Launching an ecommerce store is easier now than ever before. There are software-as-a-service platforms that take care of much of the heavy lifting for you, automating many of the tasks so that you can quickly set up your business and start making sales.
Shopify has been a great help to those who are just starting out with their own ecommerce stores. It has enabled beginners to dip their toes in the proverbial water and many have found great success with it.
The true power of Shopify can only be unlocked with custom development. There’s more value to be unlocked from the platform and working with a skilled Shopify web developer will give you the opportunity to take your ecommerce business to new heights.
What is Shopify web development?
When most users are starting out with Shopify, they stick to the few themes that the platform offers for free, rarely going beyond that. The result is that there are just too many stores that look alike and there’s not much setting one store apart from the other.
If you’re very serious about your ecommerce business, you want everything to be personalized, and that’s how it should be.
You wouldn’t want your product packaging to look like that of your competitors, so why take the same approach to the design of your Shopify store?
With personalized Shopify web development, you can structure your entire web presence around your vision for your brand. Is your online presence going to be limited to just the online store or do you need a website and want the store to be a part of it?
The options that are offered by default aren’t going to work for everyone. You have unique business needs that can only be fulfilled with custom web development. Working with a skilled Shopify developer will allow you to have complete control over your web presence.
What does a Shopify web developer do?
A Shopify web developer’s duties aren’t just limited to creating a custom theme for your online store. They first have to understand what your vision for the ecommerce business is and how they will go about incorporating that into the final product.
The developer will then make suggestions on the design and show some references which will enable you to have a good idea of what the end result might look like. Once the design has been signed off by you, the Shopify developer will start working on creating the new theme. They'll add the pages and extend the theme's core functionality through custom coding.
If your project requires a separate website, the developer will also set that up and take care of all of the backend work that goes into creating a robust website. They will then make sure that both the website and the store are properly integrated and that the user flow between the two is seamless.
Testing will then be carried out on the work to find any bugs that may have been missed so that they can be addressed before everything is pushed live. This is also the part where any SEO-related work is done so that your store has a greater chance of surfacing in search results when potential customers are searching for products online.
Getting your Shopify store set up -- what you need
The first thing that you need when getting your Shopify store set up is an idea of what you want your ecommerce business to be. For example, if you’re selling pet products, you’d want the entire online presence to be catered towards pet owners.
You'll obviously need a Shopify subscription. The company offers three tiers of service - Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify for $29, $79 and $299 per month respectively. There are many differences in the services provided for each of the tiers but if you’re only just starting out, the basic tier should be more than enough.
Some general housekeeping needs to be carried out first. This includes choosing a legal business name and providing an address, adding billing information, setting up your payment gateway, selecting the default currency for your store, configuring shipping settings, setting up taxes, and pointing your custom domain at the store.
Once the store has been set up, you’ll need to create the product listing. This involves uploading images for the product and adding the description. Any widgets that have been installed to elevate the user experience also need to be configured at this stage so that they’re working as they’re supposed to.
Top Shopify web tools
There are many Shopify web tools that can be used to improve the user experience of customers that arrive at your store. It can be anything from chatbots that provide customer service or a simple counter that notifies customers how many units of the item you have left in stock.
Kit is a popular marketing automation tool for Shopify stores. It can send out emails, create social media ads, post on social media, send you reminders, and a lot more all on its own. Store owners can communicate with Kit through their phone to get the full benefit of this incredible Shopify tool.
Who says that you need to pay for an expensive graphics designer to create the logo for your store? Hatchful is a very useful Shopify tool that makes it easier for you to design your own logo. There are plenty of fonts, styles and colors to choose from.
It provides you with everything that you need to create a great logo. If you're willing to spend a little bit more, don't forget to check out Hatchful's Premium designs that are specifically catered for industries like fashion, tech, beauty, and more.
If you've ever read anything about customer acquisition, you know that it's far easier to capture a repeat purchase from an existing customer than to acquire a new customer. That's why it's so important for your ecommerce brand to offer a loyalty program. The LoyaltyLion Shopify tool makes it easy to do that.
Customers can get points for actions that they take on the store, this can include purchases, email signups or even Facebook likes. Once they collect enough points, customers can redeem them at your store.
Don’t forget about conversion optimization if you want to get the best possible value out of your marketing efforts. The vast majority of visitors are not going to purchase anything on your store on their first visit. This makes it all the more essential to optimize your conversion process in order to capture as many sales as possible.
Optimonk is a great tool for increasing Shopify conversions. You can use it to build out an email list, reduce the number of abandoned carts, and eventually increase sales. It offers options for adding pop ups to the site in addition to sidebars, full screens, and notification bars.
Social media will most likely be one of your biggest sources of traffic. You’re also going to spend a lot of money running advertisements on these platforms to bring in people who will hopefully make a purchase.
It's essential to drive as much value out of your social media presence as possible. With Outfy, you can schedule and push your promotional posts on multiple social media networks at the same time. It provides you with a powerful post building studio that has ready made templates, layouts, and even a hashtag generator.
Working with a Shopify web developer
Most people dive into launching their first Shopify store because they’re under the assumption that it’s very easy. That’s what all of the self-proclaimed “gurus” will have you believe but it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Once you do get started and actually find out all of the work that needs to be done, things can start going south very quickly.
They can also often find themselves in what can best be described as analysis paralysis. Is this Shopify tool better than that one? Should I use this theme or another one? Do I need a custom plugin?
This can all get so overwhelming that many people just end up quitting before they have even begun. They give up on an idea that could have transformed into a lucrative business just because they rushed into something without proper knowledge.
The best way to go about this is to work with an expert Shopify web developer who can help you make sense of it all.
They will be able to guide you through the entire process, make recommendations on what themes, plugins, and tools will be perfect for your business and create any custom solutions that you may require.
At Zibtek, we have a team of highly skilled Shopify web developers who have helped countless businesses launch their successful Shopify stores. Zibtek is one of the leading software development firms in the world with decades of experience helping both Fortune 500 companies and startups alike.Reach out to us today and we’ll be happy to consult with you on how Shopify can help take your business to the next level.