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In the years and decades that I’ve been working in various sections of the IT community, the one thing I’ve watched every company struggle with is ecommerce. If that sounds over-obvious, it’s probably because you too have encountered this problem. We all want to sell our stuff for the best price in as many places as possible, but would be Internet shop owners too often find themselves boxed in by limited services and products that simply don’t fit the mold.
Even if it seems like everybody’s got an online store these days, that doesn’t mean they’re actually selling anything online!
The things that make a business unique and a product worth having also hamstring efforts to bring that product to the digital market. Because it’s complicated; because the product does not fit the mold. How do you explain your unique product in software designed for a pre-set type of product?
Recently, I’ve begun working with an entirely new platform that I’m starting to become a big, big fan of: Shopify. The developers of Shopify seem to have started from the position that they cannot know every business model or product, and opened their service up to developers like me. With their system as a starting point and your business as an end point, Shopify gives me the freedom to develop a shop that works for you. Among it’s chief benefits are:
A Reliable Base
Shopify takes a lot of the headaches of development away and makes things safer and cleaner for end clients by providing a robust set of tools right out of the box. This includes many of the sticky things that hold up projects, including compatibility with PayPal, Authorize.net, UPS and many other commonly-used 3rd party services and APIs. Everything can be served up via secure HTTPS and you never need to worry about PCI compliance again.
Because the Shopify developers understand that they cannot know how to sell your product, the system comes with an Application Programming Interface, which is basically a toolbox full of code that developers can use. Instead of having to fit a square peg in a round hole, I can develop your site the way you need it to be. I can use prebuilt plugins and themes or I can develop my own code to get you the perfect store.
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Shopify can manage your inventory for you, whether that means tracking only the stuff you’re selling online, or your entire catalog across all channels.
Hosted and Verified
On top of all the other specialized tools you need to run an ecommerce website (see above), there is the issue of hosting. Yes, you can roll your own store software and host it wherever you like. But when a server goes down, it’s up to you to fix it; if SSL encryption isn’t working, it’s up to you to get it back running. Otherwise, you’re losing money.
Shopify is a hosted solution, which means that they actually have several servers that can host your site in case one happens to go down. No lag time. They have dedicated on-site professionals taking care of security, scalability, up time and maintenance. All you need to do is keep selling your stuff!
Point of Sale
Shopify doesn’t just host an online store for you. If you want them too, Shopify can also help you run and manage your point of sale business as well. Shopify provides apps and mobile fobs you need to be able to create an order, configure a product and swipe a credit card right on the spot, wherever you are. In your store, at a festival, or just out at the bank. Sell when you find the customer!
Having already worked with Shopify for a couple of different clients, I’m confident enough in the product to announce that HolisticNetworking is a Shopify Partner and ready to make your online sales goals a reality. Please contact me today to find out how I can help you and just how easy online retail can actually be!