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Choosing the Right eCommerce Platform for Your Business

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Shopify expert, Kathryn Smith provides insight— An eCommerce Money Map interview with Salim Omar and Shawheen Amirkhizi.


Co-founder of the Black Lady Business School—a networking and professional organization for women, Kathryn Smith is also Principal Consultant at Walton Birch— a successful consulting firm based in Atlanta. Smith is an eCommerce expert, a Shopify Super-Fan and Partner and she is passionate about helping small businesses reach their goals.

What Benefits can eCommerce business owners enjoy when they use Shopify?

“Shopify has advantages for both eCommerce merchants and for partner/web developers,” says Smith. Shopify has an affordable price plan and a large range of tools that are perfect for eCommerce businesses.


  • Ecommerce Merchants

People who are trying to get into eCommerce may lack the technical skills, knowledge or a huge budget. “Shopify is an affordable way to start an eCommerce business. Investing a small amount of money into a basic plan gives you the ability to add a custom domain, email, the ability to reach out to your customers and easily track orders,” says Smith. To put it simply, Shopify makes integration with social media sites easy. This empowers eCommerce store owners by giving them the right tools to build a business platform that gets traction.


  • Web Developer/partners

Shopify allows web developers and the people who work for them an increased ability to control access to staff accounts, and partner accounts. This makes it simple to manage their online store, while still inviting people to work on it.

When is Shopify not a good choice?

  • You are not a full time entrepreneur or are working with a small budget.

If you are not sure whether you will get a return on your commitment to Shopify with the product that you sell, then Shopify can be a waste of money.


  • You don’t have a physical product.

Smith says that Shopify is designed and optimized for physical products.


  • If you are selling a small amount of inexpensive products, Shopify would be the wrong platform for you due to the fees for using the platform.


Outgrowing Shopify—According to Smith, Shopify is easy to use when you are scaling your business, however, if you have a custom solution, or if you have developed a contained ecosystem of software and products who run your store, then you will have outgrown Shopify.

Shopify’s Most Underused Tools—What eCommerce Business Owners Need to Know.

  • Native integrations with other platforms allow you to manage all your marketing from one dashboard. Shopify has native integration with Google Merchant Center. This includes Google Ads, Google My Business and Google Shopping. The tool is free and easy to use.


  • Shopify has recently stepped up it’s game when it comes to email tools, now allowing marketing emails to reach thousands more customers.

What are Some of the Most Effective Ways for an eCommerce Owner to Drive Traffic to their Website?

  • SEO plays a key role in driving traffic. Some key points are ensuring that there is enough non-product text on your website to allow. This allows Google insight crawlers and visitors to your site to understand what the site is about. Choose simple and relevant keywords that your customers will use.


  • Email marketing—according to Smith, eCommerce owners should not underestimate the value of email marketing to drive sales to an eCommerce store.

How can eCommerce Owners use Data to make Decisions that Strengthens their Customers Journey?

Metrics can help an eCommerce owner on many levels.


  • Knowing the metrics allows you to assess if the things that you are doing to drive traffic are giving you a return on your investment.


  • The quality of that traffic—bounce rates help determine if the customers are actually staying on your site.


  • Financial metrics—all eCommerce owners should learn how to use this Shopify feature. Filling in all your information including product costs gives you an accurate picture of how your business is performing.


“Data helps with everything from understanding technical problems with the website to determining what types of products, campaigns, and marketing channels are getting traction—what’s actually resonating with people, bringing you loyal customers.” This allows a business to optimize their strategies, while addressing and correcting potential issues early on.


Kathyrn Smith is dedicated to reducing hurdles to success for women and minority entrepreneurs. You can follow her on InstagramLinkedIn or Facebook.


Are you an eCommerce business owner who wants to know more about how to increase your business success? Listen to Shawheen Amirkhizi and Salim Omar on eCommerce Money Map Podcast or visit for professional and accurate bookkeeping, accounting and virtual CFO services today.

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