How do I build an e-commerce website from scratch ?
Statistics tells, out of 7.6 billion people in the world 1.66 billion people are digital shoppers. It means that 21.8% of the world population has shifted to the online platform for their shopping needs. The predictions also say it might double in 2021.
If you have not yet considered moving to an online platform still, the numbers mentioned above should convince you now. Many of the entrepreneurs make few mistakes while launching their business online. Everybody makes one or two and fixes it on their way as things move on. But few mistakes you cannot afford to pay the price, and they can turn into a blunder.
Here is a breakdown on how to build your e-commerce website from scratch and launch it successfully. We have covered the crucial steps involved in the process of development and the aftermath of the development — SEO, digital marketing and promotions with tips and tricks you can adhere to.
Cover the Basics First:
They say a little knowledge can be mighty dangerous. It is true while you are running a business. If you are not aware of your industry, do not start the business. Alternatively, if your passion fires inside, be ready to quench your thirst by learning about the industry.The e-Commerce industry is a competitive marketplace irrespective of what product you sell. Before you launch the business online, educate yourself on how to build a successful online business.
Decide on the product you will sell online. Write the related products you have planned for adding. Identifying your products will act as a steering wheel to finding your niche. When you know about your audience, you can leverage maximum benefits in the industry. Building a strong connection between your product and target audience is the key to creating a successful online business. To set up it, you can,
- List out your product features and specifications
- Write the demographics of your audience ground, that may include several factors like age, gender, geographical details, interests
- Correlate your product features/specifications with the insights of your audience
This process can help you structure a marketing plan of your business. Jason Parks, a young CEO of the startup Media Captain quotes that, “My one year SEO strategy for my online business created a huge engaging audience base before his e-commerce portal went live”
This is straightforward. You need a domain name that will perfectly identify your brand. Don’t over-think the process. Using a site like GoDaddy, you can purchase a domain name for under $10.00. Domain name is important, as you can see the names like “Amazon” , “e-Bay” are short. They stand in the mind of the users for a long time and easy to remember. Consider choosing an attractive domain name for your online business.
Finding the right e-Commerce Engine
A good e-commerce portal is always measured with the usability, UI experience, speed, resolution of the images and a keen eye for details that will keep your users engaged. The technical layout is as important when building the platform.
Example: A brick-mortar clothing boutique will have lots of interior architecture that sends out fashionista vibes, charismatic views, and it builds a connection with people who can relate to the fashion trends. An online portal of the same boutique has to be connected at a digital level as well. The design of the web layout has to be elegant and the users should be able to glide from one page to another.
Third-Party And Self-Hosted eCommerce Service Integration
Hosting your e-commerce portal is making all the technical files of your online business getting it up on the internet. It has to be put up visible to all the people who might be interested in your business. So how do you set it up online with easy technical support?
If you are a start-up and the in-charge of your whole business, we suggest you opt for the third party hosting engines. They can help you save a lot of time in setting up and taking care with minimal technical knowledge.
The third party marketplace business model transfers the charge of maintaining a stock list, management, product descriptions, and other associated activities to the marketer. In this model, third-party marketplaces put the product of the marketer on display, deals with and collect orders, manages payments, ship’s orders, tracks delivery and releases payment to the seller at the end after deducting a percentage of the sum as a fee.
Meanwhile, a self-hosted engine will have more freedom to control the implementation and maintenance part. Business requirements and scopes decide the engine you should opt for.
Related: What type of e-commerce portal should I opt for?
Things to look out in an e-commerce engine
- Operative pace: The speed of the e-commerce website has always boosted sales. 40% of online shoppers have reported that they have switched to a different shopping website because of the loading took a long time.
- Production time: A successful online store can’t afford slack and maintenance shutdowns. The global eCommerce platforms have to be accessible and operable 24/7.
- Human presence: Earlier, the absence of human presence was considered as a limitation in the online stores. With personalized marketing and support technologies, online stores can provide excellent interaction with their shoppers. The KPI should be the response time to the queries raised by the user; keep it always below 10 minutes.
- Versatility:– The more you perfect the eCommerce website, gain loyal customers, and provide exclusive content, the more traffic it attracts. This means the website load increases which requires scalability and versatile distribution of resources. Modern services like Amazon Ops works provide flexible methods of dealing with peaking levels of user activity.
- Commercial safety: In the world of today, security is one of if not the most requested feature of online shopping. Developing an eCommerce website with ingrained security will certainly help it hold up to the high standards of the industry.
- Database compatibility, ERP, CRM. The system to be compatible with the database you use for the website and have the coping potential. Your database and business operation records have to be safe, for this, you need a well-versed and functional eCommerce SDK.
- Customization options. The technological advances in eCommerce web development will continue to introduce new features constantly. Your platform should be able to adapt to these advances. It should feature a rock solid customization options that will make it flexible enough to adopt the changes as fast as possible
- Integration capabilities. If your platform is fast enough to customize then, the integration character will be aced. Integrating payment portal, adding catalogs, or logistics features is a common expected module in e-commerce portals. Things like Apple Pay, Touch ID payment authorization, and so on present challenges for the online store along with some great rewards.
- Payment service provider consistency. The flexible payment methods offered by eCommerce platforms is a strength. Many credit and debit cards, payment systems, cash, e-wallets, refund policy, and so on making an online store a preferable source of commodities, capable of catering to any customer.
- Solid back end. The online commerce system has to be developed with a user in the mind. Not only customer experience has to be taken care of but also the administrator experience. To furnish a good customer experience, the eCommerce system has to be operable and managed by employees. This includes inventory, stock, price, and discount policy, etc.
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. The design is how it works”
All the e-commerce portals are trying to create sales. Yes, that is the goal, but the unseen part in this, a good website design is the driving wheel of the business in e-commerce.
A good design includes all the parameters like the color theme, the present ability, an easy check out options, product display and bold images.
Steve Jobs quotes about good design is the principle you should follow in creating a robust platform that merges well with your development modules. The design is not only about how well you present, but it is also about how great it works. Your UI/UX ability is determined by the number of sales, the traffic you create.
Ease of Use
The design has to focus on creating a simplicity feel that gives the user to navigate around the website. The layout should be able to communicate with the user, help them find the products and check out them very smooth.
Consumers have different shopping behaviors. Some consumers would like to just glance over the products and purchase them based on the images or review section, while others read every specification mentioned about the product. You should focus on covering both the kinds of shoppers also since each has its own added value in promoting your website when they are delighted with the experience you give them.
Pro Tip: You can display the related products on each single product display page. It gives an additional value for your customer experience. This section is enjoying helping your customers to compare the similar products, prices, features and enables themselves to have a satisfying experience in choosing the right product for them
E-commerce portal success rates depend on how you display your products. The user can not touch and feel the quality of the product, so to outweigh this, the image of the product should convince the user about the quality it portrays. A low-res picture of the product can sell it to the person unfamiliar with it. A bunch of HD images displaying all the product features can push customers into buying it, as this product display augments the selection process for those on the fence.
Many of the drop-outs happen only during the checkout phase. If your shopper feels checking out his/her products is like moving a mountain, they are likely to drop out of their purchase and check on your competitor’s website. The psychology behind this is, it has to be as simple as opening your wallet and handing over the money to the person over the counter and collecting the shopping bags easily. Remember to enable a guest check out options where they don’t have to actually register or log in to check out. Avoid asking for too much information in the checkout page, try keeping it simple and effective.
A payment portal has to be safe, fast and simple. e-Commerce portals have lots of third-party payment portal integration which will require a robust solid back-end development. You can provide a variety of options for your online customers to choose from. Credit card, debit cards, e-wallets, and net banking or some of the popular payment options.
There are giant third-party payment portals like PayPal, Amazon pay and Google pay, increasingly used by many e-Commerce websites.
Legal Side of your business
Register your business, get a vendor’s License and look into legal business issues. You should contact a local attorney to assist in creating your business. While it is an upfront cost, it will save you significant headache and expense.
You will need to register the articles of incorporation or organization with your state’s Secretary of State if you are starting a corporation, nonprofit limited liability company or professional organization. If you will make taxable sales, you will need to get a Seller’s Permit or Vendor’s License with the state agency. Many vendors will require that you have this as well before they agree to work with you.
If you are starting a nonprofit, check with the state Attorney General’s office to learn what charitable licenses and filings are required. Lastly, you will need the appropriate organizational documents. Contact your attorney for more information, but this is not a step to be skipped or overlooked.
Don’t forget the Digital Marketing
Many of the business always hit the wall of fame only when they are promoted. If your brand is not talked by your customers, it doesn’t exist. You can create a strong buzz around your online business before you go live. The CEO of many online businesses has claimed their success to the promotion of their e-commerce platform to digital marketing. The one year SEO strategy is a concept where you can work on the SEO of your website, while you are in the development phase.
Create a strong buzz around your business using a pre-planned marketing strategy. It can build an audience base for you before you launch your e-commerce website. Imagine the confidence level you will have when you go live for an already established target audience community.
Any e-commerce website is strong enough to rock the odds comes from enabling solid teamwork from various domains. Only a potential system can help drive sales and sales comes from a strategic marketing approach and for the marketing, you need to have your website built with high quality.
Our interest in delivering e-commerce websites is an innovative approach. We frame all the modules with a client-centric approach, which is mostly aimed to hit the bullseye of the client’s niche market. The expertise is not our only core zone, our approach involves covering a lot of areas that include, design, development and digital marketing.