- Total posts: 20
We started our business in July 2014 and spent the first 6 – 8 weeks editing our website. After much thought, we decided to go with Shopify because we are bootstrapping and Shopify was both affordable for what we needed and offered more than enough functionality for the type of site we had in mind. We wanted a simple, clean website that offered a simple shopping experience.
Yes, I hate that I have to pay monthly fees but that is the cost for using their shopping cart plus I love their forums! We started with the $14USD a month to acclimatise to the platform and realised after a few weeks we’d have to jump to the basic plan of $29USD per month to get everything we needed.
Although, we only have three “collections” with about 20 products, there isn’t a product limit with Shopify. We have two blogs and all the other stock standard pages. Editing the site is pretty easy because the CMS is set up for people who don’t have a web design background. If you do need some more technical stuff done, the theme designers often provide guides or you can find the answer on the forums.
It’s now been 8 months since we’ve had the site and the cost hasn’t been exorbitant. We initially paid $140 USD for the current theme and did the set up ourselves. For a payment gateway, we went with SecurePay which took about 1-2 weeks to set up and cost us $275 for the year (you need to set up a merchant account – we did it through Securepay who help us set up with NAB). They also get a % for a processing fee but is the expected cost of business. As a result, we take payments from paypal, mastercard and visa (which should cover the majority of customers).
If I had to add up the cost so far it would look something like this (sucks that AUD is going down!):
Shopify monthly fees – $29 USD per month x 7 months = $203 + initial $14.
TOTAL $217 USD
Shopify transaction fee – 2%
Shopify theme – $140 USD per design
Securepay – $275 annual fee
Securepay transaction fee – 11c per transaction + 2.4% fee
99designs for logo – $299USD
I know this may seem odd but we haven’t spent that much on setting up our website. We spent our own time editing every single page and got advice from forums and articles about SEO etc. We’re still new and learning every day but this is how we wanted to do it. As a result, we’ve been able to spend money on different things like stock, equipment for the business, SEM and other “marketing” tactics which have largely been experiments. Also, we take all of our own photos and write our own copy. My Wife and I really wanted to build the business from the ground up and get a good understanding of these new areas that we’re not familiar with.
With regards to apps on Shopify, we’ve actually been using the free ones and most of them are awesome. As someone mentioned earlier, there are a lot of apps on Shopify that cost money and you don’t actually need them. The ones we use are:
– Klaviyo for email marketing (free for first 250 emails)
– product reviews – from shopify so it’s free
– Shopify for Facebook store
– Social autopilot for automatic posting on Facebook and Twitter
– Shopify order printer
That’s pretty much all we use for now. We’ve experimented with others but because we’re still small, we haven’t had the need for other apps (yet)
In the coming weeks, we’ll actually be updating our theme again ($140USD) to get the look and feel of the brand as of today. Obviously since starting, we’ve honed in our market and refined ‘who we are’ and ‘what we do’. If you check out our Online Party Store in two weeks, you’ll see what we mean.
Pretty long post but I hope it was informative. Feel free to ask anything else about our experience with Shopify. Basically, we happy with what we have and it’s what we need for the stage we’re in. I’ve read on so many places that you shouldn’t spend $10k + on a website when you don’t know how your customers will use it. It’s better to adapt and adjust based on customer usage and expectation.
Awesome post Khai I am in about the same place as you were back in July. I am an extreme bootstrapper and don’t see why not. Modern technology has been developed so that web design can be automated. Shopify, Squarespace, WordPress….these are just freedom-givers. Everyone can have a go now. If you are online, you can create!
If you don’t mind, I might ask you a few questions about how you did certain things….My shop will be in interior design, so totally unrelated, but I love the whole approach of your website.