So you want to start an online shop using the Showit website platform? Here’s how to get started using Showit and Shopify Lite or Showit and WooCommerce.
There are probably a few ways you can earn some passive income through creating an online shop.
Even if it’s just a small side hustle, a few extra dollars each month can add up. And who knows, maybe it will turn into something bigger! But you’ll never know until you give it a shot.
If you’re a photographer, maybe it’s a print shop featuring your personal work. And designers could sell custom stationery, invitations, templates, or website themes.
Whatever you do, there’s probably knowledge you could share with others. We often have a tendency to undervalue what we know—what seems ordinary to you, is often crazy extraordinary to others.
Is there a question people repeatedly ask you about? Are you frequently asked how to do something? If so, it might be a good place to start.
Building your Showit online Shop
There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to e-commerce.
Step 1: Choose a Showit online shop website design.
We don’t recommend building your own website from scratch unless you’re a website designer. Instead, choose a professionally pre-designed template that was created for e-commerce.
We have one in our shop called Cove, which was created specifically for e-commerce. We have another design called Marco Island that was designed for educators who have an e-commerce aspect to their business.
If you’re working with a designer on a custom build, just make sure the designer has experience building online shops.
There are a lot of different pieces involved in e-commerce, and the structure of the website will likely be different than a service-based business’s website.
Step 2: Choose your shopping cart solution.
You’ll need a way for people to checkout and pay for their items. There are a few popular cart solutions that people using on their Showit websites:
ThriveCart is the cart solution that we use on our website. It not only provides your typical cart functionality, but also has perks like a built-in affiliate system.
We initially switched to ThriveCart so that we’d better be able to implement the Facebook pixel and Google Analytics on our checkout pages.
But we stuck around because the team over at ThriveCart continues to roll out with new updates to the platform.
One drawback is that it doesn’t allow for multiple products to be bought at the same time, which might be a dealbreaker for some people. We’ve decided that for our business the benefits of ThriveCart are greater than this inconvenience.
Shopify Lite gives you some of the power of Shopify at a relatively inexpensive monthly price.
It’s easy to create and manage products in your Shopify dashboard,
We used to use Shopify Lite and really liked the interface, but we stopped using it because we were not able to implement the Facebook pixel how we wanted to.
There have also been reports of the Shopify Lite ‘Buy Button’ not playing well with Showit on hidden canvases. If you’re having trouble getting it implemented, be sure to check out this article.
There are other options, too. Some people embed buttons directly from Stripe or PayPal. We don’t recommend this because it will be easier to manage your products and sales using solutions like ThriveCart, Shopify Lite, and WooCommerce. Not too mention, you’ll also look more professional.
WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin for WordPress and one of the most powerful e-commerce platforms out there. Technically it’s only in ‘beta’ with Showit, but it is being successfully used by people.
While WooCommerce is probably the best option for many Showit users who want e-commerce websites, there are a few things to know…
First, WooCommerce is technically ‘not supported’ by Showit. In other words, if something breaks the integration between Showit and WooCommerce, the Showit team is not responsible for fixing it.
I know of at least one occasion where WooCommerce checkouts stopped working on Showit websites. The Showit team did fix it—but remember, they technically don’t have to.
This is a big deal if you’re online shop is your primary business.
Also, the integration is still in beta. In other words, they’re still figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
You likely will not get access to the full power of WooCommerce or be able to customize the WooCommerce checkout as much as if you were using Woo on its own. With that said, this is still an option worth exploring.
Step 3: Integrate your mailing list (or create one).
If you’re selling digital products, you’ll likely need a way to deliver those products. Some of the cart solutions mentioned above can handle delivery.
Integrating with an email marketing platform like ConvertKit can help automate delivery of products, recover abandoned checkouts, and send purchasers reminders, helpful content, or future promotions.
Even if this isn’t a ‘must-have’ for your business, we would highly encourage it.
There are LOTS of reasons to start a mailing list, and it’s especially useful when you have a shop.
With a mailing list you can:
- Build an audience and create leads – A mailing list is a great way to connect with your community, and point people back to the different places they can find you such as your blog, social media, etc. It’s also an effective way to nurture leads through sending helpful content and building trust.
- Educate people about the product/service they bought – When someone buys, send a few emails educating people about the best way to use your product or get the most out of your service. I think the best educational emails anticipate support issues or frequently asked questions. We send a series of emails out to people who purchase a theme from The Palm Shop with video tutorials and other helpful tips.
- Make people aware of future products – Selling to an existing customer is generally less expensive than acquiring a new customer. By subscribing customers to a mailing list, you can get in touch with them directly about future products instead of trying to cut through the noise of social media or other advertising. You’ve probably already paid to acquire them as a customer once—why pay a second time?
We wrote an in-depth blog post about creating a mailing list that’s worth a read if you’re considering starting one.
One of the easiest ways to start building your mailing list is through creating a lead magnet like an ebook, guide, or checklist. A good lead magnet should be helpful (duh), qualify your leads, and lead to further action.
If you’re selling a course on photography lighting, then running a lead magnet on choosing a camera might not get the best results because it doesn’t qualify the lead. Whereas, a lead magnet on how to shoot in low-light situations would help indicate who actually is interested in lighting.
Is Showit the right e-commerce platform for my business?
We generally don’t recommend Showit as an e-commerce platform, although it can be done successfully.
Our shop on Showit has around 25 products, and it’s super tedious to do things like run promotions because so much manual updating needs to be done. Part of this is due to the cart system we chose, but it’s partly due to the Showit platform, too.
If we used a true e-commerce platform, we’d have a lot more flexibility and automation.
Online shops on Showit are best for shops that…
- have few products (< 20)
- don’t need a lot of advanced e-commerce functionality
- are side hustles or projects
It’s not that bigger or more advanced shops can’t work on Showit. There will just be more limitations and necessary workarounds.
If you’re interested in building an online shop on Showit, we’d be happy to chat with you. Just send us an email!
Have questions? Leave us a comment below.