Shopify Apps: At aheadWorks – the team has been developing Magento extensions for some time now & has come to pride our game on our ecommerce capability. But, with the current shift to Shopify, so much of what we know about administering online stores seems to be losing significance.
Not any more are we surrounded by an entire group – dedicated to store management. What we rather have is a store owner that is a part of a smaller task, probably managing more than a few operations concurrently & doesn’t have much time to sacrifice for online administration.
This is also obviously apparent from the sort of applications available for Shopify. Majority of them aim for simplistic interface & request very minimal manual interference, which is the total opposite of Magento – where scarcely anything occurs without administrative control.
Thus, at first we had some uncertainties over the practicality of our past experience. Though, as we kept exploring more Shopify apps, the team discovered a few pointers that would simply convert from Magento to Shopify, hitherto are constantly disregarded by most local developers:
Complexity is cool but in moderation
Simplicity is rather not that bad either. Particularly – if it has to do with usability – trimming additional clicks, moving tabs around, and scheming convenient input, among others. What we see within Shopify apps however is that simplicity is surpassing not just user interface, but business operations also.
Let’s consider sample of a ‘related product’ app. Its work is to identify & reveal a number of related products/items on every product page. The method in which majority of apps achieve this is through algorithm that passes thru the catalogue & automatically selects products according to a specific principle. This is very appropriate, as all one has to do is install the app & allow it run wild.
What is awkward though is that the principle itself is set in rock & irrespective of whether you choose to showcase up-sells or down-sells or even cross-sells, or basically offer your clients with more browsing prospects, you are much in the cards to be stuck with randomized up-sells all through the way.
Simply consider a couple scenarios. Does it make sense to provide headsets to a person browsing laptops? Likely not! The probabilities are, all accessories are within place from before & it’s just the laptop that’s misplaced. It makes sense though to offer a slightly cooler & more costly laptop. However does it make sense to deliver slightly more costly dress to a person browsing clothing? Our presumption is that you better go with matching up with shoes or a bag.
There is scarcely an algorithm that is capable of distinguishing between these & several other cases, and this is why for our app, we chose to borrow some controls accessible in Magento & let our Shopify customers pick for themselves what sort of related products/items will best suit them. We concluded with an app that is somewhat a bit more complex than Shopify average, though delivers virtually limitless possibilities of enticing one’s customers.
Interface constancy (this is a must)
Something else we see very regularly is a Shopify app that functions from outside of custom dashboard, taking users to discrete tabs. Separately from basic logistics worries, this method carries two usability inferences.
First, the app doesn’t appear like Shopify, meaning that you have to switch gears each and every time you visit its dashboard. Of course, you will get acclimatized with it eventually, though the entire experience is entirely needless.
Second, it is very probable that the app has been designed to serve various diverse platforms at the same period. This is not a disadvantage in itself, but rather a sign of generic design tactic, meaning the app is improbable to take certain needs of any given platform into consideration.
External apps aren’t really a choice at Magento & we trust that this is something more Shopify apps should adapt. It is clean, it is convenient, and it kind of functions as a quality assurance.
Integrating comparable apps is only fair
You are likely acquainted with ‘cart recovery’ apps that forwards out a “please come back” email subsequent to when a cart has been abandoned. These follow the rudimentary mechanics of having an email template allotted to a trigger, shipping out after a specific deferment. Also same as ‘review request’ apps, and same as ‘have not seen you in a while’ emails, same as a collection of other trigger-based notifications.
What you will find within Shopify are serial developers that will take the cart recovery app & clone it many times to serve to some extent different function. What you will have tough time locating is a single app that performs all of the stuffs without having you pay for every piece independently.
Creating software equals of Swiss army knives is very popular at Magento & likely should not be taken to Shopify in its totality, though, if there is likelihood of integrating a couple of nearly indistinguishable apps at the price of a click or so, then it certainly should be taken.
While Shopify apps targets at doing everything quicker, simpler, and even more attractive, we strongly believe that it should not come at the price of taking key resolutions away from end users. So this is where some of Magento methods would come in handy. At aheadWorks – the team is certain that there is some central ground between simplification & extreme control enthusiasm & the crew hopes to be able to deliver it with our Shopify extensions.
Now up to you…
Have you swapped in-between the platforms in past times? Are you thinking of switching in the future? Or do you have some feedback about aheadWorks products or services? We surely would be glad to hear of your thoughts or opinions within the comments area below!