At Propcart, our mission is to streamline the process of buying and renting props and set dressing for the entertainment industry.
Part of how we do this is by providing affordable, high performance ecommerce websites (webstores) to prop houses, prop fabricators and cleared art galleries. We call these "Propcart Pro Webstores."
Our design goals for the Webstore are:
- Be easy to understand and use
- Be quick and easy to set up
- Be affordable
- Be lightning fast to load a page, browse and search
- Look modern but minimalist
- Offer a frictionless shopping experience
- Function just as well on mobile as on tablet or desktop devices
- Come optimized for SEO out-of-the-box
We use a Template
A Propcart Pro Webstore is built on an opinionated template that has been battle-tested by prop houses and their customers since 2018. We have good reasons for many of our design decisions. However, we're always learning and every client we work with brings fresh ideas and feature requests that improve the template for everyone.
The template was built from scratch specifically for prop house ecommerce. We're not using a Wordpress or Shopify website builder like some other prop house websites. Having our own custom platform gives us the flexibility to build anything we want without the restrictions of a third-party system.
However, we don't want to create a hairball mess of spaghetti code and configuration options that make it difficult to maintain and explain or hurt performance. Sometimes we have to say no to a design or feature request.
The majority of new feature requests are built for free because they benefit everyone; our customers regularly get free upgrades. Thus, every Propcart Pro client benefits from our community of ideas, be they design, usability or feature enhancements, bug fixes, or security patches.
I want my website to look totally unique
It's important that a website creates a unique "sense of place" and has a distinct look and feel that represents your branding goals. But being unique is costly and time consuming, and many prop house owners don't have the time or budget for that. Hence, we offer three different subscription plans tailored to different budgets.
As more customers choose Propcart, making each of our websites look unique becomes more of a concern for prospective customers. Usually, creating a unique page header and homepage is good enough, and we are happy to work with you on this.
However, please note that Propcart is not in the business of building bespoke websites and changing the template just to be different. There's a limit on how much can be customized. And some customizations cost extra depending on the scope and timeline.
Rather than try to list everything that is and is not customizable, just tell us what you want over a phone call and we'll tell you if we can accomodate.
I want to own my website
Sorry, we don't sell websites. Propcart is a "Software as a Service" company and we will retain ownership of all the code and proprietary technology. Just like you can't own your Shopify or Squarespace website, you can't own your Propcart website. But you'll own the copyright to all of your website's data and content.
Prop house owners who want to own their website often use an open source codebase like WordPress to build their website. If we thought that was a good idea, we'd be building WordPress websites too. WordPress uses old dinosaur technology that's slow and doesn't scale well. It's also a nightmare to maintain since you're constantly battling third-party plugins, themes and security updates.
Another problem with WordPress is that good developers hate working with it. So you'll usually get a below average web developer who ends up hitting the limits of the WordPress technology, thereby affecting the usability and performance of your website. And then that developer will eventually move on and not maintain your website anymore, so you'll have to find another developer to maintain it, which is risky and expensive.
The alternative to WordPress is to hire a developer to build you a custom website from scratch, but this can cost six figures and take years to build. New websites always come with bugs and usability problems, so you'll spend a long time playing whack-a-mole with all these maintenance issues. And then you still risk the developer not wanting to maintain the website anymore.
Why should I choose Propcart?
If you want to provide your customers with an "instant gratification" shopping experience where they can see all of your inventory and check pricing and realtime rental availability, then your website must be connected to your rental tracking and billing systems. Propcart webstores are integrated with our Dashboard, which unifies the inventory control, rental tracking and billing functions into one seamless ecommerce software package.
Our template is also designed specifically for prop houses, prop fabricators and cleared art galleries. We're a boutique software company focused on this niche since 2018. If you choose Propcart, not only do you get a template that has been battle tested on over 50 prop businesses, you get a tech support team that has a deep understanding of the props industry who is constantly updating the software to work better for everyone.
Let's Get Started
Now that you're aware of the benefits and limitations of a Propcart Pro Webstore, you can decide if it's right for you. If so, awesome! Let's start building your website.
The next pages will guide you through the setup process so that we can get your website designed and built quickly with minimal rework.
Click "Next" below to get started.