Technology has undoubtedly closed the gap on the need for entrepreneurs or anyone with an idea to get a relatively robust, well-designed website up and running within a matter of days, if not hours.
Platforms such as WordPress have eliminated most of the technical and design barriers that once handcuffed non-developers and have also grown large online communities that provide support and resources. While this generally has worked well for more simple promotional websites and blogs, e-commerce websites have their own unique complications and necessities. Enhanced security needs, fraud prevention, increased government compliance, inventory management, shipping, taxes, customer service – the list goes on. E-commerce simply has more complexities.
I was working on a personal e-commerce based project a few months ago and decided to test out the highly publicized, Canadian founded platform, Shopify. I’d seen quite a bit of marketing about it, and as a developer who works with business owners, I’m always trying to test new platforms for their strengths and flaws and to better understand the competitive landscape.
One of the top issues with e-commerce sites is there are often very limited options for what a non-developer can do in terms of edits and updates to the site – often referred to as the back office. We’ve had a number of clients ask us to build custom back offices so they can take more control of their e-commerce shops without always relying on us. This can be a taxing, arduous and very expensive process for businesses of all sizes. This is eliminated as we now can build a custom website for a business owner, and integrate Shopify’s technology at a fraction of the time and cost we would otherwise have charged.
We’re so impressed with the platform that we halted all of our e-commerce projects, some that were 75% complete and started rebuilds from scratch using Shopify (at no additional charge to clients) because ultimately we know our business owner clients will get so much more value and autonomy from it in the long-run.
So as a developer who likes simplicity and who loves technology tools that are user-friendly for entrepreneurs, if you’re looking to sell anything online, Shopify is your friend and just might be the next dominant technology player.
David Green is an entrepreneur, Full Stack Web Developer and Google Adwords Certified digital marketer. He is the Owner of Devslove, a web development, design and digital marketing agency focused on telling the digital story of startups and SMEs. He is also a Chapter Lead of Girls Learning Code, an organization focused on introducing girls aged 3-12 on the opportunities and impact they can have in the world of technology.