E-commerce Website Development 101: Everything You Need to Know
With an estimated 12 million to 24 million active e-commerce sites around the world, it’s easy for an online store to get lost in the crowd. Are you wondering how to stand out from the crowd? Top-notch e-website development that gives customers the experience they need is the key.
E-commerce website development focuses on developing the technical aspects of your e-commerce website including – Its functionality, payments, behavior in response to user activity, and how it appears aesthetically. The web development services industry opens the doors for business owners to launch user-friendly websites to solve their most pressing e-commerce challenges including:
- Being aware of the right features and functionality for your e-commerce project.
- Get an in-depth understanding of which e-commerce framework might work best for you.
- Integrating e-commerce into an existing website site or template.
In this article, we will talk about what e-commerce web development is, and the steps to be kept in mind while developing an e-commerce website. Let’s dive in.
Options for Building An E-commerce Website
When it comes to building your e-commerce website, you will come across two options that are:
Building a website from scratch
In case you already have an IT team in place, taking the open-source route may be the best option for you.
Are you wondering what open source is all about?
- Open-source e-commerce platforms are solutions that give you the liberty to modify all the aspects of code. So, you can develop your website from scratch with few to no customization limits.
- However, take note that using an open-source solution would mean that the business itself is responsible for PCI compliance, web hosting, security issues, manual patches, and updates.
- This is why some brands may view open source as too cumbersome, expensive, and tech-heavy, especially as your business grows and complexity increases.
Customizing a SaaS solution
Don’t have the coding expertise or budget to build a solution from scratch?
Do not worry! Some e-commerce solutions, referred to as “open SaaS,” even offer benefits from both open-source and SaaS platforms.
Leading open SaaS e-commerce platforms for mid-market and enterprise brands offer lower total cost of ownership, faster go-to-market times, and the ability to integrate custom features and functionality faster, similar to using an open-source platform.
Steps involved in an E-commerce Website Development
The majority of the experts do not recommend building your e-commerce website from scratch. Many platforms can help you create an e-commerce store with minimal coding or technical skill required on your part.
But determining your platform isn’t the only thing you need to do before starting the development process. Here are a few things you might want to consider before diving in.
- Understanding business goals
It is a huge decision to sell online and you can’t proceed with action until you figure out the operational bells and whistles.
To do that, it is best to start with the why.
Why do you wish to sell online? Is it to attract more business — that’s easy. But how do you really plan to execute it?
Will your e-commerce business be an avenue for direct-to-consumer sales?
Do you wish to expand a B2C business to B2B or vice versa?
Apart from your baseline goals, it is crucial to think in terms of e-commerce metrics.
What is the kind growth would you wish to see post-launch, and how will you measure it?
What’s are your weekly goal in terms of online sales volume?
Do you wish to sell locally or internationally, too?
What’s your plan for growing a customer’s lifetime value?
How many products do you plan on selling?
- Understanding the intent of the whole shopping experience
It is important to be clear about the kind of online shopping experience you want to give your customers. Some experiential features you may want to consider include:
- Allowing your customers to filter search results by size, color, or price with the click of a button.
- The ability to compare products side-by-side.
- Offering an optimized, one-page checkout experience.
- Promotions, discounts, and other offers.
Keep your target audience in mind whether they want a simple and quick shopping experience with necessities like some consumer-packaged goods or if they’ll take some time to browse your site and discover new products. You’ll likely want to structure your site for a different customer journey depending on the answer.
- Discussing platform options
- Today you don’t have to build your online store from scratch, all thanks to technology. There is a room full of e-commerce solutions to choose from, however you need to opt for the right one best suited to your needs.
- There are advantages and disadvantages linked with different e-commerce platforms, which is why you need to know exactly the kind of features you need to make your online business the best it can be.
- Some of the most popular e-commerce website builders include Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopify or Shopify Plus. Some merchants with content-heavy sites may like to use WordPress and several e-commerce platforms that offer integrations that enable you to combine your content and commerce.
- Adding products
You must ensure that you can easily add and edit product listings and that your inventory can sync across all of your sales channels. This will not only simplify back-office operations but help you avoid overselling your products. Focus on the following while adding products:
- High-quality product images are a must: You must give your customers the confidence that if they order from you, they’ll receive exactly what they expect. This will also help in building trust.
- Mention detailed product descriptions: Particularly for highly researched products, make sure that you include all pertinent information, product specs, and sizing information related to the product.
- Set payment and shipping options
- A website developer can help you out with the shopping cart and checkout process, as well as how to integrate payment gateways into your site and get shipping set up.
- You will have a wide range of payment gateways to choose from.
- You don’t have to integrate all of them but it is worthy to note that customers are increasingly interested in paying via different payment methods like buy now and pay later. Plus, if you’re selling cross-border, you’ll want to choose payment gateways that support your target regions.
- QA and launch website.
Once you’ve moved your website from staging to production, give it a quick test drive to ensure that you’re all set in terms of e-commerce website design, performance, and navigation.
Here’s a quick checklist for you for successful testing:
- Review all calls-to-action buttons and curate titles on the homepage and landing pages.
- Test your checkout experience.
- Double-check payment processing integrations (credit cards, PayPal, Stripe, etc).
- Make sure that all images are high-definition but optimized for load speed.
- Look for missing product categories and descriptions.
- Check that all links and forms are functional.
- Verify that your tax settings are correct.
- Ensure that all the inventory is properly listed.
- Test your coupons/promo codes.
The Final Word
Are you on a lookout for an E-commerce website development consultant? Then, you’re at the right place since, a niche E-commerce Marketing and Consulting Company is well known to helping brands to setup and scale their Cybez business online.With a combined experience of more than 30 years in the digital industry, our team is a complete and strategic mix of professionals from Research, Planning, Marketing and Project Management domain.
Cybez understands that launching an e-commerce business ranges in complexity, and so do the platforms available to you. Whether you start with a complex platform or a turn-key solution, you may find you need some extra web development help at some point in your business lifecycle. That’s where we pitch in.
Now that you know about the web developer’s role in your e-commerce launch and maintenance process, the functionality you need to consider as you evaluate tech specs, and the steps you should take before launch, you’re ready to get started. Do not worry! We will help you with that. Avail the best services today with Cybez.