Tag: eCommerce

Shopify

A Small Business Guide to Shopify

One of the most popular eCommerce platforms today is Shopify. It started as a small online store selling snowboards in 2004. Eventually, one of the founders created software to convert it into an eCommerce platform. After 2 years, it became Shopify.

According to a digital marketing speaker Hong Kong, more than 1.7 million merchants sell using Shopify. This is equivalent to more than $5.1 billion of sales. Among all eCommerce platforms, it has a 20% market share. But, do you know that Shopify also has a physical store? Yes, it’s true! In 2018, Shopify opened its first brick-and-mortar store in Los Angeles.

Shopify POS-powered 100,000 merchants. These include famous brands like Gymshark, Nike, Pepsi, Redbull, Tesla Motors, Unilever, and WaterAid. If you are a small business that wants to try out Shopify, here’s a basic guide.

WHAT IS SHOPIFY?

Shopify is a subscription software that allows businesses to set up eCommerce or online stores. They can also sell in physical locations via Shopify POS. What’s good about Shopify is that both the inventory on the physical store and online shop are synced by the software. Thus, you can manage different stores in just one account.

As an eCommerce platform, Shopify offers the quickest way to launch your dream business. It is as simple as getting a subscription and setting up your account. Then you can right away sell products on the Shopify platform. A social media agency Hong Kong noted that Shopify allows product link integration in most social media networks. These include Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

HOW TO SET UP A SHOPIFY SHOP?

Shopify caters to the business of all sizes. It has 3 levels of subscriptions that suit small and medium businesses plus large corporations: 

  • A Basic Shopify subscription costs $29 monthly. The subscription includes setting up an online store with unlimited products. It also includes 24/7 support, abandoned cart recovery, discount codes, and gift cards, fraud analysis, and a free SSL certificate. You can also activate 2 staff accounts within the said plan.
  • The Standard Shopify subscription costs $79 monthly. It includes setting up an online store with unlimited products. It also includes 24/7 support, abandoned cart recovery, discount codes, and gift cards, fraud analysis, free SSL certificate, international domains & pricing, and professional reports. You can also activate 5 staff accounts within the said plan.
  • An Advanced Shopify subscription costs $299 monthly. The subscription includes setting up an online store with unlimited products. It also includes 24/7 support, abandoned cart recovery, advanced report builder, discount codes and gift cards, fraud analysis, free SSL certificate, international domains & pricing, professional reports, and third-party calculated shipping rates. You can also activate 15 staff accounts within the said plan.

The online credit card rates for each Shopify subscription also vary: 

  • Basic Shopify charges 2.9% plus $0.30. It also charges a 2% extra fee for Shopify payments made through other payment providers.
  • Standard Shopify charges 2.6% plus $0.30. It also charges a 1% extra fee for Shopify payments made through other payment providers.
  • Advanced Shopify charges 2.4% plus $0.30. It also charges a 0.5% extra fee for Shopify payments made through other payment providers.

The good news is you can register for a free 14-day trial to try the Shopify features. To create a Shopify account, you will need to register your email address and a password. At this point, you will also need to pick a store name. It will be charged later once you decide to continue after the 14-day free trial. Once you have signed up for an account, you will need to fill and set up information about your store. 

Setting up an online store in Shopify requires you to add a domain. This domain can either be a customized one or that from shopify.com. Afterward, you can select your store theme. Please note that paid themes also allow a 14-day free trial. Now, you can customize your store by uploading the products that you want to sell. The next steps would be setting up your checkouts, shipping options, tax regions plus rates, and payment systems.

One thing good about Shopify is its easy integration with other sales channels, social media networks, and third-party apps. You can link your Shopify account with Amazon, eBay, Facebook & Instagram Shops, and Google. You can also add pages like About Us, Contact Us, FAQs, and Privacy Policy.

WHAT IS SHOPIFY POS?

POS stands for point of sales. Shopify POS is an extra feature to any Shopify subscription. It syncs your brick-and-mortar stores, online stores, and other sales channels into one account. Shopify POS Lite is a free version. For businesses who want to unlock additional features, the Shopify POS Pro costs $89 monthly. The Shopify POS is an all-in-one dashboard where you can manage all activities in your store. You can also assign staff accounts to help you in doing so. What’s good about Shopify Pos is that it supports 20 languages. It can also be accessed via Android and iOS apps. 

THE BOTTOM LINE

Today, modern consumers shifted to online searches instead of shop hopping. As 2/3 of the world’s population (4. 66 billion) uses the Internet, it pays to create a Shopify account. They are the cheapest and easiest way to set up an eCommerce shop or online store.

Reference: https://www.ondeck.com/resources/small-business-guide-shopify

Online Purchases

Key Factors Influencing Online Purchases on Facebook

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly changed how people connect, learn, shop, and work. The lockdown and social distancing measures enforced by the government paved the way for online presence. Families bounded by long-distance geographic locations now connect through online messaging apps and social networks. Kids and other students do virtual classes. Most people in the workforce started working from home. For brands and businesses, brick-and-mortar stores have transformed into digital shops. These online shopping experiences have been widely accepted by modern consumers. 

According to a digital marketing speaker Hong Kong, the rise of eCommerce stores has changed the expectations of brand relationships and product discoveries. In fact, a series of research conducted by Facebook about the online shopping journey in Hong Kong and Taiwan showed significant disruption among modern consumers. Such results are also implicative to other regions. Below, let’s discuss the key factors influencing online purchases on Facebook.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Have Addressed Poor Shopping Experience

The digital shopping experience has greatly evolved to cope with the rising demand among online shoppers. Today, Facebook uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to offer an endless aisle of products among its users. Via cross-border eCommerce, Facebook’s family of apps now offers searchers an infinite number of products that can fulfill their needs. These results with 48% of Hong Kong consumers spending more time shopping online and 90% of Taiwanese looking forward to continuing online shopping even when the lockdowns and social distancing measures are lifted.

Brand Loyalty Is Under Threat

According to a Nielsen Study about brand loyalty, only 8% of consumers considered themselves as loyalists of a brand. Gone are the days of singular devotion to a brand. Facebook and Instagram have allowed the discovery of new products and services that help online consumers make the wisest buying decisions. With these varieties of choice, the consumer no longer spends money on just a single brand. Around 57% of Hong Kongers have tried new products and services in the past few months. This also applies to 80% of Taiwanese shoppers. Globally, 56% of modern consumers find it extremely important to try out new brands. However, even though brand loyalty is under threat, it still is not dead. For brands to drive consumer loyalty, here are 6 universal drivers of brand love:

  • Build trust through ad personalization.
  • Elevate the buying experience through immersive shopping.
  • Respect the consumer’s experience and time.
  • Set trends through fresh and reinvented offerings.
  • Share values through educational content.
  • Surprise customers with the best quality services.

The main key beyond brand love is going over the customer’s expectations by being proactive in campaigns and customer service. Apart from promoting new products and services, it is important to provide customers with purchase updates and online channels to instantly connect with brands and businesses. 

Integration of Conversational Commerce and Payment System Becomes a Necessity

As modern consumers take more shopping online, their demands get bigger and smarter. They demand that social media platforms give them a better buying experience. These include 24/7 customer support and direct payment systems without having to leave the network. To answer such rising demands, Facebook enabled messaging APIs on Instagram Direct, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Such technology allows the use of chatbots to provide human-like responses to customer queries. As a result, around 53% of Hong Kong and 58% of Taiwanese online shoppers have completed a purchase because of conversational commerce. To resolve the issue of cart abandonment, Facebook Pay offers a seamless payment system among its users. They no longer have to leave the Facebook app to complete a purchase. With a pre-populating but secured payment process, online shoppers can use their cards to make a direct payment via Facebook Pay. 

Live Media Consumption Becomes a Trend on Shoppertainment

New digital formats allow brands and businesses to better connect with their audiences. A rising trend among social media platforms is shoppertainment. It is a strategy of doing a live broadcast to initiate live shopping. Around 64% of Hongkongers engage in Facebook live videos once a week, while 78% of Taiwanese watch eCommerce live broadcasts on Facebook with 46% making an online purchase.

Spending More Time on the Internet Makes Shopping Less Deliberate and Planned

A social media agency Hong Kong noted an increased time spent online by Hong Kongers and Taiwanese since 2020. Today’s global average of time spent on the Internet is 7 hours. As people spend more time finding people and products online, 9 out of 10 social media users took action to deepen their engagement with a brand. Comments, likes, hearts, and shares are common ways on how brands and businesses measure ads performances on Facebook. A video marketing agency Hong Kong reports that 63.5% of online shoppers in Hong Kong discover new products and services after watching a video on Facebook. In Taiwan, 47% use the king of social media to search for brands, while 87% of global consumers took action after seeing product info on Instagram. The actions include following a brand and making an online purchase.

Reference: 

https://www.facebook.com/business/news/online-shopping-is-evolving-beyond-missions-towards-spontaneous-triggers

https://www.facebook.com/business/news/address-decision-paralysis-and-poorer-shopping-experiences-to-stand-out-in-the-endless-aisle

https://www.facebook.com/business/news/delight-shoppers-with-a-personal-touch-to-stand-out-at-purchase-as-seamlessness-becomes-table-stakes

https://www.facebook.com/business/news/brand-loyalty-is-no-longer-stable-but-an-ongoing-conversation#

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