Hiring Shopify Experts for Your Online Store – An Ultimate Guide
A visually appealing and functional online store is a necessity today. The traditional brick-and-mortar model is no longer a reliable source of steady revenue for merchants, especially after the ongoing pandemic. Millions of retail stores worldwide have already been shut down, while the rest are moving online to survive (and, of course, to thrive better than ever).
Consequently, eCommerce is now gaining more ground than ever, pushing the traditional brick-and-mortar model towards extinction. While online sales demonstrated solid growth even before the global crisis, they continue to surge at a frenetic pace. According to Statista, worldwide online sales are expected to hit the $6.3 billion mark by 2024.
So if you haven’t yet decided to bring your retail store online, now is the time to do so. These days, many eCommerce platforms allow entrepreneurs to get a full-fledged online shop up and running in almost no time. One of the most in-demand and well-known names in the eCommerce industry is Shopify.
Powering over 1.7 million businesses worldwide, Shopify has a market share of 32%.
Although Shopify is considered the most user-friendly platform that offers everything you need to start, run, and grow an eCommerce business, you’re sure to encounter many obstacles down the road.
That’s because launching an online store isn’t merely about setting up a website – it is indeed much more than that. There might be some instances when you face issues that you can’t fix yourself due to limited technical skills and need assistance. That’s where Shopify experts come in!
In This Article:
- Who Are Shopify Experts?
- Why Should You Hire a Shopify Agency Over Freelancers?
- What Services Shopify Experts Offer?
- Why Should You Hire Shopify Experts?
- When Should You Hire Shopify Experts?
- What to Look for in Shopify Experts?
- 5 Easy Steps to Hire Shopify Experts?
- How Much Does It Cost to Hire Shopify Experts?
Who Are Shopify Experts?
Shopify experts are certified professionals who hold profound expertise in every aspect of the platform, ranging from custom design and development to branding and digital marketing. They use their knowledge and experience to help merchants achieve all their eCommerce goals by understanding their needs and providing the best possible solutions to their problems. Thus, Shopify experts lay the foundation of a successful online store on four pillars – start, sell, market, and manage.
For example, if you want a custom Shopify plugin to incorporate a specific functionality into your online store, you can hire Shopify experts to build this for you. Similarly, if you want a customized design for your online shop, you could reach out to professionals who specialize in custom Shopify theme development.
Why Should You Hire a Shopify Agency Over Freelancers?
Shopify experts are available as freelancers or a whole agency. Whether you’re in the starting phase or an accomplished eCommerce merchant, an agency is a much better choice than freelancers. If you go for freelancers, you have to hire different professionals for each domain of your store, leading to higher costs in the long run.
Unlike a freelancer who will merely customize your store, a top-rated Shopify development company specializes in all disciplines, equips your online shop with the right features, and helps you with everything from installation and development to customization and marketing process. An agency helps you in:
- Seamless migration from other platforms
- Hi-level of customization through cutting-edge technologies and tools
- Managing the business processes efficiently
- Building and implementing sales strategies to help grow business
Thus, a Shopify agency brings its A-game in making your online shop one of a kind and successful. Moreover, you also get a dedicated project manager who handles your project from start to finish, sign a legally binding contract (NDA) to protect your confidential data, and a dedicated team of QA engineers to ensure unbeatable quality. This is something that freelancers never offer. And most importantly, a professional agency cares about its reputation and will not vanish overnight, unlike many freelancers.
What Services Shopify Experts Offer?
Shopify developers are in high demand due to the ever-growing popularity of the platform. With their intensive expertise in the Shopify tech stack, they can extend the platform’s basic features to turn your online store into a true powerhouse that generates profit you dreamt of all the time. A few of the various services offered by Shopify experts are:
- Store Setup and Configuration
- PSD to Shopify Theme Conversion
- Custom Theme Development
- Custom Plugin Development
- Custom App Development
- Theme Customization
- Third-Party API Integration
- Custom Sales Channel Development
- Shopify SEO Optimization
- Store Performance Optimization
- Migration to Shopify & Upgradation
- Shopify Support & Maintenance
- If you run a Shopify Plus store, a Shopify expert can customize your checkout to your niche.
- A Shopify developer can drastically improve your store’s conversion rate by implementing an advanced searching and filtering algorithm to make it easier for customers to find the products they’re looking for.
- A skilled Shopify professional can write custom code to integrate your favorite third-party APIs into your store.
Apart from that, you can also consult Shopify developers regarding which plugins are worth installing and which ones may negatively affect your eCommerce business. Thus, by hiring the best Shopify developers, you can optimize your store in all possible ways to get higher search engine rankings, traffic, and eventually sales.
Why Should You Hire Shopify Experts?
There are several reasons why you need skilled Shopify developers. Listed below are the benefits that you can reap by hiring these professionals:
#Exceptional User Experience
A streamlined and pleasant user experience is the crucial factor that determines the success of any online store. Shopify experts leverage their years of experience to analyze the target audience requirement and customize the store’s user interface accordingly, which eventually leads to generating a lot more revenue in the long run.
With expert Shopify developers, you’re sure to get the best quality work that helps your brand stand out. Since they write code manually, you can be sure that everything will be fine from head to toe. Whether it’s minor store customization or third-party app integration, they always deliver only the top-notch job to catch up with the maximum number of satisfied customers.
#Extend Shopify’s Core Functionality
Shopify’s existing themes and plugins might be enough to get your store up and running. However, if you want to deliver a state-of-the-art shopping experience to your customers, you’ll need to extend Shopify’s core functionality and customize it to your specific requirements. This is possible only when you hire Shopify experts.
Building a great Shopify online store is not just about setting up an eCommerce site with a catchy domain name, beautiful theme, and great pictures of products. All of these efforts are in vain if your target customers can’t find your store.
SEO is imperative to rank your product pages higher in search engine results pages and, in turn, get more organic traffic to your online shop. Being up-to-date with the latest search engine updates and SEO trends, a Shopify expert makes your store super-friendly to search engines by optimizing everything from products’ titles and descriptions to images and their alt tags.
#Excellent Loading Speed
Have you ever experienced the frustration of your favorite online store loading slowly, especially during peak sales times? The same can also happen to your customers. Besides, you should also bear in mind that page speed is now a ranking factor for search results.
This means you need to ensure that your online shop loads instantly, no matter how many customers are buying products simultaneously. An expert Shopify developer keeps your online store’s performance in top shape to satisfy search engines and ensure a flawless shopping experience for customers.
Time is money, and the same applies to custom eCommerce web development. When you hire Shopify experts, you save a lot of your precious time as the agency handles the development side.
For instance, instead of spending your weekend learning coding, you can devote your time to other important business activities such as managing inventory, conceptualizing marketing strategies to grow your business, etc. Moreover, when you outsource your Shopify project to dedicated developers, it reduces your stress as you don’t have to handle everything single-handedly.
#Ongoing Help for Store’s Changing Requirements
Setting up and running an online store isn’t a one-time project. Instead, it requires ongoing maintenance and support as you need to stay in sync with the latest web development trends and manage the store accordingly. Even simple updates, such as offering a special discount, sometimes require a lot of development work!
When you hire a Shopify expert, you have the freedom to reach out to them anytime if you get stuck at any point. For example, if they developed a custom Shopify plugin for you, you can later reach out to them to make additional tweaks as per your new requirements.
When Should You Hire Shopify Experts?
When you have zero knowledge of custom web development initially, hiring Shopify experts may seem like a waste of your allocated budget. However, when your business grows up, you’ll find that developing, customizing, and maintaining the store gets tricker. At that time, the best thing you can do is reaching out to a reliable Shopify development company.
There are two main reasons why merchants prefer to hire Shopify experts:
- They don’t know how to build a custom, professional Shopify store that customers love to shop from.
- They don’t have the time as running a successful Shopify store is much more than just setting up a website.
But other than that, there are several other circumstances when hiring Shopify experts can prove to be beneficial for your business:
- You require custom Shopify design and development to attract more customers.
- You want to migrate your online store to Shopify from another platform.
- You don’t have time to manage your online store and outsource it to a full-stack Shopify agency that can handle everything from UI/UX design and development to management and marketing.
- You want to enhance the customer experience and fulfill ever-increasing customers’ expectations.
- You want a fast-loading online store that is optimized to rank higher in search engines.
- You want experts to refine your sales strategy to increase your revenue.
And the list just goes on! Ideally, you should hire Shopify developers right from the onset as you may soon get stuck with various issues that you can’t fix. Knowing what works well for a store and what doesn’t, Shopify experts help your store run smoothly.
What to Look for in Shopify Experts?
With thousands of Shopify professionals out there, finding the worthy one can be pretty challenging. To make the hiring process easier, here’s a list of traits you should look for in a potential Shopify development partner:
#Technical Expertise and Skills
#An Impressive Portfolio
The second thing to look for in your developer is a promising portfolio. Your potential developer’s portfolio should be filled with plenty of eCommerce projects, most of Shopify. By going through previous projects in your developers’ portfolio, you can judge the quality of their work and get an idea of what kinds of eCommerce projects they have worked on before. The portfolio also helps you ascertain whether the developer has enough knowledge and experience to carry out development work efficiently.
#Testimonials from Satisfied Customers
When choosing the best Shopify eCommerce developers, don’t forget to ask for testimonials to know about their work culture and ensure authenticity. Like the portfolio, testimonials are a great way to learn what their past clients think about the developer. Prefer developers having a decent number of reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers. Even better if the developer has testimonials from merchants in your industry.
#A Satisfaction Guarantee
You’ll be fortunate enough if you find Shopify experts who give you a satisfaction guarantee. Look for developers who are willing to redo the project until you get completely satisfied. Such developers are rare, but they’re worth every single penny.
#Excellent Communication Skills
Easy and effortless communication plays a crucial role in ensuring your project goes smoothly on the right track. Apart from being technically proficient, the Shopify experts you hire must have excellent communication skills. They should be capable of understanding your specific project requirements, providing you the best solutions accordingly, and keeping you up-to-date throughout the entire project development life cycle.
#A Post-development Support Plan
Even if the developer sets your store up and running correctly, you’ll need consistent technical support to fix the occasional glitches. Besides, you’ll have to add new features to your store from time to time to meet emerging business needs. For that reason, a long-term association with the developer is imperative. Since your developer has a better understanding of how your store works, you should ask them to offer post-delivery maintenance and support to ensure your store is always online and up-to-date.
5 Easy Steps to Hire Shopify Experts
Finding the right Shopify expert becomes a breeze when you have a well-thought-out process in place. Follow these five steps, and you’ll be able to find the right Shopify developers for your needs:
Step 1: Define Your Requirements
Although not compulsory, knowing what you want the developer to do can save you a lot of time. Write a brief of your requirements, including how you want your store to look and function. This will work as a conversation starter with the agency you reach out to. If you’re unsure where to begin, it would be better to ask for a consultation first.
Step 2: Set a Budget
Once you’ve created your requirement brief, the next step is to finalize your budget or a budget range that you can afford to spend on hiring a Shopify development partner. Knowing how much money is available for investment will help you hire certified Shopify developers who deliver you an appealing and functional online store without breaking your bank.
Step 3: Do Extensive Research
Now that you have your requirements and budget, it’s time to find Shopify experts that match your needs. There are thousands of developers out there, so don’t settle on the one who leaves a good first impression. Instead, ask the community for recommendations, browse the forums, go through the official Shopify experts directory, and tap into research firms like Clutch and GoodFirms. Do extensive research and create a shortlist of potential candidates.
Step 4: Contact Shortlisted Shopify Experts
Now, schedule a virtual meeting with each of the shortlisted experts and understand their expertise in custom Shopify development and how they will deliver the final project.
Step 5: Discuss the Project with Your Chosen Developer
Based on the conversations, you can settle on a particular developer. Once you successfully find the right Shopify expert for your requirements, you can discuss the entire project with them.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire Shopify Experts?
By now, you’re probably wondering how much it costs to hire a Shopify developer. Well, several factors affect the cost of hiring a developer, like:
- The size and complexity of the project
- The geographical location of Shopify experts
- The type of hiring/engagement model you choose
- Timeframe to complete the project
- The type of Shopify experts – newbie vs. experienced
- Additional functions and features you need
For your convenience, here is a breakdown of the cost of hiring a Shopify developer based on the size of the project:
- Small projects: Anywhere between $3,000 to $5,000
- Medium-sized projects: Up to $10,000
- Large, complex projects: Anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000
Hopefully, these factors will give you a cost estimation for your specific Shopify development requirements.
Hiring a Shopify expert might seem like a slam dunk initially, but in the long run, it will surely be the best decision you have ever made for your business. Whether you’re starting or struggling to scale your growth, you will need a helping hand on one point or another to bring your business to success. Don’t wait too long to admit that you need help. Remember, the best merchants rely on Shopify experts to stay at the top of the eCommerce game. So hiring Shopify developers is the best thing you can do to level up your business.