Many people assume that Shopify ecommerceis the only purpose of the platform. As well as selling products online, however, you can also sell services. Itmeans whether you’re a copywriter, dance teacher or accountant, you can set up your business online and start making sales.
Shopify is a great platform to promote any kind of business. It doesn’t matter whether your products are physical, virtual or service-based, Shopify is the most popular selling platform on the web. It’s cost-effective, beginner-friendly, and there’s plenty of support in the form of Shopify experts and a helpful community of sellers.
So how do you go beyond selling products? Can you leverage Shopify for your service-based business? Here are some tips to get you started.
Creating your Shopify store
To start with, you will need to create a Shopify store. You can set up your store in less than 15 minutes, but you may prefer to spend a little more time customizing your theme or working with a Shopify developer. When you navigate to the Shopify website, you will need to click the Get Started button to set up your store.
Shopify will guide you through the process of naming your store, entering your payment details and adding products. The next steps are to customize your site, set up your domain, and activate your payment processor. Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have a fully-functioning Shopify store.
Selling services as products
The simplest way to sell Shopify servicesis to add them as products. You can do this using the platform’s product management tool to add images and descriptions to your items. For example, if you are selling dog-walking and pet-sitting services, you will need to add each service you offer as separate products.
As the “products” you’re selling are intangible, you should take extra care with your item listings. Make sure you include plenty of accurate description of what’s on offer, as well as eye-catching photos to engage your customers. You should also optimize your product descriptions for SEO so that they rank in search engine results.
“Know and understand your customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” – Peter Drucker, Management Consultant, educator, and author.
Setting variants and options
The Shopify Variants and Options tool can be used to set up advanced service offerings, such as scheduling appointment times or adding extras. If you sell inventory-controlled services (such as classes where there is a maximum capacity), you can set Shopify’s inventory control to limit the number of people who sign up to each service. You may also wish to automate a confirmation email that requests more information from the user, such as a telephone number or sign-up details. This can do this by integrating mail software into your Shopify store.
You can also use variants to control pricing. For example, if a user wanted to book a 60-minute class rather than a 40-minute class, customers might pay $40 instead of $25. You can also let customers choose from a variety of appointment times and collect registrations by adjusting your variants.
For registrations that require more information than Shopify can collect (such as health or fitness services), you can link users to an external form service like Google Forms, either via the confirmation page or follow-up email. You can either keep these as separate records or input your customer database into Shopify using custom code. A Shopify developer can help you do this.
Adding services as Shopify products does require some manual input. However, once your site is set up, it will be easy for users to find your page and pay for your services.
Shopify services: what are the limitations?
Because Shopify is primarily used to sell physical products, there are some limitations if you’re a service business. For example, customers can’t cancel their order through Shopify – they would need to contact you, the site owner, so that you could cancel and “return” the product. However, this is true of most ecommercewebsites. If anything, customers not being able to cancel on a whim is a benefit for business owners rather than a limitation.
Complex scheduling is also not possible on the platform. However, apps like Appointment Booking add a calendar into your store, allowing customers to book preferred time slots with real-time availability. This app syncs with Google Calendar and automatically sends confirmation emails to you and the customer.
Shopify is the ideal platform for most businesses, whether they’re selling physical, virtual or service-based products. If you’re not sure whether your business is suitable for e-commerce, you can contact the Shopify help center for advice. Rest assured, however, that Shopify has billions of users around the world, and not all of them sell physical products. Shopify website developers can help you with anything from customizing the look of your website to complex coding requirements, so you won’t be going it alone.
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