5 takeaways from Shopify's Halifax Shop Class

We’re just coming off an amazing time hosting Shopify as they made a stop in Halifax as part of their nationwide Shop Class tour. It was a great two days filled with workshops, Shopify experts, and panel discussions with some amazing guests.

Before it all fades into our memory here are some key things we heard at the Halifax Seaport Market during the Shop Class:

Think shipping first

Shipping is core to an online business, but often something vendors think of after their site is live and orders are starting to come in.

Canada Post is the recommended app from Shopify as it integrates nicely by providing the tracking ID for your customer.

They also recommended Parcelify which lets you apply different shipping rules per product, which helps with some of the more complicated items in your store.

Their custom furniture ships whole, often requiring a crate. It’s possibly the most complicated shipping we have seen, but they have a plan in place for each item and learn from their mistakes.

The app marketplace is robust and growing exponentially

One of the Shopify Experts at the Shop Class was Bold – which is Shopify’s top app developer. They have apps from Product Upsell to Recurring Orders and are launching more each week (they launched a new one during Shop Class).

The app marketplace fills the gaps in Shopify and is constantly adapting. Our own apps Exportify and Teleport spun out of needs of our clients, and have proven useful for other Shopify stores around the globe.

We currently have a third app in production, so stay tuned.

Halifax is becoming an ecommerce and technology hub

Member of Parliament Andy Filmore was present during the final panel discussion, and he has high hopes for Halifax becoming a tech and ecommerce hub for the Maritimes.

In fact, a few days later a similar article was written by the Canadian Press, saying the “time is now” for a Halifax to become a tech boomtown.

Halifax certainly has been a great place to grow Able Sense – it provides a great work life balance and is close to a lot of the major centres that are key to success.

Shopify offers a lot of support

Shopify gurus (their term for support staff) were out in full force answering questions and leading most of the workshops.

Most of the Shopify vendors we spoke to over the 2-days reported really short wait times when calling Shopify directly.

Running an ecommerce venture can often be a lonely enterprise, so it’s nice to know that you ever need support, someone is ready and waiting in Ottawa to help.

A Canadian success story to be proud of

In Canada, we tend to think technology companies are all based in silicon valley. It’s great to have a success story like Shopify that offers a great product that generates international attention.

It inspires other companies like Bold, Carson, and ourselves to recommend the platform, and also want to help contribute to the app marketplace.

In fact, a recent article says the amount of Americans applying for Shopify jobs in Canada is growing.

Just after Shop Class wrapped, Prince Charles himself stopped into Shopify as part of his Canada Day visit to Ottawa.