What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Our old site was so broken at that point that anything else would’ve been better. I’ve built sites in previous jobs, where it turned out that the new version was actually worse than what it used to be. In our case, it was such a mess that we knew that anything we’d do would improve it,
I’ve been in this field for 14 years, and I’ve worked at different companies and with different platforms. I think that ShopTrade is pretty high up there. They’re one of the better developers I’ve come across. The code seems clean, the site’s fast, and there aren’t a lot of bugs. It’s good overall.
How did ShopTrade™ perform from a project management standpoint?
They’ve done a really good job. They were on top of things from the get-go. They asked a lot of questions and really tried to understand the task. For me, it’s not enough to manage a project well; it’s also important for the company we’re working with to do more than just what we hired them for, and we’ve gotten that a lot from ShopTrade. In some cases, they came up with mockup designs for something we could do, which were brilliant. They’re continuing to do this now, moving forward.
We had biweekly calls and a few meetings in advance, to go through all the specs. They had Jira or a similar app in place, where we could follow along each piece of the project. If something was stuck, we’d see that it was stuck, and didn’t have to beg and ask them what’s going on. Everything was very transparent, and that helped a lot.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They have a very deep understanding of how Shopify works, its limitations, and how to bend those limitations to make it work for us. We’ll find a lot of Shopify developers that’ll tell us that it can’t be done, that it’s a limitation of Shopify. ShopTrade will tell us that what we’re asking for can’t technically be done the way we want it, but, if we did X, Y, and Z, it would actually work.
A good example of that are meta fields. I’ve worked with a bunch of different developers, and many of them wouldn’t use meta fields the way ShopTrade did, namely in a way that gave us a lot of customizations we wouldn’t otherwise have had. They were able to utilize meta fields in a lot of different ways, to give us more than would typically be possible with a typical product page. There are Shopify editors who just know how to customize themes, and there are people who really think about and understand what the problem’s about.
Are there any areas they could improve?
No, I don’t have anything off the top of my head. They’re a great group of people, they have solid developers, and they’re priced reasonably.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
It’s important to be on top of things and know what we want in advance. We have to guide the developers on what the business requirements are. We did that in the beginning since our business is unique. Not every e-commerce site has franchises, retail shops, and spas, and everything has to come together into one experience. For example, we can’t just discount general items because we have shops, and the shops rely on pricing. Clients need to have a clear idea of what their business requirements are and what they need and help the developer understand what’s unique about the business. Every business has something unique about it, just in the sense of how it operates. This is something that helped us a lot and made our project run smoothly.