Building an ecommerce website can be very profitable and fun. However, if you have no idea what design and functionality will keep visitors on your site and help them become your customers, it’s better not to start.
Now that there are so many functional and beautiful ecommerce sites out there, you just can’t help but offer something of the same top-notch quality.
This article will look at how to get a decent site from scratch without using off-the-shelf solutions like Magento, Shopify, and WordPress, as well as the top seven practices for custom ecommerce website development.
6-Step Process to Build an Ecommerce Website from Scratch
The basic steps you should be guided by in the process of creating an online eCommerce store are as follows:
- Business analysis of the area (creation of the project backlog and functional specification)
- UX/UI design development
- Development of the site itself, functionality, and interface according to Agile methodologies (Scrum, Kanban)
- Bug fixing and competent testing
- Customer base management and marketing
- Ongoing site support and development
The process of building an online store goes beyond just understanding the market you are about to enter. Additionally, you need to understand web design, content strategy and site support. That’s a lot of work, and it is often necessary to hire an experienced team of developers.
Top 7 Practices to Utilize when Creating an Ecommerce Website from Scratch
The process of developing an ecommerce website from scratch consists of the following steps:
1. Follow 3 key design principles
- Clean design: Users love a simple, visually pleasing website interface. The “less is better” rule works well here. Present your home page as a showcase. Since generally all the products in a store are not on display, choose only the most interesting — and be sure to use bullets to make your content easier to read.
- Adaptive design: Today, more than half of internet users access the Internet using mobile devices, so it’s imperative to ensure convenient use of your site through smartphones and tablets. At the same time, you need to focus on fast loading — users do not wait for a page to load for more than three to five seconds. Compressing images and text can help reduce page load time.
- Intuitive navigation: Users on your site should understand what is happening on the page. It means that you have to place buttons and links where users expect them to be found. Place the navigation bar where you expect it to be, such as in the header, top left or right corner, or sidebar. Use more contrasting colors for navigation buttons and clear headings.
2. Six must-have functionalities
1. Intuitive search bar: This is especially important if you have a lot of positions on the site. The user should be able to find what he needs.
2. Clear menus and filters: Diversify your site with convenient navigation and many filters. Divide them into categories of color and size; the more filters, the better.
3. Fast checkout process: Ensure that your customers have the opportunity to place an order without complicated registration quickly.
4. Various payment methods: Always offer several payment methods so that customers can choose the one that is more profitable and convenient for them.
5. Diverse delivery methods: Offer a wide range of fulfillment and delivery options.
6. Use convenient APIs and integrations: These features will help make the interface of your site more user-friendly and valuable. For example, you may use Stripe or Square for payment integration, and FedEx, UPS, DHL (for Europe) as integration for delivery. There are also distinct services for accounting, inventory management, email and marketing automation, analytics and so on.
4. Buy premium web hosting
Speed is one of the critical elements to the success of an ecommerce website. Every page needs to load fast to get high conversions, which is why you had better spend your money on a premium web hosting plan now rather than address these issues later.
5. Buy a matching domain name
You need a domain name. Specifically, it would help if you had the correct domain name. It’s like picking a name for your child.
Do not just register any available domain name and shut down.
6. Use proper security protocols (SSL/HTTPS)
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between a user’s computer and a website. We recommend that you use HTTPS to secure your users’ connections to your website, regardless of the content on the site.
7. Always be working on digital marketing
After your site is ready, there is one more step – developing a marketing promotion strategy. You have to work out SEO strategies as well and create keywords for your site to appear in search engines. Connect email newsletters with news about your products or services and inform your customers about changes and promotions. Try blog, guest posting, and good product descriptions. All these steps will help your eCommerce site consistently be in the top search engine results and not disappear from the eyes of your audience.
To Sum Things Up
For your eCommerce site to be noticed and appreciated, you need to interact with the customer and help solve their problems. An excellent way to be successful here is to attract new customers and keep old ones constantly. To do this, you need to continually stay abreast of the latest trends in technology and marketing.
Anastasiia Lastovetska is a technology writer @ MLSDev, a software development company that builds web and mobile app solutions from scratch. She researches the area of technology to create great content about app development, UX/UI design, tech and business consulting.