Online shopping is getting more and more popular by the minute. Both little start-up and major businesses are developing a strong audience online, regardless if they actually have a physical shop or everything is done only through the Internet. Here Shopify comes.
You have probably come across dozens of websites all the time while searching for something online. Some of them you like and will visit again and others won’t be even remembered until the next day.
Here comes web design. Before talking about platforms for online stores and brands, we need to mention the website itself. Having an aesthetic and beautiful webpage is the most important thing while developing a business online.
If your website doesn’t look good, loads slowly or it seems neglected people wouldn’t visit it twice. First impressions matter with websites too. We just wanted to make that clear before explaining about web page design basics, CMS, Shopify and why web design matters at all.
Short introduction to web design.
Let’s ease things in the beginning with a quick answer to the question, what is web page design, before entering the Shopify world. If you have an idea in mind it won’t hurt to read it again but if you’re in a hurry, hop on to how does Shopify works.
A simple definition for web design says that this is the process of planning and arranging the overall look of your website. Layout, graphics, colors, fonts – every element of a website’s appearance that gives the reflection of your brand identity and values.
The layout refers to the structure and categorization of information. The essential part is everything to be in tune with your brand, easy to use and pleasant to look at.
There is more than one type of website design but in this article we will talk only about CMS in web design.
CMS stands for Content Management System, which is a software for web development (easier called a tool) that helps people create, manage, modify and share content.
The plus with CMS is that you needn’t have specialized technical knowledge about coding. Focusing on the customization and the visible parts of the website design takes the main part in content management systems.
So when you’re using a CMS platform to create a website for your brand the system does everything about HTMLs, CSSs, and Java-Scripts behind the curtains.
After we’ve established with a few words the storyline that leads to Shopify it is finally time to look deeper.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a cloud-based SaaS (more technically called software as a service) shopping cart which gives businesses the opportunity to set up an online Shopify store, design it themselves and sell their products or do it in person with Shopify POS.
This is an e-commerce website design platform with an all-in-one package. Unlike other eCommerce platforms, Shopify handles the hosting of websites, themes between which people could choose, cart functionality, and sales channel.
This can help save a significant amount of time, money, and resources to build an online store. Otherwise during the ecommerce website development process of some others, you have to think about all those things. And search them in third-party sites.
The mentioned before Shopify POS (Point of Sale) is an application that works with iPhone, iPad, or Android, which allows you to sell products offline. You can sell products everywhere and accept payment using Shopify POS.
What you can sell on/buy at Shopify?
Almost everything. No, really, if it is not alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes, fireworks or something forbidden by laws, you are good to go. This is one of Shopify’s biggest advantages and what is Shopify built on – flexibility.
You could sell things made by hand, products you import, services you offer like massages or photo shootings. For example, online courses, e-books, presets for photographers, music, experiences, events, and so on.
Now let’s talk about some of the perks of using Shopify for developing a business online:
The Shopify Theme Store hosts over 70 premium and free ecommerce templates, which is a lot. Most of the themes you could find in the store and created by world-renowned designers. You could divide them in categories. There are ones more suitable for fashion and jewellery, photography, experiences, etc.
If you still can’t find something reflecting the character of your brand, there is always opportunities. The opportunity of customizing and deciding what makes a website visually appealing to you and your audience.
Like we’ve said – appearance matters. Upload a logo, change colors, fonts, customize layouts, add photos, banners. Make it personal.
There is a little negative note here – Shopify is coded by Liquid language, which is customizable only for people with in-depth knowledge and you’ll definitely need to hire a website designer. We would say that depending on web design company services is always better when it comes to growing online.
Excellent site performance
People don’t have enough time to wait for websites to load. They just go right to the next one. If the loading speed of an online store is slow the users will more likely exit it after a few seconds.
Speed is crucial for online stores and avoids losing potential customers. Shopify stores tend to have an excellent result for their site performance by loading quite fast.
Shopify is on a cloud instead of a server unlike other options. Servers are most likely to crash when there is a lot of traffic on days like Black Friday. This can lose your business a lot of money until everything is restored and working well again. So choose your software for web page design wisely!
Tons of Apps
You can find almost everything in the Shopify store. Apps that could remove the background of images, countdown timers, product sourcing apps, and a lot more which could be paid or free.
It’s not necessary to have additional apps to your store but they make things quite easier. With Shopify there is a choice between lots of dropshippers. Integrations with Spocket and Oberlo make dropshipping from your Shopify admin simpler.
Tons of Support
With Shopify there is a 24/7 available technical support through phone, live chat or email. You can search information about web design Shopify related questions or any kind of answers you’re looking for.
The Shopify reviews from customers almost always contain that strong plus of the platform – that the Shopify’s support is available outside of regular business hours.
Of course there are always two sides of the coin. It’s time for the cons.
As we said Shopify has almost every feature a small business would need for building an online store. This is great but when it comes to more specialized needs and requirements during the ecommerce website development process it’s not always possible for Shopify to satisfy them.
Shopify is sticking to its 0.5% to 2.0% fees (depending on your pricing plan) that come with every transaction, although most of the other shopping carts draw back their transaction fees at all.
There is an opportunity of removing those fees by accepting payments with Shopify Payments. Here though comes a bit of inconvenience, because there are a lot of complaints from the work with the Shopify Payments process.
Shopify Alone Won’t Guarantee Your Success
Shopify is great with all its feature, possibilities and it can be great for running an online store without having to build it from scratch. But this doesn’t guarantee you success. Shopify, SEO, social media and digital marketing at all – your business needs a lot of work before converting into something spectacular.
Having a team behind your back that knows what web design is all about and how to use it is essential, even if we think we could do everything by ourselves. That’s only partly true and especially not when it comes to developing a marketing strategy and sticking to it.
How much does a store in Shopify cost?
After establishing some of the Shopify pros and cons and learning what is web design software we will introduce you to the cost of Shopify.
This is one of the most desirable ecommerce platforms for running an online store. But before starting your website you need to choose a Shopify pricing plan. The pricing ranges from $9/month to $299/month and there are four variations: Shopify Lite, Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify.
It’s often tough to decide which would be the suitable choice for you, without spending money for features your business doesn’t require but still leaving some space to grow in the future. Choosing only based on the cost of Shopify plans is not a good idea.
You need to dig deeper in the possibilities that every plan offers and think do you need them now and if not – would you require them eventually with time. Let’s see them closely.
This is the cheapest option you will find at Shopify for only 9$ a month. This though is not a real online store with a shopping cart.
Shopify Lite works with already existing social media pages or websites. It means that you won’t need Shopify to do the hosting, domain and everything about web design services at all. It will just add an e-commerce functionality to your online business.
With this low cost of Shopify Lite plan it is the perfect choice if you just need an easy way to accept your online payments. In the future when you grow and need additional online shopping tools, you could always switch plans with a more featured one.
This plan gives you a great opportunity of starting a new business online, by providing you with all the ecommerce and web page design basics you may need.
Basic Shopify costs $29 per month and includes two staff accounts (which means two people can work on it), 24/7 support (the big perks we talked about), unlimited products, an online store with blog and sales channels.
A perfect choice when you just need a functional and aesthetic-looking online store without expensive additional features.
Thinking about year plans is also important when considering Shopify pricing. If you commit to the annual plan with Shopify Basic, you’ll pay $26.10 a month and have 10% savings. With the two-year plan this will change to $23.20 a month and 20% savings. It’s important to think in perspective.
The cost of Shopify Standard plan is 79$ per month and you get everything like in the Basic one, but the staff account and the locations are 5 and you could take advantage of features like Gift cards, Abandoned cart recovery and Professional reports. Also your credit card rate and transaction fees will drop.
The mentioned above Abandoned cart recovery is a very useful feature because it gives information about all the people who didn’t finish their orders. Thanks to it you can target individuals that may have wanted to purchase something but didn’t at the time for a certain reason.
The most expensive plan in the Shopify pricing list for 299$ per month. With it the staff accounts are 15 and you’ll be able to access an advanced report builder and third-party shipping rates. There is no limitation with this plan and that is the reason for the high monthly price.
With the Shopify Advanced plan it would be easier for your business to stay organized and the selling tasks be more accurate. If you are an owner of a high-volume business where documentation is constructed carefully and often you’re short in time, this plan will work wonders.
This is a rather special plan because for understanding the exact monthly price you need to contact Shopify and receive a quote, that most times is around 2000$ per month.
Shopify Plus provides more control, possibilities of customization, and automation for your standard ecommerce setup, and also faster speeds (which we talked about at the beginning) and better omnichannel services.
This is a plan suitable for enterprise-level system and high-volume enterprise brands. If your business is not in that high-developed category you don’t need this plan.
Let experts create your Shopify store.
Shopify does miracles to people who are trying to sell online. This is a great e-commerce website design platform with an all-in-one package, as we called it in the beginning that could help you save time, money, and resources in order to build an online store, unlike during the ecommerce website development process with other platforms.
Leaving that part of your business to other people doesn’t mean you can’t handle it. It just means that you understand the importance of using the right people for everything. Even if you think you may do it alone with CMSs like Shopify, WordPress, etc. this is what web designers do and know best. It’s their job, not yours
Yes, you’ll probably make a good job but it could never be the same as when it’s done by a professional.
If you’re wondering about how to choose a website design agency and how big should be the part of your annual budget for it just check some articles online or ask different agencies and compare.
It doesn’t even have to be a website design agency specifically. Almost every digital marketing agency provides the whole package of services you may need.
If you are interested in ours – just fill in the form at the end of the article and we’ll give you an answer within a few days.