How to Quickly Develop your E-commerce Website
Using outsourced IT can rapidly accelerate your time to market.
The last year has demonstrated how important having an online presence and e-commerce channel are for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
While e-commerce was already growing at incredible rates prior to 2020, the pandemic created conditions where companies with online channels were often the only ones that were able to survive recurring lockdowns and disruptions to normal, physical commercial activities.
At the same time, entrepreneurs seeking to launch their brands and companies have found themselves in a situation where establishing an e-commerce channel has been their first step into a market.
While obviously offering highly reduced costs compared to setting up a brick-and-mortar business, launching an e-commerce website also has the added benefits of being able to set up relatively quickly, and gaining access to much larger pools of potential customers.
Indeed, with e-commerce, the world is truly the limit.
However, e-commerce’s clear benefits mean that competition in the e-commerce market is fierce. Having a professional, functional and attractive website is absolutely essential if your company is going to be able to survive and thrive in this highly competitive environment.
So, you have your idea, product and brand all prepared. What you need is a working e-commerce website and/or app, and you need it fast. What’s the best way to make it happen?
Below, we outline some of the key steps you can take to speed up the launch of your e-commerce platform(s), so that you can meet market demand and begin counting your revenue streams.
Step 1: Identify your Technical Needs
The first step towards creating and launching your e-commerce website is to understand what your goals are, and to gain a basic understanding of what kind of technical capabilities you will need in order to reach them.
Questions you should be asking at this point are:
- How complex are my product offerings?
- What kind of functionalities should the site/app have?
- How much customization do I want/need for my site/app?
- What are competitors’ sites/apps offering?
Once you’ve answered these types of general questions, you’ll be able to develop a clearer understanding of the technical requirements that will be needed.
For an e-commerce site to be able to stand out among the competition, it is almost certain that it will require certain levels of customization, and to have refined backend software allowing for a seamless access and ordering of your products.
Most e-commerce sites now also provide varying degrees of personalization based on a users’ past purchases or behavior on the site. These kinds of technical capabilities are will be worth considering if building an impressive User Experience (UX) is part of your goals.
If you are one of those extremely rare entrepreneurs who also boasts the technical skills for developing a rich, technically-seamless website, then at this point you will simply start to create it yourself.
But, if you’re like most entrepreneurs – which is most likely if you’re reading this far – then that means you’ll need to bring in some technical help in order to make your dream e-commerce site or app into existence.
Which brings us to the next step:
Step 2: Choose your Development Partner
If one of your key requirements for your e-commerce site is that it is launched as soon as possible, then the best option will be to have an external team working on it, rather than just an individual or small internal team that you need to manage yourself.
As we’ve written in previous articles, choosing a development partner can be a tricky process, though there are several steps you can take to ensure you enlist the services of a reliable, professional and transparent company.
If your primary objective is indeed speed-to-launch, then this is something that you’ll need to clearly communicate to the development companies you approach.
For professional IT outsourcing companies that can scale and leverage large teams, creating a functional website in a relatively short period of time is something that should probably be within their capabilities.
Whether the objective is to launch as soon as possible, or if your timing is not urgent – the important point to keep in mind is that your IT provider should communicate with you well and express an interest in truly understanding your product(s), brand and goals.
Professional IT development companies will also be able to offer you clear timelines and a range of options for your website, and to be able to give you a clear inventory of what kind of content will be required to populate the technical architecture they will create for you.
They should also be affordable, and to have a clear track record, demonstrated by independent reviews or customer testimonials.
A Note on Where to Look for an IT Partner
As development work can be undertaken remotely, in most case sit won’t make sense to limit your options to companies that are only located in your immediate vicinity or country.
With a bit of Internet research, you’ll be able to find an IT development partner that can leverage more competitive labor costs in other parts of the world, as well as larger pools of talent and potential specializations in the area you want – in order to provide you with optimal outcomes for your site.
Once you’ve settled on a development partner for your website and production commences, you can keep track of progress according to pre-scheduled feedback rounds and catch-up meetings.
In the meantime, you can follow the next and final step.
Step 3: Get Content and Design Ready for Launch
The success of your e-commerce site obviously relies on more than just its technical functionality.
Getting your inventory ready and ensuring your logistics are all in place to support your sales is clearly of utmost importance, and something that you will need to have prepared ahead of launch.
Just as important is the digital marketing aspect of your site or app, and the designs and content that will showcase your brand and make visitors want to buy from you.
Your professional IT development partner will be able to work with you in developing a clear inventory of what content will be required prior to launch, and will have earmarked a stage in the development schedule for integrating content.
When done properly, content and design will be implemented in parallel to development, so that once the final backend functionalities are ready, your site will be ready to go.
Do you have an amazing e-commerce concept or product that you want to transform from an idea into a reality? Contact us and find out how Bocasay can be your trusted development partner on your e-commerce journey.