It’s estimated that by the year 2022 and onwards, eCommerce is expected to generate $5.42 trillion in worldwide annual revenue. Moreover, a recent study conducted by Nasdaq stated that come the year 2040, 95% of purchases will be made through eCommerce. So, it isn’t hard to believe that online shopping is thriving.
Now, you can have the most amazing product in the world, but if your eCommerce website is terrible, you’re not going to make any sales. It’s essential to have a well-functioning, visually appealing eCommerce site if you want to succeed in online business.
But where do you start? If you’re not a web developer or designer, eCommerce development can seem like a daunting task. No worries, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know to develop an awesome eCommerce website. From choosing the right platform to designing your storefront and adding features, we’ve got you covered.
So, let’s get started!
Define Your Ecommerce Website’s Purpose
What is an eCommerce website? Put simply, an eCommerce website is a digital platform that enables businesses to promote and sell their products or services.
It gives buyers an easy and convenient way to browse, shop and purchase goods without ever leaving their homes or office. What’s more, many eCommerce websites offer features such as online stores, payment processing solutions, and even marketing tools to help companies grow quickly.
In essence, an eCommerce website is a solution that gives buyers the power to find what they want at the best prices while businesses gain more customers and increase their profit margins.
In this article, we’ll be guiding you from A to B in setting your eCommerce website up for success.
Decide on Your Business Goals
Do you want to attract new customers, grow your existing customer base, or increase your sales?
What is your target audience? Who are the people that you hope to reach with your eCommerce site? What are their interests and needs, and how can you best their expectations?
Are you looking to set up the very best tech website, or are you selling physical products?
What products or services do you want to promote online? Do you have a wide range of products, or do you specialize in one particular area? How do your offerings compare to those of your competitors?
What features and functionality will your eCommerce site need? For example, will you need a secure payment processing solution, integrated marketing tools, or specific design elements like product galleries or customer reviews?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you will have a better idea of what your eCommerce website needs to achieve your business goals and meet the needs of your target audience. With this information in mind, you can start narrowing down your platform options and designing an eCommerce site that delivers results!
Start by defining your website’s purpose and considering what features and functionality you need to grow your business. Then choose an eCommerce platform that meets your specific needs, design an attractive storefront, and start marketing your products to attract new customers. With some hard work and the right tools, you can build a successful eCommerce site that drives sales and helps your business succeed!
Identify Your Target Audience
Your target audience is likely to be online shoppers who are looking for high-quality products at affordable prices. They may be young professionals, students, moms, or retirees, but they all share one thing in common: a desire to get the best deals on the items they need and want.
To reach your target audience effectively, it’s important to consider their preferences and search habits. For example, you may want to use social platforms like Facebook and Instagram to promote your products and build a community of loyal customers. might also focus on optimizing your eCommerce site for search engines, so that it appears in relevant keyword searches and draws in more organic traffic.
Another key element to consider when designing your eCommerce website is the user experience. This means making sure that your site is easy to navigate, with intuitive menus and clear product images. You’ll also want to choose a design style that appeals specifically to your target audience – for example, millennials might prefer a more minimalist aesthetic while baby boomers might find bright colors and playful fonts more appealing.
Overall, the most important thing is to stay focused on your business goals and target audience when building your eCommerce site. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can create an effective online store that will help grow your business and increase profits.
Decide on Your Products & Services
As of 2022, Alibaba (a China-based, global digital, cloud computing, digital media, and entertainment marketplace) has ranked as the largest online retailer in the world; garnering an estimated 780 billion U.S. dollars in annual online sales.
With the world’s largest online retailer being so successful, it proves that your eCommerce site can specialize in selling a wide range of products at affordable prices. With offerings include everything from clothing and accessories to electronics and home goods, making it easy for shoppers to find exactly what they need.
You may have heard that you want to start your eCommerce website small, particularly if you’re selling physical goods as opposed to services. Start by adding a few niche products, and seeing how they fair on your site. You can find niche products everywhere from Amazon and Ali-Express to more boutique-style products from Etsy.
Once you’ve decided on which products or services you’re offering, it’s important to consider the marketing for your eCommerce website’s success. There are many different strategies that you can use to reach new customers and drive sales, such as using social media ads, running targeted email campaigns, or collaborating with bloggers or influencers. On that note, 61% of online shoppers in the US stated that they have made online purchases solely because they saw product recommendations on a blog—so don’t underestimate the power of blogging!
Additionally, it’s important to optimize your website for search engines so that it appears at the top of relevant keyword searches and draws in more organic traffic.
Ultimately, the key to a successful eCommerce site is understanding your target audience, what kind of products and services they’re looking for, and tailoring all of your marketing efforts accordingly. By staying focused on what your customers want and need, you can build a strong online presence that drives sales and growth for years to come.
Find A Domain Name and Web Hosting for Your eCommerce Website
Finding a fitting eCommerce website domain name can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. But with the right research and resources, you can easily find a sophisticated and eye-catching choice that caters to current web design trends.
Some tips to help you find the perfect domain name include:
Start With a Keyword Search
When browsing available domains, think about the products or services you want to sell and what keywords might best describe them. This can be an effective way to narrow down your options and find relevant domain names that are still available for purchase.
Look At Domain Name Trends
Take a look at what other businesses in your industry are doing, and see if there are any emerging keywords or themes that you could try incorporating into your domain name.
Consider Using A Domain Generator Tool
There are several online tools available that can help you generate relevant and creative domain name suggestions. These tools can be a great way to quickly generate ideas and eliminate some of the stress associated with choosing a domain name.
Once you’ve found an available domain that suits your needs, it’s time to find web hosting for your eCommerce website. There are many different web hosting providers to choose from, so it’s important to thoroughly evaluate your options and find one that meets your unique business needs. Some things to consider include:
- The level of customer support offered
- Security features
- Platform compatibility
Overall, finding a domain name and web hosting for your eCommerce website can take some time and research. But with the right approach, you can find a solution that helps you build an online store that meets the needs of your business and customers alike.
Choose The Right Platform For Your Ecommerce Website
eCommerce website hosting has evolved tremendously over the years, and it can be daunting to try to pick the right platform for business success. Making the wrong decision could be catastrophic.
eCommerce website development is a complex process that requires a lot of research and selection of technologies, so picking the right eCommerce platform for your unique needs should be at the top of your list.
When considering which eCommerce platform is right for your eCommerce store, one must consider current web design trends and growing market needs. Doing some initial research in this area will help you decide which eCommerce hosting platform will meet all of your eCommerce needs now, and into the future. Here are some things to consider when deciding on the right platform for your eCommerce website:
Ease of use and functionality
The first factor to consider is the ease of use and functionality of the chosen platform. Does it have all of the features you need to build a successful eCommerce website, such as integrated payment gateways and mobile responsive design? Can you easily create a user-friendly online store that is intuitive for your customers to use? And how easy is it to manage and update your eCommerce store once it is up and running?
Support and community
Another important factor to consider is the level of support and community available for the platform you are considering. Many platforms offer extensive documentation, training, support forums, user groups, and other resources that can help you manage and grow your eCommerce store effectively.
Scalability and flexibility
A third key factor to consider is the scalability and flexibility of the platform you are considering. Will it be able to scale with the growth of your business, or does it have limited capabilities for customization and expansion? How easily can you integrate additional tools or services that may be needed as your business grows?
The right eCommerce platform for your website will depend on your individual needs, budget, and long-term business goals. But by doing a thorough research and carefully considering these key factors, you can make an informed decision that will set you up for success in the fast-paced world of eCommerce.
Decide Between Custom Website Design vs. Template
If possible, you will likely want to use a custom design for our eCommerce site, as this will give you more control over the look and feel of your website and allow you to create a unique user experience that meets your specific needs. However, if budget or other considerations make it unfeasible to hire a designer, you might consider using a template or pre-built theme instead.
In either case, it is important to consider factors like website responsiveness and user interface design to provide the best possible experience for your customers. You will also want to look for platforms that offer useful features like SEO optimization, eCommerce functionality, advanced analytics tools, and customizable templates that can be easily adapted to our needs.
Ultimately, the choice of whether to use a custom design or template will depend on a variety of factors, including your budget and technical expertise. Regardless of which approach you choose, you must pay close attention to important design elements like user functionality, site responsiveness, and overall site performance.
Options for Building an eCommerce Website
When it comes to building an eCommerce website, there are several options available. While some businesses may opt to create their custom-built website, others may choose an eCommerce platform such as Shopify or BigCommerce, or perhaps you’re looking to apply the MACH architecture. Which option is right for you? Here, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each approach.
Build a Website from Scratch
Building an eCommerce website from scratch can be a great option for those looking to have a truly unique and customized web presence.
With this approach, businesses can tailor every element of their site—from its design and layout to the content and navigation—to meet their exact needs and provide their customers with an exceptional user experience.
However, building a website from scratch can be a time-consuming and complex process, requiring extensive development expertise. In addition, unless you have a solid foundation in best practices for eCommerce website design and SEO, you may find it difficult to achieve the search engine visibility needed to drive traffic and sales.
In instances such as these, it’s best to hire an eCommerce website development agency to handle the nitty-gritty for you.
Use a Customize Saas Solution
Another option for building an eCommerce website is to use a customizable software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, such as Shopify or BigCommerce.
These platforms allow businesses to easily customize their site templates and integrate features such as payment processors, email marketing tools, social media integrations, product reviews, and more to create a compelling online store.
While these platforms can be a good choice for businesses that don’t have the technical expertise needed to build their site, they may not offer the same level of flexibility and customization as building a website from scratch. Some of the most popular SaaS platforms used to build eCommerce websites include:
- Shopify: A popular choice for those looking to build a professional online store quickly and easily.
- BigCommerce: A customizable platform that offers extensive features for building and managing an eCommerce site.
- WooCommerce: A WordPress plugin that allows users to easily integrate eCommerce features into their existing WordPress site.
- Magento: A powerful open-source platform for building robust eCommerce websites.
Ultimately, the right option for building an eCommerce website will depend on your individual needs and budget. For businesses that lack the technical expertise required to build a custom-built site, using an eCommerce platform can be an easy and affordable way to launch an effective online store.
Apply the MACH Architecture (Microservices, API-First, Cloud-Native, and Headless)
For businesses looking for a more customized approach, one option is to apply the MACH architecture to build their eCommerce website.
This framework offers advanced technologies and tools that enable businesses to create high-performance and scalable websites quickly and easily.
By leveraging these capabilities, businesses can create an online store that meets all of their unique needs while providing their customers with an intuitive, responsive shopping experience. However, as with custom-built websites, businesses that are not familiar with MACH development may find it challenging to create a successful eCommerce site on their own.
Let’s take a deeper look at some of the guiding principles that encompass the MACH (Microservices, API-First, Cloud-Native, and Headless) architecture.
Microservices are a key component of the MACH architecture, and they refer to the individual components or modules that make up your eCommerce site. Microservices can be developed in any programming language and can be deployed independently from one another for faster development cycles, improved scalability, and enhanced flexibility.
The API-first approach is another foundational principle of MACH architecture. This approach focuses on creating and optimizing your eCommerce site’s APIs first, before working on other components such as the frontend user interface or back-end database. By prioritizing the development of high-quality APIs, you can ensure that your site has a strong foundation and that your other components can be easily integrated and accessed.
The cloud-native approach is a key component of MACH architecture, as it refers to the use of modern tools and technologies for creating scalable and efficient eCommerce websites. This approach enables businesses to leverage the power and flexibility of the cloud to create exceptional user experiences, drive growth, and achieve success.
Another key component of MACH architecture is a headless approach to eCommerce. This refers to the separation of your site’s front-end UI from its back-end functionality, allowing you to leverage different tools and technologies for each part of your eCommerce website. By utilizing a headless approach, you can enjoy all the benefits of modern eCommerce tools and technologies while still maintaining complete control over your site’s user interface.
Overall, if you want to take advantage of the latest eCommerce technologies and development principles, the MACH architecture is the ideal choice for building your online store. Whether you are looking for a faster, more flexible approach or simply want greater customization options, MACH can help you achieve your business goals and create a successful eCommerce site that your customers will love.
The best option for building an eCommerce website will depend on your specific needs and technical capabilities. Whether you choose to build from scratch, use a SaaS platform, or apply the MACH architecture, it is important to carefully evaluate your options and choose a solution that will help you achieve your business goals.
Design Your eCommerce Website’s User Interface
When it comes to designing an eCommerce website’s user interface, website dimensions and layout are key design elements to consider. The website should be designed in such a way that maximizes the user experience, to drive potential customers toward making a purchase.
Factors such as readability, accessibility, and usability should all be taken into account when creating an effective website design. Knowing your target audience and their preferences is also important – this may involve incorporating certain website features or functionalities that different users may prefer or require depending on their end goals.
With experienced website development eCommerce teams on hand, your website can be fully optimized while keeping up with industry trends – so you can make the most out of your online presence.
Decide on Your eCommerce Site Features
Some key features that you will need to include on our eCommerce site are a secure payment processing solution, integrated marketing tools like email marketing and social media integration, and design elements such as customer reviews and product galleries. Let’s take a closer look at these:
- A reliable payment processor: One that can handle all major credit cards without any issues or security vulnerabilities. This will help to ensure that your customer’s financial information is always protected and can reduce the risk of fraud or other malicious activity on our site.
- Integrated marketing tools: This includes things like email marketing and social media integration, which will enable you to easily engage with our customers and promote our products through various channels. This can help to expand our reach and drive more sales over time.
- An easily maintainable platform: This ensures optimal performance at all times. This will include well-designed website templates with clear product imagery and user-friendly navigation menus, as well as helpful tools like customer reviews and top-selling product listings to help customers make more informed purchasing decisions.
Overall, these features will help to elevate your site above the competition and keep you at the forefront of the eCommerce landscape.
Make Your eCommerce Website Stand-Out
A study conducted by Inviqa found that 59% of millennials’ go-to online retailer is Amazon, meaning that if this generation is your target market, you’re going to want to identify where a powerhouse like Amazon is lacking and adjust your eCommerce website accordingly.
Your eCommerce website can differ from our competitors in several key ways. Firstly, you can focus on providing high-quality products at affordable prices, making it easy for shoppers to find exactly what they need without breaking the bank.
Additionally, you can offer a wide selection of products spanning multiple categories and styles, allowing customers to easily browse through our offerings and find the perfect item for their needs. You could also place a strong emphasis on customer service, providing helpful resources and responsive support to ensure that your customers are always happy and satisfied with their shopping experience.
And finally, your website should be designed to be simple and intuitive, with easy-to-use menus and clear product images that make it quick and hassle-free to find what customers are looking for.
Altogether, these factors help set your eCommerce site apart from the competition and will make it a top choice for online shoppers everywhere.
Collect & Track Payments on Your eCommerce Website
To collect and track payments, you will likely use a combination of merchant accounts and third-party payment processors. You may also consider integrating payment options like Apple Pay or Paypal to provide our customers with additional payment methods.
It’s interesting to note here, though, that globally, credit cards still reign supreme when it comes to paying for online purchases; seeing a 57 percentile for online credit card transactions, while digital payment systems sit at 43%, and debit cards at 38%.
In terms of tracking, you can use a variety of tools such as analytics dashboards or customer relationship management (CRM) platforms to monitor key metrics like traffic and conversion rates. This can help you to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions about our marketing efforts in the future.
Ultimately, there are several different strategies you can employ when it comes to collecting and tracking payments on your eCommerce site, and the approach you choose will depend on your own unique needs and preferences.
Regardless, you should always remain focused on providing a high-quality shopping experience for your customers, while ensuring that their financial information is secure at all times.
Opt For eCommerce Shipping & Delivery
A recent survey conducted by Walker Sands found that two in five (41%) US-based consumers receive one-to-two packages from Amazon a week, while those aged between 18-25 make up 50% of that number, and those aged between 25-35 make up 57% to receive around two packages weekly.
To make the most out of these stats, you can handle shipping and delivery, and you can either partner with a third-party logistics provider or develop your fulfillment and distribution processes. When selecting a third-party provider, it is important to carefully consider factors like pricing, reliability, and customer service to ensure that you get the best possible results for your business.
Some options to consider include national carriers like FedEx, regional shipping companies like UPS or DHL, or specialized fulfillment providers like Amazon FBA. Alternatively, if you are looking for more control over our logistics processes, you can develop your distribution and fulfillment operations from the ground up.
This will likely involve setting up a warehouse or other physical space that is optimized for safe and efficient shipping, as well as developing a system for managing inventory and processing orders.
Regardless of which approach you choose; it is critical that you carefully plan your logistics operations to provide timely and accurate shipping and delivery to your customers. This may include setting clear service level agreements, working with trusted partners, or investing in advanced technology and automation tools to streamline your operations.
Ultimately, the key is to find a logistics solution that meets your needs as well as the expectations of your customers.
Leverage eCommerce Customer Support
When it comes to customer support, there are several different options you should consider.
One approach is to offer standard live chat or phone support, which allows you to connect directly with customers who have questions or issues. This can be an effective way to quickly resolve any problems and provide a high level of service for your customers.
Alternatively, you may want to consider offering self-service customer support options like a knowledge base or FAQs. This can help you address common issues and questions without requiring direct involvement on your part, which can be more efficient and cost-effective.
Another approach is to use a combination of both live support channels and self-service tools, which can help to address the needs of a wider range of customers.
You’ll find more and more eCommerce businesses investing in AI-customer support soon, particularly considering 50% of consumers have stated that they would make purchases from a chatbot using conversational marketing. In fact, an AI-based Amazon, real-time product recommendation engine is currently under development for sellers who use the AWS console.
Whether through live support channels, self-service tools, or a combination of both, you must continue to invest in your customer support capabilities to meet and exceed the expectations of your customers. This will not only help to keep your customers satisfied but also help you to build a stronger, more successful business in the long run.
eCommerce Development – Key Takeaways
eCommerce websites come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one common goal: to sell products and services.
How you go about setting up your eCommerce website will depend on many factors, including the purpose of your website, the platform you choose to use, and the payment methods you want to offer. But by using the above guide, there’s no limit to what you can achieve with your eCommerce website.
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