Shopify merchants earned more than 307 billion US dollars of revenues globally in 2020. If we sum the entire amount into a single company’s revenues, it would be the world’s 7th largest, more than many business giants.
(Source: Deloitte’s Impact Report on Shopify)
So, if you are a merchant and looking to create an eCommerce app, what would you expect in an eCommerce development platform? It would be the available offerings of the platform, ease-of-deployment of products, development costs, and support.
Now the question is, does Shopify meet all these expectations?
Well, before we come directly to discussing Shopify’s capabilities, we should start things from the beginning so we can provide everything anyone should know about this eCommerce platform.
The main objective of this blog post is to provide you a clear understanding of what Shopify is, what and how much it can do for you, and should you choose it for your project or not.
The outline of this blog is as the following;
- What is Shopify?
- Who Can Use Shopify?
- How Can You Use Shopify in eCommerce Development?
- Why Should You Choose Shopify for eCommerce Development?
- Steps to Develop eCommerce Apps Using Shopify
- How Much Does It Cost to Build an eCommerce App Using Shopify?
- Five Examples of Shopify eCommerce Development
So, let us begin.
What is Shopify?
Built on Ruby on Rails, Shopify has emerged as a one-stop eCommerce development platform for pioneers in this market. From building a custom website to establishing a fully-fledged, highly capable storefront, Shopify has a lot to offer.
In general, it is a suite of eCommerce development tools for those who know to code and also for those who do not. However, being familiar with programming will always allow one to do out-of-the-box using the infrastructure provided by the platform.
So, it is not mandatory to know how to code but it certainly has its own perks.
Who Can Use Shopify?
Do you have a business idea and are planning to host your own eCommerce store? If yes, Shopify is for you.
Do you want to create a third-party app that you can resell on a platform to multiple users and earn revenues? If yes, Shopify is for you.
If you hold the expertise so you can contribute to Shopify websites and make custom changes to them, you can use the multilateral capabilities of this platform.
From preloaded themes and templates to a large range of customization features, Shopify benefits merchants, sellers, developers, business professionals, and everyone who takes interest in using it to gain significant results through it.
How Can You Use Shopify in eCommerce Development?
Shopify is a complete package of eCommerce development solutions. It is a lot more than just another CMS which is the reason why it is among the most popular eCommerce platforms in the global market.
From designing to development, products built over Shopify indulge in a unique and competitive edge assuring more positive results.
So, how exactly can Shopify help you create eCommerce products?
Creating Apps for Merchants
Using extensible APIs and easy-to-implement developer tools, you can create Shopify apps for enhancing customer experience. The purpose of creating these apps is to increase the capabilities of the Shopify eCommerce platform.
Developers can create public, private, and custom apps on the Shopify ecosystem for different requirements of individuals or communities of merchants.
Develop or Customize Shopify Themes
Build Custom Storefronts
Developers can create fully-fledged custom websites, embed UI elements, product listings, and shopping carts using Shopify’s Storefront API. Storefront API is available in GraphQL, a database query language for manipulating APIs.
Storefront API provides the facility to get direct access to different store resources that would allow a Shopify eCommerce development company to meet all custom demands of the eCommerce product.
Why Should You Choose Shopify for eCommerce Development?
With a large number of Shopify development services, the platform complements the complete requirements of an eCommerce product development project. From technology to business, it provides you plenty of reasons to choose it as your go-to platform for creating eCommerce products.
Let us have a look.
As the market evolves, customers are finding new ways to purchase goods which eventually creates new sales channels. To cope with the demand for a versatile eCommerce platform and operate these many sales channels, Shopify announced multichannel Shopify that provides admins a centralized space to handle their business.
Currently, there are three main sales channels included in Shopify multi-channel feature;
It includes Shopify-hosted custom websites or storefronts.
Point of Sale
Locally-hosted Shopify POS software integrated is also served by the multichannel feature.
Buy Button of Shopify allows you to integrate significant Shopify components i.e. product listing and shopping carts into your apps (Android & iOS) and websites.
With simplified documentation and code reusability, it becomes easier to deploy a Shopify product in a real-time environment. Since the platform is cross-channel, has multi-device support, and is scalable, developers can develop and implement Shopify solutions in merchant products.
Reports & Analytics
Shopify provides admins the facility to view the performance, activities, and different reports of the product created or being managed. Users can track and share different insights of the eCommerce products more interactively.
From overview dashboard, financial reports, product analytics, inventory reports, marketing reports, sales reports to customer reports, admins can review complete insights of different processes running through the eCommerce products.
Products developed using Shopify developer tools or in its incubation showcase high-standard scalability which means they can work under dramatic variation in the user loads. You can easily upgrade or adopt new features to enhance the capabilities of the products. With rich scalability, the eCommerce development on Shopify becomes more high-performing.
From storefront protection to securing individual user accounts, Shopify provides several security walls to its users. Implementing two-step authentication, anti-phishing features, indulging in the Transport Layer Security (TLS), and usage of PCI (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) compliant which escapes fraudulent attacks in financial transactions are some of the prime instances of Shopify’s security strength as an eCommerce platform.
Both Shopify and WordPress showcase high compatibility to each other being eCommerce platforms. You can convert your WordPress site into a storefront using Shopify’s Buy Button for WordPress. It provides direct access to unlimited products, payment gateway, integrated orders, and shipping, etc. You can use Shopify plugins to drop products faster on your WordPress storefront.
There are Shopify-powered themes that WordPress developers can utilize to create dynamic web pages.
SEO & Marketing Tools
Once your product has been developed, it would require adequate exposure to the targeted audience through high ranks in search engine results and prolific marketing strategies. To conquer the battle of marketing, it provides the facility to alter robots.txt.liquid file which allows the search engine the crawlable pages on your website. You might need the help of an eCommerce website development company to implement technical adaptations.
You can utilize the vibrant marketing offerings of Shopify that include email marketing, business chat facility, integration of Google accounts, and Facebook ads.
Steps to Develop eCommerce Apps Using Shopify
Validate Your Idea
The first step to kickstart your eCommerce app development journey is to consider the objectives, available resources, and possible outcomes of the project. It is about analyzing the idea of what and why you are creating it.
The next step in the direction is to create an interactive layout of how your Shopify storefront, custom website, or eCommerce app will look like. It will help you to visualize the real-time user’s perspective better. The Shopify development company you would work with can help you carve a product prototype that conforms to available resources of the platform and your project requirements.
Create Shopify Account
In order to begin your product development journey, you will need a Shopify account. It will allow you to choose themes and blocks to set up your eCommerce store. However, to enhance its capabilities and customize what is given prebuilt and add more elements, you will require someone who holds technological expertise and programming knowledge to work on Shopify.
Setting up the Domain With Shopify
You can purchase a domain for your website from Shopify or any external hosting & domain service provider. It is an important part of the process to name your business and reserve a space for it on the server.
Shopify provides you the facility to add a new, connect to an existing one, or transfer a domain effortlessly.
You can design the interface of all pages to be listed on your eCommerce store. There is an option to add Shopify themes from the theme store and customize them. You can use Shopify Buy Button to add products fast and easily.
There are plenty of development options that you can utilize to enhance the appearance of web pages indexed on your website. The process of product designing is easier than anything and helps you create competitive and advanced eCommerce solutions.
Connect a Payment Process System
Without going for any external payment APIs or extensions, you can use Shopify Payment for processing the payments for all sales. It enables your customers to pay through various modes of payment i.e. debit card, credit card, G Pay, Shop Pay, PayPal.
Add Business Tools
You can integrate business management tools from the Shopify app store or create custom codes to add new elements on your own using the admin panel. However, you cannot modify or create new backend code on the platform as you are working on a server managed by Shopify which is not the same as you could do with files stored on C-Panel.
You have the product but it is important to ensure that it meets the requirements of real-time application. It should meet the business objectives to turn it into a revenue-generating resource. Testing is the only and only way to check your product’s performance on the grounds of functionality, cross-platform appearance, speed, user experience, usability, etc. You can also launch a beta version to identify its capabilities and customer response to the product without risking a large-scale investment in launching it.
Launch and Market
Launching is as crucial as exciting. Most of the eCommerce companies create a platform for their product before its launch. It provides them more time to work on branding, marketing, and other things that would help the product reach a large audience. With adequate user engagement and community, you will get early moments to test your product’s success.
How Much Does It Cost to Build an eCommerce App Using Shopify?
A significant factor in estimating the overall costs of eCommerce product development is the Shopify plan you choose.
The Shopify plans are divided into three categories;
This plan is designed for small-scale storefronts where maximum staff members can get access to the admin panel and Shopify POS. Availing of this plan will cost $29 per month.
Shopify plan is designed for medium-scale businesses attempting to grow their arena and handle the online and in-store sales using Shopify resources. This plan costs $79 per month.
This Shopify plan is designed specifically for organizations willing to monitor their extended business through advanced reporting tools. You can avail of this plan at $299 per month. Using this plan, you can add up to 15 staff accounts providing them access to the admin panel and POS.
All three plans allow you to create custom websites & blogs, add unlimited products, a multichannel facility, and 24/7 support.
You may need to spend more on;
- Testing & Maintenance
The overall cost of Shopify development may vary on the basis of geographical factors and project complexity so it, considerably, is not a good approach to provide you a constant price value without knowing the type of product you are seeking to develop using the eCommerce platform.
Five Examples of Shopify eCommerce Development
With a staggering increase of 94% since Q4 2019, Shopify’s total revenue has reached $977.7 million in Q4 2020. (Source: Shopify)
Backlinko indicates, having 1.75 million merchants onboard, Shopify is one of the world’s most successful eCommerce development platforms. It is powering businesses of all sizes and domains with its advanced, interactive, and business-oriented capabilities.
Let us have a look at some of the most popular and successful names of the eCommerce stores developed using Shopify.
The Economist is a widely acknowledged, international magazine covering political, business, and technology events across the world. Since the website is completely digital, it launched its online storefront to allow its readers to purchase printed material, clothing, gifts, and other accessories.
Britain’s national broadcasting company BBC has launched its eCommerce portal that allows customers to purchase apparel, online TV shows, DVDs, jewelry, books, games, etc. It is a complete online store to purchase different kinds of things altogether with the credibility of the world’s most prestigious media company.
The world’s highest-selling energy drink, Red Bull, has its online store built on Shopify where you can purchase sportswear, eyewear, hats, jackets, and a lot more. The website is fast-loading, highly interactive, and engaging.
David Beckham Eyewear
Among the world’s most popular footballers, David Beckham has his eyewear company. The former English footballer’s company website has been built over Shopify. It is an eCommerce store with immense popularity in the English region.
The US-based cosmetics company is a venture started by the American businesswoman and media personality Kylie Jenner. The company has valued hundreds of millions and is generating large revenues for the star. In 2015, the company has collaborated with Shopify to outsource its sales through the eCommerce store.
Over to You
eCommerce market is versatile, competitive, and evolving. The best thing about it is, if you remain consistent, it makes you earn what you would have dreamt of in the least effort. Platforms like Shopify have made the job significantly easier. All you need to begin your eCommerce journey with Shopify is an idea, resources, and hire Shopify developers who can help you leverage the best of Shopify’s services.