We have developed this “How to eCommerce Website Development Guide” to help you grow your business online by determining the features that will ensure the successful implementation of your ecommerce system.
What is eCommerce?
Electronic Commerce, known as ‘eCommerce’, is the buying or selling of products and services online. These days many of the largest retailers now rely on the Internet for a major part of their customer base. When asked about the most successful ecommerce websites, most people will answer Amazon.com or Ebay, two places where you can find and buy just about anything you want or need on the Internet.
Global business-to-consumer ecommerce sales passed the 1 trillion dollar mark in 2013, according to a report by the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG). In 2019, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 3.53 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 6.54 trillion US dollars in 2022. The department of Commerce reports, have shown increases of retail sales on the Internet growing an average of more than 20% per year since 2002.
Ecommerce is here to stay, but if you’re ill-prepared for your customer's online shopping experience, you run the risk of alienating the very people you want to attract.
Choosing an ecommerce system
Whether you are starting an ecommerce website to compliment your brick and mortar store, or you are strictly an online company there are some factors you should consider before you invest your time or money in an ecommerce system.
These are some of the factors to consider before you begin:
Ecommerce Shopping Carts
If you are planning to be selling multiple products or services on your ecommerce website, implementing a shopping cart feature is a good idea. A well integrated shopping cart will enable your customers to securely and easily purchase your items online, keep track of their orders, and will be well integrated with your payment processor.
There are many types of shopping cart solutions, and our qualified ecommerce web developers can help you choose the type that is appropriate for your particular business.
One way to help you determine what features you would like to have in your shopping cart system is to look at the shopping cart systems some successful businesses in your industry are using, and take note of the features or functionality you like. These custom shopping cart systems are often built on solid fundamentals, that are proven to help with your ecommerce system's conversion rate.
There are basically two types of eCommerce shopping cart solutions:
- Custom ecommerce web development
- 3rd party hosted shopping cart systems
Custom ecommerce web development enables you to have complete freedom in terms of the features and functionality for your online store, the advantages include:
- Custom functionality
- Unlimited features and design modifications
- You own all of the code
- Complete control of every aspect(functionality and appearance) of your shopping cart system.
- Full integration with your main website
- API integration with a variety of providers for data, shipping and more.
- No monthly fees, other than your standard web hosting fees.
- You don't have to rely on a 3rd party system.
Custom ecommerce web development with all of the core features included starts at $3500.
Although hosted eCommerce shopping cart systems, like Volusion, Big Commerce and others may seem to have a low cost entry point, they come with many limitations. If you would like to enhance your site with a custom theme or functionality the cost goes up greatly. We have seen some of these hosted shopping carts with a simple custom theme cost more than $10,000. The end result is a big investment in a system that you do not own and are you are very limited in terms of the functional enhancements which they allow you to make.
If you can live with the hosted shopping carts out of the box features and functionality and don't require much customization of your shopping cart's appearance, then a hosted ecommerce system could be a viable option.
Custom eCommerce Website Development / Web Design Features
The core features that you should have in your ecommerce system are:
- Order Processing and Integrated Payment Gateway / Credit Card support
- Easy customization of your shopping cart layout and appearance
- Full Administration Interface
- Inventory Management
- Search engine optimized product pages
- Flexible product image display
- Related Items
- Sub Item / options Support
- The ability to promote your ecommerce website with Coupons & Gift Certificates
We provide custom ecommerce website development with all of the above features and more.
"The ecommerce website developers and designers at Indies eCommerce provide reliable ecommerce website development and shopping cart design and can point you in the right direction with issues regarding your ecommerce website's functionality and features."