An online shop gives tons of advantages, including an increase in income, goods catalog management, and marketing activities automation. Ordering an online shop is a huge step for every business. For that reason, every web agency client should be aware of the main stages of an online shop development.
In 2020, the number of online shop users reached 1.8 billion people making the ecommerce sphere quite prospective for both B2B and B2C segments. For that reason, there is a huge demand for online shop development. However, when ordering an online shop, customers can get confused with specific terms and notions. Dinarys wants to improve the situation by providing full information about the main stages of website creation. In this article, we will complete the list with important stages.
Step 1: Figure Out What You're Going to Sell
The initial step of online shop development is to determine what you’re going to sell. While creating an online store based on your passions, you start a business you'll enjoy running. Nevertheless, many businesses have other reasons for being launched. Probably, you see a perspective or need in a certain market and you want to propose a solution on how to deal with the emerging problems.
No matter which business goals you have, your ecommerce project should be based on research about the products you're going to sell and the people who are going to be your potential buyers.
You should know everything about the market you are going to enter: about the successful products, trends that have come and gone. While launching an online store, you should know what potential clients may need now and also what they’ll want in the future.
You should also remember that there is a competition. It will be so difficult to succeed in case you are planning to enter a space with heavy players with equally heavy marketing budgets. But in case of choosing a less competitive niche, you will have a better chance to succeed. One more factor that will work in your favor is creating an innovative approach, unique branding, and a better user experience than the competitors have.
Step 2: Determine your Ecommerce Business Model
There are some kinds of ecommerce business models, but 2 main types are business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C). An important point is to be aware of the difference between them and also determine which category your ecommerce business belongs to.
Business to consumer (B2C)
Most of the stores we interact with are classified as business to consumer (B2C). Among them are Zappos, Amazon, and Target. Every time we press the checkout button, we are going to purchase on the B2C website. On the B2C site goods or services are sold from businesses to customers directly, without third parties participation.
Business to business (B2B)
In business to business (or B2B) model businesses sell the items to other businesses. The companies that manufacture something or probably are wholesalers, deliver goods or services within a given industry. One of the clear examples of a B2B ecommerce business company is ROOM.
Step 3: Know Your Audience
If you are determined to start an online business in the area you’re familiar with, a great benefit is a fact you already know your audience. But even in such a case you also need to do a bit of work to understand your customers better. This strategy is beneficial for any business in ecommerce.
You should know who your potential clients are as it plays an important role in each part of the process of ecommerce development. The essential thing is to adapt everything to your potential clients namely user interface and user experience, the content, visuals of the web design, and many other things.
Among the essential questions you should answer are:
- Who are your potential customers?
- What's their background?
- What's their range of income?
- How old are your potential clients?
- What competitors’ websites are they may buy goods on?
All the questions we have listed above will help you to build an ecommerce business tailored to your potential customers’ needs and tastes, that will help you to provide a great user experience.
Read more on how to write an ecommerce business plan.
Stage 4: Market Analysis and Technical Specification
Analysis of the market is an important move toward online shop development because at this stage you can analyze your competitors. You can also find out about their mistakes and weaknesses to avoid them in your business. If you are a real specialist in your business field, you will see a necessary solution without delay.
In online shop development, apart from technical requirements, users’ experience is also important. The Dinarys team pays special attention to website visual and functional aspects in terms of requirements specification. The team of developers and designers is striving to make a high-quality product that satisfies all the customer’s business goals. At this point, you need to choose the best ecommerce platform to fulfill your needs, such as Magento or Shopware.
Points that should be clarified in the technical specification:
- Website structure with informational blocks and parts of the site;
- CMS or an ecommerce platform;
- The functional part of an online shop, including user cart, user account, ways of payment, feedback form;
Integration with other systems, including social networks, CRM, web analytics, and newsletters services;
- Additional functions of an online shop: chatbots or an Online Assistant;
- Marketing plug-ins: promo codes, special offers, discount systems, subscription for updates, and newsletters.
If you have doubts about choosing CMS for your online store, the articles about free and paid CMS will help you to choose the best option for your business.
This stage of online shop development requires a project manager, a business analyst, a UX designer, and a developer.
Stage 5: Design and Visual Solutions
When the customer and the web agency team have agreed on technical specifications, it is time for creating the site's appearance. The main goal at this stage is to make a convenient and user-friendly website with a corporate style using up-to-date trends in web design. The final product should be not only colorful but also convenient.
The Dinarys team creates a layout of the most important pages, including the catalog, the main page, user cart, and information sections. When the website design is agreed with the customer, all the layouts go to the frontend development department.
The duration of this stage mostly depends on the customer that should be involved in the whole process to find the balance between the customer and designer’s vision.
At this stage, the customer communicates with the project manager and web designer.
Stage 6: Implementation, QA, and Launching
At this stage, technical specialists work on online shop development, so it does not require much attention from a customer. Engineers synchronize the website with payment systems, and:
- Extend goods management functional;
- Create goods card;
- Introduce dynamic filtering, etc.
QA (quality assurance) is the process of online shop features testing. This is the final stage in ecommerce website creation, performed by the technical team. QA engineers check core code, data processing, payment system, and responsive web design. The Dinarys team’s goal is to provide premium class services and we pay special attention to this stage.
After online shop testing, a customer receives an online shop that is ready for use.
This stage of online shop creation requires HTML Authors, QA engineers, programmers, project managers, system administrators, and content managers.
Stage 7: Online Shop Promotion
If you want to make a profit from an online store, you should promote it. You can achieve it with some marketing activities, including context advertisement, mailing, and activity in social media.
Starting an online store means going through the following stages:
- Layout development;
- Technical requirements composing;
- Design development;
Apart from desktop online shops, mobile versions and mobile apps are also popular among ecommerce retailers, because many customers prefer this type of shopping. Global mobile ecommerce revenue is expected to reach $3.56 trillion by 2021.
The process of online shop development takes some time and research. The steps we have mentioned in this guide will help you in online shop development and getting great conversion levels.
If you are searching for a web development team contact Dinarys to get a consultation or a project estimate. We are always looking for new partners and challenging projects.