Hiring a Shopify Agency to Build Your Storefront

The Shopify platform has been successfully introducing businesses to the digital marketplace for well over the last decade. It’s a platform that has rapidly grown to become the go-to solution for companies looking to transition into e-commerce and one that has been able to provide a lucrative business model for hundreds of thousands of firms. Reaching this platform in a way that is productive and efficient for businesses is often best done through an experienced and qualified Shopify agency and a storefront that truly reflects your business.

Ian Deed
Ian Deed
Published: 31.08.2022

A capable and experienced Shopify agency working for your firm can rapidly implement strategies and best practices that ensure rapid growth and effective results.

Entrepreneurs, established multi-national brands, and startup businesses all rely on the Shopify platform to connect their businesses with a global audience in a way that is both effective and highly scalable. Executing digital commerce well through Shopify is something our top web development companies do regularly to help businesses reach entirely new heights, audiences, and general growth with a previously unheard-of pace and scale in the current marketplace.

Here, we take a detailed look at the Shopify platform, how you can reach it, and what you should do to ensure success when using a Shopify agency to build a store for your business.

What is Shopify?

In short, Shopify is an e-commerce platform designed to allow vendors to grow and manage their businesses online. Used well, Shopify allows sellers to build and tailor their online store to connect with buyers on any device and any platform, and in any country around the world.

Some of the key advantages businesses appreciate from the platform is its cloud-based services. Managed in this way, Shopify allows companies to abstract the physical data and management concerns of their e-commerce stores and remotely manage and maintain services with maximum flexibility instead. Built into this idea are all the tooling and resources necessary to manage inventory, online payments, marketing, and shipping from a single data dashboard.

In the past, the vast array of services offered by the Shopify platform would have filtered through several separate systems with unique translations and integration tools needed for each. Today, a Shopify agency can get you set up, online, and connected to the platform for near-instant online commerce at a fraction of the cost and time.

When it comes to connecting with Shopify, organizations are free to dive as deep as they like into the details of how it works and how to improve it or take a simple approach to connect with their customers.

The cheapest and quickest way to get connected with Shopify starts with the service’s $29 a month basic plan. As part of this plan, teams gain access to all the templates, processing, and marketing tools they need to set up a store and begin selling within a couple of hours.

For organizations aiming to tailor the look and feel of their storefront, the platform offers additional upgrades to improve its apps and services. More advanced plans offer accelerated payments and quicker access to business capital as well as extending the inventory management capabilities and employee access to the platform.

High-quality frontend development companies can design, tailor, and tweak the look and feel of a company’s storefront to ensure maximum return on investment and high conversion rates on every single page.

The next upgrade businesses can take to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace is to make use of the many third-party apps built by developers to enhance their stores and positively impact their sales. Available apps include cutting-edge data tools, social media integrations, marketing, and authentication add-ons.

If the tools, plug-ins, and integrations you’ve dreamed up for your business aren’t there yet then you can always build them to suit your needs by recruiting an expert Shopify agency with your business and goals in mind.

Why Use Shopify?

With such a wide variety of eCommerce solutions out there to choose from, why choose Shopify to connect your business with the digital marketplace?

  • A Global Community: Shopify provides businesses with access to a global marketplace across 175 countries. The platform is designed to provide sellers with the platform, templates, and tools necessary to secure sales and grow their business with customers worldwide.
  • Creative Customizations: Businesses have the power to tailor their stores and customize their approach so that the platform fits their business, not the other way round. Built-in flexibility and extension options allow for a Shopify store to scale with the growth it enables in businesses.
  • Integrated eCommerce: Shopify enables businesses to connect with eCommerce tools that span both online and offline business requirements. Offering a wide set of ecosystem integrations within the platform, the tooling and resources of Shopify are designed to ensure businesses have everything they need to reach their audience in a way that translates into performance and sales.
  • Build for Simplicity: Built with the idea of removing complexity from digital commerce, Shopify stores are designed to minimize management overhead and introduce a simpler way of doing things at every stage of the process.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Shopify Website?

There are a wide variety of ways for businesses to lean on Shopify and use the platform to reach their customers. These range from simple self-managed plans at three tiers of cost to managed packages from Shopify agencies capable of connecting your store to the digital marketplace.

Each Shopify service plan offers escalating staff accounts, increased inventory management, and decreased business fees. A self-managed Shopify plan comes in one of three tiers:

  • Basic: $29 per month with 2 staff accounts and up to 4 physical inventory locations
  • Shopify: $79 per month with 5 staff accounts and up to 5 physical inventory locations
  • Advanced: $299 per month with 15 staff accounts and up to 8 physical inventory locations

In addition to the size and scale of the organization that advanced plans allow, the higher tier services provide additional reporting detail, eCommerce automations, and customized taxes and pricing for individual markets around the globe.

To make the most of the platform, an expert Shopify agency is the most efficient and productive way to build your store, reach your audience, and sell merchandise.

Depending on the level of complexity and customization needed, costs for an expert Shopify consultant can start around $5,000 and grow to $100,000 or more for a large multi-national retail chain selling through the platform. While costs seem to scale rapidly with the level of service needed the advantages of experienced application professionals are often the best way to save costs and effort over the lifetime of your Shopify store.

For a more detailed breakdown of the costs, time, and effort that goes into a Shopify store take a look at our expert guide on hiring a Shopify development agency for your business.

What Makes a Great Shopify Agency?

Choosing the industry experts that will build and manage your store can be a nerve-wracking decision. It often means putting your global sales and marketing in the hands of an unfamiliar team while working in a new area of business development.

Finding out who will help you build a strong online brand, deliver the best ROI, and design a capable Shopify storefront capable of future growth is rarely easy. Here, we’ve collected five key ingredients to look out for in a capable Shopify agency to identify those with the knowledge and skills you can entrust your business with.

1. A Rich Array of Case Studies and Reviews

The single best way to find out what a company can deliver in the future is to take a look at the kinds of apps and stores they’ve built in the past. Simply knowing what a team has built and reading up on how they did it is a great guide to understanding what they can build and create for you and deciding whether your goals, values, and industries truly align.

2. A Strong Portfolio of Previously Published Stores

Similar to case studies, a portfolio of previously published work should give you a broad overview of what the company has previously created. The portfolio should provide you with the opportunity to take a closer hands-on look at the final product, but less opportunity to find out how and why certain decisions were made. This is an ideal opportunity to find out how a team’s product performs in real-world use.

3. Excellent Communication at Every Stage

When you’ve reached out to a shortlist of teams that may be able to build your services, it pays to take a close look at how they manage their communications as well as looking at what they communicate to you. Different organizations and teams have different expectations when it comes to delivery, collaboration, and workflows. It’s best to choose a team whose expectations for communication and collaboration align with your own. Look for a prompt response, interest, and efficient communication to attempt to maximize productivity.

4. Understanding and Knowledge of Your Store’s Domain

Simply being able to build a performant store in the current digital marketplace isn’t enough. There’s more competition currently out there than there’s ever been before and it’s performing better and delivering more for customers too. Finding a team that understands your business domain as well as you do can prove to be crucial in meeting customer expectations and delivering the results that they expect to see.

5. A Well-Fitting Team

The most difficult part of finding the right team is trying to gauge the soft skills over and above the technical knowledge and industry experience. Yet, it’s this area that pays the highest dividends in productivity, efficiency, and results. Finding and hiring a web development team that aligns with your expectations and has a workflow and style close to that of your existing internal teams is a competitive advantage you can’t afford to pass up.

How Long Does it Take to Build a Shopify Store?

Shopify stores are well-known for being easy to build, fast to assemble, and trivial to manage. Getting the simplest possible store up and running with a handful of products is less than an afternoon’s work—even at a moderate pace.

For your business, however, you want to put significantly more effort in if you want to attract customers and sales. Your Shopify store should be a reflection of your organization and include the branding, customizations, and attention to detail that matches the expectations of your customers.

A quality Shopify agency and high-quality web development firm can take care of that and build a store that exceeds your expectations in a short amount of time. Most businesses go from an absent online presence or pre-startup phase to a fully-fledged digital marketplace in just a few weeks.

Using a Shopify Agency To Build Your Store Front

Shopify has been a revolutionary platform for introducing businesses to digital commerce. It’s made it possible for organizations to launch into a global marketplace with capable and attractive online stores that draw more customers and sales than would have been otherwise possible.

The other side of this revolutionary service is a competitive marketplace that requires businesses to launch flawless, attention-grabbing, and attractive stores to be noticed today. A Shopify agency that can deliver a store that reflects your business is the ideal way to reach these heights today.

Offering inventory management for retail locations, warehouses, and online sales—connecting with a Shopify agency today can be one of the best business decisions you make for a very long time.

Shopify FAQs:

Q1. Can you hire someone to run your Shopify store?

Yes, you can hire an expert to build, manage, and ultimately run your Shopify store to allow you to focus on other areas of your business. In the early stages of building and launching your store, you should take a highly active role in your store’s operations, how it works, and how it’s organized. That way you are best placed to make effective decisions about the direction it should go and how it should work in the future.

Start by researching the relevant taxes, regulations, and processes you need to follow to get up and running in your business. Next, figure out your pricing and set up your store with the help of an experienced professional to save time and minimize mistakes. Before launch, you should conduct a full-scale test of orders, purchases, returns, and shipping to ensure your store is ready for its first customers.

With building, testing, and launch underway you are ready to promote your online store and hand over the day-to-day management to allow you to focus on other areas of business.

Q2. How much is a Shopify expert?

Rates for a Shopify expert typically start at around $25-30/hr for setting up a simple store. These costs can quickly escalate for additional experience and expertise in the field—necessary additions if you want high degrees of customization and functionality to meet your customers.

A relatively simple and fully optimized Shopify store, designed and built by a Shopify expert, is likely to cost upwards of $1,500, with a rough ceiling of $10,000 or so for a highly advanced store. Looking online at the experts that other Shopify entrepreneurs have used in the past can be a great way to get recommendations as well as find an accurate guide to costs and expenses.

When you find a Shopify expert that appears to meet your requirements, look closely at their portfolio, their case studies and review, in addition to the communication between them and your teams to analyze whether they’re the right fit for your requirements.

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