Canvas Group Interview

Canvas Group Interview

Tell us a little about your business and how you got involved with ecommerce…

We’ve been in business since 2003. We are a creative agency working in branding and graphic design as well as all things digital. We were attracted to e-commerce because it has so many different touchpoints and connections to what we do – branding, packaging, advertising. There is just so much scope in e-commerce projects. Also, looking at user behaviour – everything is moving online. We just had to get involved!

Why Shopify? What are the advantages and disadvantages you see when working with Shopify…

We tried a number of different platforms including bespoke platform development before settling on Shopify as our preferred e-commerce platform. We liked it for its design flexibility, combined with the breadth of its secure functionality – not having to recreate complex functional elements is a real bonus

Tell us about the creative process that you go through with each of your new clients..

Every e-commerce site is a bespoke design. We are a design-led business. Our process is simple – take a good clear brief, understand it, scope the project (all of the little details that need to be incorporated into the application), along with important things like target audience, visual reference, client business plan, technology integration requirements – develop and present the concept – design iterations – build – staging link plus functionality feedback – testing and debugging – go live.

What makes a great ecommerce design…

From a technical perspective – speed! Usability is essential – it needs to be easy. Attention to detail (e.g. little things like maintaining your filters when you click back to a product category). From a design perspective, great product images are really important.

What are some of the challenges in Shopify design that clients may not be aware of…

Like every other platform, Shopify has its limitations. Sometimes it is very time-consuming to design and build more complex sites. Shopify is not completely customisable – you can’t do everything – clients will often need to pick and choose the most essential requirements, prioritise them and let go of the less important ones.

When should a client choose a custom design over a pre-made template or theme..

Every time. Well perhaps to clarify – we are only interested in clients who want a bespoke design. We are a design-led business and are just not the right agency for anyone who wants to use a template.

What is your best advice for a company looking for a web design for their Shopify store?…

Have a great business plan prior to approaching an agency! Write a brief! You are opening a store, it is a business, it’s not just something you can slap together. Do thorough research into the business side of e-commerce – think about inventory, shipping, storage. Take it seriously and don’t be dazzled by the money you think you’re going to make. Go for it, it’s all or nothing. And when you get to Shopify, look for a Shopify Expert – or come to us!

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