How to build a successful e-commerce website: cost and plan
Ecommerce web resources have become quite popular these days. No wonder, one should say! After all, such a website can both be the only source of your income, and increase the profitability of your “offline” business! Not a bad prospect, right? You just have to figure out how to build a website for ecommerce and determine how much it would cost...
How to make e-commerce website development plan?
The ecommerce website development plan is the first thing you should think about if you want to get a great tool for effective ecommerce solutions. Agree, without a plan, it will be difficult for you to find out where to start, what to consider, what you can economize on... Therefore, we strongly recommend that you have spent your time reflecting on the strategy for future earnings.
So, what are the ecommerce website development steps?
#1. Goals of ecommerce web development
Before you figure out how to build a ecommerce website, determine your goals. To do this, it will be useful for you to answer the following questions:
- What kind of ecommerce web site are you expecting to have?
- Do you plan to sell your products (services) only via the Internet? Or, perhaps, you already have a real store, maybe, you just want to increase earnings through electronic sales?
- How will you deliver your products to customers? What kind of postal services do you want to cooperate with?
- Where are you going to store and how to pack your goods?
It would seem that the answers to these questions are not directly related to building an ecommerce website, but this impression is erroneous. You will be able to carry out your project at a high level only if you understand what you want to get as a result.
#2. Market research
Of course, before you start the ecommerce site development, you need to explore the market: analyze its leaders, take a look at top ecommerce websites, search for examples of Internet resources that you really like… Later, these preparations will help you find a common language with web designers so that you can explain your wishes more clearly.
However, choosing examples of suitable sites, focus not only on your taste but also on modern trends. And be amenable to professional advice: something that you don’t like, can please your customers, and this is your main task, isn't it?
#3. Domain name, website hosting and ecommerce platform
A domain name, website hosting and ecommerce platform are three important points that are often overlooked, which is an obvious omission. Let's not make the same mistake and take a closer look at these factors.
- a domain name must be consistent with the name of your company, be memorable and easily pronounced. And it is also important to make sure that this name is free! Believe us, this task is much more complicated than it might seem at first glance, and it is somewhat like trying to register a new email account on a popular service when you keep getting the same sympathetic phrase that this name already exists. If you have already encountered this problem, you will understand the importance of dealing with this issue in advance. We recommend you to use the help of one of the specialized resources, for example, www.godaddy.com
- the ecommerce platform is a template, based on which the ecommerce website is being created. There are different versions of such platforms, and the choice of the necessary one depends on the tasks facing your resource. Usually, you have to resort to the help of the website development experts who can customize this platform so that it’d meet your site's requirements.
- hosting should ensure proper performance of your ecommerce web site. There are different options ranging from the simplest and affordable ones to VDS hosting, which is a virtual server within a physical machine.
#4. Suitable content
Content is an important element of the ecommerce site. You need to put your company in a favorable light and convince potential buyers to make a purchase.
So, your content should include:
- information about your company (brand): its values, mission, perhaps - history;
- a colorful company catalog with a detailed description of each product;
- news of the company and/or industry;
- a detailed description of the terms of payment and delivery;
- contact information;
- a blog with thematic articles;
- offers for possible partners.
And remember that your site should be "live", updatable. Don’t forget to add news and articles on a regular basis.
#5. A payment gateway
The ecommerce website development cost is not the only significant factor. It is more important that your resource be profitable! So, you need to think about the payment system, namely - a payment gateway and credit card processor. For example, try using the help of sites such as Authorize.net and 2checkout.com.
Organizing a secure payment system is never easy, you have to spend a lot of time to get approval for using this technology, but there is no way to avoid such a laborious process. It's the only chance to find out how to build a successful ecommerce website.
#6. Ecommerce websites promotion
Of course, you also need to take care of the promotion of your ecommerce site. Currently, there are many ways to popularize your resource and attract new customers, for example, SEO optimization, affiliate programs, banner and context advertising, Google Shopping Campaign and much more.
#7. Social networks
Do not lose sight of the social networks and the opportunities that they provide. It is not enough to integrate with Facebook, Instagram, and other similar resources. It is important to create a specialized page of your company in all key social networks that will represent your brand, demonstrate the product catalog and advertise the ecommerce website.
#8. Search for the ecommerce website development company
Searching for the ecommerce web development company is the most significant and complex task. You need to find web development experts able to implement your idea in the best possible way. We've described this issue in detail in our article.
Now you have a detailed plan and you know how to build an ecommerce website but it's only the first step. So be ready to think about…
How to make an e-commerce website successful
If you want to know how to make an ecommerce website successful, consider the following issues.
#1. To register or not to register?
If you don’t want to lose half of your buyers, give them the possibility to make a purchase without having to register on your website for ecommerce: allow an Internet user to order goods or services in an easier way, for example, by specifying a phone number and/or email address. The process of creating an account takes time and effort, and impatient consumers do not always want to waste their energy. They will leave your resource in favor of a competitive one that does not cause so much trouble.
If you’d like to persuade shoppers to sign up anyway, indicate all advantages of the registration: a personal account with a purchase history, a bonus system, discounts in honor of birthday and so on.
#2. Responsive design
If you want to know how to build the best ecommerce website, you need to think about its responsive design first. This means that your resource will be correctly displayed on any device including smartphones, desktop computers and tablets.
In the end, many people prefer to make purchases using mobile ecommerce solutions, so be sure that your site is ready for this consumers choice!
#3. Clear interface
When developing an ecommerce resource, you need to remember that its design should be not only responsive but also appealing, capable of attracting the client's attention. But this is not enough either! It is significant that you would take care of creating a clear interface: the less time spent for searching for the desired information, the better.
Your website should be as ergonomic as possible. In addition, it won't be superfluous to think about the system of filters and sorting which will make the product selection process more user-friendly.
#4. Site search
A clear interface is only half the battle. You also need to create the search service for your site.
As you can see, even the statistics convince you of the importance of this item on our list. So do not neglect the search feature.
#5. Security issue
And the last but not least… How to make an ecommerce website secure? This question is most crucial, after all! Your customers want to be sure of their personal data security, especially since it's about money. We recommend that you seek help from a SSL that provides secure data transmission through authentication and encryption technologies.
How much does it cost to make an e-commerce website?
This is another important issue to consider. Let's take care of it!
The cost for the ecommerce website development depends on several factors:
- A domain name and hosting. The domain name does not greatly affect the ecommerce website development costs, whereas hosting can be an expensive but inevitable investment (for the reasons described above).
- Ecommerce platform. There are both paid and free ecommerce platforms, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages, pros and cons. The cheapest option is a primitive platform-constructor that allows you to create the Internet resource on your own, but it will be completely faceless, and therefore ineffective. So if you want to know how to build a good ecommerce website, choose another way!
- Professional services. The ecommerce website development process consists of several stages, which means that you will need a number of experts, such as web developers, web designers, QA specialists, copywriters, etc. Do not skimp on professional services, if you want to be sure of the quality of website development for ecommerce.
- SEO optimization, promotion. We have already discussed this issue. It all depends on how much you are willing to spend on popularizing your resource.
- Support. And, of course, when discussing how to create an ecommerce website, you cannot bypass the issue of its subsequent support that also requires money. In addition to regular payment for hosting, you need to hire professionals who will support the life of your resource constantly updating its content.
It's impossible to name the general price for the creation of a website for ecommerce... Therefore, consider all of the above points and determine what exactly you prefer in each case. This way you’ll get the ecommerce website cost for your specific needs and requirements.
But the price is not the main thing. The main thing is that the website must implement your idea of effective ecommerce solutions. And only an experienced developer can help you with this matter. By the by, our team employs very talented and skilled experts willing to assist in the e-commerce site development.
Our specialists are highly qualified and know how to build the best ecommerce website; moreover, they are able to successfully apply their knowledge in practice.
So, if you really want to succeed, let's cooperate!