Is Shopify The Best Option For A T-shirt Shop?
Is Shopify the best option for a T-Shirt Shop? That depends. Yes, for "Branding" purposes. That is if you want your brand to stand out and have its own independent presence. No, if you expect sales immediately, as there is no marketplace such as with the Artfire or Polyvore type of websites. If you have a source of bringing in steady and targeted traffic, then by all means the answer is "yes definitely" as that is half the battle. I'm impressed enough to be a proud affiliate of Shopify's services. This disclosure is in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Considerations Regarding Shopify.
Consider that Shopify has been around since 2006 and the fact that they score better on practically everyone's scorecard. Which includes but not limited to the following criteria: App and Shipping Integration, Being SEO friendly, Ease of use, Being able to use Your own SSL certificate, Its Scalability, Tracking, and everything else. They usually get an average score 8 out of 10. Ranking Shopify well above all of their competitors. A quick Google search for eCommerce platform comparison charts will show you exactly what I mean.
Keep in mind that most negatives about Shopify on the aforementioned score cards or charts have since been resolved as those results date back a few years. They build upon feedback. For instance, they no longer redirect payment processing to a different server. At least not when I tried it out for my research purposes. At the end of my experiment when I closed my niche shop, a message told me that my settings and inventory will be saved for 30 days in case I change my mind and want to come back. Which is a nice feature. For example, if you feel that they aren't right for you and you decide to try out Big Cartel or StoreEnvy but regret that you can move back within that time frame.
Also do not to expect instant results and do not to give up too quickly no matter which platform you go through. You need a large inventory of designs and time to get crawled in the search engines, to gain a following, and get sales. The people that fail are either uninformed and impatient or perhaps their products and customer service are horrible. I simply don't have the time to keep up with a shop at this point in my life with this website and all. Hence, why I was only experimenting. I've since moved my stuff to POD services because branding isn't important to me as for the lack of time. But if I were to keep at it, I'd highly recommend Shopify especially starting with the basic plan. Once traffic bumps up, upgrade to the Pro.
Shopify Is The Choice For Any Size Business.
Plenty of small and large businesses use Shopify as their platform especially in the T-shirt business. So you will be in good company. As I've stated before on this site, I've seen many T-shirt brands come and go and the more successful brands were Shopify users. They are the ideal choice for start-ups that want their own presence away from any competition such at Etsy and established brands that are self reliant who produce and print their own goods. They have very helpful newsletter articles too like "How RIPT Apparel Turned $3,000 Into $4 Million Selling One T-Shirt At a Time".
Is Shopify The Best Option For Convenience?
Is Shopify the best option for convenience? Yes, in regards that it is very quick to set up. You can start a trial for free to see if it is right for you. In as little as a minute you can set up the layout. Once you add your inventory and images you are ready to go on the spot. Granted you will need to optimize the shop with proper SEO and do some networking but they make that easy too. They have integrated their platform with Social Media networks so you can have your profiles work for you. And for the reports... They are in-depth. Sales, Traffic, and so on. Keeping up with any orders is a breeze. Their integration with Social Media and other APPS is their main selling point if you ask me. If you mean convenient as in does it do all the work for you, then no.
There is a pricing plan to fit your budget, regardless of your business size.
- Basic ($29/month + 2.9% and 30p per transaction): unlimited products, 24/7 support, no transaction fees, fraud analysis tools and Shopify POS
- Professional ($79/month + 2.6% and 30p per transaction): the same features as the Basic plan, plus gift cards, professional reports and abandoned cart recovery
- Unlimited ($299month + 2.4% and 30p per transaction): the same features as the Professional plan, plus advanced report builder and real-time carrier shipping
Best Ways to Promote and Run Shopify For An Online T-Shirt Shop?
Promoting, marketing, and running any type of online shop is tedious. Shopify makes it a lot easier. They want you to be successful because that means that they are successful. Along with the Pinterest and Facebook integration mentioned above you can easily sign up for Affiliate Marketing companies to pick up a lot of that slack.
Refersion is a very popular one that has proven successful for many Shopify users. Since many Shopify members do everything themselves, they can afford to do this because they are not going through some middle man. Especially if they do the printing in-house. After all, the POD Services and Screen-Printers take the biggest cut of the T-shirt Sales.
As for advertising, don't waste your money on PPC ads or Facebook for a marketing strategy. Unless you have thousands of dollars to spend every month (or day) I wouldn't waste the time. Use that budget for targeting specific websites that fit your NICHE's demographic.
Examples of Successful Shopify T-shirt Shops.
So Why Is Shopify the Best Option for a T-shirt Shop?
Why is Shopify the best option for a T-shirt Shop? Because of the of all the possibilities and options that are available to you from Shopify that's why to choose them. If you don't like any of the 100 default templates you can always code something yourself or hire an outside firm to help you set up as many features as your heart desires. If you want API go for it. There is nothing stopping you from integrating everything that you want into your ideal T-shirt shop. Lollapalooza uses Shopify and so does Third Eye Blind and that's two of the best damn endorsements there is.Shopify Pros:
- No Hosting Worries. You only need a domain.
- Great Support - Forums, Guides, Blog Posts, Helpful People.
- Quick Setup - Templates make it easy.
- Reports - Detailed Statistics that truly matter.
- Their Customer Service - Ask them anything, they love to help.
- There is the monthly cost of running whatever plan you choose, but what business doesn't have overhead?
- Like all 3rd party software, any add-ons and extensions used on Shopify requires updates. Just like your phone and computers constantly do. Staying on top of this is a necessity.
- Does not have the best blogging features. Shopify is eCommerce centered. The blog feature is more like an after thought. It is still useful but it is rather limited. Some people prefer the opposite and rely on the blog for customer interaction and bringing in traffic.
- Editing the items once they are entered is a bit bothersome. Be sure to add all of the product options for the item the first time... colors, sizes, styles etc.
The Pros outweigh the Cons in my opinion. Those are my reasons for what makes Shopify The Best Option for a T-shirt Shop.