Ecommerce Hierarchy of Needs

When building a new ecommerce website – it is very easy to get bogged down by questions and lose sight of what the main objective of the site is. Using this model gives you a structured map about how to develop your site and continually analyse and improve it, by doing this you are able to build upon your customer’s expectations.

Why use the pyramidal shape for this model?

Pyramidal shape is representative of how each layer is a building block and acts as a foundation for the next layer so when you have successfully developed each layer, it makes it easier to build the next layer. Using this model aids in attracting customers to your site and then retaining them.

So what does each layer mean?

1) Survival/Presence Segment:

Every ecommerce website needs a foundation and this is what it is made up of:

  • Platform

  • Design/Branding

  • Product catalogue(s)

  • Payment Processing

  • Security

  • Hosting

  • Site Search  

Without these key elements, your ecommerce site simply will not exist.

2) Retention/Order/Re-order/Fulfilment:

It is crucial that customers have a good user experience on the website. What this means is that they are able to easily find products, purchase products, repurchase if needed and there is an excellent search function on the site.

Fulfilment of orders can have a massive impact on a customer’s opinion of your store, it is imperative that orders are fulfilled quickly. If an issue does arise it’s important that you have a good service department to deal with it and help your customer. Innovation tools like online chat are having a massive effect as it allows customers to continue there online experience as they don’t have to use a telephone to resolve any issues or queries.

3) Simplified Service/Customer Loyalty:

If an ecommerce website provides a good user experience, this will encourage customers to use the site repeatedly. If there are added incentives e.g. loyalty points than this will result in building a brand with a loyal customer base.

4) Grow Market Share/Wallet Share:

Customising and personalising a customer experience through the website is vital. You are tailoring their journey on your site to suit them e.g.suggested products based on their previous purchasing history. Providing the customer with a tailored experience encourages higher spending, more visits to the site and this results in more profit.

5) Innovation Pacesetter:

After building your eCommerce site and brand, you need to continually innovate your site to keep pace with other e-commerce trendsetters e,g. Ebay or Amazon.  Adding new and exciting features and tools to your site is key especially in areas that improve your customer’s journey from selecting a product to paying for it.

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