How it started
It has been quite some time now that we are working with Shopify, first we opened up our own store (which didn’t go so well - but that’s ok), then we started working with other people to set up their stores and became shopify experts, and we also developed our first app (yes, you can check it out here, it’s pretty cool). The more we have been working with other peoples stores we noticed that there are quite some feature requests that come around regularly. We came to realize that there is no way to get cool Shopify Features outside of the App Store. While apps are a great way to add complex functions to your store it is not really sensible to pay a monthly fee for a single style feature.
During one of our working excursions, about which we also going to tell you a bit more in this article, we said that we should standardize the deployment of such features.
This is when the idea of a shopify feature marketplace was born - a place where shopowners can browse features that will enhance the customer experience on their sites, with all the boosting sales and leveling satisfactory of course.
During one of our working excursions we fine-grained the idea. The highest principal for the features we wanted to pack and offer for store owners is, that they can maintain and control them to a maximum extend themselves.
The purchase process needed to be slick and simple - buy it, chose the installation service, customize it - and if you don’t like it give it back. Of course we went with the shopify platform for hosting the marketplace.
But selling digital goods isn’t that easy. We are not talking big software like photoshop here, we want to offer well defined, everyday functionalities that won’t revolutionize e-commerce, but that are available to everybody.
Some considerations when you are small
The first major challenge we were facing is the design of our homepage. How to present a product such as „tabbed product description for shopify“ or „magic card filters for shopify collections“? Our visitors need to be able to understand that those are products that can be purchased.
Also Google will be hard to convince to take us anywhere near relevancy since those product names are not quite unique.
So we buckelt down and tried some designs, and we ended up with an all-in for Google’s „Material Design“ combined with expressive colors which I think you have experienced by now, and we tried to gadget the hell out of the page. The main intention, besides just being pretty, is to show how much attraction a thought through design can create, and by offering many interaction options and animations we hope to get people to stay on the page for some time and to better absorb the information we offer.
We are still at the beginning and we are still trying to collect feedback if this approach is working for the people out there - so if you can please leave us some feedback. But we do feel optimistic that we put something out there that people can enjoy, that brings value to people and that satisfies you as well as us.