The Internet has influenced almost every area of our lives, and we also shop online. The current generation will spend more time purchasing online rather than going to brick & mortar shops. So, retailers can’t afford to stay offline anymore. E-commerce websites empower them to reach new market opportunities and stay on the run. Thus, most retailers realize they need ecommerce development solutions that will boost their business online. How to build a successful e-commerce store? Find several useful tips on the topic in our article.
Why Create an E-Commerce Portal?
Attract New Customers
The immediate value of e-commerce website development is an opportunity to gain new customers if you already run a brick & mortar store. According to recent statistics, the number of digital buyers worldwide has grown up to 2.14 billion people, which is almost twice as much as compared with 1.32 billion people in 2014. Moreover, the world COVID-19 pandemic forced many customers to change their shopping habits towards purchasing goods from e-commerce websites.
An SEO-optimized e-commerce website or portal can improve your online visibility along with bringing new customers to your business. It’s no secret that most shoppers use Google and other search engines to find a relevant online store and buy. Thus, the higher your website is shown in the search engine results, the closer you are to new customers.
Scale-Up to a 24-Hour Customer Service
Ecommerce website development really matters as you can provide 24/7 services to your customers. Even if your brick & mortar store works 24/7, shoppers are likely to prefer buying online at any time. They can also perform other consumer processes such as browsing, comparing, and delaying goods as well as checking when the product they are interested in is available again for purchasing.
Ensure an Omni-Channel Experience
In pandemic times, it’s essential to keep your customers loyal to your brand. With the COVID-19 lockdown, most people have begun to buy online more than ever before. Those retailers who had worked online through offline channels experienced a significant decrease in sales. Thus, moving away from a single channel to an omni-channel model will protect your business and allow you to generate revenue even in hard times.
Improve Your Brand Recognition
Finally, ecommerce website development will serve as a long-term investment in your brand awareness. A successful eCommerce website can not only bring new customers who will buy your goods but also spread the word about your store, recommending it to other people. Shoppers will remember your brand and will visit your eCommerce website intentionally.
What to Consider When Developing an Online E-Сommerce Portal?
Before you launch the ecommerce development process, you need to define a technology stack for your portal. You should decide whether you want to develop an e-commerce website from scratch or create it based on a content management system. There are many popular CMSs used to create e-commerce websites that include WordPress, Magento, etc. In case you decide on building your online store from scratch, be ready to work out a technology stack, at least the main ones like a programming language and framework. For this, you’d better have an expert consultation from your development team.
Usability and Design
A user-friendly design is crucial for the future success of your e-commerce project. While developing, ensure your website has a simple and clean user interface with clear call-to-action elements. Also, think over if you want to apply a ready-made theme or a customized one. To choose among two options, you need to understand that a premade theme will be much cheaper, while a custom one is more expensive, but it provides more opportunities to meet your requirements. So, review your budget to decide on what theme would be a cost-effective solution for you. Finally, don’t forget that your e-commerce website should be responsive to all platforms, including mobile, desktop, and other gadgets.
Security is another thing you need to consider before ecommerce store development. You’ll have to collect and keep private user information, which requires strong measures to ensure its thorough protection.
Firstly, obtain a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate to assure secure connections while your customers make purchases on your website.
Secondly, use HTTPS (Hyper Transfer Protocol Secure) standard instead of HTTP for client communications. When potential customers visit your website, it will serve as a ‘’security’’ indicator that it’s safe to use for shopping.
How to Build an Ecommerce Platform Step-by-Step
Step 1: Pre-Development Stage
Any software project development starts with a strategy, and e-commerce web development is not an exception. The checklist below will help you to make an ongoing strategic plan:
- Conduct market research to find your selling niche.
- Choose a platform or decide on the technology stack to build your e-commerce store.
- Estimate the budget you need for e-commerce store development, including hosting, security, design, development, and other fees.
- Choose and purchase an attractive domain for your brand.
- Prepare the product list classified according to specific categories.
- Decide on pricing for your products.
Step 2: Development Stage
The next step will include all the activities related to website building. Based on your budget available, business needs, and expertise, decide if you can develop it with your in-house team or you’ll have to outsource the project. One of the cheapest options to create an e-commerce website would be using website builders. Still, you need to understand that if you want to create something more complicated such as an e-commerce portal, you’d better opt for more innovative technologies to provide an excellent user experience and unique design.
If you don’t have enough expertise to deliver the project on your own, you can order web app development services from an outsourcing company. Most reputable companies offer multiple engagement models such as staff augmentation or providing a dedicated team. The latter is best if you don’t have your in-house team but need the software product delivered in the shortest time. They usually cover all the steps, from website design and development to testing and release to the market.
Step 3: Post-Development Stage
Finally, when your e-commerce website is launched, think over its promotion. You can find a third-party agency or develop a marketing strategy on your own to cover at least the basic activities below:
- Search engine optimization;
- Pay per click advertising;
- Linking your website to social media;
- Running discount campaigns to drive more sales.
Without any doubt, it’s vital to extend your retail business to a digital space. Still, it’s not an easy task to build a successful e-commerce website or portal. Here’s a recap of what you need to consider when building an e-commerce website:
- Platform and technology stack
- Security measures
- Responsive design
- Strategic plan
- Development team
- Promotion plan