Recent business trends show that customers tend to use web stores more and more frequently if compared to traditional local retail ones. Modern technology makes it possible for everybody to shop at any time and from any place, just with a few clicks. And these are not the only benefits of online stores: they also provide usually more affordable prices, since there is no need to maintain a huge back-end office, faster customer support and convenient delivery services.
So, if you have decided to launch your own online store, first thing you’ll need is the ecommerce platform to start with. There are plenty of shopping carts available on the market today with some of the most popular open source platforms being: osCommerce , CS-Cart and Zen Cart . All of them provide a multifunctional back-end for your web store along with some basic addons to customize its looks. But there is one important issue you may face -creating a unique design for your future online venture. Sure, when designing a web store you wish to be as unique and attractive as possible, since this is the first thing your prospects will see and test.
Overall there are two major options to consider:
1. First one is to create the whole new design look for a website from scratch. If you are not a professional web designer you’ll probably need the one. He can provide you with a completely unique design of your future online store based on one of the popular shopping cart platforms, thus you won’t need to worry about this technical aspect. But there are two major problems here: time and cost. Building a completely new website takes a lot of time, and it doesn’t only mean the actual design process. It also includes explaining your vision of the end project, minor and major modifications, approval time, etc. Even without delays (what is virtually impossible) you’ll need to wait at least a few weeks to have your project completed. The second major issue is the cost. Sometimes it is just impossible for a start-up business to invest a fortune into new website design. There are so many ways to spend your money during first months of your business lifespan and these expenses can be quite devastating.
2. The second option is to use pre-made web templates. They are already created to be used with existing ecommerce solutions and offer many themes for your coming project. They come with much more customization opportunities than basic shopping cart software addons do. This means that your website will not only look professional and convenient, but you can also upgrade it with a fresh new look as well. There are thousands of ecommerce template themes and they can be adjusted to any business type and color palette.
The time of customizing a web template to your website is minimal so you can start selling your products or services within several days only. The money factor also plays an important role here since web templates cost usually several dollars for a template. Sometimes vendors provide an unlimited access to all of their premium templates and graphics for a small flat monthly fee.. This can come in handy if you need to make a few websites with different designs. What is also important that these providers usually offer 24/7 support on any related issues that may occur.
Creating a unique ecommerce website is a crucial part of your marketing strategy since it is the first thing your customers see when they enter your online venture. Sure, you can invest in the team of web designers and developers who will guarantee the unique looks, but can you really afford that on the initial stage of your business setup? And even if you do, think twice whether this is really necessary? Custom unique design can be achieved by using some premium web templates and then modifying them to meet your requirements. This will save your precious time too what sometimes can be even more important than money.
I’m always happy to hear your thoughts on the topic. Feel free to share your comments below.