Ecommerce Business Blueprint: How To Build, Launch And Grow A Profitable Online Store

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Starting an ecommerce business is hard work with many steps and decisions that need to come together at the right time. To help, we have put together a comprehensive resource list, compiled from Shopify's most popular blog posts. These posts have been placed into a logical order based on how you would research, build, launch and grow a profitable ecommerce business.

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How to Evaluate Your Pop-Up Shop's Success (4 Metrics and 5 Tools to Help You Through the Process)

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Let's face it, running a pop-up shop is hard work. There are a lot of moving pieces that have to come together for a limited time experience that requires a lot of time, money, and sweat investment to make it happen. 

So, how do you make it worth your while? 

The answer to this question lies in coming up with a list of goals you'd like to accomplish through the pop-up shop and coming up with a way to track and measure your key performance metrics, along with getting feedback based on the data you collect and the people you interact with both digitally and in-person. 

Luckily, when you use Shopify POS for your pop-up shop, you get access to a robust reporting back-end that provides key insights into metrics that matter for your business. There's also a handful of social media tracking tools that let you understand the impact of the buzz your pop-up shop was able to build online.

Measuring return-on-investment (ROI) is an important facet to making pop-up shops work for your business, this post will help you explore what you need to pay attention to in order to determine just how big of a success your pop-up really was.

Let's get started. 

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A Visual History of The Apple Store

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Apple’s online store is visually smooth and sleek. Just take a look.

But guess what? It hasn’t always been a work of art. It wasn’t so many years ago that Apple's online store was not so amazing to look at.

Of course standards were different a few years ago. But every ecommerce entrepreneur can use a reminder of how important it is to constantly improve her webfront. That’s why we’ve put together a visual history of Apple’s online store – and in particular the iPhone – to remind you the amount of effort one of the largest companies in the world puts in to improve design. Take a look at how far these pages have come.

Get ready for some not-all-gorgeous web pages.

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Countdown To Launching Your Ecommerce Business

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Things are getting exciting. You’ve carefully evaluated your product idea and finally found a product to sell online. After searching high and low you've found your supplier, ordered samples, and discovered that they're better than you could have expected. Finally, you’ve placed an order for your initial inventory and are just waiting for it to come in. What now?

Well, you’ve still got a lot of work to do because you’re in the pre-launch phase. It's a critical time for every online store as it will set the tone for your business going forward.

Launching your business without being prepared can be a recipe for disaster, that’s why we’ve put together this 10-point countdown to prepare your business for its launch to the world.

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Retailers Lose $45 Billion Annually to Theft, Here's How Signage Can Offset That

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Who doesn’t want to add to their bottom line? It could start with a sign.

According to Business Insider, American retailers lose $45 billion annually to retail theft. Shoplifting alone accounts for $10 billion in losses. Many small businesses aren’t able to afford the same security measures used by big-box retail chains, such as expensive scanners at the front door and hidden theft-prevention tags, but signage provides an inexpensive way to curb retail theft and minimize loss.

Losses from theft can cause huge retail chains to go out of business if left unchecked. Knowing what your signs should say and where to place them may determine whether or not a thief targets your place of business.

SmartSign co-founder and CEO Blair Brewster says "The goal of retail theft-prevention signs is to scare the thieves, not to intimidate legitimate buyers. Your signs should be a reflection of who you are and what you’re selling.”

In this post, we'll cover some practical tips and best practices on how you can use signage to deter theft. 

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How to Write An Effective Welcome Email (13 Examples and 3 Templates You Can Steal Today)

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Email is one of the best channels at your disposal for marketing your online store. Emails drive traffic, supplement your content marketing, and outperform both Twitter and Facebook for generating sales.

This post is about one of the most important types of emails that you can send out: the “Welcome.” They’re the types of emails you get usually when you submit your email address to an online store.

According to the director of Epsilon’s strategic and analytic consulting group, welcome emails typically have the highest open rates of any marketing emails: 50 to 60%. In addition, customers who receive welcome emails are more likely to engage with a brand over the long term than those who have not.

That’s why you should make your welcome emails great. To make it easy for you, we've put together 13 examples of amazing welcome emails (including their subject lines), as well as three templates that you can steal, and finally the apps you can deploy to make your emails the best that they can be.

Let’s dive in.

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This Month In Retail: Disappearing Checkout Counters, Shop-In-Shop Benefits, and Sneakernomics 101

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The world of retail is undergoing a massive overhaul and changing on a daily basis and let's be honest, as a retailer, it's hard to keep up with the latest trends, changes, and innovations about how consumers are shopping and how you can adapt as a result.

Which is why we've decided to curate a monthly roundup of the top retail posts from around the web that do an excellent job of helping merchants stay in the know when it comes to the future of retail.

These posts include a variety of publications, authors, and viewpoints to provide a 360-degree view of the retail landscape was impacted in the month of May. 

Here we go. 

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Celebrating 8 Years of Ecommerce: 14 Shopify Stores Launched in Our First Year

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Today, Shopify officially turns 8 years old! On June 2nd, 2006, our founders flipped the switch and Shopify emerged from its beta state and came to life. That year, our first merchants took a leap of faith, and many are still with us today. This post is dedicated to the pioneers of our merchant community.

So the story goes with many now-successful startups, we were lean and scrappy in the early days. One of our first offices was a coffee shop called Bridgehead in Ottawa, Canada. Shopify’s founders coded and schemed over cups of coffee and free wifi. Today, that shop is one of our merchants, selling beans, tea and merchandise, online across North America.

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How To Build A Massive Following On Instagram

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Used correctly, Instagram can be a highly-targeted, visual advertising channel for your brand. In fact, in a recent study it was discovered that Instagram provides brands with 25% more engagement over other social platforms. This mean that Instagram is a prime channel to build your brand for your ecommerce business. 

Like any social network out there, there are right ways to use it, wrong ways to use it, and clever ways to use it.

In this post, we will show you how to most effectively use Instagram to increase engagement and build a massive following.

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Why All Sale Signs Are Red: The Science of Color in Retail

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What if I told you the color scheme you choose to decorate your retail store with or the color palette for your website and logo could severely impact your sales and influence whether customers are enticed to make a purchase from you or not?

The psychology of color and the way we human beings interact with and react to our environment in accordance to color is a science that has been rigorously tested and applied and something that has been studied for hundreds of years. So, isn't it about time you started using some of the findings to your advantage?

In this post, I'll be taking a look at how color affects the human psyche and how merchants can use that knowledge to their advantage. So whether your store and merchandise displays need a new paint job, or whether you're deciding the theme for your next seasonal window display, this post will give you a solid understanding of how color impacts consumer purchase decisions.

Let's dive in.

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