The internet offers a unique opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and services and reach out to prospective clients. It is equally beneficial for consumers who can browse multiple products over the internet and purchase goods online without stepping out of their homes.
The volume of e-commerce is enormous, and it is multiplying. In 2021, more than 2.14 billion users accessed the internet to purchase goods or services. Hence, to tap the true potential of online shopping, developing an outstanding e-commerce website that delivers an exceptional customer experience, and drives revenue for your business is essential.
It is estimated that a whopping 24 million eCommerce websites exist online. With increasing competition, businesses need help navigating the complex digital landscape and selling their products online. If you wish to outdo your competitors, it is vital to have a well-optimized eCommerce website that makes online shopping super fun and easy.
ECommerce websites are no different from the physical stores located in a shopping mall. Customers prefer to shop at well-organized stores that deliver an enjoyable shopping experience without the hassle. The same goes for eCommerce websites.
What is the eCommerce Web Development Process?
ECommerce web development builds exceptional eCommerce websites that attract prospective customers and drive sales. The eCommerce web development process includes building your website's front and back end.
While developing an eCommerce website, multiple factors have to be considered:
- SSL configuration.
- Site architecture and design.
- The loading speed of the website.
- Availability of different payment options
- Photography of your products
- A fast-speed platform with ample server resources to support the eCommerce site.
How Does eCommerce Web Development Help Your Business?
- According to marketing experts, a good eCommerce website's hallmark is providing a smooth and enjoyable shopping experience for customers. They should be able to quickly navigate your website, purchase your product, and sign up for your services.
Any difficulty or barrier in purchasing your product can result in the loss of a potential sale. A well-rounded eCommerce web development strategy ensures all of this, and drives revenue for your business by delivering excellent customer service to your visitors.
Now that we have covered the web development process's basics, let us look at nine proven web development tactics that yield the best results.
1) Choose The Correct eCommerce Platform
- An eCommerce platform is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) on which the eCommerce website is built. It offers different services for an eCommerce website, such as displaying product pages, handling transactions, customer support, returns, reviews, order fulfillment, etc.
The eCommerce platform lays the foundation for the website, so it is crucial to choose it wisely. An ideal platform should serve your business model and growth plan and be well-equipped to handle the volume of your business. Some of the best eCommerce platforms include BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, etc.
2) Choose A Theme That Works For Your Website
After choosing the right platform, the next step is to select a workable theme for your website. While choosing the theme, keep the following factors in mind:
- The theme should be visually appealing.
- It should be a good fit for your brand. E.g., a vibrant theme is more suitable for children's apparel brands. In contrast, a more somber and sophisticated theme is better suited for an eCommerce website that displays home accessories.
- The theme should be manageable to ensure the loading speed of the website.
- The theme should be responsive to different screen sizes.
- It should be workable on all browsers.
3) Optimize Your Website for Search Engines and Evaluate Site Performance
- SEO is the key to better search engine results page (SERP) rankings, improved visibility, and directing more targeted traffic toward your eCommerce website. Ensure that your eCommerce website occupies the top position in the search engines for specific and relevant keywords. This will make it easier for potential customers to find your website and buy from you.
A well-optimized eCommerce website is a big win for your business. The importance of higher rankings can be estimated from the fact that the click-through rate (CTR) improves by 50% if the website jumps from the second position to the first position in the search results.
- Besides search rankings, website performance and page load speed are important factors. Website performance is a measure of the website's loading speed and how quickly it appears and becomes interactable in a web browser. All users value their time, and slow-loading sites are a big turn-off. Remember that 40% of shoppers will abandon your website if its loading time exceeds 3 seconds.
When ranking your website, Google considers the page loading speed for desktops and mobile devices. Therefore, improve page loading speed and site performance in order to occupy the top space in search engines.
4) Mobile Responsive Website Design
- Mobile devices are powerful tools that are easier to carry and more convenient than a desktop. Research indicates that up to 60% of internet users come through mobile devices. Therefore, many potential shoppers visit your website using a cell phone.
To deliver the best customer experience, optimizing all of the web pages of your eCommerce website for mobile devices is essential. If your website works well for desktop devices, but appears haphazard and out of place for mobile devices, you are driving potential customers away from your website.
- Choose a mobile responsive website design that makes the browsing experience more enjoyable, and offers a hassle-free checkout and payment process.
5) Ensure Foolproof Security of Your eCommerce Website
- An eCommerce website is different from the average, run-of-the-mill website. The purpose of the eCommerce website is to sell different products online, which requires additional security for safe and smooth monetary transactions. The foolproof security of your eCommerce website ensures trust between customer and seller, and customers feel more comfortable purchasing from your site.
Listed below are some basic practices to make your eCommerce website more secure:
- Encrypt all eCommerce website pages using HTTPS protocol, focusing on the payment information pages. This will ensure that your customers' data remains safe and secure.
- To protect your client's personal information, your eCommerce website should be PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant.
- Only store important credit card information of your clients on the company's website.
6) Be Choosy About The Products You Display on Your Website
You may think that displaying multiple products on your website improves the chances of sales, but it hinders sales. Offering irrelevant products on the website that do not belong to your niche can confuse and overwhelm your customers. When customers are bombarded with extra information, it can lead to decision paralysis, which means your sales will dip. To prevent that from happening, do the following:
- Display relevant and limited products on your website that belong to your niche.
- Preselect and highlight the best products with the highest rankings from previous customers.
- To help your customers find relevant products, introduce a robust site search on your website. Site search acts as a filter and highlights the most relevant product to your customers, saving them time and effort. Statistics show that 30% of visitors claim that site search is helpful for navigating the website and finding their relevant product.
- For quick and easy navigation, offer as many relevant filters as possible. Filters narrow down the search and display relevant products only, making it easy for your customers to purchase their desired product.
- Make sure to embed targeted keywords in the product descriptions. This will help search engines locate your products faster. Detailed product descriptions that include the right set of keywords will help customers and businesses alike.
- Remove any unnecessary steps from the checkout process, and make it as smooth as possible. The checkout process should be completed with as few clicks as possible.
7) Include High-Quality Pictures and Videos on Your Product Pages
- Due to an overload of information, and the ability to access any website with a few clicks, internet users are becoming more choosy and have considerably shorter attention spans. Therefore, if your eCommerce website fails to captivate your visitors, they will likely abandon it in less than thirty seconds.
The visual medium is an excellent way to hold people's attention and present them with information engagingly. Make sure to include high-quality and detailed videos and pictures of the product you are selling. The visual medium offers a value proposition and explains the product's different features straightforwardly, making it easy for the user to make a buying decision.
- Photos act as bait for grabbing attention, and videos can keep users entertained for extended periods. Place them strategically at the top of the product page. Videos are excellent tools for telling a story. To understand a product's different features, most users prefer watching videos instead of reading product descriptions.
Most businesses claim that embedding videos on their eCommerce website has achieved much higher conversions. Hence, it is essential to tap the power of the visual medium to make your eCommerce website a success.
8) Establish Trust and Credibility By Offering Social Proof
- To increase your sales, you must present your eCommerce website as a genuine and trustworthy platform to buy from. And what better way to establish trust than by offering social proof? Highlight your positive reviews that existing customers give about your website, or the products that you display on your website.
To encourage honest reviews, add rating and testimonials sections on your website. Ask your customers to specify what they liked or disliked about your products. When people see honest feedback on your website, it will establish your eCommerce website as a credible platform for online shopping, resulting in increased conversions.
9) Make The Transaction Process Smooth And Hassle-Free
An online transaction is the last stage of the online shopping process. Last but not least, it is one of the most crucial stages of the sales process. If you do not offer a safe, smooth, and hassle-free transaction process, your cart abandonment rate will skyrocket, and all the hard work you have put in will go in vain.
To prevent that from happening, ensure that your customers do not encounter any of the following hurdles:
- Hidden shipping costs
- Ambiguous return policy
- The obligation to create an account to complete a purchase
All of these hurdles can be a turn-off for customers, so be sure to consider the following:
- Don't be ambiguous about your shipping cost; be honest about it. Openly display your shipping policy on the home and product pages.
- Accommodate and allow different types of payment options. The eCommerce website should be able to process international credit and banking cards, and allow for the use of online payment gateways, such as PayPal, and digital wallets like Apple Pay and Amazon Pay.
- Provide a guest checkout option if the customer wants to avoid signing up or creating an account to complete the purchase.
Testing the systems is an integral part of the web development process. Testing helps identify the bottlenecks that the developers remove before making the website accessible to users. This helps to provide customers with a smooth shopping experience, free of any hurdles.
The key to creating a killer eCommerce website is to be mindful of User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) at every step of the eCommerce web development process. By following these tips, your eCommerce website will be a popular platform for online shopping.