Tictail and Shopify are possibly the best options available to help sellers to create their own custom and scalable eCommerce shops.
Using them, it is possible to have a fully customizable site up and running in minutes, for a reasonable price, and without having to code at all.
These services are the first logical step once you decide to take your online store to the next level, creating your own custom site. Through this move, you will start taking full control over the shopping experience of your customers, from acquisition to check-out.
You probably have heard about Shopify already, but let us tell you about Tictail first. We believe it is a highly recommendable option if you are looking for a simple and free way to get started.
Tictail, based in Sweden, is Europe’s answer to Etsy and Shopify. Carl Walderkranz,one of Tictail’s founders, explains the idea emerged from the following prompt:
"Should we create a Tumblr version of eBay?"
They were inspired by the unique personality of Tumblr, its simplicity and its focus on design. Tictail is about bringing to online shops the same concepts that Tumblr has brought to blogs. And it works! Tictail is what you could define as "lagom", a Swedish term that broadly means "not too much, not too little, just enough".
“Tictail is one of the easiest ways to start selling something online today, it is also one hundred times more beautiful than any of the competitors in the business. ” – Testimony from I’m With Friends
They have been running since 2012, and since then over 125,000 online stores have joined and started selling their products via Tictail.
How to start your own Tictail
Creating a custom shop in Tictail is simple and free. And the best thing is that all sales you drive yourself are yours, no fees. Only if customers find you via Tictail's marketplace you are charged a 10% commission. Follow the next steps to get started:
- Go to their page and sign up. Email, password, and you'll be taken to your dashboard. A wizard will guide you through every required step.
- You must set the country, currency and tax of your store. Tictail will set this by default based on your browser's information.
- Add your brand's name, a description to explain what you're selling, and your first product. You will need to include a picture of it, its name, price, category, quantity, or if you offer any variations of the same item, such as different colours or materials. You don't need to show it on the store yet if you're just testing.
- Preview your store (top right corner of the screen) and select your favourite free theme to customise it. If you have some knowledge of HTML and CSS, you will find that Tictail gives you freedom to play around with the themes and make them more personal.
- Go to Payments if you want customers to be able to pay you for your products :) That's an important step.
- Go to Shipping to add your various shipping options and the custom message that will be automatically sent to customers who place an order.
- Add your terms and conditions. Don't worry, if you don't have your own you can add a standard 14 day return policy, or the generous 30 day return policy.
Add another product, or connect with one of your social media channels, and you'll be ready to launch your store!
Next steps: Have a look at the App store. Tictail can be pretty basic if you use it as a free platform, but you can upgrade it using apps. Some are free, for others you'll have to pay a monthly subscription.
- Custom domain name. €1/month.
- Yotpo Product Reviews. It's free.
- Sellfy, if you want to sell anything digital you create instead of physical products. €11/month.
- Plug in SEO, detects problems that may affect your performance on search engines. It's free.
- Printout Designer Premium, to create customized invoices, labels, and other printouts. €6/month.
- And many more...
Examples of Tictail stores: meet Ddugoff and Dana Bechert
Ddugoff, based in New York, is a menswear line that sells high-quality basics, from t-shirts to cotton twill “easy pants”.
Dana Bechert is a designer living in rural Nottingham PA. She works in a variety of disciplines to create elegant and playful objects of utility.
Shopify, based in Canada, is the leading cloud-based eCommerce platform for small and medium-sized businesses. It was released in 2006 and now, ten years later, it has become the chosen option of over 275,000 owners of online stores, in about 150 countries, who in total have made over $17 billions in sales.
Designs are customizable and easy to adjust to your personal needs, with over 1200 available apps to install and over 100 stunning templates.
How to start your own Shopify shop
Create an account as you would usually do on any other platform, click the green button ‘Enter my store’, and you are ready to start customizing everything from your control panel.
The first thing you probably want to do is to add your first products. Go to the tab ‘Products’ on the left sidebar in order to do so. You will have to submit a picture, and fill in all the details: Title, description, tags, general category, vendor (you want to put your store’s name there), price, taxes, barcode, weight for weight-based shipping… It is all pretty self-explanatory. The inventory policy is for Shopify to help you keep track of that product’s inventory, and there are some other interesting details to fill in, such as if you make the item on demand, if customers can still place orders when the item is no longer in stock, or different sizes, colours, etc., for the same product.
Once you are finished, save your product and get ready for the next step: customising your store.
In order to make your online shop more personal, the best place to go is the Theme Store. Scroll down a little to find it. Select the theme that suits your store’s personality best, click on the “Get Theme” button, and go back to your Dashboard, into the Themes page. There, you can customise your selected theme, and there is no need to code.
Next, go to “Payments” on the navigation bar and set up your Shopify Payments account. You will have to answer a list of questions about your business to do so. Finally, go to “Shipping”. You will find there are some premade rates already set, but you can include your own if you need.
You can register a domain name for an additional $9.00/year.
Haze & Glory is a high-end vintage fashion brand that's trying to revive artisanal techniques.
Brooklyn Candle Studio. Simple but modern candles created with care to fit any home style. They are well known for their minimal look, beautiful packaging, and their fresh and calming botanical fragrances.
So, which one is best for you?
Each platform has a different style and a different business model, so here's some practical information to help you choose.
These are the current rates for Shopify and Tictail:
Free trial: 14 days.
Transaction fees: 0%.
Price per month: 9$.
Price per month: Free.
Transaction fees on Tictail's marketplace: 10%.
Transaction fees on your custom Tictail shop: 0%.
Also, have a look at the themes and apps of each, and calculate the overall cost of everything you will need to be happy with your store on each platform.
- Shopify's app store.
- Shopify's theme store.
- Tictail's app store.
- (Tictail has no official theme store).
And if you are still dubious, try them for free to see which interface you find most comfortable to use. :) It can be a matter of taste.