Toan

Full Stack Developer

With more than 5 years hands-on experience, Toan is an excellent Pangara Talent through his in-depth knowledge of Web Development with dominant languages such as JavaScript and PHP - Wordpress; proven by his impressive working record.

Phuc

Full Stack Developer

Phuc presents himself as a valuable asset for Pangara through not only his hands-on experience from projects but also his broad knowledge of Information Technology. Stepping-up to the role of team leader in the recent years has built his leadership and management skills through practical application.

Shopify

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows anyone to easily sell online, at a retail location, and everywhere in between.

Hiring a Shopify Developer: What You Need to Know

What Is Shopify?

Even if you’ve never heard of e-retailer Shopify, you’ve likely heard of the companies using it.

The coffee world was abuzz in Spring 2017 when a company named Death Wish Coffee began selling what it claimed was the strongest cup in the world. The Round Lake, N.Y.-based coffee seller used Shopify to sell its mighty brews online.

Death Wish Coffee's Shopify Store

And remember Penny Arcade from your teenage years of flash gaming online? Penny-arcade.com now gets you to a slick new website where in addition to playing the games, you can also buy gamer paraphernalia, transactions handled via Shopify.

Other famous examples of Shopify stores include: 

Budweiser

The proverbial American beer since 1876. Anheuser-Busch currently sells branded merchandise on their e-commerce store.

Budweiser's Shopify Store

Penguin Books

Penguin Books have a long publishing history as one of the largest English-language publishers in the world.

Penguin Publishing’s Shopify Store

Red Bull

Originally inspired by a Thai drink called Krating Daeng, Red Bull is now the world’s most sold energy drink.

RedBull’s Shopify Store

 

As you can see, Shopify works for merchants big and small. Rather than having users click a link to an external site to shop or pay, both shopping experiences are integrated seamlessly into the existing websites’ designs. Browsing, shopping and buying are all done inside the same url.

In short, Shopify is a turnkey, end-to-end ecommerce solution.

The customers have no idea what’s under the hood, and that’s probably the biggest reason why you’re not apprised of Shopify yet even though the Canada-based e-retailer’s total revenue in 2016, $389.3 million, almost doubled their 2015 revenue. Their user base in that time period experienced similarly high growth gaining almost a third of its 2016 users during the previous year.

There are few other tools that would get your from zero to ready for your first sale in less than 10 minutes. But if you’re not a programmer or don’t hire one, you’re won’t be able to maximise Shopify’s full potential for your business.

Why Use Shopify?

Perhaps the best reason to select Shopify as your ecommerce platform is that users can choose their level of involvement. It’s a holistic platform that’s very easy to use, and for the very basic setup, you don’t need much technical know-how to get going. If you’re straying beyond the basics, however, you will need an experienced Shopify developer. 

Additional benefits include how Shopify easily handles large inventory, it’s a fast platform, and it has built-in marketing support such as for SEO and social media integrations.  Furthermore, Shopify periodically offers coupons to its vendors. Check the “Online Promotion” section of the “Marketing” tab to see if they’ve made an AdWords coupon available for you now.

The site also has a reputable 24-hour support center, which takes questions via phone or email. Additionally, the Shopify Manual and Shopify Wiki are there to help you navigate any issues that may come up or answer questions about what additional functions Shopify has to maximise your business’ potential.

But I Could Just Set Up Shop Via an Amazon Listing, Right?

You could, but you’d miss out on the opportunity to give your customers a shopping experience as unique as your products. Amazon FBA is a great service for many, but it has its limitations. And even if you’re already selling on Amazon, adding additional sales channels to diversify your business is almost always a good idea.

Shopify let’s you truly personalize your store and accentuate your brand. Rather than going to find one of your products in an Amazon or eBay listing, they would be meeting your business in a custom webspace that you’ve created mediated by a platform that allows you to integrate your sales in to a bookkeeping service, track your orders and solicit feedback from your customers, all at a very reasonable price.

Ah, “price.” So there is a catch?

We wouldn’t call it a catch. One of the ways that Shopify has made a name for itself is in the e-retailer’s affordability. Their services start at $29 per month.

By comparison, you could easily spend thousands of dollars buying your own web server, getting shopping cart software, securing the whole thing, etc. Trust us, this is way cheaper than what it would cost to build these services on your own. And far better than letting your product languish amongst a torrent of others on any other e-marketplace.

Of course, to get the most out of your Shopify user experience, the best practice is to partner with a developer like those at Pangara.

Can I Accept Electronic Payments?

Yes, but just like a cash register at an old fashioned brick and mortar store would have a credit card machine, you’ll need what’s known as a payment gateway in order for your digital Shopify retail space to accept plastic. There are many such payment gateways that Shopify supports natively, but the benefits to users vary oddly enough by the geographic location of their IP address.

A payment gateway can be selected with a quick visit to your store’s “Preferences” panel at the “Checkout & Payment” section.

Can I Use My Own Domain?

Shopify provides users their with own free unique domain but also supports custom domains so your clients can easily find your wares at “yourawesomestore.com” or another similarly professionally worded web address.

How Involved Is the Design Process?

Shopify comes with its own in-house templates. If you’ve already gotten started with their own Shopify account to play with, that’s in the “Theme Gallery” section of your shop’s “Assets” tab. The themes are modifiable via a “Theme Editor” tool.

But let’s say you want to ask additional information from your customers or you’d like some unique graphic assets on your Shopify site. Maybe you’d like something as simple as a change to the menu navigation schema. That will require some more technical sophistication, which you’re welcome to contract and hire via Pangara.

What Else Can Shopify Do for Me?

Want to deliver your program or other digital product in a secure manner? Shopify has an onboard app store that allows your to build additional functionality to yours store (the aforementioned apps is Fetch). There are a bevy of apps for Shopify that do things you may not have even known you wanted to do, like track orders and web traffic on your iOS device (StoreSync).

How Do I Get My Products to Where They Need to Go?

Shopify has a wide range of shopping partners. In the Shopify store, that’s in the Shopify Shipping area. Among the e-retailers courier partners is UPS. The company entered a partnership with Shopify in November 2017 making the same services it makes available for traditional stores and large retailers available for Shopify’s nearly 500,000 users.

The UPS agreement is only one of the formal partnerships the e-retailers holds. The Canada Post has been working with Shopify since 2012.

Through Shopify’s app store, merchants can also use FedEx and United States Postal Service. Through an app called OrderCup, users can also print shipping labels for these carriers.

Why Hire a Developer?

The default themes and tools Shopify offers are a great place to start. And if cost is an issue for you, the cheapest way to go would be to buy a subscription to the service and use what’s available to you there.

The great thing about Shopify however is that it’s both a reliable, robust product and a great platform on which to build something special.

Let’s say you want to create a “buy 2, get 1 free” sale. You’ll need a developer to help you build the requisite code tailored to your liking. You can be so specific as to choose what users are allowed to use the promotion through Shopify’s coding infrastructure.

Shopify also supports more advanced customization to get you unique site templates and even a custom landing page to match an email campaign you’re running to support your store. That functionality isn’t native to Shopify though, and if you’re not ready to become a coder yourself count on Pangara’s developers to help build the e-commerce platform your customers deserve.

What to Look for When You Hire a Shopify Developer?

Look for programmers with PHP, Magneto DEFINE, CSS and HTML on their resumes. Look for someone who’s done work in Ruby, Perl and Python, as these are similar coding languages to Liquid, Shopify’s proprietary programming language.

Tell me more about Liquid.

Liquid is basically a way to more precisely manipulate Shopify’s theme template files, and even create your own.

Liquid uses three elements to create its dynamic content: tags, objects and filters.

Tag: This is the part of the code that tells the template what to do. Tags are marked by {% %} characters.

Object: This is what’s used to display dynamic content on your page. Objects are what’s used to for example display a product’s title. These and all other object attributes would be marked by a {{ and }}.

Filters: These modify objects as well as numbers, strings and variables. This can be used to make blanket changes to your products’ names, for example.

What Should the Programmer I Hire Know and Be Able to Do?

A programmer should be able to define the functions of the terms above and also give you an example of how to make a minor change like making all your products’ titles uppercase.

Answer: filters are contained by pairs of {{ }} and clauses are separated by a |. Code that makes all your products’ names uppercase will look like this: {{ product.title | upcase }}

If you need to vet them further, have them do something simple like design a call to action button for your Shopify webpage.

How do I start?

Shopify’s website is a great place to get familiar with the service itself. If you’re interested in developing your online store with a Pangara developer to get the most out of Shopify, contact us here.