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Approaching Shopify Development in 2021

Updated: Mar 25




When most businesses have strived to ensure a good online presence given the 2020 Pandemic it can be challenging to define your next steps and online needs. Having an online Shopify Store may be just the beginning – but what’s next? What are the areas of focus on this platform with respect to your development needs?


As of February 2021, there is more demand than supply on the Shopify Development front with a huge influx of businesses getting their Shopify Stores set up, or improved upon. This means when your business is looking for improvements, defining your needs can make your experience vary from “easy” to “hard”. “Easy” being quoted and getting your project done without much effort, or “Hard” with a lot of back-and-forth during the quotation, to the implementation.


To make it easier, here is how Shopify Development is broken down. Shopify Experts are a key resource for most store owners when needing improvements outside of the Shopify Apps and Shopify Themes resources. A large pool of Shopify Experts with a wide range of skills are at your disposal, the below categories should help make the process easier.


Shopify Theme Implementation or customization


Shopify Themes are coded in Liquid, HTML 5, and CSS 3. There are thousands of free and paid themes, a bunch is categorized by industry or marketing practice. However, if you are looking to change a Theme, or customize one, your Developer type would be categorized as a Front-end developer and would be fluent in the above 3 languages. Additionally, JavaScript, image optimization, and various additional front-end skills will most likely be required as well.


Shopify CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization


Online marketing takes a technical slant given that there are two options to enhance your conversion outside of scaling your marketing: Shopify Best Practices Apps or Tools/Analytics/Split testing. Shopify Apps offer “canned” best practice methods that assist online stores to optimize their conversions, such as Optimizely, which will help you upsell and do A/B Testing


https://apps.shopify.com/optimizely-1


Google Optimize is another tool, in which it has to be installed into your Shopify Theme Template. This requires Google Analytics to be connected to your store, which your Shopify Admin Preferences has a place for you to enter the Google Analytics JavaScript in the designated Text Box. (Google Optimize used to work by adding it to the Google Analytics box, but Shopify has changed this). Now it is to be inserted into the "theme.liquid" file – this has to be done for any new Theme or Template you are switching over to.


Shopify CRO – Shopify Development


However, how Shopify Development relates to CRO? Basic tools for optimization helps you see where the needed focus for enhancing the experience may require attention – either the content is not compelling enough, the messaging, the help/support, or the UI/UX requires revision. A Front-end developer can handle all of these opportunities for change with their Shopify Skills listed above. If it is “dynamic information” that’s pulled real-time from an external system or on-the-fly analysis that will assist the experience, that may require a Back-end developer that has the second set of skills required in the Shopify Development space.


Shopify Apps and Shopify Web Development


Shopify Apps Developers are skilled with Ruby on Rails, PHP, and with anything like JSON and REST API with OAuth. Architectures would include .Net, Python, Scala, Elixir, and several others. While these languages are tools to formulate your dream App, it defines the world in which Shopify Apps can exist in either a Custom Shopify App or Private Shopify App. The capabilities you have on the back-end of your store could be limitless since you can expand outside of the Shopify architecture through its REST API, only limited to its pipeline and its capabilities as a connection goes.


Shopify Private App vs Shopify Custom App


The difference is based on REST API Access to your store and how is the App being developed and delivered to work with your Theme, Apps, and Shopify Store data. A Shopify Private App is not listed in the Shopify Store and is developed through your Shopify Admin area.


Shopify Experts – what to expect?


Shopify Apps Developers, Shopify Theme Developers, and anything Shopify Development all fall in the Shopify Experts pool of skillsets. Some Shopify Experts lean more on certain specialties or hone in on a portfolio of methodologies. With a clear definition of what you are looking to achieve, the Shopify Experts tend to align themselves to your needs. Making the process easier to discuss and size up your request.


Conclusion


The Shopify Developer from a Shopify Experts outfit might appreciate your ability to categorize your request, and in return will get you what you are looking for quickly and accurately. If it is a struggle to define, categorize or scope your needs, feel free to reach out to us as we might help you bridge this need, and get you where you are looking to get to by emailing us at wish@thegenielab.com

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