Mobile App Development, Web Development, Website Design and Development

A Step-by-Step Ecommerce Website Strategy Guide

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Ecommerce is booming in the Middle East, and every brick and mortar store that you can name already has an ecommerce website or a dedicated mobile app. But solid strategies for developing ecommerce websites are important as they work like guidelines for future growth and scaling efforts. If you too are planning to launch an ecommerce website for your business, you’re at the right place. 

This ecommerce website strategy comes from product development strategists building scalable websites in the UAE. The website will help you do your technical homework, assuming you already have sorted out the product sourcing part. The strategy covers:

  • Planning your store
  • Design considerations for ecommerce stores 
  • SEO and content development for sales
  • Testing the website
  • Launching the website 

Let’s take the next step towards ecommerce success. 

1. Define your goals, objectives and metrics 

Start with deciding the primary purpose of your ecommerce website, which in most cases is to sell physical and digital products. For documents, you can decide between online sales, lead generation, and brand awareness in case you also have a brick and mortar store already established. Ask yourself these questions: 

  • Will my store directly sell products? 
  • Will it also generate leads for a service? 
  • Do I need to promote my physical outlet? 
  • Should my store have a community? 

Each goal will influence different aspects of your website design and functionality.

Create SMART goals 

Once you have the goals, it will be easier to create an actionable plan for your ecommerce website strategy. 

For reference, set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for your store. 

For instance, a goal might be to increase online sales by 20% within the next six months. This clarity in your ecommerce website strategy will help you align your efforts and measure success later on.

Set up ecommerce success metrics

Identify the metrics you’ll use to measure progress towards your goals, such as conversion rates, average order value, and customer retention rates.

2. Understand your target audience

Conduct thorough research to understand who your potential customers are. Look at age, gender, income level, education, and geographic location.

Go beyond demographics to explore your audience’s interests, values, lifestyles, and behaviors. This helps in creating more personalized experiences.

Develop detailed buyer personas that represent your ideal customers. Include information like their challenges, motivations, and buying preferences. This aids in tailoring your marketing and site design to meet their needs.

3. Analyze your competitors 

Start by listing your direct and indirect competitors. 

  • Direct competitors sell similar products.
  • Indirect competitors might offer different products but cater to the same customer needs.

Analyze competitors’ websites to identify what they do well and where they fall short. Look at factors like:

  • website design
  • user experience
  • product range
  • pricing strategies
  • customer service
  • marketing activities 
  • branding and style concept 
  • website content 

Identify opportunities where competitors may be lacking. This could be in areas such as product variety, niche targeting, customer service, or innovative features.

4. Choose the right e-commerce platform

Evaluate various e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and BigCommerce. Consider their pros and cons, features, ease of use, customization options, pricing and support services. 

Here is a quick rundown of these ecommerce platforms. 


Shopify is best for small to medium-sized businesses looking for an easy, all-in-one solution.

Shopify Pros

  • User-friendly and easy to set up
  • Extensive app store for additional functionality
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Secure and reliable hosting

Shopify Cons

  • Limited customization compared to open-source options
  • Transaction fees unless using Shopify Payments
  • Monthly subscription fees can add up

Shopify Pricing 

  • Basic Plan: $39/month
  • Shopify Plan: $105/month
  • Advanced Plan: $399/month
  • Transaction fees: 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction (no additional fees with Shopify Payments)


WooCommerce is best for Small to medium-sized businesses looking for flexibility and control. 

WooCommerce Pros

  • Highly customizable and flexible
  • Large plugin library
  • Integrates seamlessly with WordPress
  • Strong SEO capabilities
  • Cost-effective, especially for small to medium businesses

WooCommerce Cons

  • Requires more technical knowledge to set up and maintain
  • Relies on third-party hosting
  • Can become expensive with additional plugins

WooCommerce Pricing

  • Free core plugin
  • Hosting: $5-$25+/month
  • Domain: $10-$20/year
  • Additional costs for premium themes and plugins


Magento is ideal for medium to large businesses with complex requirements and technical resources

Magento Pros

  • Highly customizable with extensive features
  • Scalable for large businesses
  • Strong community support
  • Advanced SEO capabilities
  • Robust performance and scalability

Magento Cons

  • Can be complex and costly to set up and maintain
  • Hosting and security are the merchant’s responsibility
  • Requires significant technical expertise

Magento Pricing

  • Open-source: Free
  • Hosting: $10-$100+/month
  • Domain: $10-$20/year
  • Additional costs for extensions and custom development


BigCommerce is best for medium to large businesses looking for a robust, scalable platform.

BigCommerce Pros

  • Comprehensive e-commerce features
  • Scalable for businesses of all sizes
  • No transaction fees
  • Extensive app marketplace
  • 24/7 customer support

BigCommerce Cons

  • Higher price point
  • Limited themes compared to other platforms
  • Limited customization compared to open-source platforms

BigCommerce Pricing

  • Standard Plan: $39/month
  • Plus Plan: $105/month
  • Pro Plan: $399/month
  • No transaction fees on most plans

Ensure that the platform you choose can scale with your business as it grows. It should handle increased traffic, a larger inventory, and more transactions without compromising performance.

At this stage, look at the total cost of ownership, including setup fees, transaction fees, and costs for additional plugins or extensions. Choose a platform that fits your budget and offers good value for money. If all of this sounds too technical for you, skip the hassle and share your ecommerce idea with CMOLDS UAE. We are an ecommerce web development company in Dubai specializing in marketplaces, delivery websites and on-demand solutions. 

5. Secure Your Domain Name

A domain name is the name of your website – it is the URL that your visitors type or search for on search engines to browse your website. For example, is the website domain here. 

There are specific factors you need to consider when buying a business domain. 

  • Choose a domain name that is easy to remember, spell, and type. 
  • The domain name should have relevant keywords about your brand. 
  • Use a reliable domain registrar to secure your domain. 
  • Purchase variations, for example,,, and

6. Plan Your Website Structure

Moving on with our ecommerce website strategy, this is the most important task in the planning of your ecommerce business. That’s because a well-planned structure ensures that visitors can easily find what they’re looking for, improving user experience and reducing bounce rates. And this is what you exactly need for your business to flourish and grow online. 

  • Organize your site’s architecture with clear categories and subcategories. 
  • Ensure easy navigation and a user-friendly interface. 
  • Implement intuitive menus, breadcrumbs, and a search function to help users navigate your site effortlessly.
  • Create a logical hierarchy for content and products. 
  • Group related items together and use clear, descriptive labels to guide users through your site.

This website structure is the foundation of your digital business and the design, development, maintenance and scaling will depend on the same.  

Recommended Read: A Quick Guide on Building A Business Website in Dubai

7. Design with the User in Mind

Most practical strategies for developing ecommerce websites will tell you to think about your target user when designing your website’s branding elements as well as interface.

  • Prioritize user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design. Focus on creating an engaging, intuitive, and visually appealing site that meets the needs of your users. 
  • Make your site visually appealing and easy to navigate. To ensure this, use a clean, professional design with a consistent color scheme, typography, and imagery that aligns with your brand.

Product Listing Page 

  • Display clear and prominent pricing, including any discounts or offers, to facilitate quick purchasing decisions.
  • Use clear, high-resolution images for each product to attract and inform users at a glance.
  • Include an easily accessible wishlist button so users can save products for future consideration.
  • Give separate fields for product attributes like size, color, dimensions etc. 
  • Give a product comparison where possible. 
  • Add a quick checkout option on the product page. 

Checkout Page 

This is the most important page revenue-wise in your ecommerce website – this is where most of your conversions complete. When designing the checkout page, make sure to: 

  • Minimize form fields to only essential information to reduce friction and speed up the checkout process.
  • Use clear progress indicators to show users how many steps are left in the checkout process.
  • Display trust signals like SSL certificates, secure payment icons, and privacy policies to reassure users.
  • Allow users to check out as guests without creating an account to streamline the purchase process.

The website design should be accessible for all users. At CMOLDS UAE, we follow WCAG; these are website accessibility standards that help us design and develop user-friendly websites. 

8. Mobile Optimization

Ensure your website is fully responsive and mobile-friendly. With a significant portion of web traffic coming from mobile devices, your site must look and function well on all screen sizes.

Test across various devices and screen sizes. 

And don’t limit this step to ecommerce website strategy, but implement it even after launch by regularly checking your site on smartphones, tablets, and desktops.

  • Optimize page load times for mobile. 

You can use techniques like image compression, lazy loading, and efficient coding practices to improve the loading speeds on mobile devices.

9. Implement Secure Payment Gateways

The most sensitive part of this ecommerce website strategy is the payment processing part. For reference, you’ll have to make sure PCI compliance and data protection. You’ll also have to follow the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) in case of online payment because it’s a regulation that safeguards sensitive payment information and maintains customer trust.

Choose reliable and secure payment processors that are trusted, popular, and offer robust security features to protect customer data.

If you want to offer multiple payment options to cater to different customer preferences, you can go with options like: 

  • Credit and debit cards

These are the most common payment methods for ecommerce transactions. They are convenient and easy to use, and most people already have a credit or debit card.

  • Digital wallets

Digital wallets, such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, allow customers to store their payment information securely in one place. This makes it easy for them to checkout quickly and easily without having to enter their card details every time.

  • Buy now, pay later (BNPL)

BNPL services allow customers to spread the cost of their purchase over a number of installments. This can be a popular option for customers who do not want to pay for their entire purchase upfront.

10. Optimize for Search Engines (SEO)

While this website marketing part may sound pretty straightforward, I can bet this is the most technical part of ecommerce website strategy because for each product category, you need a list of primary and secondary keywords with their keyword difficulties and competition. This will help you create product listings and blog articles. for starters, you have to follow these steps: 

  • Conduct keyword research to target relevant terms.
  • Identify the keywords and phrases your potential customers are using to search for products like yours.
  • Optimize product descriptions, meta tags, and URLs for SEO. 
  • Use keywords strategically in product titles, descriptions, meta descriptions, and URLs to improve search engine rankings.

Once you have the keyword part ready, look at the design and implement on-page and technical SEO best practices. These best practices will make your site crawlable by search engines. 

11. Develop high-quality content

High-quality content attracts visitors and also converts them into customers by providing valuable information and enhancing user engagement.

  • Start with writing compelling product descriptions, blog posts, and multimedia content based on the keyword lists you created in the last step. 
  • Use high-quality images and videos to showcase products. Know that professional photos and videos can significantly impact purchasing decisions by providing a clear and detailed view of your products.

12. Integrate social media

Link your social media accounts to your e-commerce site and add social sharing buttons on product pages. 

Adding social media icons to your website allows visitors to easily find and follow your social profiles. In fact, sharing products can increase visibility and drive traffic to your site, organically, and effortlessly.

Socials help you collect strong social proof. And speaking from experience, I can say that leveraging this social proof by showcasing customer reviews and social media mentions, and positive feedback from real customers can build trust and encourage new visitors to make purchases.

13. Set Up analytics and tracking

Implement analytics tools to monitor site performance. 

Tracking tools provide valuable insights into visitor behavior and will help you understand what’s working and what needs improvement. Here is a list of tools you can utilize:

  • HotJar
  • Ahrefs 
  • Google Analytics 

After implementing the analytics, create a track sheet with key metrics such as:

  • Traffic
  • conversion rates
  • customer behavior
  • bounce rate
  • abandoned carts 

Analyze data on:

  • where your visitors are coming from – source of traffic 
  • how they interact with your site – from heatmaps
  • what drives them to complete a purchase – conversion rate optimization

Use the data to inform decision-making and optimize your ecommerce website strategy. Regularly review analytics to identify trends and opportunities and make data-driven adjustments with A/B tests.

14. Implement security measures

After payment processing, overall website security is also a sensitive yet important part of an ecommerce website strategy. Here are the steps you need to take:

  • Use SSL certificates to encrypt data. 
  • After launch, regularly update software and plugins to prevent vulnerabilities.
  • Implement additional security measures such as firewalls, malware scanning, and two-factor authentication (2FA).

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remains private and integral, building trust with your customers.

15. Test the website and optimize

This is a straightforward step in the ecommerce website strategy, but the results you gather here, the issues you identify and the areas you fix – keep all of them in mind and regularly test them even post-launch.

  • Conduct A/B testing on different elements of your site. 
  • Test variations of your website’s design, layout, and content to see which versions perform best in terms of engagement and conversion rates.
  • Gather user feedback and make continuous improvements. 
  • Use surveys, reviews, and direct feedback from customers to identify pain points and areas for enhancement.

16. Plan your marketing strategy

You’ll need a multi-channel approach to reach a broad audience and drive traffic from various sources. That’s why, I recommend Developing a comprehensive marketing plan including:

  • SEO
  • PPC
  • email marketing
  • social media

Utilize retargeting ads to bring back potential customers because retargeting helps remind visitors of your products and encourages them to return and complete their purchase.

17. Prepare for launch

You’ll have to create a thorough pre-launch checklist that includes all site functionalities. During this step, you’ll have to ensure that every aspect of your website, from payment processing to navigation, works flawlessly.

  • Plan a launch strategy to create buzz and attract initial traffic. 
  • Use pre-launch marketing tactics such as teasers, countdowns, and exclusive previews to build excitement.

If you’re handling this ecommerce website development independently, then you can use AI tools for the pre-launch strategy part. However, if you’re working with a web developer company in dubai, ask them for the pre-launch strategy – they typically make one based on agile methods and sometimes call it ecommerce website ‘go-live’ strategy. Include the social announcements in their strategy because at least 80% of their go-live strategy covers the technical aspects of your ecommerce website. 

18. Optimize your website for local searches

A well-optimized profile can improve your visibility in local search results and provide important information to potential customers. Take example of Google Business Profile; it shows call and website redirection buttons for maximum conversion, and encourages customer reviews and testimonials. These positive reviews can enhance your local SEO efforts and build trust with local customers.

  • Optimize your site for local search terms. 
  • Use keywords that reflect your business’s location and services to attract local customers.
  • Create and maintain a Google My Business profile. 

19. Set up hosting 

Buy a hosting plan from the same registrar where you bought the domain name. This helps you manage renewals and you won’t have to manage two accounts and transfers that come with these assets. 

20. Perform post-launch maintenance 

When your website goes live, make sure your users can easily access it. This is the part where you establish first impression of your ecommerce website and business. Collect early feedback and fix issues timely. Check the core web vitals of your website through Google’s Page Speed Insights and double-check that your website is loading fast and performing as expected. 

Over to you…

So this quick ecommerce website strategy concludes and your smartest business moves start here. You need two factors for success in the ecommerce business: a brilliant profitable idea and the right web development team for execution of the strategy – and what better development partner than CMOLDS UAE – with hands-on experience in emerging technologies, a dedicated department for product development strategy and a track record of building and scaling ecommerce businesses! Check our case studies, or share your idea and we’ll take it from there!


About Saba Sohail

Saba Sohail is a content marketer with strong interests in mobile app development, tech-led business growth, AI-based business process automation and business-side technologies.

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