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E‑commerce Website Development

E‑commerce website development consists of the designing and building of an e‑commerce store. Learn more about e‑commerce web development in this guide.

E-commerce website design involves designing, building, and fine-tuning your e-commerce website to improve performance, drive sales, and make your e-commerce portal a place that people want to come to and use. Millions of e-commerce websites exist, and billions of consumers use them every day.

Many of these e-commerce sites flounder because of poor design choices. An e-commerce website requires both front and back-end development. Your site needs a modern look and feel, as well as a high level of easy usability on any device, whether it be a laptop or a mobile phone. If you want a successful e-commerce business, then you need professional e-commerce website development.

Here, you will find the information you need to make informed decisions about e-commerce website development. You will learn:

How can a website improve your e-commerce development?

While it’s possible to have an e-commerce business that exists solely on another platform, such as with Amazon and eBay sellers, you can cripple the growth of your business by doing so. Even if you’re a seller on another platform, you will still need a website or portal that can carry your prospects to the destination you choose.

Your website shows you’re serious about your business. A properly optimized website is one that shows up when people search for the products or services you offer. For website development, e-commerce requires special consideration, and here are a few ways a website can improve your overall e-commerce development.

Reach a Broader Audience

Your website exists outside of a walled garden. In this way, even if you mainly sell on another platform, people who don’t normally visit that platform can find your store through your website. A well-developed e-commerce website draws people in and holds their attention.

Professional e-commerce web development includes features that help your website rise in search rankings and get it in front of the eyes that you want to get your product or service in front of. Clean design, ease of use, great user experience, and search engine optimization go a long way toward helping your e-commerce website reach a far larger audience.

Boost Sales

An increased reach doesn’t always translate to increased sales. However, website development helps to make it easier to facilitate the customer journey.

Every aspect of your site can lead to a customer leaving and not coming back if the site has a poor design or bad user interface. The more responsive your website, the better the chance your leads will turn into customers and repeat business.


Your website needs to change as the needs of your business change. You may have noticed that some sites slow down or outright crash when they receive a sudden influx of visitors.

This can occur for several reasons, and one of those reasons is poor design. You want an e-commerce website that can handle your growth as a business and the technological changes that frequently occur in the online space.


Your e-commerce website doesn’t have the restrictions that come with running a brick-and-mortar establishment. The website gives you the flexibility to operate your store on your terms. You can process orders wherever you are or let automated tools do the heavy lifting for you.

Reduced Costs

An e-commerce store is a store in every way. But the cost of ownership isn’t anything close to what’s required for a physical retail shop. You save time, money, and a lot of extra hassle when you operate an e-commerce website, such as reduced overhead costs, no rent and utilities to pay, and a smaller team to manage. With reduced costs, you can allocate more resources to other areas of your business to help it grow, whether it’s marketing or scaling your business.

Review Customer Insights

Because your e-commerce store is an online store, there are a lot of excellent opportunities to collect and review customer insights. Your e-commerce website will collect data, analytics, and other pieces of information that let you know exactly how you’re doing and what you can do to improve the experience for current and future customers.

You will gain these insights from the website itself but also from customer reviews, surveys, social media, and other sources. Because of the more immediate nature of the internet, you can make changes or fix issues immediately. Once again, this only works well when your e-commerce website works well.

Important functions for an e-commerce website

Whether you’re building a fresh website or using an e-commerce platform to build your store, there are several important functions you need to ensure your site’s success. When it comes to these functions, you shouldn’t neglect a single one of them.

The features of your e-commerce website can make or break the user’s experience. If you’re wondering how to build an e-commerce website, here are the functions you need to have present.

Good user interface/experience

It’s imperative that your website has an excellent user interface and offers an equivalent user experience. These two things – UX and UI design – represent everything that happens when a user experiences your website.

Your user interface needs to be clean and easy to navigate, with a logical layout that guides visitors through the sales funnel. The user experience design requires the right interaction designs and information layers. It should all flow and feel natural to the user. If not, you can risk losing customers. Studies have found that on average, 32% of online customers wouldn’t shop from a brand after one bad experience. Further, an additional 59% of online customers would quit shopping from a brand after several bad experiences.

The e-commerce platform you build on should have UI/UX options that can make your eventual website look, feel, and operate in a way that invites people to continue their path toward the shopping cart.

Positive mobile experience

Millions of people are making their purchases from mobile devices, and that number continues to grow. You should consider a positive mobile experience just as important, if not more important, than the desktop experience to keep customers on your site. In fact, 57% of consumers wouldn't recommend a company with a poorly designed mobile website.

A modern e-commerce platform should have options to scale for mobile by default. If your e-commerce site works well on a PC but becomes a mess when viewed from a smartphone, then you are losing business. Sometimes, it’s better to consider a mobile-first approach, depending on your business model.


Security represents an incredibly important aspect of e-commerce websites and website design. People want to feel safe when using websites, and if you lose their trust because of a security issue with the e-commerce platform, you may never win them back.

When you process information from customers, you’re collecting a host of data, some of it potentially sensitive. You will have databases full of names, addresses, payment information, and collected data on various other things involving individuals. Choose a platform that presents security as a necessity, not an option.

SEO capabilities

SEO stands for search engine optimization. These are the tools and practices that help websites do well in search rankings and receive priority listing when people search for certain words. SEO also forms the backbone of many online marketing campaigns.

These techniques help to ensure fast e-commerce websites with clean copy and proper keywords. By default, good SEO works as a type of inbound marketing. These features start with the e-commerce website design.

Payments & checkout

An e-commerce platform should have no issues when it comes to checkout. Making payments shouldn’t present hassles or confusion. The second someone has trouble with making a payment, they tend to leave the site. The site’s design should make it clear what’s going on and what it is the user needs to do to make a payment.

Options for e-commerce website development

E-commerce website development consists of several available options. You or your team can do it yourself with an open-source solution or platform. A cloud-based e-commerce solution can work as a cost-effective solution for many. Or, you can opt to hire a professional e-commerce developer, which also presents several options.

Open-source e-commerce website development

Many open-source e-commerce platforms exist. These platforms give you the most control over your e-commerce website, but they require knowledge and skill in website development. You gain an incredible amount of flexibility because it’s you and your team doing the design and customization.

However, unless you’re a programmer or software developer, the complex nature of dealing with these platforms can give you more problems than you expect. There are some platforms that offer a little more user-friendliness. The cost to build, maintain, and operate your own platform can become cost prohibitive, depending on the resources your business has access to.

Use a cloud-based e-commerce service

Using cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions can help you get your e-commerce business up and running fast. These services work especially well for those just starting an e-commerce business. They’re typically easy to use, scalable, and often have a pay-as-you-go model that can help you keep costs in check.

What you lose out on is control over the platform. Yet, you don’t have to deal with a lot of the hassle that can come from updating software, testing functions, maintaining hardware, patching vulnerabilities, dealing with the foundational level of implementation, and a host of other things that come from running the platform yourself.

Hire an e-commerce developer

You can always use professional e-commerce website development services. This is a flexible option but has many caveats of its own. E-commerce website development services can create an excellent, responsive, easy-to-use e-commerce website and back-end for you. However, you will still need support and a budget to fund that ongoing support.

E-commerce website development for your company

Now that you understand the importance of e-commerce website design and how it benefits your business, you can start building a smartly designed website with a website builder. Use these e-commerce website design tips as a starting point.

Mailchimp's website builder allows you to customize your design, sell online and manage orders from a clean and responsive interface, and use the built-in marketing tools to launch your e-commerce business to greatness. Our platform provides SEO tools, analytics, forms, and everything else you need to start your e-commerce business right now.

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