Skip to content
AtlanticBT Monogram
Article

How to gather all of your eCommerce site requirements.

ecommerce requirements gathering

Ready to start down the eCommerce path? If you’re starting from scratch, you’ve more than likely looked into how much an eCommerce website costs. Or, maybe you are overhauling an existing or low-performing eCommerce property. You’ve researched your eCommerce platform options and heading into the next step.

But what is the next step? We often see a pattern with clients as they begin their eCommerce journey. They struggle with prioritizations during the planning phase.

Unfortunately, they fail to develop a structural approach to finding all site requirements, leading to inaccurate project scope. Even worse, poor planning makes the development process more stressful.

Case Study Doubling eCommerce Conversions for Tactical Equipment Leader, Propper.

Here are three keys to successful eCommerce requirements gathering. In addition, access a free worksheet to help you in the process.

Understand the difference between business, functional, and technical Requirements.

Gather business requirements for your team.

These are the needs of the website from a business perspective. For example, business requirements might include:

  • Pricing rules – B2B accounts have negotiated discounts and terms.
  • Shipping rules – Some products have exclusions or special requirements.
  • Order fulfillment workflow –  Some products are drop-shipped while other orders may be fulfilled in your warehouse.
  • Legal / regulatory requirements – Some industries adhere to strict legal and privacy policies.

Gather functional requirements for users.

These requirements should reflect performance goals based on the customer’s experience. Here are examples of functional requirements with follow up questions:

  • Product reviews are needed to increase conversion rates and stand out from the competition.
    • Will moderated reviews be a part of the process?
    • Are anonymous/guest reviews acceptable?
  • Product tours (photos/videos/etc.) will increase user engagement.
  • A shipping calculator is needed to set expectations and decrease cart abandonment.
  • Saved carts or printable quotes helped users stay on track. Shoppers often need a manager’s permission or a purchase order before checkout.
    • How long can a customer save carts and quotes?
    • Is a created account necessary to receive a quote? Do customers have to provide a phone number and email address?

Gather technical requirements to facilitate the eCommerce development process.

These requirements should prevent developers from having to make any assumptions. One example of a technical requirement is password policy. How would you map out the password process step by step?

Working through requirements for each persona is invaluable, even if there is overlap. The process always identifies new issues and opportunities.

Address security needs.

Assess your security posture as part of the initial scope conversations. After that, security should be a priority throughout the project.

eCommerce can be much safer for your customers than brick-and-mortar retail if security is prioritized. Simply adding SSL to make your site “https” isn’t going to cut it!

Make sure you’re up-to-date on what risks your eCommerce platform can face. Continuously upgrading will also add to the overall security of your eCommerce application.

Understand your mobile users.

We often find that mobile users have different goals than desktop users. In fact, sometimes these goals can vary between device types (like smartphones vs tablets).

Two example scenarios come to mind:

  1. Tablet-based point of sale systems continue to be on the rise. Many B2B companies are leaving desktops to use tablets for a variety of tasks. Inventory replenishment and order management done at the touch of a finger. But, most of these tasks are situation-specific. A user is checking specific orders or looking into a customer inquiry. Reporting and analytics can wait for “office time”. So, the investment into making such features work on tablet devices isn’t justified.
  2. For an industrial/manufacturing supply company, all orders come through established accounts. These orders generally come from desktop browsing sessions. However, product availability and compatibility information is only available on the shop floor. So, a mobile phone optimized experience for technicians becomes a priority. It should focus on providing product information and a simple way to send/share what parts are in stock. Focusing on driving transactions on the device doesn’t make sense.

Try our free planning resource.

Over the years, Atlantic BT has scoped many custom eCommerce projects and developed a worksheet to streamline the process.

Free Download eCommerce Requirements Worksheet

Relying on a trusted Magento partner will facilitate development.

At Atlantic BT, we have a dedicated team of certified Magento developers, marketers, and designers to create your eCommerce platform. As an end-to-end cybersecurity partner, we provide secure hosting, application security, and contingency plans to keep your platform safe. To get started reach out to us anytime!

capabilities covered
Magento eCommerce Integrations eCommerce Shopify Digital Strategy

The Atlantic BT Manifesto

The Ultimate Guide To Planning A Complex Web Project

Insights

Atlantic BT's Insights

We’re sharing the latest concepts in tech, design, and software development. Learn more about our findings.

Questions & Answers

How much does custom eCommerce cost?
A custom eCommerce store could cost anywhere from $12,000/year to millions. Variable factors include the amount of custom features, the complexity of design, setup investments, training, and maintenance. Check out how to determine the cost of a custom eCommerce store.
Learn More
How do I build a WordPress eCommerce website?
There are two strategies to build eCommerce into your existing Wordpress site. First, you need to figure out if you need a complete eCommerce platform (ie. you need to sell many products, complex products, integration into other systems, etc.). The reason this matters is there are many eCommerce plugins for Wordpress with limited functionalities.
Learn More
What is Magento eCommerce?
Magento is an increasingly popular eCommerce platform. It is written in PHP on the ZEND framework and is distributed under the Open Source Initiative.
Learn More
How do I find out what eCommerce platform a site is using?
There are a couple different ways to determine this-- if you are technically savvy you can right click on an e-commerce page (either catalog, checkout page, etc) and look at the source code.
Learn More
How do I start an eCommerce business?
The most important thing to consider is your competitive advantage over others that may compete for the same type of eCommerce store. Low barriers to entry is both a pro and con to eCommerce.
Learn More
What is an eCommerce platform?
An eCommerce platform is software that online businesses use to build functions needed to conduct business. The platform may be as simple as a catalog and shopping cart, but traditionally "platform" refers to a more robust set of tools and services.
Learn More
What is the difference between eCommerce and eBusiness?
Because people like to define these terms to suit their purposes, there are many different definitions of eBusiness and eCommerce. We define eBusiness as completing primary business functions online.
Learn More