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SHOPIFY SUCCESS STORIES - THE CANVAS WORKS

posted by , 25 FEB 2016

We were delighted to be featured on Shopify's website as one of their Success Stories.  

There are a lot of sites on Shopify selling photography and art but we could not find very many at all that were offering highly customisable personalised print products like our canvas prints, framed prints and wood mount prints.  So it is great to get some recognition from Shopify for what we've built.

I think one possible reason there are not a lot of companies like us on Shopify is that building a bespoke service like ours on their platform does come with some complications. It's fine if you're a photographer or artist and your product is a straight forward framed print of your own work. But when your product is the customer's own photo - then it gets a little complicated.

To do this well, you have to build out a solution that overcomes a number of technical challenges:

1. Image Selection

2. Image Cropping and Editing

3. Visualisation and Saving of the product

4. Passing it back to Shopify for checkout

In effect, there is no product to buy until the customer creates it on the fly using our web app.  It's then passed back to Shopify for checkout and payment.  

Where we have done well (I humbly submit) is building an approach to this process that understands how customers think about their images when they come to ordering a product like this.  We've got a decade of experience in dealing with customers so we have learned over the years how many of them think about their images.

I can tell you for sure, that the vast majority don't even know what an image ratio is. It amazes me when I see sites out there asking customers to think in these terms.  Most people think in terms of shapes - "I want a square print" or "I want a big long print for over my sofa".  You have to offer your service in a way that leads them through the process quickly and easily and leaves as much of the technical jargon out.

Visualisation is also essential.  Most normal customers just don't have a huge grasp on measurements.  Offering them a 60x40cm print means nothing.  In store they will often hold our their hands and say "I want something this big". So if you can't show them how big their print is in a manner that they can understand (given the limitations of screens sizes and different device types) you are going to have trouble with order drop outs.

Shopify and analytics consistently tells us we have low cart abandonment rates and very high conversion rates compared to stores launched at the same time.  I think it's down to features like this - as well as our superb print quality and absolutely first class customer service.

These are just some of the reasons why I think we've carved out some success on Shopify. I hope you find your success too! 

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