting fees or the need to install specialized software. Shopify is offered as a service, so you won’t own the software. Instead, you pay a monthly fee to Shopify and everything is hosted in the cloud. As long as you have an internet connection you can manage your store or website. WordPress does things slightly differently. You can follow the Shopify model and host your website on WordPress for a monthly or a yearly fee. Going down this route provides a quick and easy way to get simple websites online. Unfortunately, it’s less of an all in one solution than Shopify, as you’d need to use a third-party tool (such as Shopify) to add an ecommerce solution to your site. Alternatively, you can self-host on your own existing server. This is more of an advanced solution, allowing users to customize pretty much every aspect of their site. Ease of Use We’ll finish by looking at an important factor that plays a huge role in people’s decision making – How easy is each platform to use? Shopify is the winner in this regard, with its off the shelf template and easy setup making it the platform of choice for everyday users. That being said, WordPress offers a deeper layer of customization for those willing to tinker under the bonnet, or employ a developer to do it for them. Overall, each platform has strengths and weaknesses. Shopify excels for those looking to find a robust ecommerce solution. While WordPress is aimed more at bloggers and casual websites. Which platform works for you is very much dependent on how you plan to use it. Find Out More As a Shopify Partner, GD Commerce can help you launch beautiful ecommerce stores for every size and budget. Contact us, and we’ll be happy to discuss your individual needs. Thank you to our GD Commerce Partners: Create Your Business Website Using Shopify Harness the Power of Drip CRM Software Set up Subscription Boxes, Recurring Orders and Payments Easily Using Bold Partners Boost Your Business Bookkeeping with Bench Learn How to Master Website SEO Using Mangools