If you want to start-up an online storefront, there are plenty of ecommerce platforms out there that will let you launch with a turn-key solution that needs little to no development at the outset. But once you begin to scale, you may find you need deeper customizations to keep your customers coming back for more.

In this article, we’ll talk about what ecommerce web development is, how you can find a developer or team of developers to help you realize your vision and the steps to take before launch. Let’s dive in.

Ecommerce website development is complex, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. You have to consider a number of factors, including website performance (e.g., page speed, checkout processes) and user experience.

While ecommerce does present some particular challenges, finding the right ecommerce development company or freelance developer will ensure you’re able to meet those challenges easily. Some of the challenges of this large-scale undertaking could include:

  • Determining the right features and functionality for your project
  • Understanding which ecommerce framework might work best for you
  • Integrating ecommerce into an existing ecommerce site or website template

Websites vary in complexity. Some include little more than one long page, while others are extensive, with robust back-ends and complex functionality. Ecommerce sites are way more than HTML and CSS. They’re more complex because you have to accept payments online and make sure your site is easy to search and navigate.

Different features and functionality you may want to consider in developing your ecommerce website will vary based on your business model and unique needs.

Based on your set goals and metrics, create a list of features your ecommerce website needs. These should be closely aligned with your customer lifecycle. For example, a local small business may not need to support multiple currencies, but this will be a crucial feature for a cross-border retailer. Features will sometimes impact pricing, so it’s beneficial to know what you really need.

The easiest way to determine what shopping cart features you need is to work from general to specific.

First, list all the general must-haves; for example, does it support your payment gateway of choice?
Next, add extras that your business needs, like automatic sales tax/shipping rate calculation.
Prioritize all the nice-to-haves from 1 to 5, where 1 is a crucial feature for driving revenues and 5 is a handy add-on that could make your day-to-day operations more efficient.

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