In our Behind the Shop series, we take a closer look into the people that have been building your favorite online stores.
The ecommerce and online shopping revolution rages on. We usually only encounter the storefronts, so we asked ourselves: who are the storebuilders behind the scenes? And what can they teach us about building the perfect online store?
This time around, we talked to Rebecca Worsley, who builds bespoke ecommerce stores on Shopify and Shopify Plus. She's the CEO of leading Shopify design and development agency, Rainy City Agency.
Hi Rebecca! Please could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m Rebecca and I’m the CEO of Rainy City Agency. We're Shopify experts specializing in all things UX and development. I started the agency over 4 years ago now and love helping brands grow and scale using Shopify.
We work with a range of different brands from all niches. But we specialize in the health, beauty and wellness sectors. We've partnered with some amazing brands along the way and helped them reach their full potential with awesome results.
What’s the biggest challenge you struggled with recently?
I think our biggest challenge as an agency is to continue growing month on month while still providing the best service to our clients.
We don’t want to grow too quickly, as this might have detrimental effects. Our staff might get overworked or our client deadlines could even start slipping.
It’s really about finding that balance of growing month on month and bringing in new team members when the time is right.
And what steps did you take to overcome this challenge?
We looked very carefully at our projections, looking to see when the time to bring in new team members is right.
I think as an agency owner it’s important to really look at the bigger picture: not just month on month but also over the next year. You need to keep looking at all of your pipeline, sales channels and at the internal team.
Finding the right talent can also be hard. We always look for skill-sets, of course. But we also want someone that fits in with our culture. Someone who will mould in really well with the rest of the team.
More about Rainy City. Why do people come to your service and how can you help them?
Brands come to Rainy City because we truly care about what we do. We love seeing our brands succeed. And we love working with them to help them reach their goals. We don’t just work from a list, we really collaborate.
We'll give you our ideas, experience and best practices whilst also making sure your ideas and inspiration shine through.
Aside from that, I think our main USP is our communication and trust. Clients will always be top of our lists, which means regular updates and phone calls, so they know exactly where their project is up to.
A lot of service providers miss the mark on this. And it can be really detrimental as it leaves clients feeling in limbo.
CRO vs. UX: Which one is more important when (re-)designing an online store?
I think they're both equally as important and go hand in hand. When we design a site, we don't just want to make it look beautiful with incredible UX, we want it to function and convert too.
Working on CRO doesn't mean you have to have bright green CTAs to get someone to click a button. Think about the user journey, the hierarchy and the main call-outs to get them to click.
TOP TIP: Use long-form product pages. Giving the customer clean and concise detail without overwhelming them is so important. The goal is to explain the brand and the product. Keep them on that product page!
The last thing we want is for a customer to go off and find more information elsewhere. Which would mean we've potentially lost a sale. This is even more important if you drive cold traffic to the site.
What are you doing to stay relevant to Rainy City, personally? And what’s Rainy City doing to stay relevant to its customers?
Personally, my core focus is to always keep on learning. Ecommerce is such a fast and ever-changing industry, it's important to always keep finding new information, to keep researching and collaborating.
We want to keep working with some of the best in the industry - internally and externally - and constantly push to get our name out there.
Rainy City's main goal is get in front of brands, ones we may have even lost touch with over the years. It's surprising when you don't stay top of mind how quickly people forget. So reminding them we're still here and ready to work with them is key.
We always like to tell new brands we work with that we're in it for the long-haul with them. That they'll get the best results if they partner with us long term.
A longterm partnership means we can always keep them up to date on new features, functionality and what's worked well for others.
For our audience it would be great to get insights on your sources of inspiration. Which other Shopify experts do you look up to?
My main inspiration is CODE. I met the owner, Bob Rockland, a few years back at a Shopify event and have stayed in touch - their engineering skills are at the top and they’re super innovative and ahead. I love seeing their new projects when they launch.
And We Make Websites is another big source of inspiration. Specifically for the size and scale to which they've managed to grow their agency.
Everyday, there are thousands of people venturing into Shopify and ecommerce. What’s your biggest piece of advice?
I think from a brand perspective: don’t go in with the mindset that you’re going to hit a million dollars in your first month, then become impatient and give up.
There’s so much competition in the industry! It’s important to take your time to really double down on a niche and problem you can solve for a consumer.
From an agency side, get yourself out there, meet up with app partners, agencies and collaborate as much as you can.
Interested in participating in our Behind the Shop series? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.