eCommerce Jun 15, 2021

How To Create an E-commerce Website For a Small Business in 2021

Jane Vyshnova

CEO

Author

Content

  1. E-commerce: From a Nascent Marvel to a Mainstream Tendency
  2. Benefits of E-commerce
  3. Small Business Retail Website Guidelines
  4. How to Start Your Own Retail Website
  5. How to Choose the Best Retail Website Platform
  6. Magento vs Shopware: A Head-to-Head Comparison
  7. Pros and Cons of Custom Retail Website Building
  8. How Much Does an E-commerce Website For a Small Business Cost
  9. Conclusion
Content

The success of a retail business (or any business, for that matter) is an aggregate consisting of numerous summands. Business owners need to pay attention to finding a unique product with its own niche in the market, hiring a team of professionals, advertising their brand, providing prompt delivery and obliging service, monitoring financial documents, and doing dozens of other things necessary for a company to flourish.

Modern times have added to this list of must-haves. Today, as a company having big-time aspirations, you should keep abreast of the latest marketing trends and build an e-commerce website for small businesses, becoming a part of the e-commerce industry.

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E-commerce: From a Nascent Marvel to a Mainstream Tendency

In this millennium, you don’t need to leave your lodgings to have all the amenities and comforts of contemporary civilization delivered to your front door. All you have to do is make a couple of clicks on your laptop and enjoy your long-coveted things. E-commerce has manifested a prodigious annual upsurge of 23% in the recent decade.

If you employ your smartphone to do the same, you become a party to m-commerce – a variety of e-commerce whose rate of expansion is twice as great. Typically used to buy something o, resulting, e- and m-commerce cover a whole gamut of transactions. Thus, you can book football or railway tickets, reserve a hotel room, pay for public utilities, and even take part in an auction through e-commerce platforms.

Also read: How to Build an Auction Website

Given the astounding opportunities e-commerce has in store, it is quite natural that any company – be it an international corporation or a small retail business – can’t ignore the advantages this marketing technique can bring.

Benefits of E-commerce

We offer you several reasons why you need to make a retail website for your company.

benefits of ecommerce

Image Source:searchengineland.com

If you think that having an online shop is quite enough for quick success in sales, you are mistaken. Modern retail websites are to contain certain features that will facilitate your business and boost your revenues.

Small Business Retail Website Guidelines

There is no universal recipe for how to create a retail website that would suit all types of businesses, since each industry has its own peculiarities. However, expert retail website developers claim that an efficient-working web page should inevitably include:

High loading speed. A survey conducted among major online retailers states that an increase in loading speed between 2 and 8 seconds translates into a three-fourths boost of conversion rates. Conversely, slow loading time causes half of the online shoppers to abandon the page.

High loading speed

Now you know the things of primary importance in the process of website creation. Let’s see how you should go about it.

How to Start Your Own Retail Website

The comprehensive algorithm of creating a retail website includes several steps.

Step 1. Conduct Preliminary Research

This step is performed offline to make sure it is worthwhile setting up a business. To determine it, you should come up with the product you want to sell and explore the respective niche. Modern internet facilities and tools, such as Google Trends, TrendHunter, Amazon bestseller list, and Ubersuggest will allow you to figure out trending products and discover the current bestsellers. Moreover, you should make sure the items you will sell are light and easy to ship.

However, if you already own a business, you have definitely gone through this stage, so you may skip it and move on to the next phase.

Step 2. List the Necessary Prerequisites

IT-wise, to create your own retail website you will need a domain, a hosting provider, a payment processor, and a web building platform. Among physical items, the must-have is packaging to ship the product to the client. And the last, but, in fact, the foremost is the initial capital. Here we will focus on the IT considerations.

Step 3. Decide on the Domain Name

It is an important move, since this is the URL your clients will be informed about and social media will promote. It consists of the domain name proper and the TLD – a kind of postfix that follows the name after the dot-like .com or .net.

While the choice of the latter is typically limited by a few conventional options (although nonorthodox ones have become a kind of swank recently) the former gives you a free hand to ply your imagination. Ideally, it should be resounding and descriptive.

Even if you already have the name of your dream in mind, don’t get too excited over it yet. You must make sure no one with a similar mindset has already claimed it. Domain.com will help you to do it. Once you have verified the domain name availability, it’s time to purchase it via a company that registers domain names on your behalf. The most popular domain registrars are GoDaddy, Wix, and Web.com.

Step 4. Select a Web Host

Being a small business owner, you just can't afford to host your own website, so you will have to choose a server where all your data will be accessible to the public at all times. Depending on your budget, you can either opt for a shared web host where your site will have other sites as its next-door neighbors or employ the services of dedicated hosting. The latter is pricier, but you can stop worrying about other sites stealing your speed. Whatever choice you make, don't forget to inquire about the host server location and its reliability.

Step 5. Choose a Proper E-commerce Platform

This is an important decision, so there are many factors to consider before choosing a platform (see below). Since today there are a huge number of platforms, we will describe the two platforms we recommend to our customers:

We’ll describe them in detail below in this article, so keep reading.

Step 6. Publish Your Website After Testing It

Even if the website is complete, don't rush to publish it. First, make sure it functions properly on all principal browsers with all links working and all images shown in the right format. It is likely to take some time, but once you have done it you won't have to react to visitors' complaints and mend them on short notice.

Step 7. Make Sure Your Website is Present in Social Media and Search Engines

In the age of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, the shortest way to reach out to your audience is through social media outlets. And do not ignore search engines either, since it is them who will eventually channel your prospective clients to your web page.

Have a project in mind?

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How to Choose the Best Retail Website Platform

To make an e-commerce website for a small business, you need a platform also referred to as Content Management System (CMS). This software tool is used for building and editing content with subsequent publishing on the web. Thus, it consists of two elements. Content Management Application (CMA) is responsible for providing an intuitive user interface employed for building and modifying the content of a page, while Content Delivery Application (CDA) is a web publishing tool.

Today, there are a plethora of platforms available on the internet as installable applications. They can be either free or paid, some of them provide bonus add-ons and templates. How can you choose the one that will suit you to a tee without getting lost among numerous options?

The rule of thumb for starting the selection is to compile a list of requirements, stipulating the features you would like to see implemented on your website. Then you should find out what the available platforms have to offer. To spare you the long hours of reading, let’s compare the most popular CMSs.

Magento vs Shopware: A Head-to-Head Comparison

Both of these tools are open-source scalable platforms that are among the top CMSs in the market. Shopware has a longer history and most of its users hail from Germany. It is B2C oriented and is perfect for small and medium businesses working in fashion, art, or lifestyles industries. Magento is a comparatively novel solution extremely popular in the USA in the B2B sphere, which became one of the leaders among platforms leveraged by large businesses.

magento vs shopware

Image Source:eltrino.com

Let’s compare the basic parameters of both tools.

Read our full review: Magento 2 vs Shopware 6

As you see, each platform has its own attractions. However, if neither appeals to you or you want to have the best of both, you can consider custom development as a viable option.

Pros and Cons of Custom Retail Website Building

As a small business owner, you may find standard CMSs dissatisfactory on some points. Perhaps you want some advanced features not offered by conventional platforms, or you have in mind an interface design that can’t be achieved through using them. You may also have security concerns that are at odds with the standard CMSs’ policies. If that is the case with you, opt for custom website development. Yet, before ultimately deciding on it, you should be aware of potential pitfalls you may encounter.

If your time is limited, custom development won’t suit you. Preset templates used in a standard CMS make project development much faster which results in lower retail website costs. But in other aspects, custom website development has a considerable advantage.

Custom Retail Website Building

Image Source:freepik.com

Custom development is more expensive than acquiring a standard CMS. However, if you want to receive a top-notch website fine-tuned to all your requirements and even whims, it is wise to address a team of experts who within a reasonable time will deliver a customized product at an affordable price. After all, a cheapskate pays twice, and in the case of site development, it is only too true.

How Much Does an E-commerce Website For a Small Business Cost

Building an e-commerce website involves many factors. The table below provides an example breakdown of costs for e-commerce websites, from design to development and maintenance. To get a more detailed explanation of these costs of building and maintaining an e-commerce website and to calculate the cost of your own website please contact us.

Team member

Activity

Average cost, $

Business analyst

SRS for the project

360-680

DevOps

Hosting

40-80

Server setup and tuning

300-400

Service (Cloud Flare, SSL, etc.) setup

300-350

Set up automation deployment

120-200

Go live

120-180

Designer

Solution 1: Ready theme from the market

360-400

Solution 2: Custom theme

2200-2600

Solution 3: Custom theme + responsive

3000-3400

Techlead

Code review

200-300

Database architecture design

1200-1400

Project deployment

40

API documentation (if needed)

180-240

Go live (support)

60

Developer

Set up Magento/Shopware environment

240-260

Set up configuration from box

300-360

Install and configure additional extensions

180-240

Update theme based on design (if needed)

600-800

Develop custom functionality (if any)

1200-1600

Content pages creation

120-180

Quality assurance

Proper project testing

800-1000

Additional services

Project management

700-1000

Conclusion

With the contemporary world rapidly going digital, it is hard to imagine a successful company (even a small one) without its own website. Developing a high-quality customized web page is never a bargain price deal, but by hiring a professional developer you can be sure to get a product that will give your business a prodigious boost.

Dinarys has significant experience in developing e-commerce websites for various small businesses. If you have doubts, questions, or need advice, contact us at any time, and we’ll get back to you with the optimal solution.

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