The future of ecommerce is (almost) here

Why we’re building ecommerce, who we’re building it for, and what’s coming next.

Bryant Chou
March 19, 2018

In internet years, ecommerce has been around for a long time. But building and designing custom sites has hardly gotten any easier. We’re going to change that.

Ecommerce is stuck in the past

Even before the dot-com bubble, entrepreneurs have dreamt of how we can turn the internet into the marketplace for all goods. From Paul Graham’s Viaweb, to Bezos’ “Everything store” concept, some of the most iconic companies of the past two decades have been built on the commercial shift from offline to online, creating spending and purchasing habits that are unique to this generation of consumers.

However, the platforms which entrepreneurs need to build their brands have been stagnant and slow to adapt to the times. Countless articles have been written documenting the ongoing shift from brick and mortar to online sales, yet the platforms people use to launch ecommerce stores were built when the best mobile phone was a Nokia 8110.

The problem with the status quo

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to creating an ecommerce website. From WooCommerce to Squarespace, Shopify to Wix, they all offer users the capability to add products and run their business. However, there’s a common theme: they’re all template-driven and nearly impossible to customize without considerable technical intervention (read: code).

But brands still need to stand out — that is, after all, the point of a brand — so entrepreneurs are forced to hire developers that can stretch their store beyond the limits of their chosen platform. Our visual approach to this challenge removes that need — and  unlocks complete creative control for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

How we’re changing ecommerce

When Webflow Ecommerce launches, you’ll have the power to build a completely custom ecommerce store — from product grids and pages, down to shopping carts and checkout flows — without writing a line of code. You’ll be able to spin up landing pages, banners, promotions, in minutes, not days or weeks.

It will be like having a team of developers at your fingertips. And yes, we’ll offer templates, but these templates won’t handcuff you. You’ll maintain complete control, down to the pixel, just as you would with any other Webflow site.

The internet — and especially ecommerce — is still in its infancy. To accelerate that evolution, we’re giving creators the tools they need to build powerful, bespoke online stores without being limited by the technical barrier of writing and maintaining complex code.

What’s ahead

For a closer look at what you’ll be able to do with Webflow Ecommerce, and what features are on the roadmap, take a look at our announcement page. You can also sign up for early access to the beta — we’ll also use this list to share updates as we approach an initial release.

This is just the beginning. We’re looking forward to sharing more about Webflow Ecommerce in the coming months with your support and feedback, and we’re eager to hear your thoughts.

Bryant Chou

Bryant Chou is cofounder and CTO of Webflow. He also heads up marketing, which may make him the world's only marketer/CTO.

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