As if conducting business over the internet weren’t challenging enough, there is a new, critical factor to consider. On Sept. 23, customers of online retailers Thrive Cosmetics were informed through an email that the sales platform they use to process transactions had experienced a data breach about one week earlier. That platform is Shopify.
Started in 2004, Shopify originally targeted sales of snowboarding gear. Now it has grown into one of the most prominent sales platforms, hosting more than 325,000 online shops for both individual sellers and huge companies like Google and Tesla.
Being big has its ups and downs. You can count security issues as a down, especially when the etiquette of online security and fraud procedures are still essentially in development. When mega-retailers such as Target joined banking giant Capitol One, food delivery service DoorDash, and even credit reporting agency Equifax as victims to one of a series of massive data breaches exposing various ranges of customer information, each responded in a manner ranging from timely to unacceptably delayed. The public and media outlets took rightfully gratuitous swipes.
Shopify’s recent breach raises questions of whether there has been transparency at all. The company has not responded to media inquiries for further details on how many customers were affected and what level of data was exposed. Shopify ultimately confirmed the breach more than a week after it happened, explaining that two “rogue members” lifted customer data from at least 100, but less than 200, merchants.
Information released indicates that only names, addresses, and order details were accessed. But follow-up reporting and information from merchants shows the last four digits of credit cards were included in the breach.
The hard truth about e-commerce is this: your visual presentation may be even more of a factor in your success than it would be if you ran a brick-and-mortar store. Why? Because the web is saturated with buying opportunities that can confuse or overwhelm shoppers, and if you’re not paying attention, you could fall into its trap.
We know you’re devoted to building a successful online business. So do the various entities offering platforms for running e-commerce sites. One of the most prolific is Shopify, which may hold the distinction of having the catchiest name of all.
Aside from its branding, Shopify is a leader for some very good reasons. Founded in the earlier days of e-commerce, this Canadian-based company has fascinating roots. Originally designed to hawk snowboarding equipment, it evolved over the years – largely due to solid planning and a strategic approach to marketing that works, as well as a reliable platform that’s amenable to customization.
For these reasons, Shopify continually rates at the top of sites committed to reviewing online platforms. While competitors have their unique strengths, let’s focus for now on the Grandaddy of all e-commerce platforms.
The beauty of relying on a platform such as Shopify means you are addressing multiple issues at once. It’s a comprehensive model that ties together page layout, product display, ordering mechanisms, payment, and satisfaction monitoring all in one fell swoop. For some, this may be a drawback; often proprietors prefer more hands-on control over their business. Yet for novices to mid-level sellers who lack the training and time to coordinate functions separately, Shopify can be the e-commerce guru’s best friend.
Another daunting fact about online shoppers: if they encounter issues with your site one time, that may be their last visit. It’s best to be prepared.
Though it should be obvious, there are perks to going with a leader. Providing timely and satisfactory customer service requires accessing timely and satisfactory customer service. Using Shopify places you in the center of a three-party pyramid, with Shopify as a base level, your store in the center, and your customers on top. Shopify’s customer support option is available 24 hours a day. Should that top level experience issues with your site, your ability to respond with immediate solutions increases dramatically as long as you are available to receive a communique. This is perhaps the best argument for entrusting a ready-made platform in general, and Shopify in specific. Shopify enjoys an outstanding reputation for its devotion to helping users navigate through a variety of fixes.
Want some backup for our glowing reviews of their service and offerings? No problem. See what we mean here, a highly respected national rating site for e-commerce platforms.
The “e” in e-commerce is most often associated with remote transactions. But that’s not the entirety of how vendors may offer wares. Shopify makes it possible to sell to customers in person through Shopify Payments, a point-of-sale app option allowing payment processing using a smartphone. Who loves this? How about artisans who spend untold hours at flea markets, fairs, and farmers’ markets, behind tables and racks stocked with their goods. Cash boxes are still a thing, but why not accommodate the impulse shopper who came armed only with plastic? And for merchants operating small indoor stores, this app is a lifesaver, often replacing outdated bank processing systems.
Shopify Forecast: High Visibility
If this isn’t your first go-round with e-commerce, you’re painfully aware of how much of an obstacle competition can be. Your best efforts to craft a compelling message and excellent mix of product offerings may be in vain if no one can find their way to your site. Marketing is no less important in the online sales universe, which is why it’s critical to find a platform that offers clean SEO code. That’s sort for “Search Engine Optimization,” or the likelihood that a potential customer looking for your goods can find you relatively quickly.
Shopify’s built-in code is branded “crawl-able,” which means it delivers hits based on a variety of search criteria which may not be in an exact order. This may seem like a small thing, but to get a feel for its importance, experiment yourself by looking for a specialized item in your favorite search engine. Notice the limited returns you get, and how they omit sources you know offer these items. It’s a simple matter - they can’t buy from you if they can’t find you.
Based on its longevity, comprehensive offerings, and favorable reviews, it’s easy to see why Shopify reigns supreme as one of the most trusted and used online sales platforms. Its ease-of-use reputation and competitive pricing makes it a logical choice for beginners, intermediates, and even seasoned e-commerce specialists.
But don’t take our word for it: peruse through this list of 40 fabulous online sales sites using Shopify services. The best sales tactic is eye-witnessing a fully functional vendor who has turned to Shopify for its operations. See something you like among these sites? Or something you’d love to customize and build upon? Give Shopify a dry run and take your first step toward establishing yourself as a player in e-commerce.