How to plan an ecommerce website

With so many ecommerce websites out there in cyberspace, having a really good one that works and makes it very easy for visitors to make a purchase is key to success. Building an ecommerce site is not just about having pretty pictures of your goods, a shopping cart, checkout and payment processing, it needs to be carefully planned so that it has a great layout, interesting content and easy navigation. Spending a little time planning the site really is worth the effort. Don’t forget to invest some time thoroughly testing the site once it is up and running so that any issues can be fixed before visitors have problems which could lead to a loss of sales.

Whether theming an e-commerce website or doing a full-scale build, one of the most important parts in the whole process is the planning. Planning a build before you start can sometimes seem like a bit of a tedious and time-consuming task, but not only will it make everything run a lot smoother, it will also save a lot of time.

You may be wondering where you even begin, and that’s what this article will help you answer.

 

What Do You Want Your Site To Do?

Let’s start at the beginning. Since we are talking about an e-commerce site, I’m guessing that the aim is to sell something. We need to figure out ways to make it more compelling to buy that something.

Try to make it as easy as possible for the customer to buy your products. The well-known three-click rule applies here: You want your customer to get to what they are looking for in three or less clicks. Any more, and they may just give up. The user interface should be a primary subject to plan for.

Who’s Going to Buy From You?

Another important factor to take into account is your audience. This is something that you should consider researching properly; knowing who will want to buy your products is something that influences your design.

Do You Require Special Site Features?

Depending on what you are selling, you may need features that other e-commerce sites do not. For example, a clothing e-store may need a refined search so that the customer can filter a search by colour or brand. Alternatively, you may want to allow the customer to use coupon codes. You should plan what features and functions you think you need or want to add.

Do You Require Special Site Features?

What Are Your Limitations?

Everyone has limitations — work out what yours are when you are building your site. Do you have a budget for the build, and if so, how will this limit what you can do? What technical limitations do you have? Is there any part of the build that you won’t be able to do by yourself? How does the technology limit your build? Click here to continue

Further information

Key security and design features to consider when building an ecommerce website

Things to consider when building an online store

How ecommerce works