What are the Different Types of eCommerce Development?
In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, WEBii is featured as one of the Top Digital Marketing Agencies in the United States. Check out their profile!
In the modern age, your store cannot go without having an electronic commerce (eCommerce) website. It is a space that allows customers to buy your products without having to go to your brick-and-mortar location. They can shop right from their computer or smartphone. This means that there is greater convenience for them, and the opportunity for more sales for you.
But something to keep in mind is that the online marketplace is extremely competitive. There are more businesses than ever trying to capture the attention of consumers. So, if you want to effectively strategize and increase your reach, you need to consider what your specific audience is looking for. Whether you have a brand new business concept or are well-established in your area, learn what you can expect from developing an eCommerce website.
5 eCommerce Business Models
Are you a company of drop shippers? Do you participate in on-demand manufacturing? No matter the case, you need to have a strong eCommerce business model in place. This is based on who is going to be interacting with and buying your products. Once you know that, you will be able to correctly position your online store. The category that you fall under will have a unique set of challenges and opportunities. Here are five types of eCommerce businesses you could decide to have.
When there is a transaction for products or services between companies, it is known as business-to-business e-commerce. This model works for large retailers and wholesalers. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies are a great example. With their advanced technology, they aim to help businesses operate more efficiently. If the quality of the product or service is maintained, B2B eCommerce typically experiences more recurring purchases and higher-order value. It can be broken up into two categories. The first is supplier-oriented, where there are few suppliers and many buyers. The suppliers can control the customer experience and pricing. Buyer-oriented is the exact opposite, with there being many suppliers and few buyers. The buyers have their B2B marketplaces.
Otherwise known as intermediary-oriented B2B, business-to-business-to-consumer e-commerce is made up of horizontal marketplaces. These are markets that engage in multi-sector production and consumption. You might not have a lot of experience selling online, but other companies do. That is why the B2B2C model came to be. It is a partnership that reduces your overhead by eliminating product delivery and storage costs. A middleman will move the goods between you, as the provider, to the customers so that you don’t have to access them yourself. This makes for greater scalability, considering few B2B companies can scale their operations quickly without compromise. With this model, you will need to provide real-time data for customer records, inventory, promotions, and more.
Think about the e-retailer giant Amazon. It offers a massive channel for over 180 countries where they can purchase products from all over the world. Sellers and buyers have the freedom to make purchases from anywhere, at any time of day. But perhaps you have a small business or startup that is similarly selling directly to consumers. Through the B2C eCommerce model, you might decide to take on dropshipping and only market in-demand products. It is a fulfillment method that doesn’t require you to keep products in stock. This way, because you are only making orders upon purchase, you don’t have to pay for and manage a warehouse. As a B2C business, you also get out of dealing with returns and inbound shipments.
Have you ever purchased on a site like eBay, Etsy, or Craigslist? What about Facebook Marketplace? These are consumer-to-consumer e-commerce spaces. Users can sell and trade their goods right from their homes. They range anywhere from artwork to furniture. Although the platform may make money from the fees that they charge, your business benefits from higher margins than it would if you had a middleman. So, even if you sell your products at lower prices, you still make a considerable profit with C2C eCommerce. You also get the opportunity to connect with your audience. The lack of barrier between you makes for an additional layer of convenience for both parties.
In the digital era, the consumer-to-business e-commerce model has flourished. The consumer is the one driving the business. They are creating value for a product or service. This is because consumers can collaborate with businesses on solutions through social media and the internet at large. Upon negotiating their terms, the consumers will work independently on advertising a brand. You may be familiar with affiliate marketing. Oftentimes, this scheme will consist of relevant influencers or bloggers. Businesses implement affiliate programs to generate leads. They could receive a percentage of the sales that were driven by their efforts.
Why Do You Need a Professional Website?
Building a custom eCommerce website takes a considerable amount of time and resources. As a business owner who is more comfortable offline than in the digital world, you may find immense comfort in hiring a web developer, as opposed to taking this task on yourself. Find someone in your area who is highly skilled when it comes to creating online stores from top to bottom. The design of your site is critical. Alongside functional integrations, it should be able to appropriately showcase your business’s branding. Going the custom web design route is the right choice for any business that wants to have an eCommerce store that perfectly fits its needs.
Custom website development and design give you greater control than you would with a template. You don’t have to be constrained by the provided themes. Those may leave you feeling like your business won’t stand out from the rest. Instead, your developer will build the site according to your desired specifications.
Hear From Industry Experts
Read the latest tips, research, best practices, and insights from our community of expert B2B service providers.
How is SEO Involved with eCommerce?
As you know, the main thing that you need to consider when you build an online store is who makes up your target audience. This information doesn’t have to solely come from your brain. Do your research on actual user behavior. Figure out which pages your potential customers are landing on the most and which products are generating the greatest number of sales. This knowledge will guide you in making better decisions with your website. If you want to be able to earn as many conversions as possible, you need to utilize search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. Specifically, ensure that your eCommerce site is well-designed and that the content is high-quality.
Web development and SEO go hand-in-hand. After all, SEO is what makes your site more of a success. By making certain adjustments to the copy, layout, and images, you can surpass your competitors in search engine rankings. So, your developer should be able to combine creativity and SEO strategy to make a product that boasts both functionality and attractiveness.
What are the Essential Elements of Checkout?
Every online business needs to come with a virtual shopping cart. This is what makes it possible for customers to add, review, and buy your products. Once customers have reached the end of their journey, they will find themselves on a checkout page. Here, they see the cost of all of the items in their cart, including tax, shipping, and discounts. They will also be provided with forms to complete their purchase. Required fields should include the customer’s name, email address, and delivery address. Then, they can choose which payment option they would prefer to use. Make sure that you offer a wide variety to minimize your shopping cart abandonment rate. Examples include a variety of credit card types and PayPal.
Keep in mind that your team will be using the shopping cart, too. On the merchant side, you are gaining critical data so that you can improve your inventory management and marketing efforts. This data comes from the cart’s built-in sales reporting and analytics capabilities. With that in mind, you want a shopping cart eCommerce software that offers complete functionality.
5 Steps for eCommerce Web Development
As you join the realm of online retailers, you need to, of course, consider your products. Know their names, prices, categories, and weights. There has to be a clear breakdown of what you are planning to sell. But it goes so much further than that. You could be using WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce, or Magento, and you would still have to check off five key steps in your web development process. Take a look at what is between you and your successful eCommerce website.
Figure Out Your Business Goals
You can’t have a good business campaign without setting SMART goals. These are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. They will give you a sense of direction when it comes to planning out your strategies. While increasing profitability is going to be your ultimate long-term goal, you might want to collect a certain number of email leads. Online store visitors require encouragement before they commit to making a purchase. This means you need effective calls-to-action pointing toward your newsletter. Another goal could be reducing your shopping cart abandonment rate. Across all industries, the average rate is approximately 69.57%. You could want to get your number down to 60% by the end of the year.
Choose a Hosting Company
A web hosting service is what gets your eCommerce site online. Depending on your provider, you can pay monthly or annually for them to keep your business up and running. Your web hosting needs are going to depend on three things—your budget, expected traffic, and site size. Be aware of the fact that if you don’t pick the right eCommerce host, it could spell problems for you and your visitors. For instance, you may experience lots of downtime or slow-loading web pages. This will increase your bounce rate, meaning consumers are not going to be as interested to stick around.
Code Your Site on the Perfect Platform
Generate Your Design and Content
If you have already been running your brick-and-mortar business, you are aware that having a well-executed marketing strategy is necessary. You need to construct branded content that displays your personality and indicates how you are going to solve someone’s pain points. This is done through both text and visuals. When it comes to eCommerce copywriting, highlighting your benefits is a must. Be very clear about not just what it is that you are selling, but why you are selling it. As for your images, GIFs, and videos, they should be high-resolution and show off the details of an entire product. Take care to optimize them so that they don’t weigh down your web pages.
QA Before Launching Your Site
Just because your online store is complete doesn’t mean that you are done with it. You need to go through the quality assurance process. This is to ensure that everything on your eCommerce website works correctly. Test your site on multiple browsers and devices. It should be responsive. Then, make sure that every page that you wanted is present. Replace any of the placeholder content on those pages that may have been forgotten. Lastly, identify any bugs or flaws before the website goes live. The launch will be far less exciting for your prospective customers if there are a lot of critical issues that were not accounted for.
ECommerce development isn’t one-size-fits-all. You need to be mindful of your business’s unique situation. Otherwise, you end up with a site that doesn’t do what you need it to do. It should be able to make a good first impression, and then convince customers to keep coming back. To obtain their loyalty, simplify your user experience and showcase your brand’s story every step of the way.