A Practical Manual To Custom Ecommerce Website Development in 2021

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What do we know about Custom eCommerce website development?

Even now, at the time of the e-commerce boom, many businesses do not have their own online stores. By doing so, these organizations not only lose their competitive edge, but they also lose customers.

However, in addition, companies and entrepreneurs who already have an online business have not fully realized its potential, and this could give a huge boost to their business and an invaluable competitive advantage.

Excellent online shopping is not a matter of chance. They are meticulously developed from start to end to convert casual visitors into paying clients. So that you can figure out how to create the perfect custom eCommerce website, the Northell team has prepared a detailed guide for you.

What Is Custom Ecommerce Website Development in 2021?

Custom web store development iscomplex process of creating and designing an online store unique for each business from scratch. It is one of the most effective methods of building online stores. 

According to Statista, retail eCommerce sales are expected to reach (US $) 4.92 trillion in 2021. In addition, the demand for online shopping has increased significantly as a result of the pandemic.

Such a surge of interest in online trading appeared because there is no longer an opportunity to visit regular stores. And as you can see, before the global lockdown, online trading was fairly stable and not under stress. The situation has substantially changed since then.

It is difficult to measure the number of issues that eCommerce stores face. Unstable traffic spikes, long loading times, low scalability, and an altered supply chain are among them.

Trends and new technologies in custom eCommerce website development 

Creating the perfect and unique design for a web store is quite a difficult task. Proper planning, following the latest trends is what will help you create a powerful online store. And it is precisely considering trends that play an important role in developing a custom online store.

Trends are what the perfect product might look like. This section will look at the various web development trends for online stores and the latest technologies in 2021 to create a modern and efficient web store.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is critical for online businesses to meet their revenue growth and goals. It enables them to manage their marketing processes and automate campaigns that run across many channels. For example, it could be email automation, CRM systems, social media automation, etc.

When eCommerce and marketing automation are combined, you have a winning mix for online business.

You can make purchases as comfortable as possible for your customers, and at the same time, take steps to reach your target audience.

Northell has wide experience in marketing automation products.

We not only make the UI/UX design for different projects, but we also improve existing products.

If you need help with your project, we can discuss it.


Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is one of the innovative technologies that has arisen in recent years. Artificial intelligence in e-commerce has many uses, such as product recommendation and predictive analytics.

AI assists organizations in a variety of ways, including product recommendations and predictive analysis. AI and machine learning are increasingly being utilized to improve customer service and personalization.

Here are some examples of AI applications for eCommerce businesses:

  • It assists businesses in learning more about their clients.
  • Businesses may use AI to provide a customized customer experience based on their needs.
  • Connecting customer data with real-time insights can improve the purchasing experience.
  • Customer service duties can be automated with the help of AI-powered chatbots.
  • Pricing and discounting practices can be optimized.

On-site Personalization

Customer focus, and therefore personalization, is now a trend that is aimed at meeting the needs of the client as much as possible.

This approach is implemented by collecting customer data and then shaping the user experience for other customers. The importance of this approach to the company is great, as it makes it possible to focus on the interests and preferences of the client for the best user experience.

Main Benefits of custom eCommerce website development

Custom eCommerce development is an approach that helps create an online platform that allows members to buy branded things straight from the company that sells them. More and more business owners are considering setting up an online store. They have a brilliant business idea and want to actualize it rapidly by taking advantage of the benefits of electronic commerce over traditional methods.

The main benefits of custom eCommerce site development are:

Custom development of e-commerce solutions is an approach that helps a company create a platform on which a potential customer can purchase products from that company directly.

And this approach to business finds an increasing response among business people. They have an extraordinary idea, and it will be faster and easier to implement it using the advantages of online trading than the traditional approach.

  • controllability;
  • uniqueness;
  • great perfomance;
  • scalability;
  • many possibilities for customization;
  • adaptability;
  • flexibility.

Why do you need a Custom Ecommerce Website Development?

A custom approach to developing an online store gives you the opportunity to fully control the entire project, from the appearance to the smallest details of the functionality. That is the main difference from ready-made solutions. They don’t give you that much freedom and flexibility when creating your unique store.

Want to make your purchase/order process as simple as possible? Make it with a custom solution.

Do you want to launch a loyalty program? Everything is in your hands, experiment.

Want to enable your customers to share products on social media networks? And this is also realizable without problems.

In the case of a custom online store, you have more influence on its success through your decisions. And at the same time, give the buyer a unique experience. In turn, feedback from the buyer is what will allow you to achieve better results based on previous experience.

Custom-made websites have the following technological advantages:

  • Scalability and extensibility are important considerations. 
  • Customization is more easily implemented.
  • Maintenance is better.
  • Capacity for integration is wider.
  • High level of security.

Let’s also consider marketing and sales reasons:

  • Custom eCommerce websites are very adaptive.
  • Custom-made websites load fast.
  • AdWords performance is great.
  • The bounce rate is low.

Custom Ecommerce Website Development: Feature-Sets

custom eCommerce Website Development

When we are talking about unique eCommerce sites, it is all about design, functionality and features. What characteristics of eCommerce are critical to your success? Generally, you may construct these features as you like by customizing it.

It is necessary to study the target group, product and rivals to know exactly what features you want to add to the eCommerce website. We have compiled a list of the most trending features that will make your web product valuable and attractive to users.

User-related features

  • User profile. You may achieve three goals by implementing the user profile functionality: build user loyalty, improve customer retention, and gain useful data and analytics on customer activity.
  • Registration. The user can register using a variety of methods, including social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and so on), email, or phone number. For added security, consider using two-factor authentication.
  • Shopping history. Customers who have access to their shopping history have a pleasant sense of control over their data, which allows them to offer customers an updated version of a product or direct their interest to related things.
  • Wishlist. This function will assist you in cutting your drop-off rate. Wish list data can be used for analytics or as part of an email marketing campaign. This is also an excellent approach to obtain email addresses from unregistered people.
  • Coupons and discounts. According to Statista, the most influential components in the buying decisions of the consumer in the United States are coupons and discounts.  
  • Checkout system. This feature should be at the top of your list when considering how to design an eCommerce website from the ground up. According to some research, easy checkout is the most preferred website feature among online customers in the United States.

Product Functionality

  • Product categories. Advanced categorization systems with unique categories and subcategories are found on the top industry-leading websites. Check companies’ websites like Puma, Tommy Hilfiger, Mango, etc., and you will be convinced of this.
  • Product page. Product pages should include all relevant information about a product, such as pictures, short and long descriptions, and any other information that customers could find valuable, such as size, special characteristics, etc.
  • Product reviews and ratings. Customer reviews help build trust in your business, which can lead to more sales and revenue.

Search Functionality 

  • Filtering feature. The greater the number of filtering choices available on the website, the better. Filtering options may include price, size, color, and customer reviews.
  • Prompts and suggestions. Plan and code your search engine so that it can suggest search results and detect incorrect inputs.
  • Voice search. The powerful feature of voice search will increase the popularity of your website among millennials and GenZers.

Admin panel

  • Reporting and analytics. An interactive dashboard with reports, charts and statistics lets you monitor how products sell, the store’s general success, and compare data from different time periods to discover any client behavior patterns.
  • User management. This feature refers to the ability to create, update, and delete user profiles from the admin panel. It’s also used to offer customized discounts and to enroll customers and user groups in various promotional campaigns.
  • Order management. You should make, amend and cancel orders and check order statistics using your eCommerce website.
  • Integration with other services. To increase the strength and completeness of your eCommerce website, use a variety of integrations. This can be delivery, email marketing tools for promotions and others.

Payment methods

You should also look at the increasing trends in the FinTech industry when considering how you construct an eCommerce website from the bottom up to satisfy all potential consumer demands. In custom website design, other means of payment are not needed. Nevertheless, they might give a number of benefits.

For example, alternative payment options provide flexibility, which is beneficial to user retention. Second, alternative payment methods are increasingly popular in areas where mobile internet use is the norm, and they are gaining traction in more conservative parts of Europe and the United States.

When considering how to build an eCommerce website from the ground up to meet all future customer needs, you should also analyze the growing trends in the FinTech market.

In addition to the increasing popularity of traditional cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether and others, many countries around the world are establishing digital central bank currencies or DCBCs.

Custom Ecommerce Website Development: What Team do you need for an Ecommerce Project?

The eCommerce-experienced staff is highly crucial when starting a website construction. Here is a short list of team members you should consider to have:

  • Design & Development team. At Northell, we have skilled and experienced web designers and developers, so whether you are looking for a reliable service, we can provide you with it. 
  • Managers. They will manage the main areas such as sales, procurement, accounting and audit.
  • Marketing team. They will be responsible for your business promotion across different channels.    

What do you need to check Before Starting Work on your Ecommerce Website?

The building of a custom online retail website is a difficult task. You should think carefully about all the details and plan everything clearly. There are certain things to examine before starting a custom web design for eCommerce:

  1. Find out the industry of your business. Comprehensive research and analysis of your business sector are one of the most important things to accomplish before you start the web-building process for e-commerce.  You must be aware of the numerous loopholes and take into account your industry’s target clients. Investigate their tastes, age, and other criteria to help you build effective product categories, descriptions, payment gateways, product photos, and other features. 
  2. Set the development budget of your online store. Your account is simple to get insane, especially while your online sellers are still in the early phases of development. However, you should be extremely careful to keep to the budget and use techniques that help you with it. It’s a good idea usually when you make a financial decision to alter your budget.
  3. Focus on the competition. Doing business means that you have to stand out from others. And you should consider the numerous advertising methods and features that will help you attract new customers. It is therefore important that you evaluate your functional components in a browser.
  4. Think about the needs of your target audience. The most important element of running such a business is that you need to put the potential client as the highest priority. To do this, you must be familiar with their culture, geography, demographics and purchasing habits. The easiest way to collect all this knowledge is through a survey. And based on the survey results, you will be able to create solutions that will cover all these categories.
  5. Build an MVP (Minimum viable product). MVP, as an approach to commerce, will help you assess the buying power of customers within your business. Suppose you want to build a creative and innovative shopping platform with a high conversion rate, backed by a particular algorithm designed to deliver a great user experience and the best products. In that case, you should enlist the assistance of an MVP.
  6. Organize team training. Investing carries risk. And before investing in a business, understand whether you have a talent for this or not. You may experience some difficulties in your team from time to time with productivity and efficiency. Therefore, you can exchange vital talents.

Custom Ecommerce Website Development: Step-by-Step Guide for Owners

We have covered trends, features and procedures for custom online stores before designing a custom store.

Let’s continue with the development procedure for the customized eCommerce website. The Northell team has developed a step-by-step tutorial to build your online shop.

Step #1 Business analysis

Before you start creating a custom online store, you need first to perform market research and analyze rival online shops. Define the items or services you will supply and investigate whether shops offer similar things.

You should also define goals and KPIs. You may need to consider your pricing strategy, how many revenues you need to cover expenditure and other financial elements for beginning a store and make it financially viable, depending on whether your plans are for the resale or provide your own product.

Don’t forget to identify the USPs of your products and online services. To build a successful custom eCommerce solution from the ground up, choose a unique and easy-to-remember name and find a suitable eCommerce domain. Investigate how you may differentiate yourself from your competitors, as well as what your unique selling proposition will be.

Step #2 Functional Specification Creation

Then it is time to think about the functional specification of your custom eCommerce solution. A functional specification is typically a formal document used by software engineers that explain in detail a product’s expected capabilities, appearance, and interactions with users. A functional specification may comprise the following aspects, depending on the project and team:

  • Project scope refers to the project’s objectives, features, tasks, deliverables, costs, and timeframes.
  • Risks and assumptions are concerns that may have an impact on the product’s functional design.
  • Product overview – a description of how the solution will solve a specific problem for the intended audience.
  • The functional requirements are placed in the context of a user action in use cases. This depicts what happens from the user’s point of view.
  • Requirements are the essential parts of a product that describes what it achieves.
  • Configuration entails the processes required to set up a product, such as creating a user account.
  • Non-functional requirements are non-essential features that aren’t central to the product’s design.
  • Error reporting entails describing how the product will handle errors or exceptions.

Step #3 Select the Best Design & Web Development Partner

To make your eCommerce website development process smooth and organized, of course, you need a professional and skilled partner. Consider the following factors when looking for design and web development partners: 

  • experience in providing outstanding software development services;
  • great examples of eCommerce websites they created;
  • feedback of previous clients;
  • whether they provide continuous development and support.
Have an idea of the next great project?

Northell specializes in eCommerce websites for small to large enterprises, and we can talk about creating an online store that meets your needs and business goals.

We can bring it into reality!

It is always preferable to hire a single agency or company to design and develop your custom eCommerce website so that you have consistency, no delays, minimal communication issues, and package pricing that saves you a significant amount of money as opposed to hiring multiple vendors and agencies for design and development. 

Step #4 UX/UI Design For Ecommerce Website

When it comes to eCommerce website design, your options may vary depending on your company’s capabilities (budget), aims, and ambitions. In general, remember that in order to be successful in the market, you will need a resource that attracts, satisfies, and encourages clients to make additional purchases.

Create a website for online trading that is visually attractive as well as user-friendly and full of functionalities. Experienced web designers will know how to develop from the ground up and develop a customized web store to improve the chances of converting people into paying clients.

Step #5 Web Development (Front-end & Back-end)

The part of a custom eCommerce website that customers see in their browsers is referred to as the frontend. It’s also how quickly it loads for them – keep in mind that the fastest loading speed is no more than 2.5 seconds. If it takes longer than that for your online store to load, most users will be turned off and will visit other sites instead. Because loading speed influences search engine rankings, it is critical to maintaining it fast.

The frontend should also follow responsive design principles, i.e., it should be mobile-friendly. Nowadays, a large percentage of clients globally prefer to access the web and make purchases online using their smartphones.

On the other hand, a backend is where more complicated, “internal” activities happen, such as order processing, site infrastructure being filled with content, updated, and secured, and other modules being added, etc. This is where the website’s software magic happens, allowing it to be scalable, multipurpose, and adjustable.

Step #6 Quality assurance and testing

Before releasing a custom eCommerce solution to the public, it is critical to test it. Otherwise, you risk losing both your money and your initial market reputation. Even if it’s just a minor issue, modern users don’t like seeing something that isn’t working properly.

By hiring a tester or QA specialist, you will receive professional assistance in fixing all software and design faults so that you may release a fully “finished” product. Dedicated specialists use A/B tests, manual and automated testing, and other methods.

At Northell, we use our own UX Laboratory for design testing and UX Eye Tracker that allows studying user behavior during interaction with the web product.

Only 1% of companies use this method.

It helps optimize the interface and product design. If you want to create a really great custom eCommerce design, contact us, and we will help you find a suitable testing method.

Step #7 Ongoing support and development

Our congratulations! You’ve done it! You worked your way through it step by step, and now your custom eCommerce site is up and running, generating revenue and pleased consumers. From now on, you should be responsible for the support and maintenance to keep your website afloat and resilient in the face of all online adversity.

Step #8 Work with Feedback

Don’t stop after you’ve finished eCommerce site development and gotten your online store up and running!

Connect with your customers, allow them to contribute their thoughts, observe their actions, and use the information gathered to plan future online business expansion and improvement.

Custom Ecommerce Website Development: Cost and Timeline

How much does it cost to build an eCommerce website? Of course, you are interested in this question. Depending on the eCommerce website needs, the final e-commerce site cost will range from $60,000 to $300,000+. The process might take 3-6 months for a basic version, 6-9 months for a medium-sized website, and 9+ months for a big, complex custom eCommerce site.

In general, the cost and timeline of an eCommerce website design are determined by the following factors:

  • software development company (local or outsourced, hourly rates, etc.);
  • the level of customization and the complexity of the design;
  • the functionality’s scope and depth, as well as its complexity;
  • third-party service integration;
  • hosting, domain, marketing, SEO, and other expenses.

Custom Ecommerce Development vs CMS. Comparison of technologies 

A content management system (CMS) is pre-configured software that provides all the features needed to build and maintain a website.

With these platforms, you can use preloaded different themes and plugins to adapt the tool to your needs. This automation is designed to simplify setup and reduce time. A huge plus is that people who do not have a serious technical background can easily operate the CMS.

The development of the e-commerce site from scratch is long and difficult. However, it allows for a more distinctive, safe and trustworthy method in the great majority of instances. In addition, customized online store creation may be the only method to reflect your system’s complexity, depending on your demands.

Custom eCommerce solutions will outperform CMS-based alternatives. On small projects with little user traffic and functionality, CMS platforms provide similar results. However, as your company grows, you may find that improved performance, design, and efficiency are required to improve user experience.

Custom development gives great attention to security in each scenario, ensuring that your website is always protected to the highest standard. CMS relies on a variety of third-party plugins, each of which has its own set of security concerns.

Typical Mistakes in Custom Ecommerce Website Development. (How To Save Your Money?)

Mistakes are opportunities to learn. That is, without a doubt, the case. However, we believe we can all agree that it would be preferable to avoid making mistakes in the first place.

Here are some mistakes that new eCommerce sites should avoid:

  • No professional development team. Much of the success of your custom eCommerce website depends on the team that builds it. Take your development and design teams very seriously. In the future this will help you save money and time.
  • No target audience. Customers need a reason to shop with you rather than Amazon, and one of the most important factors is culture. If you want to win the eСommerce giant, you must target a specific audience and earn their trust.
  • No responsive design. Your custom eCommerce website should work properly on whatever device is used to access it. According to Pew Research, at least 51% of people currently use their smartphones to make purchases, and the percentage is growing.
  • No or empty ‘About’ Page. Take the time to flesh out your About page so that you can convey your unique selling offers.

How to Hire a Design & Development Partner for Custom Ecommerce Website Development? (The Best Tips in 2021)

With so many eCommerce web development service providers to choose from, it can be tough to choose one that matches your needs. As a result, in order to assist you in choosing the best eCommerce web development agency, we have compiled a list of important aspects to consider:

  • Company’s portfolio and experience.
  • Market trustworthiness.
  • Customer feedback and testimonials, as well as service quality.
  • Project delivery timeliness and convenience.
  • Expertise and a one-of-a-kind skill set in accordance with your company’s needs.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and time to market.
  • Professionalism and expertise of the development and delivery teams.
  • Additional assistance and services.

In case you are interested in how to hire true specialists in web design and development, check our recent articles: 

Custom Ecommerce Website Development: Summary

We hope that we could provide you with a better understanding of how to develop an eCommerce website step by step. This guide may be difficult to follow at times, but that is because the world of eCommerce is so full of nuances and details. If you miss anything minor, it could have long-term effects.

Do you need professional guidance and implementation of something special?

We have extensive experience in custom eCommerce website development and can help you build an exceptional online store from scratch.

Get in touch with us!
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