Are you planning an e-commerce software development project? We have got you covered in this detailed guide on e-commerce development.
People have become comfortable buying products and services without 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.
The USA e-commerce market generated US $537.7 billion in 2020 and is to reach US$723.6 billion by 2025.
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.
We now discuss the latest e-commerce industry trends and how to undertake your software development project from end to end.
E-Commerce Software Development End-to-End Guide
You will go through the following for the e-commerce software development process:
Research Your E-Commerce Software Product Idea
Many e-retailers are already in the market, with their collective revenue reaching 5.4 trillion US dollars.
What can you provide so unique that you stand out from the plethora of e-commerce solutions?
One 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 an example of a startup owner realizing the users’ need to order food from anywhere and fulfilling it through an ecommerce online food delivery solution.
Once you have finalized your e-commerce business idea, the next step is to analyze its demand and feasibility. Look for e-commerce software similar to what you want to develop.
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Examine how users use it, 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 your target user market: consumers’ demographics, what they want, and their reaction to your e-commerce product idea.
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?
Figure Out the E-Commerce Business Model
You might 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 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.
Businesses not financially strong enough adopt this model to stock up on products. They focus more on business promotion through digital marketing so 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 ends, customers either cancel it or renew it. Netflix and Spotify are examples of a subscription model of ecommerce.
E-Commerce Websites and E-Commerce Mobile Apps: Examples of What You Need to Get Right
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 big 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.
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 the show you might be interested in. You can read our blog on how to implement AI in ecommerce.
Augmented Reality Experience
AR technology in e-commerce platforms provides users with an in-person shopping experience. It offers a 3D experience where users feel real-time interaction with online products.
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Ikea is a prominent 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 each time they use your application. It is a user-centric approach that leads to more impulsive purchasing by customers.
You need to offer unique features that attract users to your app and retain them in the future. Think of Amazon’s product recommendation system to understand how a great idea can make your site and app 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.
Form an E-commerce Software Development Team
To develop a complete e-commerce solution that users will love, you must ensure that it is reliable, secure, and bug-free. You can guarantee this only by hiring software developers with substantial experience in e-commerce development.
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, like DevTeamSpace, you have access to 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 e-commerce software development by reviewing sites such as Trustpilot and Clutch.
It is a one-time hassle, and you find a reliable e-commerce software development partner for your business.
You require the following professionals in your e-commerce development team:
- UI/UX designers;
- front-end developers;
- back-end developers;
- App testers;
- DevOps developers;
- SEO experts;
- Business analysts;
- Project managers.
Choose the Type of Ecommerce Software You Plan to Develop
The two types of eCommerce software you can develop for your business are eCommerce websites and mobile applications. Both have a large user base and come with benefits unique to each of them.
Ideally, your e-commerce business should invest in a website and mobile app, as done by all big companies like Amazon, Netflix, etc.
It is not always possible for companies to do this due to time and budget constraints. In this case, most start with a great website and undertake ecommerce mobile app development at a later date.
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 simple product with essential features. It is called a minimum viable product.
Agile methodologies like scrum development allow developers to build a product in iterations. An iteration is a sprint in the scrum parlance.
Each sprint refines the software product by adding new features and improving the previous ones according to the users’ needs.
E-Commerce MVP Features
Some essential features of an Ecommerce app are:
- Authorized login/sign-up;
- User profile;
- Search bar;
- Payment gateway;
- Checkout process.
Tools and Platforms for E-commerce Development
The development tools you choose depend on the custom software product you want to develop – a website or a mobile app.
E-Commerce Web Development
E-commerce expert developers are responsible for creating and building e-commerce website’s themes and functions.
You require developers with the following e-commerce web development skills:
- Programming languages like PHP, Ruby, and Node.js to handle server-side scripting and dynamic web content.
- E-commerce platforms like WooCommerce (WordPress framework), Magento, etc., help with swift application development via ready-to-use design components and libraries, like shopping carts, product comparison, etc.
- Database management expertise is necessary to efficiently store and handle user and product data using relational (MySQL) and non-relational (MongoDB) database technologies.
- API development and integration to utilize third-party services in your applications without building them from scratch. For example, PayPal and Stripe as secure payment gateways.
E-Commerce Mobile App Development
You might opt for iOS or Android development based on your target market.
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Technical expertise for native iOS development:
To develop an iOS e-commerce app, the developers should know the following:
- Swift or Objective-C programming languages. Swift is more commonly used today for native iOS development solutions due to its extensive library range that helps create solutions for several in-app functionalities.
- Apple Integrated Development Environment (IDE) like Xcode. IDE helps to develop a robust mobile app with seamless integrations to Apple services.
- Apple Human Interface Design guidelines help design apps with a user-friendly interface consistent with Apple products
- Expertise in using testing software like XCTest is also necessary to develop bug-free apps.
Technical expertise for native Android development:
Your development team for your Android app should be an expert in the following:
- Java or Kotlin programming languages.
- Android IDE, like Android Studio, and libraries, such as Android SDK, assist in creating apps using built-in libraries and design components.
- Android Material Design Guidelines help create the best interactive Android app with optimum user experience.
- App testing software like Espresso.
Read our extensive blog on developing a Node.js e-commerce platform.
Perform E-Commerce Testing
E-commerce testing includes optimizing design elements, functionalities, web pages, software performance across devices, etc.
Regular software testing improves the user experience, customer engagement, and conversion rate. Different testing procedures include:
- Functional testing;
- Security testing;
- Usability testing;
- Database testing.
Deploy and Monitor Your E-Commerce Application
After completing quality assurance, you deploy your e-commerce platform for end-users. Configure the deployment server and database solution and deploy the application code.
Also, implement a CDN (content delivery network) to serve assets like images, stylesheets, etc., from edge servers and improve application load times.
Analyze your application performance, including user traffic, user experience, security, etc. Collect user feedback on your e-commerce software using in-app surveys, etc.
Improve and enhance your application based on the post-deployment monitoring and collected feedback.
Ready for an E-Commerce Platform Development?
The e-commerce industry is flourishing. E-commerce software opens new business avenues 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 custom e-commerce development solutions are complex to build. You require the right expertise and experience.
If you are short of experts, why not contact DevTeam.Space and provide us with your project specifications? One of our dedicated account managers will contact you to answer any questions.
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 data and technical resources, Magento e-commerce development is a good choice.
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.