E-commerce website development is becoming increasingly popular as more businesses recognize the potential for increased revenue and customer loyalty that can come from owning an online store.
Developing an eCommerce website requires technical expertise, planning, and research to ensure it meets the business’s and its customers’ needs. If you don’t have the knowledge or skills to develop an eCommerce website yourself, we recommend hiring an eCommerce web design company .
This guide focuses on ten crucial aspects of the eCommerce website development process. These range from improving your website user experience and search engine optimization to preventing shopping cart abandonment and incorporating an effective marketing strategy.
1. Ensuring First-Rate User Experience
The primary focus of eCommerce website development is creating a smooth, enjoyable, and secure customer experience. An online store that is difficult to navigate or slow to load will immediately put off customers, leaving them with a negative impression of the business.
To ensure an excellent user experience, eCommerce website developers must be familiar with best practices related to user interface design, flow, responsiveness, and content optimization.
2. Making Optimization a Priority
Website optimization is vital to developing a successful eCommerce website in today’s fast-paced digital world. Slow loading times will result in higher bounce rates, poor customer engagement, and missed opportunities for conversions.
Research made by Google suggests pages that take longer than five seconds to load increase the probability of visitors bouncing by a staggering 90%.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial aspect of eCommerce website development that can boost sales and drive traffic. By incorporating relevant keywords into your website content, adding meta information to pages, and including ‘alt’ descriptions for visual content, you can increase the visibility of your eCommerce website on search engines.
One of the most common mistakes companies make is not involving an SEO specialist early in the development process. An SEO specialist who can help you optimize the structure of your web pages, create a content strategy, build a mobile-friendly design , and improve loading speeds, among other things.
3. Designing Effective Homepage, Category & Product Pages
A visually appealing homepage showcasing your business’s most essential features is critical to a successful eCommerce website. Your homepage is like a virtual front door that greets visitors and provides them with vital information about your products or services.
The category page plays a key role in organizing your products effectively. If you sell clothing, for instance, you should create categories for “women’s clothing” and “men’s clothing” so that visitors can quickly find what they’re looking for.
The product page lets customers learn more about specific products and make informed purchasing decisions. This page should include essential information such as images, detailed descriptions, reviews, and pricing, which can help convert visitors into paying customers.
4. Choosing the Perfect Platform for Your Business
When it comes to developing an eCommerce website, the platform you choose makes all the difference. Popular platforms include Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento.
Each platform has its own set of features and strengths, so it’s essential to do thorough research and compare them, taking your business needs into consideration.
5. Adding Advanced Search and Filtering Capabilities
Offering an advanced search function with different filtering capabilities is essential, particularly for eCommerce sites. Customers should be able to find what they need quickly.
Even though browsing categories will do the trick, a simple search can help customers find the product they need in just a few clicks.
To make this process even more straightforward, consider adding relevant keywords and synonyms to product tags, enabling customers to find the correct item even if they don’t remember the exact name.
6. Offering Multiple Payment Options to Your Customers
It’s essential to offer various payment options on your eCommerce website, as
only providing only one can limit your potential customer base. A lack of payment options can deter customers, as shown in the research conducted by the European Central Bank
Some of the most popular payment methods include PayPal, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, American Express, Stripe, Square, Visa, Masterpass, and 2Checkout, according to Hostgator . Also, consider accepting cryptocurrency as it continues to grow in popularity.
7. Preventing Shopping Cart Abandonment
Unsurprisingly, unexpected shipping costs can deter customers from completing their online purchases. Research provided by Baymard shows that almost 70% of customers abandon shopping carts due to this issue.
Whether they’re unaware of the shipping rates or expect lower costs, it’s crucial to provide transparent information about shipment options and rates. Transparent shipping rates help reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase customer satisfaction.
To ensure a seamless shopping experience, consider including a link to shipping rates in the menu and on every product page, regardless of whether you offer free delivery.
By doing so, customers can make informed decisions about their purchases and avoid surprises at checkout.
8. Creating a Winning Marketing Strategy
Whether launching an online store for your brick-and-mortar business or starting a new venture in eCommerce, having a well-developed marketing strategy can give you a head start on your first orders.
A strong marketing strategy not only defines the structure of your website but also determines the elements that help create a successful eCommerce site. By developing a marketing strategy early on, you can identify the features and tools you need to incorporate into your website.
Every winning marketing strategy requires:
- Understanding your target audience, their interests, needs, and purchasing behaviors
- Leveraging social media platforms to target specific demographics and increase brand awareness
- An effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy
- The use of email marketing
- Partnering with influencers
- Promotions such as discounts, free shipping, and loyalty programs
- Excellent customer service
9. Designing an
Accessible Contacts Section
Users value personalized experiences, according to data provided by Braze . This is why eCommerce businesses must provide customer support that offers individual recommendations to address payment, shipping, returns, and other concerns.
An accessible contacts section with clickable phone numbers and email links on each page is a must-have feature for eCommerce websites. Including your business’s physical address and phone number can also enhance your credibility with customers.
Offering alternative chat options such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger can be a good idea, especially for younger shoppers who prefer messaging over phone calls.
10. Providing Access to Policies and Regulations
To ensure that your customers are fully informed of your eCommerce platform’s rules and regulations, it’s essential to provide documentation related to its use and policies.
This will give your customers a convenient and straightforward way to find the information they need. By providing transparency and clear policies, you can build customer trust and improve their overall shopping experience, increasing satisfaction and loyalty.
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