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Top 5 Programming Languages for Developing an Online Store

Commerce is no longer the same as it used to be a couple of decades back. All business houses that are into retail either have their own eCommerce store or sell their products on major online stores. The niche got a further boost across the world with the corona pandemic forcing people to buy online with nearby stores shut due to lockdown and also to protect themselves from the deadly virus, which they would have been exposed to at supermarkets/malls.

With online stores mushrooming on the web, eCommerce software developers and programming languages developing them are in great demand. A number of programming languages that can be used to create an online store. The choice of programming language also depends on the platform, layout, and backend requirements. In this blog, we are going to discuss the top five programming languages for developing an online store.

Interesting facts about Online Stores

  • There are about 26 million online stores across the globe, and many more are in the pipeline
  • About 9.5 million online stores are operating in the US alone
  • Mobile eCommerce sales reached USD 3.56 trillion in the USA in 2021
  • Number 1 reason why people buy online is free shipping
  • About 69.57% of shopping carts are abandoned.

Steps to Create an Online Store

Here’s a brief lowdown on the steps to taken to create an online store.

1. Prepare a Business Plan

Before you go for online store development, you need to have a business plan in place as per your segment. You can go for a SWOT analysis to know consumer demand, government regulations, the possibility of partnerships, and threats to your business. You should know all target audiences, including age group, location, occupation, income level, and interests. You should also figure out whether you want to be in B2B(Business to Business) or B2C(Business to Consumer).

2. Select Your Domain Name

Your domain name is a unique Identifier like your business name is. An appropriate domain name would do much more than just direct people to your online store. It can improve your brand recognition and awareness. Try to be unique but don’t use unfamiliar words, creative spellings, or hard-to-pronounce combos, and try to keep it short.

3. Design the Look of Your Online Store

You can visualize what kind of layout and design you want on your eCommerce store. Font type and size can also be discussed. Product descriptions, images, and videos will also be needed for the consumers to view.

4. Select an Appropriate Programming Language

After having decided on your business model, domain name, and layout of your website, it is time to choose an appropriate programming language. Several options are available, including Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, CSS, MEAN, Ruby On Rails, Django, C++, and Query.

Top 5 Programming Languages for Developing an Online Store

1) Java

Java is one of the most used programming languages around, which is also a good choice for building an eCommerce store. Java is a high-level, object-oriented language that provides high performance and security. It allows programmers to create reliable and productive eCommerce stores. Java provides flexibility as it can run on different platforms irrespective of your computer’s specifications. As a result, it is used in developing eCommerce stores that can work on various browsers. Java is a server-side language for large-scale project development and helps in saving time & money in the long run.

Java has robust in-built security features such as strong authentication, cryptography, and access control. You can easily scale your applications horizontally or vertically, especially in permanent storage and financial logic levels. The age-old programming language also has a strong community, so plenty of support is available. The vast number of frameworks available, third-party libraries, and tools ensure that you will be able to create your eCommerce store without spending a fortune.

Java’s Integrated Development Environment(IDE) provides useful processes to streamline any Website building project. Apart from versatility, it makes it easier to debug the eCommerce sites. Some well-known companies that have chosen Java for online presence include Airbnb, Tesla, and Uber.

2) JavaScript

JavaScript is a simple programming language that is versatile and scalable. It supports most browsers and is used both for front-end and back-end development.

JavaScript has many modules and libraries, which can be used to create robust eCommerce stores. It can be used to apply client-side scripts to improve user interaction, modify data display, communicate asynchronously and control the browser’s functionalities. JavaScript can also be used for Server-side network programming. JavaScript can be used to develop an interactive eCommerce website, which otherwise will be less attractive. It mainly focuses on front-end development or the client-side of the architecture. JavaScript allows users to access the webpage freely without any need to remain connected to the Central Server. Thus reaction time is reduced, and less bandwidth is consumed.

The increased website interaction improves UX and engages the potential customers to buy from the store. Interactive features include autocomplete, product zoom-in, zoom-out, 360-degree rotation, or even a virtual try-out. Customers who freely navigate an eCommerce site are more likely to make a purchase. Integrating JavaScript into eCommerce includes using all three programming languages, i.e., JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

You can use JavaScript for your eCommerce website in 3 different ways:

(a) Use inbuilt Functionality. You can make use of website builders, plugins, and other pre-coded tools to build websites. Once these are installed on your page, JavaScript becomes part of your website.

(b) Manually Code JavaScript. In this, programmers manually code JavaScript functions on your page. This can be done from scratch or by editing existing pages. This gives complete control over how you want the website to function and how you want visitors to interact.

(c) Combine inbuilt & custom made code. Programmers who are still learning the tricks of the trade can go for existing pre-image pages and edit them to meet their requirements. For example, a programmer can take a plugin from a WordPress website that uses JavaScript for image transitions on the page. This plugin can be modified by the programmer, which zooms the image as the mouse is run over it.

3) PHP

PHP is a popular eCommerce programming language because of its efficiency. It can help you create a highly functional and scalable website for your business. It is an open-source server-side scripting language with features like HTML, JavaScript, and CSS and huge community support. It has intriguing eCommerce development tools, and frameworks like laravel, Symfony, Zend, and CakePHP provide features that make eCommerce Web Development and designing easy. The maintenance cost is also less compared to other programming languages. PHP is ideal for personalizing the site for customers, which generates more revenue. It has ready-to-use plugins, templates, and components that can be easily integrated to customize any time.

PHP frameworks have sales analytics tools that can help online store owners know about consumers’ likes and dislikes, which strategy is working, and what contributes to the growth and sales volume. This can help in making data-driven decisions that can boost growth and, thereby, profits. PHP storefront plugins include WooCommerce, which is most commonly used. For payments, third-party payment gateways like Paypal and Stripe are integrated. This helps with customer trust and security, but downsides are paying a transaction fee and not being able to customize it according to business needs.

4) Python

Python is considered to be highly versatile and an ideal choice for online store development. The language has easy and clear syntax, requiring no great programming skills. Python can be used to create a robust and highly scalable website that can match the user’s needs. Most of the online stores have chatbots for better Customer Service, and Python is well-known for creating AI-powered chatbots for eCommerce stores. To state in simple words, Python will make your online store dynamic and user-friendly. Python language has also got great community support and is also embeddable.

Satchmo is an open-source framework built using Python, which can prevent online fraud. Django, also built using Python, has tools that help in running the code faster and scales the eCommerce platform by adding more databases and caching servers. Django provides tools like Django-debug-toolbar to find inefficiencies in your code and getting to know where to optimize. Third-party apps like Google PageSpeed to understand the performance of the system in a better way.

Machine Learning: Amazon knows what you are looking to buy or might be interested in buying using Machine Learning algorithms. Machine Learning is an essential component of an eCommerce store. Some of the Use Cases of Machine Learning in eCommerce are recommendations with the most relevant items, image recognition, fraud detection, speech recognition, and translation. Python, at present, is considered to be the most popular programming language for Machine Learning.

5) Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails is a top programming language for building online stores due to its flexibility and efficiency. It is a high-level programming language that can develop your website comparatively quickly. Developers consider it a good choice for a complicated website with varying features. Ruby on Rails can help you create a customized online store that will not break down if there is a spike in traffic. It is supported by a large community, has an extensive library, and is secure.

Accounting: The framework optimizes the accounting flow by integrating with tools like Xeroizer, QuickBooks-ruby, double_entry, Plutus, and cash_flow_analysis.

CRM: For Customer Relationship Management, Ruby on Rails allows integration with specific CRM solutions, segments customers, gathers relevant data, and provides many other functionalities. Integration can be done with Zoho, Hubspot, Salesforce, and Nexmo.

Marketing: eCommerce marketing is not just crucial for sales but also for brand awareness. It allows integration with software like MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, and maily_herald.

Payment: It provides several payment-related gems like credit_card_validations, PayPal-Ruby-SDK, and miscellaneous payment gateways.

Wrapping Up…

We have discussed the top 5 programming languages for online store development, but you should analyze your business needs and the features you would like to have on your online store. The layout & back-end will have a significant impact on your business and reach. If you choose to go completely online, it means lower costs as you don’t need to have any physical stores and staff to manage those stores. All these means you can offer your products at much lower prices to your consumers than brick & mortar stores.

With an online store, you can deliver almost anywhere in the world by partnering with logistics companies. This opens your business to different niche audiences, which cannot be done with brick-and-mortar stores. An online store is also not limited by time and is functional throughout the night, providing customers with flexibility. In case you want to add more products to your catalog, you can do it without worrying about space constraints. As all your data is in digital form, it becomes easy to analyze this data to find out customer preferences. Based on data insights, you can make decisions related to pricing & sales promotions in a much more calculated manner.

If you are still unsure about which programming language to go for, We can help you with that decision. PBB Design experts will do an analysis of your requirements & business plan to decide on the best programming language for your online store.

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