What is custom e-commerce website development?
These days people can use an e-commerce platform like Adobe Commerce, Shopify, Woocommerce, or any other e-commerce solution to build an online store. Choosing an e-commerce platform depends on your business goals, experience, and budget. But no matter which platform you have chosen, it is evident that you will need custom solutions because no e-commerce platform can cover all your needs.
Benefits of custom e-commerce development solutions
Unfortunately, the basic features of e-commerce platforms are a bit lacking to take advantage of their e-commerce tools. Despite the e-commerce software developers’ promises, you will need some technical expertise or money to launch and scale your business.
When customers use an e-commerce platform, they might come across various front-end and back-end requirements in checkout design, payment and shipment options, API integrations, customer support, and more. One online store owner may need vetting before buying a product, and the other may require credit features, which is possible with custom e-commerce solutions. There is no e-commerce platform that can handle all processes that business needs.
Integration with your business
A business owner or manager may need to integrate a business model and e-commerce marketing strategy for operation. It is possible only with custom e-commerce solutions and not an off-the-shelf e-commerce platform because readymade e-commerce software covers only limited sets of basic business needs.
Build an attractive appearance
Custom e-commerce front-end solutions allow customizing the look and feel of an online store with a custom layout, an effortless navigation menu, an exemplary user interface, a seamless checkout process, etc., on desktops, laptops, smartphones, or any devices. In other words, an online store gets a unique website design to attract a specific target audience or increase user engagement.
Improvement in conversions
Conversions are everything any business owner would expect from an e-commerce site. Off-the-shelf e-commerce platforms provide standard, limited features without understanding the needs of your business and your target audience. With customized e-commerce solutions are possible to create a great user experience to satisfy your customers better, leading to more conversions and an increase in customer loyalty.
Better Search Engine Optimization
An off-the-shelf e-commerce platform is produced for the masses and hence only has basic SEO features that are not geared towards a particular business niche and your SEO strategy. For instance, it can be challenging to implement structured data or URL structure (read Google’s guide about a site’s URL structure). With customized e-commerce solutions, you can expertly handle your search engine optimization needs and other digital marketing parameters like PPC specifically for your industry.
Custom e-commerce development definition and practice
We can define custom e-commerce development as the process of designing, creating, deploying, and maintaining the pieces of software for a specific set of users, functions, or businesses (B2C, B2B, marketplaces, etc.). In short, custom e-commerce development aims at narrowly defined business requirements.
There are three ways to create custom e-commerce solutions.
The first way is to create an e-commerce platform from scratch. Imagine that you have to invest in creating an e-commerce solution like Adobe Commerce, Woocommerce, OpenCard, or Shopify. You will need e-commerce consultants, SEO consultants, marketers, and experienced software developers. Development custom e-commerce platform takes 10-12 months and more. Do you really need a custom e-commerce platform? In most cases, no, you don’t.
The second way is to customize an off-the-shelf e-commerce platform with extensions or plugins. All popular readymade e-commerce platforms have extension marketplaces where you can upload free and paid extensions to customize an online store. The problem is many of these extensions and plugins were developed by third-party companies. It means these e-commerce solutions are limited in features and may have security issues and code bugs.
The third way is to hire an e-commerce development team to customize an online store that was built with one of the popular e-commerce platforms. In this way, you need to hire experienced software developers, that a bit more expensive than using extensions and plugins. On the other hand, this way is much cheapest than developing an e-commerce platform from scratch. In addition, experienced e-commerce developers will advise you on how to customize an online store optimally. For example, you can use plugins to implement several custom features, and e-commerce developers can code other features. The third way of online store customization may fit your business needs and budget better than other ways.
How much does hiring e-commerce developers to customize your online store cost?
Finding skilled and experienced e-commerce developers at a low rate is not easy. Also, the hourly rate highly depends on the country where they live. For example, an e-commerce programmer in the US earns about $60,000-$70,000 per year. At the same time, the average salary of its counterpart in Great Britain, Germany, or France is $35,000-$50,000. In Eastern Europe and Ukraine, the average wage of a skilled e-commerce developer is $15,000-$25,000. For example, the charge of a software developer in Ukraine is from $17 to $57 per hour, depending on an e-commerce platform.
Also, you can hire a dedicated team of e-commerce developers from the Philippines, India, Vietnam, and Taiwan, where hourly rates approximately correspond to hourly rates in Ukraine.
Tips for hiring offshore e-commerce developers for custom e-commerce development
As you can see, it is a bad idea to focus on hourly rates only. High hourly rates of e-commerce developers do not guarantee the quality of code or custom solutions. Low hourly rates can’t guarantee savings as many business owners think. If you work with a ‘cost-perfect company,’ it means they provide you with a low standard of coding, and you will, later on, have to get revisions done, which in turn will cost more. An e-commerce agency near you does not mean a guarantee of the quality of custom e-commerce solutions and completion of the project on schedule and within budget. Also, your neighbor, nephew, or son may not be e-commerce experts.
For the best e-commerce custom development, this is how you can select the best teams.
Skills and experience
Usually, e-commerce development teams specialize in one or a few e-commerce platforms. For example, F5 Studio’s e-commerce developers mostly specialize in Woocommerce and Shopify, although they can develop custom back-end solutions for other platforms.
You need to determine whether the web development agency you are about to hire is trustworthy. You can look at their portfolio, contact previous clients to get an insight into their experience and review their social media accounts to make the best choice.
You must ask them questions about how the communication is maintained with the client and how e-commerce developers are allocated to various projects. It is also important to enquire about their process flexibility.
Online store owners and merchants often need custom e-commerce development to implement some features. These are not necessarily specific or unique features because readymade e-commerce platforms cover only limited sets of basic business needs, not all.
There are several options to make your e-commerce site custom, but these options depend on your business needs and budget. You do not have to invest in custom e-commerce platform development if you need a simple online store. You can use Wix or Shopify because these platforms were created to build simple e-commerce sites. Even if you need a big e-shop, you can use an off-the-shelf e-commerce platform like Bigcommerce, Adobe Commerce, or Woocommerce. But you should invest in custom e-commerce development services to meet your business and customers’ needs and outperform competitors.