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Starting a company aimed at working with designers and design agencies


My name is Stephen Gray and within the next couple of months I'll be starting a company called lightcommerce and I'd LOVE to get some feedback on the business model!

I have around 4 or 5 years experience developing and working with various market leading e-commerce platforms (UK) and I've written an e-commerce platform from the ground up called lumini.

It seems to me that there are lots of small or medium sized design agencies that don't have the time or money to develop their own platform, or support and manage a third party one.

The lightcommerce business model is that we will work closely with designers and design agencies to help them offer their customers a solid e-commerce solution.

We will handle all of the hosting (on dedicated servers and including nightly off site backups), software support and server technical support directly to the clients customers straight through the platform's administration interface (support tickets and a knowledge base). We will also handle skinning the platform to the clients needs.

Basically, the client will just have to provide us with the HTML/CSS flat files which have been signed off and finalised between them and their customer and lightcommerce will take care of everything else.

We see this as an opportunity for designers and design agencies to bolster their offering to offer a full and solid e-commerce product while not having to worry about any of the maintenance, support or development issues that would usually go along with it. As clients will be charging their customers our fees plus their own markup, there is literally no loss on their own behalf. The platform will be in constant development for bug fixes, new and exciting features and bespoke developments per client if required.

We will charge a fee for each site to use the platform, but the fee gets reduced after the third site. There will be a small support fee for each site and a hosting fee. It's up to the client how many sites they want on each server and there's obviously no limit on how many servers they have with us. Our dedicated servers are all hosted in a UK datacenter on unmetered 100mbit uplinks and top of the range hardware. We will initially be offering 3 tiers of server, 2 of which include RAID mirroring (instant backups) and any server can have the off site backups added for a small monthly fee.

Anyway, thanks for reading! I'd love to hear if this is something that would spark interest with single designers or design agencies. If you have any thoughts/opinions on what else you'd like to see in this type of opportunity, please let me know! As this is an early business, we're happy to mould the offering to the needs of the clients!

Over the next month I'll be finishing the demo site for people to start exploring the platform and gaining interest in the business itself. I'm making sure that there are all of the important features in the platform that users have come to expect from other market leading products.


Stephen Gray.


Staff member
you need the HTML/CSS flat files (so I assume photoshop/jpegs) to make the site design, you then charge to host the site and you charge to the use the e commerce solution.......

Doesn't seem like a worthwhile thing to me personally when there are so many good and free e commerce packages included with hosting packages that include something like softaculous.

Yeah we have to do the html files but I'm sure we can find a template (there's plenty of them) or even hire someone to do the html work if necessary.

The only way yours would work out better is if you are considerably cheaper and if all you can get in terms of hosting is a whole server rather than a shared server then for just one site it will be unlikely to cost less.

Now it might be different for a larger company or a person who deals with a lot of e commerce, although I'm sure they'd be fluent in their choice of software, but I just can't see it personally