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Overcoming the Limitations of Shopify Plus

Overcoming the Limitations of Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus has carried out one thing unimaginable:  it’s introduced enterprise-level eCommerce capabilities to firms on an inexpensive price range.  What used to require total groups to construct and handle can now be had for just some thousand {dollars} a month.

But it surely’s under no circumstances excellent.  From giant catalogs to discounting guidelines, there are just a few frequent issues that may frustrate even essentially the most stalwart Shopify fan.

On this put up, we’ll discover just a few of the frequent issues and, most significantly, find out how to handle them.

Points with Expansive Product Portfolios 

Downside: Variants Thresholds

Shopify natively helps the creation of as much as three choices per product (i.e. dimension, shade, fashion) and as much as 100 variants of choices combos; for instance, a mixture of size-color-style equals one variant. Every variant has its personal distinctive SKU quantity, picture, value and extra attributes.

The problem: what ought to a enterprise do if it has greater than three choices and 100 variants?   

Workaround 1: Grouping Merchandise 

Within the aforementioned case, we cut up merchandise based mostly on choices. Let’s assume your product has 10 totally different colours. Every shade will likely be created as a person product, and the scale might be a easy variant.

On the product web page, group all merchandise of the identical kind with a unified tag, and every shade will present up as a product swatch. Prospects will navigate from one shade to a different in the identical type as they’d from one variant to a different; the distinction on this situation being every shade is a product with its personal URL.

This technique might require easy code to be carried out on the product web page.

The benefit to this strategy is that product variants act and function as particular person touchdown pages. Every variant could have its curated content material, picture gallery, meta title and outline to optimize for search engine optimisation.

Entrepreneurs love the setup, and plenty of manufacturers (together with GymShark and AllBirds) make the most of it—even when their product choices don’t exceed the 100 variant restrict. In essence, we are able to flip this limitation into a bonus. 

Workaround 2: Apps

Shopify apps equivalent to Infinity Choices and Daring Product Choices present alternate options to the variant limitation difficulty, permitting the addition of product choices and variants. Except particular back-office necessities for managing stock exist, that is sometimes the perfect different.

As an example, if the fourth choice mixture creates a special value or requires a novel SKU, this might complicate the stock administration platform.

One other consideration is that apps impacting front-end performance might negatively have an effect on loading velocity and website Internet Vitals, so the primary workaround choice is all the time advisable to begin.   

Workaround 3: Product Lists 

For B2B eCommerce retailers with giant product choices or advanced variations, product lists could also be the popular technique. As a substitute of utilizing product swatches, every variant is listed as an merchandise with its personal amount field.

Much like the primary resolution examined, variants are created as particular person gadgets and linked to the principle product by a unified tag. On this case, the location is optimized for fast order performance, giving prospects the flexibility so as to add a number of variants with totally different portions to the cart on the identical time.

This implementation requires some {custom} improvement which any mid-level developer can simply deal with. 

Points with Giant Catalog Group  

Downside: Navigation Limitations

On the gathering web page, there are just a few limitations with giant catalog websites. (To be clear, although, most direct-to-consumer manufacturers is not going to expertise these points.) Native to Shopify, broad navigation could be managed with product tags.

Product tags are broadly used, and every product can have dozens of tags. When you’ve got a class web page with 1000’s of merchandise, an equal variety of tags could be queried on the identical time. On this state of affairs, Shopify received’t present all related filters, and that will likely be a difficulty.

Workaround 1: Faceted Navigation and Search 

Fixing this difficulty is just not difficult; platforms equivalent to Algolia are designed for search and faceted navigations. Since merchandise are rendered inside a set by Algolia, this limitation is eradicated.

Nevertheless, there’s a couple of benefit to utilizing Algolia; apart from faceted navigation, search could be enhanced with AI and behaviorally related outcomes. For giant catalogs, on-site search is vital for a powerful person expertise, and a platform like it will generate outcomes by autocomplete and massive information analytics in milliseconds. 

Moreover, as an alternative of utilizing product tags, Shopify Metafields can be utilized to construction information extra simply. As a substitute of filtering by “materials” for instance, create a metafield for the fabric and add it as a textual content subject.

Algolia syncs all of the metafields and presents them on the gathering web page as faceted navigation, and the velocity efficiency is excellent. For a full rundown on B2B eCommerce structural and strategic ideas, try the 2022 B2B Ecommerce Playbook.

Workaround 2: Multi-Degree Navigation

Mega menus are sometimes designed for person experiences with three ranges of subcategories. In some instances, companies with giant catalogs require a fourth degree of navigation to introduce one other layer of subcategory.

To beat this problem, a number of navigations could be created with three ranges apiece. On this instance, think about these ranges to be departments. Now, every division has three ranges of classes and subcategories, giving 4 ranges of navigation in complete. 

With {custom} coding, these navigations could be merged into the mega menu which lists all departments (and might drive down into further ranges). Though this hasn’t been requested up to now, this technique might be used to create five-level navigation, although the group might show difficult.  

Workaround 3:  Assortment Construction 

Whereas the restrict on a guide assortment is 100,000 (with the potential for being exceeded), the limitation of automated collections is 5,000. That is exceedingly uncommon, however the resolution is easy: use automated collections when wanted, and deploy guide collections for the remainder of the classes.

Odds of dealing with this limitation are low, but it surely’s price noting because it exists.

Points with Technical Difficulties

Downside: URL Construction Limitations 

It’s well-known that Shopify’s URL construction can’t be altered. For merchandise, the area path will likely be, and for collections, the trail will likely be Whereas there’s some concern about whether or not modifying the URL construction can impression search engine optimisation, it has not confirmed to be the case.  

Workaround: Performing a Website Construction Evaluation 

The primary concern, nevertheless, ought to be about transferring from one other platform to Shopify as this forces a brand new URL, and the migration should be dealt with fastidiously. Listed here are some advisable actions: 

  • Conduct 301 redirects for all hyperlinks (collections, merchandise, pages, blogs) 
  • Hold the identical URL key phrases and content material because the “deal with” on Shopify
  • Resubmit the sitemap.xml on Google Console instantly after the migration
  • Hold a constant navigation construction with solely minor modifications
  • Implement correct canonical URLs 
  • Optimize the location for search engine optimisation earlier than you launch it

With every migration, anticipate a drop of visitors of as much as 5 %; nevertheless, this visitors will rebound inside three months after which speed up due to the UX and infrastructure enhancements made by using Shopify capabilities.

Downside: Overly Simplistic Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are a vital part to simplifying the navigation, particularly for patrons visiting the location by an exterior hyperlink or Google Search.

Natively, breadcrumbs are in-built a simplistic means on Shopify whereby the construction is Dwelling > Assortment > Product. As acknowledged above, Shopify doesn’t assist multi-level classes and that could be a downside to be addressed.

Workaround: Metafields 

Breadcrumbs could be carried out on the product web page and assortment web page by metafields, and you’ve got full freedom with formatting and breadcrumbs. 

Points with the Checkout

Downside: Low cost Limitations

Shopify gives a variety of low cost alternate options. Apps like Final Particular Presents present totally different strategies of discounting and promotion which might elevate gross sales efficiency. Nevertheless, stacked reductions and diversified product pricing creates a discounting problem.

Almost all apps providing discounting capabilities make the most of the Shopify Draft Order API. The identical technique is used when implementing apps that supply group pricing and value breaks (tier pricing). An issue seems when Draft Order API is used; the checkout web page doesn’t have a reduction field.

On this situation, reductions can solely be carried out through line-item low cost (vs complete cart low cost), and coupon codes don’t work on this occasion. To keep away from this complication, these apps add a “faux” low cost code field on the cart web page. 

Workaround: An app…for now

The short-term resolution is to make use of an app that gives each group/tier reductions and superior cart promotions (i.e. Low cost Field). This app permits the alteration of product costs per totally different teams or portions whereas additionally including automated cart reductions based mostly on subtotals or cart contents.

As talked about, it is a short-term resolution. The Shopify Plus crew not too long ago introduced at its annual convention (Commerce+) the 2022 launch of native B2B capabilities equivalent to tariffs and extra superior checkout capabilities.

As a result of this has been a long-term request from retailers and companions, we consider it is going to be a precedence for the Shopify Plus crew to launch.

Downside: Checkout Configuration Limitations

Checkout.liquid file is accessible for all Shopify Plus upon request and permits the customization of checkout (to a sure diploma). Whereas it’s true the fee steps can’t be altered, the feel and appear of the web page could be modified freely.

Though it’s potential so as to add further fields or customise the design, Shopify doesn’t encourage retailers to do that, as a result of it performs every day assessments and scores all websites to optimize the checkout course of.  

Workaround: Scripts and Customization

As well as, Shopify Plus retailers have entry to Scripts and Stream to additional customise the UX of checkout by creating conditional logic towards the fee/delivery choices for sure buyer teams, behaviors or cart content material.

Granted, there are uncommon case eventualities that may’t be accommodated through Shopify Checkout, however there’s all the time the choice to construct a {custom} checkout (which is allowed for Shopify Plus retailers).  

Downside: Shopify Cost Assist 

Whereas Shopify permits the sale of CBD merchandise, Shopify Funds doesn’t assist them. Along with merchandise that comprise CBD/THC, Shopify may not assist some complement classes that it considers “pseudo prescribed drugs” that are in opposition to its phrases of service (TOS).

Whereas there are different fee gateway suppliers that might be used, there’s an extra problem to be thought-about: virtually all manufacturers promoting CBD/THC merchandise use platforms like ReCharge Funds to allow subscription capabilities. 

Workaround: Authorize.internet 

The restricted choices of Shopify Cost gateways that may use the Subscription API in addition to assist CBD/THC merchandise pose a significant problem. One of the vital notable alternate options is Authorize.internet, which might join with quite a few fee service provider companions (underlying banks) to course of any sort of transaction.

Downside: Wholesale Channel Portal Design 

Wholesale Channel is commonly the go-to resolution for processing wholesale orders through a non-public portal. This Shopify-built app comes with a handful of respectable functionalities, and the worth listing engine works successfully. Nevertheless, the UX of the portal is unchangeable and primary; there’s little customization and, above all, Shopify Scripts at checkout should not appropriate.

Workaround: A Wholesale Clone Website

Shopify Plus contains capabilities for 9 further shops inside the identical license. Use one in every of these shops to run the wholesale portal below a subdomain, then customise the UX/UI of the wholesale portal as desired, utilizing all Shopify On-line Retailer capabilities, apps, and third events as if it was a D2C storefront.

It’s even potential to dam visitor entry through the use of an app like Locksmith, making certain solely vetted prospects can login and order. This can be a far superior resolution than the Wholesale Channel.  

Different Obstacles

Under is a listing of further limitations incurred over the previous 10 years of working with Shopify. Nevertheless, none of them are regarding sufficient to cease retailers from utilizing it.

  • There are some API limitations to notice if constructing a non-public app for particular performance 
  • Prospects’ passwords can’t be migrated from one other platform and should be reset 
  • Product galleries are restricted to 250 pictures (though you may add extra pictures through metafields)
  • 100,000 complete redirects are supported, a restrict in all probability has possible by no means been challenged.
  • Present playing cards can’t be imported or migrated (except by a {custom} app to port by API)
  • Multi-account capabilities (often requested however seemingly not within the options pipeline)  

Regardless of some technical limitations, Shopify Plus continues to be the perfect and the last word platform to enterprise and develop a D2C or B2B eCommerce enterprise. There are some limitations however virtually all of them are solved with workarounds or superior apps.

Denis Dyli

Put up by Denis Dyli

Denis Dyli is the founder and CEO of PIVOFY, a Chicago-based internet collective centered on Shopify Plus eCommerce technique, design and execution. Pivofy has been acknowledged as a number one Shopify accomplice and is a top-ranked agency by Clutch. Over the previous decade, Dyli and Pivofy have delivered greater than 100+ eCommerce websites, lots of which had been re-platforming efforts. 



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