balanceStarting a new online store is a very exciting and hectic time for Merchants. Whether you are an eCommerce veteran or starting your very first website, 3dcart offers a platform that is robust and flexible.

3dcart’s Technical Support Team often speaks with new customers who are excited about the many features available to them, but may be struggling to quickly prepare their site to go live. Certainly new Merchants have quite a bit to do, and one of the most crucial decisions they face is deciding which areas are the most mission critical to their store’s success.

An area where we see a great amount of time and resources spent by new merchants is with the customization of their store’s look and design. It’s very easy to get caught up in the act of making small changes that can take up your precious time and resources. Focusing too much on design can actually cause Merchants to overlook  critical factors to their store’s success; namely functionality.

Let’s use buying a new home as an example. You have those new house keys in your hand and want to host your housewarming party as soon as possible. You have a long to-do list before you are ready for guests. Obviously getting the utilities turned on and your furniture in place are musts but what about new color paint and carpet? What if you want to add a bathroom, renovate the kitchen or knock down some walls to improve your home’s feng shui? These renovation take time and money and probably will push back your realistic “move in” date, as well as your housewarming party.

Merchants need to make smart decisions to properly strike the balance between their dream website and a functional store that starts putting  money in their pocket sooner rather than later.

One of the great things about owning a virtual, online store is the fact that you don’t have to shut it down completely in order to change its colors or install a new theme. To put it simply, there is very little downside to putting function ahead of form. What will bring your sales and profits to a grinding halt are design modifications that break the store’s functionality or cause confusion.

The 3dcart platform is designed to be powerful, flexible and customizable. There is a good chance that the majority of customizations you are looking for can be accomplished within the cart’s existing settings and available themes. Modifying the code on your store’s pages can be effective as well but we suggest you carefully weigh the effort, time, cost and possible loss of functionality against your expected increase in sales.

Potential shoppers are searching for more than just the best looking website. They are shopping price, shipping and reputation as well. A store with great functionality can make sure that - once you have their attention - you get their business too.