It has been estimated that 53% of global Internet users made purchases online last year, which makes roughly 1 billion eCommerce deals closed. Creating a delightful buying experience directly affects the conversion rates both for mobile and desktop eCommerce platforms. This includes everything – from the layout and design to the backend and database capabilities.
With social networks like Instagram, integrating eCommerce potential it becomes obvious that the market for online sales has all the opportunities in the world to grow and become the primary way of buying things. So what can we do now to augment the experience and perfect way we buy online?
As a web development company, we’ve worked on multiple eCommerce websites selling different types of commodities. Some of them became very successful, others not so much, but we’ve taken everything in as part of our eCommerce website development knowledge and skills database.
In this piece, we are breaking down the crucial concepts behind a successful eCommerce website with tips and tricks to hopefully clarify the process and lit the way.
Specify The Basics: Product Features, Customers, And Sales Methods
Identifying the core elements of an eCommerce website is a crucial part to start with. Addressing the right audience in the right way is the key to a successful online store in terms of occupying the right niche and fulfilling the demand. In terms of eCommerce development, the characteristics of the industry and the variety of products sold, do influence layout and backend performance.
One of the important tasks is beating the resistance. You can do that only by achieving a great level of usability. If a customer is hesitant about buying stuff online, your website has to convince them into hitting that “buy now” button. You have to leverage all the best features of the products or services you sell and inspire users to honestly save their time.
On top of that, your eCommerce service has to showcase the genuine love for the products or services you provide. Having an expert knowledge and connoisseurship in the industry you work towards makes your brand trustworthy and reliable. To illustrate this, Alex Jones, a world-renown conspiracy theorist runs his info was website and sells all sorts of tin-foil hat style commodities and is the place to go to buy conspiracy-free stuff.
To associate your eCommerce website to your target audience:
Research the demographics, gender, age, social details, and traits of your audience.
- Find out the trends connected to the commodities you provide through social media.
- Establish the communication with your audience to create recognition and reliance.
Find The Right eCommerce Engine
The technical performance of your eCommerce website depends on the software laid in the basis of the service. Customer transactions have to be smooth, quick, and super friendly in order for your online store to become a trustworthy source. So this step is extremely important for the business vitality.
Third-Party And Self-Hosted eCommerce Service Integration
Standalone products offering eCommerce integration are the easiest way to go with when developing an MVP in case of a startup, as this type of software suites offer a complete solution to add the store functional. These are usually the hosted products which code you do not have a full access to. This means the performance of these is maintained and supported by the provider of this software. This option makes the website management a little less difficult, as the commercial functionality comes in some sort of a subscription plan.
As for the independent and self-maintained platforms, you are bound to have total control over the implementation and system preferences. Business requirements and the scope are the things to consider when choosing the appropriate eCommerce platform.
Efficient eCommerce platform requirements:
In order to avoid drop-outs, the eCommerce website has to be speedy and sensitive. A user has to be able to make impulsive purchases before the loading wait gets in the way of their passionate decisions.
A successful online store can’t afford slack and maintenance shutdowns. The global eCommerce platforms have to be accessible and fully operable 24/7.
What people appreciate when doing the physical shopping is the interaction between the buyer and the seller. A good eCommerce website has to be humanized by the presence of people behind the brand. This means the reply to any customer query has to be immediate and welcoming.
The more you perfect the eCommerce website, gain loyal customers, and provide exclusive content, the more traffic it attracts. This means the website load increases which requires scalability and versatile distribution of resources. Modern services like Amazon OpsWorks provide flexible methods of dealing with peaking levels of user activity.
In the world of today, security is one of if not the most requested feature of online shopping. Developing an eCommerce website with ingrained security will certainly help it hold up to the high standards of the industry.
Efficient eCommerce Platform Characteristics
Contemplate the following factors before the service is integrated:
Database compatibility, ERP, CRM
.The system as to be compatible with the database you use for the website and have the scoping potential. Your database and business operation records have to be safe and secure, for this you need a well-versed and functional eCommerce SDK.
The technological advances in eCommerce web development introduce new features on regular basis. The integrated system has to rock the potential of being flexible enough to implement the changes as fast as possible.
Things like Apple Pay, Touch ID payment authorization, and so on present challenges for the online store along with some great rewards. Additional catalogs, categories, features and other complexities have to be as available for integration, as the simplification of eCommerce on the other hand.
Payment service provider consistency
The flexible payment methods offered by eCommerce platforms is a strength. All sorts credit and debit cards, payment systems, cash, e-wallets, refund policy, and so on make an online store a preferable source of commodities, capable of catering to any type of customer.
Solid back end
The online commerce system has to be developed with a user in the mind. Not only customer experience has to be taken care of but also the administrator experience. In order to furnish a good customer experience, the eCommerce system has to be easily operable and managed by employees. This includes inventory, stock, price and discount policy, etc.
Developing an eCommerce website is a complex set of procedures and you can save a ton of time on some features that can be automated or come in as part of the third-party eCommerce system infrastructure.
Design The eCommerce Website
The online store design is not too different from the principles of web design in general, but there are some specifics to take into account when creating UI/UX for eCommerce websites.
eCommerce Website Layout and UX
The ultimate goal of an eCommerce website is to generate sales. One of the ways to get there is mimicking the physical shopping experience which means a user has to be able to shop the way they are used to.
- Simplicity and ease of use. The performance of an online store has to be a clear and direct in order to create a delightful customer experience. There can be no dead ends or points where users get lost and frustrated.
- Product layout. Some people scrupulously study each item before they make a purchase, the others like to glance over the entire set of goods presented in the shop window to create a general impression. These are the experienced users who value their time. So our approach here would be suggesting a multi-product layout but detailed enough to represent the best features of a selected item.
- Bold imagery. A significant part of the pleasure people get acquiring things comes from the process of research and selection. This means a customer wants an augmented and fully-controlled experience of examining the product they want to buy. A low-res picture of the product can hardly sell it to the person unfamiliar with it. On the other hand, a bunch of HD images displaying all the product features can push customers into buying it, as this type of product display augments the selection process for those on the fence.
- Related products section. There is a reason why products are grouped on the store shelves. It makes selection easier, saves time, and helps introduce alternatives and accessories that otherwise might get overlooked. It has to be subtle and friendly, not seem like selling a pup. Kind of like they do in Starbucks, offering you a bunch of cool stuff that sometimes you can’t help but indulge yourself.
- Easy checkout. An important thing to realize in terms of the customer psychology is once they hit that “add to cart” button, a customer is pretty much sure they’re done. So after they get redirected to a cluttered checkout section and do some extra work, it makes sense that some of them get put off by the hassle and leave. If the crucial moment here is adding stuff to cart than all the rest should be a joke. The eCommerce website UX has to be designed in a way that 99% of a user’s work is done before they proceed to the checkout.
- Product descriptions, CTAs, and funnels. The informative part of the product profile has to make a customer trust the brand and make them feel like experts. Detailed and unconventional product description has to provide that option. It has to be personal and visual while being profound and official. As for the CTAs, they have to highlight the problem a product helps solve. All these elements and practices make a selling funnel that ultimately leads customers into buying the products.
Develop The eCommerce Website
We indicated a solid back end with scalable potential and security on point as some of the vital features of a good eCommerce website. Building an online store with growth opportunities requires a robust back-end system.
The online store applications we build ensure security of both server database and web application, data encryption, and safe payment handling. The abundance of tools and frameworks provides flexibility and total customization to fit any needs. Our expert choice is traditionally Ruby/Ruby on Rails or Elixir/Phoenix. Building back ends off these modern languages and frameworks helps us utilize tons of built-in functionality resources and create our own features.
The key part in the viability of the eCommerce website is the integration of a merchant online payment system. Credit card payment systems are easily plugged into eCommerce websites which takes the load of the backend system in terms of dealing with legal and banking rules and regulations.
The alternative payment systems like PayPal are being used in the eCommerce website development practices for over a decade which makes it a trustworthy payment merchant with official SSL certificate to protect private info.
Expand The Reach Of The eCommerce Website
Once the online store is live, the deal is still far from being closed. Adaptation, tweaking, and adjustments to the competition and market trends, along with continuous maintenance and scoping are the focus points of the post-launch stage.
With the galloping pace of mobility and the reduction of time users are willing to spend on buying procedures, the industry is yet to discover the best way to provide online shopping experience. The contribution we make with every new cool feature introduced and every redundant action dropped takes us a step closer to developing the ultimate eCommerce website building approach.
We have a special interest in delivering unconventional online stores for any type of product and service. Our UX-oriented approach in designing interfaces and proficiency in backend systems creation makes Shakuro a perfect digital agency to start building your eCommerce project!