E-commerce Development To Stand Out Of The Crowd

Ecommerce developmentSoftware development 11 December, 2018 Sean Boyle & Ha Bui

Last year e-commerce hit $2.3 trillion dollars in sales, with projections of $4.5 trillion by the year 2021. With such a fast growing market, it is no surprise to see that space has become increasingly competitive and more attention is being paid to e-commerce web development than ever before. Consumers are becoming less patient with clunky and convoluted online stores and are now demanding intuitive and responsive systems, where they can shop without pulling their hair out.

In order to survive and prosper online, companies need to ensure that the user experience must be as frictionless as possible in order to avoid customers looking elsewhere. It has to be considered at every step of the development process, as ultimately it will dictate the success of the store and the retention of the customer base. So, what are the key components of successful e-commerce web development?

  • Functionality

Mobile commerce or M-commerce accounts for 34.5% of total e-commerce sales, with nearly two-thirds of the global population now connected to a mobile device, it is now essential in e-commerce web development to have functionality across all platforms. An easily navigated mobile site will certainly make you stand out from the crowd, with many users left frustrated by existing m-commerce options. Only 12% of shoppers said they found mobile shopping to be convenient.

The products in the store must be well organized, labeled with detailed information that allows the search bar to be an effective tool for the consumer. Providing an auto-complete function and also a filtered search option can help drive sales, with 30% of sales coming after using the search feature. Clear navigation menus, with a check-out button visible on every page and transparent information on fees and delivery times, can all have a positive effect on the end-user experience.

  • Responsiveness

People do not like to wait and given the multitude of e-commerce businesses on the market, they won’t stick around long if they deem an e-commerce store unresponsive. By employing experts from an e-commerce web development company, a business can optimize its website’s performance and the resulting shopping experience of its customer. Research by Google suggests that 53% of mobile users abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load, plugging this leak can have a big effect on your bottom line.

One method of achieving this is by combining a site’s javascript or CSS resource files into single files, which can speed up interaction with the site as you only have to download one javascript file as opposed to ten. Compressing images to the smallest size that still provides a good visual, can also help speed up download times. While caching can reduce the time spent sending data between the web server and database server.

  • Personalization

A global market requires an international outlook and utilizing geolocation data to automatically adjust currency and language is a great way to connect with a wider pool of customers. A world-class e-commerce platform will apply analytics and machine learning to offer a targeted selection of products based on a customer’s demographic, browsed items and order history. This is an evolving area of e-commerce web development, which when done right, can be a powerful cross-selling and upselling tool.

Making the most efficient use of all the data supplied by your customer is the key to this approach. Are they a returning customer? What device are they using?  What are their interests? All the information garnered can be used to improve the user experience, search results or even the homepage can be adapted to match the user’s interests. Nobody wants to see content that is irrelevant to them, appeal to a customer’s interests and they will spend more time and money in the store.

  • Chatbots

Dubbed conversational commerce, chatbots are becoming an essential feature in e-commerce web development, whether in offering customer support or initiating sales. It is an area that Facebook is investing a lot of research in, with integrated partnerships with the likes of Uber offering an idea of what the future might hold for e-commerce. Google Home allows customers to order Dominos through voice-activated software.

The ability to integrate across different platforms and with your own existing systems is absolutely necessary for your e-commerce store, as is being able to add new features as they become available, otherwise the store will lose whatever cutting edge it once had.

  • Transparency

In order to have customers who are happy to shop in your e-commerce store and will remain that way, it is vital that your website is clear about what it can deliver and at what cost. Information on delivery times, stock availability and shipping fees, along with a wide selection of payment options also listed, gives the customer peace of mind and can also lessen the burden on customer service inquiries. Customer reviews can provide encouragement for those on the fence and simply having contact details on showing can reduce any buyer anxiety over who exactly they are dealing with. Security supporting SSL with full certification is a basic requirement of e-commerce web development.

Outsourced e-commerce web development

Although we have looked at a wide range of factors that have to be considered in order to build a successful e-commerce website, the truth is there are many more ways to optimize an e-commerce store that we have not touched on. Almost all of them come down to one key factor, the user experience, as more and more retailers build an online presence, expect the competition to drive up the standard of the online shopping experience.

It is vital to find the best e-commerce web development services for your business, to allow it to rise to meet these growing demands. Contact us today to discuss your business’ e-commerce web development needs and how we can make your platform stand out from the crowd.

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