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How to Make E-Commerce Website Project

Example of how to write project brief with essential free and paid tools and basic questions

Overview of E-Commerce Websites

When it comes to developing an e-commerce website, one of the most crucial decisions is choosing the right e-commerce platform. There are several options available, including hosted platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce, as well as self-hosted platforms like WooCommerce and Magento. Alternatively, you can also choose to code your e-commerce website from scratch. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of both options to help you make an informed decision.

Choosing an e-commerce platform

Hosted Platforms

Hosted e-commerce platforms are third-party services that provide a complete solution for building and running an online store. These platforms are user-friendly and require minimal technical expertise, making them an ideal option for small to medium-sized businesses.


  • Easy setup and management
  • Built-in features and integrations
  • Scalability and flexibility
  • Automatic updates and security


  • Limited customization options
  • Additional fees for advanced features
  • Restricted control over server and database
  • Limited SEO capabilities
Self-Hosted Platforms

Self-hosted e-commerce platforms are software solutions that you install and manage on your own servers. These platforms provide more control and flexibility than hosted platforms, but also require more technical expertise.


  • Full control and customization options
  • No additional fees for advanced features
  • Better SEO capabilities
  • Ability to integrate with third-party software


  • Higher technical expertise required
  • More time-consuming setup and maintenance
  • Additional costs for hosting and security
  • Limited support and updates
Coding an E-commerce Website from Scratch

Coding an e-commerce website from scratch involves building the website's frontend, backend, and database from the ground up. This option provides complete control and customization but requires significant technical expertise.


  • Complete control and customization options
  • No limitations on features and functionality
  • Better performance and scalability
  • Lower ongoing costs


  • High technical expertise required
  • Time-consuming and complex development process
  • No built-in features or integrations
  • Higher security risks and maintenance costs

Developing an e-commerce website involves two types of work : front end and back end. The front end refers to the user-facing part of the website, while the back end refers to the server-side of the website. Both are important for a smooth and seamless user experience. When choosing an e-commerce platform, it's important to consider your business needs, budget, and technical expertise. Hosted platforms are easier to use but have less customization options, while self-hosted platforms provide more control but require more technical expertise. Developing a website from scratch provides complete control but requires significant technical expertise and time.

Popular e-commerce platforms

E-Commerce Website Project Brief Example

This table serves as an example brief for an e-commerce website project, outlining the key components and requirements necessary for successful development and implementation.

Item Description
Project Name [Specify the name of the e-commerce website project]
Client [Specify the company name or client's name]
Goals and Objectives [List the main goals and objectives of the project, e.g., increasing online sales, improving user experience, etc.]
Target Audience [Describe the target audience of the website: demographics, interests, behavior, etc.]
E-Commerce Platform [Specify the chosen e-commerce platform, e.g., Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, etc.]
Features [List the main features of the website, such as product catalog, shopping cart, payment system, etc.]
Design and Interface [Describe the requirements for the website's design and user interface, including style, colors, navigation, etc.]
Integrations [List any necessary integrations with other systems or services, such as CRM, ERP, payment gateways, etc.]
Marketing Strategy [Describe the marketing strategy for promoting the website, including SEO, advertising, social media, etc.]
Budget [Specify the project budget and its allocation across major expense categories]
Timelines [Specify the desired timelines for project implementation, including major milestones and dates]

Define the Project Objectives and Goals

Objectives and goals are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. Objectives are broad statements that describe what the website is intended to achieve. Goals, on the other hand, are specific, measurable, and time-bound targets that support the objectives.

Examples of Objectives
  • Increase Online Sales: This objective focuses on the website's primary purpose, which is to sell products online. The objective is to increase online sales by a specific percentage, such as 20% over the next year.
  • Enhance User Experience: This objective focuses on improving the website's usability, accessibility, and overall user experience. The objective may include reducing page load times, simplifying the checkout process, or improving the website's mobile responsiveness.
Examples of Goals
  • Increase Conversion Rates: This goal supports the objective of increasing online sales. The goal may include increasing the website's conversion rate by a specific percentage, such as 5% over the next quarter. This can be achieved by implementing strategies such as A/B testing, improving product descriptions, or offering discounts.
  • Improve Search Engine Visibility: This goal supports the objective of enhancing user experience by improving the website's search engine optimization (SEO). The goal may include increasing the website's ranking for specific keywords, such as "men's casual wear." This can be achieved by optimizing metadata, improving website content, and increasing the number of inbound links.

Tips and Tricks for Achieving Objectives and Goals

  • Set Specific and Measurable Goals: Goals should be specific, measurable, and time-bound. This ensures that progress can be tracked and adjustments can be made as needed.
  • Focus on User Experience: The user experience is critical for e-commerce websites. A user-friendly web design, responsive layout, and intuitive navigation can enhance the user experience and improve conversions.
  • How to write web design brief
  • Optimize for Search Engines: SEO is crucial for increasing website traffic and sales. Keyword research, metadata optimization, and content creation can improve search engine visibility.
  • How to write SEO brief
  • Implement Secure Payment Processing: Security is crucial for e-commerce websites. SSL encryption, PCI compliance, and trusted payment processors can protect customer information.
  • Conduct Regular Testing: Regular testing can identify issues and improve website performance. Conduct A/B testing, load testing, and user testing to identify areas for improvement.

Project scope refers to the boundaries and limitations of a project. Objectives are broad statements of what the project aims to achieve, while goals are specific, measurable targets that support the objectives. Defining the project scope, objectives, and goals is important to prevent scope creep and ensure project success.

List of popular programs for setting goals and objectives:

Target Audience

Defining the target audience is a critical aspect of building a successful e-commerce website. It involves understanding the characteristics and behavior of the ideal customer who is most likely to purchase your products. In this article, we will discuss how to determine your e-commerce website's target audience and provide some examples.

How to determine your e-commerce website's target audience

  • Conduct Market Research: Conducting market research is a crucial step in determining your target audience. It involves analyzing data such as demographics, interests, behaviors, and purchasing patterns of potential customers. You can use online tools such as Google Analytics, social media insights, and surveys to collect data.
  • Analyze Your Product: Analyzing your product is also essential in determining your target audience. It involves understanding the unique features and benefits of your product and how they can solve the problems or fulfill the needs of your potential customers.
  • Analyze Your Competitors: Analyzing your competitors is another critical step in determining your target audience. It involves understanding who your competitors are, what products they offer, and how they are marketing them. This analysis can help you identify gaps in the market and unique selling propositions that can attract your ideal customers.

Determining your e-commerce website's target audience is crucial in developing an effective marketing strategy, creating relevant content, and building a loyal customer base. Conducting market research, analyzing your product and competitors, and understanding the characteristics and behavior of your potential customers are essential in determining your target audience. By doing so, you can create a more personalized and engaging user experience that will increase your website's traffic, conversions, and revenue.

3 Types of Measurable Objectives To Track as a Freelancer

Whether you’re a one-person freelance company or have a team that you work with, goals are imperative in terms of providing direction for your company. Goals can be around revenue growth, customer satisfaction, or just about anything associated with improving your business long-term. Once set, you need to establish measurable objectives supporting them. The article How to Set Goals does a great job of explaining goals and what criteria should be used when setting supporting objectives.

Read more
Examples of Measurable Goals and Objectives

Do you often find yourself setting out big plans, only to fall flat and push the plan aside? This is a common occurrence. Luckily, there exists a well-defined solution that's easy to follow. It comes in a detailed system of measurable goals and objectives that puts you on a path to success.

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Website Features

The e-commerce website will have the following features:

  • Product listings with detailed descriptions, multiple images, and product reviews.
  • A shopping cart that allows customers to add items to their cart, view their cart, and adjust quantities.
  • Secure payment processing with credit card and PayPal options.
  • An order tracking system that allows customers to track the status of their order.
  • Integration with social media platforms to promote engagement and increase brand awareness.
  • A newsletter subscription option for customers to receive updates on new products and promotions.
  • An FAQ section that answers common questions about products, shipping, and returns.
  • A contact page that allows customers to send inquiries and feedback to the brand.


In summary, developing a successful e-commerce website requires clearly defining the project scope, goals, target audience, and website features from the outset. Thorough market research into customer demographics, competitors, and industry trends should inform decisions around platform selection and functionality priorities.

With core objectives centered on driving online sales through an exceptional user experience, the site must provide secure payment processing, compelling product information, and intuitive navigation. Tracking measurable KPIs around traffic, rankings, conversion rates, and revenue growth gauges progress.

Ongoing optimization efforts can boost organic visibility and customer retention over time. By outlining precise mandatories and budget considerations additionally, stakeholders align on constraints and resources available during execution. Revisiting the central tenants mapped in the briefing process ensures the website delivers against intended business outcomes.

With a solid foundation confirmed through upfront planning, the e-commerce platform can elevate the brand, meet consumer needs, and unlock long-term e-commerce success. This framework serves as a template for bringing a customer-centric online store vision to life.

Sujoy Mukherji

Founder of the Affiliate Hub Blog
I am passionate about helping small businesses 10X their marketing and sales.

Download e-commerce programing project brief template

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