What Is Involved In Ecommerce Website Development?

Many companies are choosing to boost their sales and reduce their costs by moving their operations online with an ecommerce website. Ecommerce websites allow companies to offer the same services that may be offered at a physical location, such as a shopping cart and payment options.

Ecommerce websites are offered in pre-packaged format, which can be ideal for start-ups having smaller sales volumes. However, more established businesses will benefit from a bespoke solution, which involves several steps.

Before the Design

Before having any ecommerce website designed for you, you must first know what kind of functionality you want your site to have.  A consultation with a professional design company can clarify all of this. This meeting should be as much about what you want from your website as what technology and expertise the company has to meet or exceed your expectations.

Among the important points to communicate in the consultation are your goals for the business over the next year, as well as the next few years from that. Your chosen company will want to know where you want your business to go. They will then explain to you how they can help you achieve your goals. Once your consultation has ended, your company should send you a proposal that contains a cost outline.

Functionality

Once you’ve accepted a design company’s proposal, it’s time to begin the planning of your website. This meeting will build on the information from the consultation, and look more closely at your business model, services and products. The goal of the development team is to customise an ecommerce platform around your current systems.

The planning stage may include some challenges in the form of technical risks. Where this is the case, the development of a technical report may be necessary so that you can see where these risks lie.

Aesthetics

Once the technical aspects of your ecommerce site has been planned, planning is passed on to the design team. This stage should ideally see your preferences being put together with the team’s research and expertise. Your target audience should always be top of mind when merging your ideas with that of the design team. The result will be a site that looks appealing, but that also inspires trust and will grow your sales.

This stage of the process will see many possible versions of your site being developed by the design team. The best design will be one chosen following open-minded and careful consideration of each mock-up.

Building and Testing

Building your ecommerce site is the next step. This is done by the development team, whose job it will be to bring technology and aesthetics together.  Regular progress reports are the norm at this stage, as is a timeline for each facet of development.

Before your site goes live, it will need to be tested to ensure that all is functioning properly. Testing will focus intently on functionality over multiple devices, as well as confirmation of successful transactions with several product combinations and the correct receipt of orders.

Understanding and Using

Following the building and testing stages, you will need to be trained in its use. It’s vital that you understand how to complete daily tasks like product removal and addition, site content changes and basic maintenance. This will require some training in your site’s content management system. Before launch, you should know how to control every feature of your site and be completely confident of this.

Launching is the final stage, but this doesn’t mean that your design company is absent; their development team should be monitoring site performance and confirming that all is working as expected. During your site’s first week online, you should be regular receiving updates about site performance.

Partnering with a professional design company who knows and understands your site, but who also has the services you need to grow can mean long-term success for your business.