Benefits of using Shopify for your Ecommerce website

If you’re a product-selling business, the best way to start selling simply and efficiently is with Shopify; believe us, your customers will thank you!

In our latest blog, we’ll detail a host of reasons why using Shopify for your eCommerce website is a must and outline the many benefits of having the plugin on site.

 

A Hosted Platform –

This means instead of hosting the site on your own server, it is hosted on Shopify-optimized servers. By managing the hosting and server, your website and Shopify will run as one seamlessly, without compromising on speed!

 

Security Updates –

Any security updates to be downloaded and installed on the Shopify eCommerce platform are automatically performed as needed. Because of this, downtime for your store isn’t an issue, allowing you to continue to generate revenue through your store.

Many third-party plugins can cause your store to break, leaving you hanging while the plugin developer or host catch up and create fixes.

With Shopify, security issues are a thing of the past, ticking away in the background. At the same time, you can continue to do what you do best!

 

Apps & Customer Support –

With their own app store, Shopify can extend and increase the functionality of your site store at the click of a button!

All apps are vetted and approved by Shopify before they can be added to the store. Costing of apps is often on a subscription basis which includes automatic update notifications.

Third-party plugins are often filled with nasty bugs and viruses. This can be a disaster for your store and often result in unwanted extra costs!

In addition to the support our Web team can offer, Shopify also has its own customer support team that can provide help and advice 24/7. In addition to this, they also have excellent documentation via their help centre, which cover numerous FAQs about your Shopify store.

 

Customisable –

Shopify websites are designed to be customisable, giving a site owner countless options for their Shopify store.

From themes to simply moving content, Shopify makes editing and customising a breeze!

All Shopify themes are thoroughly tested and vetted, allowing you to pick between numerous themes and styles until you find the one that’s just right!

 

SEO & Marketing tools –

To truly get your product out there into the big wide world, you’ll need to make the most of SEO & Marketing. Luckily for you, Shopify has all the tools you need inbuilt!

From social channel integration and SEO optimisation, your product will be sat front and centre in front of your target audience in no time!

 

Multiple sales channels –

Shopify can act as much more than just an online store. The Shopify admin can also add sales channels for the following out of the box:

  • Shopify Point of sale system which can be used in your physical store/s
  • Facebook Shop functionality.
  • Apps integration with other external systems allows stock monitoring across many platforms.

 

Abandoned cart recovery & built-in payment gateway –

How many times as a shopper have you gone to buy a product, got distracted and forgot to complete the purchase? The honest answer is probably quite a lot!

With Shopify, make this common mistake a thing of the past with abandoned cart recovery. An abandoned cart will automatically send the customer a quick reminder that they may have forgotten to complete your purchase.

When it comes to payment gateways, you have many options to choose from, including Shopify’s own in-built payment gateway. These include:

Find a complete list of payment providers here: https://www.shopify.co.uk/payment-gateways/united-kingdom

 

Refund, privacy, and TOS statements –

Shopify has a generator built directly in the admin to help to generate GDPR-complaint Refund, Privacy, and TOS statements. These are a great starting point and are easy to edit to your needs.

As Shopify benefits go, this is one of the biggest; allowing small to medium businesses to do what they do best, rather than worrying about legal informational pages!

 

To learn more about our eCommerce expertise, call 01925 563 960 or fill in our enquiry form here.

What is Liquid Template Language – An Introduction

To really understand what liquid template language is, you need to delve into the world of eCommerce and take a good look at Shopify. If you are a new user of the Shopify eCommerce system, you wouldn’t know instantly what code sits behind all of the pretty interfaces and easy to build product options. But as a web designer or developer, you may wish to find out more about what goes on under the hood of Shopify.

Many developers make the mistake of believing that Shopify uses some elements of PHP in its main code base, similar to how most other eCommerce platforms do, some include WooCommerce, Magento, OpenCart and PrestaShop. Unlike these other eCommerce platforms, Shopify has its own purpose-built templating language called Liquid it uses for themes for your online store.

Is Liquid a language or engine?

Some developers call Liquid a type of templating language, whereas, other people believe that it is an engine for Shopify themes. In simple terms, this is just a label and both terms in their own right are correct. I prefer the term “language” as with other traditional coding languages such as PHP, HTML and jQuery, these have syntax with a common output, IF statements and loops. Even with these similarities to other coding languages, this is where the common factors end. Shopify’s Liquid Templating Language is intuitive and has so many benefits over conventional coding practices.

Liquid Files

Once you’ve managed to get under the hood of Shopify and start to look at the actual theme development aspect of the eCommerce platform where do you find these liquid files? Like HTML and PHP, the files will always end in the language extension. See below:

  • afilename.php
  • afilename.html
  • afilename.js

This is no different with liquid template files as these end in .liquid, for example, “afilename.liquid”. This is the easiest way to establish what code you will find inside the actual file.

Once you have opened a .liquid file you will find some code you will be familiar with, HTML. Liquid templating language is a mixture of normal HTML code and also liquid constructs. You can easily distinguish the liquid tags from HTML code as these will follow one of the following patterns:

  • The double curly brace delimiters {{ }} denote some output
  • The curly brace and percentage delimiters {% %} denote logic

For an established designer or developer with some past experience should be able to read this code easily without any extensive training.

How Does Liquid Work with Shopify?

Shopify eCommerce platform will decide which templates are to be shown to the frontend user of the website. For example, if the URL is http://myshop.myshopify.com/collections/tshirts Shopify will render the collections.liquid template.

Once Shopify understands which template to show to site user, the template will be parsed to look for Liquid placeholder tags. These placeholders are replaced with relevant data from your stored database. It does take some time to understand the connection between Shopify and how the templates work but once you get the hang of this, it will be much easier to work with.

What Are Placeholders?

Placeholder is the simplest form is a piece of code that will be changed when the template is sent to the browser to parse. The information sent to the browser will usually be some logic as discussed earlier using tags like {% %} or output using tags such as {{ }}.

[markdown]
“`html

{{ product.title }}

“`
[/markdown]

As you can see from the above example, this is a mixture of HTML tags (Heading 2) and .liquid code {{ product.liquid }}. This is using the simple output tags from Shopify’s coding language and when passed to the browser will change the Liquid into information pulled from the database. In the example below I have left the heading 2’s in:

[markdown]
“`html

My New Online Store

“`
[/markdown]

Unless you use a filter on the Liquid tag this will print exactly what is stored in that field in the database. Filters will allow you to adapt further.

Logic Tags

As with other languages, Shopify’s Liquid Templating Language allows you to apply some logic. Please see the example below:

[markdown]
“`html
{% if product.available %}
This product is available
{% else %}
Sorry, this product is sold out
{% endif %}
“`
[/markdown]

The logic example above is an IF Statement. By using Liquid logic we can determine the output that is rendered based on whether things such as product stock level is equal to in stock. Liquid code goes one step further and as well as IF, ELSE and END IF logic parameters, Liquid allows you to use boolean logic such as true or false.

Summary

Liquid, in a nutshell, is a very powerful offering brought to the table by Shopify’s ever-growing eCommerce store system. Liquid has so many benefits and advantages over its nearest rivals in terms of usability and adaptability. For any new web designer or developer with some HTML experience should be able to get off the ground quickly with Shopify theme development.