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What is Shopify and 9 misconceptions about Shopify (2022 Edition)

July 6, 2022

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Table of Contents

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Hero features of Shopify

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Benefits of using Shopify

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Q&A about Shopify

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Common misunderstanding about Shopify

Shopify is an international e-commerce platform with more than a million businesses in over 175 countries. Whether you are starting your business, expanding your original business or simply want better management, Shopify is here to support your business.

Shopify is an international e-commerce platform with more than a million businesses in over 175 countries. It has cooperated with many world-renowned brands such as Tesla, Google, Red Bull, Nestle and more. It aims at providing an all-in-one commerce platform for all merchants. It covers everything from website building to payment and shipping. Whether you are starting your business, expanding your original business or simply wanting better management, Shopify is here to support your business. Shopify also provides different plans, including Basic, Standard, Advanced and Plus for you to choose from. The higher the price of the plan, the more features it offers. Here we will introduce you to some hero features provided by Shopify.

Hero features of Shopify

Shopify Theme Store and App Store

Shopify has its own theme store and app store and provides a wide range of themes and apps for merchants to choose from. Theme store provided over 80 free and paid themes. Each theme has its own features and suits a certain business. Most merchants will choose a theme that best suits their needs when building their website.

Because of the openness of Shopify and its comprehensive APIs, many developers around the world can contribute to developing apps for Shopify users. These apps can assist merchants to run their business in all aspects, including marketing, integrating sales channels and managing sales. There are over 7,000 on the Shopify App Store for you to have a better experience with Shopify. And even if you cannot find an app that fulfills your needs, you can contact Shopify Experts to develop a custom app. 

Theme store provided over 70 free and paid themes. Each theme has its own features and suits a certain business.
Shopify Theme Store

Shopify ecosystem

Shopify is more than just Merchant and Shopify employees. It allows merchants to reach out to a network of digital experts specializing in e-commerce called Shopify Partner. Shopify Partners are experts in different areas such as marketing and design so that the merchants’ vision can come to life. Some external developers are constantly developing new apps and themes to improve the Shopify experience and allow merchants to run their businesses more easily and effectively.

Navy FAB is one of the Shopify ecosystem contributors.

Shopify POS

Shopify has its Point of Sales system for merchants to connect their online business with in-person selling. Merchants can view the performance of the online and offline stores and decide when to restock or move the inventory with this POS system. It also accepts payment in cash, credit cards, and gift cards that the customers purchase online. Shopify POS Lite comes with all Shopify subscriptions, but if you want more advanced features, you can subscribe to Shopify POS Pro.

Automation of marketing and operation

Recovering the abandoned carts can help merchants to recapture a proportion of sales that were meant to be lost. Shopify comes with a built-in abandoned cart recovery that sends emails with links to the abandoned cart for your customers to check out again.
Photo from Unsplash

SMS/Email Notifications

Simple automation like Email/SMS notifications and abandoned cart recovery emails are built-in in Shopify. Recovering the abandoned carts can help merchants to recapture a proportion of sales that were meant to be lost. Shopify comes with a built-in abandoned cart recovery that sends emails with links to the abandoned cart for your customers to check out again.

Shopify Flow

(Originally it was a Plus-only App. Starting from Jun 2022, this feature is also available to Shopify Standard plan and the above.)

For more advanced automation, Shopify Flow is a simple way for you to automate repeated or complex tasks, as well as connect to third-party apps without the need to learn how to code.

More importantly, you can build an automated workflow in Shopify Flow to trigger multiple actions and Shopify Apps’ functionality at the same time, in sequence or by additional conditions. With Shopify Flow, you can do things like start your own loyalty program. You can connect your flow to a loyalty app and reward your customers with points for buying a specific product, leaving a positive review, and then providing discounts according to their points. 

24/7 customer support, Shopify Experts and the global community

There are many ways to find help when you encounter difficulties with Shopify.  All Shopify subscriptions come with 24/7 support through phone, live chat, or email.
Photo from Unsplash

There are many ways to find help when you encounter difficulties with Shopify. First, you can join the Shopify Community to start a discussion, and often other community members and Shopify staff will reply as well. Secondly, all Shopify subscriptions come with 24/7 support through phone, live chat, or email. You can ask them for help as well. You can ask them for help as well. If none of the above solves your problem, you can reach out to Shopify Experts for help. 

Benefits of using Shopify

Now, let’s take a look at the pros brought by Shopify. 

Flexible storefront design

Photo from Shopify

You can modify almost everything from the homepage, collection page and product pages of your store. For the theme, you can do some basic changes such as the font, color and layout of your page. You can also decide what to include in your content and remove the unnecessaries. For more advanced changes that your theme’s setting does not include, you can change the theme code to turn it into the way you want. In order to increase your conversion rate, you can customize your own discount. By providing discount codes, price discounts or free shipping when the purchase exceeds a certain amount, customers are more likely to place the other right away rather than just browsing. Last but not least, Shopify can link up to many payment gateways. You can choose the best ones according to your target customers.

User-friendly admin panel

One of the reasons that Shopify is so popular is how easy it is to use. Everything about your store can be modified or monitored on the dashboard. You can update, add or remove your products at any time without knowing how to code. The setup process of a Shopify store is very beginner-friendly. You can follow the article here to set up your own store with a few simple steps.

Plug-to-play additional functionalities or customize your own

Looking for a developer to set up a certain function? Try browsing the app store before doing so. Creating an app is time-consuming and you probably need to invest a lot of money in hiring a developer to help you do so, not to mention how the time and money may go to waste if the final product doesn’t meet your expectations. With the Shopify app store, you can find almost everything you need from it. Even though some of the apps may increase your monthly expense on Shopify, it is still way much cheaper than building your own. On top of that, you can unsubscribe the app anytime you like if you think it is not really what you want. Lowering your cost on inserting functions and making your budget more controllable. But if you really cannot find what you are looking for, you can reach out to a Shopify Expert like Navy FAB to help you create a custom app.

Manage multiple marketing channels in one place

Image from Shopify

Shopify provides seamless integration with many other ecommerce platforms. For example, you can start a Facebook store and an Instagram Shop after setting up a Shopify store and link up the products in just a few moments. Then, you can manage the sales of both platforms on your Shopify dashboard. No complicated API integrations or technical knowledge are needed.

Customize your store functionality instantly

Looking for a developer to set up a certain function? Try browsing the app store before doing so. Creating an app is time-consuming and you probably need to invest a lot of money in hiring a developer to help you do so, not to mention how the time and money may go to waste if the final product doesn’t meet your expectations. With the Shopify app store, you can find almost everything you need from it. Even though some of the apps may increase your monthly expense on Shopify, it is still way much cheaper than building your own. On top of that, you can unsubscribe the app anytime you like if you think it is not really what you want. Lowering your cost on inserting functions and making your budget more controllable. But if you really cannot find what you are looking for, you can reach out to a Shopify Expert like Navy FAB to help you create a custom app.

FAQs about Shopify

Q1: What are the roles of Shopify Partners?

Shopify Partners are a group of experts in different areas of e-commerce. They are always prepared to use their skills and knowledge to help you design, promote or improve your business. First of all, they can help you to build your store or migrate your store to Shopify. If you are trying to start a new online store, Shopify Partners can help you build a brand new store customized to your needs. And if you already have an online store on another e-commerce platform, you can ask us to help you move it to Shopify. Secondly, for those who already have a store in Shopify, we can help you solve problems you have running your business. Lastly, if you are looking for a certain function but cannot find the right app from the App Store, you can also contact a Shopify Partner to create a custom app.

Q2: What is the difference between Shopify Expert and Shopify Partners?

Anyone can be a Shopify Partner once they sign a contract with Shopify. But not everyone can be verified to be a Shopify Expert. To become a Shopify Expert, Shopify Partners are invited to submit Shopify stores that they have helped succeed for review. Then, they will have to explain and demonstrate their mastery in the field by presenting case studies or apps that they have undertaken to earn the title.

Q3: What payment method does Shopify support in Hong Kong?

With Shopify Payment Gateway, local customers can pay with credit cards including Visa, Master Card, American Express, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. You can also link your store to a third-party payment gateway such as PayPal. Some popular local payment methods such as WeChat Pay (HK & China), Alipay(HK & China), UnionPay, Payme, BOCPay, and FPS can all be integrated into Hong Kong Shopify. Navy FAB partners with Fin-tech companies to enable e-wallets payments in the Shopify platform and these payment methods can be excluded from the “Additional fees using all payment providers other than Shopify Payments” at the same time. However, there will be a one-off settlement account opening fee. Applying through Navy FAB will have a discounted package on the handling fee. Please contact us for more details.

Q4: How can I do email marketing on Shopify and how much does it cost?

You can do email marketing by using the templates provided by Shopify to notify your customers about your new products, promotions, restocking, and more. You can also edit and create your own templates. To automate email marketing, you can use flow to send emails automatically when an event is triggered. As for the pricing, each merchant will have 10,000 free emails each month. Afterward, Shopify will charge you $0.001 USD per email. Please note that the 10,000 free emails cannot be carried over to the next month. 

Q5: What is the difference between POS and POS Pro?

Shopify POS Pro has all the features of Shopify POS Lite plus some extra features. One of which is Omnichannel selling features. It allows customers to ship the product to their desired location even if they consume it in the physical store. On the other hand, it also allows customers to pick up their order in a physical store even if they purchased it online. Apart from supporting Omnichannel, the POS Pro also allows an unlimited number of staff. With Shopify POS Lite, the logins are the same for all staff so it’s only for one-man-band stores. But with POS Pro, you can have an unlimited number of staff and assign roles and permissions to each of them. This can ensure better security and prevent data leakage. 

Common misunderstanding about Shopify

Shopify is a Marketplace like Amazon/Taobao.

They are not the same. Shopify is an e-commerce platform for you to build and run your own store. Amazon and Taobao is a marketplace that allows you to sell your product alongside other sellers. It is like the difference between renting a store yourself and consigning your product to someone’s store.

Shopify does not have a free plan.

Shopify does not have a free plan, but you can start your store with a minimum monthly payment of $25 USD. There is a trial period of 14 days. You do not have to provide any credit card information until you decide which plan you will be using after the 14 days. You can cancel, upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time. Sign up for a trial here. No credit card needed.

Shopify Partners is equal to official Shopify staff.

No, they are not the same. Official Shopify staff are people who are hired by Shopify directly while Shopify Partners are external experts who are here to create different themes and apps as well as help merchants to solve their problems. Navy FAB is one of the Shopify Partners.

Local payment methods like Alipay, WeChat, Payme, BOCPay and FPS cannot be integrated into Shopify.

WeChat Pay (HK & China), Alipay(HK & China), UnionPay, Payme, BOCPay and FPS can all be integrated into Hong Kong Shopify. Navy FAB partners with Fin-tech companies to enable e-wallets payments in the Shopify platform and these payment methods can be excluded from the “Additional fees using all payment providers other than Shopify Payments” at the same time. However, there will be a one-off settlement account opening fee. Applying through Navy FAB will have a discounted package on the handling fee. Please contact us for more details.

Shopify is templated and not customizable.

No, Shopify is flexible. Shopify is front-end customizable and provides you with more than 80 themes to choose from to enhance it. You can use the “Drag-and-Drop” theme editor to edit your store. If you want to make even more changes, you can change the code of your theme. But to do so, you will need to have some basic understanding in Liquid because most of the files are written in this language. But note that after you change the code, the theme may no longer update automatically. If you want to change the codes but have never worked with coding before, feel free to contact us

China customers cannot access Shopify sites.

China customers can access Shopify sites, but you may not be able to use some functions. For example, if your website is using Facebook Pixel or Google Analytics to analyze your business, you will encounter difficulties because of the Great Firewall. Also, you cannot do SEO with Shopify in China because Shopify’s business model is not a trend in China.

Shopify is for small businesses only.

No. Shopify supports all businesses. Shopify provides different plans to support no matter its size. If you are doing a small business, you can subscribe to the Basic or Standard Shopify plans. It will provide various functions and help to ensure your business is running smoothly. If your business is large, you can consider using the Advance plan. Shopify also offers Shopify Plus for enterprise-level companies. To know more about the difference between the plans, please take a look at the Shopify plans and pricing

There is limited bandwidth and transactions with Shopify, making it not scalable.

No. Shopify does not have a scalability problem. There are over one million merchants on Shopify and they are doing about 30,000 checkouts per minute. Shopify also complies to Level 1 PCI DSS, ensuring the safety of each transaction. Most importantly no bandwidth or transaction limits are imposed by Shopify so Shopify stores are completely scalable and no extra IT cost when you do more sales during the BFCM or other holiday seasons!

Shopify does not support enterprise tools.

Absolutely not. Shopify has comprehensive APIs for all commerce functions and allows merchants to create custom integrations. It can integrate with some common tools like Celigo, Zapier, Netsuite, Salesforce, Zendesk, Cin7, Hubspot, ActiveCampaign and so on.

Lastly, if you have any enquiries regarding setting up Shopify for the Hong Kong market, please feel free to contact us!

Written by Aiman Lam

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