The big news from Shopify this week was the launch of the Shopify for WordPress plugin, making it possible to sell your products on a WordPress blog using Shopify.
This is a very significant moment in the Ecommerce world – one that some of us have been waiting years to see. The launch of the Shopify Ecommerce Plugin for WordPress brings together arguably the leading blogging and Ecommerce platforms on the market.
Shopify’s free plugin will allow you to sell your products through your WordPress blog – all for a $9/month Shopify subscription. They’ve also rolled out three WordPress themes – all currently free to download – which are designed to show off your Shopify products, although the plugin can be installed in your current WordPress theme too.
How Does it Work?
Once you’ve downloaded and installed the free Shopify plugin on your WordPress site it’s really easy to integrate your products. As you can see below, there’s a Shopify ‘Add Product’ button which sits in the editor for every page of your WordPress store. You can then choose which product you want to drop into your site. It’s completely customisable, which is particularly useful if you want to advertise a certain product in a blog post.
We really like the fact that you can put your products exactly where you want them to be. Bloggers tend to be very strong at content marketing and understanding exactly why a particular reader has come to a particular page of their site. The Shopify WordPress Plugin gives you the ability to integrate the right product (with a classy Shopify buy button) into the pages of your site that are most likely to be viewed by potential customers.
Please note that this plugin will only work for sites run through WordPress.org – if your blog is hosted through WordPress.com then unfortunately the Shopify Ecommerce Plugin isn’t available to you.
Why This is Significant?
Perhaps the biggest critics of Shopify are store owners who see themselves primarily as bloggers. Experienced bloggers tend to find Shopify’s integrated blogging platform quite primitive. It’s certainly nothing like the WordPress blogging experience. Whilst Shopify has gone from strength to strength in recent years, their failure to address the limitations in their blogging offering has been an ongoing source of frustration and an obvious chink in Shopify’s armour.
The Shopify for WordPress plugin will go some way to resolving this issue. Those of us who have existing WordPress blogs but have grown frustrated with services like of WooCommerce (who in all likelihood will respond to Shopify’s new service with their own improvements) will be very interested in the Shopify Ecommerce plugin. This development will enable you to sell products through your blog – to your existing blog audience – whilst benefiting from all the strengths of Shopify.
“…you’ll still manage all of your pages and posts in WordPress, but you’ll have Shopify to manage everything else: payments, secure checkout, shipping and fulfillment, inventory, and taxes—all the hard things about selling online.” Daniel Patricio, Product Manager, Shopify
This is an intriguing marriage of the world’s most popular blogging platform and, in our opinion, the current market-leading Ecommerce platform. It’s great news for bloggers who want to increase their revenues by selling physical products through their store – from teeshirts to white-label goods.
It might also change the way that entrepreneurs choose their Ecommerce platforms. If you’re thinking about starting a store and want to drive your business through blogging and content marketing then the Shopify for WordPress plugin might be your best option. You’ll get the blogging power that WordPress gives you with the credibility and quality of a Shopify store. For a certain percentage of store owners this could bring an end to the frustrations of trying to run a high quality blog through Shopify.
The move is also quite a concession for Shopify. Instead of throwing resources at developing their blogging offering they’ve chosen (for now at least) to focus on what they do best. In many ways this is a very humble move, and very much in keeping with Shopify’s reputation as one of the most switched-on tech companies around.
In the future we might see further plugins which open up various affiliate opportunities for WordPress bloggers and Shopify store owners. Imagine how good it would be for everybody involved if store owners could drop their products straight into the blog of a WordPress blogger in their niche? It would be a win-win-win.
Shopify for WordPress: Will We Get WordPress for Shopify?
Maybe. When Shopify broke the news this week the overwhelming response was from people asking when we’ll get a WordPress plugin for Shopify. This week’s developments are great for bloggers who want to start selling products (or at least start selling through Shopify) but it doesn’t solve the ongoing frustrations for store owners who want to offer a better blog on their Shopify store. For the time being, the problem remains.
In our experience the Shopify team are great at listening to their audience and delivering a service that meets the needs of store owners. This might mean that they focus on improving their blogging platform. However, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a WordPress for Shopify plugin being rolled out within the next 12 months. For loyal Shopify store owners who want a better blogging experience then this would be even better news.