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Read about successful online stores, the best eCommerce apps, marketing strategies, store design, and much more on KeepShoppers' blog.
How to Choose a Shopify Expert
General shopify discussionHow to Choose a Shopify ExpertChoosing the right Shopify expert can often be a tricky process. You want to get the best person for the job but you also want to avoid being overcharged for a relatively simple task. However, there are 3 steps you can take to find the right option to suit your e-commerce store: 1. Ask the Entrepreneur Community Whether they have a brick-and-mortar store or trade only on Shopify, entrepreneur communities are a great resource. They won't just help you identify what you are looking for, but they can also shine the light on mistakes they made in the past, which means that you can avoid them when choosing a Shopify expert. Take heed to the advice and fix it into your growth plan. That being said, if you are recommended an expert from such communities, don't be over-trusting. Ensure that you do your due diligence, and check that the recommended individuals have executed similar projects in time past. 2. Have a Look at Shopify Experts Directory If your local entrepreneur community or forum hasn't highlighted a great option, then the next move should be to check out Shopify's Expert Directory. This feature permits you to filter your search for an expert so that you only get expert advice in particular areas where you require it the most. You can also adjust the filters based on your budget, which means that you will never encounter unexpected costs. This is a great option because the filters on Shopify Expert Directory allow you to search by geographic location, which will help you get a local Shopify expert. Aside from other benefits, local experts will have a greater awareness of your local consumer demographics. 3. Interview Selected Candidates and Go Through Their Reviews You always want to interview your top picks for possible Shopify experts. You can do this via a video conference or in-person but regardless of what you choose, ensure that you draft a list of questions before the interview so that you don't miss anything. You have to be certain that they know exactly what you're looking for and possess the skills and experience needed to give you what you need. Have a lookout for promises that look unrealistic and always be sure of what you will be paying for long term. Lastly, read their clients' reviews and request a reference. Conclusion Being an e-commerce entrepreneur means that you'll have to take on different roles. If you struggle with branding, digital marketing, or the technical side of developing your e-commerce store, then a great Shopify expert can help you focus on other aspects of your business, while they handle the rest. But with the wrong Shopify experts, you may end up paying more without getting desired results. So use the steps in this piece to choose the right one.
What You Should and Shouldn’t Use Shopify Experts For
General shopify discussionWhat You Should and Shouldn’t Use Shopify Experts ForMany individuals and companies have mastered the art of e-commerce and wading the waters of Shopify to earn the name "Shopify experts". Shopify does its best to vet such experts to ensure that they are the best of the best and allows you to hire them to assist with the running of your online store. Experts can help with many different tasks, such as migrating your store from one platform to another or developing a fresh e-commerce website from the ground up. With the Shopify plus program, you can gain access to e-commerce experts that offer to share their knowledge with start-up merchants. As a store owner, you can receive ongoing and tailored support/guidance from the top minds in the e-commerce game. Simply put, Shopify experts help you to avoid making common mistakes in the online business world while you aim at lifting your store from the ground. However, there are certain things that these experts can help you with, while for others, they may do more damage than good. So before you pick an expert to do a task, you need to be sure that they should be doing it in the first place. What Should You Use Shopify Experts For? As a merchant or brand, you want to always stay in complete control of your consumer-facing experiences. So creating such web workflows in-house isn't a bad practice, but trying to create back-end solutions that support your e-commerce workflows such as third-party fulfillment, re-marketing tools, and payment system integrations may not be the best use of your internal resources. You should hire Shopify experts for things including, but not limited to: Linking up third-party vendor plugins.Migrating your website from one platform to another.Developing A&B testing pages.Linking systems to more scalable and robust platforms. What Shouldn't You Hire Shopify Experts For? You don't want to hire Shopify experts for tasks that involve interacting with your customers directly. Such tasks should come from your brand so that you can control the perception that customers have of your business without the intrusion of external forces. For example, a Shopify expert can help you create a workflow for automated email messages when a customer abandons their cart but they shouldn't help you come up with the message that will be sent. Conclusion Shopify experts offer a great deal of assistance to Shopify store owners, but there are certain tasks that you must keep to yourself to ensure the uniqueness and perception of your brand to customers and consumers as a whole. Use the tips given in this piece to pick the tasks that your Shopify experts should help you handle and those that they shouldn't.
How Third-Party Calculated Shipping Rates Work On Shopify
Shipping, suppliers & fulfillmentHow Third-Party Calculated Shipping Rates Work On Shopify Shipping rates can be the death of any online store. With higher calculated shipping rates, you run the risk of promoting cart abandonment. Undercharging on shipping is problematic as you end up having to foot the bill at the end of it. However, manually calculated shipping rates are a thing of the past. You no longer have to concern yourself with the possibility of providing inaccurate rates, which can lead to fewer profits and a decrease in the reliability of your business. This includes both customers and shipping companies. Accurately calculated shipping rates with options on delivery methods give more choice to the customer. It also encourages customers to return to your store and purchase more products. Third-party calculated shipping rates reduce the time it takes to research the cost of international shipping and ensures that the best possible rates are shown to your customers, regardless of where they are in the world. Both your business and your customers are guaranteed to receive only the best shipping rates possible, which only instills more confidence with the customer about using your company. Shopify dropshipping offers your business the opportunity to buy shipping labels to print at your home or office. This is accomplished through Shopify Shipping. All labels purchased utilizing this method use the discounted rates, which are indicated to the customer during checkout. A tracking link is sent to the customers, which allows them to track the status of their shipment. Third-Party Calculated Shipping Rates When you own your Shopify account, the negotiated shipping rates can be displayed to customers in the checkout section. This is facilitated by Shopify’s shipping rates calculator, a tool that is integrated directly into a store’s checkout page. To have the third-party calculated shipping rates feature, you must be subscribed to the Shopify Advanced or Plus plans. The carrier-calculate shipping rates indicate expected shipping times with the rate, which does not mean the processing time. However, you can reduce the processing time by simply visiting the Shopify website and referring to “Understanding and reducing processing times”. Make Shipping Work For You Third-party shipping removes the complexities associated with the shipping setup. You need to research the various Shopify shipping carriers, rates, and how they operate within dropshipping and fulfillment services. After this, you can set up the general shipping rates on your Shopify store, as well as custom rates for specific products. Your dropshipping supplier will deliver your products to your customers at these rates. Frequently, you can have reduced rates when working with the right dropshipping partner. How To Set Up Shipping Rates Depending on the types of products, you can choose between five different calculated shipping rates. Here’s how they look: Free shipping, where the customer doesn't pay a dime (but you do).Flat rate shipping works just as it reads. A flat rate is charged to the customer regardless of the size, weight, or cost of the product.Local delivery rate allows Shopify merchants to deliver their goods locally for a designated price.The Customer experience choosing shipping rate is a method of shipping that allows a customer to choose exactly who will deliver their delivery and how their product will be shipped to them.And lastly, carrier-calculated third-party shipping is a fee based on a third-party’s shipping prices. The cost of 3rd party carrier fulfillment is calculated and based upon: Shipping originShipping destinationPackage weightPackage dimensionsThe value of the shipped productsRequested speed of delivery These prices will appear during the checkout process so that your customer is aware of overall shipping costs. To see a complete breakdown of Shopify’s third-party shipping rates, check out our Ultimate Guide to 3rd Party Carrier-Calculated Shipping Rates. The Benefits of Shopify International Third-Party Calculated Shipping Shipping customer orders overseas can cause a lot of headaches. Not only can it be expensive but there’s also the hassle of negotiating local taxes, tariffs, laws, and regulations. To help you out, Shopify third-party fulfillment is a great solution. The use of a third-party carrier will eliminate all the hassle, plus it will also seriously reduce the time needed to research and negotiate all the unknowns of international shipping. Ask KeepShoppers Contact KeepShoppers today for more information on third-party calculated shipping rates, as well as other dropshipping services.
The Pros and Cons of Using a PayPal Account For Your Shopify Business
Shopify paymentThe Pros and Cons of Using a PayPal Account For Your Shopify BusinessThere’s no better feeling than receiving payment for all your hard work. However, accepting this money can cause headaches, and if you’re like one of the 361 million individuals that use PayPal as their business’s go-to payment method, you’ve probably wondered whether a personal PayPal account is the best option for your online store’s needs. For a Shopify business, there are many reasons why a personal PayPal account is and isn’t the best payment gateway, and here is a breakdown of all of them: Pros for You Integrates seamlessly with ShopifyEasy to register, set up, and link to personal or business bank accountsOffers an encrypted and safe means of sending and receiving paymentsSimple digital invoicing capabilitiesAccepts many different currencies Pros for Your Customers A widely known and trusted serviceInstant payments on services and goodsExisting PayPal account isn’t necessary Cons For You Cannot receive payments from credit or debit cardsHigh feesWithdrawing money from a PayPal account into a bank account can take up to 5 business daysPayPal’s seller protection does not cover digital goodsInternational currency conversion rates aren’t very competitive Cons for Your Customers Phone-based customer service known for its inconsistencyPayPal requires customers to go offsite to complete a transactionBecause of its popularity, there are many frauds and scams that may leave some customers feeling apprehensive Conclusion When it’s all broken down, using a personal PayPal account for your online Shopify store has both good and bad sides. For pros, there is the ease of use, strong customer trust, and encrypted security, while for the cons, online businesses are looking at high fees and less than desirable currency conversion rates.
How to Optimize a Slow-Loading Shopify Store
Shopify seoHow to Optimize a Slow-Loading Shopify StoreThere are several factors that can potentially affect a Shopify store’s page load speed. Unfortunately, some of these factors can’t be controlled, but others can. Here, we're going to show you how to reduce page loading time for your Shopify store. But, before you get started, you’ll want to get some kind of loading time metric that will allow you to see if the changes you are making are actually working. To help you out, there are several website speed testing tools you can use to gauge your store’s overall loading times. Two of the best are Pingdom or Google’s PageSpeed Insights. With these tools in hand, let's take a look at what's slowing down your store: Why is Shopify Website Speed So Slow? Shopify website page loading speeds can be seriously troublesome. Not only will it frustrate your customers and make your site’s backend run slowly but it will also hurt your SEO standing with search engines and likely affect your ranking. Ultimately decreasing your site’s organic traffic. There are several different reasons why Shopify page load speed is slow. Here are the main ones: Excess apps are bogging your siteJunk code is clogging your backendOnsite media is uncompressed, large, and slow-loadingRedirects or broken links are commonAMP pages are not enabled or automatically createdA Shopify theme hasn’t been developed with page speed in mind With so many potential reasons, you might be left thinking, "How can I speed up my Shopify site?" And thankfully, there are a few things you can do: How to Make Your Shopify Store Load Faster Remove Excess Apps When apps are integrated into a Shopify store, code is added to facilitate its functionality. With more and more integrated apps comes even more code, meaning Shopify’s content management system (CMS) has more to consider when customers are navigating your store. Basically, this slows everything down and will begin to affect the overall speed of a store. To mitigate this, there are a couple of steps you can take: Remove any apps from your store that you no longer useDisable features of apps you’d like to keep that aren’t in use Remove Junk Code Uninstalling apps that are bogging down your site is one thing, but quite often these apps will leave junk code that can remain in your site’s backend and continue to slow things down. To really increase Shopify loading speed, you’ll need to go in and clear things up. Unfortunately, though, unlike some other CMS platforms, Shopify doesn’t currently offer an app to do this. While that’s fine for users who understand code like HTML, CSS, or JavaScript, it doesn’t help much for the rest of us e-commerce mortals. With that in mind, if you don’t feel comfortable jumping in and delete residual code, it’s highly recommended you hire a developer who does. Deleting the wrong thing could potentially be a huge deal that’s absolutely not worth the risk. Optimize Onsite Media Oversized images and embedded on-page videos can seriously slow down a page’s loading speed. Thankfully, a strategy termed "lazyload" can be implemented to fix this problem. Rather than a page loading all media at once, lazyload simply tells a website page to only load an image or video as a user is scrolling past it. This can significantly improve page load speed and is a fairly simple thing to fix. A lazyload app like Lazify is a great way to implement this. Reduce Redirects and Fix Broken Links Another consideration to make when aiming to speed up a Shopify website is redirects and broken links. Both will affect how fast a site’s pages load and, if prevalent enough, will work to hurt your site’s rankings. To reduce the impact of both of these issues, you’ll need to comb your site and limit redirects as much as possible as well as run through broken links and either remove them or replace them with a link that does work. If your site is quite large and comprehensive, you can use an app like Broken Link 404/301 Redirect. But remember, the more apps the higher the likelihood of a slow loading site. Generate Fast-Loading AMP Pages AMP pages (accelerated mobile pages) have been developed to increase the page loading speed on mobile devices. And with a large proportion of e-commerce shoppers now using mobile devices to shop, it’s more than worth your while to do this. In Shopify, you can use an app like FireAMP or RocketAMP to automatically set this up for you. Consider Switching Themes As drastic and frustrating as this may seem, some themes just haven’t been optimized for Shopify page load speed. And while switching to a different may seem like a drastic approach and should probably be left as a last resort, sometimes it simply can’t be helped. To ensure you don’t simply install a new theme that may be just as slow, hunt around for a Shopify theme that is not only developed for fast-loading pages but is also well regarded by other page speed-minded Shopify users. The guys from both Shoptimized and Out of the Sandbox make some great fast-loading themes. You could try starting there. Conclusion Don’t allow your slow-loading store to frustrate and turn away your well-paying customers. Simply implement the above fixes and you’ll soon have your Shopify store up and running as if it were brand new.
The Best Apps for Special Discount Offers on Your Shopify Store
Shopify appsThe Best Apps for Special Discount Offers on Your Shopify StoreArguably, there’s no better way to get visitors excited about your online store’s products than discounts. Although, at times, offering discounts can kill your profit margins. The solution? Multi-buys incentivized by bulk discounts. The best way to offer this kind of incentive is with a bulk discount app that integrates right into your Shopify store, and here are the best ones: Unlimited Bundles & Discounts Currently, with over 1200 reviews and an average of 4.8 stars, Unlimited Bundles & Discounts is one of the best multi-buy apps available for Shopify stores. Unlimited Bundles & Discounts feature product bundles that are code-free and highly customizable, perfect for e-commerce merchants that have an eye for branding and visual marketing. Pricing: Limited Free Plan available for just 1 discount bundle.Basic Plan: $17.99 per monthProfessional Plan: $27.99 per monthAdvanced or Unlimited Plan: $37.99 per monthEnterprise Plan: $47.99 per month Bulk Discounts Now Bulk Discounts Now is another very solid option for Shopify merchants wishing to leverage bulk buy sales. The app sits on 4.7 stars with just under 400 reviewers. It features targeted seasonal marketing, pop-up cart compatibility, and a native currency converter for Shopify. Plus, they offer their users personalized customer support video calls that are free and available over weekends. Pricing: 14-day free trialStarter Plan: $9.95 per monthBasic Plan: $14.95 per monthPremium Plan: $19.95 per month VolumeBoost - Volume Discount VolumeBoost, formerly Volume & Tiered Discounts, is another great bulk discount app option. The app has been awarded 4.5 stars from over 800 reviews. What's different about this one is the ability for users to create customizable price-tiered discounts, scheduled sales, and multiple discount options. A great way to boost a store’s average order value while also keeping customers super satisfied with attractive bulk discount offers. Pricing: 14-day free trialBasic Plan: $9.95 per monthPro Plan: $14.99 per monthAdvanced Plan: $24.99 per monthShopify Plus Plan: $39.99 per month Conclusion Take your store's earning potential to the next level with a quality bulk discount app. Any one of these three multi-buy apps is sure to keep your customers hyped about your next big sale. Happy selling.
The Best Way to Integrate and Sync Xero Accounting With Shopify
Shopify accounting and taxesThe Best Way to Integrate and Sync Xero Accounting With ShopifyIf you’re on the search for any easy Shopify account solution, you’re in the right place. In this post, we detail how to both integrate and sync Shopify and Xero to make keeping track of your finances as easy as possible. To complete this integration we’re going to use an app called Xero Integration by Bold, a company that makes many other reputable Shopify apps. Step 1: Add Xero to Shopify Use this link or search for the Xero Integration app through Shopify’s admin panel under the “App” section.Click “Add app”.Once redirected, at the bottom of the page click “Install app”.Wait just a few moments for the installation process to complete and then choose the plan you’d like to use. Choose either the Free Plan or the Starter Plan charged at $19.99 USD per month.Accept the terms and conditions by clicking “Accept”.And lastly, click “Connect now”. Step 2: Enter Relevant Company and Tax Details Once the installation process is complete, a pop-up window will appear. In this window enter your relevant company details and click “Allow access”.This will open another window. In this window, select the Xero account you’d like to sync with Shopify. Next, enter any relevant payment settings that apply and create a new expense account if needed.Once that is complete, enter any relevant tax settings. Step 3: Finalize the Integration Once all the relevant information and settings have been entered, simply click the “Complete setup” button.You will now be able to see a “Launch Xero” button, click it to complete the integration and syncing process. And that’s it! Congratulations, you’ve now connected your Shopify and Xero accounts.
Utilizing Shipping Insurance for Your Shopify Store
Shipping, suppliers & fulfillmentUtilizing Shipping Insurance for Your Shopify StoreShopify merchants that use Shopify shipping and fulfillment centers located within the US are eligible for shipping insurance up to the value of $5,000 USD. This is a third-party service provided directly through Shopify by Shipsurance. Basically, if the unexpected occurs, a claim can be made directly from a Shopify store’s admin page. So can you add Shopify insurance to an order? Simply follow these steps: How to Add Shipping Insurance on Shopify Step 1: Purchase a Shipping Label In order to qualify for Shopify shipping insurance, you must first purchase a Shopify shipping label that includes tracking. To do this: 1. Click on the "Orders" option under the main admin menu. 2. Next, click the checkbox of an unfulfilled order you wish to fulfill. 3. Then click the “Create shipping labels” button. 4. Enter any applicable shipping information for that order. Step 2: Enter an Applicable Insurance Amount Next, using the Shipping insurance panel, in the “Coverage amount” box, enter the insurance amount you’d like to cover (an amount equal to a product’s cost price or the total order value plus enough to cover shipping costs is best). Note: Some freight service providers, like UPSS, offer insurance within their shipping costs. This amount of coverage is displayed when ordering a shipping label. It is important to understand that this amount does not combine with any amount of insurance purchased through Shopify for any given order. For example, if you wish to purchase $200 worth of insurance for an order and UPSS offers $100 worth of insurance coverage, you will still need to order $200 worth of shipping through Shopify. The combining of $100 of UPSS coverage and $100 of Shopify coverage is not permissible, nor is claiming $100 from both parties. Step 3: Finalize the Order Once the amount of coverage has been decided upon, simply click the “Buy shipping label” button in the right-hand side panel. And that’s it, you’re all done. The Best Third-Party Shopify Insurance Apps If for whatever reason you decide Shipsurance isn’t the right choice for you, know that there are other third-party options out there for you to choose from instead. Keep in mind, some of the below apps actually offer services and attractive carrier discounts that aren’t available with Shipsurance. Here are the best Shopify insurance app options for you to choose from: ShipStation - offers premier discounted rates for USPS, UPS, and DHL.Shippo - offers carriers rates from USPS, UPS, DHL, FedEx, and a ton of overseas third-party shipping carriers at highly-discounted rates.ShipBob - has warehouses located across the U.S, Canada, and the EU, making it a great option for merchants selling their products both in the States in overseas.Easyship - offers merchants access to over 250 different shipping couriers from around the world.Shipsaver - as well as offering competitive insurance rates with USPS, Shipsaver also automatically import sales from eBay and Etsy. A great option for merchants that sell their products on platforms other than Shopify. Every one of these apps is a great option for adding shipping insurance to your customer orders. To integrate their services into your Shopify store, simply click on the corresponding link to sign up and add the app to your Shopify admin. Do Shopify Stores Need Insurance? Technically, no. But, if you want peace of mind and protection against worst-case scenarios then it’s highly recommended. And for good reason. A study on e-commerce shipping found that around 1 in every 10 e-commerce packages arrives with some sort of damage. With that in mind, there really isn’t any reason not to have Shopify insurance. Why? Well, mostly because insurance for Shopify customer orders is generally super affordable, only costing a fraction of the total order value. Plus, order damage or loss isn’t uncommon, therefore, Shopify shipping insurance is definitely something you should consider for your online store. Do Dropshipping Businesses Need Insurance? Again, not technically. But, if the worst-case scenario were to play out, it’s definitely recommended that a dropshipping business obtains at least a basic level of insurance cover. Apart from shipping insurance, the next two biggest insurance considerations for dropshipping businesses are general liability and cyber risk/privacy liability insurance. General liability insurance protects online businesses against lawsuits made by third parties over personal or property damages. And cyber risk/privacy liability insurance protects dropshipping against fraud, loss of personal data, and financial loss or theft. What Kind of Insurance Do I Need for an E-Commerce Business? In the context of this post, of course, you’d require shipping insurance for your e-commerce business. Although, shipping insurance isn’t the only kind of insurance you can get for your online store. For instance, if you are working with a fulfillment center or some other major retailer, these types of brick-and-mortar businesses may require your online store to obtain some sort of property insurance, liability insurance, or commercial insurance. Is It Worthwhile for Shopify Sellers to Get Shipping Insurance? For sure, it’s definitely worthwhile that Shopify sellers get some sort of shipping insurance. Whether that be through Shopify’s Shipsurance or through a third-party shipping insurance app, obtaining shipping insurance is definitely a small price to pay for peace of mind and loss or theft coverage. When Should E-Commerce Sellers Buy Shipping Insurance? I mean, considering the relatively minor costs of shipping insurance (a cost that can easily be integrated into customer shipping), there really is no reason not to cover yourself against shipping issues from the launch of your e-commerce store. $1.25 per $100 USD is a small price to pay even for a startup or fledgling online business. Is Shipping Insurance for the Buyer or Seller? Shopify shipping insurance is mostly set up to protect the seller but it also protects the buyer as well. For instance, let’s say an expensive order gets damaged and the product requires replacing. Well, not only will a good shipping insurance cover the price of the damages but it will allow the seller to replace the buyer’s order at no cost. This works in favor of both parties as the buyer gets a replacement order while the seller isn’t financially inconvenienced at all. Which Shipping Company Has the Best Insurance? There really is no right or wrong answer here. The best shipping insurance company that covers damages or loss of Shopify customer orders is one that offers a policy that covers an online store’s unique business requirements. For instance, for orders made in the United States, either UPS, USPS, FedEx, or Shipsurance are all great options. However, for international shipping or dangerous goods, other companies may be better suited for the job. How Much Does It Cost to Add Shipping Insurance? Let’s use Shopify’s in-house insurance Shipsurance for example. Shipsurance charges $1.25 per $100 USD of required coverage. So let’s say an order has a value of $350, the total cost of insurance would be 3.5 x $1.25 which equates to a total coverage cost of approximately $4.38. Not a bad price when compared to the prospect of covering the total order value if something were to go wrong. UPS Insurance Costs For deliveries within the US, UPS charges $0 for insurance up to $100 USD of the total order value and $1.05 for every $100 after that. Although, consider this: UPS has a $2.70 insurance minimum meaning the total order value must be at least $300 or more for UPS shipping insurance. Maximum Insurance for UPS UPS’s liability insurance is limited to $100 USD on orders and packages with an undisclosed value. If the package value is above $100 USD, customers can declare and insure packages at a higher value, up to $50,000 USD. Usps Insurance Costs: For deliveries within the US, USPS charges: $1.65 for orders up to $50 USD$2.05 for orders between $50.01-$100$2.45 for orders between $100.01-$200$4.60 for orders between $200.01-$300$4.60 + $0.90 with any $100 increase in total order value for orders over $300-5,000 How Does Shipping Insurance Work for USPS? USPS offers its customers standard shipping insurance to protect against damage, loss of goods, or missing contents up to a value of $5,000 USD. Customers can both purchase USPS insurance online or in-person at a local Post Office. Sent packages can be tracked via USPS’s tracking service, allowing customers to check in on their delivery and arrival status. FedEx Insurance Costs: For deliveries within the US, FedEx insurance costs: $0 for customer orders of a value of up to $100 USD$3 for orders between $100.01-$300$1 for every $100 of value over $300 Are FedEx Packages Insured? Yes, FedEx packages are insured. Packages that are valued at $100 USD or less cost nothing to insure while orders over this value cost an increasing amount depending on the total order value. FedEx also offers additional insurance to cover potential losses on top of their basic shipping insurance. Conclusion Don’t risk the reputation of your business or risk racking up losses from damaged or lost customer orders. Instead, ensure your online store’s Shopify packages are protected by one of these great Shopify insurance options. With the help from their services, you’ll now be able to take advantage of one of these policies and ship your customer orders with peace of mind.