Change is part of human life. Like everything else, web development is constantly evolving. Techniques, technologies, and the results we get from them are constantly changing. To stay on top of things and develop marvelous websites users want to spend their precious time on, web developers must stay up to date with these changes and know what eCommerce web development entails. eCommerce website owners must equip themselves with web development basics and tips that propel their businesses to success. And that is why we are all here.
This is a beginner’s guide to website development. You will learn more about eCommerce website development, what it entails, and the pertinent elements to consider during eCommerce development.
What is eCommerce Website Development
eCommerce website development is a broad technical aspect that deals with executing the design plan for the frontend and backend of an eCommerce website. It deals with developing the technical aspects of an eCommerce website, including things like the shopping cart, website functionalities, usability, order forms, support pages, and many more factors. In other words, it is all about how a website comes live and the maintenance of the website to ensure it serves its rightful purpose.
As of 2023, the web development service industry is valued at $11 billion. The increasing number of online shoppers across the globe is one factor that has significantly contributed to the growth of this industry. Come to think of it- the number of U.S residents projected to shop online in 2023 is 218.8 million. These figures are derived from an eMarketer report. See more details on the screenshot.
These figures are just staggering and mindblowing. Marketers are in a race against time to try and have a share of the many online shoppers available today. And this explains why there are over 26 million eCommerce websites today. But if these number makes you think eCommerce is a competitive market, then you’re mistaken. It will shock you to learn that less than one million websites sell more than $1,000 per year.
Then comes the next big question: What is the secret of eCommerce website development? How can one build a website that brings value to the business and the users? How does one create an impressive eCommerce website that attracts users, increases leads, and boosts conversion rates and sales revenues? Read on to find the answers.
What Does eCommerce Website Development Involve?
A successful eCommerce development project entails several factors that vary in scope. From a robust digital context to clearly and explicitly articulating your brand’s identity and a rigorous website development lifecycle. Here is what the eCommerce website development process involves:
- Establishing your brand- Building a brand is a broad aspect that can be discussed in a whole blog (we will be doing that pretty soon, so keep checking this blog to learn more). A brand is not just a recognizable name or logo that distinguishes you in a crowded market. It is how your customers and prospects perceive you whenever they interact with your business website. So you will have to do comprehensive target audience research and tailor your eCommerce development project towards meeting their unique needs and expectations. You must then come up with a catchy business name, write your slogan, design a memorable logo, and select your brand fonts and colors.
- Purchase the domain name-Buying a domain name for your business is pretty straightforward. It would be best to consider an easy-to-recall, impressive and noticeable URL to drive traffic to your website. So you might want to check the available URLs before settling on a company name.
- Choose a reliable web hosting provider-Selecting a reliable web hosting provider arms you with the perfect resources to keep your eCommerce website up round-the-clock and provide a satisfactory user experience for your web visitors.
- Designing the website-This is the cornerstone of the entire eCommerce website development process. It would be best to build a navigable, attractive website with easy search and filtering options. People do not want disorganized websites. In fact, 59% of website users prefer beautiful and well-designed websites to basic ones.
- Build, Launch and Maintain your eCommerce website-You might as well cut down on web development expenses by using platforms such as Shopify to build your website in a prefab method. You can also hire a professional website developer to do the task for you. The last bit of eCommerce website development entails maintaining the website. So you will need to regularly update the website to reflect the changes in your product line, prices, and many other aspects.
10 Things to Consider During eCommerce Website Development
Alongside knowing what eCommerce website development entails, eCommerce website developers and marketers must also know some of the factors to consider during the eCommerce website development process. This guide to website development for marketers and developers explores the ten things you must consider when developing an eCommerce website.
1. Responsive Design
A responsive eCommerce website design can be accessed and used without flaws. This approach intends to ensure that a website adapts to the screen size and orientation of web visitors screen sizes. The aspect of eCommerce website responsiveness is crucial, given that over 75% of visitors form their opinion about an eCommerce store based on its design alone.
Investing in a responsive website design optimizes user experience, enhances brand reputation, ensures flexible site management, and increases conversation rates.
So, how can you create an appealing design without spending a treasure? Simple- use a free website builder. And there are plenty of them available out there. Some, like Wix, offer spending design choices, while some, like SquareSpace, offer flawless shopping experiences to the users
2. User-friendly Interface
The user interface of an eCommerce website is the presentation of the user-facing side of the eCommerce website. It is one of the most critical aspects to consider during eCommerce website development. How interactive and visual elements are organized on an eCommerce website defines the overall experience and the behavior of eCommerce clients.
There are various heuristics and UI principles you must religiously follow in your eCommerce website development practice. These heuristics will help to provide a user-friendly experience and help you remain competitive in the market. They include the following:
- Make your system as visible as possible by keeping users informed about what is happening. You can do that by providing appropriate feedback within a reasonable timeframe.
- The eCommerce website system should match the real world. Its design should speak the users’ language. You must stick to the words, phrases, and concepts your target audience is familiar with.
- Give your eCommerce enough freedom by making it easy for them to undo mistakes and actions they commit on your website.
- Remain as consistent as possible and conform to the standards. Your eCommerce website users should not have to wonder whether words, phrases, actions, or situations mean the same thing as that which they already know.
- A good design should prevent errors by eliminating error-prone conditions or providing users with confirmation options before they commit to an action.
These are just a few examples of UI principles you must follow. In his book 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design, Jakob Nielsen proposes ten UI principles eCommerce website developers can follow to ensure a user-friendly design. You can go through them to learn more.
3. Website Safety and Security
In early 2022, the Latin American eCommerce giant Mercado Libre was hacked. The incident saw the exposure of sensitive information belonging to over 300,000 users. In November 2019, department store giant Macy’s reported a hacker infiltration on its eCommerce website that had consequentially led to the loss of financial information. We have also witnessed high-profile hacker infiltrations on renowned eCommerce stores such as British Airways, Ticketmaster, Alex Jones’ InfoWars, and Newegg.
As you can see, hackers are targeting eCommerce websites. Store owners should now be vigilant and implement adequate cybersecurity measures to curb these breaches. For optimal security, an eCommerce website must have an SSL certificate. The certificate encrypts data and ensures information safety as it transfers between website users and web servers. SSL certificate for an ecommerce should secure all subdomains and domain. To do so, an ecommerce owner can go with available low priced or cheap wildcard SSL that can be easily managed. Other eCommerce website security includes the following:
- Implementing strong and unique passwords
- Steeling against social engineering attempts
- Using multiple-factor authentications
- Create a robust data backup and restore plan
- Ensure the site uses up-to-date software, themes, and plugins and runs on an up-to-date content management system
All these security measures should be implemented from the word go, right at the first phase of eCommerce web development.
Mobile phones are a feature of modern-day life. Almost everyone has a mobile phone. They have evolved into essential communication tools that most people cannot do without. Over 4.67 billion people use mobile devices. And this has had an impact on eCommerce traffic. According to figures by Statista, mobile devices account for the largest share of internet traffic, currently at 59.72%. Such statistics tell you how important adapting to a mobile-friendly design can help your eCommerce website. You can check this page to learn more about how you can optimize your eCommerce website for mobile-friendliness.
5. Website Search and Filtering Functionality
People prefer using the search bar to save on the time they would take to navigate your website. In that respect, you must develop an eCommerce website that offers advanced search functionality. That will help them find what they are looking for in just a few clicks. Here are a few tips for creating a search filter for your eCommerce website.
- Use category-specific filters
- Use real-time interactive filtering
- Make it easy for your eCommerce web visitors to apply multiple filter values
- Ensure all applied filters are displayed differently
- Provide thematic filtering choices
6. Payment Options
Although adding too many payment options on your eCommerce website might look like a hard task, especially when you are developing an eCommerce, having too few payment options limits your shoppers from using their favorite options. To be on the safer side, you must include multiple payment options such as PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, American Express, Visa, and many more.
7. Customer Support and Contacts
Customer support helps your eCommerce visitors find answers to various issues. So it is a good practice to include a contact section on your website. Including your phone number, store number, and email address adds to your credibility.
8. Social Proof
Another perfect way to show credibility is to add a review and feedback section on your site. You can also have a comment carousel on the main page that links the products that have been reviewed. Most shoppers will want to review these comments before deciding on whether or not to buy the product.
9. Website Speed
If your eCommerce website is slow, you will likely lose customers. According to a report published by the website performance Guru, most website users expect a website to load in less than three seconds. So optimizing your eCommerce website for speed could earn your more customers and high conversion rates. You can check this page to learn tips on increasing the loading speeds of your eCommerce website.
10. Ease of Checkout
You must design your eCommerce website to allow customers to quickly and anonymously checkout using the guest option. The checkout process should be as flawless as possible. A tedious and hectic checkout process can discourage repeated purchases and overwhelm your customers.
Considering these tips and factors will help you develop a premium eCommerce website that puts you head and shoulder above your competitors. Remember, eCommerce website development is not a thing that can be achieved overnight. You will have to be patient enough to see the results for yourself. And you will surely see the results if you follow the guidelines explained in this article.