If your retail business has an existing brick-and-mortar store, then you’re in luck. Creating a website to market your brand is much easier when you’ve got an established location. But what if you don’t have a physical store? How can you take your business to the next level with an e-commerce site? The answer: A website for your existing store. A website allows users to learn about your brand without having to meet you in person. An online presence also makes it easier for people who live far away from you to shop at your store and buy something from you again.
Below, we’ll explore why making a website for your existing store is the perfect solution for businesses like yours, as well as some tips on how to get started right away.
Going online: why you should make a website for an existing physical store?
There are plenty of reasons why you would want to build an online presence for your existing store.
Here are a few of the most important ones:
- Existing customers can shop from the comfort of their homes — People who have bought products from your store in the past, but couldn’t make it to the store again, can still purchase your products online. This increases the likelihood of them buying again.
- Customers who are trying your products for the first time can buy online, too — Customers can try out your products and decide if they like them without ever having to leave their house. This means a greater likelihood of repeat purchases.
- Expand your customer base to those who don’t live near you — Because your store is online, you can access a much larger customer base — even customers who live far from your store. This makes it easier to grow your business.
- Sell products through your website that you don’t have in your store — If you have a product line that is not available for in-store purchase, you can still sell it through your website. This is a great way to expand your product line.
How a Website Supports an Existing Store
When building a website for your existing store, you want to ensure the site supports your in-store sales. This means the website should be designed in a way that’s consistent with your brand’s visual identity. It should also be easy to navigate and simple to use, much like your physical store. Websites that are designed this way make it easier for your current customers to navigate, while also making it easier for new customers to find you online.
Another way to support your in-store sales is by offering same-day shipping. If someone purchases something from your online store and has it delivered to their home, this makes it much easier for them to shop with you again. They don’t have to wait weeks for their item to arrive, and they don’t have to worry about shipping costs, either. Same-day shipping is a great way to support your existing store sales, but it can be extremely difficult to pull off. If you want to achieve same-day shipping, you’ll probably need to partner with a third-party shipping organization, like DHL or FedEx.
What to consider in web development for eCommerce sites?
If you already have a physical store, but you’ve yet to launch an online presence, it’s important to partner with a professional web development firm. These firms specialize in creating online stores and come equipped with all the skills and expertise you need to make a successful website. Partnering with a web development firm will ensure that your online store is designed and built to support your in-store sales. It can help stand out from your competitors. A high-quality website designed by professionals will give your business an edge over other online retailers. Remember, though, that it will also put more pressure on you to deliver a high-quality product. If your website is designed beautifully, but your products fall short of customer expectations, your brand will suffer as a result.
So, how much does it cost for web development for an eCommerce solution? We have summed up the approximate price in the table below.
|1||UI/UX design||280 hours||$8000|
|2||Front-end and back-end development||640 hours||$25000|
|4||Creating technical documentation||40 hours||$1000|
|Total||1 200 hours (5 months)||$40000|
If you want to build a successful eCommerce business, the first place to start is with a conversion-friendly website.
According to HubSpot, businesses with high-quality websites get double the number of leads as those with low-quality sites. This website has to be an eCommerce site because it's important to be able to sell your products directly through your website. The perfect eCommerce website has three main components: user experience, design, and functionality.
Let’s take a look at what makes the perfect eCommerce website and how to create one for your business.
1. Safety & Security of a website
It's not just their computer that Internet users want to avoid catching a bug while browsing; they also want to avoid catching a bug while shopping online. Since you keep a lot of data about your products and customers on your eCommerce site, safety is a critical requirement. If you lose this information, you might permanently lose critical data or have your business put at risk. Your leads' contact information may be sold or stolen if you don't have SSL encryption on your site. Google, among other search engines, may flag your site as having a poor reputation if it's not well-secured. Google recently began displaying a warning to sites that lack an SSL certificate and an HTTPS connection. It's more than just a warning or a recommendation; visitors won't be able to access sites that lack these two components, and you might miss out on sales if your certificate has expired.
2. User Experience
The first and most important aspect of creating the perfect eCommerce website is having a great user experience. A good user experience means that your website design, content, and flow will make it easy for your customer to find what they’re looking for. You’ll also want to make the payment process as easy as possible and avoid the annoying “terms and conditions” page on your website at all costs. A great user experience means that your eCommerce site will be easy to navigate, simple to use, and straightforward. This will not only help you avoid losing customers due to frustration, but it will boost your conversion rate as well. User experience is a big part of what makes an eCommerce site conversion-friendly and is the first thing you’ll want to consider when web development for an eCommerce website.
3. Search box and faceted filters
Even if a website doesn't sell anything, people will still use the search box. An example of an advanced function is an image search, where users can send in a picture of an item they desire, and your search engine will attempt to find a similar item if not precisely the same one.
Users who know what they want can be directed directly to it using a simple search, whereas those who aren't sure may need some inspiration based on browsing categories.
4. Registration on a website
It's important to include guest checkouts in e-commerce website development and design. Some consumers appreciate it, while others like to register and store their personal information on the site. Guest checkouts are especially popular with consumers who want to buy products or services on the spot and pay for them. People who dislike lengthy registration forms are advised to avoid them. Customers who become regular customers are likely to register and benefit from repeat business benefits.
5. Multiple payment options
Consumers no longer feel comfortable settling for a single eCommerce payment option. Apple Pay, PayPal, and mobile wallets have changed the game. Ecommerce businesses must offer numerous payment alternatives to stay competitive. Nine out of ten consumers are quick to decide on a product because of its convenient and seamless payment options, which is why it's so critical that your eCommerce platform can work with multiple payment gateways.
6. CMS integration and website speed optimization
With a CMS, store and manage all your visual and written content, as well as your marketing materials, in one place. When you publish the website, changes will be automatically reflected. It can also enable you to respond rapidly to customer inquiries. You may use a free CMS such as OpenCart, or Magento. These open-source platforms can be integrated into site code.
An eCommerce site development company may optimize your store to load faster, as this is one of Google's ranking criteria. According to Google's research, the bounce rate increases dramatically with every couple of seconds added to page load time.
Let’s explore everything that you need to know, including the advantages and disadvantages of Shopify, WooCommerce, Custom CMS, and OpenCart.
|Shopify||Doesn’t need any coding skills or design experience|
Access to a wide range of features
Access to many payment processors
Many available themes
|You're limited in terms of design customization|
It can be expensive
Payment processing and transaction fees
No access to email hosting
No access to marketing automation
|WooCommerce||Advanced features for larger online stores|
Customer and store administrator account
There is a ton of both free and paid WooCommerce themes available
|The setup process can be quite a pain for inexperienced users|
You won’t have central support
|Custom CMS||The web developer will make all of your wishes come true if they’re doable|
You can count on comprehensive documentation and support from the company that develops
Custom website development can give you the power to rank your store higher on search engines
|The process of creating a custom CMS will take much longer|
|OpenCart||Gives the option to create multiple users with different roles and privileges|
Gives the option of creating backups and restoring previous data
Run multiple shops from a single interface
|Doesn’t offer many templates|
Has fewer plugins than other self-hosted platforms
Limited features built-in and customer support
7. Responsive web design
Another significant part of creating the perfect eCommerce website is having a great design. A great design can make all the difference between a customer choosing your site or one of your competitors.
Having a great design on your website can boost your conversion rate by as much as 80% according to some estimates. An essential aspect of a great design is ensuring your website fits your brand’s identity. If your online shop looks completely different from your brand’s identity offline, you’ll lose your customers’ trust. You need to make sure that your online shop has the same visual style as your offline brand and products.
8. Mobile functionality and optimization
Yes, you need a great design for your eCommerce website, but it also needs to be functional. For example, if your website is too slow, it will be very hard to use and your conversion rate will suffer. If your website is hard to navigate, it might not be easy to find the products your customers are looking for. This can also hurt your conversion rate. You need to make sure that your eCommerce site is easy to use and functional. This will help your customers find what they’re looking for quickly and keep your conversion rate high. Another important aspect of having a functional website is having a good search feature. Without a good search feature, customers might have a hard time finding what they’re looking for. Having a bad search function can hurt your conversion rate.
Don’t Forget About Mobile Users
Another critical thing to consider when creating the perfect web development for an eCommerce website is that it needs to be easy for mobile users. These days, mobile users make up more than 50% of your website’s traffic. That number is only going to rise as more and more people use smartphones. If you want to boost your conversion rate, you need to make sure that your eCommerce site is easy to use on a mobile device. If your website is hard to navigate on a smartphone, your mobile visitors will likely leave your site. This can drastically lower your conversion rate. So, make sure that your eCommerce site is easy to use on a mobile device. You can do this by making sure your website content is simple. You can also make your website responsive, which means it will automatically adjust to fit the screen on any device. This is a great way to make sure that your features for the eCommerce site are easy to use on all devices.
9. Social media integration
Social media is one of the most important ways to connect with customers in today’s competitive eCommerce world. It allows you to build brand awareness, drive sales and engage with your audience for free. There are many types of social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
It’s influential to choose the right platform for your business. For example, a clothing store might be better off using Instagram because it’s more visual and allows you to post images that are easy to share online. A furniture shop, on the other hand, should probably stick with Facebook since it’s a more passive way to reach customers and build relationships. The right social media strategy will depend on your product and target audience.
Building a website for your existing store is a great way to stand out in a crowded online marketplace. It will also make it easier for you to access customers who live far away from your store. Once your site is online, it will be easier for you to deliver your products, accept online payments, and generate more sales in other ways, too.
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