Is the speed of your website losing you sales?

In today’s rapidly evolving digital realm, the velocity at which a website loads can determine its triumph or failure. Studies reveal that internet users are growing increasingly intolerant, with over half of them anticipating a website to load within a mere 2 seconds. Any delay surpassing this threshold can result in annoyance, heightened bounce rates, and ultimately, the forfeiture of potential clientele.

User Experience

Picture yourself clicking on a website link, only to be met with a spinning loading icon that seems to persist indefinitely. Would you wait it out or opt to backtrack and explore other alternatives? More often than not, you’d likely choose the latter. This underscores the critical role of website speed. A sluggish loading website can repel visitors quicker than you can utter “buffering.”

Impact on Conversion Rates Speed wields a direct influence on conversion rates and revenue generation. For instance, Walmart observed a 2% uptick in conversions for every 1-second enhancement in website speed. Recognizing that a 1-second delay in page loading could equate to a loss of $1.6 billion in sales annually, Amazon comprehended the pivotal significance of speed in website performance.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In the realm of SEO, website speed holds paramount importance. Search engines such as Google factor loading speed into their ranking algorithms. A swifter website is more prone to secure higher positions in search engine results, enticing greater organic traffic and potential clientele. Indeed, Google disclosed that, commencing May 2021, page experience, inclusive of loading speed, would factor into the ranking for mobile searches.

Mobile Responsiveness

Given the notable surge in mobile internet usage, the necessity for expeditious-loading mobile websites has never been more crucial. Studies indicate that 53% of mobile users abandon websites exceeding a 3-second load time. Sluggish-loading mobile websites can profoundly impact user engagement and overall business prosperity.

How to check website speed

Go to https://pagespeed.web.dev/. Enter your website URL and click Analyse. If your website is below 60 on Mobile and/or below 80 on Desktop, then you need to contact an expert to make code changes to make your website faster.

If you have any queries or questions, you can reach out to us: [email protected]

Website Maintenance – Things to take care

In this blog, we delve into post-website development phase emphasizing the ongoing maintenance necessary for a continuous optimal performance. In our experience, many small eCommerce businesses believe their websites will function flawlessly post-development without ongoing budget allocation. However, this is a misconception. This blog highlights the crucial areas needing regular updates to maintain optimal website performance.

  1. Software Updates: One of the most critical areas for eCommerce companies is to ensure that they keep their sites up-to-date by installing security patches on a regular basis. This way, they can keep their site ‘hacker-proof’
  2. Plugin and theme updates: If your website is using a theme and a plugin then it is a must that you update these software on a regular basis so that your website is compatible with various browsers and devices.
  3. Back Up: In our experience, it is very important that the websites are backed up on a regular basis (Fortnightly if possible) so that if something goes wrong and your website goes offline, you have a recent backup available which can be installed and the business continues near normal.
  4. Performance monitoring: It is an established fact that slow websites moves users away and so it is imperative for an eCommerce business to ensure that website’s performance is optimal. This involves improving web page loading times as well as optimizing images and code.
  5. SEO monitoring: In today’s age of digitization, it is important that your website is visible in search engines. This includes tracking your website traffic and backlinks. By undertaking SEO monitoring, it helps a business identifying potential problems and be able to fix it.

What are the next steps

The importance of website maintenance is clear, leaving the question of frequency. At Island Wizards, we recommend setting a monthly budget and consulting agencies offering maintenance services for optimal results.

Feel free to reach out to us at: [email protected]

WordPress Unboxing: The Custom Development Advantage

At the end of 2023, there were approximately 1.98 billion websites worldwide, with over 810 million developed using WordPress. As the most popular Content Management System (CMS), WordPress offers a range of options for website development.

In this article, we will explore the advantages of custom WordPress development compared to using ready-made themes, emphasizing the importance of speed, security, and user-friendliness for a successful website.

For the success of any website, it is essential to prioritize factors such as speed, security, and user-friendliness. These elements ensure that customers can easily navigate the site, find the products they are looking for, and make purchases if they are satisfied with the offerings.

However, businesses often encounter challenges when using WordPress themes, which can hinder the optimization of these crucial website aspects.

Some of the issues businesses face when using WordPress themes are

  • Enhanced Customization: Using pre-made themes often limits the level of customization you can achieve. Whether you want to personalize the colors, styles, fonts, or design of your homepage and contact forms, ready-made themes may not provide the necessary flexibility. By opting for custom WordPress development, you can shape your website precisely according to your preferences, creating a unique and memorable experience for your visitors.
  • Maintaining a Competitive Edge: Choosing a popular theme may make your website look similar to others using the same template. This lack of uniqueness can negatively impact your branding efforts and fail to set your site apart from the competition. Custom WordPress development ensures that your website reflects your brand identity and stands out, leaving a lasting impression on your audience.
  • Optimized Performance: Pre-made themes often come with bloated code or unnecessary functionalities, resulting in slower load times for your website. In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, customers expect websites to load quickly and efficiently. If your site fails to meet these expectations, you risk losing potential customers and revenue. Custom WordPress development allows for streamlined code and optimized performance, ensuring your site delivers a seamless browsing experience.
  • Mobile Responsiveness: With the increasing use of mobile devices for online activities, having a mobile-responsive website is crucial. Ready-made themes may not always offer the level of responsiveness needed to provide a smooth user experience across different devices. Custom WordPress development allows you to prioritize mobile responsiveness, catering to the preferences and needs of your mobile users, ultimately improving your brand image and revenue potential.
  • SEO-Friendly Structure: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a vital role in driving organic traffic to your website. A poorly-developed theme can confuse search engines, hindering your website’s chances of achieving high rankings in search results. Custom WordPress development enables you to create an SEO-friendly structure from the ground up, incorporating best practices and ensuring that your website has a solid foundation for optimal search engine visibility.

In summary, opting for custom WordPress development offers significant benefits for your website. By prioritizing customization, uniqueness, performance optimization, mobile responsiveness, and an SEO-friendly structure, your website will not only meet your current needs but also be well-prepared to adapt and grow in the future.

So, if you’re ready to elevate your online presence and leave a lasting impression, consider the power of custom WordPress development. Your website is more than just a digital storefront — it’s a reflection of your brand’s identity and values. With WordPress website developers, you can bring your vision to life of digital success.

New Features on WordPress 6.3 and their benefits

WordPress released it latest version 6.3 on August 8,2023 and following the tradition, it’s named Lionel after famous Jazz musician Lionel Hampton.

This article talks about how this latest WordPress version benefits an eCommerce business which is using WordPress and whether, it is worth updating to this latest version.

  • The most important feature is that this version makes the loading of your website a lot faster. So, a customer who is visiting your eCommerce store won’t have to wait long for the site to load and hence, this leads to a smooth user experience.
  • The other important feature is that they have optimized ‘Lazy Loading’. Lazy Loading is a technique that informs the browser which images and content are not critical and so can be skipped for first viewpoint screen. In other words, this technique informs the browser what images, iFrames, content to load which is important at the start thereby reducing the waiting time of the End User.
  • In this version, WordPress has optimized this feature to accurately detect which images to be abandoned for the first viewpoint.
  • Last but not the least, in this version, several past bugs have been fixed and as a result, there should be no hinderance in optimizing a LCP score. For those who do not know about LCP score, it is one of the very important metrics as it measures how quickly the main content of a webpage is loaded. So, a higher LCP score will result in Image optimization and SEO improvement.

Overall, upgrading to WordPress version 6.3 will improve the overall performance of the website via faster loading speed, improved SEO and optimized lazy loading.

Difference Between Webflow and WordPress

Webflow WordPress
Building experience Visual coding tool. It may be difficult initially but other one of the better UI of any website building tools. You can drag and drop various structural elements with ease. All in one platform Developers have to do a lot of toggling between screens so can be a little cumbersome at times. Need to use plugins to integrate various features.
CMS Provides the end user to make content changes without any help from designers.

Can be used to create reusable template designs.

Most popular CMS in the world. Blogging functionality is already built in. UI needs to be more user-friendly.
Maintenance and Security All in one place in (Hosting, Security) Webflow which clearly is an advantage.

Lesser developer assistance is required to update the site.

Need to buy hosting and purchase to plugin to customise the site along with the security aspect.

Need a developer to upgrade plugins.

E-Commerce Lacks all the features required mainly around payment processing and user accounts at this stage. Hence, if you are building a pure Provides a free eCommerce plugin called WooCommerce and hence, WordPress is a clear winner in this aspect
Cost Saas-based platform that charges you either monthly or yearly and hence, is a little more expensive. However, this includes the builder. Free to use and hosting is cheaper however, need to buy a subscription to use Builder.

Our conclusion at IW is that both these platforms have pros and cons and it depends on what is your purpose of building a website. If you are building a pure e-commerce store, then our recommendation is to go with WordPress. However, keep in mind that you will need the help of a WordPress developer to maintain the site.

In Webflow, all the maintenance is pretty much taken care including the hosting and security by the platform and hence, there is no need to integrate any 3rd party tool thereby, simplifying the building process.

Top 7 Tips to Design a Perfect Shopify Website

For any e-commerce seller, their website is a heart of their online business. Having a good website is of the utmost importance that can have a direct impact on the success of your business. However, having only a good website is not sufficient, the design of the website also plays a crucial role. In fact, a research says over 75% of the customers judge a business’ credibility based on its website design. Furthermore, if a website design is not attractive or responsive enough, your prospects may leave your site even before browsing. That is why it is essential to pay close attention to your website design as it can greatly help you in boosting conversions.

So, let’s dig in to know more about how you can improve your Shopify website design and generate more sales.

#1 Choose an appropriate theme for your store

The first thing to keep in mind before you design your Shopify store is to choose the right theme for your store. Your theme is the backbone of your website, and it can directly influence the user experience and all-around look of your website. If the aesthetics and design don’t stand out, you are likely to lose customers.

Fortunately, Shopify offers plenty of free as well as premium themes to choose from. While choosing the right theme for your site, think about how you wish to display products on your site, what features you need, what type of experience you plan to deliver to your audience and what is your budget for the theme. A good website design can help you create a great first impression and hold customer attention for longer.

#2 Work on improving the website loading speed

Another critical aspect of the Shopify site design is to ensure it loads quickly. Users dislike slow loading sites and they may move to your competitors. Every extra second your page takes to load, conversions are reduced by 7% and page views by 11%. If you don’t want to be the part of such losses, pay attention to improving page loading speed of your website.

Examine your website by checking it in the Google PageSpeed Insights tool. If it is too slow, try to optimize design elements of your website. Compress media content, remove unnecessary features or widgets, avoid third-party themes and skip carousels. Fast loading sites can dramatically improve user experiences. Moreover, search engines also favour fast loading pages.

#3 Use necessary apps to setup your store

While designing your Shopify website, you can use free and paid apps to cover all your store setup, configuration and management needs. These apps integrate seamlessly with Shopify and they can greatly help in extending functionality of your site without much effort.

You can find plenty of apps in different categories, such as store customisation, orders and shipping, inventory management, sales and conversion, marketing, customer support and many more. Using these apps, you can easily customise your store’s interface and ensure smooth functioning.

#4 Declutter elements on the website

Your website might seem like a blank canvas where you want to put anything and everything to make it look pretty. As a website owner, it is very common to be tempted to showcase everything you have to your users. However, you need to understand that users abandoned the website when there is too much information. Too many content confuses their brains on where to go.

While choosing what products to display, focus on only a handful of specific products at a time. Be it the bestsellers, discounted products or combo offers, showcase only what is important for that particular page. Also, don’t forget to highlight CTAs of your website.

#5 Showcase your products using visuals

Visuals can have a great impact on how visitors perceive your website. Since you are running a digital store, it is important to provide as much information as possible about your products to help them make an informed purchase. And, one way to do is by using visuals, such as photos and videos. That being said, not using appropriate visuals can increase the chances of visitors abandoning your site.

Therefore, use high-quality photos and videos to showcase your products. This way your customers will be able to enlarge and see the tiniest details. If possible add multiple images of a single product, so your customers can view it from different angles. However, pay attention to the size of the images as too large sizes can bog down your website speed. Make sure the visuals you use go well with your store design.

#6 Reflect your brand’s individuality

When you use Shopify’s pre-built themes, you risk of creating a website that may look like others who have used the same theme. With this growing competition, how do you distinguish yourself? It is essential to make your website stand out even among those who use the same theme. In other words, you must reflect your brand’s individuality.

There are many aspects of the website where you can make your website stand out. Use photography to add unique images to your site to enhance its appearance. Some shops opt for photos with plain backgrounds to let the products do all the talking. Use decent colour schemes that make the text around easy to read and appealing to your customers.

#7 Hire a professional Shopify designer

Although working with Shopify is pretty simple, but there may come a time when you realise your limitations. You want to customise the theme to your heart’s content, but that’s beyond your skills. In that case, you will need to seek professional help. The experience of a dedicated Shopify website designer could give you some new insights.

Specialist Shopify designers are well-versed in working with different plugins, themes and features. A skilled Shopify designer will help you create a perfect website design that takes the customers by the hand, walks with them throughout your store and guides them on how to complete making the purchase. A great website design means more conversions and more profits for you.

Conclusion

Keeping your customers at the heart is perhaps the most important practice that you can follow while designing a Shopify website. Before you begin designing, think about the functionalities required. Then, you can go ahead with choosing apps, themes and custom solutions that offer the best user experience. Every single element you use in your website, be it product images, search box or navigation menu, it should make the buying process smooth for your customers. This will eventually drive more sales for your business.

What is Shopify’s Partner Program? And What are Its Benefits?

Shopify is, hands down, one of the best and the largest e-commerce platforms that offer startups as well as established businesses a platform to reach new prospects, sell their goods and generate sales. In fact, more than 30% of the e-commerce market share is dominated by Shopify as of 2022. Furthermore, with millions of active shoppers on the internet, sellers can leverage plenty of opportunities to grow their brand.

However, it’s not only the online merchants who can benefit from Shopify. Individuals, also, through Shopify’s unique partnership program can grow their reach and increase revenue. Shopify partners are basically a community of experts in different fields. These experts have signed a contract with Shopify to help online merchants achieve more success through their knowledge in the domain.

What is the Shopify Partner Program?

The Shopify Partner Program involves an agreement between Shopify and selected businesses that join. When you sign up as a Shopify partner, you agree to promote Shopify and in return, get access to exclusive Shopify benefits. You can start earning by recommending Shopify to others, building apps, designing themes or just by posting affiliate links on your website. As you do this, you earn a commission from Shopify.

Signing up for the Shopify partnership program is absolutely free, so you don’t have to assign a separate budget for that. The formal contract you sign with Shopify is renewed on an annual basis. You can sign up as one of the following:

  • Developer
  • Designer
  • Marketer
  • Influencer
  • Photographer
  • Freelancer

Shopify’s partner program is a great way to start passive income, but you will need to put some time and efforts to make it worth your while. If you possess any of the skills mentioned above, you can start an income stream just by doing what you love.

3 Exclusive Benefits of Becoming a Shopify Partner

When you join the Shopify partnership program, you are entitled to several benefits, which are all well worth the time it takes to sign up.

#1 Leverage the company’s reputation

One of the major benefits of joining the Shopify Partner program is you can exhibit your skills through the platform’s reputation. As a part of the joining process, you will be required to take the necessary tests that demonstrate your efficiency in a particular field, which qualifies you to become a Shopify partner. In other words, joining the Shopify partner program means you are a qualified professional with an excellent proficiency in the software.

Even if people don’t know what it means, seeing ‘Shopify Partner’ label on your website will make you sound more knowledgeable and professional.

#2 Extra income

The best benefit of Shopify partner program is that you get paid. For your contribution to Shopify’s partner program, you will earn a monthly income directly from Shopify. If you are looking to start a passive income, this is a great way to do it.

Earning with Shopify as a partner involves recommending Shopify to your merchants or creating themes and apps for Shopify. When you sign up with Shopify, you also get access to plenty of materials, which you can utilize to build apps and hone your skills.

When you sign up with Shopify, you will be provided with an affiliate link. When a Shopify merchant purchases a membership through your link, you earn a commission.

#3 Access to Shopify Partner Academy

Another benefit of partnering with Shopify is you get access to exclusive entry to the Shopify Partner Academy. The academy offers plenty of online courses, including how-to articles, FAQs and live chat free of cost. It is an invaluable resource if you are looking to learn more about Shopify and how it works, and drive more e-commerce sales. You also get a certification on completion of the course.

Moreover, on joining the Shopify Partner program, you can create unlimited Shopify stores. You can also enjoy discounts on numerous items, which you can use to design your apps, manage your projects and develop your business.

How to Join the Shopify Partner Program

Now that you know what a Shopify partner program is and what perks you can enjoy, let’s discuss how to sign up for the program.

Step #1 Visit the Shopify Partner program website

You will land on the Shopify’s partner page from where you can begin your partnership journey.

Step #2 Click on the Join Now button

You will see several ways to join Shopify. Click on Continue with Email.

Step #3 Type your email address and click on Create Shopify ID

Submit your email address and other personal details required to create a Shopify ID.

Step #4 Verify your email address

As soon as you click on Create Shopify ID, Shopify will send an email verification link on your email ID. You need to verify your email promptly because the link will expire in 24 hours.

Step #5 Select ‘Shopify Partners’

After you have confirmed your email, you will be directed to the Shopify’s accounts screen. Select ‘Shopify Partners’ and then click on ‘Create a new partner account’.

Step #6 Enter your details

Fill up all the details about your business in the form. Also, choose your business goals, agree to the terms and conditions and click on View your Dashboard.

Step #7 Get Started with Shopify’s Partner Program

Select the partner category you wish to apply for and click on Apply Now.

And, you are done!! While you wait for the approval of your application, you can browse Shopify’s partner academy resources available to you. Once approved, you can start boosting your revenue.

Conclusion

The digital expansion and constant e-commerce growth present an incredible opportunity for Shopify store owners and entrepreneurs alike. If you have a good understanding of how Shopify works and have relevant skills, you can apply to become a Shopify Partner. Setting up a Shopify Partner account is simple, but if you need some assistance, Island Wizards has your back. We are one of the leading shopify development service providers trusted by hundreds of merchants, so feel free to get in touch with us.

What Makes Shopify an Ideal Choice for Composable Commerce

The digital world is evolving at a rapid pace. A study conducted by Statista says that the global e-commerce sales are estimated to hit over $7 trillion by 2025. Speed, innovation, flexibility and agility are the driving force behind our successful e-commerce ecosystem that helps users to find, view and evaluate the content and purchase their desired products in a swift manner.

Unsurprisingly, online businesses today are turning to new technology, such as headless commerce and composable commerce that allows them to take an improved and best-of-breed approach. In this post, we will learn what is composable commerce and how Shopify enables businesses to leverage the best available tools without vendor lock-ins.

Composable Commerce

What is Composable Commerce?

Composable commerce simply means creating a unique e-commerce experience by choosing the best-in-breed solutions and ‘composing’ them into a single experience to achieve their unique business goals. Unlike traditional e-commerce platforms that offer one-size-fits-all solution from a single vendor, composable commerce is an approach to select the best tech from different vendors to power your store and stay competitive.

Composable commerce uses MACH (Microservices, APIss, Cloud, Headless) that enable systems to interoperate and make everything work under the hood.

Microservices – Microservices are self-contained business components that address specific business functionalities, such as orders, inventory, payments and others. They can be improved, updated or removed depending on changing business needs.

APIs – APIs are the standardized way of interacting with the system. This allows multiple functions and microservices to communicate with each other. They also offer incredible flexibility to businesses by allowing them to integrate multiple systems that work together to deliver significant business value.

Cloud – Cloud empowers the application with the capabilities of being more scalable and more flexible. This enables you to use a particular part of the application whenever you need and allow you to skip upgrades.

Headless – Headless allows you to separate the front-end user interface from the back-end logic, so you can continuously improve the customer experience without interfering with the back-end. Headless systems leverage APIs, microservices and the cloud technology to deliver exceptional user experiences.

How Shopify Has Paved the Way for Composable Commerce?

As one of the most popular e-commerce platforms, Shopify focuses on offering all the key elements required to manage an e-commerce store. It concentrates on introducing features that benefit the majority of the vendors. Retailers can access basic e-commerce functionalities, such as ordering, product management, checkout and payment transactions with ease. Moreover, online retailers don’t have to spend time working on the network architecture as Shopify takes all the measures to ensure high performance and scalability of the platform.

Shopify launched its advanced version known as Shopify Plus, which is a fully hosted enterprise-level platform that allows merchants to grow and scale their business according to their requirements. It enables merchants to manage every aspect of their virtual store from one single admin dashboard. Shopify Plus offers the same functionalities as Shopify, but with more improved features, including customized checkout and unlimited extensibility through intuitive APIs.

Both Shopify and Shopify Plus utilizes best-of-breed technologies from Shopify’s partner network that give them composable capabilities. Merchants can leverage its composable capabilities to quickly and efficiently expand their business while being focused on delivering incredible customer experiences. That means whenever you need to scale up your business, Shopify has apps that will help you expand your store and customize it to your heart’s content.

With over 6,500 apps in the app store, over 90 Shopify Plus Certified Apps and over 195 Shopify Plus Partners, Shopify seamlessly fits in the composable commerce category.

Headless Shopify

As we discussed headless is a part of composable commerce, Shopify also has mighty headless commerce capabilities. You can easily integrate Shopify with leading CMS and other front-end solutions that can transform any website into an online store. You can design responsive and engaging virtual stores using Shopify APIs.

Furthermore, Shopify can also easily integrate with multiple business systems, such as CRM, ERP, CMS and PIM. Thus, Shopify is not only easy to work with a number of pre-built solutions, but you can continuously extend your business to the level of customization you wish to have.

Shopify integration with apps

Since Shopify has great composable capabilities, you can easily integrate third-party apps to automate your processes, save your time and maximize sales. From order and inventory management to payment gateways, automating your email marketing campaigns and customer support, you can leverage top of the line apps with Shopify.

It is important to choose the apps that seamlessly integrates with other e-commerce apps. For instance, being able to integrate your email marketing tool with shipping app means your customers can receive automated emails about shipping. This shows the benefit of choosing the apps that not only integrate with Shopify, but with each other as well. Here are some popular e-commerce apps that further enhance your Shopify store’s abilities.

#1 Klarna

Klarna is a payment processing app that is enabled by default when you set up Shopify payments. It offers various payment methods, allowing your customers to pay the way they feel more secure and comfortable. The application comes with a ‘try before you buy’ feature that allows you customers to shop in confidence and pay within 30 days. Moreover, Klarna offers a credit service that enables customers to split the cost of their product into monthly payments while ensuring you receive the full payment upfront. Klarna lets your customers track purchases, report returns and get in touch with customer service executives.

#2 Klaviyo

Klaviyo is a popular SMS and email marketing tool that is particularly designed for e-commerce storefronts. With Kalviyo, you can segment your email list to target specific users before creating a campaign that sends out automated emails when any activity, such as price drop or cart abandonment is triggered. In addition, the tool comes with an inbuilt CRM platform that manages every communication between you and your customers. Klaviyo also works well with Klarna, so the moment you make the payment, Klaviyo will send order confirmation email to your customer.

#3 Gorgias

Gorgias is a complete customer service and customer support tool that you can add to your Shopify store. It works as a centralized support center for your customer service executives to help customers through live chat, track customer history, ticket generation and much more. For instance, if there is a failed payment on Klarna, Gorgias will help your customer generate failed payment ticket. In other words, it helps the e-commerce owner automate and streamline the process of delivering a satisfactory customer experience.

#4 ShipBob

ShipBob is an order and a logistics management service provider that delivers retention-worthy experiences. You can send your products to ShipBob and the company stores your products in its warehouse. As soon as you receive the order, ShipBob carries out all the order fulfillment and inventory management responsibilities on your behalf. It will pick, pack and ship products directly to your customers. ShipBob integrates with Klaviyo, so these communications are handled through Klaviyo.

Wrapping Up

Composable commerce is a new trend that is quickly growing in popularity because of the agility and flexibility it offers. It enables e-commerce owners to scale their business fast along with delivering extraordinary customer experiences and maximizing the return on investment. Additionally, it becomes cost-effective to run the business as you can use the essential features by comparing different vendors. If you are an e-commerce owner looking to implement composable commerce, but don’t know from where to begin, get in touch with Shopify experts today. Only highly skilled shopify developer can help you continuously optimize digital commerce experiences and combine best-of-breed services into an e-commerce-ready solution.

Also read: 7 Essential Things to Keep in Mind Before Building a Shopify Store

Top 7 E-Commerce Development Trends to Boost Your Shopify Store

The e-commerce industry is evolving at a rapid pace and this year is no different. More and more merchants are shifting to e-commerce or improving their existing online business to meet customer needs. It is anticipated that until 2040, about 95% of all purchases will be made through e-commerce sites. That means e-commerce is here to stay, and if you don’t keep abreast of industry e-commerce trends and technologies, you may lose potential business opportunities.

Hence, having a top-notch Shopify storefront should be the first priority for retailers looking to boost their online sales. Let’s dig into the latest e-commerce trends that will help you shape your business in 2022.

#1 Mobile commerce will help you target more prospects

Smartphones have taken our lives by the storm. Nearly everyone today owns a smartphone, and its number of users is only growing. That means mobile commerce offers new business opportunities daily. Therefore, it is essential to optimize your store for mobile devices.

Powering your e-commerce site with Shopify means your website comes mobile-optimized right out-of-the-box.  With mobile commerce, shoppers can make purchases from anywhere. If your e-commerce site is responsive on mobile devices, you will automatically leave some of your rivals behind in the organic search results. Furthermore, a mobile optimized site also plays a crucial role in reducing bounce rate and cart abandonment rate.

#2 Artificial Intelligence is getting everywhere

Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t a new trend, but it has made a big impact on the e-commerce industry over the past few years. Integrating AI into your Shopify store can help you deliver personalized shopping experiences, such as offering product recommendations, product discovery, personalized marketing, customer segmentation and offering customer support.

AI will continuously collect data about what customers browse and buy, when they buy, how much time they spend in your store and what they look for in your products and services. Using these customer data and preferences, AI can provide tailored experiences that match their needs. This makes your prospects feel that you care about them and are willing to put all the efforts to offer personalized experiences.

#3 Augmented Reality for immersive online shopping experiences

Augmented reality is skyrocketing in popularity and it has been a complete game changer for e-commerce industry. One of the common problems with online shopping is the restriction of interacting with the product as you would do in a physical outlet. AR can create engaging and interactive experiences for users as they can see and feel the product in real-time, which helps them with their buying decision.

AR truly transforms the shopping experience, especially if you are running a Shopify fashion or home décor store. Users can try on clothes without having to visit the store or see how new furniture would look in their home before buying. Over 120,000 stores have already implemented AR in 2022 to give shoppers a greater level of confidence while shopping online.

#4 Voice Search is growing rapidly

Voice search has become a new normal and it has already transformed the way consumers search for products and services online. Using voice search in your Shopify store allows your customers to search for products without using a keyboard. It works pretty much the same as Alexa and Siri, but in this scenario you are using it to search for brand names or particular products.

Voice assistants use AI technology to understand the phrases that people speak. They are used to purchase products, book tickets, order food and much more. Since voice searches are easy to navigate, it makes easier for prospects to find what they are looking for. Voice search also offers an opportunity to boost search engine rankings through keyword and content.

#5 Chatbots are the new customer support executives

Chatbots are one of the most adopted technologies in the recent times. Powered by AI/ML, chatbots are extensively used to address customer queries and provide support at any time of the day without requiring human intervention. Chatbots interact with users much like an in-store sales executive would do and add a personal touch while interacting with them.

Moreover, using chatbots can give a boost to customer engagement. You can recommend products, make new product announcements or urge them to perform an action. Studies have shown that using chatbots can directly improve your sales. In 2022, we will continue to see chatbots delivering personalized customer support, and ultimately, more conversions.

#6 Personalize Experiences for better customer satisfaction and retention

Whether you run B2C, D2C or B2B online business, the importance of personalized shopping experiences prevails everywhere. Buyers of all sorts look for personalized experiences, and one way to make it possible is by using the data collected from AI.

Implementing personalized experience on a Shopify website or marketing channels has shown to have a drastic rise in the revenue. In fact, you can boost revenue by 20% by reducing cart abandonment and increasing user satisfaction through personalized shopping experiences.

#7 Multiple Payment Methods integration to let customers pay the way they want

Customers today have become very much conscious about making online payment. They might cancel placing the order if they cannot see their preferred payment method. Integrating multiple payment methods in your Shopify store is a good way to reduce cart abandonment rates and boost conversion rates.

Customers tend to trust and shop from your Shopify site more confidently when they see their preferred payment method listed. In addition, if they can save their payment details on your website, they can checkout even more quickly the next time they will buy from your site.

The Bottom Line

E-commerce is going a phenomenal shift because of the convergence of these technological trends. If you wish to shape your business for future success, the aforementioned trends cannot be avoided. These trends will not only help you set yourself apart from your competitors, but also improve customer acquisition and retention.

If you are a Shopify e-commerce owner and wish to benefit your business from these technologies, then get in touch with us today. Island Wizards have a team of Shopify development experts who can help incorporate these technologies in your Shopify store to fulfill your growing business needs.

7 Essential Things to Keep in Mind Before Building a Shopify Store

Over 1.75 million merchants across 175 countries trust Shopify to power their e-commerce stores. It is one of the leading platforms that allow merchants to efficiently build and run an online storefront. Shopify says they will do all the heavy lifting, while you focus on entertaining your customers and gain more profits. However, it is more complicated than that.

While Shopify offers tons of features to create a feature-rich and high performing online store, failing to pay attention to some key elements while building a Shopify store can create severe problems in the future. If you are just starting out with a Shopify store, this post is for you. These crucial tips will help you set up a robust Shopify store and keep it organized.

#1 Focus on developing a mobile version of the site

Shopify is a great e-commerce design tool. However, even in 2022, many businesses don’t care to give a thought to create a mobile version of the site. Having an excellent mobile version of the site is important because 8 out of 10 people will quit using your site if it is not properly displayed on their device. That is a loss of 80% traffic.

Thankfully, Shopify offers several features that allow you to optimize your site for mobile devices and make it responsive on any device. Some handy tips while creating mobile-optimized design are keep the header fixed, show as little text as possible, use minimal images, make CTA buttons bigger and optimize the site for different screen sizes.

#2 Buy your own domain name

When you first set up your Shopify store, it will give you a free myshopify.com domain. It is a sub-domain and it looks like “your-store-name.myshopify.com”. From the visitor perspective, this doesn’t look professional, which can prevent you from creating a strong brand image. Moreover, all your SEO efforts will be directed towards Shopify main domain.

Whenever you plan to launch your Shopify online store, make sure you first buy your own unique domain name. Don’t wait for your store to grow before you buy a domain. Buying a domain name cost a couple of dollars, but it gives you more than that. You can build your brand identity and make SEO work for your store.

#3 Use high-quality media

Although Shopify offers plenty of features right out-of-the-box, some things aren’t under its control. The most important thing that makes your store complete are the visual assets of your store. You built a perfect website, but if it doesn’t include high-quality product images, stock images, video files, GIFs and icons, you are getting nowhere.

This may sound a lot, but poor media files can easily put off your prospective shoppers. Therefore, use high-quality media files in your store, and include different images of your product along with detailed specification, so your buyers can get an idea should your products cater to their needs.

#4 Install essential plugins

Shopify offers more than 6000 plugin and apps to help extend the functionality and add more custom features to your site. Installing the right plugins can drive more leads and maximize revenue. Here is a list of some of the best Shopify plugins:

Voyager Upsell & Cross-sell – Recommend and sell more products

One Click Social Login – Let your shoppers sign-in automatically using popular social networks

Plug in SEO – Discover simple ways to optimize SEO and improve ranking

ReferralCandy – Reach new prospects with a powerful referral program

Jugde.me – Build social proof with product reviews and ratings

While installing plugins and apps, make sure you add only those you need as adding each plugin will increase your website loading speed and may affect site performance.

#5 Prepare a solid marketing plan

You have invested a lot of time and money in building a great Shopify store, but you don’t know how to attract target audience to your store and convince them to buy from you. A solid marketing plan that defines your efficient marketing strategies based on your target audience is what you need.

It does take time to understand your market niche and build a marketing plan. However, if you do it right, your marketing techniques will help you get your products in front of the right buyers. As a part of the market research, learn about what marketing techniques your competitors use to understand what works and what requires improvement.

#6 Familiarize yourself with basic SEO

When you build a store with Shopify, it optimizes every page with default SEO settings. Shopify offers adequate tools to improve SEO, but it is up to you how you use them. Once you familiarize yourself with basic SEO settings, you are a step closer to making your website appear in organic search results.

Spare some time to optimize keywords, submitting a sitemap, adding title tags, alt tags and meta descriptions, link building and content creation. Optimizing these on-page and off-page elements will most certainly help in improving visibility of your store on leading search engines, such as Google and Yahoo. SEO is huge, so keep working on it to make your website rank higher and make it more accessible.

#7 Create proper About Us and Contact Us page

You have identified your target customers, but do your customers know you well? Many customers want to know about merchants they are giving out their money. In fact, Contact us and About us pages are some most visited pages of a Shopify store. So, don’t make a mistake of assuming that your customers will buy anything from you without knowing about your brand.

Create appropriate About us and Contact us page by including the details of your company, your journey so far, what makes your brand unique, customer support contact number and email, and address of your physical location if you have. Also, include a contact form where your buyers can leave a quick message. This builds customer loyalty and adds professionalism to your business.

Conclusion

The aforementioned tips will most certainly help you in running a successful Shopify store. If you wish to start a Shopify store, but don’t have adequate resources, get in touch with us today. We offer 360 degree Shopify solutions to help you set up a custom e-commerce store and boost your online sales.

Top Tips to Choose the Right Shopify Theme and Make Your Store Stand Out

E-commerce industry is blooming at a faster pace, and more customers are shopping online than ever. Hence, if you don’t have an e-commerce store, then there has never been a better time to start one than now. Shopify emerged as one of the best platforms to build a robust e-commerce store. One reason why many online store owners love Shopify is the flexibility it offers with plenty of Shopify themes.

A Shopify theme is a template that defines how your store will look and feel to the users. Themes come with different layout and styling options that can be customized according to your needs. It is crucial to have a good store design that reflects your brand identity and keep your shoppers engaged for longer. Furthermore, a theme can have a significant impact on the performance of your e-commerce store in terms of customer experience, trustworthiness and conversion rates. Therefore, it is imperative to choose a theme that would suit your store without a wrinkle.

In this post, we will guide you on how to pick the perfect theme for your Shopify store.

#1 Prepare a list of key features and functions you want

Before you start finding a perfect theme for your Shopify store, list down all the primary features and functions you would want in your store. Whether you want video player, forms, blog, landing pages, cart drawer, large catalog size, email pop-up or new product highlight section, having a list of required features in hand will help you find the right theme more easily.

If you see a theme that has one feature you want, but have five other features missing, then move on. Look for a theme that offers more features, and get remaining missing features added with the help of a Shopify developer.

#2 Research your competitors

If you are not sure what do you want in your theme, it doesn’t harm to get inspiration from your competitors to get an idea about what you can add to your store. Learn about what theme they are using, what elements they have included in their storefront, what color combinations look best and what elements are distracting.

Learning about features and elements will help you choose a suitable theme for your store. Moreover, you can identify missing critical features in your competitor’s website and implement those to get a competitive edge.

#3 See whether it is mobile-friendly and light-weight

Another important thing to consider while picking a Shopify theme is to check the mobile view of the theme. That is because the number of mobile users is growing every day, so there are high chances that most of the website traffic will come from mobile. If you fail to deliver a great mobile experience, you may lose a potential sale. Therefore, ensure the theme you choose make your website easy to access from the mobile device.

Website speed is also crucial to its success. It can directly impact bounce rate, conversions and search rankings. Many Shopify themes come with fancy features, which may look attractive, but they slow down the speed of your website. So, look for themes that are lightweight, meaning they are not loaded with unnecessary elements, and focus more on performance.

#4 Inbuilt SEO features

SEO-friendliness is another important factor to consider while choosing the right Shopify theme. A beautifully designed site is of no use if it doesn’t rank in search engines. When your Shopify store has an SEO-optimized theme, it means it follows the best SEO practices to help you increase search engine rankings. SEO-friendly themes welcome more organic traffic to your website and boost conversions. Shopify offers a number of themes that are SEO-friendly right out-of-the-box.

When looking for the right Shopify theme that helps your store get discovered organically on Google and other leading search engines, make sure it is compatible with all devices, have clear navigation, support rich snippets and loads quickly.

#5 A great theme design and aesthetics

Attracting and retaining customers is a key to building a successful Shopify store. You can attract prospective customers to your site using SEO best practices, but retaining them is all about delivering a great experience. If your website is not attractive or interesting, then visitors may not stay on your store for long and may quit using your site.

A good theme contains many elements, such as matching color palettes, appealing user interface, proper background, readable font style and font color and so on. As your customers can’t really feel your products, they depend on visuals to experience them. So, if you succeed in grabbing their attention, they are more likely to buy from you.

#6 Shortlist based on your budget

Shopify themes are available at varying price points, ranging from zero to $250. Before you decide to buy a theme, determine what features you need and how much you are willing to spend on them. As with everything else in life, you get what you pay for, and it goes same with Shopify themes. Hence, differentiate between must-have and nice-to-have features.

Free themes are good, but if you are looking for a theme that offers a greater level of customization and features, then go for the premium ones. Since premium themes are designed to expand your store functionalities, there are good chances that you will find most of the features in your theme.

Choosing the Right Shopify Theme

With so many factors to consider, it can be overwhelming to choose the right theme for your Shopify store. You want all the necessary features and convey your brand message, and at the same time you want to ensure it fits in your budget and can be customized the way you want. At Island Wizards, we help you go through this theme selection process and offer theme customization service that will not only suit your store, but also make your shoppers fall in love with your brand.

6 Effective Ways to Speed Up Your Shopify Store

The global e-commerce market is blooming at a massive rate. People are now accustomed to shopping online without leaving the comfort of their space. E-commerce has simply bridged the gap between the sellers and buyers, and Shopify offers a great way for small as well as large businesses to leverage that opportunity. However, just like any other website, a Shopify website needs to be optimized for its speed and performance. That is because poor site speed can severely impact your website traffic, credibility and revenue generation.

Why High Page Speed Matters?

Before we discuss on how to improve your Shopify site speed, let’s first understand why it matters in the first place. There are two reasons behind this – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and User Experience (UX). SEO is about ensuring your website gets found on the search engines and UX is about ensuring your users find convenient to use your website.

All the major search engines consider site speed as one of the crucial ranking factors. That means if your site loads quickly, your search engine rankings will improve. This brings a lot of potential leads to your site. And, if prospects can access your site immediately, there is a good chance that they will stay longer on your website and make a purchase.

Now, let’s dig into some effective ways to improve your Shopify store speed.

#1 Use only necessary Shopify apps

Every store needs external apps to extend its functionality. When these apps are added, they add script into the theme to run efficiently. Be aware that even if the apps are not in use, the script runs in the background, which can slow down the page speed.

Hence, it is essential to frequently review your apps and find the balance between the store features and speed. If you think some apps are interfering with your site speed, then disable some features of the app, or remove them completely if you don’t need them. Also, while removing the app, be sure to remove any code that was added as a part of the installation process. Removing unnecessary app code will most certainly help in improving your store performance.

#2 Install responsive and fast theme

Choosing a theme is crucial for a Shopify store owner. Besides enhancing the look and feel of the website, a theme also affects the page loading time. When themes are not optimized or installed properly, they can slow down your website. Furthermore, themes are made of HTML, CSS and JavaScript code, and when you customize themes, the file size can increase and affect your store performance.

Therefore, before you install any theme, check whether it is fast and responsive. See the live demonstration of the theme, so you get to try its features and analyze its performance. Once you install the theme, ensure to keep it up-to-the-date.

#3 Make your website super fast with AMP

Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP is a standard framework developed by Google to create fast-loading mobile pages. In this fast-paced world, over 50% of shoppers buy through mobile devices. Hence, it becomes imperative for businesses to develop a mobile-optimized site, so users can access their site conveniently through mobile phones.

Shopify enables you to create AMP sites quickly and efficiently with the help of RocketAMP or FireAMP apps. Both these apps can assist you in transforming your webpages to fast-loading pages on mobile, which can also help you improve user experience.

#4 Optimize images to improve page load speed

Images are an important asset when it comes to enhancing the visual appearance of your website. Over-size and un-optimized images are often the most common reason that can significantly slow down your website. If your images take too much time to load, users might perceive your website to be slow.

Image compression is necessary and critical for faster loading websites. While optimizing images, make sure you compress images to an acceptable size and don’t add a multitude of images on a single page. Also, while compressing images, ensure you don’t compromise on the quality of the images. TinyPNG and TinyJPG are great tools that can help you reduce image sizes without losing its quality.

#5 Fix broken links and minimize redirects

Too many redirects and broken links can result into performance issues. If your website is experiencing the same issues, consider removing unnecessary redirects and fixing broken links. Shopify offers a builtin redirect function called ‘URL redirect’ that allows you to apply 301 redirects.

Broken links on your site can give a rise to too many unnecessary HTTP requests, which can cause a poor user experience. With tools like, Xenu and Broken Links Checker, you can identify and fix broken links across your Shopify store.

#6 Check your store performance with Google PageSpeed Insights

If you are not sure what is decelerating your website speed, you can analyze the performance of your web pages using Google PageSpeed Insights tool. With this tool, you can identify the elements in your store that bog down your store and fail to load quickly, and then work on the provided recommendations to enhance website performance and minimize load time.

Google PageSpeed Insights can give you insight on critical elements of your store, such as server response time, browser caching, landing page redirects and many more, so you can find what hampering your store speed and how it can be corrected.

Conclusion

Store with fast-loading pages is essential to attract and retain your prospective buyers. If a website loads quickly, more people will explore your store and learn about your brand. It can also boost conversion rates if your website displays all the relevant content quickly and seamlessly.

We hope these techniques help you performing Shopify store speed optimization. Shopify stores are designed to deliver pleasant and rich shopping experience to its users. Therefore, if you miss to install some features correctly, your online store may slow down. If you are not equipped with adequate technical knowledge to resolve these issues, seek professional help from skilled Shopify developers who can help you speed up your Shopify store and get massive traffic to your site.

How Shopify Sections can Help You Boost E-commerce Sales?

What are Shopify Sections and How They Can Boost User Engagement?

Over the years, Shopify has constantly introduced new and helpful features that enable you to customize the look and feel of your website that match your brand identity. During Shopify Unite in 2021, the company announced their biggest update ever by introducing Shopify 2.0. A great part of the update was new themes that allow adding and customizing sections on every page rather than just a homepage.

While creating visually appealing and impactful Shopify store, it is important to know how to prioritize content efficiently. This requires a deep understanding of the Shopify sections that allow you to include many customization options in your online store and display your content in more engaging ways. Adding a new custom section in your store is an excellent way to upgrade your site without major time and money investment. Let’s learn more about Shopify sections and how they can benefit your business?

What are Shopify Sections?

Initially launched in 2016, sections are fully customizable components in Shopify templates that can be added, removed or rearranged to achieve desired page layouts. They make Shopify themes more modular, giving developers a greater control over individual component of the theme, without making any changes to the source code. It doesn’t require as much time and efforts as a full website design.

There are two types of sections in Shopify: static and dynamic. Static sections make up the header and footer of the website and resides in the theme’s layout files. While dynamic sections are the building blocks that can be added to the webpages and customized as necessary.

Merchants can edit complex themes with simple drag and drop components in the sections using Shopify theme editor. Previously this was possible only with the help of Shopify expert. There are still limitations on using sections developed by a theme designer. Some sections, such as header and footer cannot be deleted, but you can still edit them.

What you can edit or update in the sections depend on what is included in the theme. This could be anything from product galleries, slideshows, customer reviews and sitemaps to images and images with text overlay. You can arrange them in your desired order without having to worry about losing its responsiveness and aesthetics.

How Shopify Sections can be Helpful?

Enhance your storefront using the theme editor

Sections in Shopify can help you enhance the look of your e-commerce store using the theme editor. You can change fonts and colors in each section to match the store’s overall aesthetics. Furthermore, you can add numerous types of contents, such as videos, text, images or a combination of all.

Dynamic Shopiy sections can be added to any page, including multiple product pages or landing pages. You can use a combination of various sections to achieve the desired feel of the pages. They can be rearranged, customized, added or removed right from the theme editor. There is no coding experience needed. However, customization majorly depends on the type of theme you have installed.

Access to multiple layout options

Although Shopify offers a range of themes to display products and information in an appealing way, the problem happens when more merchants opt for the same theme. Often, they cannot add content they wish to display because of lack of options. Shopify sections allow you to restructure the page, present your products and services in unique ways and add appealing call-to-actions. Hence, sections not only improve the page layouts, but also allow you to convey your brand message the way you want.

Merchants are now no longer limited to the options provided by the standard layout of the theme. They can completely revamp their store using different layout options and make it stand out, without changing even a single line of code.

Speed up page load time

Shopify offers tons of third-party apps that can help you add new features and customize your store’s appearance. However, adding third-party apps may reduce page load speed and server response time. In addition, they may not be optimized to match your unique needs. But, with Shopify sections, you can update your store look and feel right from your theme editor.

There is no interference from third-party apps in the loading process, which means every customizable section of your website is loaded by Shopify. Since the sections are hosted on Shopify, the script is fine-tuned to match your requirements. Hence, sections enable your website to deliver greater performance and faster page speeds. Moreover, search engines prioritize websites that load fast, giving you a competitive advantage.

Require less time and efforts to upgrade

Shopify sections enable you to add custom blocks to your website with little effort and time involved. There are no complex codes to deal with. Just a few drags and drops, and your layout is ready in minutes. Moreover, the changes you make to the sections can be updated and adjusted anytime you like.

You can add sections on the desired pages for a specific time without losing your original settings. This is particularly helpful for merchants who wish to launch discount offers for limited time during holidays or seasonal sale. Unlike website redesign, these updates don’t require much technical knowledge and can be managed very easily. Any business owner can set up an e-commerce store with Shopify and customize it using sections.

Conclusion

Creating a Shopify online store opens up countless new business opportunities. But, owing to the rising competition, it is essential to make your business stand out. One way to achieve this is by choosing a custom Shopify theme for your store. Custom Shopify themes come with custom-built sections, offering a range of customization options that will not only help you enhance the look of your website, but increase customer engagement and bring more conversions. If you wish to reap benefits of a custom theme, we suggest that you hire professional Shopify theme developers who can help you integrate the best suitable features into your storefront.

When You Should Consider Moving Your Store to Shopify

6 Signs You Should Move Your Store to Shopify

Launched in 2004, Shopify today is one of the most-loved and robust e-commerce platforms, empowering more than 1.7 million global merchants. In less than 20 years, Shopify dramatically evolved the way businesses used to sell products online. The number of small and large new merchants shifting their stores to Shopify is increasing. Many companies choose to switch to Shopify because of the ease of usage, more control over the store, theme customization, and many other features that are hardly available with other e-commerce development platforms.

If you are still running your existing store on a platform other than Shopify, this might be the right time to migrate to Shopify. Here are a few compelling reasons to move your online storefront to Shopify.

#1 When you want a full-fledged e-commerce solution

Shopify is a full-fledged e-commerce platform that offers everything you need to build a fully functional store. The platform provides essential e-commerce features, such as cart functionality, payment gateway, sales channel integration, hosting, security, and many more that can help you flourish as a successful e-commerce store owner. In addition, they are over 2000 apps to help you start and grow your business. You can browse these apps according to your industry and use them to fulfill your business needs.

#2 When you are looking for a reliable e-commerce solution

The best part of switching to the Shopify platform is that Shopify servers offer unlimited bandwidth that easily handles any spike in traffic loads. Moreover, Shopify servers provide a 99.8% uptime rate, which means you are far less likely to experience downtime. And, even if there is an issue with your store, a dedicated maintenance team is available to reduce the downtime and ensure your business runs smoothly even if the website traffic gets double usual.

#3 When you wish to scale up your business

The ability to scale the business is crucial for its growth and success. With Shopify, scaling your business is not something to worry about. Shopify offers an enterprise-level solution called Shopify Plus that will unlock many advanced e-commerce features to support your business growth. You will also be provided with a dedicated Merchant Success Manager who will work with you to determine your business objectives and align your business for future expansion.

#4 When you want to customize your store’s appearance

Shopify is packed with hundreds of feature-rich and appealing themes, which brilliant Shopify designers build. You can easily customize the look and feel of your store with its theme editor. Choose your desired theme and start customizing your store’s fonts, colors, and section placements as you wish. Even better, most of the themes are available free of cost. However, if you want to stand out from the crowd, make sure you hire a Shopify expert to customize your theme according to your requirements.

#5 When you want to enhance the security of your store

As your shoppers submit necessary personal and payment details on your site, it is crucial to safeguard that information from attackers. With Shopify, you don’t need to worry about the security of your site. The platform regularly maintains its security system, giving you peace of mind that your shopping cart, transaction details, account information, hosting parties, and customer information are always protected. Furthermore, Shopify has acquired Level 1 PCI certification, enabling them to handle over 6 million transactions securely.

#6 When you want to achieve a higher ranking in SERPs

No matter how good your website is, you lose the game if it fails to get noticed by the users. Shopify comes with many SEO features that can help your e-commerce store rank higher in SERPs and bring more traffic to your site. In addition, Shopify offers numerous marketing tools, such as social media integration, product ratings, and analytics, to strengthen your marketing efforts. If you are willing to move to Shopify but afraid of losing SEO rankings, we can help you go through the migration process smoothly to achieve even better rankings with Shopify.

Final Words

Shopify is perhaps one of the best e-commerce platforms for businesses with growing needs. If you are ready to move your e-commerce store to Shopify, you can avail yourself of 360 degrees Shopify solution from Island Wizards. Our Shopify experts will help you migrate efficiently but also help you optimize your store, which brings more return on investment.

The 6 Most Useful Updates of Shopify Online Store 2.0

By 2020, the number of Shopify users grew over 450 million. The company processed over $120 billion in Gross Merchandise Volume. That’s clearly apparent that Shopify has an immensely big community and it is only growing bigger.

In June 2021, this e-commerce giant announced Online Store 2.0, introducing plenty of new features, all of which are aimed towards making the platform more customisable and offer a richer shopping experience for anyone running an online storefront on Shopify. As a result, developers can design a more diverse range of apps and themes for their clients.

Shopify Online Store 2.0 adds a whole host of new features, improvements and benefits that enable store owners to personalise their sites while saving time and making it easier for you to make more money. For developers, it gives them more freedom to build custom features and apps for their merchants.

What’s New in Shopify Online Store 2.0 and Why Should You Upgrade it?

As the future of e-commerce depends on how creative you can get at every touchpoint, Shopify Online Store 2.0 gives Shopify merchants a greater level of customisation and flexibility, so you can get as creative as you can. From architecture changes to introducing new tools, let’s take a look at these new features and understand how they can benefit your business.

#1 Introducing a new faster reference theme – Dawn

Shopify has introduced a new reference theme called Dawn for developers to begin theme designing for the storefront. This new theme is 35% faster than the previous theme ‘Debut’. The load time of an ideal website should be 2 seconds or less. If a website takes more than 2 seconds, the bounce rate may increase up to 32%. Shopify has added a lot of functionalities to Dawn right out of the box. That means the developers will need to employ as lesser apps as possible, which will eventually increase page load times.

Dawn is built with HTML and CSS rather than relying on external libraries and polyfills in order to deliver a great browsing experience across all devices. Shopify has designed it to minimise complexity and maximise flexibility, which means merchants can make changes to their website easily without having to deal with complex codes.

#2 The new theme architecture with sections on every page

In the previous version of Shopify, merchants were restricted in the number of blocks available for use in the store. Earlier, they could add sections to only homepage. But, with Online Store 2.0, you can add sections to each page throughout the site. Sections are the page elements that are adjustable and modular, allowing you to be more creative and unlock a range of opportunities to personalise each page of your online store. You can now drag and drop multiple sections and arrange them the way you like and add desired content, such as text and images to the section.

The templates for each page can be activated with a JSON file that contains particular settings for each page. This feature is truly a game changer. For instance, if you want to add a banner ad that you have on the top of your home page to the bottom of the product page, you can easily do using Shopify’s theme editor. Now you can easily customise product pages, category pages and blog pages within the JSON template files without needing a custom app builder or a developer to add elements manually.

#3 Modular app blocks for better theme app extension and configuration

Theme app extensions enabled developers to extend the functionality of the merchant’s site. In the previous version of Shopify, there was no easy way to integrate apps with themes. Although there were thousands of apps available, their integration into the store left many developers thinking if they could be implemented in a more efficient way. Developers were forced to program integration logic for every theme.

But, with Online Store 2.0, this is no longer the case. Apps are now delivered in blocks with the page giving designers and store owners full control over which pages the app will be displayed and where on those pages. This makes a big difference when it comes to personalisation of Shopify stores. Merchants can update app settings and configure apps in a way that delivers maximum benefits.

#4 An improved checkout experience

Before Online Store 2.0, the ability to personalise checkout steps were limited to only Shopify Plus store owners only. Shopify has announced in its Online Store 2.0 update that the checkout apps will be available to non-Shopify-Plus users as well. The new update will allow developers to extend the checkout functionalities and customise many areas for the ultimate checkout experience. The app extensions make customisations fast to install and easy to distribute for merchants, allowing them to reap benefits as Shopify introduces new features.

With Online Store 2.0, the process of checking out will be significantly faster and stores will be able to handle thousands of transactions per minute. You will be able to present custom content, such as exclusive offers, shipping options, payment methods and personalised messages on the checkout as well as post-purchase page. This altogether delivers a more personalised shopping experience and boost conversion rates. Please note that Online Store 2.0 may offer many checkout apps, but full customisation is still available to Plus stores only.

#5 Metafields updates allow for more flexible store content

Metafields are additional blocks of data that can be assigned to any part of your Shopify store, such as product pages, customers and orders. Before this recent update, Shopify allowed only the page title and one single rich text editor for updating page content or collection. Developers need to write code or use APIs to make any changes. There was no easy way to add more fields or information in a particular space.

With Online Store 2.0, merchants can update metadata and attributes of their Shopify store easily using the new theme editor. Page contents can be uploaded without any hassle or using APIs or coding. You may now add information to any product page that may seem beneficial to your prospects. It can also be used to update data that is not present in the store editor. Moreover, metafields can also be used for storing media assets, such as PDF files and images. The product page media selection and upload have also been simplified.

#6 Improved developer tools for faster and more efficient development

Shopify Online Store 2.0 open doors to many opportunities for developers to create new themes and apps for merchants. This is a benefit not only for developers, but for merchants as well. Online Store 2.0 introduces new developer tools that work along with Shopify to integrate and assist with developing, testing and deploying new themes. It uses its own coding language called ‘Liquid’ that is meant to enhance speed and efficiency from the developers’ point of view.

Furthermore, developers can connect your Shopify theme with GitHub, which makes it easy for them to use the Shopify CLI tool besides Theme Check for more advanced theme development. Developers can send code changes from a local dev environment to the GitHub repository, making it easier to create new branches and combine them to the master branch.

Are you ready to upgrade to Online Store 2.0?

The launch of Online Store 2.0 has truly revolutionised Shopify as a whole. From improved editor UI, full page editing ability to much-need developer tools and metafields natively, it will be mesmerising to see how more and more store owners upgrade to Online Store 2.0. Whether you wish to update your theme or design a new website on Shopify 2.0, Island Wizards offers complete Shopify solutions to build a store that matches your business goals.

Top 6 Benefits of Using A Custom Theme in WordPress

WordPress still remains one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) for many brands and marketers across the globe. WordPress is a dynamic platform that can be used for powering numerous types of websites – from individual blogs and non-profit organizations to feature-rich online stores. Many internationally renowned companies, such as Microsoft, Mercedes-Benz and Bloomberg favor WordPress, so there must be something behind its immense popularity, right?

WordPress is an open-source CMS platform that is easy to setup and offers vast community support. It also has a variety of custom themes and plug-ins to cater any type of business. For any website to stand out, it should be unique in all aspects. Having just a website is not enough, but it should be user-friendly, responsive and well-designed. It should be visually appealing that can have a positive impact on a success of a business. Let’s dig into how custom WordPress themes can benefit your business.

#1 Unique look and feel

The internet is overcrowded with hundreds and thousands of businesses operating under the same niche. Among this noise, many businesses tend to lose their identity, which is why it is important to create a unique website that reflects your brand identity. With WordPress theme customization, brands can give a new face to their website, creating unique landing pages and other visual elements. You can completely customize the look and feel of the website based on your needs, allowing you to offer a truly unique user experience. A unique theme will also help your business stand out among others, and get noticed by target audience.

#2 Faster load speed

Often theme comes with fancy features that your business may not really need. As a result, your website will not only look crowded and confusing, but it will also run much slower. For any website, page loading speed is a crucial factor. If it doesn’t load in less than two seconds, users are likely to move away to your competitors. Along with the reduction in sales, this will also blow your SEO rankings. But, with custom themes, it is much easier to manage and optimize. A custom theme contains only your business related features and nothing else. This allows your WordPress site to run much faster, resulting in better user experience. Moreover, you can rest assured that your site theme has been rigorously tested to ensure it is free of bugs.

#3 Easy to Update

A website cannot stay the same forever. It needs to be updated on a regular basis to keep up with the business growth and address the needs of the customers. Without custom themes, it becomes quite difficult to bring new features and updates to your WordPress site. But, if you choose to implement a custom WordPress theme from a WordPress expert, you can have all the latest features and security patches applied to keep your website up-to-the-date. All you need to do is inform your developer when you wish to update the theme. Your business grows and evolves every day, and therefore, your website should be able to cope with it.

#4 Improved Security

Security is a major concern for every business. The internet is full of cyber criminals looking to exploit vulnerabilities in your site. And, unfortunately, 90% of all websites that are targeted by the hackers are powered by WordPress. So, how do criminals get into a WordPress site? Simply by purchasing a theme and breaking down its code to explore loopholes. That is why the majority of WordPress developers choose to go with a customized theme. No attacker will be able to get into your custom theme code. Although a custom theme doesn’t guarantee complete protection from hackers, but there will be fewer bugs and your site will be more secure than other readymade templates.

#5 Better Support and Maintenance

While using readymade templates, you may encounter a number of issues, such as certain elements incompatible with your design, which can altogether make your website inoperable. On the contrary, you can expect prompt, high-quality support with a custom theme. If anything goes wrong, the theme developer will readily available to fix issues. Furthermore, it will be easy for the developer to maintain the website and keep it functioning as he himself is the creator of the custom theme.

#6 SEO-Friendly

SEO plays an important role in getting your website on the top of the SERPS and get it noticed by potential customers. While most WordPress ready-made themes come with basic SEO features, you will still have to put a great amount of efforts to optimize it according to your business goals and fully leverage its potential. When you build a custom theme from a scratch, you have the control of developing its structure, which also plays an important role in achieving better SEO results besides keywords. The search engine crawlers can better index your content if your website structure is simple and organize. Moreover, the limited source code used in creating a theme also adds an extra edge in SEO compliance to reach a wider audience.

Final Thoughts

Above are some benefits of WordPress that are worth considering. We admit that creating a custom theme is an expensive outlay, but given the benefits it offers, a custom theme is worth every penny. Your custom WordPress theme will have its unique feel and look, and always offer the latest features for your users to enjoy. It will also be more secure, giving your prospects a peace of mind that their crucial details are always protected. This one-time investment will go a long way in reaping substantial returns.