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The eCommerce platform has been produced thousands of times, it’s been refined, improved upon and extended. As with the content management systems, there are many excellent eCommerce platforms available. Ranging from the cheap and easy to setup hosted options like Shopify through to the more advanced Magento. When deciding which approach to take, be clear about your requirements. How many product lines, how many variants of a each product, do you need to integrate it with a fulfilment house? Which payment gateway do you want to use? (If you’re not sure, compare them here: Payment Brain) All of these decisions will influence the approach you need to take.
eCommerce websites demand a lot more attention than a normal brochure website. You simply can not build it and expect to see orders come rolling in, it isn’t like that. So be prepared to market the business and work hard to gain traction in your market. A good tip for eCommerce sites is to learn from the masters. Online giants like ASOS invest millions into their online strategy, why not piggyback a few ideas from them? So take a look at their website, both on your smart phone and desktop PC to see how they are presenting their products and organizing their site.
When is a website not a website? When it’s a web application. If you need to do more than just host information about your organization or collect user contact forms you are probably looking at a web application. Effectively, we can build a web application to do any job you require. We can build systems to access complex database, manage offline subscriptions through an online interface and anything else you can dream of.
To give you an example, 3fifteen is a web application that we designed and built to allow parents and schools to securely communicate who is collecting their child at the end of the school day. We created an API that can pass data from an SMS service, a secure email service and even a multi-lingual IVR – all back into an easy to use dashboard for both parents and schools. Complex programming such as this are beyond the realms of a normal website, it requires lots of bespoke coding and development.
How much should you budget? It’s quite normal for the budget available to be a major factor in the approach taken. In very broad terms, the following figures are a good indication of the typical budget required for each approach. Please note, this is all for bespoke design and not template based websites. Brochure websites with or without a simple CMS £2,500 – £5,000A more complex CMS can be in the range £5,000 – £15,000eCommerce ranges from £2,500 – £15,000+Web applications range from £5,000 – £50,000+This would include things such as:
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