An e-commerce presence is not just a website

If you need your website to tell a story, Pakk is probably not a good fit for you. If you need to sell products efficiently, it definitely is.

An e-commerce presence is not just a website

An e-commerce presence should not be just a ‘website’, it should be a sophisticated yet simple-to-use ordering tool that implements commerce best practices from start to finish. It should be modern, clear, fast and easy to use — like the best mobile and desktop apps to which we’ve become accustomed.

Such a tool won’t be for every company though. We’ve had to make some very specific decisions when architecting Pakk which mean…

Choosing a platform for e-commerce can be extremely daunting

Where to start?

In 2020, at the time of writing, there are more ways to launch an e-commerce site than I could possibly list, but here’s a quick attempt anyway:

  • Use a super-popular, open-source blogging platform with an equally popular e-commerce plugin (Wordpress + Woocommerce)
  • Use a popular, open-source content management system (CMS) with an e-commerce add-on or module (Drupal)
  • Choose from a stable of veteran, open-source, dedicated e-commerce platforms (Prestashop, Zencart)
  • Choose an enterprise grade, monolithic, open-source e-commerce platform (Magento)
  • Use a hosted page-builder service to create a simple site and e-commerce functionality with an add-on (Wix)
  • Create a static site and…

The new Tapas Lunch Company homepage on Pakk.

Last week Pakk reached a major milestone. Of course there have been many others: our alpha launch, our first live customer site, their first order etc. This one, however, was really big, both on a personal and professional level. This is the story of how that milestone was reached and what it represents — right from the very beginning. It’s a reflection on the past and future, on business and entrepreneurship, on technology, software and web development, on commerce and e-commerce. Mostly though, it’s about life: my life, our lives and life in general.

Pakk is a prototypical “scratch your…

Yet (and annoyingly for me, even though I'm a web developer) a constant stream of desktop apps gradually goes web-only. It wouldn't suprise me if, in 10 years, 90% of big applications that were once desktop end up being web only. Subscription revenue is much more interesting to developers than one-off payment.

Don’t over obsess about having a great looking store. Focus on clean design and usability for your shoppers.

If you’re just getting into e-commerce, there’s a high chance your top priority when shopping for a platform is “having a great looking store”. Are you finding yourself browsing through template galleries and customer portfolios? Obsessing over image carousels? Considering contracting a designer to help put your store together?

Sure, I get it, it’s natural for a business owner to want a “great looking store”. Wouldn’t we all? Why would we set out to build an online shop and not want to make it look as good as possible? I’m here to tell you though, that having a great looking…

Getting your head around all the Google services you need to set up as a store owner can be daunting.

If you’re just getting started with e-commerce, or are launching a new store and are a bit rusty, you might be somewhat knocked back by the number and complexity of Google “services” you need to set up. Of course, technically none of this is obligatory but given the dominance of Google in search and discoverability, it should probably be seen as required.

This isn’t a deep dive into each of the services. I just want to enumerate and summarise the different services you need to look out. There’s plenty of information out there and documentation for setting up each one…

Ecom and accounting integration is a real headache

Accounting and financial control, and how these processes link to your e-commerce system, is a truly thorny issue — perhaps the most challenging to solve for business owners selling online. There is software designed to do your accounting and financials and there is software designed to sell online, but they are rarely the same system. Systems that have fully fledged accounting and fully fledged e-commerce baked into a single platform have always been firmly in the enterprise space and out of reach for most small businesses. …

Selecting an e-commerce platform can be the start of a journey into integration hell

We think e-commerce is fundamentally different now.

In the age of 5G, mobile devices, apps and hyperconnectivity, customers expect more from online stores than a simple catalogue with buy buttons. The best stores are highly interactive windows into core business processes. How many of this product is in stock? When will it be delivered? If it’s out of stock, can I get a notification when it comes back into stock? Have I already bought this product? When? What help can you offer me on this product? Has someone else already asked the same question about this product?

A webstore can only begin to answer these types of…

Jonathan Pincas

Full stack web developer and founder of where we’re currently building a next-generation, integrated commerce platform for ambitious small businesses.

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