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What is Shopify?

Posted By Jacob Ingram

The Rise of Ecommerce

Online shopping is one of the most popular web-based activities across the globe, with ecommerce sales worldwide in 2016 amounting to 1.95 trillion US dollars - and this is projected to rise to 4.48 trillion dollars by 2021. With a growing market, this has led to opportunities for businesses to grow massively, capitalising on the benefits of ecommerce, without the need for bricks and mortar stores and all the expense that brings.


What is Shopify?

Shopify is the ecommerce platform that has made setting up and running an online store easy for merchants around the world. Thanks to the platform, hundreds of thousands of people have been able to start their businesses and trade successfully online, however Shopify itself remains hidden, like the pipes and cables that keep your home functioning from behind the walls. Shopify’s customers are the brand names.


History of Shopify

Shopify was originally pioneered back in 2004 by three friends, Tobia Lütke, Daniel Weinand and Scott Lake. The trio had tried to open an online store for snowboarding equipment but were unimpressed by the ecommerce products available at the time. Lütke, a computer programmer, made the decision to build his own and the founders launched Shopify in June 2006.

The platform has gone from strength to strength in the years since its launch. Business integrations (for example with Amazon), rapid growth, and integration with other software have all contributed to it becoming a global powerhouse when it comes to ecommerce. It now provides the platform for over 500,000 businesses in 175 countries, with a combined customer base of 131 million people.


How Shopify Works

Shopify is a scalable solution that hosts everything from brand new startups to established global organisations such as Budweiser. It allows merchants to organise their products, customise the storefront, accept credit card payments , track orders and respond to customers with ease.

It has a variety of plans and pricing to match any business’ needs so as a store owner you can select the right plan for you and upgrade to higher plans as your business grows.


Shopify Theme Development and Bespoke Websites

Shopify allows for theme development to amend the look and functionality of a store within the structure of a pre-existing theme. It also has scope for bespoke creation of websites to make a unique store to match the vision of the store owner for their online retail space. If you need assistance with theme development or a bespoke build, you can recruit a Shopify expert to do the hard work for you!


Shopify Apps

Shopify also has a Shopify app store where developers from around the world have made their custom built Shopify apps available for merchants. These apps provide further customisation, functionality and services for stores - from allowing your customers to create wishlists , tracking visitors as they move around your site and size guides for products , to apps that promote upsell opportunities.

If you have any questions about how Shopify could work for your business, or you’d like to discuss a project, why not get in touch with us?

Eastside Co are the UK’s #1 Shopify experts: a fully inhouse agency with teams specialising in design, front and back-end development, app creation, marketing and SEO. As a Shopify developer, our agency works with businesses around the world to create beautiful Shopify stores.

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