I have a few questions about the Shopify plans before I decide to use the service.
Couple things I don't understand. Shopify Shipping. I'm not entirely sure what this discount means. I assume it's a discount on the shipping cost itself, but I just want to make sure I'm understanding.
Second thing is Shopify Payment. Pretty much everything in this category. It's an online store, how do you have In-Person credit cards? And what exactly are these rates being applied to? Etc. If someone could especially explain this whole category to me that'd help immensely.
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Happy to help clear up the questions you have!
If your account is eligible for Shopify Shipping then you'd receive a discount on both shipping rates and shipping labels. Our help document here dives into this feature in greater depth should you want to learn more! As for your second question, if you're eligible to use Shopify Payments, then your store would be subject to a credit card fee which is determined based on the plan you select. The "In-person" rate you see would be if you use Shopify Point of Sale to sell products in person as this is available to every store owner. These rates will automatically be taken off the order value when the order is placed and the remainder of the funds would be deposited into your bank account. We have a handy FAQ document here that should help clear this up!
What type of business are you hoping to bring to Shopify?
Great! Thank you. I'll read those articles for sure.
Primarily focusing in the arts, but it will be much more than that. I'm really grateful for the app store! That is literally the number one reason I'm leaning towards Shopify over others. Any program I've used in the past, having a user app store makes virtually anything possible. And I have a LOT of features I want that don't come default!
Thanks again, Peter.
Happy I could help! What type of art were you thinking of selling? Is this your art, or are you hoping to supply art from a supplier?
Awesome! In that case, I'd recommend checking out the app "Creativehub" as this will allow you to source and sell different pieces of art, as well as list your own art for others to sell.
Let me know if there's anything else I can help with!
From what I can see, the app only offers printed pieces, however, you could look into apps like Oberlo to source alternatives! That said, the issue with sourcing products from a variety of different suppliers/apps is going to be the shipping aspect of your business. When customers order products from multiple suppliers you may run into issues where you either over or undercharge for shipping which can cut into your profit margins. For this, I typically recommend placing the cost of shipping into the product cost and offering free shipping to avoid this.
All in all, it sounds like you have a good idea of where you want to take your business, however, I do want to stress the importance of speaking with your own legal counsel given the type of products you wish to offer. When it comes to art, video games, or anything of the sorts, there will typically be trademark and copyright laws you'll need to consider, and for some products, you may even need a resellers certificate. I can't provide legal advice on this as I'm not a legal expert, which is why your best route here would be to speak with your own legal counsel.
Have you given any thought into the type of marketing you'll create to help drive traffic and sales?
Great, I'll look into those apps. I'll sift through the app store, too.
And yeah, I was leaving the shipping cost up in the air for now. I wasn't sure how the numbers were going to look for that. I was thinking of different ways to go about it, but I think for now I'll take your advice and put it into the product cost. I'll experiment and look at the analytics.
As for the legal advise, that's a good point. I was initially doing my own research, reading articles etc. I think to play it safe it'd probably be best to consult an actual legal adviser.
And marketing is something I've put about as much thought into as I did the store itself. I have a few unofficial years experience in marketing. I wrote out a full marketing plan. Hosting events at my local park and other high traffic areas (being careful about no soliciting rules of course), blogs, social media (which is an undertaking on its own as I'm sure you're aware.), partnering/sponsoring other popular internet figures, showing up at other public events. Etc.
Do you have any suggestions of your own that you've found most effective?
There are apps that can help with the shipping concern, however, they are quite costly, especially when first starting off. Some food for thought though - You could use Advanced Shipping Rules which allows you to set specific shipping rules based on the supplier. For example, if product A is mixed with product B then increase the cost by x amount. The only catch with this app is it requires our "CCS" feature which comes at a cost of $20/month, or free when you pay for your Shopify subscription annually vs monthly which can save you 10% on your plan as well as $240 by not paying for the feature.
In terms of marketing, it sounds like you have a pretty good idea on what avenues will connect you with your target audience. I haven't done much marketing myself, however, I do know that social media/social proof is crucial given that society is very intuned with what their friends are buying. Assuming you have your pages set up already, I would suggest actively engaging with your audience by liking and commenting on their posts, all while creating quality content for your page. By engaging, I don't mean trying to sell to them, but rather answering questions that you're knowledgable about, giving thoughtful comments on posts, and liking pictures based on hashtags that connect with your business. This way your name gets out there more, the followers you gain are true followers, and you start to build a loyal customer base ripe for the picking. If you like reading, I'd recommend picking up The Thank you Economy by Gary V.
Given that you're hoping to sell at local events, have you given any thought to using Shopify POS to accept in-person payments?