What is e-commerce development company?
E-commerce development company is a custom-orientated design and development company which provides different e-commerce solutions. Such end-products include:
- e-commerce mobile apps
- shopping carts
- website e-commerce design
- payment gateway integration
- internet banking
- online ticketing and reservations
- email marketing, PPC, marketplace management
How does e-commerce development company work?
To develop and deliver quality e-commerce projects for customers, development companies typically follow the next process:
- Client Brief. First stage aims to discover and research. The company finds out about client’s view of the future project, main goals, purpose, and shall agree upon main features and solutions for the project.
- Planning. On the second stage start the process of creation further action plan and also sitemap which includes all customer wishes. Sitemap is needed to see “the connection” between different parts of the process and to decide what should be amended for better result.
- Design. This stage of development process includes the creation of all visual parts of the future website. After design stage is done the customer should to confirm it or to amend it.
- Content Writing. On this stage team edit text, write headlines, write site description and main product information. All content materials should be approved before the coding.
- Coding and development. All the previous work is used to program an actual web store, marketplace, or other type of e-commerce website, via frameworks, CMS, coding platforms and search engine optimization tools.
- Testing and Launch. When the e-commerce product is ready, the team carries out quality assurance and only then a site can be published.
- Maintenance. It’s not enough to just launch the site, because any website requires maintenance all the way. It implies a constant check, support and regular updates.
What value does e-commerce development company provide for your business?
There are several valid reasons why you need e-commerce solution for your business and how e-commerce development company can help your business to grow up:
- Professional development, as well as the speed of work. It all depends on the complexity of client requests, platform, scope of work, the size of the future website, final purpose, etc. Strong e-commerce company can deliver a typical website in 14 weeks from beginning to launch.
- UI/UX and creativity. While creating a platform for your business the team usually may offer great design ideas regarding shopping cart, templates, images, price calculator, user registration/login, user flow from shopping cart till purchase, etc. UI teams specializing in brand recognition ensure quality content for websites and across all other digital platforms.
- Payment integration. E-commerce development companies can help with payment gateway integration, e.g. PayPal - the most common payment method for e-commerce today with over 254 million users, or Google Pay with 25 million monthly active users, Apple Pay with over 38 million users.
- SEO & marketing. Customers may also rely on e-commerce developers to improve store visibility, sales and traffic boost and so on. With quality SEO you can attract visitors and potential buyers, increase conversion rates, while marketing teams are there to help with brand recognition, graphic and web design that drives customers to purchase.
- Technical ongoing support. After the launch, a website will need regular updates, bug fixing, troubleshooting, further enhancements, etc., and expert e-commerce development company should be able to deliver it.
Which industries use e-commerce solutions?
- Fashion and apparel industry ($545 billion). A significant feature of e-commerce websites for fashion brands are lookbooks which is aimed to get a better view of the product. Usually lookbook includes several pictures of a certain product from different sides to show all its benefits. Also the majority of lookbooks has a built-in cost mechanism for customers, to see the price for each item. The most esteemed examples: “Zalando”, “Asos”, “Next”, “Forever 21”;
- Beauty industry ($5 billion). There are a lot of e-commerce beauty websites such as “Luxyhair”, “Birchbox”, “Morphe Brushes”. Wish-list for beauty e-commerce websites is a trend of 2019. Wish-list is an effective tool for sellers to alert clients about a sale and also to find out customers’ tastes and preferences to offer them the similar goods. Developers usually integrate the wish-list feature to increase website sales.
- Automotive industry ($12 billion). For automotive e-commerce websites developers offer such feature as a CMS that helps to optimize and automate the processes of shipping, ordering and inventory management. It’s helpful due to the high selling rate of automobiles. Famous worldwide auto brands which have e-commerce websites: “GM”, “Ford”, “Hyundai”;
- Electronics industry ($72,4 billion). Electronics websites already benefited from such e-commerce solution as an Order Management System which gives the opportunity to track current orders, look through past order and payment history. The most famous electronics e-commerce websites: “Skullcandy”, “eBay”, “Sharp";
- Travel market ($755 billion). Developers recommend to add on the website such option as a calendar which automatically shows ticket availability and their prices with the opportunity to choose return ticket. “Transavia”, “Sina”, “Adrenalin” are just few examples.
- Furniture and decor. Developers created quite an useful option as Return Merchandise Authorization that makes the process of returning and exchanging a product easier and gives the opportunity to receive a refund or repair during its warranty period. The most recognizable examples: “Clinton”, “Furlenco”, “Rentmacha”.
What is the difference between an e-commerce development company and developer?
Usually an individual developer is a narrowly qualified specialist which can’t provide all range of services and you might have to hire several freelancers to finish different parts of the job. On the opposite side, a development company has a team of employees that are experts in diverse fields, as well as designers, testers and project managers.
Experience and proven skills play a huge role too, if you want to get a top-quality product. Commonly, freelance developers are less experienced than companies, which usually have many years on the market, good portfolio, real cases and clients.
Communication with freelance developers is more often worse, than with e-commerce development companies with strict policies and procedures. A company stays always in touch, unlike an individual freelancer who may not be that interested in ongoing support afterwards.
On the other hand, services provided by individual e-commerce developers are more affordable compared to professional companies. The price can start from $30 – $50 per hour or $2,000 for the whole project, and yet it may vary based on experience, skills, location, etc.
A typical cost rate for freelance developers and designers is:
- junior level: $30-50 per hour;
- middle level: $50-100 per hour;
- senior level: $100+ per hour.
Obviously, the development process with 1 or 2 developers takes more time compared to a hired development team who all work on a project at the same time and on schedule.
How do I choose the best e-commerce development company?
In order to choose the most suitable e-commerce development company, we recommend you to ask your potential partner about:
- What services does the e-commerce development company offer?
Usually the development team offers a range of services which can include: e-commerce consulting, web and mobile development solutions, design, testing, custom e-commerce solutions. Also, the company can offer app development for different e-commerce platforms as Magento, Shopify, PrestaShop, OpenCart, Wordpress, etc.
- How experienced is your team and employees?
- How much do you charge for your services? How much does it cost to hire?
Every service has its own price, which depends on its quantity, quality and the required result. The price ranges from $500 - $1,000,000 and totally depends on the complexity and specifications of the project. Some companies offer calculators on their websites where you can count the approximate price of the final product and decide if this company suits to your budget. The average hourly rate is $50 – $125 per hour. For more detailed information, see the paragraph below about cost rates.
- How long does it take to create an online store?
To count how much time will it take to create an e-commerce website you should take into consideration following steps:
1. Client Brief – from 1 to 2 weeks;
2. Planning – from 2 to 6 weeks;
3. Design stage – from 4 to 12 weeks;
4. Content – from 5 to 15 weeks;
5. Coding and development – from 6 to 15 weeks;
6. Testing and launch – from 2 to 4 weeks;
7. Maintenance – ongoing.
All in all, launching an online store can take from 20 weeks to a year and a half.
- Do you have any draft estimation, demo or trial period?
Every project is unique, with unique design, structure and features, that’s why company should provide you with a draft estimation in which company should explain the cost of the services or set the approximate price for the project. Some development companies offer to their potential clients demo or trial period from 14 days to a month. It’s free and it’s a great possibility to learn about the company’s approach to work before hiring it.
- Check out their past best projects portfolio and clients
Look through the past projects, the quality of products, pros and cons of already delivered e-commerce solutions. It’s the easiest and one of the most effective ways to know the company and decide if you want to collaborate with it. Also ask about projects the company is proud of and about their famous clients.
- Ask to show you their certificates
Every high-quality company should have certificates which confirm their competence in development. The most common is Magento Certification which includes:
- Magento Solution Specialist Certificate;
- Magento Front-End Developer Certificate;
- Magento Certified Developer Certificate;
- Magento Certified Developer Plus Certificate.
Also the company is highly respected if its employees have Shopify Certificates, BigCommerce Certificates, 3Dcart Certificates etc. It is very valuable if the company was awarded. Here are the most prestigious and famous e-commerce development awards:
- E-commerce Awards;
- Shopify Commerce Award;
- UK Ecommerce Awards;
- Excellence Awards;
- CSS Design Awards.
- Are there any recommendations and referrals about the company?
Ask your relatives, friends or people on forums/networks if they know about this company, what they heard about it and what their impression of cooperation with it. According to statistics, 92% of clients trust a referral from people they know.
- Reviews, feedbacks and ratings
Read reviews and feedbacks not only on the company’s website but also on various forums and social networks. Also pay attention to the ratings in which company is mentioned.
- Compatibility, affordability
It’s important to be on the same page with your potential partner company. During conversations and meetings make sure that development team clearly understands the idea and agrees with you on main points.
- How much does an e-commerce website cost to launch?
The price of an e-commerce website (online store) could vary from 5 thousand dollars to 5 million, depending on development company, level of customization, scope of the project, etc. But what exactly determines the price of the product? There are 5 main blocks which directly affect the final price: design, functionality, data importation, marketing and SEO, integration and company selection. So how much does it cost?
The price range can be extreme, from $500 to $10,000,000 for one item:
- Design: from $5,000 (Small business) to $350,000 (Big enterprise). For example:
- Logo design may cost about $500;
- Banner design may cost about $350;
- Brand book development may cost about $1,000;
- Promotional materials design may cost about $500.
- Programming: from $2,000 (Small business) to $750,000 (Big enterprise). The price may vary depending on the number of pages:
- 1 - 10 pages may cost $1,000-2,000;
- 10 - 50 pages may cost $1,000-2,000;
- 50 - 150 pages may cost $3,000-6,500;
- 150 - 250 pages may cost $6,500-10,000;
- the cost for 250+ pages starts from $10,000.
Price for the number of listed products:
- 1 - 99 products may cost $10,000-11,000;
- 100 - 499 products may cost $13,000-14,000;
- 500 - 999 products may cost $17,000-18,000;
- the cost for 1000+ products starts from $19,000.
- Integrations: from 500$ (Small business) to $20,000 (Big enterprise). As an example, PayPal or Credit Card integration can cost from $2,000 to $2,200.
- Data Importation: from $2,000 (Small business) to $10,000 (Big enterprise). Price for database integration can vary from $2,000- 4,000 for basic, about $4,000-10,000 for advanced and within $10,000-25,000 for full development.
- Hosting (annually): from 500$ (Small business) to $10,000 (Big enterprise).
- SEO (annually): from $24,000 (Small business) to $200,000 (Big enterprise). Usually the price depends on quantity of keywords, products and categories, link building, on-page optimization etc.
- Integration of inventory management system price starts from $2,000 to $15,000.
In total, the cost of an e-commerce project, depending on type, scope or market niche, could fluctuate on average from $20,000 to $210,000.
What are the types of e-commerce websites?
There are several different types of E-commerce websites that depend on the functions they perform. There are B2B, B2C, C2C, C2B, B2A, C2A types of websites. The most common:
Business to business website (B2B) provides electronic exchanges of products and services among companies. In 2018 B2B ecommerce gross transaction volume reached $7.66 trillion.
Business to customer website (B2C) provides electronic exchanges of products and services among companies and customers. According to 3dcart the average order value in B2C is $52.
Customer to customer website (C2C) provides electronic exchanges of products and services among consumers (eBay – net revenue in 2018 about $10.7 billion, Etsy – about $603.7 million, Amazon – net revenue about $232.88 billion).
Customer to business website (C2B) provides electronic exchanges of products and services among consumers and business (Survey Monkey – 16 million active users).
Does an e-commerce website need a mobile app?
According to statistics, 61% of users will not use the application for more than a month and only 22% of users will continue to use it for more than three months.
On the other hand, the number of online shoppers increases every year and till the end of 2019 it will reach 200 million of people in the USA only. By the end of 2020 the number of worldwide online shoppers will go up to 2.87 billion. While mobile e-commerce will be easier, safer and more trusted by consumers in 2020 so we recommend to pay attention to this new trend.
So, the answer is yes, you need a mobile app. But approach mobile app development mindfully.
What are the benefits of mobile apps for an online store?
- Push notifications. The main advantage of E-commerce app is the ability to send notification directly to the user's smartphone. Users will more willingly react to the mobile announcement than to notification in their mailbox.
- Speed. There is a higher possibility that users will react on time to valuable announcements (for example, about sales or special offers). As app notifications come directly to the user’s phone and are checked more often than letters in mailbox.
- Open Rate. Users open mobile app notifications twice more often than letters in the mailbox.
- Branding. The mobile app is an ambassador of your business. With the usage of specific color palette, unique logo and features your business will be more recognizable and memorable to customers.
- Productivity growth. On average, effective application increases productivity and selling rate by 20 – 40%.
- Cost reduction. Availability of mobile application can also reduce your marketing and advertising costs by 30 – 50% via direct communication with customers and the ability to use social channels integrated in app to disseminate information on the internet.
Benefits for customers:
- 63% of customers believe that mobile app is more comfortable;
- 57% of buyers think that it’s faster to purchase a product via mobile app rather website;
- 31% of customers like features in e-commerce applications: simple registration process, push notifications, finger touch control, offline capabilities.
What are the top e-commerce development trends today?
- Mobile e-commerce will be growing. The majority of buyers confirm that it’s easier to use mobile phone for shopping rather than laptops. Today mobile e-commerce delivers 22 percent of total digital commerce income. And also it will be possible to improve SEO with mobile optimization as Google recently went for mobile-first indexing.
- Advanced Product Filtering became more customer-oriented with such feature as filter by the discount. Moreover, to make website more user-friendly and effective you should place popular filters at the top of the list.
- Voice Search. It is expected that the search will be more productive which means that voice search request can be more detailed and faster. According to statistics human can pronounce 140 words in a minute while typing only 40 words.
- Social Selling. More and more social networking services provide company’s owners with the opportunity to develop their business. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook have already introduced “buy” buttons and product pages. Today brands try to connect their sales to the account in social media. It will significantly increase the possibility of product purchase if a buyer won’t need to leave an app.
- Mobile Payments. There is a high probability that as soon as 2020 mobile payments will be the prime payment method for online purchases. In this case social networking services will be connected to such mobile payment services as Apple Pay and PayPal.