Planning Your Web-to-Print eCommerce Strategy

A website specification is a set of requirements that outline user behavior and interaction. The capabilities and functionalities necessary in the end product are requirements.

An ecommerce website requirements document outlines the website’s features and serves as an agreement between the store owner and the development agency.

There are two types of website requirements: functional and non-functional. Functional requirements refer to the website’s technical functionality, while non-functional requirements refer to how the website should perform a specific function.

There are several crucial functional requirements that an ecommerce website must have. These include adding items to the cart, website navigation, and interaction with the user interface, among others. On the other hand, non-functional requirements are related to the server’s ability to handle requests, cope with increasing numbers of logins and users, and ensure the website’s security and usability.

Who is responsible for writing the specification document for an ecommerce website, and what is the purpose of this document?

A cohesive and unambiguous document is usually created by a business analyst, project manager, or project lead.

What are the primary purposes of a website specification document?

Where do online store owners use ecommerce website specifications documents?

Our process: From the first contact to the first line of code

Our clients approach us with their ideas and issues, and it is our responsibility to convert them into workable ecommerce solutions that will aid our clients in expanding their businesses. The procedure entails the entire customer lifecycle, from initial contact to the first day of ecommerce development.

Step 1 — Initiation

Our partnership begins with an initial discussion to estimate the budget and timeline.

Step 2 — Brief

Our main goal is to assist our clients in completing a questionnaire covering functional and non-functional requirements. The questionnaire is customized based on the nature of the project, such as migration, a new project, or a custom module, and has specific features.

Examples of questions for a project from scratch:

Non-functional

Functional

Step 3 — Research

Our business analysts conduct a competitor analysis after finalizing the brief. We identify trends, research technologies, and services that our clients may need.

Step 4 — Prepare the ecommerce website requirements specification document

After reviewing the research and brief, our team starts to work on creating a business requirement document for online shopping. In case we have any questions or concerns, we reach out to the client. By clarifying the details beforehand, we minimize the possibility of issues arising during development.

Step 5 — Multiple rounds of editing

Multiple rounds of editing in the development plan and ecommerce website design requirements document ensure the requirements are solid. We may go back and forth and may require additional research.

Step 6 — Planning stage

The planning stage involves creating a work breakdown structure (WBS) that outlines smaller components of the project. For an ecommerce website, the WBS can include headers, footers, text blocks, and sections for each page.

Step 7 — Roadmap

Accurately estimating the timeline and cost of an ecommerce website with proper documentation. Setting project schedule and scope.

Step 8 — First line of code

Once the plan is established and agreed upon, we start coding.

What should a website requirements specification document include?

An ecommerce website requirements specification document includes general and some ecommerce and platform-specific sections.

Here’s the structure we use:

Project Overview

Describe the business and industry. Outline your primary business goals and what services/solutions you want to provide.

2) Technologies used

Business Requirements

Tasks & Release management

Functional Requirements

Features

This section includes all the features (native and third-party) that you want to add. Regardless of the ecommerce platform you choose, you will likely want to add:

Project Roles

Basic Permission Scheme: When setting up a system, it’s essential to specify the permissions and restrictions for each role and responsibility. An ecommerce site typically has three leading roles: admin, customer, and customer support. You should outline these roles according to the abilities and page access they have within the system. Group actions together based on general categories and then break them down into smaller, more specific components when necessary.

Here are some examples:

  1. Admin
    1. (General) As an admin, I want to manage all products across all stores
      1. (Specific) As an admin, I want to create products within one store
  2. Customer
    1. (General) As a customer, I want to buy a selected product
      1. (Specific) As a customer, I want to create an account to proceed with the order from the shopping cart
  3. Customer support
    1. (General) As customer support, I want to send order confirmation emails

Takeaways — Things to remember

While having a specification document for your ecommerce website is vital, you still need to guarantee that your project will be successful. This is because having a plan and executing it are two different things. However, a specification requirements document is crucial for an ecommerce store as it ensures that all elements, features, and requirements are clearly understood. Without this, it isn’t easy to guarantee that the development and implementation process will stay within your budget and timeline. At our company, we believe in building solid partnerships with our clients and are proud to have partnered with leading brands across several industries. If you plan to launch an online store, it is essential to remember that failing to plan is planning to fail.

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