The competition between webshops is strong because there are so many players in the market. But do not worry. Online shopping attracts an increased number of potential customers. E-commerce is up these days and online sales are expected to expand in 2022. This means that apart from the existing webshops, there is still space for many new ones. So, if you want to build an e-commerce website, it is the best time to start to do that. By putting effort and knowledge into it, your website can bring you huge success. In this blog post, let me show you how to build a unique e-commerce website from scratch.
It’s not as hard as it sounds. There are multiple ways of coding an e-commerce website. It depends on the size of your webshop but it is possible to create it within a few months, or even a few weeks. It takes an average of three to six months to make it complete. Start the process by studying the market, especially the competitive e-commerce stores. Analyze their structure and functions. Through that, you can recognize things you have never done on your own.
The First Steps
First of all, do not forget to set your budget for the whole website building process. You certainly have to count the following costs:
- Software development
- Complexity of design
- Number of included functions
- Integration with services (shipping, payment, etc.)
- Website hosting, domain
- Marketing expenses
After setting the optimal budget, start with the following tasks:
- Pick a domain name that makes your website easy to recognize. The name should be easy to type. Check if there is any similar domain and according to that, try to modify yours to make it unique.
- Choose the development method. Try demos of different website builders to find the best one for you. Or decide to do custom development. In both cases, consider that they should be compatible with your other tools, like your inventory management platform. Price is key, too, because you will spend most of your budget on the site builder. Make sure that it is SEO-friendly because it is crucial to acquire and retain customers.
- Go for a theme. If you want your website to be unique, avoid using templates. Create an individual theme to make your webshop easy to recognize. Focus on making it attractive and user-friendly at the same time.
- Estimate how many products you want to list on your webshop. Taking photos of your products and creating descriptions of them will take a lot of time. If you want to spare some time, start with a smaller product range. If it works, then add the other ones.
- Generate your supporting pages. Each webshop should have Terms & Conditions, About Us, Contact Us, and Shipping & Return. Depending on the products you sell, you can also add modules like blogs, FAQs, or sizing guides.
- Set up a way for accepting payments. Connect your website to an online payment platform or include a built-in tool.
However there is a huge potential for growth for e-commerce websites, and the choice of the best development method remains open to debate. Let’s see some pros and contras about ready-made solutions and custom-builds.
Ready-made solutions are more suitable for small and mid-sized webshops that are not planning any expansion. Most of these platforms are invented for first-time users, even those without coding experience. If you want to save some time, consider choosing an e-commerce website builder. The most-known ones are listed here:
There is an annual cost you should pay for using them. The price ranges according to the add-on features and extensions you include in them. Each website builder has its apps that you can easily connect with your website. In this case, you don’t have to create certain modules by yourself. But be careful, since as soon as you install an add-on app, it immediately gets access to your website’s data. Unfortunately, these ready-made tools have only basic functionality. If you want to make your webshop more special, you had better custom-build it.
Custom development gives you the ability to cover the special needs of your clients. You can swiftly react to customer feedback since you manage the whole support and maintenance process. The website is easier to personalize. You can insert as many functions as you want. It gives you the possibility to design a unique webshop that is a step ahead of the competitors. What is more, you own all the data and no one else has access to that.
Firstly, make sure that you have the appropriate server set up. It should be able to handle all the e-commerce data. The next step is finding a programming language that is suitable to your needs and expectations. A webshop made with the right programming language can boost the conversion rate of your website. Don’t forget that its aim is not only to fit your business requirements, but also the databases you have to deal with. It has to be compatible with all the data you already have. You can read below the list of the most used programming languages for e-commerce websites.
- Java is compatible with several multipurpose and functional sites for cross-platform work. It makes it possible to develop large-scale projects.
- PHP is an easy-to-learn programming language. So it is the best choice if you’re a beginner in website development.
- Python is the most flexible to other programming languages, focusing on readability and efficiency. It has only one disadvantage. It is more complicated than the other languages since it is a high-level one.
- CSS is the most useful programming language for creating the look of your webshop. With CSS it is easy to create various design elements that make your e-commerce take a unique shape.
- MEAN is capable of handling complex programming through its long codebase. It is used both for the back end and front end.
- Ruby on Rails seems to be a good choice for startups since it is flexible. It contains a wide range of functions and works with high efficiency. With this programming language, it is easy to set the customization features for your e-commerce.
- Django is a more simple version of Python. This programming language offers you a faster solution for website development. It includes many prewritten bits that you can put together. In this case, you don’t have to create all the codes by yourself.
- C++ is easy to scale and flexible. It gives the backend of many programming languages listed above. That’s why it is considered to be difficult to learn.
- Query is the same language as SQL. It helps treat databases such as analyzing customer data.
All in all, having a well-designed e-commerce website is crucial for a business to reach online success. It is the place where potential customers may first meet the products you sell. E-commerce development is a complicated process, but it is worth all the effort. Clients are more likely to browse webshops that are user-friendly and make them easy to find what they’re looking for.
Once your e-commerce is launched, do not forget to consider the incoming feedback from your customers. They can make you realize mistakes you would have never done by yourself.