Ecommerce Information Architecture
I’ve worked with many clients (and on my own sites) where avoidable structural/data problems add unnecessary complexity to website management.
I say avoidable because they’re usually a result of not asking the right questions upfront before the site is built. It’s a tough task to cover all bases for an ecommerce platform because there are so many factors in play that can affect elements like on-site UX, business reporting, data flows and SEO.
In my experience, it’s a continuous learning curve, picking up insight from specialists along the way to build a (hopefully) thorough knowledge base of what information you need to effectively build a website, what format the data needs to be in and what it needs to do e.g. data field X in the CMS drives site search results.
Information Architecture (IA) may sound dull but it’s a critical component of ecommerce and helps put the right data structures and standards in place to enable, amongst other things:
- Site & catalogue structure
- Core processes & functions e.g. site search
- Business reporting & web analytics
My Econsultancy guest blog takes a look at some of the key components and guidelines for what ecommerce teams need to think about. It’s split into three parts that I’ll publish over the next three weeks to break up the hefty tome I’ve written to do this justice (and it’s still high-level!).
- Part one: Site structure & catalogue structure.
- Part two: URL structure & data formats.
- Part three: SEO & integration of non-product content.
I’d welcome comments to add to my views and share advice/experience of what works, what mistakes to avoid and useful resources to use. Hope you find it useful reading.