The $8.14 billion ecommerce software market is expected to grow by 4.26% annually to around $9.62 billion by 2028 (Statista).

Clearly, developing an ecommerce platform is more than a survival tactic today. It’s about standing out in a crowded marketplace. 

Because you cannot merely sell online anymore. 

You need to harness cutting-edge technologies, anticipate the future of consumer interaction, and craft unique buying experiences to stay ahead of the competition.

We’ll tell you exactly how to build ecommerce software that stands out in the market, and more tips.

Plus, we’ll share why partnering with a nearshore outsourcing firm like Distillery can be a strategic advantage for your business.

Further Reading:
Discover the benefits of Outsourcing IT Services and the best outsourcing partner.
Explore how Outsourcing Companies Use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Enhance Efficiency. 

This Article Contains:

Ecommerce software development involves creating mobile applications or websites that enable businesses and individuals to sell and market products and services online. 

What is Ecommerce Software Development? 

Your ecommerce solution can be built to suit different business models, including:

  • B2B (Business-to-Business)
  • B2C (Business-to-Consumer)
  • C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer) 
  • C2B (Consumer-to-Business) 

And, more.

These can be custom ecommerce software solutions, tailored specifically to your needs, or off-the-shelf solutions, which are ready-made and can be used immediately but with less customization.

Now, custom solutions can be built in-house or outsourced to a third-party partner. 

What is the advantage of outsourcing ecommerce software development?

Outsourcing to a third-party service provider gives you access to specialized skills and technologies, often at a significantly lower cost than in-house development. It also allows your team to focus on their core competencies, while speeding up the time-to-market. 

What is the best way to outsource the development of your ecommerce platform?

Outsource Your Ecommerce Software Development to Distillery 

With over ten years of expertise in serving both large enterprises and startups in the ecommerce and online retail sectors, Distillery boasts top-notch development talent in Latin America ready to help your business grow. 

Our team includes skilled ecommerce app developers, UX/UI designers, architects, and consultants with extensive experience across various platforms, programming languages, and cross-platform frameworks. 

We’re adept at using web technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript frameworks (React, Angular) to create responsive and dynamic user interfaces. On the server side, we have expertise in languages and frameworks such as .Net or Ruby on Rails and databases like MySQL or Oracle.

Here are some of the ecommerce development services we offer:

  • Website Development and Design: Building sites that are attractive, user-friendly, SEO-optimized, and UX-oriented in design to ensure an engaging user experience.
  • Mobile App Development: Creating well-designed, functional, multi-platform mobile apps.
  • Payment Gateway Integration: Implementing secure, reliable payment processing systems.
  • Inventory Management Software: Developing systems for accurate stock tracking and integration.
  • CRM Software: Building tailored customer relationship management software.
  • Marketing Automation Software: Creating marketing automation software that’s optimized for your marketing goals and integrates with your website, CRM software, and other systems.
  • Custom Solutions: Creating bespoke solutions tailored to solve your specific challenges.
  • Platform Integration: Providing seamless integration with leading platforms like WordPress with WooCommerce, Shopify, Medusa, and more. 
  • Project Management Support: Offering dedicated project managers and business analysts to tailor solutions to client goals and needs. 

Connect with Distillery now to leverage our development services and build a winning ecommerce solution.

Next, let’s look at the typical steps in the development process. 

The Ecommerce Software Development Process: 10 Key Steps + All You Need To Know

Here’s a look at the 10 key steps to bring your online store to life: 

1. Create Your Ecommerce Blueprint

This step is about laying the groundwork for your online store. It involves defining your business goals, understanding your target market, and mapping out the functionalities and features your platform will need. 

You need to:

  • Outline specific goals for your project, including financial targets and customer engagement objectives.
  • Conduct market research to understand your target audience, their behaviors, preferences, and pain points. Conduct a thorough competitive analysis as well.
  • Develop a detailed action plan that outlines the steps, timelines, and resources you need to achieve the goals, target your market effectively, and incorporate the necessary functionalities and features into the ecommerce solution. This is your roadmap, guiding the development and implementation process.

2. Calculate Your Budget

Your ecommerce development budget will define the scope of work, and will help you allocate resources efficiently, and prevent cost overruns. 

You’ll need to consider both fixed (e.g. developer salaries) and variable costs (e.g. marketing and advertising expenses). 

Don’t forget to factor in unexpected expenses, such as emergency bug fixes and additional feature requests.

To get an idea of a potential budget for your ecommerce platform, reach out to experts to learn about current market rates and get quotes from service providers. 

For instance, if you’re looking to outsource, nearshoring development to an ecommerce software development company like Distillery lets you enjoy top-notch quality and cost savings. This is due to the lower living and salary costs in countries like Argentina and Mexico. 

3. Decide Whether to Develop the Software In-House or Outsource It

Deciding whether to develop ecommerce software in-house or outsource involves weighing factors like your budget constraints, project complexity, existing in-house expertise, and timelines. 

  • In-house development: Suitable if you need to prioritize project control and cultural fit, and have the necessary resources and expertise in-house. You’ll have to hire and train the right candidates, which can extend timelines. 
  • Outsourcing: Opt for this model if you need specialized skills that you lack in-house, want to reduce costs, or have tight deadlines.

    But you may face communication and time zone issues, especially in the offshore models where you outsource to far-off countries. Of all outsourcing models, nearshore outsourcing is possibly the most attractive where you outsource to neighboring countries like Mexico. 

By nearshoring, you’ll enjoy cost savings while sidestepping time zone and communication issues. Plus, you’ll gain a level of cultural alignment and control over our development services that closely resembles in-house ecommerce development.

4. Decide on an Ecommerce Business Model

The ecommerce business model you choose shapes your platform’s design, functionalities, and customer engagement tactics. 

For instance:

  • B2C (Business-to-Consumer): Businesses sell directly to end consumers, focusing on bulk pricing, volume discounts, and account management features. For example, Amazon, Walmart, Nike. 
  • B2B (Business-to-Business): Selling products or services between businesses. For example, Alibaba, Salesforce, and SAP.
  • C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer): Consumers sell to each other, typically through a third-party platform like eBay, Etsy, or Craigslist.
  • C2B (Consumer-to-Business): Consumers offer products or services to businesses. This can include freelance work, crowdsourcing, or selling products that a business uses. Upwork, Shutterstock, and Fiverr are great examples.
  • Subscription: Offer products or services on an ongoing basis for a recurring fee, like Netflix, Spotify, and Birchbox.

Your choice of business model will define your target audience, marketing strategies, and operational processes. This will help you build the right e-commerce platform for your specific business and market. 

5. Decide Where to Deploy Your Ecommerce Site (Mobile or Web?)

At this stage, you should decide whether to develop a mobile app first or launch an ecommerce website, or do both:

  • Mobile app development: Provides a tailored user experience and is ideal for brands aiming for high engagement and loyalty. Decide whether you want to develop a mobile app for iOS, Android, or both.
  • Website development: Offers the convenience of browser access, broadening reach, and simplifying updates, but with less customization and personalization than mobile app development. It has to offer a seamless user experience across various devices, operating systems, and browsers.

This decision influences which development platforms you consider, as some are better suited for web development while others offer strong mobile app integration and features. It also affects hosting options, scalability considerations, and security needs.

6. Select the Apt Ecommerce Development Platform (Custom Vs Off-the-Shelf)

It’s important to weigh off-the-shelf solutions like Shopify, Magento (now Adobe Commerce), or Drupal Commerce, against the benefits of developing custom ecommerce software, tailored to your specific needs.

This will depend on factors like scalability, features, cost, and compatibility with existing systems.

Ready-made platforms can provide a quicker route to market with built-in features and ease of use. But, if your business has unique requirements, custom commerce software works best. This offers unparalleled flexibility and control over user experience and functionality.

This decision naturally extends into identifying the appropriate tech stack, including frontend technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript frameworks) and backend technologies (server-side languages, databases).

7. Determine Hosting Options

Next, decide on the best infrastructure or different hosting configurations based on scalability, reliability, cost, and tech support needs. 

Depending on your needs, you may decide on:

  • SaaS (Software as a Service): Hosted solutions that simplify operations for both web and mobile development. Ideal for reducing maintenance efforts.
  • On-premises: Infrastructure hosted internally. Best for businesses that need complete control, but demands more resources for setup and ongoing maintenance.
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service): Cloud-based environments that accelerate mobile and web app development cycles with built-in tools for coding, testing, and deployment.
  • Headless ecommerce software: Provides flexibility for innovative UX/UI design across mobile and web platforms by separating the frontend and backend. 

Choosing the right hosting option will result in a robust, scalable e-commerce platform with optimal user experience, within your budget and technical scope.

8. Incorporate the Essential Features

This step involves ensuring your ecommerce solution has the relevant features to meet user expectations, support business scalability, and maintain a competitive edge. It could include many of these:

Core Ecommerce Features:

  • User account and profile management
  • Product management and categorization
  • Search functionality
  • Shopping cart and streamlined checkout process 
  • Omnichannel shopping across various devices and platforms
  • Reporting and analytics 
  • Reviews and ratings system
  • Wish lists
  • One-click payments for easy checkout
  • Multi-language and multi-currency support
  • Voice assistants or chatbots

Customer Experience Enhancements:

  • Personalization based on user preferences using AI and machine learning
  • UX/UI mobile app and web design 
  • Augmented reality for virtual product trials
  • Mobile optimization 
  • Accessibility features like alternative text for images

Marketing and Security Features:

  • SEO features (content management, social media integration)
  • Email marketing integration
  • Affiliate marketing support 
  • Security features (SSL certificates, data encryption)

Features for Operational Efficiency:

  • Inventory management to keep track of stock levels
  • Integrations with other software (CRM, ERP) 
  • Scalability options to grow with your business needs

9. Test Your Software

Testing your ecommerce software is essential to ensure performance, security, and user experience meet the highest standards before launch. 

Through processes like unit testing, usability testing, and security audits, potential issues can be identified before they become costly errors. 

For instance, usability testing might reveal that users find the checkout process confusing, allowing developers to streamline the experience before going live.  

10. Deploy, Monitor & Maintain Your Ecommerce Software 

Deploying, monitoring, and maintaining your ecommerce software solution is a continuous process that ensures the platform operates smoothly, remains secure, and meets user expectations. 

Start by launching an MVP (minimum viable product) to test core functionalities and gather initial user feedback. 

Then, fully deploy your ecommerce app. Monitor the software performance, catch bugs early, and continue gathering user feedback.

Continue to maintain your software solution by incorporating new features, applying security patches, and enhancing performance.

Let’s now look at the benefits of developing ecommerce solutions.

6 Unrivaled Benefits of Ecommerce Software Development for Enhancing Business Growth

From reduced operational costs to data-driven marketing campaigns, here are six notable benefits of building ecommerce software:

  • Lower Operational Costs: Ecommerce solutions reduce the reliance on physical stores, helping you cut rent, utilities, and staffing costs.
  • Global Market Reach & Higher Revenues: Enables sales beyond borders 24/7, significantly expanding your customer base and revenue potential.
  • Enhanced Operations and Customer Management: Streamlined processes for orders, customer service, and inventory, like CRM tools, improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.
  • Improved Customer Experience: Features like personalized shopping suggestions and live chat customer support significantly improve customer satisfaction and foster loyalty. 
  • Data-Driven Insights: Analytics tools offer valuable customer behavior insights, aiding targeted marketing and product development strategies.
  • Improved Security Measures: Implementing robust encryption and data protection standards ensures customer information safety and builds trust.

Now, let’s take a look at the flip side of the coin.

6 Challenges in Ecommerce Software Development You Should Consider 

The challenges you may face with ecommerce platform development are:

  • High Initial Development and Maintenance Costs: Building and maintaining an ecommerce platform requires significant investment. (But, remember, it will optimize your inventory management and operational efficiency, reducing long-term costs.)
  • Security Vulnerabilities: Ecommerce platforms face risks like data breaches, necessitating advanced security protocols to protect customer information.
  • Compliance Challenges: Adhering to regulations such as GDPR for user data protection can be complex and requires constant vigilance.
  • Dependency on Consistent Internet Connectivity: Every online store relies heavily on uninterrupted Internet service to ensure continuous access for customers.
  • Scalability Issues: As the business grows, the platform must efficiently handle increased traffic and transactions without performance dips.
  • Technology Lag: Keeping up with rapid technological changes (e.g. incorporating augmented reality) is crucial to avoid obsolescence and maintain a competitive edge.

Now you may be wondering:

How Much Will Ecommerce Software Development Cost?

The cost of ecommerce development varies — you can expect to budget anywhere between $50,000—$250,000, depending on factors like these:

  • The type of ecommerce software: A basic single-vendor platform is less expensive than a multi-vendor or B2B ecommerce system, which requires advanced features like bulk order processing and ERP integrations
  • Feature set and customizability: More custom features like artificial intelligence (AI) recommendations mean higher costs than standard off-the-shelf options.
  • Your ecommerce development team’s location: When you’re outsourcing ecommerce software development, the location of the ecommerce development company impacts costs. 

For example, a nearshore team would be more cost-effective than an onshore team. This allows you to allocate your budget more effectively, potentially doubling or tripling your development capacity for the same investment.

FAQs Related to Ecommerce Software Development

Here are the answers to a few questions you may have on ecommerce platform development:

1. What Is the Best Software for Ecommerce? 

The best software for ecommerce varies depending on specific business needs, but popular options include Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce. 

These platforms offer a range of features tailored to different types of online retail stores, from small businesses to large enterprises.

2. Can I Migrate My Existing Ecommerce Site to a New Platform?

Yes, migrating your existing ecommerce site to a new platform is possible. 

This process involves transferring data, including product information and customer databases, and may require technical support to ensure a smooth transition.

3. How Do I Choose the Right Ecommerce Software Development Company?

Choosing the right ecommerce software development company involves evaluating their portfolio, expertise in your industry, client testimonials, and their approach to project management. 

It’s important to select an ecommerce development company that aligns with your project needs and business goals.

Ready to partner with the best ecommerce software development company?

Nearshore your ecommerce platform development projects through Distillery. 

Distillery’s ecommerce software development services stand out as a premier solution, providing skilled developers who will ensure your ecommerce platform is innovative, user-friendly, and ready to meet your business needs.

So, what are you waiting for?

Contact Distillery now to take advantage of our exceptional ecommerce development services.