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How to define the functionality needs of your website

Website functionality is an essential part of how your e-commerce site operates. Since it encompasses everything from the user’s actions to dynamic content, the success of your business is dependent on the planning phase of the website’s functionality. Whether your website is being coded for the first time or revamped, be sure you build it with the right features in mind to consider its functionality and use this blog to guide you through the process of defining those needs.

Define your website’s purpose and goals

While you may already know the purpose and goals behind your e-commerce business, the same questions need to be answered about your business website before you can determine which features are needed. 

The definition of the word “purpose” is the reason for which something is done, created, for which something exists. 

What’s your website’s purpose?

  • To sell products or services to customers
  • As a portal to submit contact information and questions
  • A place where industry-relevant information can be found

Many types of websites exist and once your purpose is established you can work with a web development team to ensure that the right features are in place to support your site’s needs. 

The definition of the word “goals” is the object of a person’s ambition or effort to achieve the desired result. 

What are your website goals?

  • To convert leads into sales
  • To collect target audience details
  • To grow your product within your market

Along with purpose, once you establish your goals, it’s easier to know the minimum website functionality requirements that will be needed. 

What are your audience’s needs?

The next step to determining the type of website functionality features you will need is entirely dependent on your audience’s needs. If you haven’t already, start researching your target audience.

What things does your audience need?

  • Does your audience prefer more content, photos, videos, demonstrations, etc.?
  • What age and gender is your target audience? How does this demographic shop?
  • Is it possible that your audience may have gaps in their knowledge of your products and services? If so, you will need more content pages.

Knowing the needs, wants, and conditions of your audience will determine the features that will meet their expectations. That said, take what you know about your audience and use it to your advantage now. For example, if you know that users are coming to your site for educational purposes, it would be useful to highlight your search tool to ensure that your audience can browse and use your website efficiently. 

Establish a budget

First-time business owners and growing companies know that establishing a budget is essential for success. That said, it’s frustrating when budget presents a roadblock in your website’s functionality. While many key website functionality features are unavoidable (checkout, shipping, and payment), the best way you can avoid a budget issue is by making yourself aware of upfront restrictions that may increase your development costs. Also, understand that a functional, interactive website needs a healthy budget to ensure that corners aren’t cut that affect the user experience.  

Load up on the content

While your website’s content can help get your business noticed in the never-ending database within search engines, it can also slow down your website, affecting its functionality. That’s why it’s important to select the right type of content that won’t cause further technical needs. For example, photo galleries, extensive video, and animations might cause legging in your website’s functionality, whereas text with drop-down menus assists your search engine optimization (SEO) without presenting too much of an issue with the display and page transitions. 

Common website functionality features

Now that you’ve brainstormed the functionality needs of your website, if you’re struggling to come up with added features, refer to our list below to get started:

  • An in-site search bar
  • A blog and/or news section
  • Video library
  • Photo gallery
  • Relevant forms
  • An event calendar
  • A social sharing tool
  • Location map

Keep in mind that the above examples are just a few that you might want to incorporate into your website. 

What other functionality inspiration can you offer? Drop a comment below to share with our audience.

One thought on “How to define the functionality needs of your website

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