Everything You Need to Know About Ecommerce Website Development
It’s easy for an eCommerce website to be lost in the shuffle when there are between 12 million and 24 million eCommerce sites actively operating around the globe.
The way to be noticed is to create a first-rate website that caters to the needs of its visitors.
To put it simply, eCommerce website development is the process of creating your online store’s technical components, including its functionality, payment processing, behavior in response to user activity, and visual design.
The web development services sector is expected to be worth $11 billion by 2022, allowing company owners to establish customer-friendly websites and address major eCommerce issues such as:
- Choosing the best capabilities for your online store.
- Recognizing the finest e-commerce framework for your needs.
- The process of adding an online store to an existing website.
In this post, we’ll define eCommerce web development, discuss how to select a developer or team of developers to help you fulfill your idea, and go through the last preparations that need to be made before launching your site. Come on, and we need to get started.
Options for Building an Ecommerce Website
There are three common approaches to establishing an eCommerce store:
- Create a website from scratch
- Adjust a service that provides software online.
- The MACH architecture should be used to its full potential.
Create it from scratch.
Open-source software might be ideal if you already have a web development or IT staff.
With an open-source e-commerce platform, you may make changes to the code at will, allowing you to create a website from the start with almost no restrictions on how you can tailor it to your specific needs.
But remember that if your company uses an open-source solution, it will likely be responsible for PCI compliance, web hosting, security concerns, and manual patching and upgrades.
Because of this, some companies may think open source is too complicated, pricey, and technologically intensive, particularly as your company expands and becomes more sophisticated.
Modify a software as a service (SaaS) offering.
Neither the time nor the money to write your solution?
The era of SaaS e-commerce has arrived.
Software as a service (SaaS) is a kind of solution offered by a subscription and is typically developed, maintained, and hosted by an external company (in the cloud). SaaS solutions allow organizations to save time and money in bringing a product to market. With SaaS, you may get all the benefits of having your software without having to deal with the hassles of maintaining it yourself, such as keeping it up-to-date, secure, hosted, PCI compliant, and so on.
“Open SaaS” is a kind of e-commerce solution combining the best features of traditional software distribution models with subscription-based models.
One of the most prominent open SaaS e-commerce systems for SMBs and enterprises is BigCommerce. BigCommerce’s open API provides merchants with the speed and flexibility of an open-source platform while also providing all the advantages of a SaaS solution, including BigCommerce’s hosting, a cheaper total cost of ownership, and a shorter time to market.
MACH (Microservices, API-First, Cloud-Native, and Headless).
For many years, traditional e-commerce models have integrated their systems’ front- and back-ends into a single, seamless whole.
As your company grows and more complex needs arise, such as supporting several websites or extending into new countries, a monolith solution may no longer be the best option. This is especially true for small and medium-sized companies (SMBs).
What is the answer?
Build on a MACH architecture.
Microservices, API-first, cloud-native software as a service, and headless architectures (MACH) are guidelines for creating business software technology stacks that use a best-of-breed approach. While monolithic design forces you to use one specific technology, MACH allows you to choose whichever solution best fits your current and future requirements.
Microservices are specialized services that are combined to generate a more extensive application. Each employs different code written, updated, deployed, and maintained separately.
The application must be developed with APIs (application programming interfaces) in mind since they allow for integration and communication between programs and information delivery.
A cloud-native application was built from the ground up to use cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS) for functions including infrastructure management, monitoring, and licensing.
The term “headless commerce architecture” refers to a design pattern in which a website’s display layer (the front-end) is separated from its e-commerce operations (the back-end). As a result, designers have more leeway in deciding how and where to include multiple channels and how the user interface is laid up.
The abundance of jargon floating around the web might make headless commerce seem more complicated than before you sit down to create a spending plan to revamp your eCommerce infrastructure. About two-thirds of eCommerce executives in 2020 said headless commerce might boost conversions and user engagement. Since then, headless has been the standard in internet retail.
How headless commerce works.
When you engage in “headless commerce,” the user interface and the underlying server-side logic of your eCommerce website are treated as two independent entities. Each end can stand on its own and perform its functions well. The front-end of your eCommerce business is the part the customers see first (e.g., website, social media, etc.). The back-end handles all the unseen, behind-the-scenes tasks like integrations, invoicing, and so on that the client never sees.
The two ends are tightly linked in the standard eCommerce platform. Due to the inextricable link between the two, eCommerce businesses cannot generate unified content for all devices. Multiple versions of a product’s marketing materials must be made if they are to be shown on a company’s website, a mobile app, and a linked screen at a shopping mall. When used in eCommerce, this strategy often generates several content silos, which may slow down operations.
APIs, or application programming interfaces, are the backbone of “headless” e-commerce. They act as conduits for information flow between the various front and back ends. A front-end makes an API request to the back-end whenever a user does an action on the front-end, such as clicking a “Buy Now” button on a mobile app and a “Add to Cart” button on the website. The API is then used to relay the selected custom code for both actions from the back-end to the front-end.
Headless meets rising customer expectations.
There are several advantages to a headless commerce system. The most significant benefit of headless commerce is the flexibility to produce content once and reuse it in several places. Moreover, you can:
- Easily implement changes.
It’s possible that when your eCommerce website’s customer base expands, you’ll need to adjust your store’s configuration. In the past, internet retailers sometimes lacked features that customers now take for granted, such as the option to save goods to a wish list or a virtual try-on of clothing. A headless commerce architecture makes it simpler to incorporate these now-standard functionalities.
Due to the interconnected nature of conventional eCommerce systems, modifying one part of the system often necessitates updating other features, such as the database and the user interface. Adding a single new form field to a customer profile might cause several problems on an older system. Users won’t even see these updates for many hours after their creation or promotion. To make these adjustments, the website must be taken down temporarily.
This is not a problem with headless commerce because of the real-time nature of front-end modifications. A new retail experience, many updates, and the addition or removal of back-end capabilities may all be implemented with little to no impact on the customer’s shopping experience because of the flexibility that APIs provide developers.
- Create an all-channels user experience.
Creating an omnichannel experience is a top priority for many businesses, and headless commerce is the ideal instrument to get the job done. An omnichannel infrastructure aims to eliminate unnecessary consumer effort throughout the buying process by facilitating its completion across several channels. If consumers log into an online store from their desktop and put a few products in their shopping carts, they should be able to access those same goods when they log in from their phones and proceed to checkout. Headless eCommerce aims to provide an omnichannel buying experience by providing a consistent customer experience across channels.
With headless commerce, a consumer may interact with a business in various ways, such via a wristwatch, mobile app, Buy button, or by asking Siri to “add to basket.” It will take a very long time to launch your brand and much longer to expand if you attempt to create an omnichannel retail experience using a standard commerce platform. Because of its uniform back-end, the headless commerce platform eliminates these complications. A customer’s past activities are recorded in the back-end and made readily available in whichever front-end they choose. It also simplifies merchants to customize offers, browsing capabilities, and promotions according to the consumer’s selected purchase channel by leveraging customer data, such as prior purchases.
- Extend the adaptability of your website.
An essential benefit of a headless commerce architecture is its adaptability. The back-end settings, such as themes, templates, and plugins, determine the front end. A separate front end frees up layout and design freedom for designers while allowing developers to experiment with new features without fear of destroying the whole system. The website is a playground for them to try out new features and interface designs.
With the front-end and back-end already separated, businesses that are happy with their content distribution and want to change their administrative operations can do so without worrying about their front-end altering. Brands may provide a unique front-end experience for mobile consumers without modifying the underlying code.
- Create authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences for your clients.
When consumers purchase online, a personalized experience increases the likelihood that they will spend more than they intended by 40%. Even in a world where privacy is the most crucial factor, online buyers are still prepared to reveal behavioral data if it means they enjoy a better and simpler buying experience.
Personalization becomes simpler without a guiding hand in business, enabling organizations to provide various front-end experiences to clients. Headless commerce allows you to sync data across devices to tailor product recommendations to a customer’s preferences. Smartphone owners who have visited and interacted with a company’s mobile site or app in the past are more likely to have a positive impression of that business, according to a recent survey.
When buying trends and habits change, having a headless architecture lets you stay up without losing contact with the consumer. If voice-controlled shopping assistants like Alexa or Siri become popular, you might link your customers’ smartphone purchase histories with their voice-activated assistants. So, even if customers transfer devices, they won’t lose access to their saved payment and delivery information or personalized product suggestions.
- Reduce page load times
When many programs and services, like a payment gateway and an email marketing system, are working in tandem, it may slow down your back-end, leading to slower load times and perhaps losing your consumers. When you keep your content delivery system independent from your content management system, you may use APIs to connect and send data more quickly. This implies that consumer requests go to the back-end more rapidly, boosting the total load time of the website. A fast eCommerce website can also assist with search engine results since Google regards website speed as a vital SEO element.
Choosing the Right Ecommerce Website Developer?
Next, we’ll discuss the role of the eCommerce developer and why their expertise must match your specific requirements for an eCommerce website.
PWC found that whereas 73% of American customers consider the quality of the customer experience essential when making an online purchase, just 49% of consumers feel businesses give a positive one.
Hiring a web development company with prior expertise in eCommerce design and development can significantly improve your site’s usability.
If you’re lucky (or if your platform, like BigCommerce, has a robust partner program), you’ll be able to locate eCommerce website development services that are up-to-date on the current best practices and can build a site that will wow your customers and increases your conversion rate.
Learn to capitalize on the skills of a variety of developers.
While some specialize in back-end modification and technical execution, sure developers are exceptionally skilled at bringing your brand to life via a visually designed front-end.
Know the strengths of the developers you are considering for your eCommerce website. Some developers will have the skills to work on both the back-end and the front-end, but most will choose to specialize in just one. Check the developer’s credentials to make sure they match your requirements.
- If you’re building an online store, these are some of the most important factors to think about:
- Website and credit card security compliance (PCI).
- SEO (search engine optimization).
- Allows for a wide variety of payment methods.
- Incorporation of a content management system.
- Creating a cart for shopping.
- Product selection filtering.
It would help if you chose based on what is most important to you.
You shouldn’t hire an eCommerce developer or development business for your eCommerce website unless you have a firm grasp on your goals and the specific technical requirements.
Depending on the nature of your project, one kind of developer may be more important than the other; for an e-commerce solution built on an open-source framework, for instance, a back-end developer may be more important than a designer.
More front-end work may be required if you’re using a SaaS platform, however, you may also want someone familiar with constructing APIs. While most SaaS systems come with a sizable selection of applications with preexisting connections, anything above that level of sophistication is better left to a professional.
Six Steps For Developing a Custom Ecommerce Website
- settle on a product to market.
If you want to succeed in that sector, concentrate on a smaller target audience. Make sure it’s not too specific that reaching potential buyers becomes challenging. For instance, if you want to sell mobile phones, it would be wise to zero in on the more expensive and feature-rich Smartphones. Put in a lot of hours fine-tuning the site and promoting it if you want to succeed at running an online business. Pick a product in which you are genuinely interested and learn as much as possible about it.
Select the shopping cart to prepare your goods and services for online sale. Many different shopping cart programs exist, each with its features. Try to find a cart that provides merchant resources and accepts many payment methods. Verify the level of protection it offers and whether or not it will work with your existing merchant account.
- Be familiar with your customers.
Storefront standards should be applied to online retailers. If you own an eCommerce shop, you should be able to anticipate your customers’ needs. Incorporate ideas that make shopping more enjoyable for customers and work to meet their needs. Things that make your site stand out and improve the customer’s shopping experience should be prioritized.
Businesses introducing new items to consumers should tailor their offerings to meet the needs of target markets. Knowing your target market is crucial before launching an online store since many businesses have failed to do so.
- Choose the right platform.
The foundation of a successful online store is the eCommerce platform used. You may choose from a wide variety of possibilities. You might write a comprehensive list of requirements for your ideal internet shop. If you’re searching for a low-maintenance website and would rather not deal with the headache of providing and delivering your merchandise, commission-based sales stores on huge websites like Amazon, eBay, etc. are an excellent option.
Hosting an eCommerce website is a good option if you plan on selling to customers worldwide. Many free and open-source web development frameworks exist, such as Joomla, Drupal, etc. If you run into trouble while working on your website, you may contact one of the numerous helpful internet groups for advice. Shoppers who use digital marketplaces want a streamlined experience. The portal’s usability and ease of use are improved by using an open-source platform like Joomla for things like shopping cart installation and content management.
- Deciding on a payment processor
You may link your online store directly to your merchant account through the payment gateway. The payment gateway’s primary function is to get encrypted credit card data from the client and transmit it to the merchant for use in completing the transaction. Choose a payment processor that works well with your online store and has reasonable rates. All payment functions must be facilitated, and strong fraud prevention must be provided. When determining pricing, keep the local economy in mind. E-commerce sites are no exception to the rule that competitive pricing is crucial.
Picking a merchant account provider with reasonable transaction processing fees is also essential. The processor will support your account and provide expert advice while establishing your online store. The merchant account must also provide real-time customer assistance and process transactions within 24 hours.
- Market your website
There are dozens of e-commerce sites, making it challenging for customers to find yours. If you don’t market your eCommerce business or publicize it, people will ignore it just as they would ignore a real one. Best search engine optimization (SEO) practices should be used to spread the word about your site far and wide. If you want a lot of people to visit your website, you need many keywords and links pointing back to your site. Make advantage of the keywords you find using Google’s Keyword Planner on your online store.
Blogging is an excellent tool for generating traffic and awareness for your site. If you know how to put words on paper, you should launch a blog and advertise it extensively. Be careful to sprinkle your blog posts with your chosen keywords. You need as many people to subscribe to your newsletter as possible to increase the number of people visiting your online store via the links you provide.
- Keep your eCommerce website updated.
Website maintenance is a crucial next step after the first phases of planning, development, and promotion. Maintaining a constantly evolving product line and stock is essential to attracting and retaining consumers. You may also modify the keywords for more efficiency. Sign up for Google Analytics services to find out what keywords users used to find your site. You may then adjust the underperforming keywords and expand on the successful ones.
It’s essential to keep in mind that you may adapt the keywords and SEO methods as needed. Don’t keep using ineffective software or services on your e-commerce site.
Completing the e-commerce website is a challenging task. It’s not easy for experienced web designers to set up eCommerce shops. Once you’ve practiced this a few times, though, you’ll find that it’s a breeze.
Here are the main building blocks for your online store.
If you aren’t sure where to begin with your eCommerce website, a reputable web designing and Development Company will assist you in launching or enhancing your site.
An eCommerce shop
no different from any other kind of company. Be very sure that the option you choose is the finest one. Do your homework before starting an eCommerce website.
FAQs About Ecommerce Website Development
Do I need a front-end developer and a back-end developer?
Certain front-end developers can function without a back-end, but this is not the case for all of them. Because of this, you will need to ensure that the front-end services you provide are compatible with the eCommerce solution you choose to use.
What is the role of an eCommerce website developer?
Consumers’ expectations of the online purchasing experience are the work of eCommerce developers. They create bespoke e-commerce sites and apps, often using various technologies and platforms.
How do I determine what features my eCommerce website needs?
To include the most important eCommerce features for your website, you need to consider the following:
- Ability to handle the content.
- Tools for promotions and coupon codes.
- A straightforward checkout.
- SEO-friendly coding and design.
- Advanced SEO skills for online stores.
- Tools & features for custom reports.
- A blog or articles incorporated.
What is Headless eCommerce?
Like a headless content management system, headless commerce is an e-commerce architecture where the front-end is separated from the back-end commerce functionality and can thus be changed or altered without affecting the back-end.