Starting an E-Commerce business these days is relatively easy. But, starting an E-Commerce store that actually succeeds is a whole other story.
While the barrier to entry is relatively low, the competition in the industry, even in each niche, is surprisingly high. This means in order to really succeed, you need a game plan.
Depending on your personal business style, as well as your business itself, every game plan will be unique.
While some E-Commerce stores thrive in a super social setting, others earn their keep with behind the scenes plays. But, no matter which way you plan to attack, at the heart of every E-Commerce business is an awesome website.
The best websites for E-Commerce stores are simple and responsive. While the back-end might be complex, what the user sees is a clean, well-organized site that focuses on products from a perspective that makes them unique. Even a one page website can be incredibly profitable if designed with the customer experience in mind.
While most E-Commerce businesses focus on products, the real secret to success is the customer experience.
How your customers explore your products will determine whether or not they buy them.
The better the experience, the better the conversions – period. This concept is a universal key for success, whether you’re talking about E-Commerce businesses or traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
Unfortunately, most E-Commerce businesses don’t understand how to create an experience for their customers. Unlike a physical store, there’s no “prime” corner location to choose or decor to shop for.
Or is there?
Every feature that makes a physical store successful can (and should) be translated to E-Commerce businesses – you just have to know the language.
- The most sought-after location in real estate can be created online with the right SEO.
- The decor you buy for your store can be recreated with aesthetically-pleasing web design.
- The greeting you use every time someone walks into your shop can be conveyed through the copy you put on your homepage.
And the list goes on and on.
Yes, there is a formula to developing an E-Commerce website that really does what it should – drive commerce. No, you can’t just put up a website, add a shopping cart and hope for the best.
While there are a lot of “ready-to-go,” “conveniently-boxed” website templates and themes that promise to get the job done, none can perform as well as a website that has actually been created for your specific business.
And, before you start wondering about how much does a website cost to build, it’s important to understand why E-Commerce web development services really matter for your success.
The 8 E-Commerce Web Development Services You Need to Succeed Online…
- SEO Audit : If your business is already operational, then a thorough SEO audit of your website is a must. Not only does it give you an in-depth understanding of how your website is actually performing, but it creates a framework for your business to grow. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is what allows your business to be found online. Without intelligent SEO, you might as well consider your business location to be impossible to find, with limited parking, and, oh yeah, at the very end of a long dark alley that no one wants to venture down. A great web development team will offer SEO as a web development service because they understand that this is the foundation of a highly successful website. And, once the audit is complete, they’ll deliver you an easy-to-follow list of goals and objectives that are specific to your goals and targets. The really good development teams will continue tracking your website’s performance after the initial SEO audit takes place, keeping you updated and showcasing opportunities for your business to perform even better.
- Page Design + Copy : The way your website looks is similar to how the outside of a physical store looks. If it’s appealing, more people will venture inside. But, if it doesn’t look great, chances are people will keep looking. The biggest difference between physical stores and online stores is that online stores have WAY more local competition. Imagine a street lined with dozens of pizza shops – and only pizza shops. Can you imagine how much competition there would be on that street? Most local businesses don’t have to worry about this because rarely is an entire street saturated with shops that all carry the exact same thing. Online businesses, however, should worry. With your competition just a click away, you have to do everything possible to make sure your audience stays at your store. And, if your page design and the copy (the words written on your website) aren’t appealing, you can kiss your chances for conversion goodbye. That’s why page design and copy need to be one of the most important E-Commerce web development services you look for when thinking about building or redesigning your website.
- Dedicated Project Manager : There are a lot of i’s to dot and t’s to cross when developing your website. To be sure that none of the details get lost in the virtual shuffle, you want to have someone who is dedicated to the success of your project. Unfortunately, not many web development agencies have dedicated project managers for each and every account. Instead of focusing on the personalization and customization of your website, they focus on getting you in and out as quickly as possible – and often with the least viable outcome possible. If the success of your E-Commerce store matters, then make sure the company you pick for your website development offers a dedicated project manager. It’s the best (if not the only) way to keep your project on track and with the best possible outcome.
- Creative Collaboration : The biggest problem with E-Commerce website templates and ready-to-go themes is that there is zero collaboration. Easy, sure, but the website you get feels anything but personal. And, when you’re asking your audience to give you their trust and their money, you need to make the experience as personal as possible. Creative collaboration during the web development process is the best way to create a site that you and your audience will love. Slightly more time consuming, this collaboration is essential because you bring your expertise to the table, working with the web design and development professionals so that they understand who you are, what your business offers, and how to make it stand out in the competitive online world.
- Website Design Mockups : If you’re a physical store looking for a new location, it’s unlikely you would sign a lease or purchase a property without seeing it in person first. It’s even more unlikely that you would make a commitment without even seeing a picture of what it’s supposed to look like. In the web design world, mockups are those pictures. And, when these mockups are live and interactive, then it’s like an actual tour of a property. Because customer experience is everything in E-Commerce success, making sure the web development agency you choose provides website design mockups is critical. If this step is skipped, there’s a good chance you’ll feel like you’ve wasted your time and money when the final product is revealed.
- Custom Design + Layout : Take a moment to think about your favorite physical stores. Why do you love going to them? What makes the experience pleasurable? In almost every case, the store has been laid out in a way that’s conducive to your overall experience. In other words, the design of the store is custom. You can tell the difference between a store that’s fitting a space versus a space that has been designed to fit a store. Can a business succeed in a generic space? Absolutely. Will it have a better chance of succeeding if the experience is elevated through custom design? 100%. Investing in a custom design and layout for your E-Commerce store might sound expensive, but there are a lot of really outstanding design agencies that are happy to work within limited budgets. Looking around to see if a custom design for your E-Commerce store is within the realm of possibility can open the door to an opportunity that may otherwise be missed.
- Rounds of Revision + Excellent Customer Service : Even with all of the above precautions, there are still a lot of variables that occur during website design. The agency you choose to help you create your E-Commerce store needs to offer rounds of revision to cover any of these unknowns. Even when you think you have looked at and discussed every detail of the design, it’s possible for something to be a little off with the final product. Knowing that your design agency offers revisions can help you feel confident because you know that your website really will be what you want. And, as part of these revisions, it’s vital that your development team has outstanding customer service. At the end of the day, you really have to enjoy working with the team that is designing your website. If you don’t, you’ll avoid opportunities to collaborate and limit yourself with the feedback you want to give. To get the best E-Commerce website possible, you have to focus on the relationships going on behind the scenes – the better the feeling, the better the build.
- Website Hosting, Backup + Security : Being in business online might not require a signed lease, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t “property” details you need to consider. Where your website is being hosted, how it’s being backed up and the measures being taken to keep it secure are all critical. If even one of these factors is overlooked, a successful E-Commerce store can be taken down in a matter of minutes. Cyber attacks, downed servers and lost data are all the equivalent of natural disasters in the world of online business. If you can find a web development company that offers intelligent options for hosting, backup and security – take advantage! Having these parts of your business managed by an industry expert will keep your business up and running (and you sane).
This list of E-Commerce web development services might feel intimidating, but each aspect really is as important as the next. If you’re able to incorporate all of these services into the creation of your E-Commerce site, then you can be confident that you are laying the groundwork for real, lasting success.
And, if you want a head start, there is a company that offers all of these web development services: FreshySites.
These eight services aren’t just a list to us – they’re the foundation of our business. We design and develop E-Commerce stores because we want to see you and your business succeed.
From initial consultations to final revisions and everything in between, our team becomes a trusted partner in your business strategy – and it doesn’t end when your website is done. Each of our clients becomes part of our “Freshy” family.
That means, we do everything we can to help you hit your goals in business. And, we’re more affordable than you think.
Learn more today by getting in touch with our team!