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A Complete Guide to Build an Ecommerce Website & App

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build an ecommerce website & app

Starting a website is no cakewalk since there are various elements involved. When it comes to the SaaS domain to build an ecommerce website & app. Simply having a website to represent your company and its services isn’t just enough. Your customers want a flawless consumer experience and this is where the lines are drawn between ordinary websites and exceptional ones.

From optimizing SEO, improving user flows, and creating captivating visuals, designing a website is like solving different pieces of a puzzle when you think in business terms. Studies show that by 2040, over 95% of purchases will be done through ecommerce websites.

Here, we have prepared a short checklist on how to build an ecommerce website from scratch (including an app!) –

Steps to Build an Ecommerce Website & App

1. Find Your Niche

Your niche is what you are good at. It is your target marketplace and this is where you find new buyers. A niche segments your products and helps your audience in finding your services online a lot easier.

If you don’t know what your niche is, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What skills are you extremely good at?
  • Do you see your company selling the same products and services in 5 to 10 years?
  • What is unique about your products when compared to your competitors?

Answering these questions will help you narrow down niche ideas and help you design an ECommerce business plan. You can build an ecommerce website on WordPress for free after you have your outline prepared.

2. Get A Custom Domain Name

Every website gets a free domain – like website.wordpress.com

A custom domain is where the .wordpress.com part gets left out and you have only website.com. When you’re launching a new website, getting a custom domain is a smart move since it helps you protect your content. 

Websites with custom domains get indexed more often by Google and are easier to find than free websites.

3. Pick A Website Builder

It’s very easy to build an eCommerce website these days by using an online website builder. The best platform to build an online store would be Shopify but brands today are also turning to WordPress, Wix, and other platforms. 

4. Design Your Website

To build an ecommerce website & app ensure it should showcase your products and easy to use for your online users. Add products to your store, images, content descriptions, and make sure your site is easy to navigate. Optimize your load times and make sure various elements on webpages don’t lag or glitch.

A majority of your customers spend time on their mobile devices, which is why you would want to prioritize mobile-first experiences. You can make your websites mobile responsive by working with a custom software development company and specify your requirements. Your website should display smoothly across different web browsers and screen sizes. 

The ‘About Me’ and ‘Contact’ page sections should be included as well. This will help you let your customers reach out to you via email or phone.

If you’re looking to build an ecommerce website from scratch, you have to keep all these factors in mind.

5. Set Up Pricing & Payments to Build an Ecommerce Website & App

As an online ecommerce store, you want to set up different payment modes for your customers. Users want a seamless shopping experience and ecommerce website builders include tools for setting up payment gateway functionalities automatically in your website.

If a customer asks for a refund, you should be able to process it. Likewise, when you’re receiving payments, you want to make sure nothing goes wrong during the transaction process.

A payment gateway system like Paypal, integrated with your website, will help extend your local business online and expand it internationally. 

When you’re setting the pricing for your products, there are different factors to consider such as –

  • Cost of products and their materials,
  • Web hosting pricing.
  • eCommerce shipping charges,
  • Taxes, fees, and deductions levied by third-party payment platforms like Paypal.
  • Flexible pricing options like EMI payments and letting users pay what they wish,

6. Determine Your Shipping & Refund Policy

Offering different shopping options is an easy way to build an ecommerce website & app. Generally, customers are looking for free international shipping on their orders. If you offer free shipping on a minimum order amount, they’re likely to buy more.

To offset the shipping costs for international countries, you can raise the prices of your products in the store. Make your refund policies very clear and write down what your terms and conditions are for shipments, refunds, and replacements.

There are many ecommerce websites or platforms like Shopify. They have third-party integrations and provide real-time carrier rates when it comes to shipping abroad. If you have a similar catalogue of products of the same weights and sizes, you can offer a flat rate for your shipping. You can use a shipping calculator to estimate the costs for international deliveries when going to build an eCommerce website & app.

7. Create Social Media Accounts & Embed Them

Social media pages should be created and integrated with your website. If a customer visits your website, they should be able to see that you’re on their favorite social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

When you have social media accounts, it becomes easier for audiences to get in touch directly with your business. They can ask questions, leave user reviews and testimonials, and provide feedback. In addition to that, when you’re running promotional campaigns, buyers will get updates automatically on those channels since they’re active on it.  Be sure to create email campaigns for your offerings and give users the option to sign up for your newsletters.

8. Make A Business YouTube Channel

YouTube channels have become a mainstream medium for building businesses nowadays. From making business vlogs, behind the scenes videos, to showcasing product trailers and promos, your customers are more likely to be engaged through animated visuals than mere static images and text.

You can embed the videos from your YouTube account in your blogs and website to get more traffic and views. Create content for your YouTube channel to attract more views and promote your business. 

Use good tools for content idea generation for websites like Google Trends and Trend Hunters. You can type in keywords related to your niche and see what’s being talked about in the industry. Make videos and write content around those topics to make sure your brand shows up in discussions. When your brand gets talked about in online circles, it’s more likely to show up in search engine results pages often. 

9. Other Things To Include to Build an Ecommerce Website & App

When you design and build an ecommerce website & app, here is a list of other things you should include:

  • Business & Branding Visuals – these will help to identify your business online.
  • Trustmark’s, Logos & Payment Verification – this will allow users to establish trust in your website and shop confidently.
  • Fast Shipping Options – With free international shipping and expedited shipping, providing different shipping options gives buyers the flexibility to keep coming back for more and have a great shopping experience.

10. Build Ecommerce App

When you aim to build an ecommerce website & app, one of the biggest features you want to incorporate is push notifications. Your customers don’t want to log in every time they want to be notified of new offers and product launches. Voice search is one of the top emerging mobile shopping trends out there.

Enable wishlist in Android and iOS apps so your customers can save their favorite items and shop later. Your main focus when building an eCommerce app is to improve the overall usability and make sure it feels intuitive. When you’re done, don’t forget to launch it in Google Play Store and Apple Store so that users can download and use it.

11. Publish Your Website and Go Live

Shopify, Wix, and WordPress are the best eCommerce website builders online because of the features they offer but you can try out other alternatives as well. Custom website development solutions are becoming a popular alternative to using these. Secure your financial transactions and data by authenticating your website with an SSL Certification.

Once your store is set up and ready, you can publish it and let it go live. When it comes to designing website apps, the best options are developing Native apps and Progressive Web apps for users.

12. Test Your Website

Developing and making improvements to your eCommerce store is an ongoing process. You don’t want a store that is buggy, slow or one that suffers from frequent downtimes. Higher bounce rates could spell disaster for your business which is why you want to test your website and make sure everything is working as intended. 

Why Should You Build An Ecommerce Website & App For Your Brand?

To Build an Ecommerce website & app for your brand is the fastest way to get a wider reach and access a global audience. After the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a sharp rise in the number of ecommerce businesses popping up. Mobile shopping trends show that more than a quarter of purchases are done through mobile devices, which makes building an eCommerce app lucrative.   

However, to build an ecommerce website helps in diversifying business and marketing channels, thus letting businesses market directly to their customers. Repeat customers make the bulk of ecommerce sales and businesses seem to catch on to this.

Having an ecommerce website and app for your business will boost your credibility and help you establish your overall footing in the industry by making your brand appear professional.

Conclusion

Every business can start a website for free but successful businesses know what they are doing. If you are serious about launching a great website for your brand but don’t know from where to start, you can always consult a professional.

For this, you need the right software development company.

Simply share your business requirements with us and we’ll get to work on it. Within a short time period, we will match you up with the right prospects and help you find what you’re looking for.

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Mayank Pratap
Mayank Pratap
Mayank Pratap Singh Top writer at Entrepreneur.com, the startup, Hackernoon, StartupGrind | Helped 500+ founders to build awesome Web & App products, Hire Remote Engineers | 30+ funded, 6 selected in Y-Combinator | More than 50 founders from MIT DeltaV & Harvard innovation lab has used Supersourcing

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