When you create an online store, it’s not all about the product range, pricing, and service, as it may seem. Your eCommerce platform should satisfy and attract buyers both visually and in terms of functionality traits. Let’s talk about the most relevant functional requirements for the eCommerce website up to date.
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Functional Requirements for eCommerce Websites in the World
Generally speaking, UX requirements for eCommerce sites can be very different depending on the region a particular site targets. If we are talking about the international E-Commerce project scope, such sites should necessarily have several localizations and comply with regional shipping restrictions if there are any (e.g., aerosol sprays cannot be shipped by air, so, for instance, an international beauty goods site Feelunique.com simply cannot deliver perfumes and other liquids in containers outside the UK).
On top of that, if you sell to customers based in the EU, it is crucial to also comply with the GDPR policies, which are intended to protect personal user data.
Functional Requirements for eCommerce Websites in the USA
When it comes to websites targeting US-based buyers, it is very important to think out product refund and return policies in the E-Commerce roadmap. All because the United States is among the countries known for their “ideal conditions” for customers. Therefore, in addition to the standard functionality, you will certainly have to create a return form for unsatisfied buyers to fill out (surely, only if the product is subject to return according to the respective legislation).
Functional requirements for eCommerce websites in the healthcare
As for commercial sites in the healthcare industry, medical products aren’t usually allowed to be returned at all. But if you take a legendary healthcare site like iHerb.com, you can see that developers should definitely focus on maximum intuitiveness (note how directory chains are logically structured there) and usability (currently popular mega-menus will come in especially handy).
Functional Requirements for eCommerce Websites: Comparison
Comparing functional web store requirements, there are certainly more and less important points among them. Of utter importance are global things such as several localizations, integration with payment systems, the ability to make purchases without registration, sped up page loading, etc. In general, all that will encourage visitors who are saturated with the general level of service in the market to buy exactly from your store.
Read also: Magento Website Optimization Tools & Techniques
As for the less important requirements, there are some extra things that will only make the user experience more memorable and exciting. This includes everything that relates to the visual design of the trading platform.
Functional requirements for eCommerce websites list
Formally, all functional requirements can be subdivided into two broad categories: those that allow the user to enjoy the site at the stage of product selection and those that “push” them to make a purchase.
The first category includes the development of search tools, sorting, filtering, navigation, as well as the visual component of the site.
The second category includes the study of user shopping cart interactions, the application form for the return of goods, all kinds of elements of social proof, discount coupons, etc.
These are the ultimate directions you can base your requirements list on.
Functional Requirements Document for eCommerce Website
No reputable web studio pulls functional requirements out of thin air or stupidly follows each and every customer whim. Instead, a specification document, often referred to as “terms of reference”, is drawn up at the stage prior to the development phase, which is agreed upon by three parties: the customer side, the developer side, and the designer side.
Only after the latter two parties confirm that all the customer wishes are possible to satisfy and the customer approves the specified budget, the list of functional requirements can be approved and the high time to begin the development process comes.
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Functional Requirements Examples for eCommerce Website to Achieve the Best Quality
So, which particular functional requirements should you include in your eCommerce website project documentation?
Minimum steps to make a purchase
Start with the highest priority among sales requirements. Particularly, you will have to make sure that the checkout process is as quick as possible. Thus, the lack of a purchase option for unregistered users is a big mistake that some sites make.
In addition, the shopping cart icon should be distinctly visible on any page of the site - this will make it easier for the potential buyer to carry out operations with the cart (view the selected goods, delete unnecessary items, adjust the quantity of the same product unit, etc.).
Nowadays, an extremely increasing number of Internet users make online purchases through smartphones and tablets rather than via laptops and PCs. That’s why mobile-first design never ceases to gain particular popularity as a more advanced adaptive design option.
Unique, recognizable design
Another feature that defines a competitive website is a unique, authentic design. Many companies prefer to abandon templated themes in favor of custom web development. Note that the idea of “creating a bicycle" is not always crowned with something successful and you get sites like Victoria’s Secret. However, if you don’t have world-famous models in your product ads, it is better to rely on the experience of expert developers and entrust all customizations to real professionals.
Relevant, useful content
Filling the site with expert articles is not only a plus in the karma of your SEO specialist but also a way to satisfy the needs of the most meticulous customers that are looking for something more than a standard product description.
Email newsletter tools
Newsletter is among the essential marketing requirements that is implemented on the administrator’s side. It allows you to automate most of the stages of active interaction with online store customers via email. You can keep them engaged and motivated with notifications upon placing an order, introducing promotional offers and new products, offering individual discount coupons, etc.
Don’t forget to connect API of popular social networks, as well as include fields for product ratings and reviews. This will increase the degree of user confidence in your trading platform and satisfy their need for an objective assessment of a particular product position.
Shipping & payment systems integration
It is also worth making sure that your customers get a choice in the methods of payment and delivery of goods. Perhaps, they already have personal discounts in some services so that your proposal to choose a familiar company for transferring money/receiving goods will come in handy.
Read also: Best B2B Ecommerce Payment Systems
An online chat is a point to heed among the essential management requirements. No matter how simple your product is, it is very desirable to have an online chat on the site where customers could instantly receive answers to their questions. At the same time, it is advisable to simulate some simple algorithm for a chatbot, which would reduce the number of calls to live operators.
A handy set of filters
The logically built-in system of filters allows you to minimize the agony of choice and stay on your site for customers when they search for the “right” product. In the long term, accessibility of search will bring your online business even more purchases, hence, profit.
Integrating additional services into your website is also a good idea to save time and effort. You can offer discounts on popular services such as Groupon, Foursquare or Gilt City. This will draw even more attention to your products and also give you an opportunity to make extra profit from promoting other companies’ offers. Secure payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe or Amazon Payments are also a must-have if you wish to provide your customers with flexible and safe payment options.
Secure payment gateways
It goes without saying that customers should trust their data to your company, so it’s important to provide secure payment gateways. You can choose between different providers such as PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Payments or a traditional bank payment system. This will increase the customer's confidence and make them more comfortable when making payments.
It is important to make sure that your website is SEO-friendly and optimized for search engines. You can use special tools or hire a professional SEO specialist who will analyze your website content and apply the necessary changes to make it more visible in search engine results. This will help you attract even more potential customers and boost the overall performance of your online store.
Analytics and reports
Last but not least, an important requirement for your e-commerce platform is to track user behavior and generate detailed reports. Implementing a comprehensive analytics system will help you monitor the performance of your website in real time and make data-driven decisions to improve its overall effectiveness. This can include tracking page views, checkout times and other key metrics.
Quick and secure web hosting
Finally, make sure that your customers get the best experience when they visit your website. Choose a reliable web hosting provider which can ensure quick loading times and secure user data storage. This will help you to keep up with the ever-changing needs of modern e-commerce and stay ahead of the competition.
Your website should be user-friendly and easy to navigate. This means that customers will not have to search for information on your site and they can find what they are looking for quickly and easily. A modern, responsive design will also help you increase customer engagement and trust in your brand.
Having detailed product descriptions with different attributes and specifications can help customers make an informed decision on their purchase. Providing this kind of information will also help to increase customer satisfaction, as they know exactly what they are buying.
Requirement Gathering for eCommerce Website
The above set of functional requirements will make your eCommerce site competitive. If you want to be in the top and make a leading solution, you need to stay sharp and add something extra to the list of features. This can be an impeccable design, creation of collections based on personal customer preferences (AI-based tools are required here), voice search, etc.
Get your eCommerce website scope document!
If you have an idea for your own eCommerce solution, we can help you with its implementation. Contact us and we will draw up an expert tech reference for your approval shortly.
Functional Requirements for eCommerce Websites Best Practices: Summary
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As you can see, creating an exciting user experience for eCommerce sites is not so simple. If you want to professionally approach the implementation of your trading platform, contact us. We will settle with the best custom eCommerce requirements list to lay the foundation for the development process and deliver a top-notch solution that meets and exceeds the latest online marketing practices.