Design versus Platform

What's most important when choosing your ecommerce solution?

31 Oct 2017

Let’s start by comparing an online store to a physical store. If a store is merchandised well and looks inviting, customers are drawn in and are likely to spend more time there. Website design needs to do the same thing. But how a website looks doesn’t just determine how long users browse, it’s also a key influencer in the buying decision. A study by Stanford University found that 75% of users make judgements about a company’s credibility based on website design alone. If users don’t perceive your website as trustworthy, they will go elsewhere. Design capabilities will therefore play an important role when you decide which ecommerce solution to use. But what about everything else?

The platform you choose needs to provide flexibility and scalability to make it easy to change design elements, however, a website doesn’t just need to be visually appealing, it also has to deliver on functionality, stability, security and speed. These things are determined by the platform architecture and the ecosystem in which it operates. Like with any ecosystem, each is unique in one way or another, therefore, before you choose an ecommerce solution, it can be a huge advantage – and even help in the decision-making process, to understand how the platform “works” and the impact this will have on your website and on your business.

In simple terms, you could see the platform as the engine – it keeps things running. But what does it take to keep the platform running? How easy will it be to implement changes? What is it going to cost you? Will you have to hire an in-house developer to do it or will your solution provider take care of everything for you? If the solution you choose doesn’t provide on-going support, website maintenance, hosting and R&D efforts, how are you going to keep your website up-to-date and secure? These are all questions you will have to ask yourself. Once you commit to a platform, you commit to everything around it, too.

Design on the other hand is like the paint colour – it can influence how we perceive an object or even how we feel about it, but it is also easier to change. You can test a few different paints before deciding which one to go with. Then, 12 months down the track you may change the colour. Website design is much the same, although the decision to change will probably be less impulsive. Instead, new market trends and changing consumer expectations will demand it. And how you go about making design changes to your website, will once again come down to the platform.

There is no question about it. Design is powerful and it should be a key factor when choosing your ecommerce solution, however, it should not be the deciding factor. On the right platform, design can be easily changed and you will also get the support you need to make it happen. 

The next question is: Which platform will meet your business requirements? One size doesn't fit all, which is why we work with a number of platforms. Get in touch to find out if one of them might be right for you.


Sina Braeuning

date published:

31 Oct 2017