If you're reading this, then chances are you've been thinking about starting your Shopify store for a while. In fact, 87% of our clients tell us that they've been 'thinking' about investing in a Shopify store for over nine months. N-I-N-E MONTHS.
Well, however far along you are in your Shopify store gestation period, you'll probably be searching for the answers to one of the five questions below. So we've decided to answer these in the clear and direct tone you've come to expect from us.
1) How do Shopify themes work?
A Shopify theme is a template on which to build a Shopify store. It’s similar to the templates available on PowerPoint. You can customise the theme depending on how you want your store to look.
The type of theme you opt for depends on two factors:
- Your budget
- Your target market
Shopify does provide a series of free templates that can be used to build your store. However, whilst these are functional, they have less inbuilt functionality than paid themes.
This means that you'll need to either build your development skills or pay for a developer to undertake work on your behalf if you want a highly customised Shopify store.
Paid templates cost, on average, $160-$350, but give you many more options from the outset and reduce the potential need to develop skills or pay for development work going forward.
Concerning target market, it's essential to ask yourself the following questions before you invest in a Shopify site:
- Will most of my target market be shopping on mobile or desktop?
- Am I mainly selling products or services to my target market?
- What will the expectation of my site be from my target market, based on their experiences with my competitors?
For many clients that we work with, the answers tend to be:
- Fast, easy to navigate, slick user experience.
If you're answering the same, our recommendation is always the same - you should invest in Turbo by Out of Sandbox. Yes, it is the most expensive theme around, but also one of the fastest, most mobile-friendly in regards to converting sales and sexiest themes available.
2) Can I build my Shopify store myself?
Yes. The basic configuration of a Shopify store can be done with relative ease on a free theme. But, so too could I make a pizza. It’d look quite good, taste OK, and keep my wife reasonably happy. You get my drift. But would it be good as a pizza made by a Michelin starred chef?
If you're not, then we highly recommend getting some help. Any good development partner should be able to give you a short space of time to chat through your ideas and objectives for your Shopify store - which is why we offer a free 30-minute consultation to anyone who wants to talk before getting lost in the code.
3) How much does it cost to build a Shopify store?
From our research, a Shopify store setup ranges from free to over $20,000. Jeez. Quite a range, hey? When qualifying potential website developers, use this rationale to filter down your options:
- Is the developer listed as a Shopify Expert in store setups? To become a Shopify Expert in website store setups, a developer has to meet a minimum threshold of stores launched. While the developer quoting for your work may have good technical skills, if they aren't listed as an expert on the Shopify site, they don't have as much experience, which should be reflected in their pricing.
- Do I like the Shopify stores the developer has built? Do your research, check out at least 3 Shopify stores that the developer has created. These are most likely to be listed on their site. Visit each site and play around. Take a look at a product, add it to cart, check out their navigation and experience what it's like to be a customer visiting that online store. If you feel relaxed and happy after your test, then the developer is most likely a good choice for you.
From keeping a close eye on the price level in our industry, we observe that many Shopify Experts (including us) price their services based on the experience and value created for clients.
Given that over 85% of our clients work with us again after their Shopify store setup, we see this as a way of clients telling us we do create great value.
4) How much profit do you make on Shopify?
From 0 to over $30,000,000. OK, this one is impossible to answer. Some Shopify store owners generate millions of dollars a year through their sites. But of course, this has been cultivated from testing store tactics and marketing to generate sales.
The key thing to remember is that just having a well designed Shopify store does not guarantee any income. Sorry, but it’s true. However, by ensuring that you focus on generating traffic to that Shopify store and then track how visitors react to your store, Shopify store owners can create successful businesses, rather than just having a great looking website.
5) Can I make my site look like a site that I like?
Yes, but is that what you need?
Here's the thing, when our Shopify Store Roadmap clients work with us, they often give us examples of sites or functionality they'd like on their Shopify store. In most cases, what the client wants can be achieved by using apps or custom coding.
BUT, the question we ask is ‘Why?’.
Why do you think that the look or functionality of that site will help you achieve your business objectives for your target demographic?
By asking this question, we can guide our clients to make informed choices based on business objectives, rather than just down to aesthetics. Of course, this doesn't mean that your developer shouldn't give you what you want, but they should make suggestions to help you achieve your goal, which is likely around generating cold hard cash.
So hopefully, the answers to these questions have made you feel a little more comfortable about giving birth to your Shopify baby. If you'd like to talk to one of our Shopify midwives (OK, I'll stop the pregnancy analogy now, it's getting weird), book a call with us here.