Go-to Approach for Setting up a Successful eCommerce Store
Can't decide on the ideal theme for your online ecommerce store? We got this.
Imagine that you have it all:
- The perfect business idea
- Data to back up its feasibility
- Offerings for products that are ready for market.
Now how can you be sure that your online store looks appealing and effective?
Enter - Themes. Tadaa!
Premade website themes that are affordable, comprehend your company's goals, and transform your business idea into a profitable e-commerce store.
The way people view your online business is significantly influenced by the theme of your website. The aesthetics of your website leave an impression on anybody who visits it. It has been estimated that visitors to your online store make up their minds about it and decide whether or not to stay for 50 milliseconds. (Source)
Now customers often conflate design and a theme. They even speak of a theme as if it were developed, but what exactly is the difference, and does it matter?
The response is YES! Design is not a theme.
A theme is easily misunderstood to be designed.
Difference Between Theme and Design Based
A theme, however, does not include any creative activity. A subject matter or "theme" is a noun indicating that it already exists.
In contrast, design, or the act of designing, is a verb that turns into the noun "art."
You cannot create a theme because it already exists. It should certainly be put into action. Any design, however, is the end product of the creative process because it is inspired and needs to be to produce anything new.
Now that we are aware of how design and theme differ from one another. Let us begin with a complete explanation of the operation of theme-based and custom development methods of choosing either.
What’s a Theme Based Approach?
A Theme-based approach for an online ecommerce store is a method in which the site design and product offerings are based on a particular theme. Themes, for instance, can be compared to a completely furnished home where slight tweaks are achievable, but only a few modifications are essential.
A comprehensive methodology is utilized to evaluate the design and UX elements of the theme when creating Shopify free themes and reviewing themes from our Theme Store Partners. This guarantees that the theme competently addresses crucial areas like art direction, consistency, typography, layout, and user experience (UX) for customers.
Themes are good for various reasons, as they offer:
- Sections on every page - You can tailor the text on the majority of the pages of your online store and design distinctive page layouts with several modifications.
- Enhanced app support helps you add or remove apps without changing any code. Using app blocks and embeds in a theme-based approach, you may add functionality to any page or element.
- Using a broad range of sources to deliver more nuanced information - Themes provide access to a flexible source option to add dynamic, personalized data to any setting in your theme.
An online e-commerce website theme also controls the front-end design, providing the overall look and functionality of the website.
Why To Go for a Theme-Based Approach?
Creating a custom theme allows you more artistic control over the appearance of your store. You can scope rich merchandising into your business during the bespoke development phase.
A theme-based approach for an online e-commerce store offers many advantages.
- Time To Market - The theme-based approach to product development has the potential to reduce time to market because it allows for a streamlined and efficient design process eliminating the need for extensive customization.
- Smoother shopping experience - The themes here are built with intuitive navigation, quick loading speeds, and user-friendly layouts that make browsing your store more efficient. It is designed to make it easier for customers for a smooth shopping experience.
- Customizable built-in features - You can customize the Shopify theme settings, widgets, sliders, videos, product filters, carousels, and color schemes while viewing the changes in a live preview. Through plugins and third-party integrations, you can also make multiple adjustments.
- Automatic updates - They have automatic updates to ensure they have the latest design, features and bug fixes. This helps keep your store's design and functionality up-to-date.
- Direct theme support - Theme-based approach has direct theme support as they offer comprehensive technical support. Shopify offers in-depth documentation, tutorials, and video resources to help users customize their themes.
Themes quickly also help you adjust the look of the online business without knowing anything about web programming.
Note: If you think Shopify doesn't work for you, then you can compare other eCommerce platform like Magento, WooCommerce or Wix, and what best fits your needs.
Timeframe Required for a Theme-Based Approach
Since the majority of the website code has already been built, you may build up a theme website quickly (between 2 and 4 weeks). Depending on the project's scope and additional requirements for your online e-commerce store, the timeframe may occasionally be extended to 3 months.
What’s a Custom Development Approach?
A website that is technically and graphically designed in a personalized way is defined as custom development. This is an approach where store owners' needs are considered when designing. For example, custom development can be compared to purchasing a plot of open land where you have complete control over the structure and design of your dream house.
In custom development, the store’s design can be different from various points based on the following:
- Brand Guidelines
- User Journey
- Desired Features
Custom-built websites follow the same procedures and methodology as other software development processes. A custom-build project would follow two main stages: Design & Development.
The design would be further broken into the below stages
- Gathering requirements
- UI/UX Designing
This process takes several weeks ( 6-8 weeks, as per experience ) as it usually takes 6-8 pages and screens to be designed.
Then the Development process follows, and that is beyond design timelines.
Custom built website is good for various reasons as they offer:
- Unlimited customizations on every page: The scope of the project and budget will determine the amount of customization available on each page; from a technical perspective, you have endless possibilities.
- Custom app integrations: Custom app integrations can be done through the application programming interfaces(APIs). APIs allow two pieces of software to communicate with each other and share data, which enables developers to connect their websites to third-party applications.
- Exactly matching the brand guidelines: By creating a custom website, businesses can control the look and feel of the online store, ensuring it accurately reflects their brand’s identity. This includes choosing the right colors, fonts, images, layouts and overall design elements that perfectly match their brand guidelines and user journey.
Why To Go for a Design-Based Approach?
A custom development approach for an online e-commerce store offers many advantages.
Freedom to be creative: Focusing on a high return on investment is important when investing in a custom website. Therefore, hiring a specialist who understands how to combine various tools to accomplish the desired targets creatively is essential. A website designed from scratch allows you to build an original design suited to your special needs.
Scalability: When it comes time to scale up operations or add new functionality, such as mobile responsiveness or e-commerce capabilities - you won't need to start over when working with a custom-built website.
Business function automation improvements: Custom web development allows you to streamline several business operations, enhancing your capacity to carry out a variety of tasks, such as:
- Acquire potential leads and export them to your CRM in a seamless manner.
- Integrate more software into your website.
Timeframe Required for a Design-Based Approach
Design-based websites significantly take more time upfront. The timeframe for a custom development approach to an online store will depend on the complexity of the store and the type of customization requested.
Generally, developing an online store from start to finish can take anywhere from one to three months or sometimes 4-6 months.
The below factors will determine the budget for the theme and custom-built approaches:
- Design complexity
- Feature set
- Custom functionalities
- Backend integrations
- Number of pages
Conclusion: What’s the Best Approach to Follow?
Based on the time it takes to setting up an online store, skills required, control and process. Here are the major differences between the theme and custom-built approaches:
Fast to set up
Takes longer to set up
Little technical knowledge required
More technical knowledge required
No complete control over the design
Complete control over the design
As we conclude, both theme-based and custom development approaches for ecommerce online stores have their pros and cons. Ultimately, the right approach depends on your business goals, technical expertise, budget, and time constraints.
At Marmeto, we aim to ensure the e-commerce store we build supports the objectives of your business. Knowing that the strategy you've chosen for your online store is of the highest caliber and that we'll provide an excellent user experience that leaves a lasting impression with effective conversion rates.
Get in touch with us now!