“Who doesn’t know Shopify!”- Let’s cut through this and simply accept that there are many of us who wish to know what it is and its capabilities. If you’re a traditional business owner looking for options to start selling online or a startup wanting to establish online stores, here you go-
What is Shopify
Shopify is a tool that you can use to build your online store. You can sell almost anything on Shopify- products, services, subscriptions, memberships, rentals, classes, courses, you name it, it’s sellable.
Don’t get confused between Amazon, eBay, and Shopify. While Amazon or eBay are marketplaces, Shopify is a hosting platform that helps you sell on these marketplaces with built-in apps and plugins. With Shopify, you can establish an online omnichannel selling capability.
How Shopify Works
Shopify is a Software as a Solution (SaaS) platform that provides features to set up an eCommerce store on the go.
It has a monthly fee (starts from $9) which gives you access to an admin panel where you can store data and add products. It has a number of free and paid themes to choose from to design your store. With this, you can sell your products on multiple places like marketplaces, social media, your website, and so on.
How Shopify Helps Merchants
1. It has a tool for everything you’ll need
Shopify provides you with the tools necessary for setting up an online eCommerce store. It has a tool for almost everything. You get both free and paid tools that help you
- Create brand logos
- Design banners, ads, brochures, etc
- Automate emails, run social media ads, get performance metrics.
- Source product content
- Integrate with social media platforms
- Calculate finances
- Print order invoices, labels, receipts, packing slips
- Create loyalty /referral programs
- Create forms
- Do SEO audits
- Add customizing options like printable mugs, T-shirts, etc
These are just a few examples. There is much more you can do with your Shopify store.
2. It offers insights into your performance speed
Shopify’s back end offers a performance dashboard that shows metrics like site speed over time, how your recent activity like adding a new app or changing a theme has affected your site speed, the home page, and product page metrics, and even shows what apps/features are causing your site to slow down.
Here’s what it looks like.
3. Shopify is a Cloud-hosted platform
Cloud hosting means no risk of losing your data due to server problems. It also means you do not need to worry about web hosting or the technical support it demands. If you’re new to the online business, these are challenges you’d want to be away from and Shopify helps you do exactly that. Plus web hosting cost is pre-included in the Shopify fees.
4. It is Secure and Reliable
Data breaches have caused trust issues and loss to businesses in the past. To curb this PCI DSS was formed (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards). Shopify is Level PCI DSS Compliant. This means – All Shopify stores are PCI compliant as they do not store customers’ payment information.
Shopify currently powers over 800,000 businesses in approximately 150 countries and is trusted by brands such as Tesla Motors, Budweiser, Red Bull, LA Lakers, the New York Stock Exchange, GoldieBlox, and many more.
5. Shopify is for All
Shopify has plans for everyone, from a start-up to an enterprise. It has a 14-day free trial where you get to test all the features and see if that works for you. If you wish to go light on customizations, there’s Shopify Lite at $9 per month. This advances to Basic Shopify – best for new business at $ 29, Shopify- Best for growing businesses at $79, and Advanced Shopify- best for growing business with more than 2 retail stores at $299. They are billed monthly.
6. Great Support
What’s a great product without customer service? Shopify makes problem-solving easy with tons of knowledge base in its blogs written by eCommerce experts.
Shopify Compass – offers courses on eCommerce which help you learn from experts in every aspect of online business. It offers full courses, webinars, case studies, articles, and an exhaustive list of resources where you can learn at your own pace.
They have a community and help center as well. Basically, Shopify’s support system is big and you’ll get enough support from them.
All these great Shopify features are designed so that you can feed in quality product content, launch products faster, sell them and succeed in your online business.
What can hamper this process is
- Low-quality product data
- Manual effort in checking product data
- Slow time to market
- Duplicated product data that kills time
- Products without digital assets like images, videos, etc
- Having a great store but not great content
- Not considering automated tools to produce product content
A PIM Can Help
A PIM (Product Information Management) tool can only add to the experience of your Shopify store. Products are the foundation for any eCommerce business and with so many businesses selling products, customer experience can be your biggest differentiating factor.
There are many PIM solutions in the market today that can do the job of managing product information without a glitch. You can import product data from different sources, enrich them using a PIM, categorize them and map them into respective Shopify fields. A PIM tool integrates easily with multiple systems and can provide you consistent quality data making your customers super happy when they shop for your products.
Let me take you through how a Shopify Integration helps your online business succeed.
1. Goodbye to Homegrown Systems and Spreadsheets
Traditional methods of managing product information have one major drawback- that is the data is prone to manual errors. Whether you are using
- Legacy systems
- Product spec sheets spread across different systems
You are heavily reliant on human resources to consolidate this data and update them on your Shopify store. Our clients reported making huge investments in maintaining homegrown systems and resources to get barely 1000 products to market. This information was spread among many teams and it became almost impossible to look up any information regarding a product when needed.
A PIM at a fractional cost lets you have all this information in one place in an organized way for easy access and usage. A PIM dashboard shows details like the number of categories, products, attributes, and the completeness status of products.
This helps you have an overview of how your product information is organized and the actions you need to take.
2. Product completeness check
Product completeness is a measure of readiness of your product SKU to be synced with Shopify. A PIM tool has a number of attributes like text, images, descriptions, dimensions and so on that constitute a complete product. You choose what attributes are important for your product to go live on Shopify and only those products that have a 100% product completeness get synced to Shopify.
3. SEO Friendly Products
Organic search is a vital way of your products being found online. You can build SEO-friendly meta titles and descriptions within a PIM tool and sync them to Shopify attributes. Having them in place is inbuilt within PIM and it increases your visibility to millions of people who search for products with search engines.
4. Import Existing Data to Shopify via PIM
A PIM tool can process data of different formats and iterate it to match the Shopify product requirements. You may have existing data in different places like a spreadsheet, an ERP, or vendor documents. A PIM can take all of that and make it compliant with Shopify within hours.
5. Integrate PIM With Your Existing ERP
PIM systems have APIs. API is an interface that talks to another system. You can think of it as the conversation starter. API makes it easy for a PIM tool to integrate with any system including your ERP.
An ERP stores back-office information. That data is transactional and not visually appealing or marketing ready. It is all codes and numbers if you see it. With a PIM ERP integration, you can have all your ERP data channelized into PIM and manage it from there to make it Shopify ready.
Here read in detail how a PIM ERP integration helps level up your eCommerce business.
6. Bulk Edit Product information
Editing thousands of products/attributes is a nightmare for the web teams. A PIM solution has in-built options to filter data and edit them all at once. It also helps you to sort data by the channels — meaning you can choose to edit only the data shown on your Shopify store, website, or physical store.
Bulk edits help you edit almost anything related to your products like the dynamics like pricing, product specifications, descriptions, availability, stocks, variant data, color, and so on within a click.
7. Setup cross-sell and upsell products
Cross-selling and upselling encourage the buyers to shop for items related to or better than their current purchase consideration. The sections on your product pages that read- “Also buy”, “People who bought this also bought” are the cross-sell and upsell products. This can be managed seamlessly within a Shopify-PIM integration and easily edited with the PIM whenever required and synced to your Shopify store.
8. Market products on multiple channels
People start their search on marketplaces more than they do on search engines, 46.7% to be precise. Now, that’s nearly half. You need to be visible not only on search engine results but also on marketplaces.
This is multi-channel marketing and it is important because 73% of businesses already have a strategy in place and you wouldn’t want to leave business on the table.
With a Shopify PIM integration, you can push any number of products to multiple channels all in a click. PIM tools are designed not only for enriching data but also to enable merchants to sell expansively.
9. Manage product variants automatically
Variants displayed intuitively on product pages help you to sell more and be more visible on search. They lure the users because they love having more options to choose from.
For example, if a shoe has multiple color variants there is a greater chance of users staying on the page and eventually buying the product.
PIM tools help you set up variant data without having to recreate the products from scratch. PIM functionalities not only help you replicate product data but also make sure they are channelized accurately into multiple channels.
10. Automate product sync with Shopify
Consistent product launches keep your store afresh and also keep you in the eyes of your customers. We cannot stress enough how important it is to register your brand in people’s minds to be able to market.
But consistent product launches are no easy tasks if you have manual efforts involved. If you have to create and recreate SKUs, manually edit product images, videos, variants, descriptions and manually map them into your Shopify store- it can be frustrating and full of errors.
A Shopify-PIM integration enables you to launch products to Shopify directly from your PIM. The PIM does its job on its own in the background as the product sync is automated at a preset frequency.
This gives you complete control over product data and a sense of calm because syncs are automated and do not require your presence.
11. Business expansion
Every business need not dream of expanding their business because it is doable easily with a Shopify-PIM integration. Shopify powers merchants to sell across the globe but how’d you do it without being compliant with demographics, currency, and people’s culture?
If you are a business that isn’t selling to different regions, you are leaving money on your competitors’ table.
With a PIM tool you can set up multiple languages and currencies for your product SKUs and with Shopify, you can sell them. You do not need to recreate the SKUs individually for every region, you create them once in the PIM and sell them wherever you want.
12. Achieve faster time to market
PIM is built to save time and money, and multiply revenue for your eCommerce business. Time is money they say and businesses that launch products that when there is high demand, stand the test of time. Shopify can be used directly to import and edit products but there are limitations on the number of products (only 50 products at a time).
PIM eliminates this limitation and helps you edit products in bulk and send them all over to Shopify within a few clicks, thus helping you achieve a faster time to market.
A PIM is a central repository of your product information which makes managing complex product data, simple. It was built to eliminate manual processes and automate business workflows and make scalability available to everyone, not just the enterprise but also SMBs. Shopify is a powerful tool in itself and when paired with a PIM there’s no more stopping you from scaling your business to greater bounds.
Subscribe to our blog for more such articles about the PIM and eCommerce industry.