What platform to choose for your eCommerce website?
Planning your next eCommerce project is always a challenge. It is important to understand that the technology chosen directly influences the budget and timeframe necessary to complete it in an optimal way. For every eCommerce website a properly chosen technology is of significat importance.
Nowadays there are dozens of platforms offering eCommerce solutions fit for various budgets and choosing the right one depends on your business size and specifics. Instead of spending extra on unnecessary features, it makes sense to thoroughly research your niche and direct competitors to understand what option will fully meet your needs.
Let us take a look at the most important steps that you want to take in order to plan your e-commerce project budget efficiently.
1) Analysis and Project Specification
Before planning your project the very first thing to do is to analyze your target audience and realize what kind of product is convenient and desirable for the end-user. Knowing this will allow your team to design, build, and implement your solution with appropriate technology and ensure the best conversion.
It is crucial to let your contractor know the way you see your project and discuss the features that are the priority for you. Your business objectives also matter here. If you feel that you clearly see the end product, you can be the person to deliver the actual specification document. Alternatively, you may ask your contractor to advise you on how to write your project specification or even do this for you. The more details you include, the easier it is to evaluate the time and effort needed for completion. And of course to define what technology solution is applicable in your case.
2) Readymade or From-Scratch?
There is a large number of free or paid solutions that offer readymade systems or separate modules for your eCommerce website. This is great on the one hand, as you don’t need to spend much and reinvent the wheel, but simply use what thousands of other businesses have. With your contractor you can find what delivers all functionality necessary for your project and just set up the system to function correctly.
Typical additional work that may be required:
- styling according to your brand guides
- adding your content
- integration with 3rd parties (payment providers, CRMs, etc)
- disabling unnecessary functions or add-ons to reach better performance
- customizing specific functions
On the other hand, readymade solutions may limit your eCommerce website functionality and block future enhancements. Of course, it is possible to customize any solution according to your needs, but very often this kind of work is rather expensive, and building the same feature from scratch would be much faster. This is why it is very important to talk about the project through with your contractor and make the decision before the commencement of work.
- Do you want to be just functional or also special?
- Do you aim at speed or conversion?
- Are you ready to invest now or have a functional MVP for starters?
These and many other questions are a must to discuss before choosing between readymade solutions or from-scratch development.
3) Platform for your eCommerce website
Your business objectives and the budget available mainly determine your choice of the platform. After thorough consideration you may decide on going with one of the following options:
A popular readymade CMS that has all basic eCommerce website functions built-in (Wordpress, Magento, OpenCart, etc). This is the optimal choice for small and middle businesses. The design and development process is rather fast and usually requires minimal customizations. In the end, you will get a fully functional and well supported product flexible for future enhancements.
You can find a couple of Wordpress projects in our portfolio.
Framework based development or completely custom development. When it comes to custom-built websites, it is important to understand that a huge amount of work is needed to launch the product. Hence, the budget and timeframe. Custom development suits big businesses with far-reaching plans, and also those who are ready to invest in a stable and secure product with unique features.
With that being said, it becomes clear that in order to choose the best platform for your eCommerce business several factors must be taken into consideration. Investing some time in the pre-project analysis will be a wise decision and will help you determine your real needs. It is crucial to choose a competent contractor who can also give their recommendation in the very beginning.
For every budget there is a solution and it is only a matter of research to find your proper one.