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Lesson 1 – Part 2 – Site Organization for our E-Commerce Website

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This video is part of our old WP eStore Course Go to our Updated WP eStore Course for current videos.

Major Components of Site Organization

In the second part of this lesson we’re going to take a look at the general organization of this Thesis themed WordPress based e-commerce website. For the purposes of this tutorial I’ve divided that up into four large categories or components; that is Sales, Information, Marketing and User Experience.

Product Sales in the E-Commerce Website

By far the most complex portion of the e-commerce site is going to be the Sales portion. The Sales portion of the Thesis themed e-commerce website first includes our products and in particular our product definition. What are the elements of the product? What are the variations of the product? What are the different parts of the product that we’re going to display and in what context? It includes the product presentation and, in particular, we’ve got a featured product as we saw on the front page which has some information about it. We have summary product information so a customer can evaluate whether or not they’re interested in that specific product and then we have detailed product information.

Use WordPress E-Commerce Plugin and Thesis Functionality to Display Products

We have these presentation methods that we have to develop. We also have data entry where we’ll be using the WordPress e-commerce plugin WP eStore and we’ll be using native Thesis functionality in order to display those products on your e-commerce website and therefore we’re going to use both of those components for data entry. And then finally we have the shopping cart. The shopping cart that we’ll be using in our e-commerce website will have both a Buy Now feature so that a customer can select a button and go immediately to check out and will also have the ability to have a regular shopping cart functionality where they can add multiple products to their purchase and then purchase all of those things at the same time.

Information Component in the E-Commerce Website

The second big component here is the information component. It will have the General Information Content. That’s things like blog posts, promotional information, stuff that you have on posts or pages. We have the Product Related Content which is again information that’s on posts or pages but it’s related specifically to the description of the product.

We have Administrative Content such as our facts, our policies, support information and that sort of thing. And then we have the SEO component which is the way that we organize all of this information so that it can be easily indexed and found by search engines. One of the things that we’re going to be looking at as we develop this site is how our Thesis themed e-commerce website’s organization affects SEO and how we will develop what Google calls semantic URLs; that is URLs that tell a story that are easily understood by humans.

Marketing Component in the E-Commerce Website

So the next part of this is the Marketing component. The Marketing component primarily has to do with e-mail marketing and in particular the largest and most interesting part of this part of it is going to be the email capture. Along with email capture we’re going to be providing a value in exchange for that email so we’ll have a variety of ways of providing free products in exchange. And you can see that as an example here where we have “Download Your Free Ebook” so we’ll have an ebook in exchange, but we’ll also have downloads of chapters. For example, if they want to consider purchasing this book if they give us their email and their first name we will allow them to download the first chapter to review it to see if they’re interested. Finally we’ll have email follow ups – that is the regular routine email marketing that we’ll do to these people who’ve signed up on our Thesis themed WordPress based e-commerce site.

User Experience Component in the E-Commerce Website

And then finally we have the User Experience. The User Experience starts off with Navigation. Our navigation system has a variety of components to it. It first has the standard navigation bar at the top that you’re no doubt familiar with. It also includes a bread crumbs trail so that as the customer is working their way through the e-commerce website they can see where they are and they can step back to an earlier place. It will also include this Search function which will give them a chance to look for specific information on your site. And then finally it will have this sort of rudimentary site map. This isn’t an extensive site map; it doesn’t include everything on the e-commerce website but it does pick up all of the major elements that a customer might want to look at when they’re viewing it.

The next element of that is Support and again we’ll look at a variety of support elements to the Thesis themed WordPress based e-commerce website. One of the main things is just making sure that our support information is clearly available and easily found on the site and so not only does it show up in the top level section of the navigation but we also have very plain and open contact information associated with the site. It includes a section of user Interaction and the user interaction shows up primarily in this in the form of user reviews. We’re going to give our users the opportunity to offer reviews for specific products and then we’re going to display those reviews in a variety of places on the site.

Finally we’re going to talk about clarity. Clarity is one of the most important things for website design, especially for e-commerce website design. It’s absolutely essential that your visitor knows exactly where they are, knows exactly where they can go and knows where they want to go. So we will be looking at those big things. Where am I? Where do I want to go? And what’s preventing me from getting where I want to go?

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