“Options breed confusion” – oriental saying.
With so many options available in open source for creating an online store, it is difficult (sometimes infuriating) for clients to choose a technology for development. Here’s a tantric guide to help you overcome the stress and lead you to technological enlightenment.
Do I really need it?
Though the terms e-commerce and online store are used interchangeably, they are not to be confused. E-commerce is a broader category of applications encompassing Business to Business (B2B), Business to Customer (B2C) & Customer to Customer (C2C) sales. Each type of business model comes with their own requirements like payment modes, shipping options, communication model and processing steps. While specialized e-commerce software like Magento & Drupal are equipped to handle all features, you might require just a simple shopping cart added to your simple WordPress site. Choose wisely.
Now? … Later?… Whatever?
Most people want to have an application up and running before they say the word Go. Compromising on technology and site architecture in order to accelerate development is fine if you are launching a product and want to capitalize on short term trend but in the longer run it is always good to explore and weigh all options before implementation.
Remember that developing a web application is like constructing a house. Adding a kid’s room is easier in the planning and design state rather than when the house is almost done. Make sure that the platform you are using takes into account all your current as well as future requirements.
Money begets money!
A cheap solution need not always be the best solution. When your technical person tells you that a good solution requires time and effort and cost, listen to him. Investing in development might look like an unprofitable proposition but in hindsight can make all the difference to your business.
While some platforms like Drupal take more time and cost for development compared to WordPress, Big Commerce etc, in the long run prove a better return of investment especially for applications with huge database and increased traffic.