I won't lie! Our best projects are truly works of love!
You will be expected to provide photos for your homepage (don't worry, we will discuss this further - and if you want us to design graphics without photos, or use stock photos - we can talk about those options as well).
We even have a free smartphone photography tip guide for clients, written by our very own resident graphic designer + photographer (Vicky).
You will also be expected to provide any needed copy, though we will prompt you and can offer feedback/light edits. As an example - the about blurb on your about page.
Also in the beginning, we will have some other questions for you (that we will work through together in our client portal, basecamp). This is so that we can gather/extract your vision, needs, desires, goals!
We state that our average Shopify project takes between 3-5 weeks. But we also often work at your pace, as we do have to gather those initial items/information as discussed above. So if there are delays on your side, this can definitely prolong the process.
That all said, some clients are extremely speedy in answering our questions and providing any content needed (photos, etc.) - and that will definitely speed up the process. If you are in a rush or have a goal launch date, keep us updated about this as well so we can help make it happen.
Please note: if we do not hear from you at all (after attempting to reach out to you a few times) for 15-30 days, we do reserve the right to shuffle your project to the end of the line (it's only fair to us and all of the other clients we are working with). But no hard feelings, we know things get busy in business and can assist you when you are ready again!
The one thing we do not include in our rates are product uploads (product uploads, product tagging, re-sizing product photos). BUT we can advise you here and do have some training videos for you on these tasks.
If you are switching over from another platform, you may be able to export your products and then import them into Shopify (we can advise you on this too).
There are three theme fees that you may incur: your Shopify website theme (one time $140-350, or there are free themes available, we will work together to figure out what's best for you), your Shopify email theme (one time $49), and your Shopify packing slip theme (one time $29, totally optional).
These theme fees are paid directly to Shopify and are merely the tools we need to do our project with you
Are there any other fees you will incur from me and my team? Not usually! But we do reserve the right to discuss addtl charges if your coding development needs, graphic design revisions or addtl app installs take an excessive amount of time (some website customizations or apps require a lot of consulting/setup/customization time).
Note: 95% of our clients do not need any of the extra TLC - but I still prefer to be transparent about our boundaries!
You will not owe Hot Mess anything monthly - we help you get setup, branded, and trained and then set you free. BUT we are always around for basic questions or other small projects that may come up.
As for other costs, Shopify will be your e-commerce platform which starts at $29/month (we can chat about which plan is best for you, the $29 plan is great if you will be bringing in less than $15K monthly - if more than that then we recommend the $79/month plan). If we setup your account on our end, you will not have to pay your monthly shopify fees at all until we are nearly done and you have taken ownership of your new account from us.
You also may choose (or need, based on your situation) some fancier apps that could add on to your monthly cost, we will work this out as we work together. And my goal is to always have you on as few apps as possible (more apps is not actually better lol)!
Your domain (your web address) is another cost to keep in mind, but this is only around $14/year (unless your domain is a very popular one, then it can sometimes be more costly).
We also recommend signing up with an email platform if you haven't yet (we specialize in Mailchimp). Mailchimp is free until you reach a certain number of subscribers (upon typing this, that is 2000), at which point it is $49/month.
Shopify has it's own POS system which is helpful if you will be selling in person as well. If you already have a POS system and you do not want to switch, you will need a third party integration app to link your inventory (such as shopventory, skuIQ - these run around $79-99/month). Again, happy to discuss further if this applies to you.
If this is you, don't worry girl - we got you!
I've helped many wholesale customers setup their websites (with the appropriate apps to have a wholesale application on website, lock wholesale prices to only those approved, enforce order minimums, etc.).
If you sell retail and wholesale, I actually recommend a whole separate website for each if feasible (so that each website can 100% fully cater to the correct customer type). BUTTT many clients prefer one website, and that is also a possibility with the right apps in place.
Bottom line - if you sell wholesale. Have no fear - we've seen it all! We will first chat about your specific wholesale needs/policies and then figure out the best apps and install them for you. The apps to make all this happen generally range from $10-65 monthly (the higher end generally for a website that caters to both retail and wholesale in one).
Good question! I (Angela, the head dreamer here) was an online and mobile boutique owner for three years, so I know the ins and outs of your needs, goals and struggles.
I also am still and always will be a small business owner at heart, so I'm serious about really helping you (with more than just the surface level stuff) and providing more value than others in this industry because I've been there and I want you to have the tools you need to succeed!
I may not have had all the answers when I started Hot Mess, but I'll tell you what - I have seen almost everything at this point and every new task or challenge has brought me to where I am today. And after helping over 700 clients thus far, I have continued to revamp my process, packages and team to include the help that matters most to you at whatever level you may be at (whether that is just starting out or well-seasoned and looking to evolve).
And that's just me! I haven't even told you about the stellar team I've built here yet! We have a graphic designer/photographer, a coding developer and a few other amazing gals well-versed in all things Shopify here to help you through the process and provide customer service and training videos for you along the way!
Listen, we aren't the cheapest or the fastest (work of love, remember). But I will absolutely say that from day one I have poured my heart and freaking soul into this business (not unlike you, I'm sure) and you won't find someone more dedicated, passionate and committed to watching you grow as a business owner. And that's the difference.
I know you were thinking it. Working with us is a serious investment. But will you see an ROI? Well - the truth is that depends on what you do next too. An amazing website will help in so many ways - but without proper marketing in place - no one will even see your amazing website or make a single purchase.
There are soo many marketing options out there, but we suggest a heavy dose of social media, email and SEO marketing - and eventually when your business has a good bit of traction organically - then that is the time to invest in paid marketing as well (Facebook Ads, Google Ads, etc.).
On that note, I do not personally recommend investing in paid advertising until you have that organic traction going first. Else your costs will be very very high - the solution is some good old fashioned elbow grease and hard work until you are ready for that next step. That's really the trick!
Shopify has some built-in SEO optimization features, and we here at Hot Mess do build your site considering SEO best practices. However, we do not assist with SEO above and beyond that (our focus is branding and design).
Ranking on google requires an ongoing SEO strategy!
No! We actually work on your website (on either a new theme, or a copy of your current theme) in the background so your current website/sales are never interrupted at all!
Shopify and CommentSold are both amazing platforms! That's why we specialize in both!
But this answer depends on your needs and goals - and how you are currently doing business now as well as how you plan to do business going forward.
The nice thing is that they integrate in terms of inventory and managing orders in one place. So you can actually use both - which is usually my official recommendation (as of now anyway)! However when I say both, I mean using Shopify as your website and using CommentSold for their comment-to-purchase automated invoicing (and app). So you would not want a webstore and a website (in my opinion), only because you want to be focusing your marketing efforts to be driving customers to one landing page (as far as your website goes, your comment-selling is a whole other sales channel, as would be your app).
All of that said, I have helped many clients who use CommentSold only and love the simplicity of doing so. Typically their bread and butter is their comment selling, but they wanted an actual website option too - so the CommentSold webstore option more than meets their needs.
As of right now, Shopify offers more as a website vs. CommentSold in terms of customization options such as themes and access to design settings, integrations, applications, and a POS option. However - CommentSold is growing and expanding their features/capabilities quickly, so who knows what's in store here!
Ultimately you have to make the decision that's best for you - but I hope this helps!
Yes and no!
We do offer sezzle at checkout which is a payment plan option you can try, however they do not always approve larger purchases. But if for a small project or workshop - this is definitely an option.
Otherwise we do get started with you or reserve your spot with a 50% deposit and the remaining half would be due within 1-3 weeks of starting your project.
We definitely understand the question about the cost of doing a makeover vs setting up a brand new website. And I'll just be honest - it is way easier and less time consuming to just create a new brand and website from scratch than it is to work with an existing brand and website to revamp. Also - you are often at a point in your business where you request more details, pages, apps and features than a brand new website client would be.
So there is no discount for makeover/revamp services.
Also, we have spent a ton of time learning what you ladies (or gentlemen) really need and want from us and that's what we have catered our packages around.
That said, we are sometimes able to create a smaller package for you that does not include everything our full package does - but it's rare!
Once a client, always a client is my motto. I'm very big on loyalty - so we will always be here for future questions or small projects.
If it's a question that me or one my team members can answer in a jiffy - we will happily answer for you (just email us before you pull your hair out at firstname.lastname@example.org).
If it's something that requires a bit more work (consulting/training/actual work being done), we can chat through it and come up with a quote for your particular need.
But in any case, absolutely - don't be a stranger! You'll hear me say that a lot because I mean it. I'd rather you come ask us than spend hours trying to find something. If we don't know or it's not an easy quick answer or it's not our expertise - we'll just tell ya and hopefully re-direct you!