Works out of the box!

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Every now and then someone in the social web world asks for eCommerce solution recommendation. One of the awesome trends I noticed in these answers is the answer of a “happy customer” that goes something like this:

I tried XYZ and it’s awesome! You should try it two. I don’t understand any of this HTML, php, CSSS mumbo-jumbo, but this XYZ cart works out of the box!

The sad part is, people tend to fall for that. What’s bad with it “working out of the box” you ask? Well, most of the open source carts I ever saw work “out of the box”, including Magento. Certain features, however, require additional set-up, and some even advanced custom development.

Did you ever ask yourself how come someone goes through years and years of learning all of this HTML and php mumbo-jumbo if they could simply use the “works out of the box” solution for everything?

Did you ever ask yourself how come big online stores whose core business is eCommerce are not using the “works out of the box” solution? Why are they spending a lot of money reinventing the wheel?

Because, we’re not reinventing the wheel. We’re upgrading, modifying and improving the wheel. We’re modifying the wheel to suit your particular target audience, brand, budget, strategy and product line. You can’t put a tractor wheel on a racing car, it simply doesn’t work that way.

Big companies with eCommerce as their core business don’t like throwing money around. They are usually very analytically driven companies that know exactly how much money they can invest into a certain feature of their online store, since they have a projection of the sales improvement it will make and ultimate projection of time needed for this feature to pay for itself (feature’s ROI).

About Toni Anicic

eCommerce Consultant

SEO. Professional gaming. Home-brewed beer. Magento Certified Solution Specialist.

Read more posts by Toni / Visit Toni's profile


  1. Out of the box solutions are good only for really small local businesses.
    All others want to be the best, that is why they improve web services constantly. It is competition.

    BTW, Do you have any “out of the box” cats? 🙂

  2. This post should be on a totem of some kind, a tall one which helps everybody to realize that web development is, usually, not an easy practice but a serious business.

    About the obvious post theme, yeah, I had a dog just like that 🙂

  3. So, does Joey work out of the box?

    I mean, is barking and being cute a standard feature or would some custom work be needed (like kissing, hugging and loving forever)?

    Is there a maintenance package included?

  4. Everyone comments on the dog, both here and on Twitter. No it’s not my dog, it’s a CC dog from Flickr –

    His name is Joey and he’s in a box, and according to comments section on Flickr, a hot blonde called “itslykthis” thinks Joey is very cute and wants to “kiss him and hug him and love him forever”.

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