Top 10 Points to consider before eCommerce Website Development
Top 10 things to consider before eCommerce Website Development
Basic Introduction of eCommerce Website Development
eCommerce website development is one of the most complicated process if you have not chosen the right framework. As we all knows there are many Open Source platforms for eCommerce Website Development. Few weeks back I wrote a blog post 14 benefits of eCommerce Web Development in 2018, check it out if you want to read the eCommerce website development benefits. There are many open source eCommerce frameworks for the eCommerce development. Some of them are below for better understating, furthermore, to discuss our topic clearly;
|Zen Cart||Spree Commerce||VirtualMart|
|RokQuickCart||Drupal Commerce||SimpleCart JS|
But this is not the end of eCommerce platforms, there are so many frameworks has been developed till now as per the need of modern era.
What is eCommerce Website?
E-Commerce, “E” stands for “electronic” and we all knows about “commerce”. Basically eCommerce is the activity of buying and selling products or services online over the internet. These products can range from physical items like electronics, house furniture and apparel to digital products such as music, art and games. Services can range from simple financial to in depth research for a business consultation. It is currently one of the most important aspects of the internet to emerge.
In other words, eCommerce websites’ provide the functionality to buy any physical product, or any service online. Furthermore, you may buy the software, e-books and much more over the internet. And all this credit goes to all eCommerce frameworks which made our life easier.
Statistics and Facts of Online Shopping and eCommerce Worldwide
In this digital world, people are more dependent on the smart phones, tablets, laptops & desktops than ever. And if on other hand we think about eCommerce Industry than its booming at a fast rate nowadays. The smart gadgets have taken the places into our hands and pockets. Statistics shows us more than 60% people are spending their money on online shopping nowadays. 60% of the total population is the big portion which cannot be compromised.
Because of the statistics as mentioned above people are more likely to spend their money to start eCommerce businesses. eCommerce business has taken the place of backbone in every country, province, city or town.
As per the Statista an estimated 1.66 billion people worldwide purchase goods online. During the same year, global e-retail sales amounted to 2.3 trillion U.S. dollars and projections show a growth of up to 4.48 trillion U.S. dollars by 2021. In Asia Pacific, e-retail sales accounted for 12.1 percent of retail sales in 2016 but only for 1.8 percent of retail sales in the Middle East and Africa.
Welcome to the world of Digital Arena
These are the extremely huge facts and figures which have been described above. Furthermore, above figures are only related to B2C industry which is called business to consumer. We’ve not seen the B2B industry yet. Let me show you just one screenshot of business to business eCommerce industry from a specific category to better understand the figures which are involved. Furthermore, you can easily see how much impact is of eCommerce industry to the economy.
What to know before eCommerce Website Development?
eCommerce website development is complicated and it’s not a piece of cake which could bake in 15 minutes. In any eCommerce website or even a WordPress website there are many aspects to consider from design to development, from user experience to performance, from website to ROI (return on investment). Any website development on enterprise level is a complex task to finish. Because there are many factors involved, some of them are below;
- Case Study
- Responsive Design
- AB Testing
- Performance testing
But as we’re talking about eCommerce website development, it has its own challenges and aspects to resolve. As we know users will be visiting the website to learn more about products or to instantly buy, eCommerce Website Developers will have to develop the easy process for all users. Furthermore, eCommerce Developers have to keep in mind the below Top 10 Things to Develop a fully functional website;
- Appropriate Framework to Choose
- Comparison of chosen framework and needs
- Responsive Design
- Product Search
- SEO Optimized
- Remarketing tools
- Website Security
- Guests Checkout
- Online Payment Gateway
- Blog Integration
01. Appropriate framework to choose
As we studied above in our blog post there are bunch of eCommerce frameworks. Now the question is being raised which platform or framework should I choose to develop an eCommerce website? And the answer you can found in the case study. It depends upon the requirement of your client with whom you discussed.
If you want to develop user friendly and admin friendly eCommerce website to manage than WooCommerce / WordPress is one of the best solutions. As we all know WordPress is one of the best open source frameworks which allow every possible thing to do in few clicks.
If some specific requirements have been given by client e.g. integration with any CRM, than you should go with Magento or OpenCart. As both platforms gives a solid bonding with famous CRMs.
A good selection of eCommerce framework will save a lot of money and specially time.
02 Comparison of chosen framework and needs
Once you’ve selected the framework for eCommerce website development then the next step comes of comparison. You should have to compare the selected platform with the needs. Check carefully either the selected platform fulfills the needs of your project or not. You should have to be a forecaster in selection of eCommerce framework.
If the selected platform is hardly fulfilling the needs of your project then choose another one instead of developing your eCommerce website on the same framework. Because the framework which hardly fulfilling your needs at initial stage, it could stop you with its limitation very soon.
You have to be really careful while comparing your chosen eCommerce website framework with the needs or project guidelines.
03 Responsive Design
We’re living in digital world nowadays. The use of smart gadgets is continuously increasing. Furthermore, eCommerce sales have a large portion of this traffic. The right design of eCommerce website plays a vital role in terms of conversion. Statistics shows ¼ website fails because of design.
Whatever platform you choose for developing your website, you will need to be sure that you keep your mobile users in mind for every aspect of the website, from home page to the entire process of eCommerce website.
If your eCommerce website design is not responsive then you gonna punish by your visitors as well as Google ranking. Your website design directly impacts on your SEO in both ways (positively or negatively). If the website design is not up to the mark then visitors will bounce from your website. Furthermore, this bouncing rate will impact on your SEO ranking negatively.
So make sure the eCommerce website should be responsive and up to the mark in terms of Design.
04 Product Search
Statistics shows more than 30% of users are searching for the products / services of what they’re looking for. Do not ignore this utilized feature when you’re developing eCommerce website. Furthermore, In addition, it’s a good idea to give autocomplete feature to find related or exact products in search bar.
Faceted search is another super cool feature which allows users to select from different filters to get an accurate result of their needs. Faceted search will only gives the accurate results if you have selected most relevant filters while adding products into catalogue.
05 SEO Optimized
Many people are thinking SEO Optimized means meta tags e.g. meta title, meta description, headings, keyword research etc. only but in reality it involves lot of other factors and aspects too. Some of them are mentioned below;
- Fewer HTTP requests
- Use of Content Delivery Network
- Header Expires define
- Compressed component
- No HTTP 404 error
- Nor URL redirects
- Configuration of ETags
- CSS should be at top
- JS should be at bottom
- Less number of DOM elements
- CSS and JS minified
As we mentioned above there are various aspects involved to make a fully optimized website. That’s the only reason companies are looking for eCommerce specialist to develop their website. If you’re ignoring the above mentioned points then your website will not be optimized at all. Furthermore, it will take a lot time to load. Statistics shows if a website is not showing any data in first 3 seconds then 40% people will abandon. 40% of your website’s total traffic is a huge figure which cannot be compromised at any cost.
06 Remarketing Tools
Remarketing is the strategy which used to reach potential customers who have left your eCommerce website without making a purchase. It means a user arrived to your website; He added one or few products into the cart and then left your website because of any reason. You can reach him back via inbox.
Remarketing tools auto notice those users who left products into their carts. Furthermore, these tools auto send the email to users for reminding them about the added products in cart. If you have given the permission to send coupon / vouchers then remarketing tools automatically send discount to users for forcing them to complete your order.
Isn’t it awesome? Enterprise and medium level companies are using these tools for boosting sales, but very less small level companies are using remarketing tools. Make sure when you’re making or creating eCommerce Website, it should be developed with remarketing tools.
07 Website Security
Website security is the process of securing confidential data which has been stored online from unauthentic or unauthorized access and modification. Your website is your brand, your storefront and first contact with customers if you’ve eCommerce website. If it’s not safe and secure those critical business relationships can be compromised.
An unprotected website is a security risks to customers other businesses and the people who are attached with that certain website. Few tips are below for securing your website;
- Keep the framework up to date on which your website is based.
- Install SSL from a trusted company to use secure socket layer instead of HTTP.
- Check out for SQL Injections and protect your web forms specially.
- Protect against XSS attacks or cross-site scripting attacks.
- Do a complete analysis to make sure there is no error.
- Validations should be done on browser and server both sides.
- Keep your passwords up to date after every few weeks & always use a strong combination.
- Use the website security tools e.g. Netsparker, OpenVAS, SecurityHeaders etc. to test your website.
08 Guests Checkout
eCommerce websites are usually requires a user to register for buying online. With this strategy companies can track the users demographically and company can communicate too with the user for future sale. Perhaps not everyone wants to be tracked and get sales’ calls. So it is really important to support guest checkout option in order to boost your website sales.
Repeated customers always create user account for using the same information again in future. But just imagine if you have started a new campaign or promotion for boosting your sales then approximately new users will land to your website and they might not be interested to save their information for future use.
Try to design your eCommerce website in such a way that get users information for guest checkout and in the end of the process ask them to create an account with the same information. But keep in mind you’re not going to ask the user to enter the same information again, save the information session. Furthermore, when user clicks on “Yes, I need An Account”, all information will be pulled from session to database for future use.
09 Online Payment Gateways
Online payment gateway is a merchant service provided by an eCommerce application service provider that authorizes credit / debit cards or direct payment processing for eBusinesses. It means you can directly make the payment with plastic or digital money on eCommerce website.
It’s one of the best options which should exist in every eCommerce Website. Make sure to give multiple options for checkout to your customers while you’re creating or making eCommerce website. There are many online payment gateways; some of them are below;
- Bank Payment Gateway (approximately every bank of each country is providing this service)
- Amazon Payments
10 Blog Integration
Blog boosts the SEO of any website. For the sake of better results from Google in the sense of ranking it is must to do point. Blog integration will increase your eCommerce website ranking. Furthermore, you will get the opportunity to create relevant content for your customers. It’s one of the best marketing techniques to drive traffic back to your website.
Blog post uses a variety of SEO on-page techniques and that’s the only reason it will allow you to drive organic traffic to your website. Furthermore, it will help you to rank high against your competitors in Google or other search engines. So, keep in mind of blog integration which is a useful feature before eCommerce Website Development.
Keeping in mind the Top 10 points to consider before eCommerce Website Development as described above will help you to make a perfect eCommerce site. And also it helps you to engage more audience than your expectation by following the above mentioned points. eCommerce website development take a lot time, money and efforts and it requires professional eCommerce specialist who can develop a smooth and sleek website. We as Digital Forge provides eCommerce web development services with our specialists to make sure that you’re getting ROI (return on investment). You can also check the eCommerce web development packages at my personal website.
Do let me know how you find this blog post?