How to Create an Online Store
Invest in What Matters
Since 2003, ScienceSoft has been providing ecommerce consulting to help businesses move online with success.
Ecommerce Market Advantages
The ecommerce segment of the retail market grows rapidly. The traffic to e-stores skyrocketed from 16 to 22 billion visits just in the first half of 2020. ScienceSoft attributes the growth to the changes in consumer behavior as people now often opt for indoor services and try new online brands to break the routine.
Build an Online Store Step by Step
1. Research the competition.
3. Define a brand vision.
4. Shape a customer experience strategy.
5. Visualize main website page types in design mockups.
6. Configure and customize the ecommerce platform to go live.
7. Set a delivery area and organize a cost-effective delivery service.
8. Focus on several marketing channels.
Set a minimum viable business scope to take hold of the market and then scale up aggressively.
Integrate analytics into decision-making from the start to plan business evolution.
Know Your Online Business Model: Brief Overview and Required Integrations
Clearly outlining the business scope, you make it easier to define the functional design and map the IT environment of your online store too. Whether you launch an ecommerce startup or expand your current retail business online, make sure to know the focus.
An online store as a single-channel commerce model
An online store as a constituent of an omnichannel commerce environment
#1 An online store as a single-channel commerce model
- No design limitations dictated by an established brand image.
- Marketing focus on brand building and customer acquisition.
- A supply chain built from the ground up.
- Technology-assisted shopping for an informed product choice.
- A feature-packed ecommerce platform to minimize external integrations.
- Strong SEO capabilities to drive organic traffic.
- AI-powered product search and recommendations.
- Automated email marketing for customer retention.
Integrate your online store with CMS, automate marketing and incorporate AI.
Online store + CMS
- Diversity of content formats.
- No-code page builder.
- Content-enabled soft-selling for cost-effective customer acquisition.
Online store + AI
- Behavioral micro-segmentation.
- Product suggestions for customer search queries.
- Targeted product recommendations based on a customer’s purchase history.
- Data-based predictions of customer behavior, sales activity and marketing outcomes.
- Quick customer service with human-style chatbots.
Online store + marketing automation
- Marketers’ labor time saved due to the automation of repetitive tasks.
- Marketing focus on creativity and strategizing.
- Complex user journeys unfolding differently depending on customer response.
- Omnichannel marketing.
#2 An online store as a constituent of an omnichannel commerce environment
- Brand strength.
- On-brand website design.
- An omnichannel marketing approach.
- A complex supply chain.
- The role of digital business presence may center on product research and an increase of offline footfall.
- Responsive web design or PWA implementation.
- Advanced analytics of cross-channel customer journeys.
- An integrated IT environment with a high level of data transfer automation.
- Price synchronization.
Organize supply chain, achieve consistent customer experience and centralize product information.
Omnichannel retail + ERP
- Centralized order management and control over inventory levels.
- Smart order routing across several warehouse locations.
- No risk of stockouts with automated creation of purchase orders for approval.
- AI-enabled replenishment forecasting to avoid storage costs for slow stock.
Omnichannel retail + CRM
- Instant access to all customer interactions and loyalty points acquired across sales channels.
- Dynamic response to changes in customer behavior and new interactions.
- Website content personalization.
- Identification and focus on high-value customers.
Omnichannel retail + PIM
- Consistent and accurate product data across multiple distribution channels.
- Repository for localized versions of product information for global business expansion.
- Unified requirements to product information across participating teams (e.g., product copywriters).
Functional Capabilities of Your Online Store for Full-Cycle Digital Customer Interactions
- Configurable catalog structure covering categories and subcategories.
- Advanced search capabilities: autocomplete, spell-check, autosuggestions.
- Product filtering based on different attributes.
- Flexible size and layout of product grids.
- Online merchandising capabilities.
- Product labeling.
- Recently viewed products.
- Configurable and grouped products.
- Customizable product pages.
- Image zoom and 360-degree product view.
- Rule-based product promotions.
- Indication of stock availability, pre-orders.
- Recommendations of related products.
- Maximum product quantity allowed.
- Registered and guest checkout.
- Order summary and editing.
- Tax and shipping calculation.
- Checkout progress bar.
- Flexible payment methods.
- A possibility to save products for later.
Interaction with non-catalog content
- Default informational pages (e.g., Home or About Us).
- Drag-and-drop page builder.
- Content scheduling.
- Preview, publish and rollback.
- SEO management.
- Customer segmentation.
- Email marketing and landing pages.
- Private categories excluded from navigation and available by link only.
- Saved payment and shipping information.
- Customer analytics.
- Product rating and reviews.
- Personalized promotions triggered by customer digital activities (e.g., for product reviews).
- Customer experience surveys.
- Social media sharing.
Tech Tips to Start an Online Store and Win the Competition Right Away
Provide quick and competent virtual assistance to customers by integrating all communication channels into a single customer service tool, automating case distribution, and giving agents a full context of customer interactions.
Look into micro-segments of customers to work with their shopping habits rather than draw on demographic similarities only.
Employ AI-driven analytics to capture and respond to selling trends fast and meet consumer demand with an optimal product mix.
Calculate the cost of opening several click-and-collect locations in your target area and expand the click-and-collect service geographically if you assess its popularity among customers as high.
Investments Needed to Open an Online Store
The fundamental factors that affect the cost of an online store:
- The development breakdown into configuration of native logic and code customization.
- Cross-system integrations.
- Ecommerce platform choice, license and hosting cost.
- UX and UI design complexity.
Small business: from $25,000
A functional online store with the core ecommerce functionality and an entry-level marketing suite.
Mid-sized business: from $55,000
An online store with UX and UI designed uniquely for your specific target audience and business requirements.
Large business: from $200,000
An online store integrated into a corporate IT infrastructure, visual interface and business logic are custom-designed.
How to Reduce the Investments
Choose a PWA for cross-platform development
Build an effective web and mobile presence while saving on the development of two separate apps.
Go for a cloud deployment model
Optimize infrastructure maintenance cost.
Choose a pre-made design template for your product line
Get an apt website look while saving on audience research and custom design.
Hire an ecommerce consultant
Get a feasibility study for commercial ecommerce platform modules and viable workarounds on custom development.
Delegate shipping service to fulfillment providers
Launch online fast without renting a warehouse and hiring extra staff.
Launch Your Online Business with ScienceSoft
Since 2003, the team of ScienceSoft has been fostering ecommerce competence to help businesses launch ecommerce operations with profit.
- Market entry consulting for a risk-informed launch strategy.
- Technology consulting to advise on an ecommerce platform with optimal functional capabilities and cost.
- Ecommerce solution consulting to design your online store concept and ensure high ROI.
- Operational consulting to digitize business workflows.
- Hosting setup.
- Research-based UX and UI web design.
- Configuration of native platform capabilities to modify its behavior.
- Coding to build custom business logic.
- Introduction of advanced technologies (like AI or voice recognition) to benefit customer digital experience.
- Cross-system integrations.
Choose Your Product Line and Sell Online with Success
Groceries are among the fastest-growing segments in the ecommerce market.
Pharmaceutical providers saw a 10% increase in online traffic at the beginning of 2020.
Furniture makes up 12.3% of all e-sales in the US.
ScienceSoft is a reliable IT consulting and software development vendor. Since 1989, we’ve met business demands for software variability with a solid technology portfolio and multi-industry expertise. As an ecommerce service provider, we strictly adhere to ecommerce coding standards and nurture consulting culture to help online stores go live and have success with customers.