Captain's log, stardate d29.y39/AB
It is more important than ever to have an online presence if you're running a shop! Let Shopify help you to do that transition, and learn how our clients did it!
In light of the current pandemic, which will undoubtedly shape our world for years to come, many offline shops have had to face a cruel fate: go online or go bust. A lot of countries, Spain being one of them, have enforced strict lockdowns, thus cutting them off from their loyal customers for weeks or even months.
Some of these shops have had to close down temporarily while some have sadly been driven out of business. Others, maybe more tech-savvy or lucky enough to have someone with sufficient tech chops to help them to bring their business online, have set up an e-commerce.
What is Shopify
Shopify is our go-to e-commerce platform. It is a Canadian company that's become the number two e-commerce solution of the market, with a whopping 20% of the market share, and it's built with Ruby on Rails.
We have been working with Shopify e-commerce platforms since 2016, when we implemented it for our Munich-based client zapptales. Rebuilding their MVP into a full-fledged product on top of Shopify helped them to increase revenue by a factor of 500. After over four years, we are still working with them, serving customers all around the globe.
Shopify is easy to set up and provides a stellar customer service. That comes, though, at a price. Shopify isn't the cheapest e-commerce option available, but it's certainly worth its price. The pros fairly outweigh the cons of a pricey bill at the end of the month, and you will see the return on the investment fast enough.
So, what can you do on Shopify? Let's see three examples of companies we know very well
Create your online sales platform
Our friends at Las Muns, an emblematic empanadas business from Barcelona, have been using Shopify for some years now on their website. In hindsight, it's proven to be a good decision, when they saw their offline sales being cut to zero during the pandemic outbreak in our city.
Muns were forced to double down on their online platform to keep sales coming in. On their website, they have not only set up the bare e-commerce as most people do, but they use Shopify for other purposes, as their informational pages, FAQ and even a client's backoffice. They are using Shopify to cover all their web needs, thus simplifying the management of their online platform.
Some people like to separate concerns, and they build their website using Wix, Squarespace or Wordpress, for instance, and then integrate with Shopify or their e-commerce platform of choice. In this case, the e-commerce platform, Shopify, can do everything a web platform can do.
Create an online-only e-commerce
Another client of ours, Freshis is an online-only e-commerce selling proximity products in the fruits & vegetables space. They are providing fresh km0 products in the city of Madrid.
We built their platform using Shopify early last year, and they have been operating only online for well over a year now. Their online website allows them to cater to dozens of different customers using Shopify.
The main advantage for them is the lack of friction Shopify provides when they want to add new products, categories or pages to the site, as they are in full charge of the website and are constantly expanding their catalogue and services.
Create a mixed platform
Shopify doesn't force you to go all-in and use their platform and nothing else. In fact, its API is very powerful and allows you to build products or even your own store on top of it. If you've got a product already and want to add e-commerce capabilities to it, Shopify will come in extremely handy.
That's what we did for zapptales in 2016. We set up Shopify to enable the e-commerce part of their product (digital and physical books made out of chat conversations), while we built their frontend application using Angular and other technologies, communicating with Shopify through its API.
This has allowed us to build separate applications for them, all going through the Shopify backend and centralising all the e-commerce and transactions using the Shopify engine.
How much does it cost to build something like these?
As with every project, it depends. A really basic setup of Shopify can be done in minutes, and from there, it depends how much you want to customise it. A custom design will take longer than using a template, but it's safe to say that if you need something quickly, you can have a good looking Shopify properly set up in a day or two.
If you want some advise on how to set up your online e-commerce using Shopify, kindly drop us a line and we'll be glad to help you!