You can run an online store by accepting payments from anywhere in the world. No need to worry about coding, hosting, or domain purchasing through resellers. Is this an e-commerce fairy tale? Not at all. In this article, we’ll share our experience with using the Shopify platform and measure it against our expertise in this domain.
What is Shopify development?
Shopify is a SaaS all-in-one e-commerce platform that allows users to run their own online store on a subscription basis. You can also sell items at stores through Shopify POS — physical point of sale tools, sync and manage inventory on any preferred device. The trading platform allows you to create your dream business from scratch and launch sales quickly — Shopify is designed to be a versatile assistant that grows with you.
Unlike a store builder, Shopify offers a whole entire ecosystem that provides a wide range of tools, extensions, integrations and applications to choose from to best suit your specific business needs. The platform allows you to set up a quick launch and start selling right away. This cloud-based software makes it possible to build an online store from scratch, switch from another platform, or customize and boost your current store — all of this is possible with the help of the Shopify App Store and APIs.
Since its launch in 2006, Shopify has expanded rapidly, turning from a small startup into the leading online trading solution. By the data of Statista research, Shopify ranks third among 10 of the most popular e-commerce platforms in 2021.
Shopify is a leading name in the online store developer community and universal tool builder. According to updated statistics in 2021, the platform is hosting over 1 000 000 businesses in 175 countries. Let’s take a closer look at the platform’s advantages that make it a pacesetter.
What are the benefits of Shopify for creating an online store for your business?
E-commerce store development with Shopify allows you to launch a business quickly, create a design, connect payments, integrate all systems, set up an SEO, and get it for $29 by basic subscription per month. You quickly recoup these costs and scale your business by attracting new customers every day.
Easy to set up and manage
Shopify provides you with high-quality hosting, which means your store is already guaranteed high-speed performance. The only thing that can slow you down is choosing incorrect application settings. A Shopify developer with experience in building Shopify stores will help you with a personalized e-commerce website and basic design in 1–3 days. It takes 3–4 days to create a basic website with all content and products. For some designs, this will take longer. For example, if we’re developing an e-store from scratch with a client’s requests for design, then it takes from a month to three.
Moreover, Shopify has a free 14-day trial period. You can test whether the tools are needed. The interface of the Shopify store administration panel is intuitive and user-friendly — everything is clear from the first days of use.
The basis for SEO and keyword stuffing
Keyword research must be done strategically under conditions of e-commerce. A store built on Shopify will have access to stuffing by keywords and powerful SEO tools. This requires an in-depth analysis of the best-selling products and relevant queries of the target audience.
In the context of this issue, you need to research the mid-frequency keywords. For example, high-frequency searches such as “women’s tracksuit” will be taken over by the greatest players in the market. It would be more efficient to find mid-frequency keywords that are in fashion and relevant now. For comparison, “women’s compression tracksuit”, “women’s beige tracksuit with a zipper” or other more specific keywords for a fashionista’s requests.
Regardless of whether you have a ready-made online store, keyword research should be the first step to optimization. The keywords of your industry could be collected by an SEO specialist who will analyze and compose the semantic core.
After that, it’s possible to connect Facebook Pixel and marketing applications to retain the attention of visitors and increase the volume of organic traffic. You could use additional sales channels like Amazon, eBay, Houzz, Facebook, and Twitter to increase the volume of the site’s link mass.
Mobile apps are driving sales — your average potential buyer spends over 3 minutes on Shopify and browses over 3 stores to compare prices and assortment. In other words, there isn’t much time to impress the user, is there?
All Shopify themes are mobile optimized. It means that any page will look and work accurately on all devices. You don’t need to invest any time on redesign or making the pages look proportional and attractive to buyers. Images and text are displayed correctly, readable, and don’t overlap each other.
Secure use and payments
Shopify supports all the SSL certificates to encrypt data and transfer it over a secure connection. The platform is a match to PCI Standard — Payment Card Industry data security required when you’re dealing with credit cards’ transactions. The standard protects the client’s funds from troubles that may arise in the process of payments:
- сontrols against leakage of personal data
- implements strict access control measures
- ensures safety at all stages of movement and crediting of money
Why is this important for international trade? Let’s use this analogy: a PCI DSS certificate is like a driver’s license and compulsory insurance. You can drive without documents until you are fined. In our case, until there is a failure in a couple of transactions and angry unsatisfied buyers. Alternatively, put yourself in the client’s shoes. Would you like to ride in a taxi where the driver doesn’t have a driver’s license or insurance? All customer information on Shopify is confidential, including credit card details. The platform will take care of maintenance and server updates to keep your store and cart available at all times and ensure fast page loading.
Own payment system
The platform also has its own payment system. If you decide to use Shopify Payments, you will:
- process store orders and payments timely
- handle returns and exchanges of goods
- consolidate all the work related to finance in one personal account
Shopify integrates with payment processors based on the Stripe system. Calculations by other payment systems are possible, depending on which gateways are available in the country. Actual payment information by region is available via the link.
24/7 customer support
You will never be left alone with unanswered questions and always get feedback — Shopify team is available 24/7 and responds to requests instantly. Shopify’s community is responsive and helpful — more than 800 000 businesses participating here, promptly replying to requests on the specifics of your niche. The help center of the platform includes thematic forums about working with the platform, you can search answers online or reach the support department by phone, email, or online chat.
Ability to use 3D product images
Shopify is number one in the world of online commerce and it implements all possible features to increase your customer engagement and revenue. Using 3D product images and video visualization on Shopify could increase your conversions by up to 250 %. Show your winning product from all angles. This will help familiarize customers with the exact product characteristics and help create a feeling of buyer urgency.
6 Common types of Shopify development services
At different stages of business development, it is necessary to solve problems of varying complexity. Shopify services will help you customize and improve functionality, migrate and scale your online business.
Theme development and customization
Shopify offers a wide variety of themes and complete customization of UI/UX design — we could modify it according to your requests. The future theme is the initial layout of the store’s presence, so here is a way to present the brand’s identity from the start.
Store setup and customization
For building turnkey stores or landing pages from scratch we will modernize all existing Shopify pages, increasing cross conversion rates. It would help to set up sales in the context of long-term planning, build turnkey stores or landing pages from scratch.
With Shopify App Store developments, we could create a new personalized app for you, extend current Shopify App functionality, and integrate it with other third-party apps. With Shopify App Development Service, our clients are able to increase the efficiency of the online store and build more vital functions for the website.
If you are looking to switch from any other e-commerce platform to Shopify — we know how to help you. We ensure fast and secure data migration from any platform.
Store updating and maintenance
In the long term, it’s important to update and optimize the website’s effectiveness. Our engineering team is ready to support you with any request — from fixing glitches or bugs to updating the backend or providing data optimization.
Shopify Plus enterprise services
The solutions that we will develop individually for your requests with Shopify Plus will work and synchronize with ERP, CRM. We will provide integration and support for your business.
Process of Shopify development
The Shopify platform is a huge playground that blurs the line between digital and physical sales. Development requires an integrated approach of creative vision and technical background. Our team has been using Shopify tools for different solutions in building custom e-commerce websites. Let’s take a closer look at the development stages of Shopify to understand the process of Shopify store development.
Step 1. Discovery and planning
Whether you’re starting from scratch or moving from another platform, Shopify can help to build a holistic and effective digital strategy. Our development teams conduct analysis and research to create a clear timetable for the project. By the end of the deadlines, there are no surprises in the form of underwork and force majeure.
Opening an online store can be compared to the start of sales. Customers won’t stand and wait at the door while the market is open and sell them anything. We understand and value your time, so we put the planning stage first.
Step 2. Theme design services
The next step is to start developing the design and theme. Clients often ask us: “Is it better to develop a website from scratch or use ready-made templates?” If budget allows, create a unique personalized design from scratch. It’s faster and more efficient to find the template you like and create your own on top of it. The designer can find several template options for you and help with the choice.
Our design team uses Shopify themes that are appropriate for the specifics of your website and product. We take into account corporate colors or a company’s brand book and your wishes. Then we convert the PSD (Photoshop design file) to Shopify themes and set up the coding in the ready-made themes.
For websites, the priority is simplicity and consistency, so that the user not only admires the beautiful shade of the design, but is also intuitively directed and feels comfortable using it. We will help tell your brand story by featuring the perfect combination of product illustrations, graphics, and text.
Step 3. Development and integration
As a partner of Shopify, we have accumulated experience in customizing stores and the tech ecosystem. Sufficient attention is paid to each development: we know that your business needs more than ready-made functions.
Shopify allows users to integrate other potential sales channels via API. Our key customization and integration tricks consist of checkout customization, integration with SAP, Oracle, ERP, or CRM systems. We could link Shopify with other different apps so you can automate your work, without the requirement of any code.
Step 4. E-commerce testing
Here we start checking the system and fixing minor problems:
- cross-browser testing
- data usage and security validation testing
- extensive Shopify app testing
The QA engineer looks for bugs to fix the problems at the start. We make sure to avoid situations when emails don’t get delivered to recipients, the page doesn’t load till the end, payment doesn’t process on time.
Step 5. Website launch
After we finalized the testing phase, it’s time to publish the topic. Then we unload all files and run the final test to make sure everything is going according to plan and installed correctly.
Step 6. Maintenance and support
Your online store is not a product, but a service that needs to be constantly improved. With our support and maintenance