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Ecommerce Website Development - Everything You Need to know

As per statistics, the UK e-commerce market is expected to grow to £180 billion by 2025, with mobile currently accounting for 40% of all e-commerce sales in the country.

With the average cost of building and maintaining a basic e-commerce website varying by a large bandwidth, most people consider a number of factors when they get started with developing their e-commerce business. The four major factors for the UK market are: 

  • Target audience 
  • Kind and category of product(s) being sold 
  • Payment options that are offered 
  • Kind of customer support required 

It’s reported that the average UK shopper spends £1400 per year online. Now, the challenge for online businesss lies in competing for this shopper’s attention, giving them the best and the right products, with a seamless end-to-end experience. Hence, it becomes very crucial for a business to build an online store that resonates with its business goals. 

How to Get Started with Ecommerce Website Development?

Here is a quick guide to getting started with building your e-commerce website.

Step 1: Choose an e-commerce platform

The first and most important task is to choose the right e-commerce platform. Different platforms offer different price ranges and benefits. You will have to choose one that aligns with your business goals and budget.

These goals may vary for different businesses and it’s also possible that a single organisation might have multiple business goals. Let’s talk about them from the perspective of how they influence your choice of an e-commerce website development platform:

Increased sales: The primary goal of any online or e-commerce business is to increase sales. This can be done by attracting new customers, increasing the average order value, or encouraging repeat purchases.

Improved customer experience: In addition to increasing sales, businesses also want to provide a positive customer experience. This means making it easy for customers to find the products they want, quick and easy checkout process, and timely support when needed.

Expanded reach: Online and e-commerce businesses can reach a much wider audience than traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. This means that businesses can grow their customer base and increase sales by expanding their reach online.

Apart from the aforementioned basic goals, businesses might have niche goals and objectives; like reaching out to a very specific target audience. There are a number of different e-commerce website development platforms available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. It’s very important for you, as an entrepreneur, to understand how an e-commerce platform aligns with your business goals.

Factors to consider when choosing an e-commerce website development platform

The type of products or services you sell: Some platforms are better suited for selling physical products, while others are better suited for selling digital products or services.

The size of your business: If you are a small business, you may want to choose a platform that is easy to set up and manage. If you are a larger business, you may need a platform that can handle a high volume of traffic.

Your budget: E-commerce website development platforms can range in price from free to thousands of dollars per month. You need to choose a platform that fits your budget. For instance, SHOPLINE’s website builder packages for small businesses starts as low as £25/mo, and is a good choice for someone who is just starting on their online retail journey.

The features you need: Some platforms offer a wide range of features, while others are more basic. You need to choose a platform that has the features you need to sell your products or services.

Let’s take an example to understand more. Say, someone runs a subscription-based business model. When choosing an e-commerce website development platform for a subscription-based business, it will be important for the business owner to choose a platform that offers the following features:

  • The ability to create and manage subscription plans.
  • The ability to track subscription payments.
  • The ability to provide customer support for subscribers so they can troubleshoot and customise plans. 

Choosing the right e-commerce website development platform is an important decision for any business that wants to sell products or services online. By considering your specific needs and goals, you can choose a platform that will help you achieve your business goals.

Additional tips for choosing an e-commerce website development platform:

  • Read reviews from other businesses that have used the platform.
  • Talk to other businesses that use the platform and get their feedback.
  • Try out the platform for free before you commit to it.
  • Make sure the platform is scalable so that you can grow your business.

Step 2: Store Designing

Whew! The tough task of choosing your platform is done and dusted. Now, you need to design your store. This involves choosing a theme, adding products, and setting up payment options. 

You can set up an aesthetically pleasing store by keeping your target audience in mind. Payment facility is another important aspect you need to focus on. In the UK, 90% of all online transactions are made through credit and debit cards. Paypal is another payment method on the rise. You need to give these payment options to your customers. 

If you run a subscription-based business, the direct debit payment model is another method you will need to incorporate, for recurring payments. Apple and Google Pay are new but have seen significant growth in the past couple of years. 

The best payment method for a particular transaction depends on your customer’s preferences and your business’s acceptance policies. So make sure you give them as many options as you can. 

Step 3: Coding ( It’s not that scary!)

You can hire your own developer or work with platforms like SHOPLINE, that work with you in developing your store for you. 

Step 4: StoreLaunch

Launching a website or an app means making it “live” on the internet so people can visit it, buy your products and your cash counter starts ringing!

The best way to go about it is to promote your business via appropriate marketing channels so that maximum people can reach your website or app. 

How one leverages these channels will depend on the specific e-commerce business and its target audience. However, there are some general tips that can help businesses get the most out of their marketing efforts.

Start with a clear understanding of your target audience: What are their interests? What are their pain points? What are their buying habits? Once you understand your target audience, you can tailor your marketing messages to appeal to them.

Create high-quality content: Content is king when it comes to marketing. Make sure your content is well-written, informative, and engaging.

Use social media effectively: Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with potential customers. Share interesting content, run social media ads, and engage with users. Social commerce can be a game-changer for growing businesses and you can get the best of it with SHOPLINE.  

Track your results: It's important to track your results so that you can see what's working and what's not. This will help you adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.

Step 5: Store and Inventory Management

After the website is live, the only task left is its regular management. Keeping your store up-to-date with inventory, blogs, and security measures are the common measures a business takes with regard to website management. 

Here are a few factors to consider when choosing an e-commerce platform:

  • Your budget: E-commerce platforms can range in price from free to thousands of dollars per month. It's important to choose a platform that fits your budget and your needs.

  • Your needs: What features do you need from an e-commerce platform? Do you need a platform that can handle a lot of traffic? Do you need a platform that can be customised? Once you know what you need, you can start narrowing down your options.

  • Your level of technical expertise: Some e-commerce platforms are more difficult to set up and maintain than others. If you're not very tech-savvy, you'll want to choose a platform that's easy to use.

  • Your future plns: If you plan to grow your e-commerce business, you'll need to choose a platform that can scale your business.

Once you've considered these factors, you can start looking at specific e-commerce platforms like SHOPLINE.

Start Your E-commerce Business Today

Conclusion

Choosing the right e-commerce platform is an important decision, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. By following these tips, you can choose the right platform for your business and start selling online today.

Here are some additional tips for choosing an e-commerce platform:

  • Talk to other e-commerce businesses: Ask other businesses what platforms they use and what they like and dislike about them.

  • Consider your target audience: What are your target customers' needs and expectations? Choose a platform that will meet their needs.

  • Test drive different platforms: Most e-commerce platforms like SHOPLINE offer free trials or demo versions. Take advantage of these trials to test out different platforms and see which one works best for you.

If you have any queries about starting your e-commerce venture, you can always reach out to the SHOPLINE support team to understand how we can help you in your e-commerce journey. 

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