The best e-commerce platforms are built with the best open source technologies. We build with these technologies, focusing on our clients’ needs and their aspirations for a better future.
When you are building an e-commerce system, you want to spend your time focusing on the things that will make you stand out. However, before you can stand out you have to fit in. That means that you need to provide the basic functionality of all the other e-commerce sites out there because that is what your customers have come to expect. Your site is how your customers interface with your business. If your site doesn’t measure up in terms of functionality and refinement to other e-commerce sites, such as Amazon, then the customer will assume that the products you sell are also of lesser quality. This will cause a decrease in demand, in price customers are willing to pay, and ultimately in revenue.
If you want to secure a solid basis for your ecommerce site while minimising the amount of time you would need to spend coding to get it, Magento is the application system for you. Magento is the largest open source system of its kind with an incredibly strong and diverse community providing support to fellow developers. This community can help you navigate around common and no so common challenges that you might face. Designed with scalability in mind, Magento is fast and highly customisable. Magento allows you to integrate popular third-party components to increase the available features.
However, Magento works best for large, complex e-commerce sites. If you want to build an online store that has hundreds of different products, complex pricing models, and a sophisticated catalog structure, then Magneto is for you. However, if you are a smaller e-commerce platform with fewer products and a simple, straightforward, you should consider using another framework as customisation and deployment can be resource intensive.
With all of these advantages, it is no wonder that Magento is the e-commerce system of choice for such companies as Coca-Cola, Ford, Olympus, Vizio, and Nestle Nespresso. If you want to build a large, sophisticated e-commerce site, then Magento is the best ecommerce platform for you.
Magento is an exceptional product for the large, complex e-commerce platform with a lot of products. But a lot of e-commerce platforms, especially those early in development, do not need all of those features. This is especially true since, while Magento is especially strong at scalability and customisation, it requires a high investment of effort. If you are an e-commerce platform just starting out, you want the benefits of a platform like Magento, but scaled down and friendly to a new small business. What you want is Prestashop, the free ecommerce software.
Like Magento, Prestashop has a large developer community around it to help you overcome any bugs or programming challenges you might encounter. It also allows for integration with a host of third party applications, which makes it easy to increase functionality without having to go to code. It has a very friendly user interface and it is incredibly easy to customise. This is all a function of Prestashop’s focus – the small business e-commerce site. Just as you are looking for your niche, Prestashop has found theirs with small businesses. Their commitment to small business has allowed them to develop a tool that empowers the new entrepreneur to be able to compete with the established companies. Prestashop is also a platform on the move, growing and adding functionality seemingly by the day. There is no better way to start your e-commerce site than to grow it along with the underlying framework. If you are an e-commerce platform just starting out, there is no better team for you than CobbleWeb and Prestashop.
An experienced e-commerce vendor knows that while most of your customer engagement takes place online, crucial bits of information is shared off of it. Receipts, notices regarding change of passwords or account information, announcements that goods have been shipped are all events that are not generally posted to the platform but to customers’ email accounts. As a e-vendor, you do not want to hire additional staff to compose and send emails for every transaction and related event. However, you do not want to simply send barely decipherable that were clearly generated by a computer. You want to instil the personal touch in every aspect of the transaction – even with the receipts. This is where Mandrill can help.
Mandrill allows you to send personalised emails to a variety of different stakeholders automatically by allowing you to build a series of templates for different types of communication. Mandrill specifically focuses on transactional emails such as receipts and new account notifications. Mandrill has a spectacular history of service, with a 99.9% API uptime, ensuring your customers will promptly receive all relevant documentation. Mandrill perfectly blends with any e-commerce’s site back-end, providing you with a seamless user experience as an administrator.
While communicating with your customers after a transaction is key, reaching out to them before is crucial. As an e-commerce vendor, you need to drive traffic to your site. You can have sales, introduce new product, and make your site easier to navigate, but if your potential clients are not aware of those efforts, it will not translate to higher revenue. Email is an obvious means to create awareness, but that is not enough. People are suffering from a deluge of emails, so you must pay special attention to how to stand from the rest. You have to focus not merely on the content of the email, but the visual aspect as well. All of these factors, along with the obvious need to customise the email to fit the circumstances of the event, can make customer communication complicated. That is where MailChimp comes in.
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email solutions for any new business, but it is especially useful for e-commerce. Mailchimp’s active community has created hundreds of templates that have already been developed and are available for use. These templates cut down on development time and allows vendors to focus on creating the best possible email without having to worry about the visuals. Mailchimp seamlessly integrates with any backend you choose, meaning that you will only have to work with one interface. The power of shaping customer expectations is a great competitive advantage, so don’t monkey around. Plan on using Mailchimp for your e-commerce website.
E-Commerce demands a digital exchange of funds for goods. If you or your customers are not confident that funds will be securely transferred, then no one will enter into a transaction and your platform will not work – no matter how well it is designed. This is something you have to get right. Getting it right means that the buyer is confident that his personal information is secure and that only the amount that he authorised is being transferred. The seller must be secure in the fact that he will be compensated for the goods or serviced he provided and that his company’s financial information is protected. This is not a task you want to personally address yourself if you do not know exactly what you are doing.
One of the best ways to build in the sort of trust you need to encourage in your platform is to use popular exchange mechanisms that people recognise to be successful. That is why we utilise PayPal and Stripe in their marketplace web solutions. These are two of the most popular pay methodologies which means that the majority of your potential customers already have accounts. These companies focus on nothing but secure financial transactions, which frees you up to work on differentiating your products. Both have an international presence, allowing you to execute transactions regardless of where your vendors and buyers are located. PayPal and Stripe are developer friendly, so it is easy to integrate. Most importantly, PayPal and Stripe’s anti-fraud protections are second to none, which will give everyone on your platform the confidence to buy and sell. Secure your future by securing your transactions – work with us to add PayPal and Stripe to your site.
Your customers do not always sit down to a computer when they shop. They grab their tablet, the use their smart phones. They use a mouse, they use a touchscreen. They interact with your site in a variety of ways. This poses a challenge, as traditional methods of front-end design would require you to create multiple layout strategies for each different type of screen. Creating at least three versions of every page of your site is not only mind numbingly dull, it can be incredibly expensive. If you are just getting started with your e-commerce platform, this is an expense you cannot afford.
This is where Twitter Bootstrap comes into play and it is absolutely crucial. Instead of creating one set of pages for desktops and laptops, another for smartphones, and yet another for tablets, Twitter Bootstrap allows you to create a website that works on any device. It is the standard for device interoperability – no other means comes close. It saves your developers time, it works for all browsers, and it is adaptable. Almost every site, e-commerce or otherwise, uses Twitter Bootstrap to address this challenge. In this one instance following the pack is a good thing. Add Twitter Bootstrap to your e-commerce site’s stack, and be seen everywhere your customers are.
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