Ecommerce Development - An Ultimate Guide
Operations of buying & selling of products through online sources are considered as ecommerce. In simple words, "all activities regarding the exchange of goods & services that are completed with an online platform (website) categorised under such a term".
In today's world, many people love to shop online instead of visiting their local markets. As stats mentioned on Oberlo, over 63% of people consider online shopping. As per the Statista estimations, ecommerce sales will be $4.2 trillion in 2020 and $6.54 trillion by 2023. By focusing on such stats, you can clearly get the influence of the online market over land-based one.
It is a big reason by which all companies are trying to become a part of the online marketplace and serve the audience as per the modern trends. To be a part of the internet and ecommerce world, you need to be focused on the following factors.
- Platform selection
- Web & app development
- Web design, sustainability, and scalability
- Competitor analysis
There are numerous other factors considered, such as - a category of the store, types of products, business model, and much more. In this article, you can find complete information about ecommerce development.
Before proceeding to the platform selection and some other technical decisions, you should have clarity regarding two key elements.
Firstly, you need to finalise the business model. Here, you need to decide who is going to be your target audience or customers. Mainly there are two types of business models are defined:
- B2B - one who deals with other businesses only
- B2C - one who deals with public and sell products in the open market
It is useful in figuring out the target market and channels or ways to connect them. The decision is based on the nature of the products you offer. If it is a kind of raw material that can be an ingredient or used for manufacturing other products, then it can be B2B. In case you are producing finished products, then it is good to choose B2C.
Target Market or Audience
Market and audience are two main factors for business growth. You have to be clear about the type, nature, and scope of your target market. It is differentiated on the basis of products & services you are going to offer. Designing and developing an online store can be an easy task as compared to research and analytics.
Here, you have to analyse the complete market and competitors for gathering data and provide shape to the store accordingly. It will also help you in estimating the sustainability of your ecommerce platform.
When you become completely clear with these factors like crystal, then you should proceed further. Having an online store with such proper data will help you in getting a high return on investment.
Now, it's Time for Ecommerce Development
Developing an online store or application cannot be a cakewalk. It requires lots of technical knowledge with creative ideas and skills of understanding users' point of view & requirements. The complete ecommerce development procedure is divided into four major stages.
- Stage 1: Requirement analysis
- Stage 2: Platform selection
- Stage 3: Forehand development
- Stage 4: Backend development
In all stages, you need to be careful and pay extra attention to each and every element. Now, you will stage by stage explanation.
Stage 1: Requirement Analysis
At the first stage, you need to focus on analytics deeply. Here, you should proceed to analyse the system requirements regarding new products and services by keeping your customers in mind. In the case of ecommerce, you need to figure out platform requirements for offering your products in an effective and impressive manner.
Improper requirement analysis may lead to the failure of your project, and you need lots of losses there. During all these things, you need to take care of the budget and availability of funds. For perfection, requirement analysis is divided into four parts.
- Obtaining requirements - here, you need to create a connection with users for understanding their actual needs and obtaining correct information
- Analysing requirements - here, you need to process gathered information and resolve issues associated with requirements such as - inadequate, unclear, conflicting, or vague requirements
- Requirements are modelling - now its time of documentation where you should mention clear users' requirements in documents
- Review and retrospective - on the basis of such documented data, the professionals form a plan and take actions accordingly. It is full of risk and not less than speculation
These four parts can be completed with a combination of technical (hardware & software) and soft (interacting with the audience) skills. Such practices should have the following activities.
- Identifying the requirements of the customer
- System evaluation for feasibility
- Go for technical and economical analysis
- Allocation of functionalities
- Scheduling and establishing of constraints
- Preparation of an understandable definition
It will result in providing you with deep details about actual data. Along with it, your developers have an opportunity to get introduced to the stakeholders and understand their requirements or way of presenting data. At once, you have done with the data collection; then you can step ahead to stage 2.
Stage 2: Selection Of Platform
Platform selection is another difficult decision to make. You can find numerous ecommerce development platforms. All are promising similar kinds of services, benefits, and features like - reliable, fast, good for SEO, lots of features & functionalities, and much more. It makes the job harder.
Upcoming details are related to some major players of the industry with their advantages & disadvantages. It will help you in getting some clarity and making a decision quickly.
Magento is a popular platform for developing an online store. It provides numerous features such as - discounts, recurring payments, unlimited products, content according to users, membership subscription, SEO grinding, and so on. The availability of Magento 2.0 makes the services effective and much better than before.
- Robust & highly featured source
- Community with lots of users
- One-click selling feature
- Strong SEO support
- Highly customisable
- Needs deep coding knowledge
- No virtual support
- Need lots of space or memory
Shopify helps you in creating your own online store in an easy way. It is available with numerous themes and advanced features. The store you develop with Shopify is perfect for both selling digital and physical products.
- 90 days of a free trial
- Easy to use
- Attractive and responsive themes & templates
- Functionalities for saving cart abandonment
- Availability of multiple payment integrations
- Limitations regarding the use of features (cart abandonment saver allows a single email only)
- Transaction fees on using third party payment options
WooCommerce is a plugin that allows you to develop an ecommerce website on WordPress. According to Fundera, about 30% of ecommerce websites use WooCommerce. It is available with several features like - tracking & managing (inventory, orders, and customers), offer coupons, shipping labels, payment methods, and much more.
- Easy to use
- Sell anything
- Mobile friendly
- SEO Friendly
- Need coding knowledge
- WordPress knowledge
Stage 3: Frontend Development
The success of an online business is highly based on the user experience of the website's design. It should be attractive and smooth by which the visitors can easily interact and understand. UX helps you in converting leads to customers quickly. Setting up a good UX/UI is a task of a frontend developer and web designer.
For this competitive marketplace, it should be unique and impressive. Here, innovation can be a great way to succeed in a new ecommerce store. The following details should be considered while designing an online store.
Secure Ecommerce Platform
Security is the first concern of every shopper in the world. In the case of online shopping, the customers need to provide different types of information such as - personal details, contact information, payment information, and so on. If shoppers feel that the website can keep it safe and hidden, then they love to place orders. It is all about trustworthiness and connection with visitors. Some ways to communicate and gain the trust of visitors are:
- All privacy policies and terms & conditions (payment, shipping, exchange, return, and related refund policies) should be mentioned on the website clearly. For the users, it should be easy to find such information and go through it
- Try to add a section on the website which features information about the business, platform, and owners like - personal information, business overview, business journey & stories, pictures of partners, FAQs, and so on. It will help the visitors in getting introduced to you and easy to trust the platform & services
- For website operations, you have to get the assistance of secure servers by featuring it with secure socket layer (SSL) certificates. The use of such certificates presents your website secure and builds trust among shoppers
- Design of the website should be suitable for all types of devices like - desktop and mobile. As per stats mentioned on Oberlo, about 50% of customers like to use mobile devices for online shopping. Your website's interface needs to be user friendly and compatible with all devices
- To make the website impressive and unique, you should not cross the designing limits by overdoing it. These things can make the interface complicated and increase the level of difficulty. You have to maintain a balance on the website between content (text & visual effects) and white space
- The use of different types of icons & symbols will help you in representing the features or key information perfectly. These elements will grab the attention of users quickly
- Don't stuff the website design with some pop-up notifications by which the visitors may get distracted while exploring it. A distraction may cost you with the loss of one potential customer
Key Factors About Design
Your ecommerce website should be available with well-defined product categories. It will help you in defining and specifying the range of products by using a single word. For making navigation and product searching process easier for customers, you should add a featured search bar with some product filters. Highlighting the special offers, deals, and discounts can help you in encouraging visitors to get a quick view of products and shops.
Product Page Design
Having an impressive and informative product page is important for a good ecommerce website. All buyers are accessing product pages for gathering vital information about products and estimating its services. You should design such a page with the following characteristics -
- High-quality product images
- Complete details about the product
- Recommended and related products
Shopping Cart & Check Out Page Design
Shopping cart and check out pages are the final stage of conversion. These pages need to be attractive and highly rich in UX/UI. Things to consider while designing these pages are given below:
- You should add a completely clear call-to-action to the shopping cart
- Don't forget to mention the feature of giving feedback on services
- Consider a mini cart feature by which the shoppers can browse more products and add to the same cart
- Add multiple & fully secure payment options to the checkout page as per the convenience of shoppers
- Try to maintain simplicity in the check out process that can be completed by users easily
These are some tips for designing such pages. The assistance of an ecommerce developer can be helpful to you in sorting all facts.
Stage 4: Backend Development
After completing the frontend development tasks and designing a website, the real struggle starts. Mainly it helps in getting your website into existence. Here, the professionals start coding procedures by using programming languages and build your website on servers.
The way of completing such a procedure is based on your selection of the development platform. There are different types of programming languages that can be used, such as - JAVA, ASP.NET, PHP, and some others.
It is all about the ecommerce development process. By the following stage by stage process, you can get the best and competitive ecommerce website easily.