E-commerce Websites – The options
Standard Online Boxed Solutions
Using ecommerce templates and the functionality provided by cloud based ecommerce portals can result in a quick and relatively cheap (initially) implementation, albeit with limited ability to change.
- You are using a std template that in a lot of instances has limited ability to change
- YOU have to create and set it up (or pay someone) – it can be complex and is often very very time consuming
- The shop functionality is great BUT any other functionality you may wish will be extremely difficult to implement
- Data entry is often laborious whilst other methods can allow for imports
- You launch on their hosting
- The costs vary but generally – you pay a “rental” or a commission fee – these can be substantial
Only select this option, if you are on a very tight budget, and enjoy hard, laborious work, do not forget you will pay in the long term.
Cost – $150 to $500 plus commissions etc
Custom / Bespoke Solution.
Build a Custom and Bespoke ecommerce website to fit your exact needs, either by using an external design company or using your in-house IT team.
- This involves building a bespoke site from the ground up, so it needs a brief and specification brief to establish your requirements.
- You get exactly what you want – and can change as you wish
- Enhanced functionality as technology develops can be significantly easier to implement as the code is “yours”
- It takes a lot longer to create and implement (6 months generally for a meaningful site)
- You launch on your platform
- Cost is substantial – and you can hit 6 figures very very quickly
This is for the big boys, expensive time consuming and technical
Cost – $25k plus
Open Source Platform + Template
This is generally the cheapest overall solution but with limited design or functional upgrades
- You download one of the standard platforms – Woocommerce, Magento, Prestashop (there are others)
- You install it on your own hosting
- You pay ($45 USD avg) and download a template
- You adapt it to your requirements, logos, colors and fonts only
- You can buy plugins (small tools) that add specific functionality (gift cards etc)
- BUT you are using a template that you have limited options to change
- YOU do everything – data, design and configuration (Unless you pay)
- NO long term costs or commissions
Select this option, if you are on a tight budget, are code and hosting aware and enjoy doing it all yourself.
Cost – $300 to $750 fixed
Open Source Platform + Bespoke Design
A relatively cheap solution that offers a bespoke design allied to the ability to add in specialist functionality.
- You employ a web design and development agency to download one of the standard platforms – Woocommerce, Magento, Prestashop
- They create a bespoke ecommerce design
- They add or plugin specific functionality that you require
- They launch on their hosting
- You get usually all you want but the cost is more than in the boxed or template solution
This is the most appropriate if you are an already established company with the desire to upgrade your ecommerce presence, Relatively cheap but with the ability to do more or less as you wish.
Cost – $4500 + depending on functionality required
What software do I recommend?
We as a company focus on the final option – it allows us to a large extent to future proof ecommerce sites. A open source platform with the ability to code your own elements enables us to ensure that a “first time” site is able to be enhanced when customer requirements have increased.