The Influence Agency is a Shopify partner and has successfully launched new ecommerce websites for a wide variety of industries and purposes. Through our experience we have become experts in shopify design and development.
Shopify is a hosted Ecommerce Solution. This means that when you build on Shopify that the hosting is built in as well as the back-end. The main goal of Shopify is to make it easy for merchants to sell their products online with little technical complexity. With Shopify you could have a basic store open in a matter of a couple hours.
In as little as 4 main steps, a retailer will be online as soon as they:
Businesses big and small use Shopify. From the bakery down the street selling their ‘World Famous Muffins’ to billion dollar entities like the OCS (Ontario Cannabis Store).
The brilliance of Shopify is that it is actually a credit card processor dressed as a website development solution. Processing fees and transaction fees are where Shopify makes most of its money. If it can be the solution for a multitude of different retailers, they essentially get a cut of everything.
Shopify removes the complexity of making online sales possible. However, done right for medium enterprises still takes a lot of expertise.
A shopify site is not only easier to develop in some respects, but it’s also easier for the end user to administer. Adding products, managing collections and inputting sales can be handled by anyone not technical. However, product information and organization is critical so while the technical requirement isn’t there, whomever is charged with looking after the website must be organized.
You don’t need to update and patch your website with Shopify. Shopify is built so that updating CMS versions and plugins don’t need to be done.
Shopify also handles the hosting so that it’s always very fast.
Shopify offers 24/7 customer support and the actual gurus you speak to are at a much higher level than just about anywhere. They’re friendly, knowledgeable and show that they care.
If you’ve never developed an ecommerce website then signing up for a new payment gateway and integrating that can be a pain. You also might not even get as good or better a rate than Shopify at 2.9%. The coolest thing for us is that Shopify has a blended rate for Visa, Mastercard and AMEX. Yes, even American Express can be offered at the same rate as Visa and Mastercard which offers more choice to consumers with no skin off the merchant’s back.
You can easily integrate Canada Post, FedEx, UPS and others. You can also use apps like Shippo that offer other options and advantages. Within the orders in Shopify you can print labels and send tracking information. It’s built to not only help you keep orders organized, but also provide you with the tools you need to ensure your customer service and after sales follow-up is pristine.
The main drawback of Shopify is the lack of customizations that can be applied to the checkout process. There are many instances where we have encountered issues requiring some significant work arounds. Here are a few different examples:
Currently you can only have 5 addresses pre-populated in the shipping section. While there are more addresses that can be loaded in the backend, only 5 show in the front end. The solution we implemented was to have users choose their address (for those with multiple addresses) upon login, and choose a store to set as default so it will show as the first option on the shipping page.
You cannot add a fee based on pay type. This is particularly problematic for customers that have many wholesale agreements with different payment conditions. To get around this, our web developers created an app that applied a product called ‘Surcharge’ equal to the surcharge amount the client specified. This means you have to eliminate all options to go directly to checkout and must go through the cart. This does mean that when someone pays ‘On account’ that the order will need to be augmented to remove the surcharge.
On the bright side Shopify payments is a great option, most times. In other times, it’s not so great because it’s either not supported in the country that you’re building in, or does not support your industry (pharmacies). The consequence is that a third party processor will need to be selected. This means that you will need to pay Shopify their percentage (because they don’t give that part up) as well as the third party processor, which gets expensive.
Shopify is the right ecommercee solution for companies that:
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