You’ve got an amazing idea for your e-commerce website, and you’re eager to start building the technology behind it to make it a reality.
Still, before you start developing your e-commerce website, get to know the essential requirements involved in creating and running an online store. For example, your customers won’t be happy if their shipments aren’t properly tracked. If something goes wrong, they won’t shop with you again. For more information on e-commerce requirements and how to meet them, read on.
Project requirements for e-commerce: What are they?
When creating an e-commerce website, some requirements are vital to ensure the smooth running of your business. Thus, it’s best to be prepared so you can start your new business off on the right foot.
People often confuse project requirements with goals and objectives. The difference between these terms is rather simple: goals and objectives describe what you want to achieve, whereas requirements are all about how you intend to reach those goals. In other words, a requirement describes must-have features and tasks to ensure that your goal or objective is achieved and your project is successful.
If there’s no documented process or method behind how something gets done, it makes it harder for someone else to replicate your efforts or identify risks before they become issues. That’s why it’s crucial to acknowledge the main differences between project requirements for e-commerce and select the most appropriate ones for your business goals and objectives.
Functional and non-functional requirements: What’s the difference?
These two types of requirements are often confused. Yet, they represent two different aspects of the system. Understanding how each is defined can lead to a more successful outcome on a project.
Functional requirements for e-commerce website refer to the things you show your clients in a store, including things that create a better user experience. They “push” people to make a purchase. We talk more about functional requirements in the next section.
Non-functional requirements are the website technical parameters that influence quality and performance parameters that are the foundation for user experience. For example, it refers to the speed of loading a requested page.
Since we focus on Shopify e-commerce solutions, plenty of non-functional requirements are already implemented in the platform, including page speed optimization, deployment, security, reliability, and performance.
This way, it’s impossible to steal or extract users, the system has no failure, and the platform copes with a huge load of visitors. In other words, all the vital functions of the website are covered by the platform itself, which saves time for the development team and money for the client.
E-commerce requirements list: 10 things that help to create a successful store
Since Shopify covers the key non-functional requirements, in this section, we’ll concentrate on describing ten basic requirements of e-commerce website from the functional side for you to develop a successful store:
- Mobile-first design implementation
- Unique UI/UX design
- Customizable themes
- Email marketing tools
- Chatbots or live chats
- Smart product comparison
- Social proof/reviews
- Purchase constructor
- Loyalty programs
These days, many e-commerce websites develop mobile and desktop versions simultaneously, acknowledging the greater convenience and ease for users to shop from their phones. The global smartphone penetration rate has reached over 78 percent. No wonder it’s essential that your website works seamlessly on any portable device.
Unique UI/UX design
You cannot change the first impression, so make sure the UI/UX design you’ve chosen is unique, appealing, and efficient for attracting new users. Does your website feel conventional or uninteresting? Then users will quickly move on to more interesting websites with appealing designs. Also, these days a lot of shopping happens through digital platforms – if a user can find what they are looking for in one click, they’re far less likely to keep browsing e-commerce sites at random.
When building the design, it’s important to check whether the layout fits the functionality of Shopify or BigCommerce. When this situation happens to our clients, our team will suggest improvements for the agency or build a new design.
With customizable themes, your e-commerce store will reach maximum flexibility. Also, with a custom-built theme, you can give your site a look and feel that matches your brand. That’s why we always make the most customizable themes for our clients. After completing the development phase and transition to the support phase, our clients can use the themes without the need for extra development.
Email marketing tools
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience and convert it into paying customers; that’s why it’s so important to think of these tools in advance. When looking for the exact email marketing tools, consider features such as integrations with e-commerce platforms, CRM systems, analytics tools, and personalization capabilities.
Your tech provider should know how to integrate important features like payment processing solutions and affiliate marketing platforms into your e-commerce website. For this, it’s worth choosing a fast and scalable platform like Shopify and BigCommerce.
Our team does integrations with applications from the Shopify app store and other third-party systems that have an API.
Chatbots or live chats
Chatbots help you answer questions quickly (without bugging your team), so your customers can do their shopping on your website. Live chats also take away some of that pressure from your employees – they can provide better service. Both options allow you to offer customer support 24/7, which is a must-have for successful businesses these days.
Smart product comparison
Make comparing different products on your e-commerce website easy. Have a table with all product attributes with a checkbox next to each attribute to introduce this feature. When one of these checkboxes is ticked, a Compare button appears and allows visitors to directly compare two products. When clicked, it replaces both product images with one image and displays additional information like price and rating in side-by-side columns.
Social proof or reviews
A buyer needs to be calm when purchasing. Social proof helps with that. It comes in three forms: ratings, reviews, and testimonials. Ratings and reviews are self-explanatory; these let website visitors see how other customers feel about your products and services before deciding to purchase.
Testimonials are slightly different because they aren’t based on data or facts; instead, they rely on another customer speaking on your behalf, which can be seen as more authentic than words of praise from strangers.
Purchase forms are among the must-have e-commerce website development requirements. They allow customers to add items to their shopping cart and make a purchase. While working with a purchase form, double-check its usability, as nothing should prevent and distract users in this process.
It’s hard to gain word of mouth without some sort of special incentive, so it’s important to have a loyalty program in place before building your website. When you have designed something to offer your clients in advance, your conversion rate is likely to become higher from Day One.
Technical requirements for e-commerce website: DigitalSuits experience and process
When our team receives the task to build an e-commerce website for the client, we apply all our skills and knowledge about creating successful stores.
We assign a project manager who assists with defining and documenting project requirements and is responsible for explaining them to the team. The project manager meets with the client or Product Owner regularly to articulate and adjust the process. In particular, we proactively arrange weekly sync-ups so that the client can see the progress and keep in touch via Slack between these meetings.
Also, after each milestone, we send the client a demo to have a finished piece to take a look at. This way, we keep the process transparent and measurable.
DigitalSuits can help you to build an e-commerce website
As you can see, the goal of building a successful online store is the question of sticking to several functional and non-functional requirements. If you decide to work with DigitalSuits, you can be sure — your e-commerce project will cover both categories of requirements by using Shopify and BigCommerce platforms and adopting the best practices for e-commerce functionality.
DigitalSuits has an independent department of 10 e-commerce specialists who are ready to help you with E-commerce website development and Shopify development services. As an е-commerce software development company, we provide the services of:
- Headless architecture development
- Shopify and BigCommerce app development
- Mobile-first design implementation
- ERP systems setup
- Replatforming and data migration
- E-commerce website development, and many more.
Drop us a message, and let’s start discussing the details of your e-commerce project right away!