Ecommerce has found a huge market worldwide and with each passing year, more people are subscribing to it. The pandemic has caused more people to purchase online and compelled more businesses to set up a web destination. And this trend is here to stay.
However, with the rising competition, crafting an eCommerce web app is not enough. It has to offer something more to the consumers. The expectation is high and the developers have to meet that while creating an e-store. Here are the 10 most critical challenges faced by the developers. Go through the pointers minutely as we will also discuss how to tackle the challenges.
Let’s dive in then.
1. Choosing the Right Tech Stack
Selecting the right technology is crucial for any eCommerce web app as it will power the application. For instance, Shopify is an ideal solution for a small business eCommerce web application. But for a more enterprise-level solution, Magento is a better choice. If your eCommerce website has numerous product pages or should you look to scale the site once your business grows, Shopify may not support your intention.
Here’s a comparative study between Magento and Shopify as a potential eCommerce web development platform. Check it out.
There are other eCommerce platforms available including BigCommerce, PrestaShop, WooCommerce, OpenCart etc. Each one has its own share of pros and limitations. Failing to select the right tech stack will prevent the developers to use proper extensions and limit the potential of the e-store.
2. Accessibility through Cross Devices and Browsers
Unlike a native mobile application, a web app can be accessed through diverse operating systems, browsers and devices. So it’s important to make sure that the app can seamlessly run on all the devices. The app should run effortlessly on both big and small screens. Mobile-friendliness is a crucial element for an eCommerce website as people prefer to browse and buy things on-the-go.
Also, the users can add the web app on their home screen and it can access some of the native device data. After developing, it’s crucial to test the application on multiple devices to check if it can fetch cache data and run smoothly even in a poor or no-network zone.
3. Understanding the Client’s Expectation
One of the major obstacles for the developers is the communication gap. Every business is unique, so is each client’s expectation. Before carrying out the project, it’s important to have a clear insight into the business niche, client’s demands, target audience, and competitors. The efforts put into the research will drive better client satisfaction.
An example will underline the relevance of research as a crucial step for web app development. A developer may have extensive expertise and experience of crafting grocery web app. Now, implementing the same features and functionalities for a fashion web app or an e-store selling mechanical instruments will be an utter mistake. So it’s important to pay attention to the specific business requirements. The web app is not only a platform for selling or buying products. It represents the brand values and reflects the nature of the business.
4. Lack of Experience
Needless to say, this is one of the most troublesome challenges for a web developer. Without a comprehensive knowledge about the eCommerce platforms, the latest trends of the industry, available tools, and significant work exposure – it’s difficult to craft an e-store that achieves a competitive edge in the market.
Again, many freelance web app developers consider that mastering one eCommerce platform is enough to launch a web app development startup. Let us tell you, that’s not the case at all. Every e-store requires distinct tech stack, as we’ve discussed earlier. It’s important to remember that someone else’s business potential depends on the mastery of the developers – so it’s better to upgrade skills.
Deadline is yet another critical issue in the professional world. With experience, comes the professionalism and efficiency to accomplish a project in a short time span.
Clients, too, need to be minute while hiring a developer. Instead of hiring inexperienced developers for a cheap rate, it’s better to engage a reliable and experienced web application development company. It’s important to check the certifications and work exposure of the company and talk to developers beforehand. Developing a web app for a business is a long-term investment, not merely an expense.
5. Including the Right Features
You see, all the challenges that the developers face are connected to each other. Failing to include the right features can be the results of lack of experience, understanding of the business, not selecting the right platform to power the website and so on.
Here are a few must-have features for an eCommerce web app:
- Search bar
- A shopping cart that saves items for a long time
- Intuitive navigation
- Hamburger menu
- Product catalogue
- Attractive images
- One-step checkout
- Secured payment gateway
With time, users’ expectation is increasing. If the competition is high in the business domain, the clients may also demand the following features:
- Ratings and reviews
- Blog section
- Related items
- Video and 360-degree product image rotation
That’s why any reputed eCommerce website development company ensures to employ skilled and seasoned developers who know the methods of integrating advanced features and third party APIs in an eCommerce web app.
6. SEO Friendliness
With the rising competition to occupy the top ranks on the SERP, businesses want to get an SEO-friendly eCommerce website. Without an extensive knowledge of the operation of the search engine crawlers, it’s difficult for the developers to craft an SEO friendly e-store.
The developers must ensure that the web app loads fast and is free from technical glitches. Also, they can prevent search bots from crawling certain web pages by using robots.txt.
7. Paying Attention to the Users’ Journey
One of the major challenges for technical developers is the lack of visualization. Insufficient industry exposure can be a reason behind this. Basically, the developers need to penetrate to the users’ psyche to craft a conversion-friendly e-store.
This is where the importance of wireframing lies. This gives a structure to the entire web app and keeps the developers focused. During wireframing, the developers need to visualize the users’ journey and make it as smooth as possible. The design of the website must be strategic and glitch-free.
Also, the users may not purchase a product at one go. The developers must keep provision for that. Further, using features like timer alert (a timer that indicates how long the sale is live), stock alert (the number indicating how many items are left in stock), etc. significantly improves conversion rate.
Here’s a strategic guide to craft a conversion-friendly e-store that reduces bounce rate. Give it a read.
8. Neglecting the Matter of Security
One of the major elements for the growth of an eCommerce web application is the trust it instils. Since the users’ money is directly involved into it, they prefer to shop from the sites that they can trust. In fact, as cybercrime is rapidly increasing, the users are becoming more conscious. Website security is a crucial aspect of evoking reliability.
The developers may overlook the matter of integrating a security certificate. And this will produce a negative impact on the web app. The green padlock in the URL bar speaks volumes of the quality of the website.
9. Overall User Experience
By now, you may have understood that all the aspects point to an improved user experience. This is the determinant for the success or failure of an e-store. A limited idea of the target audience and the competition in the market may pose a challenge for the developers and prevent them from crafting an out-of-the-box web app.
Seamless navigation, intuitive buttons, easy and secured checkout process, user-friendly fonts and use of colours – all the elements of an e-store contribute in improving the user experience and the developers must pay attention to this.
10. Limiting Vision of eCommerce
The web developers need to constantly upgrade themselves to cater to the dynamic user expectation. Being self-contented with the age-old industry trends has no place in the digital realm.
Further, with the advancement of technology and a great shift in lifestyle, today’s tech-savvy generation expects a holistic digital experience. Simply owning a website that features some products may not be alluring enough. It’s crucial to market the site and take advantage of all the digital channels available. In fact, many start-ups are using Instagram as a potential channel to drive traffic to their website or allowing them to directly shop from the Instagram handle. LinkedIn and Facebook are also the crucial platforms to grow brand awareness, drive traffic to the site, and boost sales.
No, we don’t ask the developers to be the marketers. But they should be aware of the omni-commerce experience and make the clients conscious of it. Advising the clients to contact a reliable digital marketing agency India after the site is developed will only increase the developers’ reputation and reflect their sense of responsibility. These days, clients prefer to contact a holistic digital service provider to get a comprehensive service including web app development and digital marketing.
Ideally, developers need to have adequate experience and industry exposure. They should also upgrade themselves with the latest tech trends and cater to user expectation. Understanding the clients’ demands and competitor analysis will further help them. An amalgamation of all these can resolve all the challenges for the developers.