I have a situation where my client is not ready to launch their ecommerce site but wants to launch a brand site in the first phase, then 12-months later a full on ecommerce site.
The brand site would need to not have any product pages or add to cart buttons, especially NOT the shopping cart icon at the top of the page.
Is this possible to do? Is it easy to just switch off eComm on any Shopify site?
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Hi - yes you can achieve that. You don't really 'switch ecommerce off' but you don't need to publish any products (you can create them to get ready for full launch but disable them), your menu can just link to pages of whatever content you want, your homepage can contain what content you want (doesn't have to be products/collections etc), and yes you can get rid of the shopping cart icon.
One word of warning is that Shopify is fundamentally designed to be an e-commerce platform so the out of the box options in most themes is oriented toward that rather than pure content, so to achieve the exact look your client wants may require you to do some customisation. There are page builder type apps that make this easier if you're not familiar with liquid and some themes will be better suited to this than others.