E-commerce website development: Challenges and Solutions
The accessibility of the internet on multiple devices and increased global visibility has shrunk the world and dramatically changed the way we all behave in our day-to-day daily lives. One of the most recognized and significant changes it has brought about is the presence of complex e-commerce websites. These e-commerce websites have enabled people to buy and sell their goods using multi-layered online web applications and platforms. Bottom Line, it has ultimately made it more convenient and accessible for customers and in some cases, more complex for the product provider.
Creating an e-commerce website is not an easy task at all. During the creation of a website, web developers usually face many challenges. Here, we will discuss the most common and most challenging factors developers may face when creating an e-commerce website.
Challenge #1: Security
Nowadays, Security is the most important concern for e-commerce websites. Customers are often hesitant to make purchases online if they feel there is any risk in giving personal, as well as financial information. Web developers need to take extra precautions when building e-commerce websites to ensure that they are secured for user-end clients.
Solution: To improve the quality of the site and ensure the security of an e-commerce platform, your web developers must be implementing SSL certificates, use two-factor authentication when applicable, and regularly update the software that is used in the backend of the platform.
Challenge #2: User Experience
The user experience is another challenge that e-commerce websites face. If customers have had a prior poor or negative experience on a previously used e-commerce website, they are 80% less likely to return. Easy-of-use use and thinking from the end user perspective must be paramount.
Solution: Website Developers ensure the creation of user-friendly interfaces that are easy to navigate and as a best practice, should vet their design over time, accepting opinions of colleagues and users to express their opinion using various social media platforms. As a result, the continuous improvements and reviews over time will inherently give confidence to user and increase the probability of consumers visiting the website again and again. Obviously in this day in age, optimizing the website for mobile devices is a priority as shopping online on a mobile device has become one of the key components to device usage.
Challenge #3: Payment Gateway Integration
Integrating payment gateways can be a challenge for e-commerce websites. Payment gateways must be secure and reliable to ensure that transactions are processed smoothly and accurately. Keep a focus on the ancillary functions of a payment gateway like transaction fees, one-time fees, the ability to efficiently process refunds and the timing and ability of funds reaching your bank account.
Solution: Developers need to choose a payment gateway that is trusted and widely used. They should also ensure that the payment gateway is integrated seamlessly with the website. Test and Test again. The e-commerce platform owner should choose multiple repeat customers to test the process and record that feedback. This will give the consumer the ability to have input to things you may not have considered important but could dramatically impact your repeat users.
Challenge #4: Inventory Management
Managing inventory can be a massive challenge for e-commerce websites. It is essential to keep track of stock levels to avoid overselling or underselling products. How those physical products are managed in the store or warehouse is also something to consider when choosing the e-commerce platform you want to utilize.
Solution: Developers must first get to know the internal process of the owner of the e-commerce platform. Only after understanding how the current process works, can you implement an inventory management system that allows the owner of the platform to keep track of stock levels accurately and automatically updates product availability on the website. Don’t be afraid to work with the current system and make recommendations that can improve the process. This process can add value to not only the profitability of the e-commerce website but for the actual physical shop as well.
Challenge #5: Shipping and Logistics
Shipping and logistics are also major challenges for e-commerce websites. Because of e-commerce websites, Customers hope that their orders will be delivered quickly and reliably. Effective communication, auto updates and shipping & tracking numbers have to be on-time and efficient. It is also important to consider the internal shipping process, what other 3rd party software is available and what is going to be the best fit for the platform.
Solution: Developers need to work with reliable shipping and logistics providers to ensure that orders are delivered on time. The obvious main shipping partners such as UPS, FedEx, USPS are recommended and giving the consumer the option to choose the shipping provider can also be important. Consider the taxes and fees when pricing the product as automatically calculating the and adding the shipping to each individual order can price the product out of the market. The website developer should provide an e-commerce solution that will provide customers with real-time updates on the status of their given orders. Recommend sending automatic ‘How-To’ videos or links back to the website so the consumer is engaged with the product and feel that you are providing an added value to the product itself.
Challenge #6: Search Engine Optimization
SEO (search engine optimization) has progressed into a major element for e-commerce websites and really any website for that matter. Without having knowledge of SEO, some of the other efforts will be in vain. Good SEO practices can help an e-commerce website to get rank higher on search engine results pages and show a real value in your sales platform.
Solution: e-commerce website Developers must implement good SEO techniques and standard practices such as using the correct keywords, localized content for Google’s localized search algorithm, create new high-quality and relevant content, and ensure that the website is a 100% mobile-responsive design. An e-commerce website should not only make you more efficient at your ordering and fulfillment process, it should be a driver of sales and revenue itself.
Challenge #7: Mobile Optimization
Mobile optimization is another challenge that e-commerce websites face. It has become standard practice for people to use their mobile devices to shop online.
Solution: Website Developers must create mobile-friendly interfaces that are easy to use and navigate. They should also ensure that the website loads quickly on mobile devices. This practice starts at the beginning of the redesign process. Do research. Find other e-commerce sites that accomplish a successful mobile transaction. Learn from the best, there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
Challenge #8: Scalability
As e-commerce websites develop, scalability will become a challenge. Websites must be adapted to handle an increasing number of website visitors as well as transactions. New product lines and added benefits to the consumer’s experience are all considerations.
Developers must create scalable websites that can handle large volumes of traffic and transactions. They should also test the website on a regular basis to ensure that it is running smoothly and efficiently.
Developing e-commerce websites is not an easy task. However, by addressing the challenges discussed in this article, website developers can create secure, user-friendly, and scalable e-commerce websites that empower the consumer, drive revenue and to provide the customer with a great online shopping experience.