Bear Group Now Supporting Shopify
A bit late to the party, but better late than never
I was looking back in my email wondering when the first time I talked about Shopify with a client. Here’s a quick flashback to more than ten years ago when I sent this email in July of 2010…
From: Greg Bear
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 9:08 AM
To: Mark T.
Just hearing a bit about this hosted store solution called Shopify.
http://www.shopify.com/ Wondering if you had looked at it already?
So it's similar to Yahoo Stores or Volusion, in that it's entirely hosted. Not sure this service came across your radar while you were out looking. It seems solid, has some buzz, and I saw some good demo stores. Worth a look.
Hint: It proved to be a solid eCommerce platform
Fast forward to today, and saying Shopify “seems solid” might be the understatement of the decade.
As of mid-January 2021, Shopify has a $142 billion market cap, is trading at $1,170/share, and helped many, many companies jump quickly into eCommerce in 2020.
Shopify grew steadily throughout the 2010s thanks to their ever-expanding features and ease of use—a goldmine in the small business space.
What they did was not entirely new. Volusion, Yahoo Stores, and even Magento Go all came before Shopify with their own SaaS commerce products. These platforms may have set the stage for Shopify, but they lacked some of the flexibility brands and developers required, and never solidified their market position.
How we adopt new platforms
When we began Bear Group in 2007, we established six growth tenets to guide our decisions. These tenets—though perhaps overly methodical and slowing our expansion at times—have provided tremendous stability, a managed approach to growth, and set us up to be a healthy company that will still be around in 50 years.
One of those tenets is "focused platforms." We believe there is strong value for clients in focusing on key platforms and building deep expertise within our primary technologies (rather than taking any project on any platform as some agencies do).
We’ve focused on two key platforms—Magento and Drupal—since we began, and while we certainly evaluate new technologies as they surface, it’s rare for us to add a new platform that we build expertise around and support.
We believe in our growth tenets, but we also don’t have our heads in the sand...
Adding a platform: Shopify
We’re thrilled to add Shopify as a primary technology platform Bear Group supports in 2021.
The last time we added a new technology platform was Magento in 2009. Magento remains our primary platform for custom eCommerce, and we’re a committed Adobe partner, however, it isn’t always the right platform for smaller companies or super-straightforward commerce sites.
We needed a solution for these customers.
Last year was our year of Shopify R&D. In 2020, we had a chance to take two long-time clients—Glazer's Camera (launching soon!) and BioImmersion—to Shopify; custom-theming both websites, building a point-of-sale integration, and developing an understanding of how to leverage the Shopify platform. We’re also in the process of building our first Shopify app, which we’ll be releasing this spring.
Adopting a new platform like Shopify isn’t difficult for our team since we have a deep understanding of eCommerce and we’re working in the same front-end technologies used by Shopify.
Our expert-level team of eCommerce developers is cross-trained in Shopify and we have an experienced and dedicated technical project manager to lead our Shopify work.
Operationally, we are dialed in.
So which platform did Mark end up choosing after I sent him that email in 2010 when Shopify was new on the market?
After reviewing all options, Mark’s company decided to go with Magento Open Source and it ended up being a solid choice for them at the time. I probably wouldn’t be writing this article in 2021 if they had chosen Shopify instead!
It’s now been more than 10 years since we first looked into Shopify as an eCommerce platform choice. We may be late to the party, but I am excited for Bear Group to launch full support for the Shopify platform, offering yet another strong eCommerce platform option for merchants depending on their needs.
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