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In the last dozen years or so, Shopify has become the platform of choice for millions of shoppers with a total estimated order value close to USD 80 Bn. Naturally, with such high demand, eCommerce business owners across over 175 countries have flocked to the platform to get a piece of the action. 

As a result, the demand for Shopify stores for sale has gone through the roof. This is a great time for sellers to exit their business at a handsome price while buyers get the option to choose from one of the many Shopify stores for sale options available to them. Clearly, both buying and selling are significant financial decisions and need to be taken with utmost care and after loads of thinking through. To help you out, here’s a handy checklist.

Shopify stores for sale – A seller’s checklist

Let us first consider the evaluation and other selling activities that you need to carry out if you’re the seller.

  • Gather your financial data – Organizing your financial data is the first step in the selling process. The data should include recent balance sheets, profit and loss statements, cash flow reports, outstanding debts, and any other liabilities.
  • Collect your performance metrics – Apart from the financial health, buyers will be interested in knowing the condition of your operations. It is equally important to measure and track your key performance indicators such as website traffic, click-to-conversion rate, average order value, cart abandonment rate, average reviews, return rate, etc.
  • Create a sales dossier – Combine the financial and operational information into a comprehensive sales package. Don’t forget to include marketing material, a history of your business, and any other relevant information that can make your business more appealing to potential buyers and help them recognize the value of your Shopify stores for sale.
  • Get a business valuation done – A formal valuation helps assign a fair market price to your Shopify stores for sale. There are several factors considered in the process, such as the financial health of your business, its operational efficiency, brand reputation, age, scalability, growth projections, etc. Although seasoned sellers may choose to do this themselves, first-time sellers will be better off using valuation calculators or employing the services of professional valuation consultants.
  • Choose your platform – Having completed the above-mentioned activities, you need to identify a medium for your Shopify stores for sale. The common options include selling directly, selling via a broker, or selling to an acquirer. Each method has its own set of pros and cons and you need to evaluate which one works the best for you.
  • Prepare for a smooth transition – A smooth transfer of ownership is in your best interest as well as the buyers. A detailed list of inventory and assets, standard operating procedures, and training manuals for a seamless transition, any intellectual property, domain name, and technical infrastructure will ensure no contractual obligation gets missed out.

Shopify stores for sale – A buyer’s checklist

Now, let us wear the buyer’s hat and take a look at the checklist for evaluating Shopify stores for sale.

  • Identify your goals – As a start, understand your goals and objectives. Ask introspective questions that will help determine what you hope to achieve with this investment, the timeframe you wish to stay invested for, and your risk appetite. Aligning the type of business you want to purchase with your own personal skills and resources has a higher likelihood of success.
  • Plan your budget – While the actual price will be established during the negotiation phase, it is good to determine a ceiling price beforehand. You will need to carry out some research, check and compare the industry benchmarks, and do a market reconnaissance to arrive at the maximum price you can afford and be willing to pay to buy Shopify stores for sale.
  • Conduct due diligence – This is possibly the most important step in the evaluation process. Carefully comb through the Shopify store’s financial data and business performance. A thorough understanding of the business model and the processes in place is going to increase the chances of running smooth operations once you take over the store. This is also the opportunity to do a ‘gap analysis’ to identify areas of improvement in the current operations and ways they can be improved under your ownership. Many buyers utilize the services of professional business consultants for a detailed due diligence report on shortlisted stores.
  • Verify the store’s legal, regulatory, and contractual status – An extension of the due diligence process includes deep-diving into the store’s legal structure. You must also check whether all the requisite tax details, applicable permits and licenses, and supplier and employee contracts, are in order. This is also the right time to verify the store’s assets and inventory to ensure you get everything that you pay for as part of the sale.

In Summation

Whether you’re looking to sell your Shopify store or buy one, the checklist provided here is sure to come to your aid. Another important tip is to seek professional guidance. There is a high degree of financial, legal, and contractual details that you will need to go through in the process. Professionals in these fields can ensure that you get the best deal while complying with all the applicable requirements.

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