While eCommerce has become more accessible than ever to businesses of every scale, it has also become more complex. As web 2.0 and social media have grown ubiquitous, the potential for complications has gone way up, requiring a greater level of expertise than before. While it may have been sufficient in the past to hire an enterprise-oriented web design service, this no longer produces the best results. Recognizing this, Shopify took the initiative to deploy their Shopify + Partner program to provide their merchants with a number of benefits that might not be obvious from the advertising hype.
Foremost, Shopify + partners are not simply certified agents, as is the case with most tech partnerships. Often, the standards are simply there to meet without any assistance from the organization setting them, requiring would-be certified experts to fend for themselves. While this is a functional model for, say, networking, or other more general bodies of knowledge, it’s less useful for a proprietary eCommerce solution like Shopify. While any given Shopify + preferred partner is independent of Shopify, they also have a strong connection to Shopify in the form of exclusive resources and training. Rather than simply trying to meet an abstract standard from the outside, Shopify actually walks them through a variety of processes and trains them as they would their own team members. As updates to the Shopify platform are deployed, the partners are given advanced notice to begin work immediately adapting, rather than leaving your eCommerce site lagging behind the introduction of new features.
Following this, Shopify wasn’t looking for a set-and-forget program that most certification programs would offer, which is why they have their own partner managers. The introduction of the partner manager role was the primary indication that Shopify was taking their partner program seriously, but their use of resources has proven worth it. From the perspective of a business looking to hire a partner, managers keep partners working according to their standards and benchmarks. From the perspective of a certified partner, they serve as a point of contact that can assist and intervene in the event of any inconvenience. This makes them indispensable to the program as a whole because they add value at every step of the way.
Something unique to partners as well is that they are not necessarily competing, allowing them to form a community of industry professionals. Because they are all specialized in Shopify itself, they can make contact and work together in a unique, community-oriented fashion that isn’t found elsewhere in the industry. This provides a unique host of resources that adapts and changes with the industry, providing insight that doesn’t translate as easily to a classroom environment.
The Shopify + partner system is accessible to design firms of a variety of scales, including more generic, mass-market groups, as well as the more dedicated firms such as 1Digital Agency. Agencies like 1Digital focus on providing bespoke solutions to their clients’ needs and their status as a partner allow them to combine this with the unique resources provided by Shopify to offer eCommerce work that satisfies every imaginable criterion.
Ultimately, Shopify’s partnership program has provided a massive boon to eCommerce as a whole, at least among those that utilize Shopify’s platform for their own needs. With rumours of similar programs evolving within the offices of other eCommerce platforms, it’s likely that they will secure the role of industry leader for such partnerships, paving the way and laying out the template for future developments. Choosing the right partner will simplify your business needs beyond what you may have thought possible with the right agency, letting you take the stress out of your eCommerce solutions to focus on what your business does best.
The author is a freelance writer and having a successful experience in writing about Internet Marketing Services. Currently, he is writing about how to choose Shopify Plus Expert and Custom Bigcommerce Design.