Best Platforms to Build an eCommerce Website
You might have noticed the eCommerce industry has seen exponential growth over the last few years. According to Nasdaq, by 2040, it has been estimated that 95% of purchases will be done using an eCommerce website.
A great idea is just not enough. But you need to have the right eCommerce platform. Where you will be able to quickly list your products, take payments, and handle shipping – all online.
What is an eCommerce Website?
An eCommerce website, by definition, is a portal or website that allows you to buy and sell goods, digital products, or services online.
These are websites that cater to e-Business or electronic business.
In simple terms, the sale and purchase of services and goods happen over an electronic medium, like the Internet.
Ecommerce started way back in 1960. The 1990s saw the emergence of online shopping businesses and hence the development of eCommerce Websites.
Ecommerce websites are online portals that facilitate all kinds of online transactions of goods and services. These websites provide a means of transfer of information and funds over the Internet. In the early days, eCommerce was done partially through phone calls and emails. But now it is all done on websites.
The popularity of the env is what makes eCommerce very attractive to entrepreneurs and retailers all around the world. But running a successful eCommerce business is not just about having a great idea.
You need to look at things from a customer’s point of view. From the time your user visits the eCommerce website to the time the user places an order – your website should be running fine.
eCommerce sites are not easy to maintain. You would require constant iteration, keeping up to date with the latest products, and competing with brands like Amazon, which is no small task. Hopefully, these small tips will help you gain a little advantage.
What Customers Want in an eCommerce Website
Running an eCommerce website is not an easy task. You have to make sales, users have to place orders, and you have to receive payments for the products they buy.
Therefore, it is essential to make sure you have a well-designed website.
Hence your website should have features like design, speed, product selection, product pages, product categories, shopping cart, and more.
Here are some tips that will lay a strong foundation for your eCommerce business.
Have you ever walked into a store that is unorganized and has a very uninviting atmosphere? On the other hand, have you walked into a store that is spacious, clean, organized, and has a very comforting feeling? The second one gives you the impression that it is well-managed, cares about its customers, and offers better products.
Now think of a physical store as your eCommerce website. Design matters a lot. A good website design indicates that there is a solid company behind the screen. If visitors are saying “wow” then your job is done. Every pixel, every picture, every logo, and every word matters. Hire a good designer and make design a priority.
You would have noticed when you are visiting a speedy website, everything feels different. Pages just take a second or two to load, and information is delivered just instantly. The website just feels better when you navigate it. Apparently, it does more; it actually increases the sales for your businesses.
So what it means is that by increasing your website speed, you improve the conversion rate drastically. A second might not seem like a big deal. But it can mean hundreds of dollars you might lose for your business. Do not underestimate the impact of speed.
Best Platforms to Build an eCommerce Website
Shopify for getting your website up and running quickly.
Square for selling in person and online.
BigCommerce platform for large-volume sellers.
WooCommerce for adding a shopping cart to an existing WordPress website.
Wix for building a complete website.
Ecwid for starting with a free plan and then growing later.
1 Shopify – Best eCommerce platform for getting up and running quickly
Shopify has been in the market for more than 15 years – with more than a million stores having been built using this platform. It is really hard to find a better platform than this. Most small businesses can start immediately – create an online store and start running quickly.
Even if you have never built a website before in your life, you can easily create a website using Shopify.
Shopify is very popular and has been around for so many years. Hence, you can find more than 1,200 themes available on their website. You can also get a professional designer who is already experienced with the platform to make you a custom one.
2 Square – Best eCommerce platform for selling in-person and online
If you want the feature to sell in-person, like at a farmer’s market as well as through your online store, Square is your best choice. Both your online and offline orders can be organized under a single dashboard. So you do not need to jump between apps. Though it has many advanced features, In terms of storefront customization, Square has a little more limited options than some of the other options.
3 BigCommerce – Best eCommerce platform for large volume sellers
BigCommerce is generally referred to as an enterprise eCommerce solution that is primarily used by multinational companies. BigCommerce Essentials is a similarly powerful platform at affordable prices for small businesses. Businesses who want to sell products online. Basically, both these platforms are aimed at businesses that are already selling a lot, either in dollars or in units.
4 WooCommerce – Best eCommerce platform for adding a shopping cart to an existing WordPress website
Most eCommerce solutions work best when you build a full online store on a single tool. Meaning it is just simpler if everything runs seamlessly from a single dashboard. But what if you already have a website set up?
Assuming that you already have a website running on Weebly or Squarespace. Then you need built-in tools that could integrate with your existing website. Say you already have a website running on WordPress. Then WooCommerce is your best bet. Instead of starting all over on a different platform, the WordPress plugin on WooCommerce can help you seamlessly integrate into your WordPress site for easy selling.
5 Wix – Best eCommerce platform for creating a store and also a business website
You might have noticed that most eCommerce platforms make it possible for you to add an about page, contact page, or even a basic blog page to your website. So if you are planning to build a full website but do not want the whole package, then Wix is your best option.
Wix eCommerce platform provides a complete solution for entrepreneurs who want to start an online business. Also suitable for retailers who want to move their store online or brands already selling over $1M. Their industry-leading website builder and advanced business features can help you launch, run and scale your online store successfully.
eCommerce Website Development Process
Building an online store goes far beyond understanding the market. You also need to grasp the concept of web design, branding, content strategy, and more. This might seem like a huge amount of work.
But here are steps that will simplify your own eCommerce development process. In addition, it will help you reach your business goals.
1 Figure out what you are going to sell your eCommerce website
The first step in eCommerce development is to figure out what you are going to sell. To run an eCommerce website, you need to know what your potential customers might need. Whatever your business goals are, your eCommerce project needs to be guided by research. You should thoroughly know about both the products you are selling and the customer you hope to sell them to.
2 Determine your eCommerce business model
Different eCommerce business models exist. The two main categories are business to business or B2B and business to consumer or B2C.
3 Know your audience
In order to start an online business, you need to understand your audience. You need to understand who your potential customers are. Everything must be tailored around your potential customers. It could be the user experience and user interface, visuals or images on the website, the content, and more.
4 Come up with a good business name
Do not be in a hurry to name your business. You need to stand out. A unique name will help you distinguish yourself even if you are in the same market space. Think of new, short names for your business that will give better brand recognition.
5 Purchase a domain name for eCommerce website
Once you have found a URL that is available, purchase a domain name. Go ahead and register the domain name and then start building the store.
6 Find the right eCommerce platform
You have several options when it comes to eCommerce platforms. You can choose from Magento, Shopify, or you can use a plugin like WooCommerce with WordPress to run your eCommerce website. Each platform certainly has benefits and disadvantages and different eCommerce products have different features.
7 Plan a content strategy for your eCommerce website
Try building a website with real content. At the start of the development process, you need to have a content strategy. Content strategy is linked to knowing your audiences. Remember that a content strategy for your eCommerce site will help determine the best way to communicate with your audience.
8 Do search engine optimization
Getting organic traffic solely depends on the relevance of your content on the website. Pay attention to the SEO and follow some of the SEO best practices to increase your traffic.
9 Determine product categories
Product categories should be straight to the point. Your eCommerce website should function just like a store. The navigation should be simple, and the user should be able to reach the product with just a few clicks.
10 Take detailed product photos
A detailed product photo is a must-have feature. You must have higher-quality images. The product photos should capture all of the important details which would make the user buy the product.
11 Write effective product descriptions
You should have a product description that tells a customer what they need to know about the product. In addition, it should give the user all of the guidance they need in making that important decision – to add it to their cart.
12 Find the right shipping software
With the right shipping software – fulfilling orders and the shipping process are made easier. You should have effective shipping software to take care of shipping large volumes of orders.
The Future of eCommerce
It is an industry that is ever changing. Trends are constantly shifting based on the global purchase of products from all corners of the world. You can expect to see a lot of things change in eCommerce over the coming years.
There are some top trends for eCommerce which are going to make impactful changes over the next few years.
1 Emerging Markets Will Play a Huge Role
Emerging markets like India, China, Russia, Brazil, and South Africa are projected to play a huge role. It is also expected that about 20 percent of all retail sales will come from buyers who currently stay in these emerging markets. That is a lot of potential sales.
2 eCommerce Automation
Ecommerce automation is considered a key growing element of online business. This includes marketing automation to warehousing and beyond. Every department or business unit can be automated to some extent.
Ecommerce has opened new opportunities for small businesses and also for those wanting to make their presence in the digital space that is the Internet. Today website development companies provide eCommerce solutions that give people the power to build fully functioning websites without code. These platforms are super easy to use. and you can create your own websites without any hassle. You can get everything from creating designs to adding in new products. With these platforms, you can easily create an online business and expand your business.