Shopify is an excellent platform for creating an impressive online store. But to truly tap into Shopify’s potential, you have to hire an expert Shopify development company to help bring your vision to life.
Finding a Shopify partner who comprehends your business requirements and possesses a successful track record is crucial. But with so many choices available, how does one make a selection? The wrong partner can end up costing you time, money, and customers.
To help ensure you end up with a partner that propels your business forward, here are the top mistakes to avoid before you hire Shopify development company. Read on so you can find a partner that helps your Shopify store succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
1. Choosing a Shopify Development Company Based Solely on Price
Choosing a Shopify development company based only on price is a mistake that many make. Prioritizing cost alone can lead to lower quality work, ultimately resulting in higher long-term expenses.
When evaluating potential partners, look at their experience developing Shopify themes and apps, not just building basic websites. An agency that specializes in Shopify will have a proven track record of success and expertise that translates into a better final product for you.
Check out their portfolio and case studies. Get references from past clients and actually call them. Ask about the agency’s communication, work quality, timeliness, and if they’d recommend them.
While an offshore Shopify development agency promises lower costs, a time zone difference can hamper collaboration. And once the project is done, you’ll struggle to get support. It’s best to find a partner in a similar time zone that offers ongoing maintenance and optimization.
Don’t choose a Shopify agency based only on price. Look for a knowledgeable partner with a proven track record of success that communicates well and will be there to support you even after the initial build.
2. Not Checking Their Portfolio and Experience
Before you hire Shopify development company or an offshore Shopify development agency avoid the mistake of not thoroughly checking their portfolio and experience. After all, you want an agency that knows Shopify inside and out and has a proven track record of success.
Look for an experienced partner as they’ll have a much better understanding of the platform and how to optimize stores for conversions and sales. Check their live Shopify stores and review the storefronts and admin sections to get a feel for their work.
See what apps and features they’ve integrated. The best developers stay on the cutting edge of what’s new and keep optimizing their skills. They should have experience with features like:
- Shopify Checkout and Payments
- The Theme Store and Liquid templating
- The App Store and third-party integrations
- Reporting and analytics
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Sales channels like Amazon, eBay, and Facebook
An experienced Shopify development partner like CartCoders will also have case studies and client testimonials to share. Reach out to their clients directly to get honest feedback about what it’s like to work with the Shopify Development company.
While price is always a factor, don’t make it the only factor. An inexperienced or unskilled developer may seem affordable upfront but end up costing you more in the long run. Do your due diligence to find a Shopify expert you can trust.
With the right developer in your corner, your Shopify store will be set up for success and ready to scale as you grow. Take your time to find a partner that fits, and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come.
3. Not Defining Project Scope and Requirements Clearly
A major error that companies often commit is insufficiently defining their project's scope and requirements. Sit down and determine the goals and key features of your Shopify store before approaching developers.
Think through things like:
- The types of products you want to sell. Are they physical, digital or a combination?
- How many products do you plan to have?
- What custom features do you need (wishlist, ratings, etc.)?
- Do you need the store to interface with any other systems?
- What is your budget for development and ongoing maintenance?
Once you have a good sense of the project scope, clearly communicate it to any Shopify experts you consider hiring. Be upfront about your goals, needs and budget so you can find an agency able to deliver what you’re looking for at a fair price.
Get everything in writing, from project specifics to cost estimates to timelines. A contract or statement of work should outline what is included in each phase of development so there are no surprises.
It’s also a good idea to schedule regular check-ins where you review progress and milestones. By doing so, you can offer feedback, implement essential modifications, and maintain project alignment.
Taking the time to thoughtfully plan your Shopify store and choose a development partner that fully understands your needs will make the build process much smoother. You’ll end up with a store you’re proud of, within your budget.
4. Not Getting a Contract or Agreement in Place
A critical error when hiring a Shopify development company is neglecting to establish a formal contract or agreement. Without a legally binding document that outlines the scope of work, you’ll set yourself up for potential issues down the line.
A good contract or agreement will specify exactly what the agency is going to build for you, the timeline for completion, cost breakdowns, payment details, and what happens if there are delays or budget overruns.
It protects both you and the agency by ensuring all parties are on the same page about expectations before any work begins. Some key things to include are:
- Project scope: The specific features, integrations and functionality that will be built. Be as detailed as possible.
- Timeline: Milestones, deadlines and an estimated completion date. Also include what happens if there are delays.
- Payment terms: Upfront deposit amount, payment schedule tied to milestones, and final payment due date.
- Ownership rights: Who owns the code, design, content, etc. once the project is complete.
- Confidentiality clause: Preventing the agency from sharing details about your project.
- Cancellation policy: What happens if you need to cancel the project? How much notice is required and refund details.
A contract or agreement doesn’t have to be overly complicated but should cover the essential points of your project and working relationship. While it may demand an initial time and financial investment, the resulting security and peace of mind make it highly worthwhile.
5. Not Conducting Background Checks
When hiring a Shopify development company, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not thoroughly vetting them. You’re trusting this agency with an important project, so you want to be sure they’re the right fit before signing a contract.
Check Online Reviews
See what other clients say about the company’s work. Watch out for common complaints like lack of communication, budget overruns, or sloppy work. If reviews seem overly generic or there aren’t many available, that could be a red flag.
Get references from companies they’ve worked with recently that are similar to your own. Ask the references about the agency’s strengths, their experience collaborating, how well they met deadlines and budgets, and if they’d work with them again.
Examine Past Projects
Evaluate past samples of websites, designs, and custom apps the Shopify experts have built. Consider elements like visuals, functionality, user experience, and overall quality.
Ask About Experience
Ideally, hire a specialized agency with 2-3 years' experience, a track record of success, and knowledge of latest Shopify features, apps, and best practices.
Consider Pricing Carefully
While you don’t want to overpay, the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Get custom project quotes from a few contenders to compare, making sure scopes of work are similar.
Vetting Shopify developers thoroughly before making a hiring decision will give you confidence in your choice and help ensure a successful partnership and project outcome. Does your due diligence before you hire one.