Joe: Welcome to the Being Found Show. We’re the local business guide to being found by more buying customers. I want to talk about Shopify. If you’ve got a business and you have products or services you want to sell, Shopify is a very good option for you to be able to get them out there the way people want to buy.

Shopify is very user-friendly as well. For example, I had a client who needed a Terms of Service created for their business and Shopify offers a way. Your entire Terms of Service can be created in less than a second by Shopify itself. Shopify is incredible. Like anything, there is a learning curve, and it may seem time-consuming. You might want to hire someone to help you get set up to save you some time and energy.

The key to this is being found where your customers want to buy and being in those places they are seeking you out in.That is something Shopify does. If you go to Shopify.com, you’ll see one of their first menu items is ways to sell. Once you set up your Shopify store, it now gives you the ability with just a click of a button to be other places. You have an online store, but Shopify also has a point of sale system.

You have your website, your inventory and your point of sales system. You also have something called a buy button. It will allow you to generate a code that’s exactly like copy and paste a YouTube video if you’ve ever embedded a YouTube video. You can embed either products, categories, products, or your whole store on other websites. So if you’ve got a friend who’s got a very popular site, ask if you can leave the link to your store with them. All they’ve got to do is give you someplace on the website to click copy and paste in, and now you are selling products on that person store.

Chauncey: Visual-based shopping has great results. Pinterest pages and boards are starting to show up in the search results, unlike Facebook and Twitter.

Joe: Facebook has a store ability to it as well. If you’ve ever seen it, you can buy products on Facebook. Shopify, with a click of a button, will set up a Facebook store. So now not only are your products being found on your website made by Shopify, they’re being found on Facebook and Pinterest as well.

Shopify provides essential marketing tools, such as discount codes, custom gift cards, social network integration, targeted email marketing, store statistics & SEO tools.

Chauncey: The commonly asked question is if your business sells services and not products, can Shopify still help you?

Joe: Now you can’t be in Facebook shops with services, and you can’t do buyable pins with services as it has to be ship-able items. But as an example, Insurance companies can sell their insurance online, and that is e-commerce in itself. People want to be able to research online. Millennials; 53 percent of them buy and don’t even leave their bed. E-commerce stores do give you that ability to display your services in a way that’s searchable, filterable, and comparable.

You can also use apps. There is one called “Book It” which will now allow someone to pick a time and a date to maybe get a haircut, get their nails done, get a massage, whatever the services are that you offer. They can pay and make those appointments, or it could simply be a catalog of your services.

Every single service company should have their products or their services online in an e-commerce fashion even if it’s not allowing someone to buy. Shopify will allow you to to create an online catalog that’s filterable and everything, that you don’t even have to allow purchases from.

We have some stores that we’ve set up that feed into eBay. So you set up your Shopify store with a click of a button. You have now set up your eBay store, and it now feeds the products you want to go on eBay. What’s magical about that is if someone buys something on eBay it pulls it from your inventory and Shopify. If you’re using is it a point of sale system, and you sell something in your store, it pulls it from your online store, and your e-mail store is an incredible hub for Amazon.

Shopify and Pinterest have partnered together to allow customers to purchase your products while browsing the Pinterest app. We are seeing a lot of activity for our clients who are using Pinterest to sell products.

Chauncey: That is a huge deal. Having the ability to maintain your inventory all from one place. If I were to look for something locally and everyone had their products online, I would know what was in stock and where to get what I was looking for with little effort.

Joe: Here’s another side effect or a side benefit when you take the time to organize your products and get them in an e-commerce store or a point of sale system. What happens is, you’ve just empowered your customer service or your sales team to have all that information at their fingertips too in a way that’s easy to find. That is something that most small businesses suffer from is hiring people who may not know every product and service and doesn’t know where everything is out in the store or what’s available.

All you would have to do once set up with Shopify is to teach them how to use the system. All of a sudden they have the power to know what’s in stock. They have the power to know where it is and what the shipping rates are. That customer service rep has the power to look at reviews and say, ‘Well here’s what people are saying about it.’ You have just turned your customer service reps bionic. If you’ll take the time to get your products organized into an e-commerce store you will see how it impacts your business for the better.

Chauncey: Whether or not people want to admit it, I bet you that a lot of business owners themselves have a minimal grasp of their inventory. They have to look at charts and paperwork and stuff like that to have a reasonable understanding of what they have in stock.

Joe: If you have a business that sells products or services you should be taking advantage of the e-commerce and social platforms available to you. Some of which are free. Shopify and Bigcommerce have built-in tools and apps for selling on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. If you have a WordPress site you can use WooCommerce, a free e-commerce plugin that allows you to sell your products and services.

Top E-commerce Platforms according to Inc.com

1. Shopify: Shopify hosts over 325,000 active online shops and with its focus on social commerce and mobile shopping, the platform continues to evolve to meet the growing requirements of online stores.

2. BigCommerce: Launched in 2009, BigCommerce currently hosts over 55,000 online stores and is among the leading e-commerce software providers.

3. Magento: With almost one-fourth of the market share, Magento is often considered the market leader among e-commerce platforms. For its reliability and scalability, many popular brands use Magento as the underlying technology for their online stores, including Burger King, Huawei, Pepe Jeans & Liverpool F.C. This platform is considered the best e-commerce platform for enterprise-level online stores.

Thank you for listening to this segment of the Being Found Show, to hear the full show listen here: Being Found Show Episode#44 or subscribe to our podcast.

Read more about these platforms and more on the Inc.com article: Best E-Commerce Platforms