Becoming An Ecommerce Developer – Ecommerce Development Guide (3 Things I Wish I Knew)
Looking to Get Into Ecom Web Development?
Hi, are you looking to get into web development and, more specifically, into E-commerce web development? Well, certainly this year is great for that. We've already seen a 40% growth this year in E-commerce sales overall. It’s topped all of last year's sales. And it's exceeded all of last year's sales before the holiday season even started. And last year was a record year, but this year is topping all records in terms of E-commerce.
What does it mean for you if you want to get into the industry, if you want to offer technical solutions like E-commerce websites, or E-commerce web applications in the industry? This is a great, great year to start. This is a growing industry. And I highly recommend that you get into this. So in this video, we're going to cover which platforms you should learn that are currently growing, because most E-commerce websites are not built from scratch- they're built using platforms like Shopify and others. And how to learn to use those platforms and how to optimize your business so you actually build a sustainable business by learning the platforms, and offering the development services to customers who are looking to buy stuff like that. We're going to cover all that in this article.
Before we get started, why should you listen to me? Well, I've been in the industry since 2008. And
What Are The Most Used Platforms?
Let's talk about which platforms are the most used platforms right now based on
Magento is kind of an old-school one, if you haven't heard about that one yet. Very old, but it's still in use. And that's for worldwide.
In the United States, it starts to get a little more interesting because there's a little bit more of a distribution. So there's still WooCommerce on top. Shopify second, but third is actually Wix.
Because Wix started offering an E-commerce solution, not just blogs, and photography websites. Also there's platforms like Squarespace and Ecwid. I don't know how to pronounce that last one, because I haven't heard of that one before. But basically, if you're looking to get started, which ones of these actually require development to work? Because Wix, for example, generally does not require development work. Well, actually, most of them.
WooCommerce - Developer Needed
WooCommerce definitely needs a web developer. You need to be a web developer to properly set up WooCommerce. It's a little bit tricky to set it up for most people.
Shopify - Developer Needed
Shopify, for sure, You need a web developer if you want to do it properly.
Squarespace And Wix - Developer Needed
And Squarespace oftentimes. It’s like somewhere in the middle between Wix and WooCommerce. It's like, easier, but you still should use a web developer if you want to do it properly and want custom solutions, not just the out-of-the-box thing.
Shopify Is Currently Your Best Option
The most common that we currently recommend is Shopify, because Shopify is actually scalable also for larger businesses. They have an amazing marketplace for apps, plugins, and so on. It's also one of the biggest companies out of all of these. The other ones are kind of smaller. But Shopify, I think, it's a $100-billion company this year. They're starting to compete with companies like Amazon by building distribution channels. So they're kind of awesome.
However, it is viable to offer all of these (WooCommerce, Shopify, and Squarespace). It is viable to offer all of these at the same time, if you're running an E-commerce Web Development Agency. However, I do recommend focusing on a single one. Now for things like Shopify, what you can do is you can go to their website, and they have a whole knowledge base on how the platform works. They also have documentation for developers, so you should check it out here.
For WooCommerce and for Squarespace, I'm also going to link their documentation at the end of this article. So take a look at that right away.
How do you actually get started as a web developer? Like, okay, cool, you can learn this, it's not very difficult. If you're a good developer already, it's going to take you a couple of weeks, maybe three weeks to get good enough to offer a service to clients. Now, how do you get those clients? Well,
Join Freelancing Platforms Like Upwork
The easiest way to get started with E-commerce web development is to get on freelancing platforms. So what you do is you go to Upwork, and you go to Fiverr, and you start offering a service. You can start offering a service at $1000 and above. Make sure that it's designed in a way where you get people on sales calls. And then you only work with clients who you're comfortable working with. This is explained in my other videos in the playlist.
Now, what I'm not saying is, ”Oh, it's easy, and you're gonna get instant results. All you have to do is just join a platform and it just works.” It's not quite that easy. But this is a long journey that takes at least a few months. If you're willing to start on it and put in daily effort, it is completely viable. And I've seen hundreds and thousands of people succeed at this. So it is viable if you build it up as a proper funnel for your business and initially can even freelance if you're already a good developer.
You Don’t Always Have To Build Custom Solutions
Now some developers are going to say, “But Alex, shouldn't you build things custom? Why use these slow platforms?” Well, the thing is, if you want to offer a solution, it's best to follow where the market is going, especially if you're new and don't want to build like a whole thing. And, you know, try to market it, which is very expensive and very complicated. It's good not to be naive about this and follow where the demand is.
These companies are creating crazy, massive demand. It's already pre-built, like lots of it is already pre-built and, as such, clients want to use that. They don't want to build from scratch. They don't have the know-how, the money or anything to build things from scratch. And, to be fair, with beginners in business especially, you don't want to work with them if they want to build things from scratch. It’s going to be a nightmare project that takes months or years.
Templates Are a Great Way To Get Started
It's better to use an existing platform, and perhaps sometimes even, brace yourself, templates. Developers sometimes hate templates. But templates are amazing, and are an amazing way to get things started faster. You can still charge thousands of dollars for template implementation and customization. And if you start offering things like custom Shopify web development and design, then you can charge $5,000 and more which can eventually lead to Shopify app development, which can lead to $100,000-and-above projects potentially.
There's a lot of space here to grow with a real business as well. It's not just for little developers who want to build like little shops for $200. It’s certainly not the case. You can certainly charge good money for this. So do check out the playlist below that goes into detail on all these topics that I've summarized in this video. And I'll see you in the next video below.
What To Watch Next
Shopify Developer Documentation Squarespace Developer Documentation WooCommerce Developer Documentation Playlist with videos on how to get E-commerce development clients and succeed on Upwork
- Check out this training on how to get become a freelancer in 2021 based on the current algorithm that Upwork uses to send you clients
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