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E-commerce: To bespoke, or not to bespoke?

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Published | 14.04, 7th of September 2009, by Jay Vincent | Business

If you are serious about setting up shop on the world wide interweb, this is a question which you will need to ponder with considerable trepidation: will your online shop be powered by an off-the-shelf solution, or will you design and develop a bespoke e-commerce system? Both options have their pro's and con's. Let's discuss.

Off-the-shelf Systems

There are a great deal of pre-built solutions out there, ranging from small open-source systems to massive enterprise-level solutions designed for multi-million pound turnover websites. The features they offer vary as much as their prices, but at the core of every solutionis a database of products, shopping basket functionality and a payment gateway, whether it be third-party (such as Paypal) or integrated.

Advantages of an off-shelf system are:


Bespoke Systems

A bespoke e-commerce solution is created to exact specifications, with custom-features and management tools all custom-made for the client. As a bespoke systems developer, it could be argued that I am perhaps a little biased, but I shall try to cover both advantages and disadvantages in a neutral manner:



No matter what path you take, there will invariably be a large time and cost commitment. That is why at Artlines, we offer frank and honest advice on which path to walk - and no matter what you choose, we can help turn an online shop into a successful commercial venture.

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