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Everything You Wanted to Know About eCommerce Website Development

Jul 1, 2023 12 min read 6 views
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How Long Does It Take To Build An eCommerce Website

If you decided to develop an eCommerce website, you might have faced a range of questions. Where to start? How to choose the right platform? How to design a converting eCommerce website? How to take it to the top in Google search results? And, most importantly, how much money do you need?

If you’re grappling with these questions, don’t worry! This article is your go-to step-by-step guide for eCommerce website development. We’ll tackle all your concerns to help you make informed choices. No matter if you’re just planning to develop your website or already have a site, in either case you’ll find valuable tips as to expanding your digital presence.

 

Let’s dive into the topic.

Build your eCommerce website

When it comes to building an eCommerce website, merchants have multiple options at their disposal. One can choose to hire a development agency to create a custom website tailored to their specific needs, or they can leverage the convenience and affordability of online store builders. Each approach has its advantages and considerations, and in this section, we will explore both paths in detail.

Step 1. Hiring an agency vs Using an online store builder

Hiring an agency is a beneficial choice for eCommerce website development. With their professional expertise, agencies can provide customized solutions, implement advanced features, and ensure scalability. By outsourcing the development, you save time and resources, allowing you to focus on your core business. However, it’s important to consider factors such as budget, communication, the agency’s portfolio and track record, and their provision of long-term support.

 

The advantages of outsourcing eCommerce website development are as follows:

 

  • Professional experience & expertise. Hiring an agency brings the knowledge and skills of professionals specialized in eCommerce website development, ensuring high-quality results.
  • Customization & flexibility. Agencies can create fully customized websites tailored to your specific needs, offering greater design and functionality flexibility.
  • Time and resource savings. Outsourcing to an agency saves valuable time and resources as they handle all aspects of the project, from design to maintenance.
  • Project management. Agencies provide project management, ensuring efficient coordination and execution of website development tasks.
  • Technical support and maintenance. Agencies offer ongoing technical support and maintenance services, keeping your website secure and up to date.

 

At the same time, there are some considerations you need to keep in mind if you decide to work with an agency:

  • Higher cost. Hiring an agency can be more expensive compared to other options due to their professional expertise and tailored solutions.
  • Potential miscommunication. Poor communication with the agency can lead to delays or misunderstandings in the development process.

Using an online store builder offers several advantages for eCommerce website development. These platforms provide user-friendly interfaces, pre-designed templates, and simplified setup processes, making it accessible even for those without technical expertise. Online store builders often include web hosting, security features, and integrated payment gateways, streamlining the entire process.

 

Additionally, they typically offer ongoing support and updates, ensuring your website remains functional and up-to-date. However, customization options may be limited compared to hiring an agency, and you might have to work within the constraints of the platform.

 

Using online store builders offers the following advantages:

  • No coding skills required. Online store builders allow users to create websites without the need for coding knowledge, making it accessible to a wider audience.
  • Pre-designed templates. Online store builders offer a variety of ready-made templates, allowing users to quickly set up their website with a professional design.
  • Free plans available. Some online store builders provide free plans with basic features, making it a cost-effective option for those starting out.

 

However, eCommerce store builders are more limited in terms of customization options, advanced features, and flexibility compared to custom development solutions. Take into account the following considerations if you still hesitate:

  •  Limited customization. Online store builders may have limitations on customization options, restricting the ability to create a unique and personalized website.
  • Restricted features. Compared to custom development, online store builders may lack advanced features or functionalities that are essential for specific business needs.
  • Dependency on platform. Users are reliant on the platform’s availability, updates, and support, which can limit control and flexibility over the website.
  • Potential scaling challenge. As the business grows, the scalability and customization options offered by online store builders may become insufficient to meet evolving needs.
  • Domain name issues. Online store builders may have limitations or restrictions when it comes to domain name customization or integration.
  • Poor SEO. Some online store builders may have limited SEO capabilities, potentially impacting website visibility and organic search rankings.
Looking for an online store builder to create your eCommerce store? Read our comparison article of the best eCommerce website builders not to get lost.

Ultimately, the choice between hiring an agency or using an online store builder for eCommerce website development is up to you and depends on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. Consider factors such as customization requirements, desired level of control, available resources, and long-term scalability when making your decision.

Step 2. Choose your domain name

Your domain name serves as the virtual address where customers can find your eCommerce website and engage with your brand. So it should be memorable, reflective of your brand, and easy to spell and pronounce.

 

Consider incorporating relevant keywords to enhance search engine optimization (SEO) and ensure it aligns with your target audience. Avoid lengthy or complicated domain names that may confuse or discourage potential customers. Additionally, check for its availability and secure it with a reputable domain registrar like Instant Domain Search. A well-chosen domain name can significantly contribute to the success and recognition of your eCommerce website.

Step 3. Choose your hosting

Choosing the right hosting provider for your eCommerce website is vital to ensure optimal performance, security, and reliability. Look for a hosting provider that specializes in eCommerce and offers robust features such as scalable bandwidth, reliable uptime, and efficient server resources. Consider factors like server location, SSL certificate support, backup options, and customer support availability.

 

It’s important to choose a hosting plan that can handle your expected traffic and growth while providing fast loading speeds to enhance the user experience. Prioritize security measures like DDoS protection and regular backups to safeguard customer data. Thoroughly research hosting providers and compare their offerings to find the best fit for your eCommerce website’s needs.

Step 4. Organize product listings

Organizing product listings effectively on your eCommerce website is essential for providing a seamless and user-friendly shopping experience. Categorize your products into logical and intuitive categories and subcategories, making it easy for customers to navigate and find what they’re looking for. Utilize filters and sorting options to allow shoppers to refine their search based on specific criteria. Include clear and concise product titles, detailed descriptions, high-quality images, and relevant specifications to provide comprehensive information. Implement a robust search functionality to enable quick product searches.

Step 5. Think about payment processing

Considering payment processing options for your eCommerce website is crucial to facilitate smooth and secure transactions. Select a payment gateway that supports a wide range of payment methods, including credit cards, digital wallets, and alternative payment options. Ensure that the payment processor is reliable, secure, and compliant with industry standards to protect sensitive customer information.

 

Integration ease with your eCommerce platform is also important for seamless payment processing. Additionally, factor in transaction fees and pricing structures to find a solution that aligns with your budget and sales volume. Offering a variety of trusted and convenient payment options helps build customer trust, encourages sales, and enhances the overall shopping experience on your eCommerce website.

Step 6. Consider shipping & delivery

Start by establishing your goals and intentions: clarify whether you plan to ship goods domestically, internationally, or both. Define the specific shipping policies you want to enforce, such as free shipping, flat rates, or variable fees. Identify the preferred carriers or third-party logistics providers you wish to collaborate with. Additionally, evaluate whether you will incorporate dropshipping as a fulfillment method. Lastly, conduct thorough research and choose shipping software platforms that best match your needs and requirements.

 

Determine the most appropriate shipping carriers based on factors like delivery speed, coverage area, and cost-effectiveness. Offer transparent and accurate shipping rates by integrating real-time shipping calculators. Consider offering multiple shipping options such as express, standard, or free shipping to cater to various customer preferences. Implement order tracking functionality to keep customers informed about the progress of their shipments.

 

Additionally, establish clear policies regarding shipping times, returns, and customer support to manage expectations and address any potential issues. Careful consideration of shipping and delivery options will contribute to customer satisfaction, repeat business, and positive reviews for your eCommerce website.

Design your eCommerce website

eCommerce website design plays a pivotal role in the success of an online business. It serves as the virtual storefront, creating the first impression and shaping the overall user experience. A well-designed eCommerce website not only attracts visitors but also engages and converts them into customers. In fact, according to GoodFirms, one of the most common reasons for visitors to leave a website is an outdated design.

Are you ready to take your online store to the next level? Stay ahead of the competition and captivate your customers with the latest eCommerce design trends.

A visually appealing and intuitive design enhances brand credibility, establishes trust, and encourages customers to explore products and make purchases. It involves strategic placement of elements, intuitive navigation, clear product presentation, and mobile responsiveness. By investing in a well-thought-out and modern eCommerce website design, businesses can significantly increase customer retention, reduce bounce rates, and drive higher conversion rates.

 

Here are some tips for a nice, modern, and converting eCommerce website design:

  1. Keep your website design simple to enhance user experience and drive conversions.
  2. Feature your most popular products prominently to captivate customers, showcase product details, and build trust.
  3. Use high-quality images to create a captivating experience.
  4. Make your content scannable to improve readability and ensure key information is easily absorbed.
  5. Prioritize branding to establish trust and resonate with your audience.
  6. Stick to a user-centered approach to create a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience.
  7. Make the “View Cart” button prominent for easy access to the shopping cart and a streamlined purchasing process.
  8. Promote customer reviews and testimonials to build trust, credibility, and confidence among potential buyers.
  9. Incorporate a search bar to enable users to quickly find specific products.
  10. Let customers filter products based on specific criteria for a more personalized and efficient shopping experience.
Unlock the secrets of effective eCommerce design with our comprehensive article on how to design an eCommerce website.

Evaluating design creation options

When designing your eCommerce website, it is important to consider not only the latest design trends but also the associated costs to ensure a balance between aesthetics and budget. To calculate the approximate cost of designing an eCommerce website, first you need to decide on whether you hire a web designer or an agency or design your online store on your own by using website builder software.

Factors impacting the cost of eCommerce website design

When it comes to eCommerce website design, various factors come into play that can impact the overall cost of development and customization. They are as follows:

  • Branding

Consistent branding can boost revenue by 10-20%, with costs ranging dramatically depending on the approach, from DIY tools to professional consultants or branding agencies.

  • Visual design

Web design styles vary from simple to world-class, with pricing influenced by complexity and customization, ranging from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  • Responsive design

Crucial for modern eCommerce websites, responsive design ensures optimal browsing experiences on various devices without additional cost information provided.

  • Website copy

Copywriting costs vary based on content length and complexity, with shorter pages generally incurring lower charges and longer pages involving additional design costs.

  • Functionality

Building an eCommerce website requires essential features like shopping carts and checkout procedures, with customization and legal requirements potentially influencing costs.

  • CMS (Content Management System)

Choosing a content management system should prioritize functionality over cost, considering future goals and user experience.

  • Database integration

Integrating databases enables centralized data storage, personalized experiences, and secure handling of customer information.

  • eCommerce SEO

Ongoing investment in eCommerce SEO is crucial for attracting and retaining customers, neglecting which may result in missed opportunities and falling behind competitors.

For more details on each of these factors read our in-depth article on eCommerce website design cost.

Optimize your eCommerce website

Building an eCommerce website and designing it meticulously is only half the battle. Without the power of SEO, your online presence may go unnoticed, depriving you of valuable traffic, potential customers, and the opportunity to grow your business.

 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for eCommerce refers to the practice of optimizing an online store’s website and content to improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results, driving organic traffic and increasing the likelihood of conversions and sales.

Don’t miss our guide on developing an effective eCommerce SEO strategy to boost your rankings.

Take a look at the key benefits you can reap by investing in SEO:

  1. Improved search engine rankings. SEO techniques help optimize your eCommerce website’s visibility in search engine results, increasing the chances of ranking higher and attracting more organic traffic.
  2. Increased organic traffic. By implementing SEO strategies, you can improve your website’s visibility in organic search results, leading to a steady flow of targeted traffic without relying heavily on paid advertising.
  3. Enhanced user experience. SEO focuses on optimizing various aspects of your website, including site structure, navigation, page load speed, and mobile responsiveness, resulting in an improved user experience that keeps visitors engaged and encourages conversions.
  4. Targeted keyword optimization. SEO enables you to identify and target relevant keywords that align with your eCommerce business, optimizing your website’s content and meta tags to attract the right audience and drive qualified traffic.
  5. Higher visibility and brand exposure. SEO efforts increase your eCommerce website’s visibility in search engine results, ensuring your brand gets exposure to a wider audience and making it more likely for potential customers to discover and engage with your business.

Top 12 tips to rank #1 on Google

If you’re looking to secure the top spot on Google’s search engine results page, we gathered the top 12 tips to enhance your website’s visibility, attract more organic traffic, and achieve the coveted #1 ranking.

#1 Research relevant keywords

Conducting keyword research helps you identify the terms and phrases your target audience is using to search for products.

#2 Optimize product pages

Optimizing your product pages involves including relevant keywords in titles, descriptions, and headings to improve their visibility in search results.

#3 Simplify the site architecture

By creating a logical hierarchy, minimizing excessive depth, and implementing a user-friendly navigation system, you make it easier for both search engines and visitors to find and navigate your website.

#4 Ensure user-friendly UX

A user-friendly UX includes factors like intuitive navigation, fast loading times, mobile responsiveness, clear call-to-action elements, and easy access to information.

#5 Generate backlinks

Actively seek opportunities to earn backlinks through guest blogging, partnerships, influencer collaborations, and creating valuable content that others naturally want to link to.

#6 Have a simple URL structure

A clean and concise URL structure helps search engines understand the content and hierarchy of your website.

#7 Ensure responsive design

Responsive design improves the user experience on mobile devices, reduces bounce rates, and signals to search engines that your website is mobile-friendly, which can positively impact your search rankings.

#8 Use schema markup

Schema markup helps search engines understand the content and purpose of your webpages, leading to enhanced visibility in search results.

#9 Reduce page load speed

Optimize your website’s performance by compressing images, minifying code, leveraging browser caching, and using a reliable hosting provider.

#10 Leverage a sitemap

Submitting a sitemap to search engines helps ensure that all your important pages are discovered and indexed, improving their visibility in search results.

#11 Ensure easy social sharing

Integrating social sharing buttons can help increase your brand’s visibility, attract more traffic, and potentially earn social signals that positively impact your search engine rankings.

#12 Avoid duplicate content

Ensure each page has unique and valuable content, use canonical tags to consolidate duplicate versions, and regularly monitor for any unintentional duplication issues.

 Want more details on each tip? Read our article “SEO for eCommerce website

How much does eCommerce website development cost?

The cost of eCommerce website development is probably the most pressing question for any merchant. The cost of building an eCommerce site can vary significantly based on various factors. It can range from a few hundred dollars to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. When planning your budget for an online store, you should consider the following expenses:

Infrastructure costs

These include the necessary hardware and infrastructure to support your eCommerce site, such as servers, network equipment, and data storage systems.

  • eCommerce software

This refers to the platform or software that powers your online store, providing functionalities like product catalog management, shopping cart, and order management. Examples include popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento.

  • Domain name

It is the unique web address that customers will use to access your online store, such as www.yourstore.com. Registering and renewing a domain name involves a recurring cost.

  • Hosting

This is the service that allows your website to be accessible on the internet. You’ll need to choose a hosting provider and plan that suits your website’s needs and pay for the hosting services, which can be a monthly or annual cost.

  • SSL certificate

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate encrypts the communication between your website and customers, ensuring secure transactions and data protection. It is essential for building trust and securing sensitive information. SSL certificates are typically purchased on an annual basis.

  • Payment processing costs

These are the fees associated with processing online payments, including transaction fees charged by payment gateways or payment processors like PayPal or Stripe. These fees are usually a percentage of the transaction value or a fixed amount per transaction.

eCommerce website design costs

This involves the design and visual appearance of your online store to create an appealing and user-friendly interface.

  • Store theme and design

It refers to the pre-designed templates or themes available for your eCommerce platform. Choosing a theme or design that aligns with your brand and product offerings can enhance the overall look and feel of your online store.

  • Add-ons and extensions

These are additional features or functionalities that can be added to your eCommerce site, such as advanced product filtering, customer reviews, or marketing tools. Some add-ons/extensions may be free, while others may require a one-time or recurring payment.

Extra costs

These include expenses beyond the core components of your eCommerce site.

  • eCommerce Marketing and advertising

These costs involve promoting your online store to attract customers.

  • eCommerce website support and maintenance

These refer to ongoing tasks like website updates, bug fixes, security monitoring, and technical support.

This was just a brief costs overview. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the anticipated expenses for eCommerce website development, read our comprehensive 2023 pricing guide.

How GoMage can help with eCommerce website development

We have provided you with a brief overview of eCommerce website development processes and associated costs and offered links to more comprehensive guides covering all aspects of building an online store. However, we suspect you may still have questions. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a FREE consultation regarding your project. At GoMage, we have been developing eCommerce solutions for 12 years and know exactly how to lead your business to success.

 

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