E-Commerce Process

Electronic Commerce Development Process

Developing an e-commerce solution for clients can be more involved than our standard Web Development Process. Therefore planning and developing the project scope may require more interaction whether you are starting from scratch or looking for a redesign.

1 Planning

The planning process or e-commerce project looks at your complete operation. We will look at what your daily and weekly operations involve including inventory and shipping before creating a plan on presenting and selling product so that we can develop a solution that gets product shipped out the door as quick and efficiently as possible.

Next we look at your product line and look at all the aspects of your products that your customers will need to use your website to get information. What options does the customer have when they place orders, what sort of detailed information and collateral does the client need to make a decision?

Finally we look at the type of marketing and sales strategy your team has and look for ways of incorporating that into the E-Commerce solution, before, during, and after purchase. We also want to look at the data and tracking information that your team requires about customers and clients.

2 Scope

When we develop an e-commerce project's scope, we will provide your with a list of all the features to be included, timelines for their delivery and pre-determined goals. This way we both know what is expected before we begin.

3 Site Mapping and Layout

A good e-commerce site must load quickly and present consistently to all users on different browsers. We strive to make our sites XHTML and CSS compliant and optimize all images while maintaining a focus on quick load times without sacrificing style and presentation.

4 Front and backend development phase

An e-commerce solution depends on a robust and efficient database solution on the back end so that the content is delivered quickly. Designing the database right the first time will allow the site and your business to grow.

5 Design Phase

We emphasize separating content from presentation. This means that the text and images are separated from the visual template for displaying them. This is important for two reasons. First, as your site scales up, new pages are added or existing pages are modified, there is no reason to adjust HTML code. Second, with the variety of browsers and devices such as PCs, PDAs, Phones as well as the variety of users from different countries or even physically impaired, separating content and presentation allows the information to be displayed in the best manner for the user.

6 Development Phase

Once we have developed a goal and drawn up a project scope, AgaveIS will develop your project according to clearly spelled out milestones. Depending on the project, we will present you with a number of concepts, based on your input, for your approval.

7 Deliverables

Once a specific layout and design is agreed upon that sets the right tone and delivers a professional appearance, we will begin working on the final design. Unless otherwise specified, we will deliver a site that is good-looking, fast and standards compliant, and one that is easy to manage going forward, whether it is by us, you or others in the future.

We will work with you to implement your e-commerce goals. We do however have certain goals that we wish to accomplish in conjunction with yours.

A common belief on the internet is 'the one second principle'. This means you have one second to make a strong, professional impression that will establish trust and generate interest. Remember, it takes less than a second to click the back button on your browser to go back to a search engine. So you have a second or so to present your company as a vendor of products or services and begin the sales process. Recent research by Gartner and Jupiter Media Metrix suggests, convenience, usability and marketing clarity are even more important than price for online shoppers. With that in mind AgaveIS creates sites with the goals of:

Top E-Commerce Goals

Fast loading pages

Compact, efficient code and images are all essential to fast loading pages that allow visitors to see what they came to the site for quickly before hitting the back button.

Clean, product centric layout

We want your visitors to be able to find the products that they want quickly and in as little number of steps as possible. This means dynamically generating web pages based on user metrics so that they are presented with the best possible product mix on their visits. It also means an emphasis on displaying products and not on gimmicks.

Efficient and intuitive navigation structure

Customers should be able to browse your site as easily as possible so that they can find what they came for and even what they may not be aware of.

Checkout oriented usage flow

The site should be as simple to use as possible and inspire confidence in the user so as to lead them from product selection through payment as painlessly as possible.

Search engine friendly code

The site should be as search engine friendly as possible so that potential customers can find your site when searching for the goods or services which you carry. To accomplish this the pages should be created in such a way to emphasize specific keywords. Other strategies can include creating multiple landing pages for specific products or services that different end users might be searching for using different terms.