The benefit of a blank page

Damian Parker-Kidd profile picture Written by: Damian Parker-Kidd - Published on: 10 Mar 2017
Wave goodbye to templated eCommerce stores and say hello to frontend freedom with APIs.

Cookie-cutter v API

Whoever you are and whatever you sell, the choices you have to make are endless. If you’re in a rush, do you go for a cookie-cutter approach because you feel that’s the quickest way to get online? Do you buy a theme or template, with a load of plugins to go with it and then hire a gung-ho local developer who’s said he’ll do it for a seemingly awesome price? Do you trawl the internet for the cheapest, out of the box solution? You could go down any of these routes and get an eCommerce store out of it but you sacrifice flexibility. I mean, go for it if you want the same run of the mill, standard layout, templated and locked-down store. This is probably the comfortable choice, but is it the right choice? Probably not. If you’re anything like me, I’m bored of shopping online and every site having a similar design and layout, with no feel of the actual brand’s story, or concept of originality.

Although all of these approaches you’ve probably considered still result in an eCommerce store and work to an extent, you should treat them as a quick fix to hit the ground running, not a long-term solution.

Here is an idea, start with a blank page. A clean slate.

Yes I know, groundbreaking.

Well, maybe not. It’s not something new but it is something that will give brand consistency across all channels. Something that is groundbreaking, however, is the API-based approach. APIs take away the constraints of cloud-based and downloaded platforms by separating your frontend view and your backend eCommerce logic and then joining these systems in a really simple and empowering way that allows you to have complete design control and gives you brand consistency. Not to mention it will save you money, as we all know trying to customize these template-driven existing platforms is costly and hard work to get right. APIs are a designers dream.

The impact of design on eCommerce

You’ve probably all had experience of walking into a physical shop and walking back out as it’s unorganized, unwelcoming and generally just a mess. And you’ve probably also walked into another one and spent hours in there, getting greeted on entry, being faced with an immaculate front-of-house, searching the clearly organized and labeled products on the shelf, trying things on, chatting to friendly store assistants. You’d probably go back to the latter again, but never the first.

Think of your eCommerce store in the same way you’d treat your physical shop, or your products generally. It should express your brand personality, taking customers on a user journey they’ll never forget. It should be easy for them to find product information, add items to a basket and complete the checkout process. If it’s not, you’ve just lost valuable sales. How can you express yourself if you use to same template or theme as a thousand other retailers?

No longer bound by technology constraints, designers have total creative control.

Frontend freedom with Moltin

Success comes from knowing your brand. Your online presence should showcase and reflect your product offering and, if you own one, what you portray in your physical shop. We already have some amazing stores on Moltin which do just that:

Failure comes from your channels not being coherent. If customers feel like your site is inconsistent with your brand, they’re more likely to leave and never come back.

Having that freedom, APIs give you makes it so much easier to create an amazing eCommerce experience that results in customer loyalty, increased conversion rates and ultimately a higher bottom line.

With Moltin, you get the front end freedom your brand deserves.

Let's build something amazing with Moltin