In 2021, retail eCommerce sales amounted to approximately 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide, according to Statista.
This figure is forecast to react 7.4 trillion dollars by 2025.
So developing an eCommerce platform that meets your business goals is the key.
A custom eCommerce platform is a web application that's completely tailored to your unique business requirements. It gives you the power and flexibility to build an online store that's perfect for your brand, products, and customers.
Custom eCommerce development involves designing, coding, and launching a unique eCommerce website. It's the best way to create an online store that meets all of your specific business needs.
Why build a custom eCommerce website?
Unique shopping experience
A custom eCommerce website is the best way to provide a unique and engaging shopping experience for your customers. With a custom platform, you can control every aspect of the user experience, from the design and layout of your site to the functionality of your checkout process.
Complex business needs
If your business has specific needs that can't be met by an off-the-shelf solution, then a custom eCommerce platform is the way to go. For example, if you need to integrate with third-party systems or offer complex B2B features, then a custom platform will give you the flexibility to do so.
The low total cost of ownership
In the long run, a custom eCommerce platform will have a lower total cost of ownership than an off-the-shelf solution. The pricing model of an off-the-shelf is based on your transaction volume, so as your business grows, your costs will increase. For example, a business with annual sales between $20 and $500 million can expect to pay an annual licensing fee of between $200,000 and $700,000.
With a custom platform, you only pay for the development and maintenance of your site, so your costs will stay the same even as your business grows.
Search engine optimization
Many online shops rely on organic traffic from search engines to generate sales. If you want to optimize your website for search engines, then a custom eCommerce platform is the way to go. With an off-the-shelf solution, you're limited to the features and functionality that the vendor provides. But with a custom platform, you can tailor your site specifically for SEO.
Features of eCommerce Website Development
Omnichannel commerce is providing a shopping experience that is easy to use, no matter what channel you are using. This includes shopping in stores, online, and on mobile devices.
Augmented Reality helps customers to make buying decisions from anywhere, anytime. For example, you can see how a chair would look in your living room or how a pair of glasses would look on your face.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
AI/ML is important for eCommerce businesses because it can help personalize recommendations, customer service, and search functionality. AI can help you understand how consumers shop online beyond just demographics and purchase history.
Showing relevant products and content to customers is important for keeping them engaged with your site. Custom eCommerce development can help you personalize the shopping experience for each customer.
The checkout process is one of the most important aspects of your eCommerce website. A custom platform gives you the flexibility to tailor the checkout process to your specific business needs, including using third-party payment processors and shipping providers.
Multi-country and multi-language support
If you want to sell to customers in multiple countries or offer your site in multiple languages, then custom eCommerce development will give you the most flexibility. In particular, you'll need to consider things like taxes, shipping, and currency conversion.
Integrations and custom eCommerce solutions
Even when you decide to build a custom eCommerce solution, it doesn't mean you have to build everything from scratch.
You can still take advantage of existing solutions and platforms, such as eCommerce CMS, CRM, and ERP systems.
With a help of an integrations specialist, you pick which integration makes the most sense for your online business.
Some of the most popular integrations for eCommerce businesses are:
- Payment processors (e.g., PayPal, Stripe)
- Shipping providers (e.g., UPS, FedEx)
- Accounting software (e.g., QuickBooks, Xero)
- Analytics platforms (e.g., Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics)
- Live chat and customer support software (e.g., Zendesk, LiveChat)
- Conversion rate optimization software (e.g., Optimizely, VWO)
- Email marketing platforms (e.g., MailChimp, Constant Contact)
Cost of Custom eCommerce Development
Custom eCommerce website development costs can range from $50,000 to $500,000+, depending on the size and complexity of your project.
|Website size||Product Catalog Size||Theme||Integrations||Estimated Cost|
|Small||100-1000 products||Of-the-shelf theme||No custom integrations||$30,000 to $50,000|
|Medium||1k-10k products||Minor theme changes||Minimal integrations||$50,000 to $150,000|
|Large||10k+ products||Custom theme||Payment method, shipping options, ERP, content management system, and other||$500,000+|
Process of custom software development
Who is involved?
To build custom eCommerce websites following people are usually involved:
- Business analyst,
- UX/UI Designer,
- Project Manager,
- Quality Assurance Engineer,
- Development team (Back-end Developer, Front-end Developer)
Custom software development life cycle involves the following stages:
- Discovery phase,
- Testing and Quality Assurance,
The discovery phase is the first stage of the project when the development team gets to know your business goals, target audience, and existing processes. This information is used to create a product roadmap and project timeline.
The next stage is prototyping. Prototyping helps to visualize the future product and get feedback from stakeholders early on. Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a type of prototype that allows you to launch the product with basic features and then add new features later, based on customer feedback.
Once you approve the prototype, the design phase begins. The UX/UI designer creates high-fidelity mockups of the product.
After you approve the design, the development team builds the product. They write code and create database structures.
Once the development process is finished, the testing and quality assurance phase begins. In this stage, the product is tested for bugs and usability issues.
Finally, when all the issues are fixed, the product is ready to be deployed.
There are different ways that eCommerce developers can work. The design, development and testing phases can happen one after the other, or they can go back and forth between these stages.
Technologies for Custom eCommerce Development
Even if you are not technical, it's good to understand the eCommerce technology involved in custom eCommerce development. This will help you understand how much your project will cost and how easy it will be to maintain your site in the future.
You don't want to build your site on a technology that is going to become obsolete in a few years.
A custom website involves a backend, frontend, and database.
The backend is the brain behind the website. It's responsible for all the logic and processes that happen behind the scenes.
The most common backend languages are:
- C# (.NET)
The frontend is what the users see and interact with. It's responsible for the design and user experience of the website.
The most common frontend technologies are:
A database stores all your data. This can be anything from product information to customer data.
The most common database technologies are:
- Microsoft SQL
- Oracle Database
Custom eCommerce Development Services
A custom eCommerce development company can help you build a tailor-made platform that meets all your unique business needs.
When building a custom eCommerce platform, look for an agency that:
- Has a strong team of eCommerce experts
- Has an in-house team for software development
- Has experience building custom eCommerce platforms
- Offers a comprehensive suite of eCommerce services, from strategy and design to development and ongoing maintenance
- Can provide a detailed proposal with a cost estimate
Custom eCommerce examples
Walmart uses a custom eCommerce platform that was built specifically for their needs. Their website uses React.JS and Node.JS to bring them a competitive edge.
Costco uses Microsoft technologies (C#, .NET) for the backend.
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