Adrian Ababei / Oct 09'2017
To Shopify or not to Shopify? And why shouldn't you? It's an all-in-one, turn-key shopping cart solution after all: it takes care of all there's needed for your store to run smoothly, while you get to focus on those details that will make it stand out from the crowd. Yet, convenience does come with a cost (or several of them): a customization cost, the cost of having only basic discount and shipping cost models, per order transaction fees and so on. So is Shopify the best option for your own online store or not? There's only one simple way to answer it: weighing its most tempting pros and its most discouraging cons. Here are 6 of each that our team at our web design company in Toronto, has selected for you: 6 Reasons for Running Your Online Store on Shopify 1. You Get an Impressive Collection of Great Looking Themes to Choose From And you should, indeed, feel “spoiled” by such a wide collection of themes at your fingertip! Both free and premium. If you're a start-up, stay reassured: your e-commerce website will still look sharp and professional with a free Shopify theme. This way, you can take off the table the costs of hiring a designer when you plan your initial financing. As you grow, as a business, you can always jazz up your store with fancy, visually-arresting upgrades. Note: The time you'd spend looking for a good and “not so expensive” designer you could invest in high-quality photography and other visual assets instead! And the great thing when you start small and plan to grow your e-commerce business organically is that Shopify makes its theme system ideally accessible for designers. It will get easier for the design team that you'll choose, later on, to fine tune your virtual storefront. 2. It Provides Your Store With Security Features and Top Speed, By Default “Is Shopify the best option for me?” When asking yourself this question the security and performance factors should weight heavy in your decision-making process: you expect your online store to be 100% safe for your customers; it should inspire trust so that they get confident enough to enter their card details you expect it to load fast; online shoppers are remorselessly “stingy” when it comes to the time they'd invest in waiting for a page to load Well, you hit the nail right on the head with your two-in-one expectation here: Shopify takes off caching, compliance, worrying about hackers etc. off your shoulders. And it lets you focus on running and growing your business instead! Note: Money talks and... gets your back covered! It's no news that Shopify's been investing huge sums in software and security engineering. 3. It's an “All-Features-in-One” E-Commerce Platform Are you quite “greedy” when it comes to the features that you'd want your e-commerce platform to provide you with, right out-of-the-box? No need to be “reasonably demanding”. And no need to look any further than... Shopify. It makes the “Swiss knife” type of shopping cart solution that you need for setting up and running your store, fully fledged, in no time: it has built-in payment gateways support its themes are easily customizable it makes implementing Google Analytics effortless it empowers you to add and to remove your products nice and easy And there's so much more to this bundle of conveniences that Shopify “spoils” you with as soon as you “unwrap” it! 4. You Can Rely on Its Excellent Customer Support Services “Is Shopify the best option for my online store?” should turn into “Is there always a Shopify expert to get my back whenever I'm facing a problem?” Luckily, Shopify's customer service is simply... outstanding! And it's the platform's own users' reviews that support our opinion: there's always an easy to reach Shopify expert ready to help you out... fast. And this aspect gets particularly critical when you're tempted with tons of upgrades which, at some point, risk to guide you towards a dead end. Then you just need to call someone to... save the day! 5. You Get to Leverage Its Pre-Built Marketing Essentials Toolkit So Shopify “spoils” you with outstanding customer service. On the other hand, its built-in digital marketing tools aren't out of the ordinary! Yet, they do make the utterly effective essential kit to meet all your online store's marketing needs: it makes putting together landing pages easy it's perfectly equipped for SEO: it allows meta descriptions, title tags, it's written in a clean, easy to crawl code it handles issues of critical SEO importance for you by default (sitemap, Search Console, SSL, canonicals etc.) In a few words: Shopify's marketing “toolbox” is limited to the essentials, the critically important ones, that it handles to perfection! 6. It “Bundles Up” Tones of Add-Ons In Its App Store Here's another strong pro to help you come up with a quick answer to your “Is Shopify the best option for my business?” dilemma: The Shopify App Store itself! It's online store owners' “Wonderland”. An impressive collection of fancy apps that they get to plug right into their online stores. It's also the meeting point between third-party developers and business owners looking to enhance their stores' out-of-the-box functionality. To make them stand out in their respective industries. Some apps are free and some of them come with a price tag on. Is there an app perfectly tailored to your online store's needs that you're searching for? you could search for a developer to build if for you but not before you've dug through the wide collection of add-ons already available in the Shopify App Store Note: by far the most intriguing add-on that Shopify “tempts” you with” is its Buy button itself: the idea of selling your products outside your online store might be... puzzling you at first and still, it provides you with so much flexibility: you get to sell your products wherever on the web without the need to actually set up an online store “Is Shopify The Best Option for My Business?” 6 Reasons To Doubt It 1. It Limits Your Customization Options Out-of-the-box convenience does come with a price when using Shopify as your e-commerce platform! And this price is given by all the restrictions imposed on your site's architecture. And implicitly by the customization limitations deriving from there! It's true, though, you can still hire a good developer to tweak things on your store, yet... this comes with a risk, as well: that of messing up the core code. A major con, indeed, when you expect to get unlimited freedom for fine tuning your e-commerce site's functionality to your liking! 2. Customization Does Come, But At a Cost And your legitimate question, “Is Shopify the best option for me?” becomes “Is Shopify, in fact, a restrictive, risky and costly e-commerce solution?” On one hand, you have a huge community of third-party developers ready to get any “tweaking job” done for you. Yet, on the other hand: Shopify comes with its proprietary code language, Liquid: so the chosen developer(s) will need to know Liquid to be able to customize anything about your store; they can't “get away” with using PHP when “maneuvering” templates needless to add that overly specialized developers are more expensive you can't make just small tweaks: you need to engage in full customization processes getting your hands (or your developers' hands) dirty in Shopify's base code does interfere with the software's warranty by tweaking your Shopify's store base code you run the risk to ruin it and to find it challenging plugging in future add-ons (which call for the out-of-the-box Shopify code to work) Decisions, decisions! 3. Its Built-In Blogging Features Are Simply... Unremarkable Can you imagine your content strategy without a blog? Unfortunately, Shopify's out-of-the-box blogging capabilities could be better. If compared with Wordpress's, for instance, they seem... basic. So, if you have big plans for your blog: to turn it into a true organic traffic “magnet” into a “channel” for informing customers about your products and about your brand's values into a tool for increasing social shares … and for building customer communities … then Shopify's blogging software is not built to properly “fuel” your plans. Just make sure you're prepared for this inconvenience! 4. It Can Handle Basic Discount Scenarios Only Don't expect Shopify to cope with all your upsell scenarios, with all those complex discount models that you might have in mind. For it can handle “one discount per order” models only. So, it's pointless to put together all kinds of complex (“buy one get one free”, multiple discount codes per order etc.) types of structures. Not only that Shopify's not built to handle them, but you might be tempted to “adapt” your discount models to this inconvenience. To create several variants of a product, each one with its own price. Don't! You will only end up messing your inventory system! 5. It Charges a Per Sale Transaction Fee These fees add up to your monthly store plan and come on top of the credit card fees. And from this point of view Shopify can be discouraging both for a start-up business owner and for one already selling in a high volume on his/her online store: as a start-up, you don't know, from the start, how much you'll end up selling on your e-commerce website as a business already selling in high volumes the calculation of these transaction fees changes, so fees will start to add up gradually In short: you can't avoid transaction fees, no matter how much you're actually selling on your Shopify store; still, if you want to save a percentage point you'll need to increase your sales to make those “savings” count. 6. It Can't Handle Complex Shipping Cost Models Unfortunately, it's true! Since Shopify's built primarily as a shopping cart solution for small to medium-sized business, it's designed to handle basic, single orders only. In other words, it's not well equipped for all the complexities that wholesalers' orders involve: calculating real-time shipping cost orders that include multiple product sizes, multiple boxes In conclusion: Shopify's out-of-the-box shipping models can handle basic shipping needs only. If you're dealing with more complex ones on your online store, you might consider having a third-party app developed for you! The END! What do you say? Have we succeeded, through our Shopify pros and cons list here, in helping you find the answer to your valid question: “Is Shopify the best option for my business?”
Adrian Ababei / Oct 03'2017
“But am I not there yet? Haven't I already implemented digital transformation within my organization?" The Alfresco Digital Business Platform's release does make you wonder. Well, now that we've planted “the seed of doubt”, ask yourself these key questions: Is your current business platform agile enough to quickly pivot when you need it to, to promptly meet all your changing business needs? Are the programming tools that you're currently using “tying” your business to long development cycles? How fast is your current proprietary business process/enterprise content management system capable to put together workflow applications? Are you currently using the power of task automation to the fullest? How “accessible” is data within your company? Are you leveraging your current digital technology to make information easily accessible? Are people within your company enabled to access integrated data (anywhere, anytime), use it, and share it with the utmost ease? Just be honest with yourself! Then you'll find out whether you're right there: at the peak of your digital transformation or at the bottom of the hill, still... And this is precisely what the Alfresco Digital Business Platform helps you with: take big leaps ahead towards digital transformation! What Is The Alfresco Digital Business Platform Exactly? Well, you could take it as a business process services and an open-source content management system “combo”, topped with a new App Development framework! Or, simply put: a digital business platform, as its name says it, enabling you, as an enterprise, to create and to deliver digital content experiences via perfectly automated workflows. In short: Alfresco, once exclusively an ECM (Enterprise Content Management), provides you with an open and agile platform perfectly equipped for enabling fast app development and reiteration! But Which Are the Issues That This New Platform Comes to Address? Or the “customer needs”, if you prefer, that this new Alfresco release is built to meet? Here are a few challenges that they (business owners) had to cope with: long development cycles that were no longer feasible difficulties in connecting multiple departments and in automating tasks non-agile content/business processes management systems that wouldn't (or hardly) get “tweaked” in order to adapt to their users ever-changing business needs and goals In short: it's precisely the lack of adaptability and time-efficiency of the “traditional” business process/content management systems that led to the Alfresco Digital Business Platform release. And it's built to give you a push “push forward” on your path towards complete digital transformation, a path paved with... digital efficiency. Here are a few goals of the “mission” that its development team invested it with: to help you create content at high speed by leveraging the due technology to help you “tailor” automated digital business processes, automated workflows fast to help you develop governance apps at high speed, providing you with a dedicated App Development Framework Overall, the platform's built to help you: do things quickly around your organization by automating all the business processes, tasks, and workflows achieve that ideal “digital flow” … where data's easily accessible to everyone involved (both workers and customers), multiple teams are interconnected and you're free to change this entire “infrastructure” of processes, people, and content to your liking whenever you need to Alfresco Digital Business Platform: 5 Tools and Improvements Worth Your Attention 1. Alfresco App Development Framework (ADF) The new platform's ultimate goal is to help you speed up app development within your organization! In this respect, this dedicated framework's supercharged with: reusable Angular 2 components Google Material design … to easily “live up” to its goal: enabling your development team to quickly create workflow apps featuring responsive user interfaces adapted to all the devices used across your company! “But I was already able to build my own apps on top of the Alfresco platform. What's changed now?” A valid question, indeed! Apart from a faster app development process, now you get to actually put together your own engaging and nonetheless responsive UI using the web technology of your choice on top of Alfresco! Remember how you used to be “tied” to Alfresco's own UI? One that, it's true, you could adapt to your own needs, yet... you still depended on it? Well, not anymore: not only that it empowers you/your team to actually craft your own user experiences on top of the platform, but it also takes most of the heavy work off your developers' shoulders, speeding up things tremendously! The framework provides you with a set of: development tools testing tools … along with other new Alfresco tools to add to your handy toolbox for speeding your apps' development! 2. New Open RESTful APIs That's right, you get a whole new set of APIs along with the Alfresco Digital Business Platform! They're built to handle: nodes renditions versions … and to perform search queries, as well, and all this DIRECTLY. Practically people in your organization get to easily access the services they're developing on top of the Alfresco platform. It's all about them being able to quickly access, to use (even use it to innovate) and to share the data flowing within your company, remember? The new platform just plugs in, via its open RESTful APIs, all those content and office productivity services into your internal workflows. It enables department collaborations and adapts the workflows to those specific environments that your workers prefer. And when we talk about API integrations, the list of third-party apps is a.... never-ending one: MicrosoftOutlook, Salesforce, Google Docs, CRM, SAP etc. Moreover, it gets easier for you, the platform's user, to fully exploit all of the new open RESTful API's capabilities using the API Explorer! 3. Alfresco Search Services Digging through the “pile” of search improvements brought to the Alfresco digital business platform we can't but mention a few “highlights: it runs on Solr 6 it comes with a search term highlighting tool it includes category faceting, document fingerprinting, multi-select facets it enables users to index multiple versions of a document it's got significantly improved sharding: you get to shard your index by date, DBID, ACL... Do your users have multiple search requirements? This new Alfresco platform comes with multiple search tools so that you can comply with your customers' specific sets of requirements! Note: probably one of the biggest search services-related news is that they're no longer “piled up” in a WAR file. They make a STANDALONE SERVICE now! 4. Admin Improvements There are 2 handy new features that will streamline your Alfresco deployment's management and troubleshooting workflow: Trashcan Cleaner, which turns the whole cleaning out of Alfresco deleted items into an automated task Support tools, ranging from profiling, sampling, gaining easy access to changing log settings and viewing logs, thread dumps, active session monitoring 5. Amazon AWS Optimized Deployment The Alfresco team has optimized the new platform so that it should run smoothly on Amazon AWS. And their efforts revolve around “valuing” your time even better, as they've included Alfresco Quick Start, turning Alfresco deployment from a matter of days into a matter of... minutes! So, have we, at least, managed to stir your curiosity? To at least make you... question yourself whether you're currently embracing digital transformation at the right pace? To make you question yourself what you could do better in order to go from digital to digital efficiency? To shift to automated workflows?
Adrian Ababei / Sep 29'2017
All the worldwide-known e-commerce brands that these two e-commerce platforms power are equally impressive. They're both well-built, widely-used, ideally customizable, and scalable. In short: they're equally tempting. And this is what turns any Magento vs Drupal Commerce comparison into such a frustrating “dare”! In vain you'll let yourself seduced by one's “promise” to help you get your online store up and running in no time if it turns out that it's not built to handle your high-volume store or your entire “ecosystem” of online stores. And in vain you fall for one of the 2 e-commerce platforms' irresistible load of features and customization options if it doesn't empower everyone in your team, even the non-technie staff, to tweak various aspects of your website. See? It's nothing but a question of “which features, which functionalities” are relevant for your own e-commerce business. And which one of the 2 platforms can deliver most of them. Now let's indulge in an overview of both Magento and Drupal Commerce's feature sets, shall we? But First: A few Words About Magento Magento's an e-commerce software platform built as an open-source solution for eBay (who owned it until 2015), effortlessly “seducing” both developers and business owners with its: enterprise-level tools and functionalities (e.g. “sophisticated” search capabilities, such as multiple filters that users can apply to their product searches, prompts, etc.) tones of possibilities for customization unmatched scalability capabilities for managing complex product assortments deep integration with eBay (obviously!) And Now: A Couple of Things About Drupal Commerce That You Should Know "What is Drupal Commerce?" A two-in-one CMS and integrated e-commerce platform! Or an e-commerce platform built on Drupal CMS if you prefer, designed to help users set up versatile online stores and apps having Drupal as their foundation! And this is precisely what tempted and eventually convinced its users to run their online store on it: its incredible versatility! Practically it's a plug and play solution enabling you to set up your e-commerce website anywhere within your environment and it's easy to tweak to fit perfectly your specific way of doing business in the e-commerce arena! And there's more! The non-technical staff of your team gets to implement changes and to “experiment”, so say “Hello!” to unlimited extensibility and flexibility. Note: Drupal Commerce does require separate installation and configuration from Drupal core, do take this aspect into account! Bottom line Drupal: “plays well” with third-party systems seamlessly connects content to products and comes packed with tones of modules that you can use for adding on (even) more functionality to your online store and for making it grow along with your business needs and goals In short: Magento vs Drupal Commerce debate the latter is an A-lister in terms of flexibility and versatility! A Magento vs Drupal Commerce Comparison: 8 Criteria to Consider 1. Ease of Setup Drupal Commerce: if you already have Drupal Core installed, setting up and configuring Drupal Commerce, as well, will be... nothing but a child's game: download, load, install the package if not, you'll need to go through the slightly more complex Drupal CMS installation process and then enable Drupal Commerce and there's also a third option, where you go for an installation profile allowing you to install Drupal Commerce on its own Overall, both Drupal Commerce and Magento empower their users to get them installed from the ground up. 2. Maintenance Costs Both shopping cart platforms are open-source projects, therefore, they're both free to use. And yet, depending exclusively on your specific business needs, there are certain costs adding up. Drupal Commerce: is completely free except for the hosting fees it's Commerce Guys that provides the Drupal Commerce users with various levels of support, each level having its own price points Magento: also free to use, apart from the hosting costs as your e-commerce business grows you get to extend your website's functionality with various Magento extensions; for a fee, of course 3. Adaptability and Customization Customization is undoubtedly one of the key criteria in any Magento vs Drupal Commerce comparison. No business owner with a long-term vision would want to tie his company's future to a rigid e-commerce platform. So, the more freedom granted to the end-user, the more “power under the hood”, the more “attractive” a shopping cart solution becomes, right? Drupal Commerce: is incredibly customizable by nature (for we're talking about a modular nature) you get to tailor it to your business needs, implement new enhancements, experiment, add new features (and go beyond the “traditional” e-commerce-specific ones) thanks to Drupal CMS backing it up enables you to “tweak” its look, as well, going through the whole collection of Drupal themes and doing a little bit of design work Magento: is entirely customizable if you do have a Magento specific expertise or you can afford a Magento development team instead comes packed with a heavy load of “tempting” features to “turbocharge” your online store with ranging from zoomable images, to “narrow down” search”, responsive design, promotional options, reviews, calls to action, etc. the sky is the limit, along with expertise and creativity, when it comes to customizing both your Magento site's appearance and functionality 4. Third-Party System Ecosystems Drupal Commerce: integrates with a whole variety of third-parties, yet it has a “weakness” for social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest) “bids on” customer communities”, user review sharing, connecting content to products (and thus influencing purchases, reaching out to new potential customers, etc.) to the list of third-party systems that Drupal integrates with we could add: Xero, SagePay, Windows, Mac, iPhone/iPad, Android, web-based devices Magento: it's a simple and straightforward integration, with most major players (Payone, Facebook, eBay, Mandrill, BeeTailer, Windows, Mac, Android), that you get to leverage when running your online store on this e-commerce platform and the ecosystem of third-parties that you can easily “inject” into your Magento online store will turn out to be some great “allies” for crafting user-tailored experiences (you get to tailor your future sales and special offers according to your shoppers' profiles or “shopping histories”); Magento's built to draw huge influxes traffic, no doubt about it! 5. Target Market Drupal Commerce: makes an ideal “plug and play” shopping cart solution for both individuals and e-commerce businesses enables you to have your versatile online store up and running in no time also empowers you to boost your product marketing campaigns with great content (since Drupal's been primarily designed for content management) Magento: if Drupal's a perfect fit for small businesses, in particular, Magento, on the other hand, is built to power businesses with high-volume of sales, managing “clusters” of online stores Magento Enterprise, in particular, makes the perfect choice for enterprise-level e-commerce businesses, as it comes “loaded” with tones of enterprise-level tools and features to customize high-volume, high-trafficked online stories with 6. SEO Support Drupal Commerce: Drupal has the edge on SEO, undoubtedly, thanks to its entire “ecosystem” of SEO-specialised modules that you get to enable onto your website (and you sure aren't short on choice when it comes to Drupal SEO modules: Google Analytics, URL management, Robots.text generator, Site Map Generator etc.) Magento: if in Drupal you have a whole set of modules at hand to enable and to install, in Magento you get your SEO tools right out of the box; they're pre-built into the platform enables you to tweak your URLs, to double-check search terms, to adjust your category and product information, etc. Overall: although Drupal does have the edge, in the Magento vs Drupal Commerce “competition” there's no “winner”. They're both remarkably SEO-friendly. 7. Web Hosting Although they're both open-source projects, none of the 2 e-commerce platforms is self-hosted. So, make sure to “squeeze in” the hosting fees when you plan out your budget! 8. Ease of Use Drupal Commerce: if you already have a website/app running on Drupal, so you're familiar with the Drupal codebase, UI and development practices, learning how to use Drupal Commerce is... piece of cake yet, if you're new to Drupal, you might find it a bit challenging at first Magento: it does “spoil” its users with advanced tools and customization features and it does grant them total control, yet they do need to be “Magento experts” in order to handle all of Magento's “powers”, all the coding, design and development processes in short: consider leaving your Magento site's setup and configuration to some Magento professionals; it's a powerful e-commerce platform, packed with an overwhelming set of robust features, yet it does take Magento expertise to handle them right And this is our list of the most important criteria to use when making your own Magento vs Drupal Commerce” comparison. So, which is the clincher? That criterion that makes you decide for one or the other? We sure hope this post will steer you in the right direction: choosing not THE best e-commerce platform from these 2 rivaling ones in the e-commerce arena, but THE best one for YOUR own e-commerce business' particularities and for YOUR own goals as a business owner!
Adrian Ababei / Sep 28'2017
The harvest season, no doubt about it! Autumn (the month of October to be more precisely) is taking us... “Google Chrome novelties” picking! Starting next month Google Chrome will be displaying new “Not Secure” warnings for HTTP pages. We're talking, in fact, about two additional situations where these discouraging alerts get triggered in users' address bars: when the user is asked to enter his/her credit card information or his password on an HTPP page (so when he's presented with an HTTP form having sensitive input fields) when the user loads an HTTP page in Incognito mode Note: speaking of the second scenario, the “Not Secure” warning will show up on ALL HTTP pages surfed in Incognito mode. Take it as Google Chrome's next level in its “campaign” of pushing the web on the HTTPS side. A plan structured into multiple gradual steps aimed at discouraging users from “venturing” on non-encrypted websites. And, implicitly, at “forcing” website owners to do the necessary: move to sitewide HTTPS. HTTP vs HTTPS: Is A Migration Really Worth It? But first: which are the HTTP protocol's drawbacks? Those that Google Chrome warns users about through its new “Not Secure” warnings for HTTP pages? Basically an HTTP connection: is a non-encrypted one gives visitors no guarantee that once they access a web page they're literally interacting with the “right” website provides visitors with no protection, whatsoever, against man-in-the-middle attacks, eavesdropping, data modification On the other hand an HTTPS protocol page: is one where the user-website communication is an encrypted one, protecting the former against cyber attacks. keeps data protected from third parties And now to answer your legitimate question, whether switching from HTTP to HTTPS is really worth the resources (of time and money), let us just imagine this scenario here: “A user walks into a/lands on your website and is ready to make a purchase. A payment form is presented to him and he is about to enter his credit card information when... he gets a warning, in his address bar, that your site is not secure...” 2 Updates to Run on Your Site to Avoid The New “Not Secure” Warnings for HTTP Pages 1. Simply Get to The Root of the Problem and... Resolve It How? Making sure that Google Chrome will label as “of secure origins” all the: inputs marked as credit card fields all the fill-in forms on your website incorporating <input type=password> elements “Of secure origins” meaning that both the top-level page and the iframe (in case the user needs to enter his/her data in an iframe) need to display the HTTPS protocol. In other words: if your HTTPS login/payment form is presented to your users in an overlay on top of an HTTP page, then you'll need to either: switch all your web pages to HTTPS redirect it to an HTTPS web page on your website containing that specific login/payment form Taking the “shortcut”, placing an HTTPS iframe in an HTTP top-level page, is not a solution! 2. Go HTTPS! Switch to Using It Side-Wide Instead Since the new “Not Secure” warnings for HTTP pages that Google Chrome will be rolling out this October are nothing but another step in its “macro plan” to label ALL HTTP websites as not secure. So, why waiting for the inevitable to happen? Why should you “mend” when you can go for a long-term, in-depth solution? When you can make the move now and migrate your Drupal website to HTTPS? Bottom Line Take Google Chrome's new “Not Secure” warnings for HTTP pages as a new step in its whole master plan towards an HTTP-free web! It's a plan they first launched in November 2016 and which they're implementing gradually. So that the users grow more and more aware of the risks they expose themselves to accessing HTTP web pages, as the Google Chrome security team confirms: “Studies show that users do not perceive the lack of a “secure” icon as a warning, but also that users become blind to warnings that occur too frequently. Our plan to label HTTP sites more clearly and accurately as non-secure will take place in gradual steps, based on increasingly stringent criteria." There's no way of knowing, for the time being, when precisely Google Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as non-secure. When it will label them all with the red triangle currently indicating broken HTTPS pages. What we do know is that this is the ultimate goal of their strategic plan. So, instead of waiting for the confirmation of the date in the calendar, why not gradually prepare your website for this move?
Adrian Ababei / Sep 25'2017
Adrian Ababei / Sep 22'2017
First the launching of Shopify Pay, now this! It's more than obvious: Shopify's constantly striving to enrich its merchant customers' toolset with new and new features. And this time it's all about easy-to-scan, easier to track QR codes. In other words: Shopify launches Shopcodes, a free app downloadable right from the e-commerce platform's store, an app playing the role of a QR codes “generator”. What does this launch mean for you? Well, it means that you, the Shopify store owner, get to easily create QR codes (just generate them and then download the graphic files) and then link them to any product page or shopping cart page that you want. This way you'll be: enabling your potential shoppers to get extra info about various products while they're in your physical store (they just scan the QR codes attached to your products and voila: they'll be taken right on the products' dedicated pages in your Shopify online store) interconnecting your customers' offline and online shopping experiences streamlining the whole checkout process (the code can also take your customers right to the checkout page, skipping all the other time-consuming steps to take) delivering your clients their desired products without having to keep an inventory on hand; so even if you own a popup store and you're constrained by the lack of space … and the list of benefits can go on and on. Now let's delve even deeper into details on how to create and place these codes on your products/marketing materials, details on various use cases and on the multiple benefits: How Do You Create These Codes and Place Them on Your Products/Marketing Materials? Generating these QR codes, then linking them to your product/checkout pages and downloading the graphics files (SVG, PNG) to be placed on your marketing materials /products is nothing but a simple 4-step process: just get the Shopcodes app from the Shopify App Store and have it installed use the app to generate your first QR code link the QR code to the product or the shopping cart page of your choice print the graphic file to place on your offline marketing materials! Once your offline customer enters your physical store and uses his/her iPhone to scan the printed code added to a certain product he/she can: learn more about it, visiting your online shop and heading straight to the product page that he's interested in get straight to the shopping cart page and complete the checkout process, purchasing that specific product! OK, Shopify Launches Shopcodes: But How Do They Work Precisely? First of all, we need pointing out 2 particularities that set these QR codes in Shopify apart from the “traditional” ones (since QR codes have been around since the 90's): you can generate them exclusively within your Shopify store they can be used exclusively for shopping purposes OK, now that we've set these key details straight, here's how they work and also how you, the seller, get to harness their full spectrum of functionalities: we've already briefly mentioned how they work from the user's perspective: he/she uses his Apple phone to scan the code and gets a screen with additional info about the given product or with a “buy” button instead if you, the seller, will have linked that code to a checkout page you, the Shopify merchant customer, get to track down and to monitor those codes (they're not just scannable, but also unique and easily trackable), each transaction made by your customers, right from your Shopify Analytics dashboard; so you'll get a crystal clear picture of where traffic/sales on your online store are coming from you, again, even get to harness a whole set of features aimed at enriching your toolset as a seller: to add discounts to those QR codes (thus encouraging your offline customers to purchase online), to make changes via your Shopcodes app's dashboard (e.g. to add extra information or promotions) Convenience for your customers (and for you, too, since you have your dashboard as your control panel at hand) and a bundle of benefits for you, the Shopify customer! Which Are the Use Cases for These QR Codes? “Practically you get to use Shopify QR codes wherever you advertise offline”: place them on your product packaging; this way your customers can just scan them through and get more detailed information about your products by visiting your online store or go to the checkout page directly display them in your brick and mortar shop's storefront window, alongside other products; this way, even with closed doors, after or before your shop's working hours, your customers can still engage in shopping: in online shopping on your Shopify store instead! use them in your popup store (or at the events that your company participates to), where you face multiple constraints, such as lack of space and a limited inventory on hand; your visitors can still scan these QR codes and have their favorite products delivered to their homes instead In short: rely on Shopify's QR codes whenever/wherever you're conducting offline marketing campaigns! Use them to stir your offline potential customers' curiosity, turning them into your future online shoppers! Why Should You, The Shopify Store Owner, Be Excited About This App? “What's in it for you?” In what way does Shopify deliver you, through the launch of its Shopcodes app, (even more) value? Let's sum up your benefits and outline the answer to your question: it enables you to turn first-time customers into loyal customers thanks to a much more streamlined checkout process (they just scan the QR codes... land straight on the checkout pages... hit the “buy” button... and that's it!) it helps you turn various limitations (of space, of inventory on hand, etc.), that you might need to deal with, into favorable contexts for directing your potential shoppers to your online store instead from package inserts to storefront windows, to offline ads... practically any offline marketing material can serve as a QR code support, turning itself into a “tool” for your customers to gain quick and easy access to your Shopify online store What do you think about these QR codes' comeback that Shopify orchestrates? Do you plan to incorporate them into your own future offline marketing campaigns?
Adrian Ababei / Sep 21'2017