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Growth Propelling Web Development Foundation for your Ecommerce Brand!

Go Digital or Perish - Module 1

Today, we are witnessing a sharp surge in the number of eCommerce brands that are emerging every single day. Some of them are a complete D2C model and some are utilizing synergistic marketplaces to reach their consumers. While this era will throw some distinguished insights in retrospection, however, to be resilient in such highly cluttered competition and stand out as an iconic brand made in the 21st century from India, will have deep dependencies on strong and scale ready foundations for web development being set today.

For all the new and early age brands, one thing that’s going to define whether you stay longer or end up being a fly by night operator is a robust digital commerce engine, built thoughtfully for a rapid scale-up when needed instead of rehashing and building afresh.

“We have identified and listed 8 themes that are mission critical for scalable ecommerce web development, for a digitally native brand and some suggestions from our experience for each one of them.”

Ecommerce Web Development for Digital Commerce Engine by Aventren
Ecommerce Platform and Hosting

As soon as you decide to open a digital business address, immediate question is to choose your hosting environment and on which platform do you wish to run your ecommerce store. Now, there are plethora of hosting options and providers available today, one can choose from shared, cloud or a private server. When you are beginning your web development journey, we recommend going with a cloud hosting either from Hostinger or Bluehost and with scale, the server needs can be recalculated to either stay with current platforms or switching to a private server.

After hosting, decide for an ecommerce platform. With everything being super easy you can opt for Shopify Website or combination of WordPress and Woocommerce. Both platforms have their own merits, one should decide this based on at least a 3-year horizon of the business vision and level of infrastructure needed to complement the same. You can compare these two platforms and decide which one fits best for you. In our experience the latter provides more flexibilities for customizations to your web development strategy.

Theme Selection and Shopfront design

Extremely important for an aesthetically appealing front end, we recommend to not opt for any open-source theme. Check from various premium themes available and buy a license for your store. Consider this as an investment towards development of compelling shop layouts and website structural rigidity when traffic increases. You can check for some great themes on themeforest or envato market.

Website Content Writing and Photography

Content is the king and there is no second thought to it. Having a thoughtful website content copy, is one of the critical keys to engage and drive conversions. Get a professionally shot catalogue or banners images for your website that are sharp and high on pixels. These days you don’t need to spend fortunes in creating premium sets or anything, connect with some partners who combine such similar assignment and deliver effective yet cost efficient output.

Customer Support for Assisted Sales and After Sales

Think well and build a responsive customer support mechanism which is beyond a regular experience of chat or calls. Select and deploy a proactive assisted sales mechanism for the visitors hitting your web pages, enable fast and responsive after sales support for any order tracking, returns, or consumer rewards. We have recommended the presales and post-sales support tech packs separately in front end and backend themes.

Ecommerce Design
Backend for Effective Digital Presence

When it comes to building a robust backend, there are many nuts and bolts which needs to be put in place, more so, because upon a call for scale, you shouldn’t be re-evaluating the possible integrations that will serve the job better. We have put in full stack integrations needed for web development and our recommendations together for a scalable backend of your ecommerce store.

Analytics Integration – There is suite of analytics needed as soon as you get your website up and live. Ensure you got Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel well integrated from day zero. Along with this ensure you have broad audience of all website visitor for 360 days configured. For more details on audience design, keep watching this space for a new read on demand generation.

Marketing Automation – While you are gearing for traffic on your website, a suitable integration for marketing automation will ensure optimization for conversion. You can compare Clevertap, Moengage, Webengage or Kalviyo. If you wish to go frugal in early phase, check for Sendinblue.

CRM Integration – We recommend evaluating and choose from Zoho or Freshdesk. One simple reason, both these platforms have their own suite of other modules important to run business functions.

Search Engine Optimization – Search engine optimization should be an ongoing monthly activity for your brand. Consider using Yoast for good ranking check for your pages. Identify a pack of high performing keywords, alt-text for all your images in website or social posts, meta tags and descriptions will ensure a good reach and rank. All the efforts put in the web development will become futile if SEO is not performed.

Shipping Automation – Integrating Shiprocket or Shyplite to your backend suite will save you and your team a good bandwidth to invest in sales and consumer insights. You will have nothing to worry for your order shipments after this.

Trusted Payment Gateway – There is a reason why we used ‘Trusted’, give your consumers an option to choose a payment method they trust, making it simpler and swift to prepay for the order. Integrate with Razorpay, it offers every possible option for the consumer including buy now and pay later. If you intend to receive payment from international consumers, include Paypal as well.

Consumer Feedback/Review – A great web development should always put in the mechanics to receive feedback on the product page directly. Use your CRM and other consumer delight levers to source product reviews and feedback. It will help you gain trust of other potential consumers browsing the product.

Frontend for conversion optimization

You will need a sharp and a hawk-eyed front end ecommerce design to ensure every opportunity to drive sales is tapped in. You should have a complete edge on each of these factors to ensure your website is conversion propelling.

Conversion Optimized Landing Page – Keep a constant check of your homepage for conversion optimization. Re-fresh it every fortnight, do not overdo the hard selling, instead have enough engaging CTAs for keeping your visitors interest glued. Remember all you have is first 10 seconds to create a clutter breaking impression. Consider putting in Hotjar or Mouseflow to decode user behaviour in your ecommerce shop.

Mobile First UX/UI – Given the density of penetration, ease of use and access, your ecommerce website design should be optimized and developed keeping mobile usage as priority. Have responsive pages to different screen sizes, check for banners and images, and content typography to be scaled as per UI of mobile.

Sticky Menu – A simple and the most powerful point, keep your website navigation accessible at all point in time. You may choose to have a sticky bottom menu for mobile with important pages and header menu as sticky for web version.

Visible Add to Cart – Keep an add to cart button sticky and always visible for each product page. Keep an active add to cart even in the shop page as much possible.

Ecommerce Brand

Simplified Checkout – A powerful buying cycle should be able to take a visitor to the payment page in 3 clicks. A few more pointers, optimize the fields you want your consumer to fill, absolutely no clickable links in checkout page, not even your brand logo, no button except proceed to pay in case of prepaid order and place order in case of COD option. No confusion with pop ups, or last-minute discounts on this page. If there is a drop out here, let your email follow ups and enablement do the exercise for you. Consider opting AI powered GoKwik to engineer the next level of checkout experience as you move ahead.

Page loading in < 3 Seconds – Keep a continuous check on your website page speed. Use either google page speed or GT Metrix as preferred. Try and keep your website speed score above 75 for both mobile and desktop. LCP (Largest Content Paint) should not exceed 3 seconds. Use right CDN and Caching to get speed rolling. If needed work up on other aspects with premium services to speed up your site.

Live Chat/Sales Support – There are multiple plugins or chat bot mechanisms available. Evaluate from Tawk.to, Zendesk, Limechat, Tidio to choose from.

Enabling Operations

Data Studio and Insights – Keep a continuous mechanism to check your analytics data, read through them and understand the gaps. Keep a track on page speed, visitors count, new visitors, organic visitors, session duration, number of pages visited. Do multiple cuts to see opportunities. More metrics should be studied when you run paid ads, stay tuned and know more about them on our next read on demand generation.

Content Design – Social Handles need clutter breaking content to have a high recall value. Invest in partnering with right stakeholder to continuously generate excellent still shots, videos, live sessions, and partnerships to enhance your reach exponentially.

Omnichannel Inventory Management – If you intend to sell through a channel other than your ecommerce website, build your inventories in omnichannel platform right at the beginning. Pick from Unicommerce, Easyecom, Browntape or Zoho.

Billing and Accounting – Seems to be a simple point when starting, but put some good thought to the platform you pick up. It will be a backbone of your business monitoring and should not require you to work every month making dashboards or quarterly reconciliations. We recommend picking Zoho and start, its no cost when you begin and low cost as you scale up. It keeps you well-structured from the day one.

Consumer Delights
Your early consumers will be most important than anything else for two reasons; one, they are the real test bed for your products and services, with possibility of becoming an evangelist. Secondly, they will help you improve the future course. Plan a very tight rope engagement and feedback loop to master the consumer experience of your products/services.

Shipping and Delivery Experience – Architect your systems to give a real time update on consumer orders. Packaging plays a distinguished role to extend the brand engagement and recall. Try some innovative and unique delivery delights through personalized notes or treasured packaging.

Consumer Rewards – Plan to reward the right behavior that your ecommerce business wishes to have. Prepaid orders, referrals, product reviews, video testimonies are integral to D2C growth and hence should be rewarded appropriately to encourage the consumers engaging and responding to these.

Social Media Engagement – A consumer posting and tagging with your product on social handles can never be compared with any other benchmarks of branding or demand levers. Plan and encourage around this to drive greater brand association with first purchase itself.

Nurturing Consumer Connect – Develop a thoughtful mechanism to build connect and feedback loop with your consumers. Start a short drip email cycle to share a personalized note, get feedback, pass on referrals and any other value proposition as er your business.

All the above eight themes and their levers explained briefly are building blocks to an excellent D2C or web development of an ecommerce brand. We at Aventren, are a team of seasoned professionals with management consulting background and cross industry experience. We partner with our clients to enable their growth spearhead. Book a discussion with us here or write to us at [email protected] and we will be happy to support with the best.

“The smoothest, most straightforward way to get everything you ever imagined.”

About Aventren

Aventren is an India-based management consulting firm providing services for business consulting, digital commerce services, and managed services. With deep advisory knowledge and execution capabilities, we bring the right mix of skills and energy to support your business ambitions. Aventren is founded and led by ex-EY Professionals.

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