How to Launch an E-Commerce Business

How to Launch an E-Commerce Business

February 28, 2019

The rapid development of technology dictates how businesses should behave to survive in the raging competition, and what channels they should invest into to get the attention of the customers. Nearly all kinds of companies, regardless of their scale, budget, target audience, and scope of activity have gotten online so far. Internet economy has already reached $4 trillion, according to Forbes. Now, each company is trying to facilitate its online presence and get the most of it.

The questions are, how does an offline e-commerce business go online and get noticed in 2019? And, what it takes to build an e-commerce website from scratch in 2019? You can find the answers to these and more questions in this post.

Learn the Options of E-Commerce Website Solutions

When it comes to launching an e-commerce website, you have two options to choose from:

  • Ready-made e-commerce solutions
  • Custom website development

Ready-Made E-Commerce Solutions

While weighing different options for launching an e-commerce business, some users think that using a ready e-commerce platform is the best choice they can get. Such a solution can look pretty good for a short-time perspective.

Ready-made e-commerce platforms have two major advantages:

  • Quick to implement
  • Cost-effective compared to custom web development

If you have big plans for the future of your business, you are very likely to regret choosing a ready-made solution at some point. Ready-made solutions aren’t good for the implementation of your e-commerce business for many reasons:

  • Limited customization
  • Limited updating and scaling opportunities
  • Limited/no branding opportunities

Custom E-Commerce Solutions

If you turn to custom website development, you will need to bear e-commerce website costs that are much higher compared to the price of ready-made solutions. However, choosing custom development is the only right way speaking long-term.

Advantages of custom web development are as follows:

  • Cost-effective in the long-term perspective
  • A fair chance to stand out in the competition
  • Unique design and functionality, tailored for your target audience
  • Much room for improvement and update
  • Security
  • Ownership rights entirely belong to you

There are some disadvantages in custom e-commerce web development as well. Most of them are rather peculiarities than drawbacks:

  • Time-taking (compared to ready-made solutions, platforms, and plugins that let you build an e-commerce store in next to no time)
  • More expensive compared to ready-made solutions
  • Some limitations may still apply based on your project distinctiveness, budget, and needs

As you can see, choosing custom web development for your e-commerce store is a more rational choice. It is so, provided that you find a good vendor who will understand your needs and build the product you are looking for.

Find an E-Commerce Development Company

Having decided to stick with custom development, you will need to find a vendor who will build a website or an app for your e-commerce business. Here, you have three options:

  • A freelancer
  • Outsourcing
  • A local company

Each of the options has its pros and cons, and in every case, the budget you are ready to allocate is the most important factor. Freelancers can offer you the best rates, but you will also bear all the risks. Outsourcing is also cost-effective, but you will need to get used to its peculiarities and take time to choose the best vendor. Shaking hands with a local company might be the easiest, and the most expensive option, depending on where you are located.

Calculate the E-Commerce Website Development Cost

Having decided to build an e-commerce website, you will start researching the development cost at some point. Let us save your time and tell you right away that there is no fixed price for an e-commerce website. Creation of such a type of website can cost anywhere from $35,000 to $1,000,000 and more.

The actual price for a given project will depend on a number of factors. Here are the most essential ones that influence the development price foremost:

  • Client’s business plan (local, national, and global businesses are very likely to need websites of different complexity)
  • Client’s financial capacities (startup, profitable ongoing business, and an unprofitable business can allocate different budgets for a project)
  • Vendor rates (vendor’s location, level of professionalism, and the team size influence the rates)
  • Project timeline
  • Technology stack
  • Scope of features
  • Complexity and sophistication of design
  • Level of customization

As you can see, a lot of factors determine e-commerce website cost of a given project. Everything boils down to its technical and functional specifications.

Develop Your E-Commerce Website Design

When thinking of launching an e-commerce website, you start to picture your future website in your head at some point. What features will it have? How will the screens look? What will the mechanics be? You will need to explain everything you want the design to be to your development team in written or graphic form. Here are the most important things you should inform them about:

  • Number of the most screens
  • Required graphics and imagery that needs to be created for your website
  • What material you can provide for the website (branded materials, content, and graphics)
  • Responsiveness of the website
  • Interactivity of the website
  • Mobile optimization (most smartphone users make purchases from their mobile devices, and the user-friendliness makes or breaks the deal)
  • Need for hosting and domain

Having discussed all these points with the development team, you will receive an accurate website design development cost.

Be Ready to Pay More

When your e-commerce website is finally live, there is no time to rest on oars. Once you build and launch your e-commerce business, you will still need to continuously pay for:

  • Website hosting and domain name
  • Website advertising and marketing
  • Website administration
  • Ongoing website development

Let’s take a closer look at the last point. Have you ever found yourself on a website that looked as if it was abandoned ten years ago? Would you consider it to be trustworthy and purchase anything from such a website? This is precisely why every e-commerce website needs ongoing development. During this process, the website will be upgraded, new features will be implemented, any bugs or drawbacks will be eliminated, and the performance will be enhanced.

Final Thoughts: Just Do It

Now that you have a better idea of how to launch your e-commerce business, it’s time to translate the theory into practice. Do not wait till everything is perfect in theory; this moment may never come. It’s way better to start building your e-commerce business now and facilitate it along the process.

About the author: Maria Redka is a Technology Writer at MLSDev. It is web and mobile app development company in Ukraine. Our focus area includes a full range of services in mobile and web app development as well as design, consulting and testing.

About Author

Marketing team in the WPS office located in Mountain View