What Is E-Commerce Website Development?
Global retail markets are continuously expanding nowadays due to the wide use of online shopping. More than 15% of sales in the world are made online, and this number is constantly increasing. It means that the number of people who use online e-commerce sites increases as well every year, and in 2021 it was 2.15 billion people worldwide. That is why, if you want to join the club and take up an e-commerce business, you need an effective e-commerce website.
On the other hand, there are about 24 million e-commerce websites operating on the market today. Many of them can become your competitors in the chosen niche, so you need a website that can stand out from the crows. This article will tell you what e-commerce website development is and why it is so important to cooperate with an expert developer for the future success of your online business.
Before we start talking about the characteristic features and requirements of e-commerce website development, let’s explain what an e-commerce website is.
What Stands Behind an E-Commerce Website?
An e-commerce website is the main tool for your business that allows for buying and selling products and services online. Consumers can find such websites on the Net for further researching, browsing, and making decisions on purchasing the things they need. They can make a purchase easily with several clicks from their PC or mobile device, and it is very convenient in our time of high speeds and fast pace of life.
E-commerce sites can be of two different types - vendor-specific websites and multi-vendor marketplaces.
A vendor-specific site is more common. Only one private business owns it and sells via it. It also markets and promotes its products and services. You can develop an individual strategy for your vendor-specific site and optimize it by using SEO according to your preferences.
A multi-vendor marketplace can sell products from different manufacturers or offer services from multiple sellers. Amazon or Alibaba are the most well-known examples of such a site. Third-party sellers can even create their individual profiles on such online marketplaces.
What Does E-Commerce Web Development Include?
The specific nature of an e-commerce website determines the peculiarities of its development. So, what is e-commerce web development in general? It is an overall process of designing a site for buying products on the Net. It should be efficient enough to help the site generate more conversions and leads, and bring good revenue to your business.
The main task of any developer here is to create a design prototype, put it to life and test its online functionality. That is why a web designer should know how to locate navigation buttons, CTAs, hyperlinks, and contact forms on the site for customers’ convenience. A professional also knows how to plan the front end and back end of the site to let it smoothly interact with clients and the online environment. Product pages, support sections, shopping carts, and informational blocks are mandatory, too.
What Does the Development Process Look Like?
The development process of an e-commerce website is pretty complicated and effort-consuming. There are several essential steps to follow while making this site.
Step 1. Planning
Every process should start with an accurate plan, and e-commerce website development is no exception. If you order your site, think thoroughly about your goals and strategy. The layout has to be based on them. Decide about the type of customer service, ways of displaying products, making your brand recognizable, and further enhancement of sales. The future structure and layout of the site depend on all these things. In addition, your developer will be happy to get straightforward requirements and instructions from you.
Step 2. Picking Out a Domain and Platform
Try to be careful while choosing the domain and platform for your site. The URL needs to be eye-catching and easy to remember to drive more traffic and increase brand awareness. You can purchase a domain easily, and then it’s time to pick out a hosting platform. It should be explicitly meant for e-commerce. Some hosting services may allow you to build your website on your own, while others can offer pre-built designs and templates.
Remember that a domain name should contain your business’s name to make it recognizable. Try not to use customizable templates that many e-commerce platforms offer. Even if you consider them more budget-friendly, they do not provide decent security, are vulnerable to hacker attacks, and are not as flexible as those sites that are developed for individual clients' needs with the help of Laravel or PHP.
Step 3. Making a Layout
Suppose you have chosen an e-commerce platform and bought the domain. Start making a sitemap or outline for further development. Think about the layout and how many pages and how much content you need. Consider:
━ wish lists;
━ listings of products/services;
━ customer testimonials;
━ process of checking out and/or ordering.
You also have to include a memorable logo, imagine a color palette that matches the company’s brand image, proper navigation tools, filtering options, and search tabs. They will boost your site’s functionality. Using back-end programming languages, such as PHP and its most brand-new framework - Laravel - will help you a lot in ensuring the perfect functionality of your site without any bugs and delays.
Step 4. Coding
Step 5. Optimizing
The focus on the front-end elements also needs attention to your website’s interactions with search engines and customers. The overall look and feel of your e-commerce website development should be aimed at creating custom pages that will be convenient to interact with. Think about themes and colors you would like to see on your site. Discuss how many images and videos it is better to add and how to make the users’ navigation more straightforward.
Be sure to optimize the site for search engines. Your potential customers and partners need to find your site quickly. So, its placement on the first page of a search options list is a must.
Even after users come across the website, they should be interested and attracted to it to make further purchases or investments. It means that the first impression matters very much, and your brand image adds a lot to your company’s recognizability.
Step 6. Preparing for a Launch
Your website is almost ready for launch now. Testing before the launch is mandatory. You need to ensure that every function is working properly and that there won’t be unexpected bugs. Your developer will help you do it and correct everything that prevents your site from effective working. Now, you should think about promoting your site. Developing a marketing strategy is essential. You have to think about:
━ PPC (pay-per-click) adverts;
━ SEO strategies;
━ social media promotion.
Such a combination of techniques and methods will make your e-commerce site visible and recognizable for increasing your sales and revenues.
Step 7. Maintenance
Once developed, your e-commerce website will work properly for some time and then, it will need updating. There will be changes in your product lines, stocks, and customer demands. The functionality of the site may be distorted, or your customers’ feedback will show you that you have to change something to enhance their satisfaction.
Anyway, effective e-commerce website development implies further assistance on the part of your web development agency or designer. Regular updates help a lot in making your online business more prosperous.
Why Is E-Commerce Website Development Important?
Therefore, what is e-commerce web development, apart from the design process? It is all about your customers’ convenience. They need to understand how to navigate pages easily, find the product they are looking for quickly, and make purchases smoothly from the comfort of their home or office.
Let’s have a closer look at why e-commerce website development is so important for your business’s progress:
1. The first impression matters very much. There are thousands of e-commerce sites that have failed just after their launch. The site should establish and support the positive impression of your brand to make its users the most loyal customers for a long time.
2. User experience is essential. All the visitors should experience positive interaction with your company. If your website runs quickly and flawlessly, with an attractive interface and easy navigation, you will convert the most leads into sales for the final benefit of your company.
3. SEO campaigns should be pretty effective. Coding, URLs, page speed, and hyperlinks influence your site’s ranking on the result pages of search engines and make your offers more visible to potential customers.
4. Standing out from the crowd will help you withstand the competition. Professional e-commerce website development can help a lot in making your site recognizable and the brand memorable. If your website is unique and constantly updated, it will beat your competitors and drives more traffic for increasing your sales.
Therefore, the importance of website development for your e-commerce project is measured by the following features:
━ perfect UI/UX;
━ data security;
━ boosting mobile experience;
━ improving SEO for more availability;
━ simple sign-up processes and smooth checkout;
━ appealing layout and interface;
━ continuous customer support.
Mind online security among other important goals. Your customers will appreciate it very much if your priority is their sensitive financial information protection. Employ TLS and SSL protocols for encryption and the HTTPS authentification. Your company’s software and hardware should also be protected with effective anti-malware and antivirus tools.
So, what is e-commerce web development? It is a set of strategies, tools, and techniques that are meant to help an online business increase conversions, leads, and sales. Hiring a professional developer may be essential because if you want to have an attractive, efficient, and smoothly working website for your e-commerce business, you need a more complex project than just using a template from a special e-commerce platform.
You also need to consider your budget's capacity. Be sure that it will allow you to hire an experienced developing crew to make a unique site for you and then support its functioning. Evaluate all your business needs, goals, and strategies in comparison to the ongoing effects of creating and launching a state-of-the-art e-commerce website. Considering all pros and cons of cooperation with true professionals will bring you the best results.