eCommerce Website Development Guide – 2023
The popularity of eCmmerce websites is growing exponentially. Customer experience towards commerce has changed significantly since the rise of online shopping trends, globally. Digital adoption rates have accelerated due to the high proliferation of smart devices, particularly mobile phones in every corner of society. All this has led to a global shift in the eCommerce industry with an estimated growth of 12 percent y-o-y till 2026.
According to a report by McKinsey, there are over 25 million potential digital customers in the United States and Europe who experimented with eCommerce shopping during the Covid pandemic, small-scale vendors were the forerunners to push their business online.
Moreover, platforms like Etsy itself registered over 140% spike in sales during the pandemic for masks and home furnishing products and called it a demonstration of the power of an eCommerce website.
No doubt, there is a huge potential for success and growth in an eCommerce business, but it also has fierce competition making even eCommerce giants like Amazon or eBay to continuously evolve buying experiences over their platforms. They are constantly backing up their platforms with new technologies, integrations, and best practices to stay relevant among their customers.
This has proven that technology alone cannot help an eCommerce business get the expected growth and building an eCommerce website is not as easy as it seems. To be successful, impeccable business acumen is an essential component of thriving in the eCommerce business landscape.
Watch out this exclusive blog to learn the proven ways for an eCommerce website development, the essential features, and the vital components your online business must have, to successfully embark on an eCommerce journey.
Table of Content
- What Is An eCommerce Website?
- What Is The Difference Between A Multi-Vendor Website And Single Vendor Website?
- List Of Essential eCommerce Features Your Website Must Have
- List Of Popular Ecommerce Platforms And Integrations
- Options Available To Develop Your eCommerce Website
- Final Words
What Is An eCommerce Website?
Though everyone is familiar with eCommerce and online shopping experiences, we would still like to give it a definition.
“An eCommerce website is an online marketplace where a single or multi-vendor sells its goods and services. It connects both sellers and buyers directly digitally and enables them to do the transactions just like a brick and mortar shop without leaving their home.”
With increasing mobile experiences and conveniences, customers now expect similar experiences for all sorts of needs in every walk of life. Henceforth, there are several types of eCommerce websites available or emerging in the market, addressing different needs of consumers such as:
- Rental Website – Airbnb, Uber, Yo!Rent
- Products Website – Amazon, Flipkart, Etsy, and Walmart
- Hyperlocal Websites – Swiggy, Practo, BigBasket, Blinkit
- Service Website – Fiverr and Upwork
- Hybrid Website – Craigslist, Oodle, and OLX
Though the eCommerce model is not new to anyone, but the rising consumer needs make companies do big upgrades to their eCommerce website development processes and pipelines. McKinsey called this next horizon of value “NeXT” commerce. NeXT commerce requires eCommerce businesses to be indispensable to the customers through an exponentially deeper level of engagement online and offline.
“NeXT” commerce stands for a commerce model that goes beyond traditional eCommerce and online sales. To achieve profitable and sustainable growth quickly, it proposes that businesses must offer a personalized experience that is consistent across all channels. This requires flexible technology and an operating model that prioritizes digitally driven commerce. By delivering on this vision, businesses can improve their speed, precision, and flexibility.
What Is The Difference Between A Multi-Vendor Website And Single Vendor Website?
A single vendor eCommerce website refers to an online store where a niche product owner sells exclusively on the website, resulting in a specific target audience for sales. On the other hand, a multi-vendor website is akin to a shopping mall where various vendors operate their individual shops in a shared space, catering to customers from diverse backgrounds.
The owner of a multi-vendor website allows many sellers to register themselves for selling their products. Moreover, they look after the eCommerce platform development and management, including continuously designing the website with features customers like to interact with, incorporating solutions and extensions to ensure the platform users have all important features for better engagement and transactions. In addition to this, they also provide back-in conveniences such as shipping, receiving orders, payment methods, and inventory management facilities to sellers in return for a seller’s earnings as his cess and the seller is liable to pay for the same.
|No of sellers||Multiple||Only-one|
|Popularity||It is commonly recognized by the public and tends to attract a large volume of visitors.||Need to attract users to the store by doing various digital marketing activities such as SEO|
|Trust factors||Already enjoys customer’s trust||Needs to build customer’s trust from scratch|
|Business model choice||Vendors can select the business model or membership plan that suits them best.||The seller is obligated to invest regularly in the store for tasks such as development, maintenance, and SEO.|
|Buyer protection program||Offers a detailed one||Have their own policies|
|Sales model||Fixed, auction, or mixed sales||Fixed sales model|
|Sales model||Fixed, auction, or mixed sales||Fixed sales model|
List Of Essential eCommerce Features Your Website Must Have
It’s all about the interactive features of a website and application enchanting its users on a platform. These features define the user experience on the platform and increase the conversion rate. Therefore, you must decide on your list of features in different categories before stepping into the eCommerce portal development. Having a list of interactive features in place allows you to build the eCommerce website right from the beginning. It also helps you ensure smooth onboarding, browsing, operations, payment management, and others for the users. Let’s check the top eCommerce features you must consider for your online shopping business.
Design is the heart of an eCommerce website since it provides a personalized experience to the users on your platform. There are different factors that need to be considered in deciding the design of an eCommerce platform.
- Responsiveness: You must focus on website design that is responsive enough to be used on each device, for example, mobile devices, desktop screens, and more. It allows your users to access your website the way they want and help reduce human efforts.
- Different Dashboards For Different Users: You must have a separate dashboard for buyers, sellers, and admins that will use your website. Every user has different needs for using your eCommerce platform, hence it allows you to design the data formatting and centralization of the platform accordingly that brings satisfaction to different users for their different needs.
There are some generic features that are universal and can be used by all users worldwide, including:
- Signup/Login: New users will be able to create an account while existing users/admins will be able to log in directly with their credentials.
- Password Recovery: Users can reset their passwords with this feature.
- Multilingual: The product must support multiple languages to ensure global usability.
The website’s product management feature is a crucial component that allows users to experience the platform’s seamless functionality. Many companies prefer to go with custom eCommerce website development services to differentiate their website from others by offering a highly intuitive and engaging experience for product management to their users. Product management features in an eCommerce website often include the following features:
- Product Catalog: Users can add products to the catalog quickly and without hassle.
- Import/Export: This feature enables users to upload products in bulk quantities to the system in the correct format.
- Tax Management: This viral feature calculates the standard tax automatically and displays it on the invoice.
- Stock Management: With this feature, users can track remaining stock and analyze inventory levels.
- Rewards/Discounts: Vendors can use this feature to associate rewards with products, increasing sales.
- Admin Module: These features empower vendors/owners to adapt to market requirements, and managers/admins can perform all necessary activities using these features.
User management is yet another imperative eCommerce website feature that allows managing all users associated with the platform conveniently, including store owners, vendors, and customers. Some of the key features of the user management system include:
- Multi-Vendor Management: The app allows multiple vendors to register and sell their products, with each vendor assigned a separate area to manage their inventory.
- Discount Coupon Management: This feature enables the addition of discounts on specific products in terms of a percentage or a fixed amount, which will reflect on the front end for users.
- Multi-Currency: The app will accept multiple currencies, making it usable in different territories.
- Payment Integration: This feature allows the system to integrate and accept multiple payment gateways, such as Authorize.Net, PayPal, and Stripe.
Advertising And Marketing
Advertising and marketing are essential components of an eCommerce website. While developing the top features for this eCommerce module, ensure that the end results help your application stay current with market trends and achieve your set goals. Some of the key features that must be developed for the advertising and marketing module include:
- PPC Advertisements: This feature allows marketers to post advertisements on your website and earn taxation for every click.
- Affiliate Module: Use affiliate marketing to build a stronger brand name and user base.
- Blogs: Engage your audience and attract more visitors to your website by providing relevant and useful content.
- Social Media Sharing: Increase your online presence and share products on social media platforms.
- Product Recommendation: This feature uses a smart algorithm to retrieve similar products and recommend them to users.
Super Admin Module
The super admin module leverages privileged access to the whole eCommerce website and allows controlling all activities over the platform, including:
- Vendor Management: The super admin can manage all vendors and their respective businesses, add new vendors, or block existing ones.
- Traffic Source: This feature analyzes the source of the maximum traffic and optimizes campaigns accordingly.
- Visitor Statistics: This feature displays data on website visitors.
- Revenue Report: The revenue report contains a summary of the platform’s total revenue.
- Orders: The super admin can track all orders placed on the platform.
Also read – Guide on eCommerce Store Development Cost
List Of Popular Ecommerce Platforms And Integrations
Platforms and integrations are essential components of an eCommerce website. Essentially, these solutions provide businesses to use pre-built tools and infrastructure in their eCommerce website to quickly and easily set up an online store and manage operations easily.
These platforms and integrations also save lots of time and resources in eCommerce store development that would otherwise be spent on building the components from scratch. Therefore, eCommerce websites can be launched to market faster and businesses can focus on other aspects of operations, such as marketing and customer service.
The market is flooded with a number of eCommerce platforms and integration solutions that a business can carefully evaluate and choose the one that best meets their unique needs and requirements. Here is a list of the world’s popular eCommerce platforms and integration options available. Let’s explore them in more detail.
Shopify is a widely popular eCommerce platform that enables businesses to easily create and manage online stores. It provides several customization options right from designing user-friendly interfaces, and online stores, to managing products and inventory, processing payments, and tracking customer orders. It helps eCommerce businesses streamline processes and succeed in a highly competitive world of online marketplaces.
Also read – Top eCommerce Websites Built with Shopify
Magento or Adobe Commerce is an open-source eCommerce platform popular among businesses for offering highly customizable solutions for building and managing online stores. With Magento, you can build highly customized and feature-rich online stores that meet the unique needs of your customers. Customizable templates, product management, order processing, and payment integrations along with SEO optimization, email marketing, and social media integration are some other benefits Magento offers to businesses to seamlessly perform day-to-day operations and promote it online.
Prestashop is an open-source eCommerce platform offering a range of features and tools that allow businesses to create unique and engaging online shopping experiences for their customers. This eCommerce integration is widely popular in the Europe market and can support businesses of all sizes and can grow with their needs. Prestashop is designed to handle high traffic and complex transactions, making it an ideal solution for businesses that are looking for a high level of customization and control over their online stores.
Another open-source eCommerce platform, WooCommerce is a popular plugin for WordPress and can be easily integrated with WordPress websites. It provides highly customizable and flexible solutions to businesses for building and managing their online stores. Its integration with WordPress makes it a popular choice for businesses that already use WordPress as their website platform.
BigCommerce is a cloud-based eCommerce platform that offers a wide range of tools to businesses that they need to build, manage, and grow their online stores. It offers businesses a user-friendly interface that allows them to easily manage their online store without needing extensive technical knowledge. BigCommerce can be used to support all backend needs of eCommerce such as product management, order processing, payment integrations, and more. Besides this, the platform also comes with many marketing tools such as email marketing, social media integration, and SEO optimization support, allowing businesses to promote their online stores and increase sales.
Options Available To Develop Your eCommerce Website
When it comes to eCommerce platform development, you will likely come across three options:
- Building the website from scratch (using open source).
- Customizing the website with a SaaS (software-as-a-service) solution.
- Harness the power of MACH architecture.
Let’s explore each option of the modern eCommerce website development process in detail to help you decide which way is best for you for developing an eCommerce platform.
eCommerce Website Development From Scratch
eCommerce portal development from scratch means creating an online platform for selling products or services from the ground up. This involves designing and developing a website that allows businesses to showcase their products or services and enables customers to browse and purchase them.
To develop an eCommerce portal from scratch, various elements need to be considered such as the design of the website, features such as shopping carts, payment gateways, product catalogs, user registration and login, search functionality, and order management system.
Though the eCommerce website development process from scratch allows you to develop and modify all aspects of your code, it also brings ample responsibility for the team. Your businesses and your team become responsible for things like PCI compliance, web hosting, security issues, manual patches, and regular updates.
It often makes the development too cumbersome, expensive, and tech-heavy, especially when the business grows and complexity increases. If this is not something you thought of dealing with, you can look up other options as well.
eCommerce Website Development With SaaS
When you don’t want to be involved in a custom eCommerce website development, SaaS-based commerce is the best alternative for you. SaaS or software-as-a-service is a solution that is built and maintained by a third-party vendor. Often the solution is hosted on the ‘cloud’ and allows businesses to rent the platform to run the business, while the platform provider takes care of other tasks to upkeep the business such as product updates, security, hosting, PCI compliance, and other that you have to manage yourself with your own software maintenance and business management. Since the heavy lifting is performed by the SaaS provider, the platform allows your business to go to market faster and economically.
However, eCommerce website development with SaaS platforms requires comprehensive customization support. These platforms are designed with several features and tools to meet the varied needs of businesses of all sizes. As every business is different from others and has its unique offerings and experiences, comprehensive customization is required by businesses to fully utilize the capabilities of a SaaS solution.
Similar to custom eCommerce website development processes, the creation of a tailored eCommerce platform for your business also requires the collaboration of a team consisting of developers, designers, testers, and other professionals.
eCommerce Website Development With MACH
Traditional eCommerce website development models are used to tie together the frontend storefront and backend server-side into an all-in-one monolith setup. Businesses with limited requirements can manage the operations with monolith applications, but it presents challenges when you want to scale your business and requires greater complexity, for example, expanding into new regions or launching multiple websites.
Now MACH (microservices, API-First, Cloud-Native, and Headless) has emerged as the solution for highly scalable, available, and resilient eCommerce platform development. It brings together the guiding principles for developing enterprise software with a modern technology stack that fulfills the current as well as future roadmap of the business without going back to basics. Let’s learn more about MACH in detail and understand how these are helpful in modern eCommerce portal development.
- Microservices: Microservices is a concept of designing and developing small services. It means, developing every application module or feature or service separately that performs its own specific task and then binding them together to build them as an application. Since these are independently developed, updated, deployed, and managed and each uses different code along with data, these are easy to scale or make changes within.
- API-First: Application programming interfaces or API first is what makes microservices connect and communicate with each other. Besides that, these are APIs that deliver content between two or more applications or services. That means the applications must be built with APIs at the forefront.
- Cloud-Native: Cloud-native applications are applications that make use of what cloud and SaaS technology has to offer. Whether it’s application development or deployment, monitoring or maintenance, or others, cloud-native applications leverage full capabilities, including licensing them all through subscription services.
- Headless: Headless has emerged as a new application development model and also has been successfully tested for commerce architecture. It decouples the frontend presentation layer of the website from the backend eCommerce functionality, henceforth supporting greater design and flexibility in creating the user interface and integrating various channels.
An eCommerce website development can be performed in multiple ways to address the different needs of its owners or target audience. Keeping in mind the business cases and trends evolving within online commerce, it is important to make the website future-proof and instill advanced functionalities within it such as scalability, flexibility, performance on omnichannel, etc., while keeping the operating cost low.
Successive brings expertise across go-to-market models – including B2B, B2C, B2B2C, and D2C – powering omnichannel, social, live, and metaverse commerce. Together, we expand existing and build new businesses, driving stronger customer engagement today and innovating for what’s next.