Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce continues to be a rapidly growing industry. And despite brick-and-mortar retailers opening their doors again, it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. In fact, analysts predict that the e-commerce market is set to grow by almost $11 trillion before 2025.
Looking to take advantage of this upward trend? There are several top-quality platforms to help you do this. For us, Shopify stands out as one of the best of the bunch. However, you may be wondering just how tech-minded you would need to be to set up and manage an online store. Let’s take a look.
What Exactly Is Shopify?
Shopify is a complete commerce platform that enables its users to quickly set up, easily scale, and effortlessly manage their online store. Merchants can build and customize a storefront that showcases their brand and use their accounts to track sales and inventory in multiple places – even physical stores and pop-up shops.
The platform has a number of features that enable subscribers to reach a larger number of customers, receive payments in multiple currencies, ship products globally, and even manage their day-to-day finances. Shopify’s customizable templates and end-to-end services make it a secure, fast, flexible, and reliable way of offering your products online.
…And Shopify Plus?
While Shopify is perfect for small-to-medium-sized companies, Shopify Plus, with its more advanced-level features, may better suit your needs if your enterprise is on the larger side. It does everything the original platform does with the addition of:
- A dedicated account manager to provide personalized support for your store
- Higher levels of customization to make changes in the backend at the code level
- Unlimited staff accounts with additional permission settings
- More control over the checkout and shipping process without needing to add apps
- Enhanced API resources such as GiftCard, User, and Multipass
- Access to exclusive Shopify apps that are not available to regular users
- Better third-party platform integrations to connect with your existing ones
- Wholesale channels where you can offer the same products at exclusive prices
How Easy Is It To Build A Shopify Store?
If you’re pretty tech-savvy, finding your way around Shopify’s fundamental features shouldn’t present too much of a problem. It helps, too, if you’re good at following written guides, have some visual design skills under your belt, and are comfortable with learning new interfaces. It would also be good for you to brush up your skills on basic coding.
Shopify’s core product works right out of the box. You get a hosted online store, payment processor, shipping connections, a back-office, and access to their marketing platform – everything you need to establish a new business or scale an existing one. Beyond these more simple capabilities and tools, the work can start to get a little more challenging.
With a few basic items for sale and no dedicated branding design, you can get started almost immediately. However, if you’re looking to sell an array of products, especially if each will be available in different sizes, colors, or more, you will be facing a bigger and much more time-consuming project.
Working it around your 9-5 could be a struggle. So, why not consider putting your website development (or parts of it, at least) into the hands of an expert? That way, you can dedicate your time away from the techie stuff and focus it where it’s really needed, saving time, and money in the process.
Benefits of Hiring a Professional to Manage Your Shopify Store
There have never been as many opportunities within e-commerce as right now. Yet, with so many businesses flocking in that direction, there has never been as much competition either. So, while getting your own store off the ground can be simple enough (you could even purchase a ready-made store), attracting customer attention is going to be the real challenge.
Creating a site interface that is not only eye-catching, but is also relevant to your products, and unique to your brand will help you better stand out from the crowd. Instead of simply designing a store, aim to create a shopping experience for your customers, so you’re not just one of the many. This is definitely possible with Shopify, but unless you’re very familiar with the platforms and various other apps, it will take some trial and error.
A developer will already know the platform forwards and backwards. They will have an eye for design and have expertise in creating websites that offer an excellent user experience. With these skills, they will be able to:
- Highly customize the site based on your specific requirements, extending the Shopify features accordingly with their knowledge of an extensive number of e-commerce applications
- Offer unique insights into market trends, consumer needs, and e-commerce in general so you can get your business in front of prospective customers across the globe
- Provide ongoing website maintenance services to enable your store to run with minimal supervision and ensure no lost profits or disruptions in services due to site downtime
Even if you are looking to have more of a hands-on role with your store development and management, having professional advice on styling choices, additional features, and compatible apps will help you avoid effort spent on troubleshooting the wrong kind of designs, features and tech.