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Look hot online: Shopify for the fashion industry

24 May 2013 by Tom Bond


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Taking a fashion line online is quickly becoming a quintessential part of working with a clothing retailer. Away from the need for a physical shop front, upcoming designers and retailers can showcase their stock without facing rent, energy bills, insurance, equipment (you name it). It’s not just cheaper, it’s also easier for small boutique designers and stockists to reach people who will be inspired by their brand and turn into lovely, devoted customers!

Websites, however, if you don’t have a technical background, can be a nightmare to set up and to maintain. If you’re building a bespoke eCommerce site from scratch, with no expert help, you’re not going to get very far. Work with a bespoke designer and developer, however, and the cost of the eCommerce website design could hobble your hot new line before it’s even gone live.

That’s why online fashion retailers who are starting out head straight for the pre-prepared eCommerce platform. Big Commerce, Magento, osCommerce, Zen Cart – there are hundreds of options out there, but, for the fashion industry, Shopify is a prime contender. Here we’ll be taking a look at what makes Shopify websites work so successfully for fashion retailers and brands.

The Look

If you’re at all involved in sartorial sales, you’ll know that appearance is everything. If your website looks sleek and stylish, the tone is set. Image is paramount in fashion, look like the business and buyers will believe in your brand. A Shopify design is a very good step in the right direction. Many eCommerce platforms have their own themes, but Shopify’s are renowned for looking particularly stylish.  Their Couture theme has been specially made for eCommerce fashion sites and does an exceptional job of presenting products to their full advantage in a theme consumers will love. There are plenty of alternative options available too!

The Functionality

Where to start? All eCommerce platforms have their inherent strengths and weaknesses when you get to the top of the stack (Shopify, Big Commerce, Magento etc.). Yet, at this level, the differences are relatively inconsequential. In Shopify’s favour: a particularly easy-to-use system behind the scenes (both for first-timers and experienced developers), impressive speed, much better-than-average customer service and an industry-leading in built blog function.

The Overheads

Sounds good right? So how much will Shopify design and Shopify websites set you back? Well, unless you’re after exclusive ecommerce website design, cost could be as little as £19 / month (with a 2.0% transaction fee). This will buy you unlimited bandwidth, 100 SKUs and 1GB of storage. There are plenty of options which cost a little more but offer you additional storage, lower transaction fees and special features. The most expensive Unlimited option costs £115 but provides you with no transaction fees, unlimited SKs, unlimited GBs,  a sales-generating discount coupon engine, real time carrier shipping and all sorts of additional features. Price wise, their low-cost options are pretty level with competitors, but this unlimited packaged is one of the biggest and cheapest around.X

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