4 Must-Have Technical Requirements for an eCommerce Website

Updated 8 July 2021

So you are looking to develop your own eCommerce Store and confused between choosing eCommerce packages.

However, before we go for frameworks, choosing the right technical specifications are must-have requirements for developing an eCommerce website.

Building an eCommerce store is one hell of tasks and is a complicated endeavour. 

It’s not just about choosing the right language or framework for development, major complications come in defining right data workflow and technical specifications to be involved.

Technical Requirements for an eCommerce Website

Below are few tech-specs you should consider to ensure your website is functional, successful, and secure.

Database Model/Technique/Pattern

Of all the things, the most crucial part is how your eCommerce website is storing and accessing product information.

Let us understand this with an existing problem:

Suppose you are a retailer who wants to store simple product information of shirts. Some eCommerce platforms use to store the data in a simple RDBMS or spreadsheet kind of format where information is kept in tables.

Your shirt may have attributes like Unique ID, Title, Color, Size and SKU

If you sell the same thing throughout your website, then you just need to add additional rows in your database keeping all the columns same.

The problem arises when you want to add separate kind of entity having attributes which are not similar to those of shirts. Like for example, Jeans have attributes like Unique ID, Title, Size, Waist, Pattern, SKU

Adding an extra column in your database can be a probable solution for this.

This might work for a small data set but the solution is not scalable.

Imagine a situation where you need to add 1000 of products having dissimilar attributes. Considering the above solution, very soon you will be having a database having 1000 of columns.

A popular solution to such a problem is the Entity-Attribute-Value (EAV) approach which is followed by major eCommerce platforms like Magento and Bagisto

EAV basically stores the product information in parts in multiple tables. As a piece of information in an entity, the table may look like this

The attributes and values will be stored in a different table

Here EAV is storing the product information in two different tables. However, EAV database solution for your eCommerce website may store your product catalogue data in four five or six tables.

The process may be slow but is very efficient in comparison to RDBMS.

Security At The Core

Your eCommerce website should be secure and should be shielded from hackers. Usually, your website should have 256-bit layer TLS(Transport Layer Security) protection for an end to end encryption.

As per current scenario, the website should be upgraded TLS 1.2 standard so as the data should remain encrypted from the moment person enters the website to when he leaves the website.

HTTPS which is basically HTTP with TLS protection is the most obvious solution to provide privacy to any kind of online web transaction.

Even from July2018, Google has decided to flag all non-HTTP website asking for log-in or credit card information over the unsecured network.

High Performance

As per the report by Akamai on Website Performance Statistics,

49% of consumers expect a page load time of fewer than 2 seconds

Today with the availability of faster mobile networks over the geographical area, consumers expect a faster page load speed.

Page Load Speed is one of the most crucial KPI for online conversion. As to a study by Aberdeen Group,

Even a one-second delay in page load time equals a seven-percent loss in conversion.

Source: LoadStorm

For the better performance of your eCommerce website performance, you can make use of website monitoring tools to make sure your website performance is at all boosted up.

Apart from that, you can use a few of the below-mentioned tactics:

Reduced HTTP Requests

Instead of using Multiple JS or CSS files and making multiple requests by your browser, you can combine them into one single file thus allowing your browser to make one single requests.

Combine External JavaScript and CSS Files

You can use tools like CSS Sprites for Images or cdnjs for web related libraries to speed up your website.

Content Delivery Networks

CDNs are the most appropriate way of delivering contents to your customers around the world. It caches the contents on servers located in different parts of the world.

Website Caching

Caching makes your websites extremely fast and achieves better SEO scores which increase user satisfaction and leads to better conversions and increased income if you’re selling products or services online.

As per a report by YUI,

Browser caching increases the speed of your website as much as by 300 %

Types of Cache:

Browser Caching

Browser caching allows your browser to store resources like Javascript files, stylesheets, fonts and so on for a while, so it doesn’t need to retrieve them every time you visit the site.

Server Caching

Server Cache stores the results of the requests that you make every time so as to serve the results faster. Full Page Cache and Object Cache are the types of Server Caching that are most used.

Data Compression

You can use tools like Gzip to compress the data before they are being sent to the browser.

By making a few changes in your server configuration files, your web server will provide smaller file sizes which load faster for your website users.

Scale As You Go

When you are running an eCommerce store, you may need to scale anytime when the traffic increases on your website.

Similarly, in the case of any seasonal or flash sale, your inventory needs to grow to support the heavy load activities.

As long as your eCommerce website is using a cloud provider, you can easily use the Infrastructure-as-a-Service platform to scale your server.

The best thing is you just pay for the extra service that you require depending upon the requirements.

On your application, you can make use of Redis for repeated queries which are thousands time faster than MySql. You can have multiple servers, and you can have load balancing that balances your load across these servers.

Apart from that, we can use technology like Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling, AWS Elastic Load Balancer and Amazon Elastic File System for autoscaling, load balancing and as a shared file system respectively to make your eCommerce website scalable.

Above are few of the must-have technical specifications that are must for an eCommerce website for its better operations.

Do let us know in comments if you have used any one of the above technology or something else for your eCommerce website.

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