Shopify is amazing. I’m going to preface this article, with the extremely negative title with that. I would like to turn some frowns upside down, and share some things that many merchants find annoying with Shopify and ways to either avoid them or the steps to take to make them easier.
A lot of these things, merchants are unaware of, or believe there are fixes to them. For example, Tags on Shopify. Many users are moving their websites over from platforms that work differently, and in the CSV export/import process, things are automatically synced to your new Shopify website. While this is automation is amazing, the problem then becomes that these processes can sometimes automatically load things that do not sync well with Shopify and can cause ugliness, crowded pages, loose code or random text.
So I will continue to update this list, as I think of things. If you have any questions that begin with, “Well why did Shopify do ______?”, let me know in the comments, and I’ll add the reason why, the solution to the problem, or what can be done to avoid it in the future.
You may not know about:
Tags. Tags on Shopify are super fickle creatures.
“Why did Shopify add a million random tags in my “filter” section of my website?”
*Sigh*, I hear you.
Solution: There is no solution to this problem, at this time. Once a tag has been added/imported to a specific product, it will not go away. You can definitely remove it from the product, but the tag will float in your “filter” section forever.
Avoiding this situation:You will want to make sure you make your tags with caution and type them very carefully. It’s very easy to manually type a tag and accidentally hit enter, therefore rendering a misspelled/wrong/wonky tag forever onto your website.
When mass importing things from Etsy, be sure to check your tags, and delete them in the CSVprior to importing, or you will have possibly thousands of tags that you can’t delete. There is no way to delete them at this time.
My main advice: Prior to uploading, check your CSV where your tags are listed, so you don’t get anything like, “hankydoodle_1245” as a tag, forever on your website.
Shipping. Shopify Shipping comes for free on all Canadian and US based Shopify websites. It is a great resource, for people who are just starting out and want to save some money on printing labels.
“Why is my price based item being calculated at checkout?”
Although it rocks your socks,and is free, one big hangup is that it can interfere with other shipping options you have set up. For example, let's say you have a necklace and you are offering it for free + shipping. You will go and set it up so that you have price based shipping rates setup under Settings > Shipping, for this one item. (I.e. $0 - $1 = $28 in shipping fees) If you are using Shopify Shipping or you have carrier calculated rates enabled on your account, your price based rate for your necklace will be overridden, and your customer will be charged, based on the lowest weight category for your store.
Solution: If you want to offer price based rates, you can set this up, but will need to disable Shopify Shipping. This can easily be done within the Admin under Settings > Shipping > Zones > and then removing either USPS or Canada Post shipping options based on the region. OR, you can look into shipping apps, with the functionality to allow per product shipping rates.
My Main Advice:Decide prior to setting up your rates how you would like to handle shipping. Do you want to do weight based, calculated rates or do you want to offer free + shipping or different offers? This will make things way easier and could save you a lot of time during set up. If you don’t need to add weights to every single product and/or variants, that’s great. Doing it once, and doing it correctly will save you loads of time in the long run!
Variants.Variants are pretty neat. They produce drop down menus on your product description page, which allows customers to choose what “variation” of a product they would like.
“Why do I have to edit my 2500 variants, one at a time?”
This is a double edged sword. Variants are amazing, necessary and unbelievably important to businesses. Again, if you’re importing products, they can also be the most frustrating, time consuming game of whack of mole, while you try to figure out which variant needs adjusting.
Solution: Variants can be bulk edited… sort of. It is possible to edit the Variant types by going to your Admin > Products > Selecting the Product you’d like to edit > Variants > Edit Options. This will allow you to edit the variant “titles”. However, if you want to edit the price of the size small, blue t-shirt, with a pink daisy on the front, you would need to scroll through your list of variants to edit the price of that specific one. Even in the Bulk Product Editor, variants cannot be edited.
My Main Advice:If you are starting from scratch, figure out how many variations your product has. If it’s easier write them down. Think size, colour, amounts, etc. These become your “titles”, and from there, you can add subtitles. For example, Colour -> red, blue, purple, aubergine. Planning before jumping in can save you a lot of headache. Once you have hit save on your Variants, there is no way to easily bulk edit them again.
Domains & Your Shopify URL. You can purchase a domain through Shopify, who are partnered with OpenSRS (Tucows), and have a fancy pants domain, that works beautifully with your website.
“How do I change my .myshopify.com URL?”
You can’t. Harsh, I know. Your .myshopify.com URL is not changeable. If you make a spelling error, change the name of your business, etc., you will not be able to change this URL.
Solution:This is not a real solution, but hopefully it can put your mind at ease. Your .myshopify.com URL is only visible within the Admin, by you and your staff. Once you have set up a domain, it will not be visible to customers. Whether you buy a domain via Shopify, or through a third party, as long as it is the primary domain pointed at your website, the .myshopify.com URL will only be visible to the Account Owner and any staff with login abilities.
My Advice:Learn to live with it. This URL is not your brand, and it’s not your business identity. Also, the .myshopify.com URL, is what all Shopify support staff will ask you for, when helping you with questions. It’s a lot easier for them if you remember that they’re asking for your login URL, not your domain/business name. :P
Business Email Hosting. Shopify does not offer custom email hosting, despite selling domains via the Admin.
“Where can I get a personal business email?”
Google Business email as well as Zoho are both viable, affordable options to merchants, looking to up their email firstname.lastname@example.org, is always better email@example.com when listed on your business website, and adds credibility and security to visitors and potential buyers. (If your email firstname.lastname@example.org, I apologise and I love you, because that’s an amazing email address).
Solution: You can create your custom business email addresses viaGmail for Business orZoho Business Email. I personally recommend Gmail for Business, because I find it easier. If you purchase your domain from a third party, you will need to contact their support team to locate the DNS records, and follow the instructions to set up your custom email. If you purchase your domain via Shopify, you can get your OpenSRS username and password emailed to you from Shopify’s Support team. They will be able to send you a password reset email, which will give you access to the DNS records in your OpenSRS Account. You can visithttps://manage.opensrs.net/, and contact Shopify Support to get started!
That are some of the main ones that I can think of. Let me know if you have any more questions! I would love to do a part 2! <3 All the best loves.