While having a brick-and-mortar store is the best way to create a local customer base, the recent situation calls for your business to have some sort of online presence. If you have had success with your physical store, then naturally, the next step is to set up a store online.

In-store shopping allows a real-time selection for consumers, there are plenty of reasons why an online presence is of crucial importance too. As per the data provided by Statista, online sales in the U.S. may jump up by $476 billion as we approach 2024. In the following blog, we would be looking at why going online with a top-rated SaaS platform-BigCommerce is a great idea and what does the website development process entail:

BigCommerce Website Development Process

Step 1: Get your plan sorted and finalize the agency

Step 2:  Zero in on a BigCommerce and the pricing plan

Step 3: Create a budget- start your discovery process

Step 4: Choose a Domain Name- Kickstart the Website Development Process

Step 5: Pick the template and work on the store design

Step 6: Determine Your Product Selection

Step 7. Select all of your fulfilment and shipping partners

Step 8: Finalize your Payment gateway

Step 9:  Add Products to Your Store

Step 10: Test and Launch Your Online Store

Once, you are fairly sure of why BigCommerce eCommerce development is the route to take, here is an elaboration on the BigCommerce Website Development process:

Step 1: Get your plan sorted and finalize the agency

The first thing you need to know about BigCommerce development is to have a rough timeline and your budget set out. Once you have decided to go online, the first thing to do is find an agency. If your business decisions align with BigCommerce, then a partner agency is going to help you attain your goals. Make sure to add your plan with the resources you need, overall investment, tech resources, and much more. You will be managing a site build-up and running your day-to-day systems too. Also, talk to your team and get the expertise you need regarding how to take your business online or make the transition for your store.

Step 2:  Zero in on a BigCommerce and the pricing plan

While there are plenty of reasons to choose BigCommerce as your go-to platform, the biggest reason has to do with the fact that it is a SaaS platform. If you are new to eCommerce, you may not have thought a lot about the store builder which you will use. With a SaaS platform such as BigCommerce, you can take advantage of an easy and quick setup. Additionally, it has to align well with your POS system to ensure a minimal change in functionality. It comes with great security features and has the necessary licenses in place. More than anything, the pricing plans are quite flexible too. Let the experts from your agency take a call on which option works the best for your online business. This pretty much sums up the financial setup quite a bit. Next, we move on to the actual associated pricing and starting of the technical process.

Step 3: Create a budget- start your discovery process

Create an app in BigCommerce using Laravel

One of the main benefits of setting up an online store is that the costs are much lesser as compared to a brick-and-mortar store. However, that does not imply that the fees are null. There can be plenty of associated costs which can ultimately add up. As we set up our BigCommerce websites, we ensure to let our clients know about the costs that come up apart from just the basic setup. Some of the costs that you need to know about include:

  • Platform costs which we will speak about
  • Additional security and hosting costs (Even though, when it comes to a SaaS platform, these costs are included, but monthly renewal fees is there) 
  • Design and development costs- which are included in the agreement you make with any agency or freelancer. 
  • Costs of maintenance
  • Costs of third-party apps and integrations
  • Fees of the payment provider

If you have an agency on board for BigCommerce web development, then let them start the discovery process and ensure that you communicate all your expectations- so that they are able to give you the costs you need.

Step 4: Choose a Domain Name- Kickstart the Website Development Process

Your domain name is unique to your business identity and is easily one of the most important factors on your website. It is a part of the store’s URL and is a part of the unique identity. It can be equated to being the equivalent of the physical store’s signage. It gives the customers an idea of both- what you sell and also tells them about the brand. 

The availability is the actual issue, if you find the same domain name as your current physical store, then there is nothing like it. However, you may also want to choose a domain name that is different and easy to remember. For instance, it should tell the customer exactly what you want to sell and tell them about your brand too. We would always recommend making your domain name the same as the physical store- however, you may need to pick a different name in case it’s not available. Here are some tips we recommend while picking a name:

  • Be unique, but ensure your customers know what you are selling
  • Try getting a keyword in the domain name. This will help your search engine rankings move up as well as more people find you. 
  • Avoid using a brand name that’s not yours and make sure you don’t use a trademark at all
  • The right country code is also quite important to use. While .com spells global for most people, it depends on which area your business is set up in. 

When we undertake BigCommerce website development, we recommend typical domain sellers who are trusted and affordable to buy the right website domain name for you.

Step 5: Pick the template and work on the store design

One of the biggest advantages of choosing BigCommerce as a SaaS platform is to open your business to a host of pre-designed templates. Now, that you have picked your platform, you can simply choose a theme or template which you would like to use. This helps you get an advantage over a Magento website, which needs design and development from scratch. BigCommerce comes with features like drag and drop editors, such as BigCommerce’s page builder which makes it even easier to get the exact look and feel that you need without any coding. This particular function makes it intuitive and easy to build and update a customized website. So, while going through BigCommerce eCommerce development, here are some pointers we need to remember: 

  • What’s the kind of look you want your store to have ultimately?

First off, for BigCommerce eCommerce development; you should start out with a vision. While your agency can surely get the best design experts on board, your branding guidelines would be required to implement the final online store. You would need to have a look and feel of the online store and ideally, it should be a reflection of your physical store. On the other hand, if you are dealing with multiple products, you can also go for unique identities.

  • How to make it more intuitive for your customers? 

The second most important point while going through BigCommerce eCommerce development is to prioritize your customers, even with the look of your store. You would need to pre-plan the categories that you want to put up. So, the design of the website is easily navigable right from the word go. Basically, we want to prioritize the needs of the customers and ensure that they find just what they require. 

  • What are the primary features that you need for your website? 

Based on this, you would be able to decide which theme to pick. For instance, some themes will have a feature of displaying photos in the gallery. Sometimes, you would need videos to showcase your inventory. You can easily filter out the templates by just the features you require. 

Once you have figured out the features, you can then head on to determine the products you want to put up and list it out accordingly. 

Step 6: Determine Your Product Selection

As a trick, most business ventures tend to list out their highest sellers from the physical store in the initial stage of the website launch. Additionally, products that may have more of an online demand would also make for a great choice to be added to your online product catalog. What we mean is, don’t go all out with all your products in the first phase only- especially if you are a B2C brand. With an initial selection, you can save time during development and keep adding products as and when you move ahead. Here are some more ways to ensure you do the right product selection during BigCommerce eCommerce development:

  • Products that pique the interest of your customer base

These are not necessarily need-based products. They are more or less like products that are unique to your brand and are not easily available. So, the consumer base that likes these collectibles will buy them over and over again. Once, these products become easily available online, the convenience will help the consumers buy it more conveniently too.

  • Hard to find in the local regions

If you do sell products that are specific to your area only, then list them out. If it is tough for the non-locals to find it in their particular area then the demand for these products is already high. This way, you can expand the audience and include consumers which did not have the access to the products before.

  • Light in weight

Shipping and handling are costs you need to factor in when you list your products. So, it’s best to choose lighter products so that they are much easier to ship. This way, your shop would make a lot more economic sense.
Products that come with a high marginAlso, list out the big-ticket items for sure. They have a higher margin and should feature when you launch your website. Don’t forget, you would need to pay for the shipping and fulfilment- so ensure you include these associated costs while determining your product inventory.

Have the right strategy on board, so you can put the right and most profitable inventory up during the launch. This is ideal when you are going for an eCommerce development right from scratch. If you are looking at migration, then simply putting up your existing inventory is also a great idea.

Find inventory management to be a hassle? Well, we have got just the solution for you.

Step 7. Select all of your fulfilment and shipping partners

Any good eCommerce solution provider is going to have an ecosystem on which it thrives. BigCommerce has partnered with top-notch eCommerce entities who help you tick off the fulfilment and shipping requirements.

Either you can take on the shipping and packaging process in your hand or you can get an expert partner on board to handle the same for you. Leveraging a third-party service will surely help you focus more on production and sales. Otherwise, with increasing orders fulfilling the shipping and packaging can surely be a hassle. 

Check out this list of verified BigCommerce shipping and fulfilment partners and see if a third-party collaboration here works well for your business.

Step 8: Finalize your Payment gateways

There are a host of payment gateways that BigCommerce offers. While fulfilling the customer’s orders is a priority, your payment gateway is the lid on the can. Customers need their transactions fast and they want it convenient, so ensure that you offer multiple payment ways. BigCommerce helps you manage that. You can easily sync with different gateways like Visa, Apple Pay, PayPal, and MasterCard. Remember, this is your make-and-break situation when it comes to a sale. If your customer does not find the payment gateway apt, then he will do the transaction right there and then cause loss for you.

So, it’s not just debit as an option, but credit payments are also required. Make sure your payment gateways will support different consumers. Also, when it comes to BigCommerce Integrations, your payment choices are easily the most important one.

Step 9: Add Products to Your Store

The most important part of BigCommerce eCommerce development is to add the right products to your store. 

Extra tip: Make your product descriptions right

  • Name of item
  • Price
  • Weight and dimensions
  • Variants, such as color and sizes available and
  • A clear description of the item.

Now that the design is in place, your payment gateways are finalized, you need to add products to the store. While you add products, your descriptions have to be clear and should be in accordance with a proper SEO strategy. This will surely make it easy for people to find them while looking for the product they need online. Also, it saves time for the consumer when you mention all details. Let’s take an example of a Mac charger. All you need to mention is the model- the price, the name of the manufacturer and ensure you use the right keywords so it pops up in search easily.

Additionally, remember to add high-resolution photos and videos, so the customers know exactly what they are getting. As you provide detailed product descriptions, the chances of your consumers fulfilling the sale right there and then is definitely quite high. 

Step 10: Test and Launch Your Online Store

Okay, now we are nearly done with all the hard work. We are approaching the completion of the project, but a crucial step remains. Before your customers start pointing out errors in your online store and you lose sales, it is better to test everything from your end. Once the BigCommerce store is set up, we run a thorough testing process to ensure that all essential functions are in place. Some of the things that need to be approved through a run on multiple browsers and different handsets are as follows: 

  • Does the site work with all products, descriptions, photos as planned? 
  • Is the navigation system easy for the consumers? 
  • Is the checkout in alignment with the payment gateways? 

Ensure your agency has a dedicated QA team for your website, so you don’t have to stall the process due to unnecessary glitches.

BigCommerce Integrations

BigCommerce boasts of over 50 beneficial connectors and integrations which can prove to be profitable for your business. Having the right integrations is very important for an online store. Here are the categories you would want to look at while opting for BigCommerce integrations:

BigCommerce -DCKAP-7

First off, your point of sale system is very important to connect to your online store so that you can easily manage your inventory. Secondly, like we mentioned, your payment integrations will make a huge difference and they need to work seamlessly with your shopping cart basically. 

Additionally, your analytics integrations and shipping integrations make customer mapping a lot more convenient for your business. Remember to get your social integrations going as well, because you would need the channels to help you with better sales. BigCommerce also has customer support integrations that can help you communicate with your consumers better.

Key takeaways
At DCKAP, our dedicated BigCommerce team has delivered many successful projects. We make sure to align your business needs with our top features and use the right support system to deliver a successful online store. Here is what goes behind making our BigCommerce services efficient and growth-oriented.

Author

  • Snigdha C

    Snigdha is a content writer at DCKAP who loves to delve into new worlds through different modes of communication. Her current habitat is the eCommerce realm. During her respite, she goes back to her first love- teaching kids and analyzing movies! You will always find her skimming through new experiences vicariously and otherwise; trying to re-create them and re-present them in her own simple ways.

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