Launching a Shopify store is an exciting milestone for your remote business. You’ve done your research and are ready to start selling, but there’s one major roadblock standing in your way: you lack a physical business address.
The importance of having a physical business address cannot be overstated. It’s something often overlooked, but crucial in starting and running your remote business.
When setting up your Shopify store, you’ll be required to list a business address that will be used for merchant and payment accounts, customer returns, and any public elements of your Shopify store, like your contact page.
So, what physical business address should you use? Here are the main options you can go with:
- Listing your home address. Although this is the easiest route, it opens you up to a host of issues; the biggest one being privacy.
- Using a PO Box. While this protects your privacy, it lacks credibility and comes with many restrictions that will impact your online store.
- Obtaining a virtual mailbox. This option provides you with a separate business address to protect your privacy and is often located in prestigious locations, giving you a professional business image.
In this article, you’ll learn which business address you should use for your Shopify store, and why.
Using Your Home Address For Your Shopify Store Risks Your Privacy
Though you can use your home address when opening your Shopify store, it’s not recommended for one big reason: privacy.
The business address associated with your Shopify account will also be listed as your business's designated return address. If you use your home address, anyone who returns a product will be able to access it. Imagine hearing your doorbell ring, and much to your surprise, you find an angry customer standing at the front door demanding a refund or imagine an angry customer stalking you and your family because of a bad product experience. Not pleasant scenarios!
Other places your home address will show are customer invoices and if you list your home address on your storefront.
If you aren’t comfortable sharing your home address with your customers and are looking to create a barrier between your personal and business life, a PO Box would be a better option to protect your privacy.
PO Boxes Diminish Customer Trust For Your Shopify Store
While a PO Box hides your home address and helps protect your personal information, it’s still not the most ideal choice for your remote business.
One major problem with using a PO Box is that it reduces your credibility. Customers may notice a PO Box listed and consider it a red flag, causing them to shop elsewhere. How do you avoid losing customers (and in turn, profits) because of your business address? If you’re aiming to run a reliable business that customers can trust, you’ll want a professional address to match.
There are several other issues you may run into when using a PO Box for your Shopify store, including:
- Shipping and courier limitations. PO Boxes can only receive mail and packages shipped via USPS. This means that if you need to use another courier service, like UPS or FedEx, you’ll need an additional address.
- Size limitations. Staying on top of your mail and package volume is vital when you have a PO Box. To prevent your PO Box from overflowing, you’ll have to drive to your PO Box location on a regular basis. This wastes valuable time and is not feasible for many remote business owners.
- Shopify payments. A PO Box is not accepted as a physical address as your business address. For Shopify payments you can check out TruLease, as this address is specific to opening your Shopify payments.
PO Boxes have their advantages, but when it comes to opening your Shopify store, there’s a much better solution: A virtual mailbox. Virtual mailboxes can protect your privacy, increase your credibility and allow you to manage mail and packages online. Plus, they allow you to receive mail and packages via any courier service.
A Virtual Mailbox Gives You A Private And Professional Address
A virtual mailbox provides you with a commercial business address in the U.S., giving you an extra layer of anonymity so you can protect your privacy while maintaining a professional business image.
You’ll get a real business address attached to a commercial office with all VirtualPostMail (VPM) locations. Virtual mailboxes are located in prestigious areas where customers will feel safe and secure when shopping with you. And because a virtual mailbox allows you to receive mail from any courier service (UPS, FedEx and USPS), it reigns supreme over a PO Box.
Best of all, there’s no need for you to ever drive to any PO Box location to manage your mail and packages; with a virtual mailbox, everything can be managed remotely.
The Business Address You Should Pick For Your Shopify Store
Signing up with your home address is free and easy, but sacrifices your personal privacy. If you don’t mind your home address being blasted to the world, this option might work for you.
PO Boxes provide you with an extra layer of protection when it comes to your personal information, but can appear unprofessional to customers and come with size and shipping limitations (since it only accepts mail and packages from USPS). Even worse, you’ll have to physically drive to your PO Box several times a week to manage your mail and packages. If you have extra time (and gas) to waste commuting to your PO Box regularly, this could be a viable option for your business.
Overall, a home address and PO Box sound like short term address options for your Shopify Store. Now, you’re asking yourself what does work when you want to protect your privacy, get a credible business image, and can match your remote lifestyle?
A virtual mailbox.
It’ll protect your privacy by allowing you to use your commercial business address for any element of your Shopify store that is public, like your contact page or customer returns. Because of its prestigious location, a virtual mailbox can reinforce your credibility. And since virtual mailbox addresses are accepted by all courier services, you can say goodbye to inconvenient shipping issues. With a virtual mailbox, you’ll never have to worry about wasting time driving to and from your PO Box for customer returns and mail/package management, since everything can be done online.