Finding the right eCommerce platform for your business can be a huge task, and it is definitely an important one. Shopify, Magento, Bigcommerce, and Woocommerce are just some of the many eCommerce platforms out there.
Here at Applied, we’ve had our fair share of experience in building eCommerce sites and in the past have used Shopify, Bigcommerce, ShopWired and Magento. But over time, we have found ourselves returning to Shopify again and again due to its flexibility, stability and scalability.
Below we’ll go through some of the many benefits of Shopify and why it’s our preferred eCommerce platform.
Benefits of Shopify
Stability and security
Security and updates are all included as part of your monthly Shopify fee. And, because Shopify is a hosted platform (meaning web space and server space is provided within your fee) you don’t have to worry about any server hacking, security breaches or server maintenance as Shopify manage all of this for you.
You also don’t have to worry about any of your custom apps being wiped when updates take place as the core Shopify platform updates without affecting these separate plug-ins.
Shopify is a highly flexible and customisable platform. If you’re wanting to launch a site without customisation you can, as the core site functions are already managed for you by Shopify.
Likewise, if you do want to customise your site, this is possible too. Shopify comes with a range of options surrounding customisations, bespoke themes and custom apps - with lots of options built into Shopify as standard.
Shopify comes with a range of store plans ranging from basic Shopify, right up to advanced Shopify and Shopify Plus. The plans are all tiered and cover the bases of small start-up businesses (Shopify basic), growing businesses (Shopify), those looking to scale their business (Shopify Advanced) and large/global businesses (Shopify Plus).
Each plan is scalable meaning that as your business grows, your Shopify plan can move with it and upgrading your plan is easy to do.
Why we choose Shopify
There are many reasons why we choose Shopify as our prefered platform both in terms of how it works for our clients and how it works for our design and development team, including:
An API, also known as an Application Programming Interface, allows developers to create custom apps, custom storefronts and embedded apps that interact with Shopify and work within the eCommerce platform. These custom apps can be tailored to fit a business' exact needs. You can even develop and sell apps within the Shopify app store.
When we were looking to build some custom apps and a new eCommerce site for one of our clients, World of Wool, the decision was between Shopify, BigCommerce and Magento. After doing some research into whether these platforms offered the API functionality, we found that Shopify was best suited to our requirements which is why we chose their platform.
Shopify has great LiveChat support. If and when we face issues, their responsive help team are always there to give advice and guidance on the platform.
They also have lots of documentation and information on their help page which is categorised into different sections e.g products, payments, orders. And, if you’re wanting to discuss things with other Shopify users, their user forums let you do just that.
Allows us to offer our clients exactly what they want
We utilised all of Shopify’s functionality for our client - World of Wool. This work included creating and plugging in custom apps for their blend maker, bag maker and sample pack maker.
Shopify’s API functionality made plugging in these custom apps relatively straightforward and they all work seamlessly within the core Shopify platform.
By default, Shopify doesn’t let you set different postal options for different parts of the UK, so we built an app for it. This app allows for shipping prices by postcode, state and items in your cart (if the order is more complex than just weight based).
Once the order has been received, the admin can send the order to the courier and print the shipping label without having to manually do it. This helps to streamline and increase productivity by reducing human interaction and the number of steps in the shipping process. The customer is then automatically sent their tracking codes.
This custom app connects to EU VAT validation service which allows the customer to input their VAT number. If the number is valid, the app marks them as VAT exempt meaning they get VAT free prices.
These are just some of the reasons why Shopify is our preferred eCommerce platform. Wanting some advice or information on how eCommerce can work for your business? Find out more about our eCommerce services here or give us a call on 01484 30 20 10.