Shopify: the ten misconceptions you need to stop having

In the e-commerce category, there are as many solutions as there are needs… Whether it’s Adobe Commerce, Sylius, Shopify, or another e-commerce solution, there is always a solution that fits your business needs.

However, there is one solution that stands out from the crowd because it is adaptable to almost any subject, whether it is about accelerating digitalization and whether it is B2C or B2B: is Shopify. However, it suffers from some misconceptions that it is time to get rid of. During my various sales meetings, I’ve noticed various remarks that deserve clarification when I present the Shopify solution:

“I’m not a fan of American solutions; they are hard to reach if you need support!”

For starters, Shopify is not an American solution but a Canadian one. Second, why would they be unreachable? A Shopify team settled in France already two years ago and is, on the contrary, very accessible if you ever had a problem submitting to them.

“Shopify is for small e-merchants; we have a lot at stake on our side.”

There are different types of licenses tailored to each business. But in no way is Shopify only for small businesses. Here are a few examples that should dissuade you from such thoughts: Decathlon, Pyrex, Balzac Paris, Le Tanneur, Sonia Rykiel, Maison Philippe Conticini in France, Tesla or Gymshark in the US … They have chosen Shopify and are far from being “small.”

“I have strong B2B issues; Shopify seems to me very B2C oriented…”

Know that the Shopify + solution meets the majority of B2B challenges of large companies with high sales volume and traffic, with existing modules that help accelerate time-to-market.

“We can’t do anything on Shopify… we want to work on the front end and UX first and foremost!”

Shopify allows you to have a hand in the front office and make a custom design. This custom design will then be administered independently by the store administrator, with a very visual interface that allows you to activate marketing layers or modify content. You will also have control over your design, thanks to the content management feature in the back office, which allows you to see the changes made live.
You can even plug different types of front-end on Shopify like Vue Store Front.
The graphic themes are managed in HTML/CSS with a proprietary language, “liquid,” which is the language of Shopify based on Ruby On Rails.
However, there is a limitation at the UX level, it is the checkout on Shopify, which is standard, and you can only change the logo, colors, and typography. Shopify made this choice in order to guarantee the performance of the store and its security, avoiding opening the code of this very sensitive part. This is a guarantee of quality but can be limiting in some cases. Fortunately, this limitation does not apply to Shopify+ accounts reserved for e-commerce sites that do a lot of volumes.

“Shopify is a closed system; I will be blocked in my evolutions.”

Shopify is, on the contrary, a very open system, thanks to very well-documented APIs that can be manipulated in GraphQL or REST. These APIs allow you to exchange with your IS (PIM, DAM, CRM, ERP…) via webhooks or flat-file exchange. These APIs allow you to build applications that will be deported (on an AWS or Heroku cloud, for example) and that will take care of receiving, manipulating, and sending back information. This ensures that the core of Shopify will never be modified, which on open source systems can cause stability, performance, and recovery concerns between providers.

“I don’t want to have multiple Shopify for my different stores to manage!”

You can manage up to 15 different stores with Shopify and different stores in different languages from a single Shopify back office with Shopify +. So there is no need to have one Shopify per store.

“I don’t have the resources to manage a site like Shopify.”

But that’s just it! You don’t need to have a team of 10 developers on a site like Shopify! Unlike open-source solutions that can be cumbersome to maintain, updates on Shopify are done automatically, with no human intervention required. Shopify is a self-hosted solution, so there is no need to hire a third party to host it. It’s a turnkey solution, very easy to use once you learn the best practices. In general, at Kaliop, we do one simple demonstration with our customers to go through the back office, and that’s enough to get the hang of it and start managing your store.

“I don’t subscribe to solutions with high commissions.”

It depends on your choice of license, but for Shopify +, commissions are only 0.25%. For other licenses, count on 1 to 2%. This is a cost to consider, but it should be compared to hosting and maintenance fees that can be high on an open-source solution and that will encroach on the evolution and marketing budget dedicated to your business.

“I prefer a more robust solution if the development time is the same as on an open-source solution.”

And again, no! Shopify has a record time-to-market, with development taking up to 3 months depending on the complexity of the project. Perfect for projects that need a quick start, whether it’s from design to acceptance, in order to focus on its business roadmap.

“I’m not a pure player, and I need to link my site to my physical store, so Shopify is not for me.”

Know that click and collect is native to Shopify, with the ability to manage inventory by store and choose home delivery or in-store pickup. The fact that you have “phygital” issues will not make Shopify redhibitory in your choice of e-commerce solutions, knowing that thanks to Shopify’s open APIs, we will be able to connect to the brand’s ERP to communicate around orders, new product references or loyalty points. You will be able to link your physical store to your online store for all your commercial operations or to ensure your physical activity in these times of health crisis.

In conclusion
Here is what I heard during my various exchanges with prospects. Shopify is a very nice solution, combining ease of use, complex topics, and speed… Not to be underestimated, then. Kali has set up a dedicated team around Shopify, and we can advise you on the best strategy to adopt to launch on Shopify while taking into account your different needs.

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