Shopify Website and not a store
Most people think of Shopify to be an online store focused on funnels and conversions - which it is. However, many don't realize that this cloud-based SAAS platform is very capable of just hosting a flat site with all the added benefits of an Online Store. Not just hosting it, but giving them tools of marketing and lead generation so that the likes of WordPress will feel its power. However, there are some caveats on how you go about getting the most from your Shopify Website, and not falling into the traps of Shopify Apps that will require upgrading.
Shopify as a Digital Marketing platform
When it comes to your Digital Marketing Strategy, Shopify is one of the most capable platforms out in the marketplace to support all the various features and user experiences. This is due to Shopify's Theme 2.0 architecture which delivers a wide variety of capabilities for customer experiences. These Shopify themes have been out for a couple of years now, and are of high-quality responsive designs. This allows for your content marketing strategies to be filled in the template, with the call to action, allowing for marketing campaigns with email marketing.
The second key component that makes Shopify a top digital marketing platform is the thousands of Apps that support the online store to ensure great customer service. Shopify Apps improves customer experiences as well as makes your marketing more effective. Apps like social media integrations to bring your Instagram feed onto your website. The App Store has various categories which support a multitude of business disciplines. So if you are wanting to enhance your social media marketing via a website that enhances the follow-through on the "learn more" about your products and brand. With the addition of an Email marketing strategy to drive the audience on new announcements and some marketing automation, your Shopify Website can be a strong inbound marketing tool.
Shopify Apps and how they work on "website-mode"
We talked about Shopify Apps and how they can be a strong addition to a Shopify Website. While it isn't a transacting site, most Apps have to operate when your credit card is turned "on" as a Shopify plan (at the very least the entry-level plan). The website builder is of course by default in "parked mode" so you can build your website with a minimal cost, however, it does require the Apps to be in "live mode" for them to operate with all their features since some of these Shopify Apps do charge monthly.
Types of websites suitable outside eCommerce
Customer Service: If you are looking to have a Customer Service website that also drives traffic, yet delivers an awesome customer service experience, then a dedicated website to your knowledge base and support tools (live chat, Queue system, Email support) might be the solution for your business. Your Customer service site may be focused on customer satisfaction, however, Blog content that can host "how-to's" and content marketing can be a driver for your business sales by demonstrating the support your give to your customers.
Corporate site: A corporate site doesn't have to be boring and all company information alone. It can be more engaging and part of the sales effort. Having the ability to live-chat with a company representative and find out more about the company, its products, and brands. Especially useful for conglomerates and manufacturing facilities that put out various components over many industries.
Processing site: If your business has a custom process to support a sale or service that interacts with your customers the Shopify architecture might be worth looking into. Tools like the Shopify API with Custom Shopify Apps might be the solution to delivering a great customer experience. Additionally, that great customer experience can be amplified to various channels (Social Media, Newsletters, and other publications).
Aside from the added benefits of landing pages and customer contact gathering (Email addresses), your ability to deliver good customer service can be done all in one Shopify Website without the need to transact. However, if you feel like down the road you would like to charge for parts or services, then the ability is right there for you to expand your website into a Shopify Store and start selling your new offerings. Sharing information has a content value that drives SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and the more you add to your website's knowledge base for your audience and clients, the more you can avert a bad experience. Structuring your business with a Shopify Website might give you that additional traffic and cross-sell you might have been looking for. If you are looking to see how you can structure your website, content, and service - feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org