I tried building an ecommerce store using Shopify but their CMS tool is clunky and rigid. So, I decided to use Hubspot CMS blog functionality to build my store. A big part of growing a store is marketing and Shopify doesn't offer much flexibility.
What it does
I built a custom blog listing/post front-end to mimic an ecommerce store. Technically, there's not much difference. The goal was to keep it as minimal as possible.
How we built it
There are three primary elements to an ecommerce store: product, platform, payment. For product, I source my own but I also use printify. I integrated Printify with Shopify so that any products I create are automatically ported over to shopify including product description, price, and images. One the products make it to Shopify, I use their "lite" plan, which gives you access to a "buy button." You can take this buy button and embed it onto any website using a code provided by Shopify. So, whenever I list a new product, I take the information from shopify and copy paste it into the product's hubspot page. I also embed the button. The button allows any buyer to checkout with only two clicks without ever leaving the product's page. Once they make the payment, Shopify handles processing and Printify handles fulfillment. The only thing I do is build the page.
Challenges we ran into
Not many challenges. The only thing I'm trying to figure out is how to automate the process of listing a produce from Shopify to Hubspot. When dealing with button embed codes, the difference between one product's code and another is the "product ID" and the "Product-Component Number," this allows me to hardcode the embed code so that anyone on the front end only fills out those two values to get a working button with minimal work. My goal is to map those two numbers from Shopify to Hubspot automatically so that anyone trying to post a product doesn't have to do any heavy lifting. The next challenge is finding a way to automatically port over product images and product description. Ideally this would be an API integration that lets you pick the product from a dropdown. If I can make that happen, a person posting a new product would only have to choose from the drop down and everything else would happen automatically. The next step would be to automate the entire process so that when a product is created in Printify, it's automatically passed to Shopify and posted as a Hubspot "blog entry."
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The workflow. I've figured out a way to launch a fully functional ecommerce store including payments and fulfillment with minimal work in the matter of days.
What we learned
I learned that with a little work up front, I can make this possible for people. This eliminates the need for clunky zapier integrations and manual work.
What's next for eCommerce Store
Figure out the automations mentioned above.