Digital Storefront: Meaning, Examples, and Client Experience in 2023

In a deeply competitive modern eCommerce market, offering unique and attractive products is crucial. Building a convenient digital storefront for your customers is the key to success. In this article, we will dive into the digital storefront experience, find out, what is a digital storefront, and provide some examples of how this instrument can skyrocket your sales.

What Is a Digital Storefront

With a digital storefront, a business gets new clients more easily, retains existing ones successfully, and scales quickly. So, what exactly is this instrument?

Digital storefront meaning

The word “storefront” consists of two parts, “store” and “front.” In simple terms, it means the part of a store that faces buyers. “Digital” implies that the store works online. This means the digital storefront is a part of a digital shop eCommerce system, where buyers can see their products, choose and buy them.

Sounds like a website! In reality, the digital storefront concept is much bigger than just a website and comprises lots of capabilities both for buyers and sellers. To get it deeper, let’s compare digital storefronts to the ordinary storefronts retail uses offline.

Offline and digital storefront reviews

Every retail store aims to attract as many buyers as possible. Offline stores get it by placing the best sellers on the shopfront, so every potential customer can see it, figure out the price, compare the product to others, and decide on buying. The seller's approach to dressing their shopwindow (the work nobody sees) plays a crucial role in client engagement, sales, and, finally, revenue.

Let’s discover how does digital storefront work. To make your eCommerce website work right and bring you bigger revenue, you should pay a lot of attention to either its back end or front end. It should be correctly integrated with all the databases, catalogs, and analytics systems you have while offering a great experience on the customer side. The advantage of the digital storefront is that it is easier to redesign whenever you discover a new trend or want to make special offers. You even can personalize your store for some categories of customers. Digital storefront allows you to scale beyond your offline store location and get more clients in a shorter time.

Digital Storefronts
Offline Storefronts
  • Support online stores 

  • Attract new clients 

  • Provide a better customer experience 

  • Help to make a decision on buying 

  • Help to attract customers beyond your location and scale faster 

  • Easy to redesign in accordance with fast-changing needs 

  • Allows deep personalization 

  • Support offline stores 

  • Attract new clients 

  • Provide a better customer experience 

  • Help to make a decision on buying

Whether for offline or online storefronts, the main goal is building a perfect customer experience. This means if you want to be a step ahead of your competitors and create a digital storefront of the future, you have to track trends and keep your digital storefront relevant. Choosing the correct software and architecture is the first step to take.

Digital Storefront Software and Architecture

Choosing the right architecture and digital storefront programs or software is the most important task, as the client experience is closely bonded to the capabilities of the eCommerce website. For example, traditional storefront architecture usually comes as a single code for both frontend and backend. This means that once you need to scale or add any functionality or upgrade your digital storefront essentials, the whole system will be involved, which might cause issues to your storefront performance.

Modern digital storefront solutions like Virto Commerce offer headless eCommerce services. This means the front end and back end are decoupled and communicate via API. This allows personalizing every part of your website separately, not affecting other processes.

Main types of eCommerce Architecture

1. Two-tier

In a two-tier architecture logic, an eCommerce solution has two sides: the client Tier (frontend) and the Database Tier (backend). It works just like direct communication between the two layers, sending data from the customer to the database and back.

2. Three-tier

Here is a three-tier architecture for businesses that need a bit more functionality. Besides the Client Tier and Data Tier, there is also a Business Tier that uses a set of specific rules to gather and process data. For example, this Tier can store user preferences and transfer data from Client Tier to the Data Tier and back, considering these data.

3. SaaS

This architecture is used in out-of-the-box solutions. Unlike the previous two architecture types, these solutions host software and data in the provider's cloud instead of the user's servers. It allows quicker upgrades, seamless connection, and easy access from any web browser.

Five Popular Digital Storefront Software

  1. Virto Commerce. A headless and modular eCommerce solution. Driven by API, open-code.
  2. Salesforce Commerce Cloud. A part of a Salesforce CRM suite for B2B and B2C businesses.
  3. Shopify. A suite of tools for business storefront creation.
  4. WooCommerce. A WordPress eCommerce plugin offering some commerce integrations.
  5. Wix. An effective eCommerce tool for smaller businesses.

Digital Storefront: Experience Enhancement

According to UserZoom, 70% of businesses believe that great UX and CX help them overrun competitors, while 76% of customers interviewed said they would rather prefer a competitor if they had a bad buying experience at least once.

This shows that connecting databases to your website is good for providing buying capabilities. Still, an even more important step is designing the client's side to give the best customer experience. Here are the options how to improve your storefront:

Improve UI and layout

Simple digital storefront designs and convenient navigation are the key to your storefront UX success. Make your website user-friendly, and add helpful navigation details that can help your customers find what they need quickly and easily. You can even add some interactive banners, which will work just the same as storefront digital signage for brick-and-mortar stores: attract attention, and encourage them to contact your team or even buy.

Provide an excellent client care

Launching a digital storefront, business often forgets about proper client support. Add a knowledge base and ensure your customer can find it easily. Live support and 24/7 availability also add value. Client care is one of the main trends for the upcoming years.

Track your digital storefront reviews

Collecting client feedback can help you see the real picture of how your customers feel about your website. Besides tracking client behavior and holding CustDevs, find what people think about your store online, on forums, or at websites that collect digital storefront reviews.

Best Digital Storefront Examples

Unique and remarkable storefronts usually collect more clients. Still, uniqueness is not enough: to build a storefront that thousands of clients will visit, you should offer great UI, SEO-optimize your website, and make it all ways convenient. Here are some examples of the most popular storefronts in different industries.

Services and apparel digital storefront examples

Collecting client feedback can help you see the real picture of how your customers feel about your website. Besides tracking client behavior and holding CustDevs, find what people think about your store online, on forums, or at websites that collect digital storefront reviews.

Zara digital storefront

Zara digital Storefront

Amazon digital services storefront

Amazon digital Storefront

Technology, entertainment, and PSP digital storefront examples

Apple storefront digital

Apple digital Storefront

Comixology digital storefront

Comixology digital Storefront

Educational digital storefront examples

Olympic college digital storefront

Olympic College digital Storefront

Boston college digital storefront

Boston College digital Storefront

Other brands using digital storefronts include:

  • Algonquin college digital storefront
  • Sephora digital storefront
  • Canon digital storefront

How to Set up a Digital Storefront

When you start your eCommerce business, the first question that comes to your mind is how to create a digital storefront. Here, we are covering some steps you have to take to launch your own eCommerce website.

Step 1. Plan what you want to sell.

Planning is always a great way to start any software development. At this step, you must analyze your business thoroughly and understand what you will sell, your target audience, and your primary eCommerce goals.

Step 2. Research Best Practices and Other Resources

After you know what you want, find good references and examples, learn about best practices and digital storefront programs, and write out what you want.

Step 3. Hire an in-house team or contact a vendor that can provide an end-to-end implementation.

When the plan is done, it's time to search for a team who can make your ideas real. You can always hire an in-house team, but the cheaper and easier solution is hiring a professional team from a digital storefront business that successfully built storefronts. Don't forget to request examples of the projects they did! This guarantees they know how to create your digital storefront quickly and accurately.

Step 4. Check your storefront performance

Ensure everything works well when your eCommerce system is ready and launch a digital storefront demo site. Test standard options and high-load performance, check the safety, and make sure it is prepared to work.

Step 5. Launch and upgrade

Now it's time to start your eCommerce sales! Don't forget about collecting feedback and upgrading your storefront often enough!

If you wonder how long it would take to create a digital storefront, here is an answer: it all depends on the complicacy, the platform chosen, and the architecture. Choosing a headless option is the best, as it can be launched quickly and upgraded seamlessly later. To know the exact implementation time, request a full proposal from the vendor with expertise in digital storefronts. An experienced vendor can provide any info, from design ideas to complex technical questions like how to clone a digital storefront.

Digital storefront cost

Mostly, the price of a digital storefront development starts from $5,000. Still, like the development time, it depends on technical specifications, client demands, architecture, and more.

How Virto Commerce Can Help You Launch a Digital Storefront

When you start your eCommerce business, the first question that comes to your mind is how to create a digital storefront. Here, we are covering some steps you have to take to launch your own eCommerce website.

Example of Digital Catalog Storefront on Virto Commerce
Example of Digital Catalog Storefront on Virto Commerce

If you are unsure what to choose starting with your first digital storefront, or want to upgrade your existing solution, Virto Commerce is a vendor who can help you out. From starting your first eCommerce solution to building huge B2B Portals — any solution can be launched quickly with the headless API-based architecture.

Example of Digital Catalog Shopping Cart on Virto Commerce
Virto Digital Storefront – Shopping Cart

The Virto team is always ready to lead you from the first specification building to launching your own solution and training your personnel. The solution fits all industries that work with eCommerce: small businesses can start with a simple Storefront and scale to a huge business without changing existing instruments, as it supports seamless upgrades and high load resistance.

Example of Digital Catalog Shipping on Virto Commerce
Virto Digital Storefront - Shipping

If you need to create a Storefront that provides a good CX like Heineken, improves client loyalty like the website of De Klok Dranken, or get more insights like Bosch Thermotechnik, reach out to Virto team to know how your eCommerce business can earn more.

Wrapping It Up

Digital Storefront turns out to be a bit more complicated than the usual website! However, such a solution can really help you scale your eCommerce business faster with fewer efforts. Building a Digital Storefront becomes an essential task for any business, so it’s time to take the first step to becoming the next eCommerce giant!

Schedule a quick demo

Mary Gabrielyan
Mary Gabrielyan
linkedin icon CMO