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Why Shopify Featured The Canvas Works for Canvas Printing

24 Mar 2024
Shopify Success Story The Canvas Works

 For 2024 I've embarked on a project to review my blog content, bring it up to date and add some brand new fresh material. I'm really enjoying the process of working on the blog again - it's a nice habit to fall back into after a long absence. 

This story about how Shopify featured The Canvas Works as a case study for canvas printing, goes back a decade - wow, hard to believe.  I've been on Shopify for something like 12 years and I have to say I'm quite vested in the platform now.  It would take something quite radical for me to move platform.  But I've a little more to say a decade on about how Shopify has developed and where I see the challenges for small businesses like mine.

I'm going to save those comments for a brand new blog post which I'm curretly working on.  In fact, there's a series of posts coming up on the challenges of running websites on shopify, my experience using their mobile buy sdk and my thoughts on what shopify should do next to service the smaller end of the market - ie those clients and developers who aren't focused on Shopify Plus.

But for now, it's nice to look back over this conent and reflect on how delighted I was at the time to make it onto the Shopify website as a success story.  It delivered quite a bit of traffic for the site and it helped my domain authority no end. 

Here's the original artice with some fresh headlines and links updated....

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

Personalised Photo Printing Using Shopify

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 wooden photo blocks.  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.

Customers Think About Shape When Ordering Canvas Prints

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 panoramic canvas 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.

The Importance of Size Visualisation for Online Canvas Printing

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! 

If you have read this article, please consider sharing it on your social networks and help us spread the word! Thanks.


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