Big news this month at HubSpot is the integration between HubSpot's Inbound Marketing platform and Shopify's e-commerce platform.
Haven't heard of Shopify? Shopify is a fully hosted, super-easy to use, elegant and affordable online retail platform aimed at taking the challenge out of setting up and managing e-commerce storefronts.
If you are thinking about launching an e-commerce site, planning an e-commerce site relaunch, or interested in improving e-commerce performance then this news could be of interest.
What's the BIG DEAL?
There are plenty of shopping carts out there already....this is true, but the reason people choose Shopify - and what differentiates it from the pack, is that it is fully hosted, has lots of pre-built customizable templates and is probably the easiest system for creating and managing an on-line store. Coupled with a pricing algorithm that makes sense for both small and large volume shippers, Shopify is growing rapidly with customers like Amnesty International, Tesla Motors, Dace, Foofighters and as of today, Advanced Marketing Concepts.
The BIG DEAL is the integration with HubSpot's inbound marketing platform which creates a complete solution for closed-loop e-Commerce marketing. I spoke to Dan Lynton, who's company LyntonWeb, created the free plug-in to integrate the HubSpot and Shopify API's and asked him what was special about the integration.
"Online merchants looking for a complete solution for Inbound Marketing and e-commerce should look closely at this solution, as this is an affordable closed-loop e-commerce marketing system," stated Daniel.
He added, "It enables SMB marketers to be in control of their own store-front and gives them tools to easily manage their online marketing. SMB's no longer need to pay agencies for store set-up, there are minimal up-front fees and it's free to try for 60 days from Shopify and 30 days from HubSpot."
I thought I would put the HubSpot-Shopify integration to the test with my own "Selling in the Internet Age" E-learning products for improving the communication, language and selling skills for B2B sales professionals and here is what I learned.
- I chose a free store-front template; there is a great selection of store-front template designs, ranging in price from free to sophisticated designs costing up to $180; initial shop set-up took an hour (I only have 5 products)...anyone can do this.
- I spent another hour customizing the colors and fonts and adding my logo to look like my Admarco.net site
- I wanted to set up the store as a subdomain on my own Website and made a call to support and asked my domain name provider to create the CNAME record to point at my Shopify store...it is still resolving as I write this.
- I downloaded the free HubSpot-Shopify plugin from LyntonWeb and loaded the HubSpot analytics code into Shopify which will enable me to market to existing customers and to remarket to anyone abandoning a cart...this took another 30 minutes and a call to support.
- I chose PayPal as the payment gateway and within a few hour and a couple of days of elapsed time, was ready to take orders.
If you already have an existing commerce solution and don't want to migrate to Shopify, but do want the added benefit of Inbound Marketing, then the HubSpot API will enable integration with all major E-Commerce platforms.
I spoke to Michael Redbord who has been driving the e-commerce initiative at HubSpot and he said, "Bringing closed-loop reporting to Shopify with a simple integration is exciting, and we will have more easy integrations in 2011.
"HubSpot can integrate today with nearly any cart that can pass information to HubSpot using HubSpot's RESTful API. We work with platforms from Magento and Volusion to ZenCart and osCommerce every day using our API and leveraging inbound marketing for small and medium ecommerce businesses," he added.
Click on the link to download HubSpot's free eCommerce Marketing eBook
If you need help with custom integration with HubSpot or design of the your store-front, please contact us for a free inbound marketing consultation.