Hiring Ecommerce Developers: The Complete Guide
Thanks to COVID-19, eCommerce is now a vital part of the retail world. In 2021 alone, eCommerce sales amounted to around 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars globally. This figure is estimated to grow by 50% by 2025, reaching 7.5 trillion by 2025.
That's why you should create your own eCommerce site if you don't already have one. Besides helping you to stay ahead of the curve, eCommerce sites provide many benefits, including increased brand awareness, improved customer experience, and cost reductions.
However, creating your own eCommerce site is easier said than done. Many startups create their sites through builders like Weebly and Wix, but these platforms aren't the best pick if you want to create a complex website that stands out from the crowd. That's where eCommerce website developers come in. The right dev can create your eCommerce store from scratch. They can also maintain, adjust, and improve pre-existing eCommerce sites and assets as needed.
Read our guide to learn more about eCommerce developers. We'll cover what an eCommerce developer is, what to look for in a dev, why and how you should hire one, and tips for writing compelling eCommerce web developer job ads and interview questions.
What Is an eCommerce Developer and What Do They Do?
As their title suggests, eCommerce developers are responsible for creating and maintaining eCommerce sites. eCommerce developers come in a variety of flavors, including:
- User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) developers: An experienced UI/UX eCommerce dev knows how to create cutting-edge and user-friendly UX and UI for customers. UI refers to the graphical part of the site that users interact with, such as buttons, photos, menus, fonts, sliders, and animations, while UX refers to how a user interacts with and perceives your site.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) for boosting conversion rates
- Accessibility and usability testing
- Browser compatibility and web performance testing
- Back-end web developers: Back-end eCommerce programmers are responsible for the back-end of your site — that is, the logic that enables users to interact with your site's front-end. These devs use programming and scripting languages like Java, .NET, Ruby, and PHP to connect databases, applications, and servers with each other. They also use tools like SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL to process and send data to users on the front-end. Additional duties may include:
- Creating automated testing frameworks
- Data transformation and database management
- Establishing and implementing data backup and cybersecurity practices
- Full-stack developers: Last but not least, you can hire full-stack eCommerce devs. These experts know how to handle the front-end as well as the back-end. As such, they have a broad range of skills, from back-end coding and UI/UX design to web design and database management. Consider hiring a full-stack developer if you have a simple project that needs to be finished on short notice.
How Much Do eCommerce Developers Make?
An eCommerce developer's salary varies depending on skill and experience level. Junior or entry-level developers and senior programmers can have significantly different incomes.
Junior/Entry-Level eCommerce Developer Skills and Salary
Junior or entry-level eCommerce devs have under three years of experience. They are usually fresh grads with bachelor's degrees in computer science, but some are self-taught or graduates of boot camps.
Due to their limited experience, these developers have fewer skills and lower salaries. According to Glassdoor, the average U.S.-based junior or entry-level eCommerce developer makes $76,284 per year.
Senior eCommerce Developer Skills and Salary
Senior eCommerce developers have over three years of experience. According to Glassdoor, the average senior eCommerce developer in the U.S. makes $130,706 per year.
What to Look for In an eCommerce Developer
As you can see, the right eCommerce developer can help you create an attractive and unique site to attract and retain customers. But how do you determine which developer is right for you? Use this list of top eCommerce developer skills to help you narrow down the talent pool:
The best fit for your team should have the following hard or technical skills:
Programming and Scripting Languages
Like most information technology (IT) personnel, eCommerce developers must have a solid grasp of programming and scripting languages.
The languages your hire should know depend on the services they're offering.
If you're hiring a front-end dev, you should look for the following languages on their resume and portfolio:
- HTML: Short for HyperText Markup Language, HTML is one of the building blocks of web development. Front-end programmers use HTML to define the structure and layout of web pages through tags like <html>, <head>, and <title>.
- CSS: Short for Cascading Style Sheets, CSS is another scripting language for styling web pages. Developers can use CSS to style fonts, colors, and layouts of pages written in markup languages like HTML, SVG, XHTML, and XUL.
- User demographics: The dynamic content changes based on user demographic data such as location, gender, and age.
- In-session behavior: The content adapts depending on what the user does on your site and how long they spend on your site. For example, the site may show different product suggestions depending on what products the user added to the cart.
- User data: The content changes based on the user's preferred language setting, time of visit, and type of device they're using.
- Java: Java is an objective-oriented programming language that works well on all browser types. Its Integrated Development Environment makes the development process seamless and efficient.
- PHP: Highly functional and scalable, PHP is another popular choice for eCommerce development. Many popular eCommerce platforms are built with PHP, including Adobe Commerce.
- Python: One of the fastest languages in existence, Python is a great match for eCommerce sites that need to process a lot of data. Devs can use frameworks like Django to compile data into bytecode for super-fast processing.
As for full-stack hires, they should know:
- At least two of the back-end languages listed above: Java and Python are particularly useful languages to have.
Database Creation and Management
Another skill you should look for is database creation and management.
Most of the time, you only need to look for this skill if you're hiring a back-end or full-stack developer. However, if your company is small and you need someone to manage databases for you, you may want to hire a front-end developer who also knows how to create and manage databases.
At a minimum, your hire should be able to know how to create, maintain, and deploy data using the following:
- SQL Server
Testing and Debugging
All eCommerce developers — whether full-stack, front-end, or back-end — need to know how to test and debug your site. At a minimum, they should know the following tests:
- Unit testing: This involves testing individual units of your site code — such as classes or lines of code — to locate errors.
- Functional testing: A type of testing that validates the system against functional specifications and requirements, functional testing is used to determine whether a system or application is behaving as expected.
- End-to-end testing: This test replicates user actions to determine whether your UI and UX are working.
Besides having a solid grasp of hard skills like programming and testing, the ideal eCommerce dev for your startup should also have well-honed soft skills. Otherwise, they may not integrate well with your team. Here are the top soft skills you should look for:
eCommerce devs don't work in a vacuum — they need to work with a broad range of departments and team members, including UI/UX designers, data analysts, marketing, and quality assurance (QA). As such, they need to know:
- How to give and receive constructive criticism.
- When and how to listen and speak.
- The importance of empathy and seeing problems from others' perspectives.
The ideal eCommerce hire must have excellent problem-solving skills. They need to know how to:
- Look at web development from a broader perspective
- Find multiple solutions to a problem
- Challenge themselves to solve complex problems
The best eCommerce developer for your company should also be humble. They should be able to brush aside their ego and learn from their peers. They should also be willing to learn from mistakes.
Why and How to Hire an eCommerce Developer?
There are many reasons for hiring an eCommerce developer. The right web developer will help you create a competitive online store that provides the following advantages:
- Increased brand awareness: Your site is a great way to remind consumers that they can buy quality services and products from your brand. Blogs, videos, and other types of informative content can build and enhance brand awareness. You can also cross-promote your site by creating curated reviews and lists of the best articles, links, and products in your industry.
- Streamlined shopping process: eCommerce stores aren't just for showing the world you exist. They can also streamline and accelerate the buying process. Instead of going to your brick-and-mortar store to see what's in stock, customers can just buy products and services from your site.
- Cost reduction: eCommerce stores can help you cut down on numerous costs, especially if you want to:
- Scale down: If you can't afford to run physical branches anymore, consider moving your business online. That way, you won't have to pay rent, utilities, and other costs associated with running physical businesses.
- Earn a side income but don't have the start-up capital to create a physical business: If you want to sell products and services but don't have the resources to run a physical store, an eCommerce site is a great alternative. Just tell your eCommerce web dev what your goals are, and they'll create a site tailored to your industry, goals, and preferences. You can then start posting videos and photos of your products on the site catalog.
- Affordable marketing and advertising: eCommerce sites also offer affordable marketing and advertising methods. Unlike physical stores, you don't have to invest in print ads or billboards. All you have to do is hire a web developer to install customer insight tools on your site. These tools can gather vital information about your customers, such as their age, location, gender, and most viewed pages. Your marketing and data analytics team can then translate this information into actionable insights.
Clearly, eCommerce developers offer many benefits. But before you start hiring, you need to choose the right place to source and hire eCommerce devs. If you choose a platform that requires marketing and vetting, you also need to create a compelling job ad and interview questions for prospective candidates.
Here are the steps you should follow for hiring eCommerce developers:
1. Pick the Right Place to Hire eCommerce Devs
First, you need to choose the right platform to hire eCommerce devs.
Many companies choose to hire through job sites like LinkedIn, which provide great tools for kickstarting the hiring process. However, they're not the best pick if you have limited time and energy since they require you to manually vet and test candidates.
That's where talent marketplaces come in. Unlike job sites, they already have pre-vetted eCommerce devs. Some marketplaces can also help you deal with complex hiring challenges, such as compliance, payroll, and immigration.
2. Write a Job Ad
If you decide to hire through job sites and other options that require marketing, you'll need a compelling eCommerce developer job ad to attract top-notch talent. Your job description should cover the following at a minimum:
- Job title
- Job location
- Company bio
- Required skills and experience
- Compensation and benefits
- Working schedule
Here's a sample eCommerce developer description:
Remote Senior Full-Stack eCommerce Web Developer — Revelo
Revelo is looking for a remote Senior Full-Stack eCommerce Web Developer to join our international team. This role is open to candidates in the following time zones:
- Eastern Standard Time (EST)
- Mountain Standard Time (MST)
- Central Standard Time (CST)
- Pacific Standard Time (PST)
Revelo is a tech talent marketplace that matches startups with FAANG-caliber web developers. Check out our website to learn more.
- Building and testing web modules and applications
- Collaborating with UI/UX design team to implement assets and mockups
- Performing code reviews as needed
- Optimizing database design and queries
- Rebuilding existing apps as needed
- Assessing and adjusting timelines and tasks
- Reporting progress to management twice every week
Required Skills and Experience:
- At least three years of experience with full-stack development
- At least three years of professional experience with Angular
- At least three years of experience with back-end languages, including Java, Python, and Ruby on Rails
- At least three years of experience with Kubernetes, Docker, and ReactJS
- At last two years of experience with database technologies like MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server
- Experience using Scrum methodologies
- Proven ability and experience using Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Github to keep all team members and stakeholders in the loop about relevant issues
- Fiery passion for learning new languages, workflows, and frameworks
- Strong problem-solving skills with the ability to learn and adapt to new concepts and tools
- Excellent time management skills
- 3D development experience in Unity is a major asset
- Working knowledge of graphic design tools like Illustrator and Photoshop
- Experience creating open-source contributions
Compensation and Benefits:
- Competitive salary of $128,000 to $131,000 per year, depending on experience
- Tuition reimbursement
- Dental and medical insurance
- Wellness program
- Vision care
- Parental leave
- 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST
- Monday to Friday
3. Create Interview Questions for eCommerce Developers
After posting your job description, you can expect hundreds of applicants to start rushing in. Read through each resume and make a list of candidates to interview.
Here are some questions you should ask to learn more about candidates' personality, experience, and work ethic:
- What drew you to web development?
- Which programming languages are you familiar with? Which is your favorite and why?
- How would you optimize a site's loading time?
- How do you keep on top of eCommerce development trends? Are there any influencers and blogs you follow? Why do you follow them?
- Tell me about a time you faced criticism at work. How did you respond?
- What role do you usually play in a multi-disciplinary team?
- Have you worked with UI/UX designers before? How do you collaborate with them? How do you explain eCommerce development concepts to them?
- What's the most challenging part of being an eCommerce developer?
Recruit eCommerce Developers With Revelo
With so many applicants to vet, hiring the best eCommerce developer for your company can be frustrating and tedious. Luckily, Revelo's here to help.
Contact us today to hire eCommerce developers.