There are more than twenty million active ecommerce sites today. That’s a hell of a competition for a new business. But startups and small businesses actually have a chance to compete with them if they do things right. So what’s the key to all this? Top notch ecommerce web development!
But what is ecommerce web development? Our guide will help you understand web development for ecommerce and how to launch your own ecommerce store!
Table of contents
- What Is Ecommerce Web Development?
- Why Is Ecommerce Web Development Important?
- Qualities of a Good Ecommerce Website
- Web Development Options
- 6 Easy Steps for Ecommerce Web Development
- Launch Your Ecommerce Website Today!
What Is Ecommerce Web Development?
The process of creating an ecommerce store’s backend and frontend is known as ecommerce web development. This includes the design and technical aspects of the store. Without both of these elements in place, an ecommerce store will not be able to fulfill its primary purpose, i.e., act as a medium between customers and businesses.
There are a lot of factors to take into account when developing an ecommerce website. Most stores fail because of poor design. The navigation is confusing. There is an abundance of text and no visuals. The typography is overwhelming. Or, the readability is very low. Consumers run away from such websites, and the store fails to generate revenue.
Easy navigation is essential for a successful online store. White space, textual content, and graphics must be utilized in the right way to make the website appealing and readable. The color scheme has to be simple yet visually appealing. There is so much more that goes into web design that can affect the performance of the store.
Why Is Ecommerce Web Development Important?
Some would argue that there is no need for ecommerce web development when you can sell on platforms like Amazon. But why give business to your competitors and not keep it all to yourself? It’s important to have a functional ecommerce website for your business, and here are some of the major reasons why.
Widen Your Reach
Your office or physical store may be limited to the geographic location where it’s situated. But an ecommerce website is not. A website is open to the world and breaks down barriers for you to reach a global audience. Even if you are selling on platforms like eBay and Amazon, a website can help you reach out to consumers who don’t use these platforms. There’s a whole world out there that becomes accessible the minute you have a website.
Having an ecommerce website also enables you to leverage SEO to your advantage. With the power of SEO, you can secure the top spots on the SERPs. This leads to a greater number of individuals being able to discover your store when they search for a product.
A wider reach usually leads to more sales. Customers are more likely to purchase your brand’s or its products if they are more familiar with them. This is true, for the most part. More reach doesn’t always lead to higher sales. Ecommerce web development can help in this situation. It plays an important role in creating a smooth customer journey, which then promotes sales.
The more functional and responsive your website is, the simpler it’ll be for consumers to make a purchase. But if you have a poor design, you’ll drive visitors away. Any of the elements on your website can deter potential customers away. This is why it’s important to invest in ecommerce web development and focus on functionality, responsiveness, and good design.
There are two aspects to scalability here. Developing an ecommerce website gives you the opportunity to collect valuable customer information. Businesses can use this information and insight to discern consumer behavior and demand. This way, they can offer new products and services and grow their business.
The other aspect is that web development can help your website scale when your business grows. It’s very common for some websites to crash when there are a lot of visitors. When your business grows and you get more average daily visitors, you will have to scale your website to handle the influx of customers. A good ecommerce website will use the latest technologies to scale with your business and maintain uptime even during busier times.
Regardless of what popular opinion is, an ecommerce website is a store in itself. It’s just like any physical store, but with one added advantage for businesses. It costs so much less to build and operate than a physical location. An ecommerce store is a lot cheaper than a physical retail store, so it lowers the barrier to entry into the market. Especially for businesses that are starting with low capital.
When you start a business with an ecommerce website, you don’t have to pay any of the extra expenses that come with a physical business. There are no rent payments or overhead costs. With less staff and equipment, you can still accomplish your goals. By saving money on all these fronts, you can invest more in revenue-generating aspects such as marketing.
One of the biggest advantages of ecommerce web development is that it paves the way for more marketing opportunities. A website is a huge asset for any marketer. It is prime real estate for marketing. You can use your website to post promotional content and market your other ventures as well.
Another important aspect of this is SEO. You can market your website and your brand by focusing on SEO. By optimizing your website to give ranking signals to search engine algorithms, you can get favorable spots on the SERPs and rich results. This will improve your reach and brand awareness.
Qualities of a Good Ecommerce Website
There are several important functions and qualities of a good ecommerce store. You need to decide which is your top priority. The decision usually comes down to your business model, products, and audience preferences. Although, you shouldn’t skip some of the basic functions and qualities.
UX and UI
The user experience and user interface define almost every aspect of the customer journey. This starts from the point a visitor ends up on your website to the point where they make a purchase and leave. Every interaction they have on your website is accounted for in the UX and UI. So it’s imperative that a website have stellar UI and UX design.
Your website must have easy navigation so the customer can easily surf through the sales funnel. Navigating through the website must feel natural to the visitor, so they don’t feel lost or pushed toward making a purchase.
Ecommerce has made a major shift to mobile phones. Customers find ease and convenience in shopping directly from their mobile phones. This is why a good ecommerce store will provide an excellent experience for mobile customers. When developing your ecommerce website, it’s essential to think about both desktop and mobile.
Responsive design is an essential requirement when you want to offer your mobile shoppers the best experience. A responsive design guarantees that your site doesn’t become a mess when it is accessed on a mobile device. All the elements of your website must align to maintain the theme, design, and aesthetic of the desktop site.
A growing concern in the world of ecommerce is cyber security. Customers are particularly worried about the privacy of their information. When you run an online store, you gather a lot of data from your customers. A lot of this is potentially sensitive information, especially that regarding their finances. Protecting this information is critical for the success of your ecommerce store.
To protect sensitive customer information, businesses should implement a number of security protocols for their ecommerce website. You have to authenticate and encrypt the connection that customers have with the shop. Transport Layer Security, HTTPS authentication, and Secure Sockets Layers are excellent options.
To complete the customer journey on a high note, it is imperative that a website have a smooth checkout process. Many customers abandon their carts when they face a long checkout process. Long signup forms are a major reason for cart abandonment. A guest checkout feature allows them to make their purchase without filling out signup forms or creating an account.
A great ecommerce website will also provide several payment options so that customers can pick their most preferred payment method. This ensures that purchasing an item from your store is convenient for them. The latest trend is offering cryptocurrency payment options on ecommerce sites.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a collection of tools, techniques, and practices that help ecommerce websites rank higher in search engine results. The higher you appear in the search engine results pages, the more visibility your website and products will have. Using a number of content strategies, you can rank higher for keywords that pertain to your ecommerce store.
Page loading time, keywords, backlinks, reviews, and many more elements are ranking signals to search engines that your website is good and will be useful for consumers. As such, SEO is one of the integral pillars of any digital marketing strategy for ecommerce stores.
Web Development Options
If you’re starting off with ecommerce web development, there are many ways you can do things. You could build your store from scratch by hiring a web developer. You could customize a cloud-based ecommerce solution to create a store. Or, you may outsource it all to an agency and let them do the hard work. You need to consider your needs, goals, and budget to choose which option suits you best.
Open Source Development
Open source ecommerce platforms allow you to manipulate the code of your store however you see fit. This ability gives you the most flexibility and autonomy as to what you would like to do with your store. You can design your store and add features as you see fit. There are no limits on customization through this method.
If you want to go with open source development, it’s important to know that you need developers with the right set of skills. You will also be responsible for hosting, compliance, security, and updating your website. These are all very important tasks that take time and resources. So only go with this method after careful consideration.
Cloud-based Ecommerce Solution
Cloud-based SaaS ecommerce solutions allow you to easily build a store when you don’t have the required experience or the budget to do so from scratch. These platforms have pre-built store templates that you can turn into your own store for a monthly fee. If you’re launching your first ecommerce store and don’t want to get into the tech side of things, this can be a great option.
The cost is less customization options. Since these platforms have ready-made stores that you use, you don’t get a lot of say. Yes, you can change the basics, such as the theme, to fit your company’s image. But there’s very little that you’re given a choice over. But the plus side is that you won’t have to worry about updates, security, compliance, or hosting at all.
Outsourcing your ecommerce web development to an agency is the easiest of the three. You don’t have to take on any work yourself and can leave all the backend and frontend work to your trusted agency. These agencies can create stellar ecommerce sites with all the latest features and customize them however you want.
Web development agencies have access to the top talent, so you can trust them to build a robust store that will meet all your needs. And they can help you scale your store as your business grows. The biggest benefit is the cost savings. Outsourcing may allow you to reduce the expenditures that the other options would have taken. All you have to do is choose the right agency and communicate your needs and goals with them.
6 Easy Steps for Ecommerce Web Development
Building an ecommerce website is easy enough if you know what to do. Even if you’re a beginner in the world of ecommerce, using an ecommerce platform can help you build and design your website with a few simple steps. Here are six easy steps to building your first ecommerce website:
Step 1: Make A Plan
You must first develop a strategy before launching your online store. This plan will define how your store will operate. The first step is to decide which products you’re going to sell. Start thinking about prices once you’ve decided on a product. What are your prices for the product? What will the shipping cost be? What additional services, such as customization, will you be providing and at what cost?
Then consider the layout of your store. The layout, structure, and design of your store are essential steps in building it later. So figuring out the details right now will be much more convenient. Harden out the details before you actually get into building the store.
Step 2: Choose Your Ecommerce Platform
When deciding which ecommerce platform to build your store on, you have to consider your needs. The layout you decided on in the first step will help you now. Think about the features and amenities you want to offer your customers. Create a list and search for them in the choices you are thinking about. A good platform should offer you more features and the freedom to customize your store however you see fit.
Every ecommerce platform has its own set of advantages and unique features. Oftentimes, it’s a good idea to go with the more popular platforms. They are the market leaders because they offer the best services at the best prices. Some of the best ecommerce platforms are Shopify, Wix, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento, and Weebly.
Step 3: Pick a Domain Name
The domain name is a critical component of the process here. It’s because this is the name people are going to use when they search for or refer to your store and business. So you need to get creative when picking a name. It needs to be intriguing enough to pique curiosity instantly. But it should also be short and precise so people remember it.
When choosing a domain name, availability must also be taken into account. The more catchy a name is, the higher the demand for it will be. This means it will sell out fast. So if you find a name that you like very much, don’t hesitate to take it off the market. The best domain names will help drive traffic to your ecommerce stores and increase brand awareness.
Step 4: Build Your Store
Start building your ecommerce website by creating a home page and product pages. Utilize your brand colors to create a uniform theme throughout the store. Make good use of white space to ensure your website is simple to read and navigate. Think about navigation and add links and buttons.
On product pages, add titles, descriptions, images, a Buy button, and a section for reviews. Add keywords in the titles and descriptions to support your SEO. You are free to include as many features as you like. A great idea is to have a Related Products section so customers can view your other products as well.
Step 5: Add Payment Methods
The last step before you’re ready to launch your ecommerce website is to integrate payment options. You need to have a merchant account and integrate payment gateways into your website. Every ecommerce platform has these capabilities. So, all you have to do is decide which payment options you want to provide to your audience.
Credit card payments are the most prevalent form of online payment, so it’s necessary to include them. Other payment options, like PayPal and neobanks, are also very in-demand. A rising trend among shoppers is to pay through cryptocurrencies. You can determine whether this applies to your intended audience. Lastly, many ecommerce stores have started to offer Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services, which also attracts many new customers.
Step 6: Launch Your Store
After you’ve set everything up, it’s time to review and test your website. Test drive your ecommerce website to ensure everything works the way it should and the design and branding are to your liking. Consider yourself a customer and go through the whole buying process. From the product search to the checkout screen, test everything thoroughly.
Once you’re satisfied, publish your website. When your website goes live, you need to start promoting it. There are many different digital marketing strategies that can help get the word out about your ecommerce store.
Launch Your Ecommerce Website Today!
To establish an online presence, every company needs a website. For ecommerce businesses, a website is their primary channel for operations. As such, ecommerce web development is the most vital process for them. But web development can involve a complicated process. So you need the right expertise and tools to launch a successful website.
Have you developed an ecommerce website for your business? Comment below!
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