Shopify is one of the leading eCommerce platforms in the world, but what makes it so special? Well, to be honest, it is the easiest eCommerce platform for beginners. All you have to do is sign up for a free 14-day Shopify trial, install a few apps, customize your store theme, and you’re done. It’s that simple!
You don’t even have to worry about updating apps, plugins or themes — Shopify will do everything for you.
Using Shopify in Pakistan
One issue that many Pakistani users have is how to use Shopify in Pakistan? If you’re from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada or Australia, it’s a breeze to work with Shopify, however, for users in Pakistan, it’s a little difficult to work with Shopify when you’re just starting out. Luckily, there are a few ways through which you can successfully launch a Shopify store in Pakistan.
Sign Up for Shopify
This is self-explanatory. Make sure that you sign up for Shopify and choose the Basic Shopify Plan which costs $29/mo. Trust me, the basic plan will suffice for all your eCommerce needs. You will not be charged for the first 14 days.
Install Shopify Apps
Now that you’ve signed up for Shopify, you need to install a few apps from the Shopify App Store. Here are some of the apps I would recommend you to install:
- Countdown Cart by Beeketing – Places a countdown timer on your product page(s). Don’t go overboard with this app and only use countdown timer when necessary.
- Mobile Converter by Beeketing – Adds a sticky ‘Add to Cart’ bar on the top/bottom of the product page to enhance the customer mobile shopping experience.
- MailChimp for Shopify – Builds your email list and helps you send emails to the customers.
- Dropified – A must-have app to automate your dropshipping business. Placing orders manually on AliExpress is a tiresome work and this is where Dropified makes it a cakewalk to place orders automatically.
- Loox – Increases conversion rate by adding customer reviews on the product page with photos.
- Personalizer by LimeSpot – Increases the average order value (AOV) by showing related products, upsells, and downsells to the customer.
- BEST Currency Converter – Automatically changes currency based on customer’s location and helps them shop in their local currency
There are thousands of apps available in the Shopify App store, but the above apps will be more than enough to kickstart your store. Installing unnecessary apps in your store will only result in slow page load times, which you want to avoid at all costs.
Payoneer is the fastest way to send and receive payments all over the world. It is extremely popular in Pakistan and almost every freelancer, eCommerce store owner, dropshipper has a Payoneer account.
You must have a Payoneer account in order to receive payments from 2Checkout, which is an international payment gateway that will send payments earned from your Shopify store to Payoneer.
Sign Up for a Payment Gateway
There are only a few payment gateways in Pakistan and the most popular is 2Checkout. I’ve been using 2CO for over a year now and I have nothing but all praises for 2Checkout. It seamlessly integrates with Shopify and sends weekly payments to your Payoneer card. You can also receive payments via wire transfer, but I prefer Payoneer over wire transfer.
When signing up for a 2Checkout account, be as transparent as possible. Your personal details should be accurate because they may ask you for a passport copy, driver’s license, bank statement, and a copy of any utility bill.
2Checkout usually takes a week to respond to an application. Once approved, you will receive an email containing your login details and commission structure. 2Checkout in general do not like dropshipping business which is why it has a different commission structure for dropshippers for the first 90 days.
The pricing for dropshipping business model was 7.5% + $0.55 per transaction when I signed up for 2Checkout, but it was later revised to 3.9% + $0.45 per transaction because my account was in good standing.
Now as we all know that PayPal is not available in Pakistan, you can always ask your friends or family living abroad to sign up for a PayPal account. In my Shopify store, I have 2Checkout as well as PayPal as my primary payment gateways. One of my closest friends is living in UAE, so I asked him to sign up for a PayPal Business Account and link his card to PayPal in order to send and receive payments.
If any of your friends are living in the UAE and have an Emirates NDB account, they can send you the money via Direct Remit and it’ll be credited in your account within minutes.
The reason you want PayPal in your Shopify store is that customers, especially millennials trust PayPal over banks when it comes to shopping online. Sometimes, customers will be hesitant to take out their credit card but if they see an option to pay via PayPal, they will gladly make a purchase. Get ready to lose on a few sales if you don’t have PayPal as a payment option in your Shopify store. Sad, but that’s life!
Stripe is officially not available in Pakistan, but there is a way to sign up for Stripe. What you have to do is incorporate in Delaware as a non-U.S. citizen via Harvard Business Services Inc. They will form an LLC on your behalf in Delaware and even get you an Employment Identification Number (EIN) which is important if you’re a non-U.S. citizen and don’t have a Social Security Number (SSN).
Once you have these details on hand, you can head over to Stripe, follow the signup process and use Payoneer US Global Payment Service to receive payments from Shopify.
Please note that I have never signed up for Stripe because I’m extremely satisfied with 2Checkout, but this is the only legal way I know to open a Stripe account in Pakistan. Kindly do your due diligence if you decide to choose Stripe over 2Checkout.
Quick Recap of What We’ve Covered
So far we have covered the following:
- How to start a Shopify store in Pakistan?
- Setting up a Shopify store
- Shopify Apps
- Payment gateways available in Pakistan
…and that’s pretty much about it. What I have outlined in this article is suffice for starting a Shopify eCommerce store in Pakistan. Feel free to ask any question in the comment section below and I will be more than happy to answer. 🙂