Is Building a Shopify Store as Easy as It Sounds?

  • June 12, 2024
  • 8 min read

Nowadays, it seems everyone has an online store – and it’s getting easier, faster, and simpler to create winning eCommerce sites. There are dozens of platforms out there helping amateurs build beautiful stores that can sell effectively. 

Leading the pack is Shopify, which has become a go-to platform for e-commerce, powering over four million online stores worldwide. Its appeal lies in its user-friendly interface and comprehensive features, which are available to users of all kinds. 

Just last year, the platform made $7 billion in revenue – a number that has steadily increased for years, indicating steady growth and popularity. 

You’ve probably already heard about Shopify, and you might even be considering using it to build your own online store. The question is, can you really build a winning Shopify site as quickly and painlessly as people claim? 

Well, let’s talk about it.

How Easy Is It to Build a Shopify Store?

In short, the answer is: very! 

Creating a Shopify store is a relatively straightforward process, even for those with limited technical expertise. Here’s a step-by-step overview of the process:

  1. Sign Up: Start with a free trial on Shopify’s website. This involves providing basic information like your email address, password, and online store name. Then you’ll be able to access your Shopify admin dashboard. 
  1. Choose a Shopify Theme: The platform offers numerous free themes and premium themes that you can immediately apply to your new site. 
  1. Add Products: Use Shopify’s intuitive dashboard to add products, complete with descriptions, images, pricing, actual shipping costs, and inventory details.
  1. Customize Your Store: Adjust the look and feel of your online store using Shopify’s drag-and-drop editor. You can tailor all the elements, including the homepage, navigation menus, and the checkout page.
  1. Set Up Payments: Integrate your payment gateway such as Shopify Payments, PayPal, Apple Pay, or other third-party providers to handle transactions securely.

Launch Your Store: After setting up shipping service options and reviewing your order fulfillment settings, your Shopify store is ready to go live.

However, we should clarify that it’s easy to build a standard Shopify store. That doesn’t necessarily mean it will perfectly reflect your brand or maximize your potential earnings. 

To maximize the power of your Shopify store, you’ll likely want to tag in some web development and design pros. This brings us to our next point:

When Would You Need or Want Professional Shopify Help?

Complex Customizations

While Shopify’s themes and apps offer a great deal of flexibility, your eCommerce website may require features and functionalities that go beyond what these pre-built solutions can provide.

For example, you might need a unique checkout page, custom product configurations, or advanced integrations with external systems. Chances are, Shopify won’t give you what you’re looking for – and you might not have the skills to develop these features. 

In such cases, you’ll likely need to hire a professional. They can write custom code, create one-of-a-kind apps, and tailor your store’s functionality to meet your needs. Ultimately, they’ll ensure your Shopify store operates exactly as you envision.

Professionals can also help with more complex backend processes, such as automating how you manage inventory or integrating sophisticated shipping solutions. Their expertise can save you time and prevent potential issues associated with attempting complex customizations on your own.

Custom, Brand-Specific Designs

While Shopify might offer some beautiful, sleek design options, these are run-of-the-mill. If you truly want an online store that’s visually appealing, cohesive, and memorable, you’ll need custom designs – and unless you have experience, you’ll likely need to hire help to achieve this. 

The perfect designer for your website will craft a custom design that reflects your brand’s unique personality, values, and style. A bespoke approach ensures that your online store stands out from the competition and provides a seamless, engaging experience for your customers.

Custom designs also allow for greater flexibility in layout and functionality, enabling you to highlight key products, promotions, and content in a way that pre-built themes may not accommodate. From the homepage to the checkout process, you want every touchpoint on your Shopify store to reinforce your unique brand identity.

SEO & Marketing

Effective search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing strategies are essential for driving traffic to your online store and converting visitors into customers. Unfortunately, these services don’t come for free with your standard Shopify account. 

While Shopify includes some basic SEO features, achieving high search engine rankings often requires a more advanced approach. 

SEO professionals can optimize your site structure, content, and meta tags, helping to make sure your Shopify store is discoverable by Google. They can also conduct keyword research, develop content strategies, and build backlinks to boost your online visibility and rankings in search engine results. 

Marketing experts bring a wealth of knowledge about best practices and can tailor strategies to target your specific audience effectively. By leveraging their expertise, you can maximize your marketing budget and achieve better results, ultimately driving more sales and growing your business.

Time Constraints

Even with an easy-to-use platform like Shopify, setting up an online store can be time-consuming. 

If you’re pressed for time, hiring professionals can expedite the process significantly, allowing you to focus on other critical aspects of your business. Pros can handle the technical setup, design, and customization efficiently, reducing the time it takes to get your store up and running (and likely achieving better results). 

Moreover, ongoing maintenance and updates are crucial to keep your Shopify store performing optimally. Professionals can manage these tasks, ensuring your store remains secure, updated, and functional without requiring constant attention. 

You let them do the behind-the-scenes work while you concentrate on things like scaling your business, developing new products, or enhancing customer relationships.

Concerns to Consider When DIY-ing a Shopify Store

We’ll admit that creating a Shopify store on your own can be a rewarding endeavor, but you still need to be aware of potential challenges and limitations. Here are some things to keep in mind should you go the DIY route.

Learning Curve

Despite Shopify’s user-friendly interface, there is a learning curve associated with mastering its various features and functionalities. 

As a new user, you might spend considerable time familiarizing yourself with the platform, learning how to add products, customize your online store, and set up payment gateways. This initial investment in learning can be time-consuming, particularly if you’re also managing other aspects of your business.

Additionally, understanding the more advanced features, such as configuring shipping options, utilizing Shopify’s Liquid templating language for deeper customization, and integrating third-party apps, requires patience and practice. 

For those without prior e-commerce or web development experience, this entire setup process can be overwhelming, potentially leading to frustration and delays in launching your online store.

Design Limitations

Customizing Shopify themes beyond the basic options can be challenging without knowledge of HTML, CSS, and Shopify’s Liquid code. If you don’t have experience with these things, you could wind up launching a Shopify store that looks generic or mismatched with your brand vision.

Technical Issues

Setting up and managing a Shopify store involves various technical aspects that can be daunting for beginners. Some of these tasks are relatively time-consuming and complicated, such as connecting your custom domain, ensuring SSL certificates are properly installed for secure transactions, and troubleshooting any issues that arise with third-party app integrations.

Technical problems can also affect your store’s functionality and user experience, potentially leading to lost sales and frustrated customers. Without expertise, resolving these issues can be stressful or even impossible, and you might need to rely on Shopify’s support or external resources.

Ongoing Maintenance

Maintaining an online store involves regular updates, performance monitoring, and troubleshooting. Shopify frequently releases updates and new features that you need to implement to keep your online store running smoothly and securely. This ongoing care can be time-consuming and requires continuous attention to detail.

In addition, you’ll need to account for crucial tasks such as monitoring your store’s performance, handling customer inquiries, and managing inventory. Without dedicated time and effort, you may find it challenging to keep your online store updated and performing optimally, potentially leading to issues that could negatively impact your business operations and customer satisfaction.

In Summary

In many ways, creating a Shopify store is as easy as it sounds, especially with its user-centric design and comprehensive resources. 

However, the ease of setup doesn’t negate the potential complexities and challenges that may arise. For basic setups, a DIY approach works well, but for advanced customizations, optimized performance, and a professional finish, you’ll likely need to seek help from an expert. 

Ultimately, the decision depends on your technical skills, time availability, and eCommerce business idea. Whether you go it alone or enlist professional help, the Shopify platform provides a solid foundation for a successful online store.

Planning to Build a Shopify Store? Let’s Talk.

At Adella Digital, we offer a range of services to help you build, launch, and maintain a winning eCommerce site. We understand that different brands call for different approaches, and we adjust our dynamic strategies accordingly. 

If you’re thinking of building a Shopify store, or if you’d like to make updates to your current eCommerce website, we’re here to help. 
Ready to get the ball rolling? Schedule a call with our Shopify experts today.