Design systems sound scary and unnecessary for smaller operations, we don't need it! Well the problem is that you already have one by default just because you use a theme and keep adding new sections to it it's just undefined and slowly become more and more messy.
What is design system?
You will for sure find long and proper explanation out there but for me it’s a Theme/Template big enough and rich enough into components that cover 80% of use cases WHILE allow to produce derivatives to cover more use cases from it’s smaller blocks or forking sections.
Design system can live in Sketch or Figma but best if it lives in HTML and CSS so allow building new experiences as fast as possible.There is plenty of tools to manage them from very advanced and complex like Storybook to just having them in folders on your drive as html files and maybe some structure in Notion.
What is the main goal and benefit of spending time to create a Design system for an online store?
Short answer — you anyway have a limited amount of sections and blocks available in the case of eCommerce, so to optimize time for communication and be able to create new landing pages or posts with shoppable content rapidly, it makes sense to define, collect in one place and re-use blocks that are making sense.
Why it’s essential to have at least a scrappy Design System in place if your store doesn’t have in-house designers or developers?
Main picture that sentence: Design System triggers are Big Corpo, large VC-funded, rapidly growing startups with gigantic design, product, and development teams; that’s because first design systems were created and adopted by whales like IBM, Atlassian, Google, and Airbnb, Uber and they did so because, for their scale of operations, a slight improvement translates into significant savings and efficiency gain.