It’s predicted that an incredible $4.8 trillion will be spent online throughout 2021, a figure that is set to rise as high as $6.3 trillion in 2024. So whether you already run an online store or are about to launch one, there’s never been a better time to be an e-commerce store owner.
Of course, before you can make your first penny online, you need a store to house your products… and a platform to host your store. Given the wide choice of e-commerce platforms available to us, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when finding the right one for your business.
Shopify, boasting a market share of 18%, is a great place to start
Its reputation for ease-of-use and simplicity has seen it become one of the most in-demand and well-known options available, and the reason why over one million business owners across 175 countries sell their products through their software.
As with a brick-and-mortar store, it’s not as simple as throwing a few products together in your online store and hoping someone buys them, you need to create an appealing site that turns visitors into customers. The average e-commerce store conversion rate is 2.58% globally –– so it really is important to be considering how you convert when designing your store.
While aiming for a high customer conversion rate is vital for any online business, getting customers to come back is just as significant for an online business’ success. And, to get them to come back you need to offer them a positive first impression — and that comes in the form of an easy-to-use and visually appealing store.
After all, who’s going to trust a business or brand that doesn’t value its customers enough to invest in a great-looking, user-friendly site?
What is a Shopify developer agency?
A Shopify developer agency is a group of expert engineers with specialist knowledge of Shopify’s platform and a proven track record of helping businesses build and launch their online stores.
By taking the time to get to the heart of your brand, listening to your goals and understanding your customers, a Shopify developer agency can set your business up for long-term success by creating a website that doesn’t just function, but can scale as your business grows.
They do this by extending the platform’s basic features and tailoring them to your specific needs. So whether that’s developing a custom theme to help you stand out from the templated stores, creating a custom app or plugin, or optimising your site’s SEO and performance, you can almost certainly guarantee it will lead to more sales than a store you’ve put together yourself.
Plus, because Shopify developer agencies specialise in Shopify’s software, they know exactly how to use its features to create the best possible experience for your customers –– from homepage navigation through to ease of checkout.
Why choose a Shopify developer agency?
It can be tempting for anyone starting out on Shopify to be drawn in by its ease-of-use –– after all, it’s one of its main selling points. It's also important to weigh up the value a Shopify developer agency can add to your business –– it may cost you more in start-up fees, but what could it cost you in lost sales if you were to develop the store without their expertise?
Here are just 4 of the many benefits of working with a Shopify expert:
A quality store
The quality of your website will be clear to your visitors. A Shopify expert's knowledge of code means your store will look and feel unique, helping it stand out from your competitors’ templated, off-the-shelf versions.
More time to grow your business
If you’re running a business, do you really need the added hassle of setting up a store when your time could be better spent elsewhere, like working on a marketing strategy to attract visitors to your new store?
By outsourcing to an expert, you can spend time on other areas that require your expert knowledge and skills.
There’s nothing more frustrating than a store that takes an age to load. If you’re a store owner with a big inventory –– or one that attracts hundreds of visitors at a time –– this can be a big problem. A Shopify expert developer can help your site to perform seamlessly no matter how many products, customers and plugins you have, reducing the potential of lost sales.
Running an online store is never a one-off project. It’s a process that develops as your business grows. With the support of a Shopify expert, you can reach out to them anytime for help adapting your store and its apps to your increased traffic, new products and services, and plugin tweaks.
5 things to consider when choosing a Shopify developer agency
With so many agencies offering Shopify developer services, it can be tricky to find one that suits your business and its goals, but here are a few vital considerations when choosing someone to develop your store:
Take a look at each potential agency’s portfolio, and pay particular attention to whether they’ve worked with similar clients in your sector. Do they understand the nuances of Shopify development in your industry?
Also consider what skills and expertise they can offer, their preferred ways of working and how these align to your own criteria.
Communication between you and your Shopify developer agency is key to the success of your project. They need to fully understand your business goals in order to build a store that performs and converts your visitors into paying customers. You’ll also want to stay in contact with them throughout the build to learn how your website is progressing, so ask them about how they plan to do this during the project.
3. Technical expertise
When it comes to building a custom Shopify store, it takes more than a pretty homepage to make it a success; you need to consider every aspect of your website.
Client testimonials are a great way to learn more about an agency through the experience of others. Strong testimonials make an agency more authentic, and suggests a job well-done. Testimonials are typically found on an agency’s website, but if you can’t spot them, you can always ask for some.
When your store is up and running, it shouldn’t necessarily mean the end of your relationship with your developer. You’ll need their support far beyond handover day. Look for an agency that offers some form of post-build support plan. This means you have access to technical support should a problem ever arise with your store, and you have a team of developers that know your store inside out on hand to make any adjustments and changes when the need arises.
Which Shopify developer agency is the right one for you?
Although Shopify stores can be easy to developer if you want to create something basic and usable, you still need the time and foundation knowledge of Shopify store development to get something up and running. Or you could outsource the headache and leave it in the hands of a Shopify developer agency like AI Commerce.
AI-Commerce is a Shopify Partner who guides and supports its clients through every step of the e-commerce world. Their expert team – including software engineers, computer scientists and data scientists – create clean, effective code that provides your customers with a clean, quick and seamless experience every time they visit your store.
If you’re interested in speaking to a professional about your store plans, contact Mercury Assets who’ll provide you with the advice and guidance you need to become a successful Shopify store owner.