business & marketing

Why Merchants Love Shopify

November 20th, 2018

Codal’s Shopify fandom isn’t exactly a well-kept secret. We contribute to their blog, we’re certified Plus partners, and some of our best design and development work has been with eCommerce clients on the Shopify platform.

And why wouldn’t we? From an agency perspective, Shopify is easy to love. Our engineers are well-versed in developing with it, our designers remain satisfied with their library of templates, and our business analysts appreciate how much functionality it provides out-of-the-box.

We could talk about why we love Shopify all day, but as a user experience design agency it’s crucial to remember whose opinion really matters: the end user’s. In the case of Shopify, that’s retailers like you. So we asked online merchants why they preferred Shopify over other eCommerce platforms.

No Down Time (Even On Black Friday / Cyber Monday)

Many of our clients are making last-minute adjustments and design tweaks in preparation for the busiest eCommerce weekend of the year. For several weeks now, we’ve been fielding calls from clientele who are concerned about their site’s performance on these high-traffic holidays.

And while we offer our own maintenance & support packages for high-volume occasions like these, our eCommerce clients on Shopify won’t have to worry about outage at all. Because Shopify is a cloud-based SaaS, it has the bandwidth to handle all 200,000+ of its online stores, even on BF/CM.

Why Merchants Love Shopify

If you’re statheads like us, you might be interested to learn that bandwidth of this magnitude can handle over four million hits per second, resulting in a 99.99% uptime. But when we talk to our eCommerce clients, they care less about the numbers and more about the peace of mind they provide (especially during the holiday season).

Platform-Wide Multivariant Conversion Testing

Still operating in a (relatively) young industry, eCommerce merchants continue to struggle with the most perilous part of their customer flow: checkout. Responsible for a majority of abandoned shopping carts, the checkout process is chock-full of potential UX pitfalls.

As such, checkout design has become a bit of an art. And like all art, it’s influenced by industry trends and larger shifts in customer expectations. That leaves online merchants in a troubling situation: how do I optimize my checkout process?

This is where Shopify comes in with a little-known, albeit powerful feature: multi-variant conversion testing.

Why Merchants Love Shopify

Many of the reasons customer’s abandon their carts occur during checkout (Source)

With a few exceptions, just about every store on Shopify has the same checkout design. Shopify allows for some customization on the storeowner’s end, but for the most part, all Shopify stores share the same general checkout template.

This is a good thing, because Shopify is constantly A/B testing that template across its 200,000 stores in order to determine the ideal, optimized checkout design. By making subtle design tweaks — maybe placing one form field before another, or relocating the progress bar — Shopify is collecting a massive amount of data on what makes an optimal checkout.

That’s not only saving merchants time and money by taking a major aspect of conversion optimization off of their hands, but by testing it across its hundreds of thousands of stores, Shopify is conducting experiments at a scale no single store could replicate.

Third Party Plugins

One reason merchants adore Shopify is its out-of-the-box functionality. For smaller businesses that don’t need complex integrations or features, you can honestly setup your online store with an extremely quick turnaround.

“I chose Shopify Plus for my larger store for a few reasons, but primarily because it is turn key,” says Drew Johnson of The Gut Program. “I was able to get everything from inventory to shipping, to my website up and running in just a couple of days! This also includes marketing tools such as automated emails, etc. Not to mention the app store!”

But retailers that need a but more complex functionality are drawn to Shopify for their robust ecosystem of third-party apps and plugins.

“We moved over to Shopify last March after launching in January of 2017 on SquareSpace,” says Dylan Smith, the co-founder and head of product at SmokeSmith Gear. “…but SquareSpace is not built for e-commerce at the volume of SKUs we carry, and there were not as many plugins available. The ecosystem of plugins and apps for Shopify is strong, and we were able to do a lot of custom coding to get to the look and feel we wanted.”

The Stores Have Spoken

There’s no shortage of eCommerce platforms out there available to you. Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento—all of these possess their own unique offerings that differentiate them from their competition.

And while we covered a few reasons why so many merchants adore Shopify, whether its the platform’s impressive performance metrics, conversion testing, or plugin library, its up to siteowners to do their due diligence and find out which platform is best for them.

As an eCommerce agency, Codal can help you make that decision. With experience working with just about every eCommerce platform under the sun, Codal helps online retailers make informed decisions about what’s best for their business.

And that’s just the beginning. With our design and development expertise, Codal can ensure your company’s online presence is optimized and performing to its full potential.

Sean McGowan


Sean is a technical researcher & writer at Codal, authoring blog posts on topics ranging from UX design to the Internet of Things. Working alongside developers, designers, and marketers, Sean helps support the writing team to ensure Codal produces engaging web content of the highest quality. When not writing about the latest and greatest in digital design, Sean can be found baking, watching movies, or complaining about the shortcomings of his favorite Philadelphia sports teams.


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