Shopify Partners | What are They (and do you need one)?

By Cesar Beltran
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Shopify Partners – E-commerce businesses have never been easier to set up. Digital technology has made entrepreneurship accessible to everyone with an internet connection and a product. With the number of e-commerce platforms available, often the hardest part of launching your business is choosing the right e-commerce host.

Powering an estimated 800,000 e-commerce stores, Shopify allows users to set up their website. Shopify partners can make physical or digital sales without the need for a high level of technical skill.

With easy to use customization options, it can often be surprising to find that you have the opportunity to make use of Shopify Partners and Shopify Experts.

After all, if Shopify is so easy to use, why do you need professional help?

The Ease of Shopify

Shopify takes little time to design and set up you’re your store. It comes with a very intuitive user interface that makes the process much faster than traditional website building platforms.

Shopify was designed specifically for e-commerce purposes so you can get to selling fast. However, from design to content to marketing, you may not have all of the business management skills that you need. This can hinder your e-commerce venture.

“The sooner we drop the ‘e’ out of ‘e-commerce’ and just call it commerce, the better.” – Bob Willett, former President of Best Buy International and CIO of Best Buy

That’s where Shopify experts and partners come in.

Shopify Partners – Why do you need one!

These Shopify Expert users have a proven level of experience when it comes to building and managing Shopify stores. It’s straightforward to become a Shopify Partner. This is as long as you can show that you have set up and managed Shopify stores.

Once someone becomes an official Shopify partner, they gain access to unlimited development stores and can create and use more specific apps.

Shopify Experts

The next progression for those that have a proven skill for using Shopify is to become a Shopify Expert. These can be broken down into specific categories. Experts first need to create that much-valued Shopify Partner status. Then, they need to launch at least five new Shopify stores. 

It is possible for experts to manage every area of store management, although many choose to specialize in a set e-commerce skill. 

These specialties include: 

  • Setting up the initial e-commerce store
  • Designing better websites
  • Developing e-commerce stores for maximum speed, or apps for your site or customers
  • Marketing experts who can improve your SEO, email marketing, and social media integration
  • Photographers who will provide unique images for your web pages 

Whether you are starting from scratch or migrating an existing e-commerce website to Shopify, experts can help speed up the process. Ensure that you are getting the maximum benefit from your new web pages. 

Shopify Plus Partners

In 2016, Shopify introduced the Shopify Plus Partner Program. This is a way of making it easier for Shopify users to gain access to the skills of the top Shopify partners. 

For high-volume clients who need the right resources at the right time, Shopify Plus Partners can offer bespoke services. These are ideal solutions for improving your performance and your online visibility.

These  Shopify partners are often focused on offering full-service options no matter your business or project needs. 

Shopify Plans – What’s the Difference?

There are some variations on what you’ll be able to do with your Shopify store depending on the plan that you adopt. There are five options, and you will need to choose the one that most suits your needs. These are: 

  • Shopify Lite: The cheapest plan available, this does not actually allow you to create a completely standalone and functional e-commerce store. Rather, it lets you use social media pages to sell your product, or gives you the tools that you need to sell through Shopify in your physical store.

Most importantly, it gives you the option to make use of the Shopify Buy button, which you can then integrate into your existing web presence on the pages of your choice. 

If you are sticking with a WordPress or SquareSpace hosting service, then adding the Shopify Buy button to your payment options can help. This is by reducing the risk of shopping cart abandonment. Recently, this option added the ability to use Facebook Messenger to chat with customers. 

  • Basic Shopify: Complete with a discount code engine, easy to use fraud analysis tools, as well as the ability to upload an unlimited number of products. Basic Shopify is an excellent option. Not only do you get a completely functioning website to sell from, but you also gain the peripherals. 

This includes the option of a blog, which is more important than ever for boosting your search engine rankings. Basic Shopify allows you to manage all of your products and orders directly via Shopify itself, so it’s a fully self-contained digital entity. Basic also comes with: 

  • SSL certification
  • Manual order creation
  • Unlimited file storage
  • 24/7 Shopify support
  • Shipping labels

If you don’t already have a website or a strong digital presence, then this is often the best option to consider. 

  • The Shopify Plan: This is by far the most popular choice when it comes to building a complete e-commerce business. The price might be noticeably higher than the basic plan, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. Not only do you get the same tools as those on the Basic and Lite Plans, but you also get: 
  • Gift card options
  • Professional analytics and reports
  • Automated abandoned cart recovery 

Being able to use almost all of the features and tools that Shopify provides, the professional Shopify Plan is suitable for those people launching an e-commerce site. 

It is also ideal for those attempting to scale up as quickly as possible. This is the perfect option if your e-commerce sales will make around $5000 a month. This is because there are fees that will need to be paid. The higher your profits, the lower your fee percentage will be.Shopify Partners can help you with solid strategies for growth and for ecommerce improvements

However, the main reason for choosing the more professional Shopify Plan is down to the highly-valued ‘abandoned cart recovery tool.’ This can help you make a sale to someone who clearly has an interest in your product, but decided not to buy at the last moment. 

  • Advanced Shopify: Although noticeably more expensive than the previous options, the Advanced Shopify Plan is all about getting everything you need. Not only will you pay less on your transaction fees, but you also receive all of the benefits of previous plans. For this type of plan you would require a Shopify partner and a true Shopify expert to help you navigate all that Shopify has to offer in the advance plan.

The reason why this is such a popular option is down to the addition of the advanced report builder and the ability to easily manage and calculate your third-party shipping rates. 

With unlimited storage, you can sell as many products as you like, as well as having all of the traffic generating content that you want. 

This option also lets you add dashboard access to up to 15 people. This means that your content creators, customer service team, and social media managers can access the backend of your website. This is the option to go for if you have decided to commit to third-party shipping. 

  • Shopify Plus: The final tier of Shopify Plans, this is the one to look at more closely if you are looking for marketing or design resources. The Shopify Plus Plan is completely hosted, and that means that you will not pay any transaction fees. With up to 200 TB of inbuilt storage, even the most product heavy stores will have little issue with the content or product limitations. A Shopify Partner will be an excellent support to implement your Plus store. 

Prices can vary with this plan, but big brands with an established audience most often choose it. That’s not to say that smaller companies shouldn’t consider Shopify Plus. However, managing those larger brands with ease is an indication of how powerful a plan it actually is. 

Make sure that you understand the differences between each plan before you make a decision. There are benefits to each option. The one that you choose should match what you are looking for from both Shopify and the future of your e-commerce venture. 

It’s important to remember that you can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your Shopify subscription at any point when paying monthly installments. Paying monthly can make it easier to manage your cash flow. Yet, you will pay less overall if you commit to an annual payment. 

Shopify Partners provide Expert Services

Shopify is easy to build and customize. Many people do not have the time to manage or create a website, however. 

That’s where the Shopify experts come in. 

E-commerce may be more accessible than ever, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. 

Using the services of Shopify partner and expert means that you gain the skill sets of those that have proven experience with Shopify. They can help you free up your time so that you can focus on your own key skill areas. 

Shopify experts can offer a variety of services, but the most commonly used are: 

  • Setup: If you simply need help with getting started, then those Shopify Partners that have been categorized as Setup Experts can be very useful. They can help you to create the foundation of your web pages, and make it easier to migrate your e-commerce store. 

The Shopify Experts will most commonly work solely on the setup of your site. Once everything is in place, you are given total control and management of your store. 

If you’re comfortable running everything once it’s all in place, then Setup Shopify Experts will be a good option. Without ongoing involvement, you will benefit because you will only pay one flat fee. That one-off expense can be high or low depending on what you specifically need. 

  • Shopify Designers: You can be the best salesperson in the world and an e-commerce professional, but you might not have an eye for design. Website design is more important than ever for limiting bounce rates and improving your search engine rankings. It’s vital that you get the look of your website right. 

There are plenty of templates available to use on Shopify. For those looking for something more unique that stands out, customization of those templates is possible. However, you will need knowledge about coding, the fundamental principles of web design, and awareness of conversion rate optimization. 

If those aren’t in your areas of knowledge, then Shopify Designers can heavily reduce your workload. Like Setup Experts, this is usually a one-off fee. However, it can be quite costly. 

When the performance of your e-commerce store relies so heavily on the finished design of your web pages, this is not an area to overlook. 

Get the right design, and you may not have to make changes to it for many years. That one-off payment should more than pay for itself in the long run. 

  • Shopify Developers: One of the more flexible options to consider if you feel that you need help with your website, developers come in a huge variety. This is because they are experienced at offering a wide range of e-commerce related tasks. Enjoy customized search filters or analytics implementation. Furthermore, there is POS integration and a more streamlined shopping cart function. Chances are that a developer is going to be your best option. 

Specialists in customization, developers can build, create, and integrate precisely what you need to improve your store. That means that it’s more difficult to put a price value on their development options. 

If you need something small developed, such as changes to your tracking code, then this could be a small, one-off payment of less than a hundred dollars. 

However, if you need something more complicated, such as a dedicated new app, then you will end up paying more. Shopify Developers are well rounded, and that means that you can choose to make use of them in a variety of ways. You could choose to create an ongoing contract. This means you have instant access to the tools and resources that you need. Or, simply use developers for each one-off task with a single payment. 

  • Shopify Marketers: It’s not easy to market a business, and e-commerce ventures have some unique challenges. That’s why Shopify marketers can be so useful. They have been marketing Shopify stores long enough to be tagged by Shopify itself as a professional partner or expert. 

They will know the best ways to ensure that your store gets the traffic that it needs. It can also help to turn that high volume of traffic into actual sales. 

If you need Shopify help with your marketing, then Shopify marketers will be able to help you when it comes to: 

  • Using and optimizing your Google Shopping Ads
  • Streamlining your web pages for improved conversion rates
  • Boosting your Facebook e-commerce potential
  • Helping you market on Amazon
  • Creating a dedicated and unique SEO strategy
  • Improving your product pages for reduced shopping cart abandonment 

These are all increasingly vital when it comes to e-commerce success. Are your skills more about negotiating prices with suppliers and less about expanding your audience reach? Well, then chances are that you will need a Shopify Marketer. The cost will depend on what you need and how long you need it for. Most commonly, business owners will choose to pay a set monthly fee. 

The right marketing can drive profits and improve your brand image. It’s vital that you make the right decision when it comes to marketing. 

  • Shopify Photographers: From your product description pages to your About Us page, good quality photographs are essential. You might think that because you have a smartphone, you don’t need a professional photographer. This can be a mistake.

You need a high level of skill and experience when it comes to creating good quality images that are going to be of value on your store pages. The right image can have a significant impact on your sales. You are going to want your products to look as good as they possibly can, and that’s where Shopify Photographers come in. 

For the best images, you will usually pay per project. The total price will depend on the number of photos that you need and how complicated those shots are going to be. If you want basic photographs of a table and chairs, this is going to be cheaper than those who need fashion shoots in a variety of locations. 

Bear in mind that some Shopify Photographers will charge additional royalties for using their images. Make sure that you get a total cost before you commit to making use of a specific photographer.

Choosing a Shopify Partner

Identify what level of help you need to build, manage, or grow your Shopify store. There are a higher number of partners and experts than ever before. That means that you have the luxury of finding the perfect fit for your business model. 

There are some basic areas to check before you make a decision. Both partners and experts are ranked. However, that means that the higher up the rankings you go, the more you will pay. If you’re starting out, then you will usually find a more cost-effective option by simply doing your research. 

Here are the key areas to be aware of.

Communication

This is one of the most important factors to consider when you are deciding on the right Shopify Partner. Ideally, you want to choose a partner that is going to be excellent at understanding what you need and is able to communicate well. You will quickly find yourself growing frustrated if you pick a partner that is slow to reply to messages or isn’t able to grasp exactly what you need. 

“Communications is at the heart of e-commerce and community.” Meg Whitman, President and CEO, Hewlett-Packard 

Communication is vital in all business relationships. When your Shopify store is going to be relying on experts to get things right, then communication is more important than ever. If you want to make sure that you source the right partner for your e-commerce store, then ensure that you: 

  • Check their testimonials: You should always check these, but remember to keep alert to previous client descriptions of what it’s like to work with each partner. Testimonials can help you to narrow down your options before you even contact them in the first instance. You need to know what it’s going to be like working with that specific partner, so the more that you can research them, the easier this will be to assess. 
  • Evaluate your own communications with them: From the first email to the last, you should pay attention to the way that the Shopify Partners you are considering communicate. The important factors here are: 
  • Do they have an understanding of your business?
  • Do you know the unique challenges of your business model?
  • Do they respond quickly to your email queries?
  • In their replies, are they displaying an understanding of your own questions and demands? 

Communication is one of the first areas to evaluate before you commit to partnering with an expert. If you are not getting the communication that you feel you need, then you may need to continue looking for the Shopify partner that better suits you. There’s little point in paying for the best skills if the partner that you choose is not able to communicate well enough to be beneficial to your Shopify store. 

Previous Work

The portfolio of your Shopify Partner is an important thing to examine. No matter the type of partner you’re looking for, that portfolio is evidence of their skills and effectiveness. All business partnerships should be explored fully before you commit to them, and Shopify partners are no different. Consider: 

  • Setup Experts: The more that you look at the websites that your setup experts have developed, the more you’ll be able to evaluate their skills. For a complicated website, you will usually not benefit from choosing an experienced Shopify Setup Expert. 

Look for those setup experts that have created sites that are similar in scope and sector to your own. You’ll be more likely to find the right match at the right price. 

  • Website Designers: The key here is versatility. You will obviously have a vision of your finished website design, so you should look for those designers that have created website designs that match your vision. As with any creative discipline that relies on technical proficiency, you will find designers that are specialized when it comes to one or two design types. 

Find the ones that have shown that they can design sites that match your branding and design ideas. Choose a lower price and a designer that is only able to work in one style. Chances are that you will end up disappointed by the finished result. 

  • Developers: Because Shopify developers offer such a wide range of services, you need to ensure that you find the one that matches your needs. If you need an app built from scratch, then look for those developers that have already done this. 

Gauge experience and price. Remember to ask as many questions as you can to get a far greater understanding of skill level and a completion time. 

  • Marketers: This is a highly specialized skill set, and any marketing expert on Shopify will have proven their skills. However, you should always ask to see their case studies. Find the marketers that have experience working with e-commerce stores in your sector. You will not benefit as much from sourcing a Shopify marketer who has only improved sales for a car dealership when your store is a dedicated fashion outlet. 

Have you improved the sales figures of businesses that are similar to yours? If so, they will have a much better chance of being able to get the same results for you. 

  • Photographers: All photographers have their own specialties. Always ask to look at a photography portfolio before you sign up for their services. You need to ensure that the photographer that you choose will be able to create the images that you need. Style and design are the key features to be aware of. 

Check that they have worked with a similar business model. By doing so, you can get a better and more aesthetically pleasing result. 

Shopify Partners can transform your e-commerce store. From the initial setup to the ongoing challenges of e-commerce, the right partner can help to establish your web presence quickly. For scaling and a much improved bottom line, the more that you understand the limitations of your own skillset, the more likely that you can find the Shopify Partner to suit you. Take your time, do your research. Your Shopify store could be generating more income than you believed possible. 

** As always thank you for visiting our company we invite you to read this other great articles regarding other how to find experts or learn if you should get extra help. and learn more about what we can do for you

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