Is it a Good Idea to Build an E-commerce Website From Scratch?


If you’re looking to build a new e-commerce platform, the first decision you’ll have to make is whether to go with a ready-made or custom solution.

Out-of-the-box e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce have many benefits, but they aren’t ideal for every company.

The quick answer to this title question, then, is a big YES. Building your e-commerce website from scratch is far better than adding e-commerce functionalities or using website builders to create an online store.

On the one hand, because of the money and time, one saves, using an off-the-shelf e-commerce product may seem to be the best option at first. However, a pre-made e-commerce solution can end up costing you in the long run.

Using a personalised platform tailored to your company’s particular needs and processes can help you develop and drive your business and be a valuable asset. The best way to go is to use an e-commerce platform customised to suit your company’s needs.


Why Should You Build Your E-commerce Store From Scratch?


Manage Unique Processes

Most e-commerce companies, whether B2C, B2B, C2C, or D2C, have processes that must be followed to the letter. Whether a customer should be vetted before purchasing an item or their credit must be reviewed before making a large order, the e-commerce platform has to handle these tasks quickly and efficiently.

Many off-the-shelf e-commerce items are incapable of handling highly specialised operations, necessitating customisation.


SEO Services Specific to Your Business

Typical marketing and SEO features come standard with e-commerce website builders. However, in some cases, certain essential elements are insufficient. Your e-commerce site can be tailored to be search engine friendly thanks to a personalised e-commerce platform managed by experts. 

Daalder, for example, comes with all of the meta tag fields for product pages and Category SEO landing pages and built-in XML sitemap creation for both products and categories. You can customize even more SEO features. 


Improve Conversions and Bounce Rate

A personalised e-commerce platform can help your company in a variety of ways. Customisation allows you to significantly enhance your customer’s experience, which leads to more conversions and repeat customers and improves customer retention and loyalty. 

A personalised platform also allows you to view details more simply and makes it easier for consumers to find just what they’re looking for on your e-commerce site, lowering purchasing friction and improving conversion rates.


Integrates With Line of Business Applications

For an e-commerce company to run smoothly, it may require integrations between its business systems (Line-of-Business applications) and its e-commerce platform. You can ensure that the integration between the applications and the platform is tailored to your business processes and systems with a personalised e-commerce platform. 

Seamless integration can be very beneficial to your e-commerce business, but it is typically only possible through customisation.

This can include automating customer-specific pricing, delivery, online real-time inventory counts, reporting new sales insight about customer online shopping behaviour to your CRM, and hundreds of other enhancements. These are all possible with Daalder’s custom e-commerce solution.


Customer Service After Transactions

Your e-commerce site should not only be capable of selling your goods and services but also support your customers after they have purchased from you. Customers can easily monitor their orders, quotations, and invoices, email you with any queries and work out any problems that might arise with a custom e-commerce platform. 

The more self-service options they have, the more likely they are to return and buy from you.


You Have Modular Products

If you want to offer customers several options for customising their purchase items, you can use a custom e-commerce website to show this variety.

A T-shirt shop that allows you to customize the sizes, colours, fonts, and graphics on each T-shirt is a typical use case.

You might want to charge a different price for each T-shirt because there are so many other variables at play, each resulting in a different cost.

For one product, let alone all of them, an out-of-the-box e-commerce system won’t be able to handle all of these options.

Complex orders like these would necessitate the use of a sophisticated custom e-commerce solution.


You Have Specialised or Unique Shipping Options

Selling items that are all the same size and weight with no special considerations is one thing, but the more goods your e-commerce store has, the more varied your customers’ shipping concerns will be.

As a result, a personalised e-commerce approach would become even more appealing.

You may have to deal with customs if you’re shipping goods abroad.

Another problem that could occur is shipping goods that need to be kept at a specific temperature (such as pharmaceuticals, tobacco, fine art, and personal care products). To avoid spoilage and maintain freshness, these will need to be refrigerated.


Your Industry Has Its Set of Rules

Not every industry is the same. Yours may have its own set of rules or regulations. 

For example, as mentioned earlier, refrigeration may be an issue. Fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, and liquids can require special handling.

Each carrier has its own set of rules when it comes to prohibited items. For example, the United States Postal Service prohibits the domestic shipment of airbags and fuel and the foreign shipment of aerosols and dry ice.

If you’re in the business of selling goods like the ones mentioned above, a custom e-commerce solution is a good idea.

This will help ensure that you adhere to the industry’s shipping standards and the shipping standards of each carrier you use.


You Can customize the Checkout Process

Many e-commerce businesses need out-of-the-box shopping cart and checkout solutions. Some companies require customer-specific pricing, while others require the ability to handle purchase requests, ACH payments, contract buying, purchasing cap approvals, and other features. 

These requests are beyond the capabilities of ready-made e-commerce systems, which is where customisation comes in. A customised e-commerce platform allows you to customise the checkout process to meet the needs of your e-commerce company (i.e., upsell, cross-sales, renewals, subscriptions, etc.).


You Ship for Multiple Vendors

When it comes to shipping, another compelling reason to use a custom-built e-commerce system is the ability to use several vendors.

The more suppliers you work with, the more likely you’ll need to use multiple carriers and have unique shipping requirements.

For example, one jewellery vendor may strongly prefer to use USPS because it is the closest to her home, while another may choose to use FedEx because they offer a special discount.

Because of these differences, you may need to make changes to your e-commerce site that limit what your customers can do.

Certain carriers, for example, can ship to PO boxes or allow the recipient to sign for the package ahead of time, while others don’t offer those options.


You Have Custom Promo or Coupon Codes

You’ve created your coupon or promo code (or rules on when they can be applied). Website builder tools may include coupon codes in a ready-made template or e-commerce model, but they may also be very rigid or restricted in scope.

For example, if a retailer doesn’t allow discounts on a particular product, you might want to limit shoppers’ use of the code to a certain number of products or stop the code from being used with specific products or brands.

Regrettably, not every pre-built e-commerce solution can meet these unique requirements.

On the other hand, using a custom-built website allows you to have as many coupon and promo code rules as you want, even extremely specific ones.


You Have Security Concerns (As You Should)

Protecting your customers’ data, especially their payment card details is the most crucial security concern when running an e-commerce website. Your website should comply with the PCI DSS’s 12 specifications (Payment Card Information Data Security Standards).

It’s difficult for businesses to know whether they’re doing e-commerce protection correctly without third-party support from a custom-built platform. Of course, you know how to run a business, but can you honestly claim that you offer shoppers the safest transactions possible when they do business with you? 

Using a custom-built website helps you tap into the knowledge of developers and security experts who understand how to secure your customers’ data better.


You Want to Build Great Features for Your Shoppers

If your company is one-of-a-kind, your e-commerce website should represent that by providing unique features. If you’ve reached the growth stage, you can begin developing a feature set that will boost your conversion rates. For example, you may want to create a customised shopping experience for each customer, complete with a unique look and feel.

Unfortunately, most pre-built e-commerce solutions forego customisation in favour of a structured, consistent experience. This means that if you want to give your customers a truly unique experience, you’ll most likely have to do it with a custom-built website.


You have Grown Bigger Than Your Pre-built E-commerce Solution

When it comes to ready-made e-commerce solutions, every business hits a “wall” at some point. When you understand that the app can’t do everything you want or need it to, you begin to experience growing pains. This is probably at the same time you’re looking to improve metrics like average sales per customer, repeat customers, and the number of abandoned shopping carts.

Many companies find it almost difficult to go back to using a pre-built e-commerce platform after using a custom-built platform. The ease and comfort of getting software built precisely to your specifications is just too appealing.


You Want to Connect Your Vendors or Inventory

Another issue to consider as the company expands is maintaining a healthy stock of products at all times. You’ll need to deal with retailers to replenish the inventory when it runs out.

Custom-built e-commerce websites will connect to your inventory management system and vendor network to handle inventory automatically. When only a few of a particular product remains in stock, the system will create an order and deliver it to a distributor, ensuring that you don’t run out of a popular product suddenly.


Your Clients Have Special Needs

Some companies cater to impatient customers who want the shopping process to be as fast and straightforward as possible, while others strive for a sense of familiarity, personalisation, and friendliness.

A custom e-commerce website could be the best way to create the shopping experience you want to provide, depending on your customers and what you want to be known for as a brand.


Cost and Timeframe for Developing a Custom E-commerce Site

The final cost of a custom e-commerce development will vary from $40,000 to $240,000+, with a build period of 4–6 months for a simple version, 6–9 months for a medium version, and 9+ months for a large and complex site.

However, there are brands like Daalder that offer very affordable custom e-commerce development for businesses of various sizes.

The following factors generally determine the cost and timetable for creating an online store:

  • The level of customisation and the sophistication of the design
  • The scope of functionality and its complexity
  • Third-party business integration
  • Hosting, domain, marketing, SEO, and other expenses for an e-commerce website
  • Software development vendor (local or outsourced, hourly rates, etc.) 


Final Thoughts

You’ll probably start with an out-of-the-box solution for your e-commerce website unless you’re a large organization with specialised demands right away.

However, as your sales and customer base grow, you’ll need a website that allows for more customisation. You’ll be out of luck with almost all pre-built e-commerce solutions if you have specifications like the ones mentioned above, such as various shipping regulations or promo codes.


Daalder Can Help

At Daalder, we believe that a custom e-commerce solution is the better option if you plan to have a flexible, scalable, and more functional e-commerce website. Our e-commerce platform has been designed to be a fully customisable e-commerce solution to meet the diverse needs of our clients. 

Our team has extensive experience customising the e-commerce platform to suit your needs. Please send us an email today to learn more about how we can bring your e-commerce website (no matter the size or level of customisation). 

Start your 30-day FREE trial today!


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