Think of your favorite eCommerce website. I am willing to bet that the website has good product images, plenty of reviews, and maybe most importantly – it is easy to find what you want. You may have been to websites that filter slowly and don’t let you filter by product review, brand, price, or technical features. This is usually unintentional and the result of poor database design. It may also be the product of insufficient data provided.
What can you do to improve the databased design of your eCommerce website?
Get your data from the source – OEMs (Manufacturers)
The first thing we recommend for websites that dropship or resell products (basically, anyone who isn’t the OEM) is to hound the manufacturer for complete data schemes. Many manufacturers have this data but haven’t gone through the trouble of compiling it into one document for their third-party outlets. A simple email with the request should do the trick, but often times, several phone calls and emails may be required.
Manually input the data
If you manufacture your own products or you are unable to get the manufacturer to cooperate, manual input will be required.This is where good old fashioned keyboards come in. It’s a laborious process but not impossible and definitely doable for websites with less than 10,000 products.
Cleanup the database that powers your eCommerce website
If you carry products from a variety of different manufacturers, it is all but guaranteed that their databases are structured differently. Some may have fields that others do not and some may call “Price” differently than others. The object of the game is to get them all to align. This is where you may have to go back and do some manual input again.
Why is database design and data, in general, important for you eCommerce website?
Ease in updating content
If Informatics is in charge of updating your content, you can expect that it will be much easier to update your content on the website. Let’s face it, many employees are scared to death of updating content because they think it requires advanced coding knowledge. However, if we set it up, we’ll make it easy for you to update information without HTML knowledge.
When you are ready to add thousands of new products or adopt a new CMS or website backend, a poorly designed database can hinder all your efforts and delay website deployment for months. On the other hand, a good database design can significantly reduce website development time.
Not to mention the SEO benefits…
Websites that have a strong database are destined for greatness in the SEO department. One of the best ways to get your website ranking is to provide more content than your competitors. Additionally, having segmented product pages and search-result pages will enhance your rankings and give you a stronger presence in Google. After all, nothing beats free, organic traffic from Google.
Example: Database design for a fidget spinner eCommerce website
Fidget spinners may lose their hype soon, but another product will take their place. The principles, however, will be the same.
Let’s say that you want to sell fidget spinners. You are going to run into stiff competition. You can find these toys everywhere including car dealerships, gas stations, and definitely online. What can you do to be the best?
Don’t automatically assume having the lowest price will be the best. In fact, many shoppers are leery of products with pricing that seems “too low to be true.” We caution against that. In our experience, websites that offer an amazing shopping experience by providing enhanced filtering options and as many product details as possible will win the most business. This all circles back to having a superior database design and more data on your eCommerce website than the competition.
Imagine being a customer on your eCommerce website for fidget spinners. These can have many attributes including:
- Inscription – they can have a variety of different brand logos on them, phrases, or designs. The information here could be numbing on its own.
- Design – not all fidget spinners have three prongs. And the are all shaped differently. It may be smart to not only have a textual description of the design, but maybe even images that visually show the differences between them. This would easily create a superior eCommerce experience
- Material – fidget spinners generally come in plastic, but also come in various types of metals including steel, titanium, and even gold (seriously)
- Generic filters – obviously price, color, customer review, manufacturer, and availability will be desired for your eCommerce website.
As you can see, this isn’t an easy task. That’s why we do what we do. We’d like to enhance your database capabilities and empower your eCommerce website. Contact Informatics Commerce for more information and a free quote.