If you’re thinking of starting a new business or simply want to sell your creations, chances are that you’ve considered selling your products online. If you’re not as tech-savvy as some, chances are you’ve hit your first snag. The often long and enduring process of finding a web host and installing an e-commerce package can feel daunting – even for the most technically-minded of people.
This is where Shoply comes in. Shoply, put simply, is a website that allows anyone to sell anything online! You don’t need to be a genius to use the website’s sleek and attractive user-interface and it really is one of those websites that are so simple, even your grandparents could do it! Find out how after the fold.
Shoply is an application that encourages the creation of online stores and, for a small commission on sales, allows anyone to build their own online store to sell anything they like. One of the main functions is its simple yet effective way of doing things; and with all of the features brought together, makes a safe and enjoyable experience — not only for the store owner but for the clients too.
The pricing of the service is based on the usage limits in place. They offer a basic plan and upon registration you are automatically placed into this plan, although you can upgrade at any time. With the basic plan you are limited to selling 10 products with the option of upgrading to sell more.
Also, of note, is the fact that Shoply does take an unreasonable chunk of the total sales price with with each sale. When a customer purchases items from your store and proceeds to checkout, after each time this is done, Shoply takes a fee of $1.99 per “basket”. This rate does however decrease when a paid plan is purchased but there remains a minimum of $0.99. They also take a fairly reasonable 3-6% sales commission which also varies based on the plan.
I do understand that they also need to make money but their fixed-rate basket fees do seem a little steep so the service would greatly benefit if this was scrapped. Just a little dig…
Step 1. Open a Shop
When you first visit Shoply.com, you’re automatically sent to the registration page where you are greeted with a simple form that allows you to quickly open a shop. It is clear that the developers had time in mind when designing the registration process as it is, quite easily, one of the most simple websites to navigate around and the registration form is no exception. Once you’ve chosen a name for your store and entered your chosen login details, you’re away.
On the next page you’re required to enter a PayPal email address to which you will receive all payments processed by Shoply. If this is the same email address as the one you signed up to Shoply with, you don’t have to do anything as the email address is already entered into the field. Simply review the email to ensure that it is the correct one and you can begin selling. Check your email for a confirmation link sent by Shoply and when you’ve done this, your shop is fully active.
Step 2. Dashboard
After registration, you are taken to the dashboard. The dashboard is split into three main sections:
- Navigation – This is the main way of navigating the site and takes you to all of the necessary sections such as product information, order overviews and other management.
- Actions – These show the steps needed to build a successful Shoply store.
- Overview – This is the overview of the different aspects of your shop. These include orders, sales, visitors, etc.
The dashboard is the center of all of your Shoply needs. From here, you can easily navigate around the website and find any information you require with ease. You can also manage your shop from here and it’s quite easy to control all aspects of it — including products, settings, account information and more.
Step 3. Add Products
The first step to actually selling products is to add them into your store! This can be done quite quickly and easily using Shoply’s Products page. Simply use the navigation bar on the Dashboard to access the Products page and because we haven’t added any products yet, we’ll be automatically presented with a form to add our first product.
The first part of the form consists of Product Information and is pretty self-explanatory. You are then asked to enter information regarding stock, and it allows the option to cease sales once stock runs out. It can then add a flat shipping rate for a single (or more) items and Shoply allows the option of shipping products internationally. It is then possible to upload an optional product image to give customers an accurate representation of the product. You can upgrade your plan to add more images but I’ve stuck with the single one for this article.
Once you’ve published the product, it will now show up in your product page where you can edit, view and delete it. The product will also be publicly accessible via the store front. This shows the pure ease that Shoply provides for shop owners and this is again shown throughout the rest of the website.
If you revisit the Dashboard, you may notice that the first task of adding a new product has now disappeared since we’ve done it. It is now time to complete the rest of the shop’s profile.
Step 4. Update Shop Profile
You can edit your shop’s profile on the Account page or, if you haven’t done it before, merely visit the Dashboard and in the Actions section as I defined earlier, there should be a link to do so. This section allows you to add a brief description of your shop and the sort of things you’d expect to buy from it, some keywords for easy access in the Shoply Marketplace search and a 150 by 150 pixel logo that will be displayed in the side of your shop’s storefront.
Once you’ve done this, your store will now be publicly accessible in the Shoply Marketplace. This should bring more traffic to your store and hopefully generate more sales.
Step 5. Sell!
Now that you have a complete Shoply store, you can now go and tell everyone you know to buy your gear!
My initial perception of this app was that it would be a cost-effective solution for personal sellers who want to sell without investing heavily in e-commerce. Although I was right about this, I realised the potential that this website has with providing affordable solutions to new and upcoming small businesses that perhaps do not have the time nor budget to spend on a web store. One thing is for certain; this app really does bring a new meaning to what it is to be powerful and free. Although some people may be deterred by the cost of the paid plans, the app does employ the freemium model for people who, for some reason or other, do not want to invest in this sort of thing.
The app’s simple and sleek user interface is suited to anyone and everyone — even more advanced users like myself. This is definitely worth a try and at the end of the day, what have you got to lose?
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