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e-commerce project: business requirements

This article is part of a series about our e-commerce redesign.

The high-level goals are to re-brand, improve the user experience and improve the back-end processes. The rebrand will be to bring the site in line with the rest of the website which will relaunch in September. The user experience goal is not particularly specific but there is also a product backlog that tells a more detailed story.

The pre-existing backlog provided some of the business requirements but we didn’t know how applicable this was, what the priority of each item was and whether new requirements had come up in the interim.

Stakeholder workshops were set up and I attended the workshops covering catalogue and marketing. We’ve now got a fresh, prioritised backlog and we’ve clarified some of the language.

Some IA bits of the wishlist from the workshops:

  • more ways to browse the content, including by price and date added
  • a more flexible category structure, allowing polyhierarchy
  • search that is less divided by our various stores
  • recommendations – lots of discussion here about the various types of related products. We have accessories, variants, alternatives and ‘you might also like’.
  • a more ‘personalised’ experience, possibly based on preferred formats. I voiced words of caution here about requiring people to express preferences and about boxing them in.
  • loads of analytics were desired but everyone was realistic about how much resource there was to interpret them

We got information about volumes and value of various customer groups. And some more philosophical feedback: unlike most e-commerce projects maximising sales and profits isn’t the absolute goal here. Exactly where the line between selling and helping lies will be interesting to see.

Written by Karen

June 16th, 2009 at 6:08 am

Posted in e-commerce,rnib