E-commerce website development involves developing technical aspects of your e-commerce website. How it functions, accepts payments, reacts to specific user input, and appears aesthetically.
Many e-commerce platforms can help you build an online storefront, but as your business begins to scale, you need to provide better customizations to entice your customers to come back for more.
So, in this blog, I will explain to you about e-commerce web development and what it takes to build one. Let’s get started.
E-Commerce website development is a complex process as one has to take care of website performance like page speed and checkout processes, and user experiences. The right developer team will help you tackle these issues with ease. Some of the challenges can include:
- Deciding beforehand the right features and functionality for your project
- Having a thorough understanding of which e-commerce framework is best for you
- Integrating e-commerce in an existing site or website template
The development stage is crucial for your online storefront’s success. Developers play an essential role in ensuring that customers can smoothly navigate your e-commerce store, find what they need and check out safely with ease.
They work with various skills like back-end programming and front-end ecommerce design. Responsibilities may be different based on the type of e-commerce business you have. Here are the following roles of developers:
- Design your e-commerce store to be both functional and elegant
- Make it easy for customers to navigate your website
- Help you determine the features that will work best with your website content
Your business requirements will play a significant role in determining the features and functionalities of your e-commerce website. Create a list of features based on your e-commerce website needs. It should align with the customer lifecycle.
When deciding your shopping cart features:
- First, include a list of must-haves like does it support your choice of payment gateway?
- Add extras that your e-commerce store needs, such as automatic sales tax/shipping rate calculation.
- Give Priority to all nice-to-have from 1 to 5, where 1 is an essential feature for boosting revenues, and 5 is a helpful addon that can improve the efficiency of daily operations.
Nowadays, mobile devices are used for online shopping, so your e-commerce website needs to have a responsive web design. The goal is to ensure that you can deliver a consistent shopping experience whether your website gets accessed on a mobile device or a desktop.
It was estimated that mobile commerce sales in the United States would generate approx 360 billion U.S. dollars in 2021. By 2025, that figure is forecasted to grow almost twice, amounting to around 710 billion U.S. dollars. So, ensure that your e-commerce website is mobile friendly.
Unbounce revealed that approximately 70% of customers admitted that page speed impacts their willingness to purchase from an e-commerce store. Fast-loading websites are also necessary for SEO as Google uses site speed as one of the factors for ranking. So, focus on optimizing your e-commerce website to load quickly.
Ensure your e-commerce website is SEO ready, as it is vital for the distribution strategy of your content and is also an essential part of your website design. Ranking high on Google will help boost traffic to your website and organically bring customers who have a higher chance to convert.
No e-commerce platform will have all the features you need for your website. So, whatever platform you choose, ensure it allows additional customizations like plugins and integrations with apps and solutions you require. Most essential is the payment gateway integration, but also take into account the following:
How do you want to run your back office operations? Most companies connect their e-commerce solution to existing ERP, OMS, PIM, or CRM systems. So, ensure that the integration you need is compatible with the chosen platform.
What type of digital marketing are you doing? If you want to provide personalized experiences, you need a customer data platform. Decide what you wish to do with the data before choosing an e-commerce platform. Can you integrate the data with your email marketing system? Consider SMS marketing and on-site chat and whether you wish to integrate with marketplaces like Amazon or other social media.
Building an e-commerce website from scratch is not compulsory, as many platforms can help you create one with minimal skills. But before you begin the process, here are some things to consider:
Come up with a business model that aligns with your goals for the e-commerce store. It will help you determine what products you want to sell and their target audience.
Determine whether you want to sell physical goods, digital downloads only, or both. Will your target audience be only consumers, or will it be other businesses too? The hybrid B2B/B2C businesses are becoming mainstream too.
Define your business goals as the decision to sell online is a big step. Don’t proceed unless you have planned out everything correctly. Ask yourself, why do you want to sell online? I am sure it’s to attract more business, but how do you plan to make this happen?
- Will you focus on direct-to-consumer sales?
- Do you want to generate online traffic for your brick-and-mortar operations?
- Do you want to expand your B2B business to B2C or vice versa?
Come up with your ecommerce metrics like:
- What kind of post-launch growth do you want to see, and how will you measure it?
- Are you planning to sell locally or internationally, too?
- What’s your plan for growing a customer’s lifetime value?
- How many merchandise do you plan to sell in your ecommerce store?
Determine the shopping experience that you want your consumers to experience. Here are some of the features you can add:
- Allow your consumers to filter search results by size, color, or price with a click of the button
- Let them compare products side by side
- Provide an optimized, one-page checkout experience
- Offer them promotions and discounts
Do you want your customers to have a quick and straightforward shopping experience, or take time to browse your site and discover new products? Structure your website based on what you decide.
Nowadays, you don’t have to build your e-commerce website from scratch. There are various ecommerce platforms in the market that can fulfill your needs.
There are pros and cons to the different ecommerce platforms in the market. So, decide which features do you want for your e-commerce website.
Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopify or Shopify Plus are some of the best e-commerce platforms in the market. You can also use WordPress.
Ensure that you can easily add and edit product listings and sync your inventory across all of your sales channels. It simplifies back-office operations easier and prevents overselling your products.
Focus on these things when adding your products :
- The Product images should be of high quality: It gives your customers the confidence that they will receive what they expect.
- The Product descriptions should be detailed: Add all the essential information like product specs, sizing info, etc.
A developer can assist in setting up a shopping cart, checkout process, integrating payment gateways into your website, and setting shipping up. For payment gateways, there will be many options to choose from for your e-commerce website.
There is no need to integrate them all, but people prefer paying via different payment methods. Also, if you plan to sell cross-border, choose a payment gateway that supports the target countries.
Once your website is ready, it’s time to test it. Here’s a quick checklist:
- Review all CTAs and form titles on the landing pages and home pages
- Test the checkout experience of your e-commerce website
- Check out payment processing integrations
- Ensure that all images are high-definition and optimized to load quickly
- Watch out for any missing categories and product descriptions
- Ensure that all links and forms are functional
- Verify that your tax settings are correct
- Properly list all your inventories
- Test the coupons and promo codes
Also, ensure your e-commerce website functions well on desktop and mobile. The user experience should remain consistent on both platforms.
E-commerce has unleashed new opportunities in the digital space. So, get in touch with the leading e-commerce developers at GoodTal to turn your e-commerce idea into a reality. You will get the lists of the best e-commerce developers with streamlined workflow at an affordable rate. Building an e-commerce website will no longer be a hassle for you.