Whether you’re brand new to the Shopify platform or creating your tenth online store, step up your game by partnering with Shopify experts. They’ll take your e-commerce site from acceptable to spectacular. How? Read on.
What are Shopify Partners, anyway? A Shopify partner is a business or agency that has partnered directly with Shopify and been vetted on their expertise with the platform. They are experienced in working with Shopify storefronts, marketing, site design, customization, and much more. Their purpose is to create a smooth road to success for merchants in the online space.
Why Do Shopify Partners Matter?
Shopify is a robust online selling and marketing platform and the preferred system for many online retailers, from small mom-and-pop sellers to major Fortune 500 companies. It’s extremely customizable and capable of acting as a hub for order tracking, email marketing, social media, inventory, customer support, and everything else you’ll need to run a successful e-commerce site.
However, all that capability is only useful if you know how to tap into it. That’s where Shopify Partners come into play. Working with a Shopify Expert gives you access to their breadth of knowledge so you can take your store to the next level. Whether you’re setting up a shop for the first time or you need help expanding you existing site as you grow, your partner will help you make the best choices and streamline your process.
The biggest benefit of working with a Shopify Partner is their tech-savviness and familiarity with the platform. If your strengths are in retail, marketing, and selling, you may find yourself spending far too much time battling with your online system. Having your partner take care of the tech side while you focus on your strengths is what’s best for your business.
Who Gets to Be a Partner?
This question doesn’t have a cut-and-dry answer, because there are levels to Shopify’s partnership program. In a nutshell, anyone can technically claim to be a Shopify Partner if they regularly refer new clients to Shopify through the referral program. This doesn’t make them Shopify Experts, however.
In order to obtain the Shopify Expert designation in the partnership program, a service provider must have a proven track record of successful Shopify storefronts under their belt. That includes setup and execution. This portfolio of work is reviewed by the Shopify team and must include at lease five successful stores, if not more. After review and internal approval, the provider earns the title “Shopify Expert.”
When selecting a Partner to work with, it’s important to do your due diligence to make sure you’re working with someone with the Expert ranking. While a basic Partner may very well be able to set up a functional shop, they don’t have the proven history that an Expert does. Before you hire an individual or agency, you can look up their Shopify listing for details about their experience, portfolio, reviews, services, and more. It goes a long way toward making the right choice for your business.
What Can Partners Do?
We’re glad you asked! Your Shopify Partners are capable of constructing an entire e-commerce site from scratch using the Shopify platform, as well as provide marketing solutions, customization, unique code, migration or integration, and much more.
Here’s a breakdown of the areas a Shopify Partner can help with. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a solid start.
Before you can focus on anything else, your storefront needs to exist. Working with a Partner gives you the freedom to focus on your business while they take on the technological challenge of building an online store for you. They know the Shopify platform inside and out and will be able to provide the design and development expertise your business needs.
From there, they can recommend various tools and applications that will give you full control over your sales, marketing, inventory, shipping, and anything else you need to succeed.
Logo and Branding
Some, though not all, Partners may offer logo and branding design services. This is worth consideration if you want a custom look for your site that matches your current branding, or you’re developing branding for the first time. Shopify is highly customizable, so now’s the time to decide on your company design Bible – fonts, colors, look, feel, and language.
SEO and Content Marketing
Search engine optimization and content marketing are going to be major players if you want to be found in the massive sea of the online marketplace. With search engines becoming more sophisticated with every passing year, a site’s content must be on the ball to make a dent. That means content that is relevant, engaging, and informative.
SEO strategy used to be fairly straightforward. No longer. Search engines now recognize keyword stuffing and attempts to “game the system” by sneaking in keywords inauthentically. The new normal is in understanding what customers are searching for and giving them what they need. Your Shopify Partner will be able to guide you in crafting content or, in some cases, offer services to provide blogs, web page copy, and email content.
Similarly to custom logos and branding, a custom Shopify theme incorporates your website’s look and feel so that your storefront doesn’t feel like a different site. When users are browsing your shop, they want to feel a consistent follow-through from page to page. Utilizing a custom theme gives them that consistency. Shopify Partners are able to both design and integrate these themes for you.
Custom App Development
Shopify offers hundreds of apps to make online retailers’ lives easier, from restocking options to review apps. Even so, some sellers may find they require a unique solution on their site. Perhaps you want to have a closed system to keep your customer data safe or you’re interested in creating a pop-up quiz or game for customers to play.
Whatever your needs, Shopify Experts are capable to building custom private apps for use on your shop and your shop alone. You may already have something in mind or you might have a general idea of your goals. All you need do is let your Shopify Partner know what you need and they can offer you a solution.
There are many other e-commerce platforms out there, but more often than not, online sellers find Shopify to be their preference. When they’re ready to make the move from Magento or another system, they may need help migrating their store to a new platform.
Partners excel at both integration and migration. They’ll be able to move your carefully created code, data, customer information, and everything else to the new platform so that you’re not starting entirely from scratch. Your life will be easier for it.
As mentioned above, Shopify offers literally hundreds of applications to help sellers maintain their storefront and marketing in one central location. Shopify Partners can offer recommendations for the tools that will most benefit their clients on the backend.
Those tools can include automatic tax calculation, shipping information, drop shipping, order details, email notifications, inventory tracking, restocking, discounts, and a whole lot more. Your Partner likely has favorites that they’ve worked within the past and trust, so let them know what you need.
Speaking of apps, we can’t forget to mention Shopify’s extensive catalog of online marketing tools. From a central hub, you can easily manage email marketing, social media, coupon codes, newsletters, remarketing, and everything else you need to succeed.
For anything Shopify doesn’t offer in an app, such as the content you need to fill those emails or the social media management you don’t have time for, Partners can provide solutions. If they don’t offer the services outright themselves, it’s likely they have trusted recommendations they can offer.
If you are a multi-channel retailer and have a brick and mortar location (or locations) then a POS system is imperative to the success of your business. Good news, Shopify has a full-scale POS system which is fully integrated with your entire Shopify e-commerce backend. Add a product and make it available in your online store on your retail location(s) and keep the inventory in sync across both channels. Managing your multi-channel operation has never been easier. Finding the right Shopify Partner to manage the migration from your existing POS system or setting up your Shopify POS from scratch is an important decision. As a 5-star Shopify POS partner, SKU Agency has the know-how to bring your multi-channel business online and provide the right growth marketing strategies needed to grow your business.
Where Can You Find a Shopify Partner?
Your perfect match is out there waiting for you! Sounds a bit like a dating site tagline, but it’s true.
Shopify does offer an extensive listing of available Shopify Experts and Partners that you can review by services offered. Consider your needs, then use the tools at your disposal to find the Partner that’s right for you.
You can also naturally find a Shopify Partner by searching online for local providers in your area. More often than not, you have a nearby agency to contact and work with directly. If it’s important to you to meet with your team face-to-face, this is an option worth considering.
Of course, with today’s digital accessibility, you can choose to work with the agency of your choice. Our advice is to lay out your budget and list of requirements so you have a reference point on your search. Odds are good you’ll find a Shopify Partner that can provide everything you need on a pay scale that meets you where you are.
When Can I Get Started?
Right now! SKU Agency has been proud Shopify Experts since 2017. We offer our clients an extensive background in e-commerce from our very own shops, as well as those build for other successful online sellers. We invite you to check out our portfolio to see what we can do. Our services include everything you’ve read about in this post. We’d love to get to know you.
Have any other questions or need us to help you design/development and grow your e-commerce business, please reach out.