Modern realities dictate their terms to the commerce industry. Against the background of offline stores closing one after another without surviving the pandemic, online sales are flourishing and experiencing an unprecedented rise in popularity. According to analysts of, the entire e-сommerce industry will only continue to grow, and will exceed $62 billion by 2030.
The entrepreneurs can’t afford to stay only offline since they miss out on a huge part of potential customers. In such cases, the only right solution is to create an e-commerce website for business. However, to craft a truly unique online marketplace you need to use custom solutions and understand how to develop such products.
Considering our experience in custom ecommerce web development, we will analyze this process in our guide and go over the following aspects:
- What is an e-commerce website?
- Why should you expand the reach of your business through an ecommerce solution?
- What features should you include during ecommerce web development?
- How much will it cost to develop an ecommerce business website in 2024?
E-commerce Market Overview: Directions, Prospects, Forecasts
We’ve decided to collect some promising predictions and statistics to further strengthen your decision to enter the domain with your own ecommerce platform. To begin with, let's start by saying what you will lose if you do not build a custom website for online trading. You run the risk ofon more than 214 million buyers, and this is harmful for business to miss out on such a large number of potential customers. To back up the previous statement, it is also worth talking about sales, which is also a very important indicator of the industry’s success.
According to, total retail e-commerce sales should have reached over $910.39 billion by the end of 2023. This is a crazy number that your business can become a part of if you develop your custom ecommerce website.
Do not forget about the trends of the ecommerce market, which are also worth looking at if you want to get a competitive edge. And today, the most popular trend in the industry is m-commerce since aboutof all retail sales in America are purchases made from mobile devices. That is why it is extremely important at the ideation stage to think about its compatibility with mobile devices.
The e-commerce industry is now stronger than ever, and if you want your retail business not only to survive but also to start growing in such a troubled time for ordinary stores, your salvation will be to create your own website. Having made this choice, you will definitely not be mistaken since statistics show that such rapid growth is only the beginning, and by joining the e-commerce industry, your business will gain an incredible boost.
Benefits of Custom Ecommerce Web Development
We have collected the most important benefits that your business will receive when it finishes the ecommerce store development process and starts operating using a custom website.
Increased sales and revenue
During the lockdowns, many retailers experienced severe drawdowns in profits and sales as all buyers remained in the comfort of their homes. However, in the meantime, brands and companies that account for 50% of their sales from e-commercethan other companies during lockdown periods. To be more precise, 40% of the stores adapted for online sales have increased their revenues. And this ecommerce custom development trend will not subside, as analysts predict an increase in the number of consumers who shop online.
Doing business through a website is much cheaper than maintaining a standard store. All you need to maintain is a timely payment for hosting and a salary to the administrator (we omit the costs of modifications and improvements since they are temporary). Meanwhile, a full-fledged store every month bites off significant amounts of money from your budget for renting premises, paying for utilities, cleaning, salaries for all employees, sick leaves, and so on.
Enhanced product visibility
The custom ecommerce website development provides you with unique tools to promote your brand and products that are not available in standard retail stores. For example, if create a unique online store, you can increase sales of certain products using contextual advertising, personal recommendations, thematic selections, and other ways to attract customers to the goods.
Your store runs 24/7/365
By transferring your entire business online, you can forget about the weekend for your marketplace. In addition, you are not tied to the geographic location of your store and can serve customers from all over the world (having previously established an uninterrupted delivery system). Thus, your store is available around the clock, which allows you not to interrupt cash flow to your budget.
This benefit is very dependent on your set of features (which we will talk about a little later). However, if you take care of the availability of a wide range of analytical tools on your custom ecommerce solution, it will become much more convenient for you to track the success of your store and, based on the data, manage the strategy for further development of your business. In addition, monthly reporting can be reduced to a few mouse clicks, saving you time and focusing on more aspects of your business.
Field for the implementation of modern technologies
Your own e-commerce website lets you implement an insane amount of modern technology to simplify your workflow and user experience. For example, you can implement Artificial Intelligence on your website in chatbots that will solve customer questions. Or, permeate the site with machine learning algorithms that will study the actions of buyers on the site and provide them with personalized recommendations and customized offers.
E-commerce platform developed by Cleveroad
Popular Ecommerce Web Solutions on the Market
Here are top-4 ecommerce website examples for you to consider when thinking out your own custom ecommerce website design.
Amazon is one of the largest and most popular global e-commerce platforms with, offering a vast array of products ranging from electronics to books, and even streaming services.
Amazon offers the following core features for their users:
- An enormous product catalog, providing customers with a wide range of choices
- Benefits like free shipping, access to Prime Video, and exclusive deals
- Massive customer base through the third-party marketplace
- Customer reviews to make informed decisions about products
Shopify is a versatile e-commerce platform that empowers businesses to create and manage their online stores with ease. It has got $6.651 billion of revenue in 2023, due to Macrotrends data.
The platform proposes an intuitive interface, making it accessible for businesses of all sizes. Shopify users can choose from a variety of templates and customize them to align with their brand aesthetics. Moreover, this platform supports multiple payment gateways, ensuring secure transactions for both buyers and sellers. Shopify's extensive app ecosystem also allows users to integrate additional features and functionalities into their online stores.
Alibaba is a Chinese e-commerce giant with about. The platform connects buyers and sellers globally. It operates through various platforms, including Alibaba.com for wholesale transactions and AliExpress for retail sales.
Core features Alibaba offers to use are the following:
- Massive product selection
- Bulk purchasing options
- Trade assurance for secure transactions
- International shipping
- Escrow services for payment protection
Etsy is a specialized e-commerce platform with, focused on handmade, vintage, and unique goods. It provides a marketplace for independent sellers and artisans.
The main features of Etsy are the following:
- Community-driven reviews and ratings
- Seller profiles with stories
- Secure transactions
- Customization options for shops
What to Notice Before Custom Ecommerce Website Design
Before you start developing your e-commerce website, you should take care of some nuances. The creation of a custom ecommerce web site is a responsible process that does not allow frivolity and unpreparedness. That is why we will now talk about a few aspects that you should know about when applying to an IT vendor for ecommerce website development services.
This aspect ensures that your custom design aligns with market demands, making your online store more competitive and appealing to potential customers. So, before embarking on the custom ecommerce web development, thorough market analysis is crucial.
Understand your target audience, competitors, and market trends. Identify the unique selling points that can set your website apart. Analyze consumer behavior, preferences, and expectations to tailor your website design accordingly.
A convenient ecommerce site design not only attracts visitors but also encourages them to explore products and make purchases, contributing to higher conversion rates. That’s why you should consider intuitive navigation, clear product categorization, and a streamlined checkout process. Prioritize simplicity and clarity in design elements to enhance the overall user experience. Incorporate features like a search bar, easily accessible product pages, and prominent calls-to-action.
Mobile device adaptivity
A significant portion of online shopping occurs on mobile devices, so your custom ecommerce website must be responsive and optimized for various screen sizes. Implement a mobile-first approach, ensuring that the website functions seamlessly on smartphones and tablets. This adaptivity enhances user experience, improves search engine rankings (considering mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor), and broadens your audience reach.
You should take care of the following aspects to perform a custom ecommerce website development:
- User card data security. To avoid user card data leakage, your e-commerce website must fully comply with the PCI DSS industry standard, which ensures the secure transmission and storage of credit card information collected on the Internet.
- ISO compliance. ISO/IEC 27001: 2013 certification affects the security of the data that your business collects and processes, so you should obtain this certification and partner with an ISO-compliant technical vendor to help you achieve cybersecurity excellence during your ecommerce custom software development.
- Personal data security. Regulations like GDPR were adopted by the European Union to ensure the protection of the personal data and privacy of citizens of the European Union. However, even if your business is in America and you sell products internationally, in addition to the California Consumer Privacy Act, you still need to be GDPR compliant as you can sell your products to the European Union.
Discover other approaches to guarantee data security and safe authentication for your future retail product!
Keep in mind that investing in custom design and development team often pays off in the long run, as a well-designed website can positively impact user satisfaction, conversion rates, and brand reputation. That’s why you need to clearly define your budget and allocate resources wisely while planning custom ecommerce website development. Consider expenses such as design and development, domain registration, hosting, security measures, and ongoing maintenance.
Tech partner choice
Look for a reputable and experienced ecommerce web development team with a proven track record in delivering e-commerce projects. When looking for a tech partner to create a retailing solution, you should think the outsourcing option (for instance, you can think out a list of ecommerce software development companies offering offshore and onshore IT services) out, as it gives you the opportunity to reach the extensive pool of ecommerce IT specialists and get your online store with a good value for money. For example, the Central and Eastern Europe is a popular destination to outsource ecommerce software development.
Consider their expertise in relevant technologies, understanding of your business goals, and ability to provide scalable solutions. Communication and collaboration are key, so choose a partner who can effectively translate your vision into a functional ecommerce website. Additionally, ensure that they offer post-launch support and maintenance services for a smooth and reliable operation.
Learn more about how we can help you build a flawlessly functioning online store with the help of our retail software development services!
Features of Custom Ecommerce Website
So, we have figured out all the nuances of the e-commerce industry and website development. Now is the time to talk about the features that will be the basis of the functionality of your commerce business.
MVP Features for Customers
First, think about MVP functionality. These features are the foundation of any product and help it perform the basic functions assigned to it.
Registering a profile is the backbone of any website and allows users to create their own profiles for a more convenient shopping experience. Often this feature has a login via a standard email/password or a login via social networks.
This page is the face of your website and will display popular products, most purchased items.
Main screen of marketplace platform created by Cleveroad (source:)
On this page, the user can customize their profile, add an avatar, change their name and add information about themselves. In addition, it is worth adding the ability to view orders made and track their status.
Product details screen
Your product must have a detailed description so that buyers understand well what they are going to purchase. The product page should have a separate tab with characteristics and a carousel of photos with magnification so that not a single inch of the product is left unchecked. Besides that, it is worth adding a comments section and user rating, so the others could leave their opinion about the product.
Arthouse marketplace developed by Cleveroad: Product detail screen (source: Dribbble)
The shopping cart is the page on which the buyer confirms the order and makes the payment. Therefore, it is very important to provide the user with as many payment options and shipping methods as possible. In addition, the order details should be indicated on this page.
This page is essential for every online store since the users must easily and quickly find the product they need in your assortment. We recommend enabling different categories and filters (manufacturer, price, and so on) for a more convenient search.
Marketplace mobile app from Cleveroad: catalog list (source: Dribbble)
Buyers will always have certain questions that will require a solution. The Help screen is the center of your website's customer service, and to make it as useful as possible, you should include the Terms and conditions, company information, feedback form, and frequently asked questions.
MVP Features for Website Owners
In this section, we will talk about the admin panel to implement during the custom e-commerce website development. The entire management of the online store takes place through it, and it must have specific functionality.
The administrator must be able to safely enter the panel, so it is worth taking care of the presence of login through a password that will be issued personally by the store owner or other administrators.
The administrator needs to monitor registered users on the website and, in case of suspicious actions, be able to block the account of such a client. In addition, moderation of product comments also occurs through this screen.
The custom ecommerce website functionality for adding products should also be in the admin panel. All information that is displayed to the buyer on the site is configured through the admin panel.
Setting up payment methods is the administrator’s responsibility, so the admin panel should be able to connect various payment gateways (Braintree, Paypal, and so on).
Orders are processed through the admin panel, and it should have functionality for viewing incoming orders, their details, as well as the ability to change the status of orders that users see in their profile pages after the custom e-commerce website design.
Custom Ecommerce Web Development Steps
So, it's time to consider the main stages of creating an ecommerce website from scratch with the domain specialists.
Step 1. First contact
To initiate collaboration, please submit a formal request containing your project details through our company website. This request will be further processed and directed to our Business Development Department. A personal manager with expertise in Retail will respond to you within 24 hours to proceed to the next stage. We will also sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) as requested to ensure confidentiality of your ecommerce website idea.
Step 2. Solution design
The Solution design team (consisting of a Solution Architect, a UI/UX designer, and business analysts) gathers to help you define the business needs of your future project, as well as the problems your e-commerce store will be defined to solve.
They work together to determine the scope of work, develop a high-level feature list for your e-commerce web product, and outline a solution architecture based on the given information. The Solution team also takes into account your company's objectives and any limitations you may have, such as online store’s timelines, specific deadlines, budget constraints, collaboration preferences, etc. After analyzing the data, we generate a cost estimate for the online store product you would like to build and create a proposal.
Step 3. Discovery phase
During the discovery phase, we specify your business processes and provide detailed the requirements of of your custom ecommerce website that were previously collected (e.g., ecommerce site features to be incorporated, third-party services to integrate, such as Stripe or Google Maps). When our team adds advanced functionality for your online store site, your original list of features becomes more specific .
The team is also responsible for refining, creating, or updating the system architecture in the Software Architecture Document (SAD) to document the technical and business decisions that have been made. Our experts use the information obtained during the Discovery phase to create a detailed cost estimate.
At the same time, our designers start working on creation of the intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface for your future ecommerce web platform. They start developing it from the prototypes, and when they finish, they hand the project over to the development team.
Learn more about the discovery phase and why it’s a vital stage of the whole development pipeline
Step 4. Development and QA
The development marks transforming your online store site ideas and requirements written in the specification into complete lines of code and a working product. All custom ecommerce website development is divided into sprints and each one takes two weeks. During this period, developers must implement a certain part of the functionality and present it to you at the end of the sprint. Such a pipeline continues until all the functionality is implemented.
Keep in mind that your custom e commerce website development can be performed in two ways: during the traditional development or low code/no code app development through the website builder. But you should remember that choosing the second option doesn't suppose any uniqueness of your future web product for retail purposes.
Your e-commerce website must work flawlessly, and therefore, it undergoes rigorous QA testing. The specialists of this department examine every part of the website for bugs, and if they find them, they create bug reports that are then sent to the developers. Bug reports help restore the state of the website in which the bug was found and fix it faster.
Step 5. Release, maintenance and support
After the QA team addresses all bug issues, your online retail store will be prepared for release. It will be moved to the live server on the designated release day. Once you're satisfied with the outcome, we will provide you with all the necessary deliverables, such as specifications, design links, project plans, risk registers, change requests, and more.
However, you may need support and maintenance services, our cooperation continues even after the ecommerce website for your business is live. We can make ongoing enhancements and additions to the retail site based on user feedback and maintain your solution with improvements and new features.
After you've launched your custom ecommerce website, you have many ways to promote your business, and in the e-commerce field, you can use the following ways:
- Content marketing. This category includes various types of content that both advertise your products and aim to improve the SEO performance of your retail website. This can be various blog posts, Longform content, promo videos, podcasts, Instagram posts, and more.
- SMM. Promotion through social networks is also extremely effective and is similar in strategy to content marketing, but it occurs exclusively on popular social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.).
- Influencers. The main idea is to deal with popular personalities who can advertise your product and services on their blogs, social networks, YouTube channels, and so on.
- SEO. This strategy is to optimize keywords, titles, meta tags, and other elements that are extremely important when indexing a website by search engines. At its core, you show Google that your website is relevant to the topic, useful to the customers, and worthy of being above others in the search results.
- Email marketing. Another way of promotion consists of sending introductory letters and letters that encourage the user to go to your ecommerce site and make a purchase (for example, mailing news about discounts or gift certificates).
Choose any way to promote your website or combine them all. Your main task is to attract an audience after the custom e-commerce website development is finished, and for this, all means are good.
Custom Ecommerce Website Development Price
The average ecommerce website creation cost ranges from $40,000 to $250,000+. But you should understand that the more expensive the development costs, the longer the investment will pay off. Our analysts have calculated the approximate cost of developing an e-commerce website based on the profit centers of the features that we have already discussed in this article.
Let’s start with a custom ecommerce site’s MVP feature modules.
|Development time (h)
Product details screen
Total development time
Please that the above estimate includes only the development timelines. The hours of work for other specialists (e.g., designers, business analysts, project managers etc.) aren't mentioned there and should be estimated separately.
However, your expenses don't end there. Do not forget that you will have to pay monthly for hosting the website and updating it from time to time to stay on the cutting edge of technology.
It is also worth noting that the final custom ecommerce website development price is influenced by the location of your technical vendor since there are different hourly rates in different regions of the world. For example, the average developer rate in the US is $150 per hour, while developers with a similar level of experience in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) will cost you on average $50 per hour.
Dive deeper in the ecommerce website development cost in our extensive guide!
Cleveroad Expertise in Custom Ecommerce Web Development
Cleveroad is a professional ecommerce web development vendor, located in Estonia, which is well-known as a popular outsourcing destination in Central Europe. Since 2011, we have been assisting businesses in various industries in developing custom retail software that improve customer funnel for sales growth and assist in enhancing shopping experience.
This is what we have in our arsenal:
- 12+ years of working on the IT market
- 250+ in-house engineers, skilled in ecommerce web development
- 170+ successfully completed projects
Let us share our hands-on experience in custom ecommerce web development with you.
Our client is a US company and acting to unify sellers and buyers in digital environments. They needed our ecommerce web development team to create an extended MVP of a web-based marketplace platform for B2C customers as a visually appealing and attractive solution for their business.
Our team created a custom web-based marketplace MVP with a wide range of features, including an enhanced search algorithm, merchant inventory management, automated content moderation, and a payment engine with 3DSecure support. The development was influenced by existing retail solutions in the market, and feature enhancements were made based on input from the Focus Group.
As a consequence, the customer got a custom and competitive web-based retail platform with the necessary MVP features. The platform contains a marketplace, a backoffice for administration, and mobile application and is comparable to other B2C platforms on the market.
Tell us more about your retail web idea
Our domain experts will study your request and provide you with full-fledged retail software development services
The cost of development depends on many factors: from the number of features you want to add to the region of the development team. The final cost will be told to you only after a detailed study of your project. However, we have compiled a guide on estimating cost of building a marketplace website so that you can get a rough idea of how much it would cost to develop such a website.
In order to create a great e-commerce website for your business you need:
- Choose the type of platform that best suits your needs (e.g., B2B, B2C, dropshipping).
- Take care of a high level of security, since not only financial, but also reputational losses are at stake.
- Decide on a list of features (basic and additional)
- Choose a technical vendor and its region, as the cost of developing a website depends on this.
In order to create your own e-commerce website, you must first find a reliable software development vendor with the in-depth expertise in ecommerce software development. Then you should contact them indicating the core points of your ecommerce website idea. They will help you plan the future retail software idea in detail and develop it, delivering you a flawless and robust web-based online store.
The custom ecommerce website development is a process of creating a site tailored exactly for the needs of your retail business which aims to boost your brand and attract new clients.
In order to build a robust ecommerce web product considering all the intricacies and the hidden pitfalls of the domain, you should first find a a trustworthy IT vendor that offers retail software development services. The vendor’s specialists will guide you through the creation process, and deliver you a flawlessly working online store web product.
Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics
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