One of the defining features of Shopify’s growth as a platform is its use of blogging. The Shopify blog is easily the most prolific and popular of all the blogs produced by the main Ecommerce platforms. At the time of writing the Shopify blog had a mailing list of 162,463 subscribers. With a vast audience and reams of great new content arriving each week, we think the Shopify blog is changing Ecommerce for the better.
In this article we’ll be looking at the strengths of the Shopify blog and considering how this is influencing the Ecommerce landscape – most notably by changing the way that the Ecommerce platforms give away information to their users.
What’s So Good About the Shopify Blog?
It’s not perfect, but here are 5 of the standout features of the Shopify blog that we think set it apart from the competition:
- Excellent variety – running an online store is a multi-disciplinary process, and the Shopify blog acknowledges this by covering a wide range of themes with articles from various contributors.
- Accessible to All – even if you’re not yet a store owner the Shopify blog is an excellent resource. There’s lots for would-be entrepreneurs to get their teeth into. A great example of this is Shopify’s ultimate guide to starting a t-shirt business.
- Technical depth – it’s the opposite of superficial. One of the great challenges – one that we’re very aware of – of running a successful Ecommerce blog is giving readers enough detail to help them genuinely improve their business. Shopify are excellent at this – they’ve been pushing out long form content for several years now.
- Case studies which both inform and inspire. Some of the most popular Shopify blog posts are case studies which go into huge depth. One of the most-read articles on the blog is a case study on how one couple are making $600,000 a year selling digital products. It’s not actually an amazing article – more recent case studies are far more detailed – but Shopify were the first Ecommerce platform to realise the importance of generating this kind of content. Yes, it sells the platform to potential customers, but more importantly it resources and inspires current users to continue getting better.
- It’s written by store owners for store owners. Even Shopify’s content and marketing team – some of whom are marketers by background, not retailers – get their teeth into the reality of setting up and running an Ecommerce store. A good example of this is Shopify’s Build a Business competition in which participants set up and run a business from scratch.
Are Shopify The Only Ecommerce Platform to Have a Blog?
Absolutely not. As far as we’re aware, all of the main Ecommerce platforms have a blog of their own. Good examples would be the WooThemes blog (from the creators of WooCommerce), the Magento blog and the Bigcommerce blog. These are all good sources of recommended reading for store owners and developers alike – whatever platform you prefer.
However, are all Ecommerce blogs created equal? Not as far as we’re concerned. The big difference with the Shopify blog is that they’ve been producing high-quality content for several years now. Rival platforms have responded – all of the blogs we’ve linked to above are excellent Ecommerce blogs with lots of useful hints and tips for store owners – but they’ve fallen behind Shopify over the last 12-18 months. Expect to see the gap narrow as rival platforms work hard to produce their own libraries of content to resource and equip their users.
The Shopify Partner Blog
Dedicated to resourcing Shopify partners and experts, the Shopify partner blog is a slightly different animal to the mainstream Shopify blog. However, whilst the readership might not be as high, the importance of this blog cannot be understated. The fact that Shopify have created a blog focusing on the design and development side of the platform indicates the company’s commitment to growing a community of expert developers who can help their store owners get the most out of their stores.
How the Shopify Blog is Changing Ecommerce
How then has the Shopify blog transformed the Ecommerce landscape? Quite simply by educating and inspiring store owners to run better stores. Ecommerce is still such a new format – not many authoritative books and resources have been produced to help entrepreneurs set up and run a successful business.
The best thing about the Shopify blog is that it’s completely free. That’s not to say that it doesn’t benefit Shopify. The blog is a key part of their marketing strategy to recruit new store owners to the platform. It’s also essential for retaining customers and helping stores to increase their revenues – all of which enables Shopify to increase their profits. However, at the point of use it is free to access, and if you’ve got the time and inclination it’s possible to become an Ecommerce expert simply by spending time reading blog posts and resources that Shopify have produced over the last few years.
It’s a great resource – and it’s changing Ecommerce by taking the initiative in educating store owners. It’s interesting that other platforms are following Shopify’s lead and investing heavily in their own blog content. As a result we expect the average store owner in 2-3 years time to be much better educated and have a better understanding of what it takes to get their store to the next level.