Shopify for your small business? 6 things you must know before you launch

Do you want to launch a Shopify store for your small business? Excellent idea. Why? Well, for starters the 2020 global health crisis has accelerated growth from brick-and-mortar shops to Shopify eCommerce stores by five to ten years, at least.

While the idea of launching a Shopify store for your small business is exciting, there is much to consider. It isn’t difficult to open a Shopify store or get a Shopify store setup service. However, it can be extremely difficult to navigate the ins and outs of eCommerce, fulfillment, and digital marketing. Especially if you haven’t had much experience with Shopify as a small business or online services in general.

But, when you succeed… it will all be worth it, current projections by many industry experts say that eCommerce will see a growth of 20 percent by the end of this year.

Following these six tips, you’ll be able to optimize your customers’ online shopping experience and, as such, boost your conversions, retention of customers, and ensure you maximize your digital ad spend.


1. What will your Shopify store be selling?

Okay, so it might seem like an obvious one to grasp. But, you’d be surprised how many people do not think clearly about what they will be selling on their Shopify Store. Or if they do know what they would like to sell, they lack knowledge of how they’re going to acquire the initial supplies in the first place.

Will you be importing your products, making them here, or dropshipping them from domestic or international suppliers? Know your supply chain before you build or get a Shopify store setup service.

Like many things in life, some things work well in theory, but, upon further reflection, the picture can reveal many more problems than initially anticipated.

Maybe you’re thinking of setting up an Apparel Business on Shopify as a side hustle? Will you choose a Print-On-Demand company like Printful and take care of the designs yourself, or will order in bulk amount with the design already printed on them?

Will you be doing a store with many products or maybe a single product Shopify store? Both can be highly lucrative. Perhaps, your business already has products or services to sell? You should ask yourself, is Shopify the best platform for your small business? Do I understand the supply chain?

Asking thorough questions in this stage can save you countless hours of wasted time and money later on in your Shopify store journey.


2. Who will you be selling to?

It helps to be specific in the world of eCommerce. If you already know your niche, that’s great. You should also consider creating a customer avatar. In online marketing, a customer avatar is a fictional character that helps to better understand who our ideal target audience will be.

An avatar is a  detailed profile of your ideal customer used by marketers to do interest-based targeted ads. Where does your ideal customer hang out online? What age are they? What job do they have? Are they educated to degree standard? Do they own their own home?

So many times business owners miss this part out completely, they don’t realise that understanding their “Target Audience” is crucial to success with Shopify as a small business, or any sized business for that matter.

Asking the right questions ensures you have an informed and comprehensive understanding of your ideal customer so you can be more specific in your content, store design, layout, and online advertising – all of this will help your Shopify small business have a better chance of success in the highly competitive market of eCommerce in 2020.


3. Do you know your competitors?

Find out who else is selling items like yours by doing a simple search on Google and Facebook. The businesses you find selling what you intend to  – will be your competition.

You have to know them very well, like really know them. I don’t mean the star signs or addresses. All jokes aside, look at their website traffic, and how successful their Shopify store is? Stalk their social media channels to get inspiration. Bear in mind that there is no point in copying someone that is unsuccessful if you want success.

In eCommerce – you only want to follow successful stores if you want to be successful. You don’t have to recreate the wheel, follow what is working for others. But, be unique in the way you present your ideas to the internet.

How do you know which businesses are successful?  You check their website traffic (visitors) using spy tools like – SimilarWeb, SEMrush, and Spyfu. They will tell you how many website visitors your competition are getting which will give you an indication of how much they are turning over.

You can also use the Facebook ads library by searching the business name to see what ads they are running on Facebook (see how many ads and how long they have been running for an indication of success).

Simple, quick, but effective checks like this will give you great insight into what is and isn’t working for all of your major and less well-known competitors.


4. Shipping arrangements?

Another consideration that follows up knowing your product, finding your target audience, and understanding your competition is deciding your Shopify store’s shipping arrangements. Where is your audience located primarily? How long will the shipping take to reach your customers?

What are the costs involved with shipping? What is the average weight of your product? Over 90% percent of consumers will leave an online retail site if free shipping is not offered. So, considering ways to offer free shipping is an important step to take.

Will you offer Free Shipping?


5. What is your Online Marketing Strategy?

Small businesses are looking for the right opportunities to stay afloat due to the current climate. With the restrictions taking place on the physical side of things,  small businesses up and down the country and worldwide, are turning to digital marketing agencies. Agencies like Social Traffic Gurus are working with eCommerce business owners –  generating their business’s new online revenue streams, sometimes far exceeding the money they were earning previously in their physical stores.

During this current downtime, Shopify small businesses and others have the opportunity to figure out how to pivot their business while moving their operations online to take ownership and control,  back once again. You’ll need to figure out how to crack that elusive continuous revenue stream and flow of customers into your Shopify business using advertising on  Facebook, Google, YouTube, TikTok, SEO, and Email Marketing.

There are countless platforms your business can use to get out to the masses, it all depends on what you’re selling and who you are selling it to.

Opportunity for direct face-to-face communication isn’t coming back anytime soon, so small Shopify businesses should take to social media and PPC (pay-per-click) advertising to reach their existing and new customers as it’s better to take ownership, initiative, and control.


6. Keep it simple?

Do NOT overcomplicate things. As a business owner, you have to take ownership, you must be dynamic and inspirational. But, you also MUST keep things simple. You DON’T want shiny object syndrome where you move from one idea to the next, it’s best not to sell too many products at once, especially if it’s your first time selling online.

You don’t want to have excess inventory in your early days. Keep your inventory specific and detailed. Everything must fit well together. Whether you’ve gone single product store or multiple product store… simplicity will be the difference between success and failure.

Perfectionism can sometimes be a barrier to success when not managed well, be wary of over-complication as many business owners fail in this regard. Spending months and sometimes even years on unnecessary tasks that feed their perfectionism and egos, but, unfortunately, not their pockets, bank accounts, and online success.

Focus on the tasks that will move your business forward as much as you can, this way you won’t get stuck doing actions that only take you sideways or backward.


Final Thoughts

Other than the above, check out these extra tips for your Shopify small business, including:

Properly describing your products: As a Shopify small business, you want to sell products online. So, describe them as you would wish to be sold. Tell your customers how wonderful they will feel when using them. Remember that including trust badges, and adding scarcity on your product page can and will help with conversions. have you seen when Amazon says there are only 2 left of this item? Scarcity works, use it in your store.

Highlight your bestselling products at the top of your pages: doing this to your bestselling products is a great way a Shopify small business can increase conversions. So, starting your Shopify business won’t be easy, there will be challenges ahead. However, if you don’t quit and you do end up succeeding. The rewards are huge.  Astronomical really. Success shall never taste so sweet.

You’ll have to be a fighter, there will be many obstacles. But you CAN do it, so go and do it.

Best of luck to you!