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- E-commerce Software Development End-to-End Guide
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Are you interested in making a big splash in the booming industry of E-commerce and so are planning an E-commerce software development project?
If you are then we have got you covered. In this blog, we will be discussing the latest E-commerce industry trends as well as how to undertake your software development project from end to end.
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What is E-commerce software?
E-commerce is the process of selling and buying goods and services over the internet.
If the selling/buying is between an online business and customers, it is called a B2C ecommerce. If the businesses are buying/selling products or services between themselves, it becomes a B2B ecommerce.
Web applications and mobile apps are required for companies wishing to build an online store to reach customers. These are known as E-commerce software solutions or E-commerce apps.
E-commerce software helps in achieving the B2B and B2C E-commerce business models.
Why Develop E-commerce Software?
Just a decade or so ago, customers were hesitant regarding the concept of online shopping, but the trend has shifted drastically.
People have become comfortable with the idea of buying products and services without physically going to the shop. Secure payment methods integrated into the E-commerce software make the process easy and reliable for the customers.
The recent Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the E-commerce industry. With physical stores shut down, there was a drastic increase in online retail stores.
Even the part of the population unaccustomed to the idea of E-commerce turned to online shopping. In France, for example, 6% of people began shopping online for the first time ever during the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a recent Statista report, the USA E-commerce market generated a revenue of US $537.7 billion in 2020. It is expected to reach US$723.6 billion by 2025.
Globally, China has the leading E-commerce market and is expected to generate a revenue of US$1,996.0 billion by 2025. The global E-commerce market will be worth 6.5 trillion US dollars in the coming years.
Given the flourishing E-commerce industry and rising trend of digital shopping among customers, it is high time to invest in E-commerce software for your business to meet user demand and to take advantage of this lucrative industry.
E-commerce Software Development End-to-End Guide:
You will go through the following for the e-commerce software development process:
Choose the E-commerce Software Idea
If you do not have a business product already and are thinking of creating an Ecommerce software application, the first step will be to decide what you want to sell over the internet.
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Keep in mind there are lots of e-retailers already, and their revenue reached 5.4 trillion US dollars in 2022.
What can you provide so unique that you stand out from the plethora of eCommerce solutions?
One thing to keep in mind is to opt for a niche you are also knowledgeable about.
For example, if you have worked in the textile sector and have exposure to fabric manufacturing, retailing, customer preferences, etc., then starting an E-commerce platform for online apparel shopping would be a good idea for you.
Another way to decide on the best E-commerce software idea is to look into the problems the users are facing, including any unsatisfied need, and present the solution through your E-commerce product.
Uber Eats is one such example of a startup owner realizing the users’ need of ordering food from anywhere and fulfilling it through an Ecommerce online food delivery solution.
Conduct Market Research
Once you have decided on your e-commerce business idea, the next step is to analyze its demand and feasibility.
Carry out extensive research of the niche market. Look for E-commerce software similar to what you want to develop.
Examine how users are using it, what are the trending features, and where they are not fully serving users. Use online tools like BizFacts to gather statistical data about your target industry.
Also, study in depth your target user market: consumers’ demographics, what they want, and their reaction to your e-commerce product idea.
A way to achieve data on user dynamics is to conduct online surveys. Use platforms like KeySurvey and Questback to bridge the gap between your business and potential customers.
When you have gathered all the required data of the target industry and users, use it to figure out the feasibility plan of your e-commerce solution.
What resources do you have, and what will you further need in terms of money and technical resources?
Choose an Ecommerce product name and get a domain
Now that you have made up your mind about the E-commerce solution you want to provide to customers, choose a name for it.
The impactful E-commerce products have short and unique names that catch customers’ attention and are also easy to remember.
Also, buy a domain from sites like Namecheap and GoDaddy with the business name you have decided on. Secure it beforehand so that it is not taken by any other business while you are busy developing your E-commerce software product.
Figure out the E-commerce business model
You should have already decided on the best model for your e-commerce business, i.e product sourcing, inventory management, product pricing, product delivery, etc.
Some of the business models already working for e-commerce businesses include:
- Outsourced Delivery:
As the name indicates, outsourced delivery or fulfillment delivers products to customers through third parties.
Businesses with insufficient resources to ship products themselves opt for outsourced fulfillment for order management. Amazon FBA is an example.
- Drop Shipping:
With the drop shopping model, businesses buy products from producers or wholesalers and sell them on their e-commerce platform for a commission.
This is adopted by businesses not financially strong enough to stock up on products. They focus more on business promotion through digital marketing so that customers buy from them.
In the warehousing model, you will keep your products in a warehouse. You will then list them on your website product listings. In case of purchase, you will deliver them directly from your warehouse.
In the case of online services, the users can subscribe for a month or a year. After the subscription period is over, customers either end it or renew it. Netflix and Spotify are examples of a subscription model of ecommerce.
Choose an E-commerce Software Development Partner
Before starting your E-commerce software development, you will need to analyze your technical skills so that you have all the expertise required to build a robust E-commerce solution.
To develop a complete E-commerce solution that users will love, you must ensure that it is reliable, secure, and as bug-free as possible.
This can only be guaranteed by using software developers with years of experience in E-commerce development.
Developers experienced in ecommerce development services will be able to better guide you in choosing the right Ecommerce development platform according to your business needs, for example.
They will also assist you design and develop e-commerce software with a personalized theme and customized user interface.
Likewise, they will be able to ensure your app is secure, including data security and the payment gateways, etc. This is not easy to achieve without the right technical skills.
You can hire freelance developers or outsource your e-commerce project to an e-commerce development company building e-commerce products.
However, with freelancers, it is your responsibility to hire competent developers, including taking charge of the entire recruitment process.
Since the chance of project success when hiring individuals with poor technical skills and project management experience is reduced dramatically, avoid freelancers when possible.
By partnering with a software development company, you will have access to large numbers of skilled developers and project managers who are all vetted by the company and whose work is guaranteed by the platform.
You can find a suitable software development company experienced in Ecommerce software development by reviewing sites such as Trustpilot or visiting their homepages.
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The website will showcase their past software projects and case studies, previous clients they have worked with, their reputation in the software industry, etc.
It will be a one-time hassle, and this way, you will find a reliable e-commerce software development partner for your business.
Choose the type of eCommerce Software
The two types of eCommerce software you can develop for your business are eCommerce websites and mobile applications. Both have a huge user base and come with benefits unique to each of them.
Ideally, your e-commerce business should invest in both a website and mobile app, as seen with Amazon, etc. It is not always possible for businesses to do this though, due to time and budget constraints.
In this case, most just start with a great website and undertake ecommerce mobile app development at a later date.
E-commerce websites and E-commerce Mobile apps: Examples of what you need to get right
There are tens of thousands of e-commerce platforms available today. Good examples include Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce.
If you are going to compete then you must nail areas such as these:
Personalized App Experience:
Creating a personalized user experience with e-commerce websites is more difficult when compared to a mobile app due to the huge screen size to display products.
However, with an app, you can negate this using automated push notifications to show the latest products, discount offers, prompt order tracking, etc.
Think about how you will nail your UI and offer your users the best possible experience.
Latest technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented reality are used to develop a customized app experience for users.
Personalized User Experience through Big Data:
Big data and artificial intelligence allow companies to create a personalized experience for each individual. The predictive AI algorithms gather and analyze user data.
E-commerce software learns users’ preferences through this data and makes recommendations to users based on their preferences.
Netflix uses the same predictive AI when it recommends you the show you might be interested in. Read our blog on how to implement AI in ecommerce.
Augmented Reality Experience:
AR technology is used by e-commerce platforms to provide users with an in-person shopping experience. It offers a 3D experience where users feel real-time interaction with online products.
Ikea is one such example of an e-commerce retailer providing furniture catalogs to customers in an augmented reality format.
With the one-click payment options, users do not need to enter the shipping and payment details every time. It is a user-centric approach that leads to more impulsive purchasing by customers.
You need to offer unique features that not only attract users to your app but retain them in the future. Think of Amazon’s product recommendation system and you will understand how a great idea can make your site and app really stand out.
To say that both your app and website need to be secure is stating the obvious. As mentioned above, make sure you get the right developers.
Choose the E-commerce software development platform
The e-commerce software developers that you hire will depend on the type of custom software product you want to develop – a website or a mobile app. Both require different skill sets.
E-commerce Web Development:
There are different custom eCommerce software development platforms available online. Since these are limited, the developers you use should be skilled in using these platforms.
E-commerce expert developers are responsible for creating and building your e-commerce website’s themes and functions.
You will need experienced back-end developers to modify any templates that you use and to set up payment gateways, APIs, etc.
They must know how to handle the database, CRM, and payment channel integrations of your e-commerce store and ensure they are secure.
Some of the commonly used E-commerce website development platforms include:
The ecommerce store by the Shopify development company is perhaps the easiest to set up. It provides a complete E-commerce business processes experience from product display to payment gateway integration.
You can also integrate the Shopify store into your Amazon storefront.
API Integrations and theme customization may get complicated for a non-technical user but are straightforward for skilled website developers.
This Ecommerce website development platform is commonly used by small-to-medium sized businesses. The platform is a bit more costly than other options, but it comes with many features to grow your Ecommerce business.
Some of the features of this popular ecommerce platform are gift cards, limitless product listings, custom domains, and many e-commerce templates to start your online business.
An e-commerce development plugin by WordPress. This is an open-source platform that enables extensive customization of themes and features.
Technical expertise is required to use WooCommerce for effective Ecommerce development.
It offers integrations for third-party plugins like a shopping cart and shipment tracking to enhance software functionality and scalability.
Magento also requires technical expertise to set up an Ecommerce platform. It is favored by businesses having sufficient technical resources and expertise.
A development team with expertise in Magento can create any front-end theme and e-commerce feature for your custom software.
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E-commerce Mobile App Development:
Recently, cross-platform apps are becoming very popular. Tools like Flutter and ReactNative help companies develop apps for both Android and iOS so that they can target a wider user market.
Read our extensive blog on developing a Node.js Ecommerce platform. If you go this route, you will need both Android and iOS developers.
- Technical Expertise Required for native iOS Development:
To develop an iOS e-commerce app, the developers should know Swift or Object C.
Swift is more commonly used today for native iOS development solutions due to its extensive library range that helps create solutions for a wide range of in-app functionalities.
Developers should have experience working with Apple Integrated Development Environment (IDE) like Xcode. IDE helps to develop a robust mobile app with seamless integrations to Apple services.
It also helps build apps that run efficiently on the target hardware thanks to better memory and security management.
Moreover, your developers should be familiar with Apple Human Interface Design guidelines to design apps with a user-friendly interface consistent with Apple products.
Expertise in using testing software like XCTest is also necessary for developing bug-free apps according to user requirements.
- Technical Expertise Required for native Android Development:
Your development team for your Android app should be an expert in Java or Kotlin programming languages. They should be experienced in using Android IDE like Android Studio and Android SDK.
These enable Android developers to create apps efficiently by using built-in libraries and app components.
Developers create robust and secure mobile apps that are optimized for the Android operating system using Android IDE and SDK.
Android developers should be familiar with the Android Material Design Guidelines to create the best interactive Android app with maximum user experience.
Your development team should be skilled in using app testing software like Espresso.
Plan product categories, descriptions, and searchable tags
Your e-commerce website should be easy to navigate. It should get a user to the required product or service in just a few clicks.
Proper product categorization with detailed descriptions helps users in locating what they want. Use searchable tags to make things easier for potential customers on your Ecommerce platform.
Develop an MVP
Developers mostly use the agile product development methodology today. This is because agile practices enable developers to begin software development by creating a basic product with essential features. It is called a minimum viable product.
Product development is done in iterations where each iteration refines the software product by adding new features and improving the previous ones according to the users’ needs.
Some essential features of an Ecommerce app are:
- Authorized login/sign-up;
- User profile;
- Search bar;
- Payment gateway;
- Checkout process.
Perform Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization is necessary to attract more audiences to your Ecommerce website.
SEO will help you make your Ecommerce website stand out on search engines and frequently appear to the viewers.
As a result, more users will click on your Ecommerce website and visit it. You can apply SEO through the following:
- Performing a keyword search to find what users are talking about and the words they frequently use on the search engine.
- Structurally formatting the website content with the title, hierarchical headings (H1, H2), bullet points, etc.
- Content having sufficient keywords but in an effective manner. Keywords should not be crammed as they affect readability.
- Adding relevant images with alternate text and captions.
- Back-linking to relevant websites.
- Adding internal links to your website pages.
Tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush help with SEO for e-commerce websites.
Perform E-commerce Testing
E-commerce testing includes optimizing app or web design elements, functionalities, web pages, performance across devices, etc.
Regular software testing improves the user experience, customer engagement, and customer conversion rate.
Different testing procedures include:
- Functional testing;
- Security testing;
- Usability testing;
- Database testing.
Tools like Form Analytics and statistical methods like A/B testing help perform e-commerce testing to measure software performance.
Final Thoughts on Developing Ecommerce Platforms
The e-commerce industry is flourishing. eCommerce software opens new avenues for businesses by offering users swift access to scalable online stores through web and mobile apps.
More and more companies are racing to develop apps to take advantage of this market and ensure customer satisfaction and retention.
However, successful Ecommerce development solutions are very hard to build. This is why you need the right expertise and experience.
If you are short of the experts that you need, then why not contact DevTeam.Space and provide us with your project specifications. One of our dedicated account managers will get in touch to answer any questions that you might have.
Top 3 FAQs on E-commerce Software Development
The three main elements that ecommerce businesses must consider in order to grow are:
Shopify, Magento, Woocommerce, etc., are widely used for e-commerce development. Each comes with pros and cons. The best suitable platform for a startup depends on the business requirements. For instance, for a big business with huge data and technical resources, Magento is a good choice for e-commerce development.
The legal formalities include the e-commerce business registration as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, etc. There are also financial legal obligations to fulfill for integrating payment gateways into your e-commerce software.