Some advice on choosing E-commerce software

Picking the right software for your new ecommerce website is very important.  Most developers will recommend a software for you, this is most likely the one they Shopping carts on different colour backdrops.usually use and therefore may not always be the most applicable software for your website’s requirements.

There are plenty of “off-the-shelf” ecommerce software available on the internet, and a lot of them are free. Some being: Magento, Actinic, OS Commerce and so on.  They all have different strengths and weaknesses which should be taken into account. 

The advantages of these types of software is that they have many man hours of development in them, and because of this, offer some advanced features. Your website build time is also quick as your developer will just need to insert your website design into the software and they’re done.

The inherent disadvantage with these types of software is that if they don’t offer the functionality you are looking for then you won’t be getting said functionality. Even the “open-source” softwares are so complicated that new features are not easily created and so without a specific built-in feature or add-on, you won’t be getting the functionality you require.

Another disadvantage of “off-the-shelf” softwares is the support.  The developer who builds your website with the chosen software cannot support the software fully as he never built the software.  If you purchased a software (e.g. Actinic) then this will come with it’s own support directly from the company who created it, but the other open-source (free) softwares will have very limited support. Usually the support boils down to browsing forums hoping someone else has had the same problem or posting a forum comment and waiting hours, sometimes days, for a reply. This is obviously not practical in a commercial environment.

The final disadvantage is that these softwares are so complicated that usually web development companies only specialise in one of them.  This means that if you build a site in one of them and you fall out with your developer, it may be tricky to find another developer who has expertise in that same software.

The other option for your website software is “bespoke”, where the software is custom made for your exact requirements.  This is always the best solution as you can be guaranteed that it will fulfill your exact requirements and also future requirements (which you won’t know of yet) can easily be inserted as it is a customisable software.  The downside of this solution however is the cost, as programming a bespoke software will likely take a long time, depending on the requirements, and therefore be reflected in a large cost.

At Globalgraphics we offer a software which is the best of both types.  We offer a software called ModuleManager which has been built by us.  Because the software is built by us, we can offer full support on the software and your website. Build time is also just as quick (if not quicker) than “off-the-shelf” softwares. Customising and altering of the software has always been a requirement and so we built ModuleManager to be easy altered depending on our clients requirements, now or in the future. ModuleManager also offers many advanced features which are offered by the “off-the-shelf” softwares. ModuleManager is built in PHP and can therefore be worked on by any PHP developer in the future.

So in short, Globalgraphics can offer an ecommerce solution which has the advantages of an “off-the-shelf” software (cheap cost and advanced features) and also the advantages of a bespoke software (support and customisation).