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7 minutes read

Custom eCommerce Website Development: A Complete Guide

By Alvaro Insignares
By Alvaro Insignares
App Development
7 minutes read

Custom eCommerce website development is a great choice for retail businesses that want to go beyond the available eCommerce platforms’ capabilities. Several high-quality eCommerce solutions, like Shopify, simplify the task of building an eCommerce website, but this might not be the right option for your business.

In this post, we will explore the benefits of a custom eCommerce website. We will also cover a few important things that your business should consider before developing an eCommerce website. The importance and value of eCommerce are only going to continue to increase. So, if your business is thinking about developing a custom eCommerce website, now is the time. 

Why Custom eCommerce Website Development?

Custom web development gives you the ability to narrow your focus and deliver a website that performs specific functions and delivers a quality User Experience to the unique intersection of users that form your target audience. 

eCommerce platforms are an attractive option to many because they are so easy to use. However, there are benefits associated with custom eCommerce website development that should be considered before choosing between the two options. The main benefits of developing a custom eCommerce website are:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Business integration 
  • Unique processes 
  • Customization 
  • Search engine optimization

Customer Satisfaction

Your eCommerce website, whether it is custom or not, should always aim to please your visitors. One of the best ways to measure whether your eCommerce website is pleasing your visitors is to look at your website’s bounce rate and conversion rate. Bounce rate refers to user retention on your website, and the conversion rate is tied to specific actions such as making a purchase or creating an account, etc.

eCommerce platforms offer several great options, but if you notice your conversion rate is lagging and your bounce rate is high, you might want to strongly consider the benefit of having a custom eCommerce website. Custom eCommerce websites are more adept at satisfying customers because they can be created to do anything.

While eCommerce platforms offer many options, there is only so much a development team can do within the parameters of the specific platform you choose. Choosing to build a custom eCommerce website allows you to craft experiences directly for your target audience. In the long run, this will delight users, lead to higher retention rates and lower bounce rates, and ultimately, more conversions. 

Business Integration  

Integrating your eCommerce website with the rest of your business processes is very important. For example, it will be imperative that your eCommerce website is aligned with your marketing strategies and business model. 

In some cases, using an eCommerce platform may be sufficient for your needs. Your development team will likely be able to integrate your platform with your business processes, but the fit might not be perfect. A good way to illustrate this concept is to think about suits. You could go into a store with your size and find a suit that fits you pretty well, but nothing fits as well as a suit that is tailored to your exact measurements.

A custom eCommerce website is tailored specifically to your needs. Therefore, integrating it with the rest of your business processes is simple because it was designed for this task. 

Unique Processes 

This is similar to business integration, but it is a little bit different too. Some eCommerce businesses have specialized needs when it comes to the checkout and payment processes. This could be because of laws and regulations in their industry or other business-specific processes. 

For example, let’s say that your customers need to be a certain age to purchase the products you sell, or perhaps you need to run a credit check on your customer before a large purchase is approved. There are any number of different reasons your eCommerce website might need custom checkout or payment processes. 

Custom eCommerce websites can be designed to handle the specific needs of your business. eCommerce platforms might not have the ability to provide your business with the specific checkout and payment options that you require. With a custom website, a solution can always be built to suit your exact needs. 

Customization 

We have already touched on some of the customization possible with a custom eCommerce website as it relates to business integration and handling unique processes. However, when it comes to how your eCommerce website looks and feels to your users, a custom website can deliver an unparalleled User Experience

While many popular eCommerce platforms offer a wide range of customization options, your development team is still bound by the constraints of whichever platform you choose to work with. A custom eCommerce website gives you complete control over the way your website looks and feels. 

Delivering a User Experience consistent with your brand is an important part of running a successful online store. You might be able to use an eCommerce platform to accomplish your brand’s goals, but with a custom eCommerce website, you can do anything. 

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important part of digital marketing and the long-term success of your eCommerce website. SEO is not unique to custom websites, but like many of the other aspects we have already touched upon, you will have more control over your website’s SEO when you build a custom eCommerce website

eCommerce platforms have generic SEO tools, so you will need a custom website if you want to take full control of your digital marketing. 

What to Consider Before Developing a Custom eCommerce Website

Before you begin the process of building a custom eCommerce website, you will need to consider some important things such as:

  • Your target audience 
  • Your competition and industry 
  • Your branding and content strategy 

Your Target Audience 

The first thing you should think about before creating an eCommerce website is your target audience. What does your typical customer look like? What do they want, and what are their purchasing habits? When you understand your target audience, you will be able to develop a custom eCommerce website that meets their needs. 

Your Competition and Industry 

Another important thing you need to consider before beginning development is your competition and the industry you operate in. It is important to stand out and be unique, but you don’t want to shirk norms and drive away potential customers. There will be certain expectations based on the products you sell. This is why it is important to do industry and competition research before beginning development. 

Your Branding and Content Strategy 

Finally, you should be thinking about your branding and content strategy before custom website development begins. Your project management team should be working with an idea about your overall branding strategy as they design and develop your website. If you establish a brand tone and design before beginning development, you will save your business a lot of time and money down the road.

Final Thoughts 

Building a custom eCommerce website is a great solution, but it might not be the right fit for your business. If you are a small business with a limited budget, it might make more sense to use an eCommerce platform like Shopify. Speak with an app development partner today to get guidance and advice on whether you should choose custom eCommerce website development or an eCommerce platform.

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