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Web Development

To Shopify or Not To Shopify…That Is The Question


Shopify started in 2006 with a team of 5, now they have over 2,000 employees and are turning over a considerable amount. Shopify offers companies an online platform which they can develop to sell their products and services.

But, how exactly does Shopify fair when it comes to providing both a website that is beneficial to the company using it and a good user experience?

In this blog, I will be dissecting a website created on Shopify, so I can tell you whether it is worth it.

Case Study:

Despite Shopify having thousands of websites I chose Beardbrand as my case study.

So, what exactly is Beardbrand?

Well, it was started in 2012 by Eric Bandholz, a beard fanatic who became sick of the negative connotations surrounding men with beards. Beardbrand aims to provide the tools for men so they can feel good about their beards (I feel like Eric is the Superman for all beard growers out there, three cheers for Eric!).

  1. Entering The Site:

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Before entering the site, the user is asked to choose a currency they would like to shop in. This is a simple yet effective method.  We have all been in the position when you are trying to order off an international website whilst having Google Currency Converter open in another tab to try and figure out just how out of pocket you are going to be. It doesn’t create the best user experience, so Beardbrand – well done!


  1. The Homepage:


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(Above the Fold)

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(Below the Fold)

There are two separate parts to the Homepage: Above the Fold (the first image) and Below the Fold (the second and third image). Above the Fold refers to the part of the page that the users see without scrolling down. This should be where a company puts the most important information, but it shouldn’t be overcrowded because users hate crowded pages. Below the Fold refers to the part of the page that users have to scroll down too. Now we have all the jargon out of the way, let’s get back to analysing!
Beardbrand has ‘smashed it’ in terms of their Above the Fold. They haven’t overcrowded this part of the page with loads of information, but have still given their users various shortcuts to the most wanted links on their site. They have showcased their new line of ‘sea salt sprays’ which users can shop for instantly. A navigation bar that has drop down menus attached to them, simplifying the process for users and categorises the different products they do. The top banner on the page which encourages users to enter their email in order to receive tips on how to grow the best beard, is extremely clever. Every user who enters their email becomes a subscriber and another potential person they can market to through emails. The main image on the homepage is cut off slightly at the bottom, which encourages users to scroll down for more information.
The Below the Fold has other quick links to other parts of the website but interestingly also has their Instagram feed attached. As the beard trend has become popular among young male professionals, Instagram is one of the best ways to promote, as younger users tend to be persuaded by visual and quirky images rather than chunks of text and stock imaging.



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On all the various products, rather than users having to click and scroll through various products to discover whether the products suit their needs Beardbrand have this information on the product page underneath the product photos, in symbol form e.g. Vegan Friendly, good for Sensitive Skin and so on. This saves the user time when browsing, which is always a plus.


Product Descriptions:

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The product descriptions are detailed and witty making them more enticing to users (because who doesn’t love a little laugh). The ingredients list also shows what they are actually are, for instance when a user hovers over ‘Jojoba Oil’ (it seems like this oil is in everything, but what is it and what does it do?) Beardbrand tells you what the oil is good for and how it works.
Furthermore, as the user scrolls down the page to the reviews (which are pretty good) a smaller version of the product follows, so the user doesn’t have to scroll all the way back up in order to add the product to a cart.

The Answer To The Question

The rumours are right, Shopify is a great web development for platform that allows companies to be creative on their websites whilst retaining a great customer experience. Beardbrand have used the platform in a simple yet effective way. They have added plug-ins that have made it easier for them to attract their target audience as well as making the general browsing experience easy, as their navigation bar can always be seen on every page.

Did you know here at Apex Ecommerce, one of the website development platforms we use is Shopify?
If you want to know how we can help you kickstart your Ecommerce site, then get in Contact!


Learn more about what it means to be a Shopify Partner

Chris Thomas


Chris Thomas

CEO & Founder

Chris has been at the forefront of eCommerce and a pioneer of online retailing since the early 00s. A 5-time Drapers Award winner, Chris has extensive experience in developing fashion brands online.

Chris founded Cake in 2016. Based in Birmingham, with offices nationwide, Cake specialises in helping fashion brands understand their market online and then helps to develop appropriate strategical direction to achieve their plan, all backed by his 20 years of operating in the retail market.