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How to launch an online store in two weeks

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In 2020, each of us felt on ourselves how the world has changed. During all the spring we had to stay at home, many of us had to learn to cut their hair on YouTube lessons and cook lasagna themselves, as in our favorite restaurant. We put off meetings with friends indefinitely or moved them to Zoom. The changes also affected the sphere of trade: buyers massively went to online stores. A business that was not presented online was in danger of bankruptcy. According to studies of the global e-commerce * in March 2020, traffic to online stores increased by 4 billion visits compared to January of the same year, and the growth in revenue of online stores doubled.

As you can see, while you were in doubt whether to launch an online store or not, and if you started it, how to do it faster and more economically, others already earn money by selling goods on the Internet and are not dependent on their outlets.

Three months ago, a certain owner of a home goods online store contacted us. One of the  catalog section was animal feed. In March 2019, a businessman analyzed the demand for it and got the idea to launch a separate online store selling premium animal feeds. He suggested that if the website interface is “fancy”, with a lot of animation and video, it will more motivate users to buy. He ordered design development from a well-known web studio: he was agreeing on the technical task for two weeks, he searched for examples of cool visual solutions himself, he was waiting for the prototype and layout to be drawn for two months, and he was testing the functionality for one month. In general, 5 months have passed from the moment of contacting the web studio to the launch of the “live” site. And what is the result? The failure rate on the site was 70%: visitors did not “catch on” the sophisticated design, which had taken so much effort, money and time. The online store did not bring the expected profit, and it was unclear whether it would ever pay off. In this situation, a frustrated businessman turned to Cart-Power for help.

This is one of many examples of how efforts put into development did not materialize. It also happens when delivery deadlines expire, so a client needs an online store with guaranteed sales as quickly as possible. Or it is important for the client to realize his dream of online business, but he is still not very versed in e-commerce and is afraid to make irreparable mistakes.

What unites these different people is that there is a single tool to solve their problems: the development of an online store with ready-made solutions. Such a site can be launched in two weeks, and you can spend on it several times less money than with individual development.

Ready-made solutions have both advantages and disadvantages, which we will study in this article. You can try them on in advance to your business, so you won’t be excruciatingly hurt for wasted months of life. And the money saved will come in handy.

What does it mean “an online store on ready-made solutions”

Assembly on ready-made solutions (it is also called “out of the box”) is an online store that is completely ready for sales and consists of a platform (CMS), a template theme, and ready-made add-ons. 

At the same time, there are practically no individual improvements, but the functionality of the online store does not suffer. Ready-made solutions that are used for assembly contain everything you need: html, css, a well-developed structure and adaptive design — all that you need to get started.

Pros of ready-made solutions

1. Quick start of sales.

You can launch an online store on ready-made solutions in two weeks. You do not have to spend time coordinating and drawing a prototype, developing an individual design, layout, programming, etc. Instead, developers will propose solutions that have gone through all these steps and are ready to be installed in the CMS.  

To start selling, it will be enough to fill the online store with goods and content, change the design elements to the company’s and fill in the contact information. After that, it will be necessary to configure the flow of data to analytics systems and ensure the correct indexing of the site pages.

2. Saving money.

The price of developing an online store on ready-made solutions starts at 1000 USD. 

Yes, there will still be expenses for hosting, configuration and possible minor improvements, but in any case, this is several times cheaper than an individual development. Such a significant difference in cost is achieved through the circulation of ready-made solutions: other online stores use them besides you.

You can direct the saved money on website promotion and product advertising.

3. Modern design without any headache.

Ready-made solutions are based on the results of marketing research, so the templates are initially aimed at sales and take into account the latest market trends. Ready-made solutions are designed to meet all usability requirements, they are adaptive for mobile devices and have a basic set of functions. 

For open source CMS, you can always add the missing details that are not in the template, or remove unnecessary ones. So that in the future there are no problems with the online store, it is better to entrust the template development to certified developers.

4. The predicted result.

You do not need to guess how the online store will look with ready-made solutions. You can see this in advance by going to the demo version of the platform or theme. After assembly, you can change the logo, set the corporate color and design elements, disable or enable some blocks. 

5. The ability to modify and develop.

A ready-made solution is not a limitation, but a good basis for future improvements of both functionality and appearance. You will order improvements, having already gained experience with the online store or after analyzing sales. So you will spend the money on what you really need.   

Cons of ready-made solutions

1. No uniqueness.

Speaking about the online store design, a ready-made solution means a theme template. It is designed to suit the maximum number of customers. The lack of uniqueness in this case is easily solved: it is enough to customize the template a bit, fill your content with it — and now your online store is different from the competitor. Below we show how different can be online stores designed on a single theme.

This is more complicated with online store functionality. Ready-made solutions are not in vain called the “box”. This is a kind of toolbox for standard tasks. But if your task is not standard, it cannot be solved by ready-made solutions. You will have to change your business processes or spend money on adding the necessary functions.

2. May not fit your niche.

Ready-made solutions are based on the average online business needs, without going deeper into the specifics of a niche. 

If you have plans to launch a highly loaded online store where goods are measured or weighted (window frames, prefabricated goods, etc.); if complex options or unusual methods of calculating delivery will be applied to the goods (oversized cargo, different options for bulk shipments); if you are planning not an online store, but a service (car rental, flower delivery, etc.) — all this will require serious modifications to the template. In some places it will be necessary to rework the very logic of the platform. In this case, we recommend choosing an individual development: the online store will be will initially developed  to solve your problems.

3. Redundant functionality.

Developers try to make ready-made solutions universal: this way they suit a larger number of customers. This entails an excess of functionality, which complicates the work with the online store for both the buyer and the administrator. Some functions will have to be disabled manually. Empty spaces may appear in the design because of it and will make your store not as neat as it was in the demo. It can be difficult to fix this on your own, but if you turn to the developers, they will quickly bring the storefront to its ideal appearance. 

When should you choose an online store on a ready-made solutions

So, development on ready-made solutions is suitable if you have:

  1. The simple and straightforward sales process.
  2. Niche without specific features.
  3. Simple products without a confusing set of options.
  4. There are no complicated price calculations and non-standard deliveries (for example, oversized cargo, different options for bulk shipments).
  5. No specific functionality required.
  6. A tightly limited budget and time.
  7. You want to test a business hypothesis without spending too much.

Examples of online stores on ready-made solutions

Customers who choose between a ready-made solution or an individual development sometimes have a fear: “If an online store is created on a template, will it be like everyone else?” Do not worry, this is not always the case.

Look at the examples of online stores that we have developed on ready-made solutions. They sell different products, differ in target audience and geography of sales. Let’s reveal a secret: they are all made on the Youpi-theme for the CS-Cart. If you correctly personalize the template, the appearance of the online store will be different from competitors and no one will guess that this is not an individual development.

Timeshop

Watches and accessories

 timeshop

Mosgazon

Goods for the garden

mosgazon

Podguznikoff

Goods for children and home goods

 

podguznikoff

Choosing the online store on the ready-made solutions, you will be able to run quickly and with minimal investment. When the online store begins to make you profit, it will be possible to refine the “boxed” functionality with the tools that you need and exactly when you consider it necessary. The money that you would spend on developing an individual design will be useful to invest in website promotion and product advertising. 

 You can launch an online store in two weeks by ordering development in Cart-Power. Leave a request, we will call you back, clarify the details of the project and propose a suitable solution. For 7 years in e-commerce we have made more than 400 online stores and marketplaces, including on ready-made solutions, so we can find options for any budget and fit in the shortest possible time. Order an online store with ready-made solutions and get your first profit in 2 weeks.

 

* According to statistics from Statista.com and CCInsight.org

 

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