Any retail business – be it a budding startup or an international big-name – knows that a slick and optimized online store is essential to ecommerce success. Get lumbered with ill-fitting or outdated tech and, quite quickly, you’re leaking revenue like a cracked flowerpot. The companies who drive the best ROI and experience the most growth are those that secure smart, affordable and scalable commerce platform.
The ecommerce space has typically been dominated by a select few solutions – until recently, when out-of-the-box ecommerce solution Shopify began to attract retailers with its ease-of-use, power and flexibility. The platform as a whole is now used by more than 500,000 merchants globally, and has facilitated more than $34 billion worth of retail transactions. The company have since launched Shopify Plus, a super-scalable version of Shopify that provides customers with an additional layer of expertise and services.
So why are so many businesses making the switch to Shopify Plus?
Shopify Plus provides a great fit for the fledgling and established stores alike. For the former, the ability to opt for a SaaS platform means a less technical and more manageable way to run their online store – without the reliance on resources in the developer department. And for the latter who are more likely to be running with legacy tech, the opportunity to swap out outdated functionality, temperamental integrations and risks to data security is undoubtedly appealing.
We spoke to COO of Dormify and dotdigital customer, Nicole Gardner about her recent replatform to Shopify Plus. She described her company’s position before the switch:
“At Dormify, we had been on the same platform for about five years. During that time (as you can imagine) we went through a lot of redesigns, updates and upgrades. It got to the point where we were spending the bulk of our time and resources fixing bugs and addressing speed and performance issues. As you can imagine, this was really holding us back from focusing on conversion and optimization, creating a bottleneck in our ability to actualize our team’s brilliant ideas.
The biggest challenge for Dormify was aligning their replatforming timeline with their shopping season, which is typically during the summer months during the academic break. Nicole explains:
‘We were looking at a 10-12 month timeline for upgrading to the latest version of our existing ecommerce platform, but we were loath to wait for that length of time and go through another key growth season with the same issues. We needed a solution that could get our infrastructure in better shape within a few months time before this next season.
The move to Shopify Plus freed the brand from the inhibitions of tech worry, allowing them to focus on the real ROI-driver – strategy:
‘What it came down to was speed, performance and stability. As a seasonal business, we previously had to spend so much time and resource thinking about how many servers we needed, and how we’d scale up during those periods, without having to spend a ton of money,’ Nicole explains.
‘Shopify Plus’ biggest benefit for us was speed – the sites we were looking at were pretty fast, and Shopify handles all the hosting, scaling and performance, so you’re only dealing with one platform provider that is accountable for all of these areas. That in itself was one of the biggest attractions for us.
dotigital’s Commerce Flow
One of the perceived pitfalls of replatforming is its effect on your inter-stack relations. Commerce Flow from dotdigital connects to over 50% of the world’s online stores, giving you the ability to get contact, product and order data automatically flowing into your account. Nicole explains:
‘Initially, we were worried that we’d face the challenge of integrating our new ecommerce platform with everything else in our stack, especially as we were moving away from a best-of-breed cloud we’d built up over time. However, we worked with all of our partners to see what would be feasible, and were pleasantly surprised at how many partners already had integrations or were eager to build them. dotdigital was particularly easily to check off our list because they have a Shopify connector.
With so many retailers opting to replatform to Shopify Plus, we thought we’d delve a little deeper into the benefits of the switch:
10 reasons why retailers are choosing Shopify Plus
1. Cost effectiveness – Smaller companies and startups will enjoy the value for investment that Shopify offers as a whole; the platform’s most basic functionality starts at just $29 per month. This includes enterprise-level hosting and environment updates and management. Shopify Plus’ added functionality and support is also competitively priced.
2. Scalability – The platform offers limitless scalability and extensive APIs, making it a good investment for fast-growing and larger companies who may have worries about hitting the ceiling elsewhere. Unlimited bandwidth provides reassurance over your site’s performance during peak traffic times.”
Shopify allows us to scale and be creative with promotions, without having to require a developer on our beck and call. We also never have to worry about our site being down during crazy traffic spikes. Our site is always up, which means we’re always ready to sell and make money, 24/7.” – Charity Gerke, Marketing Manager at US EliteGear
3. Easy customization – The platform’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor allows businesses to build on-brand, highly customized sites without coding knowhow. And for the well-versed in web programming, its scripting capabilities allows you to create custom functionality for your store with ease.
4. Mobile-friendly – the platform’s fully responsive website themes ensure that your ecommerce store is designed for mobile. Plus, it’s Responsive Checkout functionality is free to all users and deemed one of the best in the business.
5. Unlimited products and inventory – Pretty self-explanatory: whatever pricing plan you’re on, you’ll never reach a limit on how many products you can sell on your site.
6. Payments – Shopify Plus has its own payments tool available to all its customers as standard, dissolving the need for businesses to add the cost of third-party payment providers to their store bill.
7. Vetting – Shopify vet every app and plugin before it gets added to their marketplace to make sure it’s safe and optimized for use by its customers. Plus, with an extensive list of apps to aid everything from marketing to accounting, you’ll never be spoilt for choice. Anything you can’t find can be commissioned for build.
8. Security – Shopify Plus’ is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Level 1 Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant, providing your customer data with the same level of security as a bank. Customers shopping on your store will also be able to see the green lock icon, instilling trust in your brand from the off.
9. Graduated pricing plans – Shopify’s pricing structure is transparent from the off, and shows a clear path of progression which you can pass on to your decision-makers with confidence. A graduated price plan means you’re only paying for the level of functionality you need.
10. Knowledgeable community – Whether you want to learn how to build something, commission a tailored piece of tech, or simply ask about abandoned carts, Shopify’s ecommerce forums and Experts Directory provides access to professional and technical support for every customer need.
If you’re already a Shopify or Shopify Plus customer, you can connect your ecommerce store to dotdigital using Commerce Flow. To find out more about replatforming to Shopify Plus, head to their website.
We have the pleasure of hosting Nicole at our inaugural Shopify Plus meetup in New York; we hope to see you there!