It seems like you have finally decided to push the pedal on creating your eCommerce website.
Look no further, as you have arrived at the right destination.
Whenever you’re about to begin a large project, it’s good to gather all your ducks in a row before you start. Building an eCommerce site constitutes a lot of moving pieces. Thus, one needs to consider a variety of factors before jumping in head first.
From user engagement to site performance – It is one thing to design a simple website, but developing an eCommerce site comes with its series of challenges.
Firstly, eCommerce websites are built not just to inform and showcase your brand online; they are primarily built for customers to shop. Hence, designers need to ensure that the site is easy to use and intuitive to make sales.
Without sales, the whole website will lose its purpose.
So, before you begin, consider reading this article thoroughly as it can serve as a holy grail to bring your ecommerce product dreams to reality.
1. Select an ecommerce or web hosting platform
If you are a small or medium-sized enterprise and aren’t looking for a customized platform – Then to save time and money, select a popular ecommerce platform.
I recommend Shopify, Magento, OpenCart or BigCommerce.
Most developers are quite familiar with these, making it easy to integrate WordPress plugin, payment processing, etc. The platforms also come with a range of customizations.
Additionally, these ecommerce platforms come at a reasonable price.
2. Reverse Engineer Successful eCommerce Websites
One of the most ingenious ways to create an ecommerce website or product that generate leads, drives traffic, and converts visitors is to reverse engineer what is already working for the other ecommerce sites. Learning from those who are already excelling in the domain is a sure shot way to ensure that you create a functional platform which is lucrative for your business.
But, how can you do that?
To understand what your competitor is utilizing, you can go to Ahrefs (or other competitor analysis tools such as SpyFu, Similar Web, or SEMrush) and type in your own website’s URL or that of your competitors’.
Once you do that, try finding out how they’re getting their traffic, what keywords they’re ranking for, what keywords they’re bidding on, etc.
3. Open source or SaaS – Choose wisely
Depending on a variety of factors – such as your company’s current and future needs, as well as budgetary and other constraints – you’ll have a significant decision to make as you dive into the world of eCommerce:
Should you use an open-source or a SaaS platform to house your online store?
If you don’t require a much-customized online store and want to instead focus your energy & time on running and scaling your venture instead of managing technology – you’ll be more content with a SaaS platform. It will save you considerable time and money while allowing you to focus on achieving your business objectives.
If you have the pockets to hire a developer, and want a highly customized shopping experience, then open-source will be a viable bet for you.
4. Finding the Right Tech Partner
Choosing the right tech partner is a critical step to ensure your product succeeds, especially if you are from a non-technical background.
eCommerce can get tricky at times. Some problems arise which could only be handled by experienced developers, thus you must hire a partner who has an experience of working in this domain.
Going for a jack of all trades isn’t really a good idea here. Also, solely hiring a developer won’t suffice. You will require an eCommerce domain expert to fulfill your requirements.
Owing to the fact that ecommerce is a massive entity in itself; it would be foolish to hire someone on the basis of their work in other domains. A developer who is good with designing ride-hailing or dating apps won’t necessarily be good in developing ecommerce applications.
Check out our award-winning ecommerce application right here.
5. Clear and Easy Navigations
Make sure you have clear and easy-to-follow navigation at every step of the purchase. If a user doesn’t find the product or services they were looking for, they aren’t going to spend long looking for them on your website. After all, they have plenty of options to choose from.
Aim at retaining the user by providing them with a clean and clutter-free experience.
Keep in mind the following pointers and you’ll be good to go:
• Match Your Design with Your Products
Keeping your design coherent with what you’re selling will complete the overall feel and look of your site. While designing, make sure that everything from text, images, color schemes, perfectly aligns with your website.
For instance, If your website is selling toys, your design should look fun and colorful.
And if your website is trading gadgets, the theme of your design should look modern and techy.
For instance, this e-commerce website which buys and sells Captain America merchandise uses a design that matches their products perfectly.
• Proper Product Showcase and Descriptions
The purpose of your ecommerce site should be to sell products; thus it is essential to highlight your products on your website. When showcasing items, always ensure that you’re using high-quality images that will grab user’s attention. The larger the images, the better. By showing good quality pictures, your customers will visualize how well the product looks in real.
For better usability, choose a layout that emphasizes your product on every page. Don’t give them a hard time finding the page for “Accessories” or “Shoes” if they’ve already looked or clicked on a similar product.
• Easy Checkout Proces
Besides from allowing transactions to be swift and anonymous, an eCommerce site should also make it as compelling as possible for consumers to check out their items. The more straightforward this process, the more motivation your customers will have to make a repeat purchase. So don’t create too many pages for checkout.
Try to create a single-page process while not being too overwhelming for consumers.
• Payment Options
I’ve observed several eCommerce sites that deny users to pay with Paypal or with other kinds of payment aside from Visa or Master card. Now with the introduction of a Unified Payment Interface, you need to ensure that you provide ample payment solutions in order to cater to a wide range of shoppers. By considering your consumer’s payment preference, you can increase their motivation to shop thereby boosting your sales in the long run.