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“I’ve got too much time on my hands, it’s hard to believe such a calamity,” sang no ecommerce business owner ever. Clearly, the lead singer of Styx has never attempted to run an online store through Shopify.
From monitoring sales, to keeping tabs on customers, to writing snappy content for new products—if you sometimes feel like running your Shopify store requires 32 hours to fit into a 24-hour day, you’re not wrong. It takes a lot of time and hard work to build a Shopify empire.
So, if you’re feeling bogged down and more on-edge than usual, we have a one-word remedy for your overworked mind (and computer): delegate. That’s right, why not delegate some of those time-consuming tasks? Unless you’re living in a Ralph Waldo Emerson essay, self-reliance isn’t a requirement for running an online store.
To put more time back into your overbooked day, here are 7 time-consuming tasks your Shopify store should delegate.
Task #1: Getting Your Shop up and Running
While Shopify makes it easy to launch your business into cyberspace in a matter of minutes—pick a plan, choose a design, add your products, and you’re ready to sell—if your game plan is to blow your competitors out of the water (and win over the hearts of customers) you’re going to need to put a lot of time and elbow grease into creating a unique storefront that captures the full essence of your brand.
Sure, Shopify offers a hefty range of themes and templates to its subscribers, but this becomes a problem in itself. Since everyone in the Shopify community can access the same themes and templates, how much “custom” can you really put into the word “customization”?
Yes, it’s possible to customize your own theme by using Shopify’s PHP language known as “Liquid,” but if you’re not well-versed in code and tech-speak, be prepared to spend a lot of time learning the language and testing the waters through good old-fashioned trial and error.
Bottom line: Developing a unique and professional storefront for your online shop is a must. Not only will you attract customers and make a memorable impression, but you’ll also earn a shopper’s trust (which will ultimately carry through to your bank account). If you can’t dedicate a substantial amount of time to design, or you lack the tech-skills required to make online magic happen, it’s time to outsource.
Task #2: Migrating from Your Previous Platform
You’re an ecommerce business owner, so we have to ask: Have you ever experienced That One Dream? No, not the happy online store owner dream where you’re on a beach sipping fruity slush from a coconut, reading celebrity gossip magazines, and contemplating an early retirement because you struck gold in the ecommerce business world.
We’re talking about the other online store owner dream … the holy-shmoly sweat-inducing nightmare of all nightmares where your online business loses ALL of its data—customer info, products, images, historical orders, store credits, gift cards, blogs, product reviews, discount codes—everything gone, poof, vanished without a trace. Sound familiar?
Migrating your store’s precious data from your current ecommerce platform to Shopify can be stressful and time-consuming. There are administrative settings to consider (protocol-independent assets, URL redirects), decisions to make about what data to migrate (products, customers, blogs, etc.), then you have to figure out how to migrate that data (CSV files, Product API, Transaction API, etc.), and then you need to decide on the specific order in which to import all of that data—we’ll stop here because we’re a paragraph in and we still haven’t reached the actual migrating stage.
Bottom line: If you’re looking to land the leading role in a reality horror flick, migrate your own data. If you prefer to enjoy horrors from the safety of a theater seat and you have no desire to be the next Jamie Lee Curtis, consider outsourcing the job.
Task #3: Importing and Organizing Your Products and Collections
Importing and organizing all of your store’s products (goods, services, downloads, whatever you’re selling) takes a lot of time—so much time that the Shopify Help Center even goes the extra mile to warn eager platform users that “adding and organizing your product listings can be the most time-consuming step of setting up a Shopify store.”
Importing and organizing on your own time requires adding products, updating products, adding variants to products, writing up product details, importing photos, creating product collections—and all of this is just the first layer of the onion.
Bottom line: Your products should be the cornucopia of your store—abundant, plentiful, and nourishing for your bank account. If these products are unorganized, lack essential details, and are a hodge-podge of a mess, your customers won’t be impressed and that horn of plenty will be void of “plenty.”
Task #4: Content Marketing
Marketing your shop is another Shopify store task that requires 32 hours of work to fit into a 24-hour day. From deciding which marketing channels and platforms to utilize (Facebook, blogs, email, SMS text messaging), to encouraging customers to leave product reviews, to figuring out how in the heck you’re going to hit customers with finely tailored personalized messages, content marketing can eat up a big chunk of time.
If we could paint a picture to accurately depict the content marketing side of an ecommerce store, the painting would contain a Hoover vacuum, a floor littered with coo-coo clocks, and it would be titled “Time Suck.”
Bottom line: Your marketing efforts dictate the success of your store. If you’re wary on how to market your brand, or time isn’t on your side, delegate the task to a professional. (On a side note, if you’re looking for a handy-dandy Ecommerce Customer Relationship Manager (ECRM) to help manage the relationship between your online store and its customers, we have a four-letter recommendation: Drip.)
Task #5: Analytics Setup
Though Shopify does offer analytics and reports features to help keep tabs on stats like online store conversion rates and total sales numbers, choosing to utilize third-party analytics services is a common strategy for online stores. However, it can be tricky to know which analytics services are right for your business due to an ever-expanding market of “helpful” tools.
For one store, Facebook pixel (a piece of code that helps track conversions from Facebook ads, build targeted audiences, optimize ads, and remarket to the right audience) might be a great analytics tool. But for another store, Google Analytics (a web analysis service that tracks and reports website traffic) might be a better bet. The process of sifting through analytics tools can be mind-numbing.
Bottom line: Lots of research + loads of time = the best analytics setups for your online business. Not fond of research? Don’t have the time? You know what to do.
Task #6: SEO Work
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a method used to boost the ranking of a website in results from a search engine. Ultimately, the goal is to steer as much traffic as possible toward the given website to increase the quality and quantity of web traffic. How does this relate to your Shopify store? In a nutshell, the more you optimize your content (to better your SEO), the more traffic (customers!) your store will see.
While all Shopify stores have SEO built in and allow for content optimization, fully maximizing SEO functionality levels in Shopify takes time and requires tech-speak.
Bottom line: SEO can make or break an ecommerce business. If your store doesn’t appear in search engines, how will you ever make a sale? When in doubt, hire out.
Task #7: Copywriting
Typos. Poor grammar. A product details section that lacks details (and words in general). You’ve seen these online stores before—the ones that haven’t heard of spellcheck, a dictionary, or a writer.
Misspelled product names, poor descriptions, and jumbled words can wreak havoc on a customer’s search results, cause mistrust between store and shopper, and stop a sale dead in its tracks. Not everyone is a wordsmith, and that’s okay. Hire a copywriter.
Bottom line: Nothing says tacky and unprofessional like forgetting to include the letter “l” in “public.” Don’t be THAT store.
Ready to Delegate? Your Shopify Store Is.
If there’s one thing Styx got right in “Too Much Time On My Hands,” it’s the fact that “time is t-t-t-t-ticking away.” So if you’re ready to delegate all seven time-consuming tasks mentioned in this blog (or even just one) check out Storetasker.com. People with loads of Shopify prowess are at-the-ready to help take your store to a whole ‘nother level.