Shopping is an art, and not everybody is an artist. The same goes for selling; it is an art, too, but only some are artists, meaning only some companies in the eCommerce industry know how to sell. Still, how the e-commerce industry is expanding and contributing to a significant part of the economy is commendable.
As per Statistica report, “E-commerce revenue in the U.S. was estimated to be $768 billion last year, and it is expected to exceed $1.3 trillion in the next three years”. Similarly, In 2022, retail e-commerce in Canada generated over 52 billion U.S. dollars in revenues. According to estimates, this figure will increase to 94 billion U.S. dollars by 2027.
These numbers will touch the skies as people start to love the comfort of buying everything online and just by sitting at home. The wave of online shopping is on the rise, and it won't stop even a bit in the future. So now, e-commerce companies need to start focusing on their website development. They can surely hire a good ecommerce development company for quality services.
What is eCommerce website development?
A well-structured and designed eCommerce website development is crucial to any online retail company. If it's up to par, it will drive good sales and profits for your company. But what does it take to make a decent eCommerce website? It is a step-by-step process of creating and building online platforms that help businesses sell products and offer services online.
The eCommerce development companies make user-friendly interfaces, secure payment gateways, customize and organize layouts with relevant filter options, manage product catalogs, and implement various features to make the shopping experience. The goal is to create a safe platform for buyers and sellers that builds trust and churns out good sales and profit.
Finalize your Content Management Systems
Take a step forward and see how eCommerce website development services take place. Before initiating anything, start by finalizing your content management systems; you can choose or complete many content management systems. There are also open source platforms such as WordPress, Shopify, Wix, or Squarespace, all in one platform for making a holistic website.
Ultimately, it also depends on your budget, preferences, customized needs, and requirements. Also, one needs to check what options these content management systems are giving, whether it is easy to make a website on them, is professional, or has various customizable options.
Get your domain name.
Right after choosing your content management system, finalize your domain name by creating your account. If you're choosing WordPress, your next move is to get a web hosting plan. Generally, the best web hosting services give you a free domain name and other free services like SSL certificates with one-click installation, basically removing the long process of connecting the domain and hosting it on WordPress.
Other website builder platforms like Wix, Square Online, Squarespace, Shopify, etc. help you quickly navigate to the provider's website and sign in for an account. If your chosen CMS has an option, register your domain name through it, save time for your team, and remove the manual domain configuration process.
Design an intuitive layout and theme.
The best eCommerce website should have easy navigation and layout so that even a kid or older person can use it. Henceforth, the website layout and theme should be more than just glossy or aesthetic. Instead, it should be easy to make an order. Various CMS platforms have templates and layouts with design and color palettes. Companies generally go with those templates or curate their own. Based on their own requirements and filters.
Yes, most templates are free, but you can't use them for premium or aesthetically designed ones until and unless you buy them. The best part of those templates is that they are beautifully curated for the best user experience.
Start building and customizing your web pages.
Once you have finalized which template you're going forward with, the next step is to start customizing it as per your requirements. You'll update your homepage, header, and footer, configure smooth navigation, and build different pages about everything. It can be tiring sometimes, but the outcome is always worth it.
Curate Product Catalog
Without any product pages or product listings, no website is complete. Once you have built the website, you should start focusing on creating your customized product catalog with individual product listings. Just make sure it's clear for customers to understand the categories; let your listing be organized in classes, and other different parameters like filters are easy to navigate. So that in the future, when any visitor comes to your website, he knows where to look for products and different categories of products.
Build up a payment gateway, inventory, and tax tool.
After you have listed your products and their details, like their product descriptions, prices, etc., start working on a payment gateway. As it is one of the most important parts of any website, it should be easily accessible for any customer to navigate to the payment gateway without any complications like payments getting stuck in between, payment processing being late, or the payment page not loading. All of these things create a bad impression on any customer.
So when it comes to deciding and setting up a payment gateway, a variety of businesses go for third-party tools or apps such as Stripe or PayPal to make the payment process smooth and easy, plus secure. However, a lot of companies need to redirect customers to other websites. And their data gets into an insecure position.
Henceforth, if you're redirecting the customer to different websites for payment, you must ensure that your website is proficient enough that the data is fully encrypted before transfer. But before all this, consider a few points when considering any payment integration: Ask how easy it is to integrate the tool into your website. After that, consider security measures to determine whether the tool is secure. What charges or fees do you and your customers need to pay?
You also need to consider shipping; if your platform allows it, you can integrate shipping into your e-commerce website. This way, you'll not have to worry about the operation and can focus entirely on selling. But before integrating anything, clarify and precisely define shipping policies such as free shipping on minimum orders, variable fees, minimum days, etc., and when you determine this, just put in more effort and mention refund and return policies.
Test and launch your eCommerce website.
It has been observed at various events that companies launch their websites. It keeps getting bugs, or its features don't work, or sometimes its key buttons don't function; henceforth, make sure, before you launch your website, that it's thoroughly tested. 404-error web pages should also be designed smartly and aesthetically so customers don't get pissed off. Henceforth, run your various tests to see if you can buy anything smoothly and check if getting through the payment process is swift and easy. Check if notifications reach customers' mobiles or if your emails reach customers.
You must also check how your website looks and functions on mobile devices. And how it is performing on different browsers. It should function perfectly fine on all kinds of browsers. You're good to go once you have checked everything and cross-checked it, from product descriptions to every other category page!
Start marketing your eCommerce store on social media platforms and spread the word about your website launch through blogs, email marketing, influencer marketing, etc. You can also go for Facebook or Google ads if you have a reasonable budget.
After all this, you also need to make sure that regular maintenance and regular updates are happening on your eCommerce website because if you're not keeping it maintained and getting the bugs fixed, it's not worth it. A successful eCommerce website is never truly finished.
Wrapping it up
Overall, the bottom line is your brand value, and your eCommerce website can judge identity, and if it needs to be fixed, it all goes in vain. Building a remarkable eCommerce website is your need in an hour. The world constantly demands adaptability to change, and the online shopping industry always asks for more. Companies must start focusing on website development or hire a decent ecommerce development company for holistic services.
Originally Published At - Guide to eCommerce Website Development in 2023