Any online store looks to obtain two things: functional simplicity and visual aesthetics. With these two features, any store can draw their customers in and guide them through the shopping experience with ease. There are times in which shortcuts are made, attempting to make these goals as easy as possible to obtain. Unfortunately shortcuts don’t always prove to be the best method.
Example A: Cafe Commerce; a “simple-to-use” e-store factory that takes very little time or effort to establish for $30 a month. A free 14 day trial is available, if one was curious about trying their hand at the program. However, the overall experience is nothing less than disappointing.
The general organization of the system is neat, but far too basic. It is easy to navigate through the background structure of your store, simple to add or remove items, and quick to check the statistics on your sales. Everything is properly labeled and explained on its function, but it limits the possibilities on how to design your online store.
The themes available for the store websites are generic, plain, extraordinarily basic. Nothing about these templates is exciting or grabbing, and would most likely lose a shopper’s intrigue quickly. And what’s worse, the availability to go above and beyond what Cafe Commerce has to offer is not entirely out of reach.
There is the possibility to preform personal coding (Design > Advanced) with a red warning that this part of the design is for “CSS Ninjas only!” Meaning: the potential to build your website using CSS coding is still very limited and basic while using Cafe Commerce.
Overall, Cafe Commerce only offers a small window of opportunity to create a fully-functioning and appealing online store. When online stores first began to make an appearance, these website designs would have been considered advanced and top-notch. Now, there is much more possibilities to make your store look interesting and navigational without the need for these simplistic templates.
Some things are just better left to the CSS Ninjas.