When first starting your Shopify store, you’re quickly forced to choose between two options: Do it yourself or hire help. Well, no matter which of the two options you choose, there are tons of resources out there to help you – whether it’s recommended agencies to hire or step-by-step guides on doing it yourself.
With so many moving parts in a Shopify store, there is a lot of material out there, some good and some…not so much. That’s why we put together a list of 11 recommended resources that we believe will help you effectively build, maintain and boost your online store:
Get yourself a domain
For those of you who are really at the beginning of your journey, first thing’s first – you need to get yourself a domain. None of Shopify’s plans include a domain or email hosting. When you initially set up your Shopify store you are given a free myshopify.com domain, so your store URL will look something like “http://mystore.myshopify.com“. This doesn’t look great to your users and it doesn’t help to build a strong brand.
1. Namecheap: You can purchase a domain from Shopify, but it’s usually cheaper to go through separate providers like Namecheap. Namecheap even has a great walk-through article to show you how to point your new domain to Shopify.
Knowledge is power
If you decided to do it all (or some) of it on your own, make sure that you have a good source of information on hand for if and when you get stuck. You can also count on multiple sources as today, there is an educational blog for everything.
2. The Shopify Blog: When in doubt go back to the source. There is no better place to start learning about all that Shopify has to offer than the official platform blog. It’s the best place to discover Shopify promotions and deals, as well as tutorials on how to implement blogs, applications and other technical details of all types.
Shopify design and development
3. Shopify Partners: Here is where people from all over share their (vetted) expertise tailored for Shopify merchants like you. Their Web Design and Development Blog, offers articles, guides, and tools to help you build and design your store on your own.
Find free tools
There are tons of free tools inside and outside of the app store that you can use to your advantage.
4. The Sumo Blog’s Pricing Tool – As pricing is essential to the success of your store, this tool is a must. Along with step by step instructions, How To Price A Product: A Scientific 3-Step Guide, the professional at Sumo offers a calculator that provides you with the right price range for any of your products.
5. The Promo Video Making App – Full disclosure, we made this app ourselves and we’re pretty proud of it. As most eCommerce stores find out pretty quickly – consumers want to see videos before making an online purchase. This tool allows you to automatically create videos for your store and social channels.
6. Hatchful – With this tool, you can create a professional logo for your business in a matter of minutes. This logo maker is not only entirely free, but it’s also owned by Shopify so it integrates seamlessly into your store. For more branding help, Shopify also has a free Business Name Generator and Slogan Maker.
Recruit outside help
Even with all of the free blogs and tools, sometimes running an online store is just too much to do it all on your own. Lucky, there are people out there whose full-time job is to help us succeed. There are some great agencies that focus on Shopify stores such as yours, and their prices vary. Here are some that we recommend:
7. Coalition Technologies – They are a digital marketing agency focused on helping companies drive traffic to their website and convert those visitors into customers or qualified leads. To do this, they’ll manage an organic SEO campaign, targeted PPC advertising campaign, as well as conduct web design and development to best define the visitor experience.
The results they’ve generated for their clients can be seen in 600+ successful case studies. Coalition operates with accountability through bi-weekly reports and alignment meetings with project managers. Their U.S.-based specialists work with clients directly to deliver sustainable long-term results.
8. Common Thread – This digital marketing agency is an official Shopify Plus Partner. They offer a variety of Shopify packages, from the beginning stage of building your store to boosting an already established store. They also offer an hour-based web support service that you can use based on your needs.
From curating the conversion flow for your e-commerce store to improving your company portfolio, the team at Common Thread helps you develop congruency between your brand’s story and the feel of your site. What we specifically like about this agency is that each phase is accompanied by extensive testing.
9. Ethercycle – This digital marketing agency is also an official Shopify Plus Partner and their specialty is conversion rate optimization. Kurt Elster, CEO of Ethercycle told us “Our strategic approach typically generates +118% increase in online store sales, +68% increase in conversions and a +35% increase in repeat purchases.”
Ethercycle’s area of expertise is independent businesses that sell their own private label products, with a focus on automotive and men’s lifestyle stores. They also have a terrific Shopify podcast that we highly recommend you check out.
10. HeyCarson – If you’re doing most of it on your own, but you still need help with some odd jobs here and there, we recommend you check out Carson. They have tons of selected in-house professionals that can help you with any Shopify-related task, who you can easily communicate with through your dashboard. The best part about it is the quick turn-around so your hard work doesn’t get stuck in a bottleneck of small tasks that you can’t get done.
11. Storetasker – For slightly larger, more time-consuming tasks that still don’t warrant hiring an agency, you should try Storetasker. Storetasker connects merchants with vetted Shopify development and design experts that suit the specific time in their business cycle. Job estimates are set to a standard of $65/hour.
And of course, you can always count on Promo.com for all your video marketing needs.