If you're just getting started with eCommerce, it can feel like there are a million things to consider. For example, where should you source your inventory? How do you set up your website so customers can buy your products? What payment processors and shipping partners should you use? How do you design your website so that it's user-friendly and elegant?
Don’t worry, we are here to help you with these common concerns! Launching a new online store can seem like an impossible challenge without sufficient time or technical knowledge, however, the truth is that setting up an eCommerce shop isn't always as complicated as it may seem.
With some research, planning and determination, you can build and launch your very own Shopify store — even if you aren't a coding whiz.
Here are some pointers on whether or not hiring someone to build your Shopify store is the right decision for your business.
Building Your Shopify Store On Your Own
Building your own Shopify store to sell your products online is like making your own clothes. It saves you a lot of money because you don't have to pay for the clothes, but it is not without its challenges.
Therefore, depending on your level of expertise, it can be daunting to navigate design, development and UX best practices without any outside help.
However, building your Shopify store on your own might be an option if you're willing to invest the time and effort required to execute it well.
If you choose to build your Shopify store yourself, you'll need to do the following:
Research current eCommerce best practices and UX design principles
Find a Shopify theme that fits your brand and start customising it accordingly
Add your products and set up your inventory
Set up the payment and shipping methods
Launch your store
And that’s just scratching the surface because there’s a lot more that needs to be done behind the scenes to produce a Shopify store that is optimised for conversions.
Tip: Watch some free YouTube tutorials on building your own Shopify website. You may also want to consider doing a short Udemy course to brush up on your skills and knowledge.
There are a few situations when it makes the most sense to build your own Shopify store, rather than hiring someone else to do it. These include:
1. When you are a very new and small business, you will need a very simple interface to get started selling your products. In this case, you should be able to get by with a DIY Shopify store until your business has taken off.
2. When you have time to dedicate to building your store - Building a Shopify store from scratch can take plenty of time and effort. If you are confident that you can set aside the necessary time to get everything done, then DIY-ing it may be the best option for you.
3. When you're on a tight budget - Hiring someone to build your Shopify store can get expensive because you are understandably paying for their expertise. If you're working with a limited budget, then building the store yourself can help save some money.
When Should You Hire Someone to Build Your Shopify Store?
Hiring a Shopify partner to build your site means outsourcing your store's design and development to a freelancer or agency. There are certain situations when it is advisable to hire someone to build your Shopify store, rather than trying to do it yourself.
1. When you want to save time, experts in Shopify development can get the build done much faster, and when clean, flexible code has been used, making changes down the line is much more cost-effective.
2. When you're not familiar with web design or coding, it is probably best to leave the task of creating your store to someone who is. Trying to learn everything yourself will take much longer and may result in a less professional-looking store that doesn’t function quite as you’d hoped it would. For example, maybe you want to change the layout of a section and you want to add features that are not yet supported by the theme, you will need to hire a Shopify development agency.
3. When you need a complex or custom store built, it is always better to hire an experienced Shopify developer. Complex stores require specialised knowledge and skills that most people don’t have. For example, you may need several custom functionalities that you can’t otherwise set up on Shopify, in which case you will need professional help.
If any of these situations apply to you, then it is probably best to hire someone to help you build your Shopify store.
How To Find the Right Shopify Partner
Finding the right Shopify partner can be a challenge. After all, you'll want to make sure you select a partner that can best carry out your vision. Here are some criteria you should look for:
Experience building Shopify eCommerce sites
A proven track record in meeting project deadlines
Expertise in eCommerce UX/UI design
Expertise in Shopify theme customisation using the Liquid template language
Deep knowledge of Shopify's features and integrations
Someone that offers post-set-up support and maintenance
Tack-on services such as SEO and CRO to drive traffic to your store
If you're looking to hire a Shopify partner to build your store, your first step should be to do some research. Here you will find some examples of things you should consider:
A. Begin by searching on Shopify's Expert Marketplace and typing in keyword terms like "eCommerce," "eCommerce build," and "eCommerce design." You can also search for "Shopify developer" or "eCommerce developer" on LinkedIn, Upwork and Freelancer to find freelancers in your area.
Alternatively, you can use your favourite job search engine to find remote contractors to build your store. While there are some freelancing gems, it can be risky too as freelancers could disappear mid-project or have oversold their skills to you when they actually are incapable of translating your brief.
B. A much better approach is directly searching for an eCommerce Agency in Google, such as Vevol Media, so you can be assured you are partnering with someone who has the resources, skills and knowledge to nail your brief.
The recipe for hiring the right people for your job is unique to each business. Identifying your requirements when choosing between working with an agency or a freelancer is essential.
C. When choosing between a freelancer or a Shopify agency, choose according to your company's needs, budget, time, and flexibility. Expertise, industry knowledge, and availability are critical, but the most vital aspect is the project’s demands and needs. Based on our experience, the most complicated and demanding projects are better to be outsourced to an agency.
Freelancers are typically cheaper than agencies because they have fewer overheads. They also tend to be more flexible and available on short notice, however, they can be less reliable.
D. With an agency, there is knowledge-sharing amongst the team and as a result, agencies tend to be more expensive than freelancers. They can also offer a wider range of services than a single person could.
When it comes down to freelancer vs agency, it really depends on your project requirements and budget. If you need someone for a one-time project or if you're on a tight budget, a freelancer may be the way to go. But if you need ongoing support, have something complicated in mind or want the peace of mind that comes with working with an experienced team, an agency is probably the better choice.
Hiring a Shopify partner agency can take some time, especially if you're unfamiliar with the process. So it's important to hire an agency with a proven track record and workflow.
E. Finally, be realistic about what kind of budget you can afford. Of course, you can always hire another agency if things don't work out, but it's best to start off with what you can afford first and see how it goes.
Building a Shopify store from scratch is an exciting, rewarding project — and it doesn't have to be as daunting as you may think.
While there is no objectively right or wrong route to take, make sure that what you decide to do is best for you and your company’s needs.
With a Shopify partner agency by your side, you can get the help you need without having to worry about any technical aspects of the project yourself. Instead, you'll have someone who knows exactly what they're doing, handling all of the technical work in a faster time frame. You can also trust that they'll be able to deliver a top-notch product because they have the experience required - they are the experts after all!
Do you have a Shopify project to discuss? Get in touch with us and create something amazing together!