The Importance of Custom Development on Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is a robust ecommerce platform designed specifically for the needs of high-volume, ambitious businesses.

It offers powerful features and tools that give merchants the flexibility to take their online stores to the next level. However, as your business grows, so too might your need for features and a user experience tailored specifically to how you operate. This is where custom development on Shopify Plus comes into play.

Custom development refers to the process of modifying or extending the default functionality of Shopify Plus through bespoke coding. Think of it as a way to make your store a truly unique reflection of your brand – a place where you're not limited by pre-packaged themes or apps. The beauty of custom development is that it empowers businesses on Shopify Plus to achieve their specific ecommerce goals, whether that's providing a seamless customer experience, streamlining complex business processes, or building features that give you a competitive edge.

The Benefits of Custom Development

Increased Customisation:

Think of out-of-the-box Shopify Plus as giving you a fantastic foundation to build upon. Custom development then lets you truly go to town designing and perfecting your digital storefront. With customisation, you're not just picking a nice-looking theme and hoping for the best. You can meticulously craft the look and feel of your store to align perfectly with your brand identity. This means everything from colour schemes and fonts to how your products are displayed and the overall flow of the customer journey.

But the power of custom development goes beyond visual appeal. You also gain incredible control over the functionality of your store. The result is a store that doesn't just look like yours, it operates exactly the way your business needs it to.

Improved Functionality:

Sometimes, even with the vast library of Shopify Plus apps, you might find there's a crucial feature missing – one that could make a tangible difference to your sales or customer experience. This is where custom development truly shines.

Let's imagine a few scenarios:

  • Custom Product Configurators: You sell highly customisable products, and a simple dropdown list for options won't cut it. A custom configurator can provide an interactive, visual way for customers to build their dream product.
  • Loyalty Programs: You want to go beyond basic points-based rewards. Custom development opens up possibilities for tiered programs, exclusive benefits, and ways to truly gamify customer loyalty.
  • Streamlined Checkout: If your business processes are complex, a tailor-made checkout could remove friction for customers, reducing abandoned baskets and boosting conversions.

The beauty of custom functionality is that it's built to solve your specific challenges, not just offer a generic solution.

Enhanced Scalability:

Growth is fantastic, but it brings challenges. A sudden surge in traffic or a spike in orders can put a strain on any online store. That's why custom development is an important tool in your scalability arsenal. By tailoring your Shopify Plus store's backend, you can optimise it for performance under pressure. This might include clever ways to handle large amounts of data, ensuring that product pages load swiftly even during peak times, or creating systems to manage inventory updates seamlessly as sales come pouring in. Custom development isn't just about handling the here and now; it's about future-proofing your store. You won't be caught off-guard by further growth down the line, as your store's foundation will be solid.

Better SEO:

While Shopify Plus offers decent SEO capabilities right out of the box, custom development can give you that extra edge to stand out in search results. Here's how:

  • Fine-Tuned Control: Custom code lets you meticulously optimise elements crucial to SEO, like page titles, meta descriptions, and URL structures in ways that pre-built themes might restrict.
  • Site Speed Matters: Search engines love fast-loading websites. Custom development can help you streamline code and remove bloat, boosting your store's load times.
  • Unique Content Structures: Want a way to present product information or create dedicated landing pages in a format designed to please search engines? Custom development unlocks that possibility.

The result? A store that is primed to rank higher on relevant searches, which translates into more organic traffic and potential customers finding you.

Improved Conversion Rates:

Ultimately, all these enhancements from custom development lead towards one key goal: boosting your conversionrates. Let's break down how this works:

  • Frictionless Experience: A custom-built store eliminates any clunky navigation or confusing purchase flows. Customers find what they need quickly and the checkout process is a breeze.
  • Persuasive Design: You can tailor visuals, product displays, and calls-to-action to be extra enticing, guiding customers towards that final 'buy' button.
  • Trust and Confidence: Unique features, whether it be custom product demonstrations or a seamless returns process, build trust. Trusted stores convert better!

Custom development is an investment, but by making your store a joy to
use, you increase the chances of each visitor becoming a paying

When to Consider Custom Development

Not every Shopify Plus store needs extensive custom development. But there are key indicators that this route might be the best option for achieving your goals:

  • Your Needs are Unique: If your business model has specific requirements that standard themes and apps simply can't address, it's time for a custom approach. This could be anything from unusual product types to complex membership structures.
  • Customer Experience is King: Want to offer shoppers an experience that feels truly tailored to them, going beyond what competitors offer? Custom development makes it happen.
  • Ambitious Growth Plans: If you're planning for significant scaling in the near future, building on a custom foundation ensures your store can smoothly handle increased traffic and sales volumes without hitting limitations.

Think of custom development as a powerful tool in your eCommerce
arsenal. If you're encountering any of the scenarios above, it's a sign you might need to deploy it.

The Drawbacks of Custom Development

It would be misleading to paint custom development as a solution without its trade-offs. Let's be upfront about some important considerations:

  • Cost: Custom development usually carries a higher price tag than sticking with out-of-the-box solutions. The complexity of your requirements will dictate the cost.
  • Time: Building a custom store takes longer than simply installing a pre-built theme. There's a development and testing period to factor into your timelines.
  • Maintenance: Unlike apps that may receive automatic updates, custom code needs to be maintained. This ensures it stays compatible with Shopify updates and remains secure.

These drawbacks are not meant to deter you, but rather to help you makean informed decision. It's crucial to weigh the costs and time investment against the potential gains customisation brings to your business.


While Shopify Plus provides a robust platform, custom development is often the key that unlocks its full potential for ambitious businesses. By addressing your unique needs, enhancing functionality, and creating an exceptional user experience, you pave the way for increased growth and success.

The investment in custom development should be viewed through the lens of ROI (Return on Investment). A well-executed store can lead to:

  • Higher conversions: A store that's a joy to use encourages more sales.
  • Improved customer loyalty: Unique features and a seamless experience keep customers coming back for more.
  • Scalability: Your store becomes a reliable asset for growth, not a bottleneck.

If you're serious about taking your Shopify Plus store to the next level, custom development is an avenue worth exploring.


Ready to unleash the full potential of your Shopify Plus store?

Contact Absolute Design, award-winning Shopify Plus website developers, for a custom development consultation.

Enter your email address to sign up to our newsletter, featuring case studies, insights, industry news and much more.