How to Build an Ecommerce Website
If you're not an ecommerce website designer then there are broadly three or four options regarding the creation of a new e-commerce website:
1A. Use a monthly subscription-based service like Shopify, Wix or Squarespace. These are a good way to 'try out' e-commerce before making a realistic budgetary commitment to building a new ecommerce website. Often new clients coming to FutureStore have already tried one of these platforms and therefore have a good grounding in the whole concept of selling online. However, using one of these services means you have to do everything yourself and that can be a lot to take onboard, especially if starting a new business. Another aspect of these services is that they can be somewhat inflexible when you need very specific functions programmed for your site (so basically if there isn't a menu option for what you need then you probably won't be able to have that functionality). Also, be aware that these online services more often than not take a commission on any sales you make. For example, at the time of writing Shopify will take between 0.5% and 2% of your turnover if you don't use their payment gateway while Squarespace takes 3% of the order total (which includes the delivery cost!).
1B. Some people can get into the business of website design quickly by offering to build websites based on the subscription services mentioned above. This can sometimes help to keep project costs lower but again you can be stuck with the relative inflexibility of the online services. Also, sometimes it isn't made clear by the web designer that they are using one of these services and therefore can't offer the usual flexibility and depth of knowledge of an experienced website designer.
2A. Specialised e-commerce software like Woocommerce (a WordPress plugin) or Magento offer much more flexibility than the hosted services mentioned above. You will need an experienced website developer to build and set up a site for you on platforms like this. The main aspect of these packages is that the site will offer the potential in proportion to the web developer's experience. So the software won't hold you back only the developer's abilities (which, it could be said, is true for a lot of business and industry). The cost of development using these packages can vary a lot from developer to developer and of course, it is important to always get both an accurate price and timescale before committing to a project based on e-commerce software like this.
2B. This is where FutureStore fits in. We have developed our own e-commerce software (as in section 2a above) and so offer the flexibility of this type of development along with over 25 years of experience in building websites. Also, we offer two clearly priced ecommerce packages so you know at the start of the project exactly what your costs are going to be.
3. An honourable mention to the fully bespoke way of building a website. Nowadays this is really only considered by family-name/big high street businesses, well-funded start-ups or websites with completely novel functionality.
Feel free to contact Futurestore even if you are just at the point of considering the possibility of selling online. We will be happy to spend time having an informal talk about your plans.
These guys are good, very good! If you are looking for a cost effective, e-commerce solution for your business then Lawrence and Patric at Future Store are probably the best people to contact. They offer excellent advice, great graphics, superb website and SEO knowledge and most importantly they speak plain English and are easy to work with, especially on detailed, long term websites. Would highly recommend the Future Store team!James Checkley - The Landscape Yard
I can genuinely say that the approach that Patric and Lawrence at future store take with their knowledgeable relax manor was great, not only to deal with but also the results.! We have been incredibly happy with the design and indeed the page rankings we get on Google through it. They are by far and away the best web design company I have dealt with over the years and would whole-heartedly recommend them.Pete Madsen - Truro
Future Store designed my website and I couldn't have been happier with the result and their help along the way. Patric is a great designer and understood the look I was trying to achieve and Lawrence is great for all the technical questions. They're lovely, approachable people and it's a pleasure to work with them.Emma Wood - Sweet William Designs
Futurestore created an Ecommerce website for us. Patric and Lawrence were lovely to work with. The web design is great - the colour scheme is lovely and the website really stands out from our competitors. The functionlity is very good too. it easy to navigate, select a product and pay. They even put in a VAT refund option for products that can be sold exempt...Prinal Haria, Oct 2017 - Virtus Medica
I can honestly say that having a website designed by Futurestore was a hassle free experience. Patric designed my site whilst Lawrence was always there on hand to deal with any issues I had right there and then. There is no waiting days for an problem to be resolved, it's done straight away whilst you wait on the phone. Initially I didn't have a clue how to...Emma Brabyn - Williamson's Factory Shop