What do you want or need your ecommerce store to do?

You need to differentiate between “Want” and “Need” here… every YES may increase the price but it will give us a good basis to determine the best ecommerce solution.

Product Browsing and Search


  • How many levels of categories will there be?
  • Can products belong to multiple categories?
  • Is there a single hierarchy or should users be able browse using multiple starting criteria (e.g. Brand vs. Product Type vs. Occasion vs. Cost Range)

Search & Filtering

  • Keyword based searching is a given, but what fields will need to be searched?
  • Should users be able to filter by attribute/category? Is Cumulative filtering required (i.e. Keyword = “Basket” + Wood + Woven + Lined + Brand)

Options & Variations – (e.g. color, size, material, voltage).

  • Will there be multiple options for products?
  • Should different SKUs be represented as different products or options within a single product?
  • Will variants need to impact product cost and weight (for shipping calculations).
  • Will there be add-ons and upsells? E.g. we hope you like your toy, do you want to also buy the batteries for it

Listing Page

  • What Fields should be displayed on the listing page? Do different categories need different display templates?
  • Should users be able to add products to their cart from the listing page? If so, how should options and variants be handled?

Details Page

  • What Fields should be displayed on the Details Page?
  • Should details be broken into multiple tabs?
  • Should users be able to view additional images for a product (e.g. Front View, Back View, Interior, Exterior, …).

Discounts and Sales

  • What types of discounts and sales will you provide?
    • Role Based Discounts –Wholesale customers, frequent buyers, friends
      Referral discounts?
    • Bulk discounts – e.g. Buy 10 and get a 10% discount,
    • Combo – Buy Product A and get Product B for 50% off
    • Coupons/Promotion Codes – Single Use, multi-use, once per account
    • Groupons/Deal of the Day
    • Holiday Promotions
  • Will you offer both product discounts (Buy 1 Get 1, 20% of product A and cart discounts (i.e. 20% of entire Subtotal)

Shopping Cart
Mini-shopping Cart location and details to display: products? Sub-total?


  • Wish List – Should users be able to create a Wish List?
  • Sharing/Send to a Friend – Should users be able send product details to a friend?
  • Ratings and Comments – Should users be allowed to rate and comment on products?
  • Referral Tracking
  • Inventory Tracking? Show Availability? Allow Backorders?
  • Downloads? (e.g. Software, Product Info, or Manual)
  • Multiple Vendors – Will different people/companies be selling things are your site?
  • Multiple Stores?
  • Gift Messages

Payment / Checkout

Customer/Account Information– What data to you want/need to collect for each customer? How will accounts be created (user registration, import, data entry, combination)? Is anonymous checkout supported?


  • Local taxes (special business districts, City of St. Louis)
  • State Taxes
  • Country Taxes

Local taxes (special business districts, City of St. Louis)Payment

  • What Payment Methods are allow (CC, ACH, Credit Terms, COD, invoice, …)
  • What Credit Cards are accepted?
  • What level of validation do you need (Card # and CVC? Name? Address?)
  • Automated or Manual Processing of Credit Cards? Gateway? Merchant Bank?
  • Should credit card info be stored on the server and should users be able to save and select from existing cards?
  • Is PCI Compliance required? If your taking credit cards online, it probably should be.
  • SSL- Do they have an existing SSL certificate? Preferred provider? What type/level of certificate do they want?
  • Newsletter – Should users be able to opt-in for a Newsletter? Single newsletter or multiple types (Sales, New Products, Store information, …)

What Payment Methods are allow (CC, ACH, Credit Terms, COD, invoice, …)


  • What Carriers (UPS, USPS, FedEx, …) do you want to support?
  • Delivery Options (For Each Carrier: Ground, Next Day Air, 2 Day air, …)
  • Order Tracking – Is order tracking required?
  • Is support for printing labels required? Any special requirements (i.e. QR Codes)?
  • How will shipping costs be calculated? Based on weight? Fixed Based on order amount? Fixed? Percentage of Order Amount? Variable based on shipto address?
  • Do shipments need to broken into multiple boxes?
  • International Shipping? Canada? Non-contiguous states?
  • Can users split their order between Multiple Addresses?
  • Might an order ship from multiple warehouses? Is “drop shipping” support required?
  • Gifts – Ship to Friend? Gift message, gift cards, gift wrapping? Allow spliting order into multiple shipments?
  • What type of Shipping Discounts do you anticipate?
  • Time until product is shipped- Consistent? Variable per product? Variable per category?

Administration & Integration


  • What do they need in terms of reporting? Graphs and charts?

Fulfillment & Order Tracking

  • Should users be notified at each phase of the order (Order Receipt, Payment Receipt, Order Fulfilled, Order Shipped, Order Returned)?


  • Is integration with Quickbooks or other accounting systems required?
  • Is Order and/or customer Export to a specific system required.
  • Audit Trails – When something goes wrong (i.e. a client accuses says credit cards numbers entered through your store have been misused), having a proven audit trail is invaluable (also required for PCI compliance).

Product Entry

  • How will products get into the system (data entry, one time import, daily import, real-time integration with separate system, combination)?