What it takes to build an ecommerce website from scratch? What are the things to consider while building an ecommerce website? So today I am going to guide you on how to build an ecommerce website from scratch.
According to Forrester Research, e-commerce will account for 11% of US retail sales, or $414 billion, by 2018. Additionally, mobile commerce will account for 54 percent of US e-commerce, or $293 billion, by 2018.
Emarketer reported that 78% of US online consumers have made a purchase in-store after browsing for a product online and that 72% of US online consumers have made a purchase online after browsing for a product in-store.
Why Ecommerce is so important for your business?
From small businesses to big giant like amazon, many companies can benefit from having their own ecommerce site. E-commerce can be used to sell digital products, consultations or appointments, or intangibles, making it a flexible solution for all kinds of businesses.
Do you have a choice to influence purchase decisions of customers? Of course when customers decide to purchase, they start looking online.
Suppose if you have a website customers can research your product and see all the reasons it is right for them. A well-designed e-commerce site can influence purchase decisions by showcasing your product at its best.
For any business persons having an ecommerce site is an added advantage which will boost up their business.This guide will give the exact roadmap to build an ecommerce website.
1. Purchase a domain name
You require a website domain name in order to set up an e-commerce website. Domain name can help the users to find your product online. The domain name can be anything as long it is available and relevant to your business.
It is better to use “.com” domain name extension rather than “.biz”, or “.net”. You also need a hosting provider to your domain name. Sending data back and forth from a website is done every time a customer visits your site – you need a hosting provider in order to make your website live.
2. Factors to consider for choosing the best CMS Platform for Your Business?
There are number of CMS platforms out there how do you choose the right one?
Identify if your website will be simple brochure site, multiple, or inter-connected sites if you require third-party software integration, and so on.
Based on your priorities you can choose the cms platform. You can go for WordPress if your priority is easy to use or you would consider Joomla for managing Multilingual support(you can build a website in English, and create another version of the same site in other languages, such as French and/or Spanish) Joomla thus gives you access to a broader audience.
One of the reason for choosing cms platforms is the budget. If you are a new business, chances are that you would want to spend more money on driving traffic to your website rather than spend money on hosting it.
If the CMS platform is the backbone of your business, then you might want to spend more on finding the best CMS platform for your needs.
See what security features are in place. If your website were to get hacked, what would the CMS Company do?
Take some time to read up on online reviews. See what other, real users have to say about their experiences.
Suppose if you want to upgrade often to install security patches, you may want to consider a different system.
The CMS you decide on should have the flexibility to scale along with your business.
Scalability provides the option for adding necessary plugins and extensions to enhance the functionality and size of your website.
Support for the increased traffic will ensure that you are not required to move to an alternate CMS.
More data can be added in the form of images, videos, content.
Best CMS platforms would be platforms like Magento, Sitecore or Drupal that provide good scalability.
Most CMS platforms provide features to build responsive devices, WordPress is probably the best content management system that supports mobile responsive website.
Whether if you choose the free version or the premium one, WordPress provides a host of responsive themes.
3. Select Your Best Platform for E-commerce
There are plenty of E-Commerce platforms out there. There are E-Commerce platforms out there like shopify, woocommerce, Magento, prestashop.
Choosing an ecommerce platform is so difficult for many business owners. Figuring out what your store will need as you grow and keeping up with trends is a challenge, but it is well worth it in the end to create processes that work and will scale with your business.
E-Commerce Platforms to Consider
This platform is specifically designed for this niche market. Not only it offer some great features, but it also offers top notch themes. It is one of the most recommended platforms to anyone who wants to get started in the e-commerce sector.
Pros of Using Shopify:
- This platform provides a good selection of professional themes.
- Shopify can be easily integrated with fulfilment centres, shipping carriers, and drop shipping companies
- This shopping platform comes with unlimited bandwidth and products.
- It provides a mobile app for both managing your store and accepting payments.
- The Shopify Experts tool can help you setup your store.
- Shopify can delay managing your store and increase maintenance costs due to its unique and proprietary coding.
- Shopify costs money, in terms of individual transaction processing fees and s as a monthly subscription fee.
Magento is known for its reliability and scalability, many popular brands use Magento as the underlying technology for their online stores. Brands like Huawei, Pepe Jeans & Liverpool F.C. use magento.
- Good user experience
- Provides good customization options
- Extensive resource library for store management, growth, demos
- 9000+ plugins/extensions to improve your business
- You require a host due to the complexity and scalable design
- The learning curve is time-intensive
- Requires Specific Development Skills
Woocommerce is an open source plugin for WordPress that allows a site to function similarly to an e-commerce service. It supports numerous payments and shipping methods, making coupons and taxes easy, and a robust reporting service.
There are more than 320 extensions available in a variety of categories depending on the industry and sections of the store.
- Uses WordPress, the most powerful and ubiquitous website creation tool available
- Supports various channels of payment
- Expandable for many different functions with extensions
- The software is frequently updated for new features and functions.
- There are lots of WordPress themes available for building out the storefront
- Plugins cost money and require an annual license purchase
- There are a lot of usage considerations, settings, and functionality decisions required for managing customers, orders, inventory, sales tax, and shipping
- If you don’t use WordPress, you need to learn two new platforms
Ruby on Rails-based e-commerce solution which allows for rapid development. Spree allows you to design and develop a unique, beautiful front-end UX.
On the backend it combines API driven Omni-channel support with multiple stock location capability, enabling business scalability and flexibility.
- Easy Payment Processor Integration
- Easy to setup this software
- Developers with a basic knowledge of coding can handle this software
- Spree is an open source and largely maintained by the community
- Lack of Customer Support
- Limited number of Extensions
- Core functionality may require custom development
4. Guidelines to consider while selecting themes for your ecommerce website
Every website needs a well designed and user friendly website. It is absolutely important to design or develop the website in accordance with ease of consumers.
Factors like security, site layout, and presentation of products play important role in user’s point of view.
You need to create a well-developed site navigation for your ecommerce business. Display a better image of your product with a good navigation and user friendly. Make sure your sub categories are arranged properly.
A separate section for best-selling products and discount products can grab the user’s attention.
Product details must be clearly specified. Use best title to target and provide brief description about each product in a simple way with proper price and discount tag.
Reviews and testimonials
Reviews about your products, business can give a good idea about your products. Many research groups like Forrester research, .com sites
Research show that ratings and reviews influence consumer shopping behavior and boost their motive of purchase.
Always display trustmark logos on website. Trustmark logos are identified by the customers and builds faith.
The mode of payment options must be flexible. Payment options such as cash on delivery, credit/debit card are preferred. Secure payment is the key factor.
if your website loads at slower pace then you must definitely focus on improving site speed. A recent research shows that,”45-50% of the people abandons or leaves a website that takes more than 4 seconds to load.
These are some basic guidance on how to develop ecommerce website from scratch. If there is something to add, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!