E-commerce development: 7 things to consider



Building and maintaining an e-commerce website is not easy. In every project, there is a multitude of aspects that you have to take into account, from user experience, security to performance. PHPro has years of experience in building professional custom online shops. here are 7 e-commerce development tips that can save you a lot of time, money and problems.


1. Responsive Design

The use of mobile devices to surf the web is increasing. In the years to come, most e-commerce sales will enter through mobile devices. This means that an online store must be optimized on all types of displays. Ideally, each screen should have a look at what a product, CTA or homepage looks like.
Implementing a responsive design to make a website accessible on every device is important for the success of your online shop. Whatever the platform, you have to make sure that your mobile users are satisfied.


2.  Support Guest Checkouts

Nowadays most online platforms want users to create an account to make a purchase. Logical, because this creates a lot of opportunities to do marketing and research. Crucial determinants to encourage future sales and to better understand your customers. It is important to remember that not everyone wants to go through the process of creating an account.

Returning customers may want to register with all the benefits of having an account:

  • For storing information in order to facilitate future purchases
  • Receiving notifications about future sales
  • Extra discounts with a customer account

It' s still a good idea to offer a guest checkout option. This way, you will convince customers who are suspicious about revealing their details just like that.

3. The search functionality  is important


Statistics show that over 30% of visitors use a search functionality to find the products they are looking for. It is important to ensure that a search functionality is findable and easy to use. Additional features such as an autofill or advanced search will also help to find popular products or items related to their searches.

4. Safety first

All webshops with sensitive information must support SSL to encrypt it securely. This applies in particular to payment data, but also all personal data such as addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and more. Customers expect personal information to remain safe when they make a purchase online. Implementing SSL is not only a good idea but essential to ensure that customers trust and securely assess your e-commerce platform. 

Tip: Do not store credit card numbers in the database of your online platform. Although it might seem a good idea to keep track of card information to simplify purchases for customers, keeping this information on your server is a huge security risk. Your company will always be liable for the loss of this data in the event of a break-in or security breach.


5. Optimize the performance of the website


If your website is slow, there is a real chance that you will lose customers. Statistics show that 40% of users leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. This is especially true for mobile users, who often multitask.

Some ways to make your website run at lightning speed:


  • Combine JavaScript and CSS source files because users only need to download one JavaScript file or style sheet instead of five or ten.
  • Compress images to show the best visuals in the smallest possible size.
  • Use caching to reduce the time it takes to send data between the web server and the database server.


6. Use useful statistics

Having an online platform also has one major advantage over physical locations: measurability

You can measure everything on an e-commerce platform and view all statistics:

  • How many visitors, conversions, clicks, bounces does an online store have? 
  • Which categories are clicked or visited more often? 
  • How many visitors will create a customer account and why? 

You can certainly answer these questions by setting up the right measurements and dashboards. This allows you to work more data-driven and achieve results much faster. See also webanalytics.


7. Only give priority to useful features

There are many plug-ins, apps, and features to improve your online platform. For example, there are tools to link a chat directly to a CRM or numerous scripts to do remarketing. It is important to note that these plug-ins have a direct impact on the operation and speed of your website. So think carefully before you install any more scripts on the platform.

Some tips to help you with this:

  • Review any scripts or apps you have installed, are they still useful?

  • You can also always pause tags or scripts first on Google Tag Manager. Do you notice that you don't use them anymore? Then feel free to remove them!

  • Measure the speed, results or KPI's of your online platform regularly. Did your scripts or apps all contribute equally to the results? If not, consider deleting them as well! 

Need a Pro?


You can achieve the best results by taking into account all 7 tips above.

Do you need help for your digital transformation strategy or to build an online platform? Feel free to check out our cases or contact us.