Amazon shut down their “Webstore” and moved everyone to Shopify – but who’s wooing WooCommerce? Here is what all online product sellers need to know to stay ahead and how Shopify’s Pinterest integration drives online commerce.
There has never been an easier, more affordable, or more exciting time to get your storefront online.
A few years ago, building a professional integrated site would have meant months of work, expensive web designers, and technical wizardry to connect your front end store with your “shopping cart” software solution – and sending orders to your fulfillment center would be a Herculean task.
But now, the shopping carts have grown up and two giant contenders in the world of e-commerce are offering powerful, complete and elegant solutions for small retailers (and bigger ones too). But first….
WooCommerce is the “world’s favorite e-commerce solution,” and has built its reputation from their roots in the innovative open source WordPress community. This means incredible flexibility with access to a community of developers who are constantly building clever plugins for handling everything from SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to special requirements like subscription-handling. Excitingly, their base product is free and you can install it on your own server.
Insider Pro-tip: Developers love WooCommerce because they can choose from thousands of themes at themeforest.net, a huge marketplace for cutting edge WordPress designs.
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Meanwhile, for those who like the “done for you” approach, Shopify has emerged as a full out-of-the-box, hosted solution with basic plans costing less than $50 a month. Even when you’re just getting started, Shopify helps you out by suggesting great domain names for you. They threw out “ponyexpert.com” when we wanted a pony-related name for a project – simple and effective with great SEO potential. You can have your Shopify store, website, and even a built-in blog up and running in minutes with the ability to list an unlimited amount of products.
In the last month, Shopify has revolutionized the field further by announcing their deep integration with Facebook, Pinterest, and now Amazon!
Let’s take these in turn:
Facebook and Shopify
No one needs telling that Facebook is HUGE! Now, with 1.49 billion active users per month, the potential traffic from Facebook is incredible. With the push of a button, Shopify will set up a Facebook Store for you. From there, you can upload your products and prices to get selling right away.
Facebook’s daily users in the U.S. and Canada: 161 million (source: DMR)
Pinterest and Shopify
Similarly, Shopify’s Pinterest integration means that any products you pin from your Shopify store are automatically pinned as buyable pins. This is exciting news because 93% of Pinterest users use the platform to pre-plan purchases and spend an average of $50 per order – higher than any other major online platform.
How Pinterest Drives Online Commerce
Drum roll please … and now the big Amazon news!
Many merchants and individual sellers were disappointed to find out that Amazon’s direct sales platform, “Webstores,” was closing down – the service wrapped up completely before the end of 2016.
Shopify is picking up the slack, allowing stranded Amazon Webstore owners to migrate their stores to Shopify with a simple, automated process and no downtime.
Here are the other key advantages to the Amazon + Shopify “marriage”:
1. Payment Integration
Amazon payment is integrated so customers can pay on independent Shopify-powered websites with the stored information from Amazon accounts, meaning a streamlined, fast checkout with no hunting around for credit cards.
2. Access to FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) worldwide
The biggest game changer is that Shopify sellers will also have access to FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon). FBA allows retailers to send large shipments of inventory to Amazon’s warehouses. They set prices on their products and Amazon takes it from there, processing orders as they come in and shipping them out to customers. With FBA, your customers get all the speed and efficiency of Amazon’s shipping services, including Prime.
3. Post your Shopify listings directly to Amazon
Finally, Shopify sellers will soon be able to export and post listings directly to Amazon, synchronizing product, customer and order data between the platforms. This means you can get all the benefits of Amazon’s huge customer base and traffic alongside all the customization and individuality of your own site. Sign up here to get on the waitlist for this!
The Recommendation: Use Shopify As Your Central Hub
Putting together all the pieces, the potential to not only get your products selling on multiple platforms, but also to automate and streamline your system from listing through to shipping is absolutely phenomenal.
Using Shopify as your central hub, you can have products selling on your own website, Facebook, Pinterest and soon, Amazon at the same time – and using FBA, you don’t even need to ship your own orders, they will all be managed by Amazon’s own warehouses.
Will My Brick and Mortar Store Be Affected?
If you’re worried that your brick and mortar store may feel neglected, Shopify even offers a retail POS package for just $40 a month. Replace your cash register with a stylish iPad, cash drawer, and receipt printer and you can process payments quickly and even manage staff sales information and register usage.
This is a groundbreaking time for e-commerce! What would have seemed impossible many years ago is now achievable quickly, affordably, and efficiently leaving you more time to relax and focus on building your brand and product line as the sales roll in.
Looking to gain more knowledge like this and fill your online shop with the right high-margin inventory? Get your free ticket here to the next big ASD Market Week in Las Vegas. ASD is a merchandise trade show and retail education conference in one with free, online selling strategy sessions every day!
By Isaac Gonzalez and Katharyne Shelton
Isaac Gonzalez is the lead architect of Blue Sky Suite, a product management package for e-commerce and Amazon FBA sellers. He is also the technical consultant for Katharyne Shelton’s Blue Sky White Label, a coaching and training program designed for sellers looking to create, brand, launch and market their own products on a national scale. Meet Isaac and Katharyne at the next ASD Market Week!