Ecommerce Websites

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.