If you’re in business, online is the way to go; it is, undoubtedly, the future of business. But, did you know there are between 12-24 million eCommerce sites in the world? 10 million of these sites are in the United States alone. So, how do you stand out from the rest? Well, the secret is developing a custom website that gives users the experience they need. Your website should be different and superior in terms of aesthetics, functionalities, payment, speed, and more.
As far as eCommerce website development is concerned, you have three options. They include building your site from scratch, customizing a SaaS solution, or harnessing the power of MACH architecture. Whatever your option is, there are certain critical steps you must follow to make your website unique. Read on to discover these steps.
Steps for Developing a Custom Ecommerce Website
Step 1: Define Your Goals
The decision to go online should first be backed by some substantial justifications. Why do you want to sell online? Reasons for e-commerce website development vary from one business to another. For instance, it could be to access a wider market, drive sales, or improve brand awareness. Essentially, defining your goals is a way to spell out how an eCommerce store is uniquely relevant to your business.
Besides pinpointing your business goals, it’s essential to think of ways to measure progress. In other words, how will you measure success? You can achieve this by coming up with analytic tools and metrics to assess and improve your website’s performance.
Step 2: Understand Your Business Model
The online marketplace offers a diverse range of eCommerce business models to choose from. The main ones include business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C). The two differ substantially. So, knowing the difference and where your online business falls is crucial.
B2B: businesses that sell products and services to other businesses. Alibaba is an example. If your business falls into this category, then B2B eCommerce website development is for you.
B2C: businesses that sell products and services directly to the final users. Most online shops fall into this category.
Step 3: Map Out the Expected Shopping Experience
What kind of experience would you want your target audience to have while interacting with your eCommerce platform? Remember, user experience matters in e-commerce. It can be the difference between your business succeeding or failing. In this step, think about features and functionalities like:
- Landing page impression
- Simple navigation
- Page layout
- Search and filter capabilities
- Compare products
- Loading speeds
- Discounts and promotions
Remember, your website is the first point of contact your customers will have with your business. So, make a great first and lasting impression by capitalizing on user experience.
Step 4: Choose the Right eCommerce Platform
You have a wide range of options to choose from, including Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, WooCommerce, Wix, Weebly, and much more. These platforms differ in terms of features. functionalities, capabilities, and pricing, and have their own set of pros and cons. The right platform fits your needs and helps you achieve your goals.
If you aren’t sure about how to go about choosing the right platform, a web and software development company can help you do that. For instance, our team of professional software developers is well-vast in eCommerce platforms and thus better positioned to help you make this decision.
Step 5: Optimize Your Design
So far, you’ve defined your business goals, understood your business model, pictured the ideal shopping experience, and selected the right eCommerce platform. Now comes the most interesting part, customizing and optimizing your site. You want an eCommerce store that’s pretty to the eyes but also fully functional with tons of impressive features.
The right eCommerce platform will help you design your website from the ground up. However, it would be wise to work with a B2B eCommerce web development service provider. A company like Techwibe is can help you build a quality and custom eCommerce site unique to you and your business.
Step 6: Settle on a Content Strategy
You’ve heard the phrase, “content is king,” and it’s true if you want to build an active and interactive online audience. A content strategy is a high-level roadmap on how to plan, execute, govern, and manage the content lifecycle to support the business lifecycle. Understand that your content strategy is key to driving traffic, leads, engagement, sales, and other business outcomes.
So, your strategy should spell out what you want to accomplish, what audience you need to reach, types of content, significance to the brand, differentiating content, promoting content, and metrics to define success.
Step 7: Add Products
It’s now time to add the products and services your business offers. It’s quite an easy process depending on your eCommerce platform of choice. You can add and edit product listings and the platform will automatically sync your inventory across all your sales channels. While adding your products, focus on:
- High-quality images
- Product name
- Detailed product description
- Product categories
Also, note that certain policies demand disclosure of certain product information that may otherwise not be disclosable such as medical or food products. Be sure you’re well-informed on requirements with regards to product description.
Step 8: Integrate Payment and Shipping Settings
Integrating payment gateways and setting up shipping is complicated and requires experience in eCommerce B2B eCommerce development. Unless you’re knowledgeable in such matters, you’re better off working with a software development company in the US. They can help you with your shopping cart, checkout process, payment systems, and shipping options.
Step 9: QA and Launch Website
Your eCommerce site is now set, but there’s just one more thing before you launch–testing. This step ensures everything is working as it should. You don’t want to launch your site and encounter issues you had not foreseen or don’t know how to address. So, test all aspects of the website, from its design, and navigation, to performance. If everything works well, launch the website. If not, go back to the drawing board and address the issues.
Step 10: Hire an eCommerce Web Development Team
At this stage, you may wonder, what’s the purpose of a web development team if I have already launched my website? Well, throughout the process, we’ve emphasized the importance of working with professionals. But you might have opted to go through the entire process alone.
You might have discovered issues in the previous step, preventing you from launching your site. Or, the process might have been a success, but you still aren’t sure whether to proceed. This is where the team comes in. A trained eye will see things you may not notice, such as security loopholes or other aspects of a website. Nonetheless, it’s better to work with a professional.
Are You Ready to Develop Your eCommerce Store?
As you can see, launching a website is not as hard as you have thought. The advancement of the eCommerce sector has made it possible to build a custom website from the ground up in just a few steps. In fact, the entire process of web development is just about customizing an already-built eCommerce platform. You don’t need to go through a coding class or pay up someone to have a website.
Nevertheless, involving a professional web developer in the process is crucial. It is especially important if you’re after a highly customized, quality, and superior website that makes your business stand out from the rest. So, if you’re looking for USA software company, contact our team and we’ll be glad to help.