Ecommerce websites empower businesses to gain adaptability and achieve new market trends. The website gives you a chance to establish your brand recognition in the global marketplace. Consumers depend on the online marketplace more than ever. More than 43% of buyers use the digital space to research a product before making the purchase. Reports suggest that the revenue from the ecommerce industry will reach $476 billion by 2024.
You can benefit a lot from an ecommerce website more than your brick and mortar store. You can have control of everything associated with the user experience, starting with branding, sales, shipment, to customer service.
You can develop your own ecommerce website or hire a professional. However, understanding the basis of developing a website helps you make informed decisions during each phase.
It is interesting to build an ecommerce website as it brings loads of possibilities to your business. So, you would be looking forward to building a perfect ecommerce website. But, the goal in building a website should be to give your products to the consumers.
The development process starts with the plan. You should take time to create a plan with all possible details. The plan should contain human resources, technical tools and software and the overall estimated budget. It should also include the details on website management and other elements of the business.
This plan gives you a visionary path to begin a project. Any element can be added/ discarded in the course of development.
Before starting with the process, you should choose a platform that your website uses for the shopping cart feature. Even if you are new to ecommerce, learning about different platforms and their features helps you pick the right platform for your business. Some of the platforms are Shopify, SaaS, or BigCommerce.
Easy Setup: Choose a platform that helps you build and ramp up your website with efficiency and speed. It should allow you to easily upload and manage all elements on the backend.
POS Support: Online websites are an extension of your physical business, so you already have a POS system. Hence, try to select a platform that communicates well with your POS system.
Security: Online medium requires attention regarding security concerns. So, the platform you go for should have a multi-layered and strong security system to protect user's confidentiality. Also, make sure your store has an SSL certificate and the platform is PCI compliant.
Customer Support: It is important to choose a platform that provides complete support when you face issues and challenges. Look for a platform that will be available for 24x7 support.
Responsiveness: Mobile and desktop responsive websites are very important. It helps to rank better on the search engine. The customers should be able to view the product listing from any device. Also, the market revenue from shopping via mobile device is expected to increase in the following years.
Scaling: Your platform should help you grow along with business growth. Like, it should help you expand with other channels (Instagram, Amazon, etc), website traffic should not affect the speed, and you should be able to add any number of products to your website.
Customization Flexibility: All platforms offer amazing templates to make your website look beautiful. Along with that, your platform should allow you to customize features and functionalities based on your business standards. Only then, you update the website based on the market trends.
Building an online store is more cost effective than a brick-and-mortar store. However, there are associated costs too. Create a budget plan for the ecommerce business and be prepared with the known expenditure.
Platform, Hosting, Security Cost: Certain platforms cover hosting and security management at a corresponding fee. There are free platforms available in the market and you have to take care of security and hosting aspects of the website.
Cost for Design and Development: Based on your choice, the in-house/third-party service website development process will cost you based on the updates and needs.
Payment Provider Cost: Ecommerce website should give the users a wide range of payment gateway options. The payment provider you choose charges a fee for using their service.
Third-Party Integration: Once you enter the digital media, there are several shipping tools, product management systems, marketing and plug-in apps that help boost your online business. Some platforms have it as built-in features.
Domain Cost: It is important to choose your domain name as it represents your brand and business. You can purchase the domain name from a domain selling service or through an e-commerce platform.
With an ecommerce store, you have to ship your product to your customers safely and soundly. You can do the packing and shipment process by yourself. Depending on the volume of shipment, you can even do it with the in-house team or you can negotiate with carriers to provide service for a low cost.
If you don't have any resources to take care of it, partner with a third-party provider to handle the process. Therefore, they will manage the warehouse, packing, and shipment processes. Plan the budget and see if it clicks for your business.
With all these aspects prepared, you will be ready for the final and crucial process- testing and website launch.
Preview your website to see if the product listing, images, description, and other features like clickables and buttons work properly. Also, check if the navigation and speed are intuitive. On mobile devices, test if all the features and functions are accessible.
Test the payment gateways. Check if the promotions and discounts apply as intended. Is the pricing shown along with the taxes?
If everything works fine and looks good, your ecommerce website is up and ready to start with the online sales.