A lot of makers have been inspired by Etsy’s recent fee increase to start a Shopify store. While I think Etsy’s fees are still incredibly low, having your own store is always a great idea. I’ve been using Shopify since it launched a decade ago and whether you’re brand new or a bit of an old-timer, here’s five less-obvious features that are quick and easy to add.
Custom Email Notifications
It’s been on my list FOREVER to design pretty notification emails (for new orders, shipping etc.). Imagine my face when I realised Shopify had changed the standard design to be perfectly nice, while I was still using my boring text-only versions. I restored all mine to the defaults and then added some personalisation back in and it was well worth the time spent. If you haven’t checked this section yet (in Settings > Notifications), it’s worth a look to see if your logo is showing up okay and to add things like your social media links and shipping times.
Custom Packing Slips
Similarly, don’t stick with the boring default packing slip if you print them for orders. You can use the free Order Printer app to add your logo, fonts, colours and custom information. This isn’t super-easy but if you’re not good with code, you can buy templates – or hire a Shopify Expert like me. It’s a quick job so shouldn’t cost much.
When I decided to reduce my plastic packaging, I realised the best way would be to give people a choice with a drop down box. Shopify is not great at product customisation – every option you add counts as an SKU (stock keeping unit) and you only get a limited amount of those. Luckily there is the Infinite Options app, which is free and lets you add drop downs, text boxes and whatever else you need, customised for individual products or product types.
Don’t just stick with PayPal – Shopify allows you to take payments from a huge list of payment providers (in Settings). You do need to jump through a lot of hoops but it’s worth it to make sure you never lose a sale because someone’s been locked out of their PayPal account or can’t find their credit card. At a minimum, try to add PayPal, Shopify Payments (for credit cards), Apple Pay, Google Pay and Amazon Payments + any popular local payment types.
If you get stuck with any of these things, there’s an amazing Help Center full of guides and tutorials. Shopify is also capable of doing pretty much anything you can imagine – you just need the right app or code. Selling from your own store is tough as everything is 100% on you so make sure you invest in it and keep up to date with all the new features and opportunities.
I love to talk about Shopify so get in touch if you need any help figuring out your next steps and whether features are easy enough to add yourself or worth hiring someone. I can also set you up with an extended trial if you’ve been thinking of giving Shopify a go.