Aren’t we all tired of long spreadsheets with detailed requirements that are used for the RFP process? While they have their place when it comes to detailed requirements, they are not the best tools for keeping track of new trends and features and sharing your vision with the team. They are cumbersome to read, difficult to update and share, and you can easily get lost in numerous details.
There is a better way to plan your Ecommerce innovation – Digital Commerce Canvas. It is a well-structured top-down methodology to explore and highlight the essential elements of an Ecommerce project.
Many of you could be familiar with the Business Model Canvas or their adaptation for startups – Lean Startup Canvas.
The Digital Commerce Canvas takes the canvas approach and applies it to the world of digital commerce.
It consists of four color-coded segments that are further divided into eleven sections.
The segments represent the four fundamental questions you need to answer for every Digital Commerce Initiative:
- Who are your customers, and how do you reach them?
- What are your products and offers?
- What is your approach to pricing?
- What is the customer’s buying experience?
These four segments are further divided into eleven sections.
Types of customers you target, registration, customer segmentation, and personalization.
In the Channel section, explore different channels you use to reach your customers and choose ones important for your business (online stores, brick & mortar stores, social media, marketplaces). What countries are you going to serve, and how to define what languages and currencies to support?
The third section is for documenting different types of Ecommerce products your business is offering. Are they physical products or services or both? Are you going to offer subscriptions, gift cards, or product options like warranty or gift wrapping? Define Category structure and catalog taxonomy.
In this section, you define merchandising techniques that you can use to increase sales – cross-sell & up-sell, labeling, bundles, product sets, and personalized recommendations. An advanced and important part of merchandising is the configuration of the search engine to control and optimize search results. It is also called searchandising.
The success of digital commerce depends on how easy it is for customers to find the products they need. Business needs to analyze Product Discovery functionality from both internal and external perspectives. Customers should discover your products on the web using search engines and find them when visiting your site.
Product discovery from the outside includes optimizing for organic search and publishing your catalog to shopping comparison sites or using paid advertising.
When it comes to product discovery in the online shop, we need to look at site navigation, product category tree, on-site search, filters, and faced navigation.
Every product has a price – a number with a currency sign. You can employ many different types of pricing in the business – sale prices, recurring, per usage, volume & tier prices, net or gross prices. In addition, some products (like configurable products) may require custom price calculations.
Promotions allow businesses to offer incentives to customers buying certain products or services. They can come in a multitude of different forms. Depending on the business, these may be simple or highly complex. Like prices, promotions are configured by a product or a category of products and may vary by channel, region, store, and validity period.
In this section, you define different types of promotions and coupons. Loyalty or referral programs are also discussed in this section.
Now we came to the yellow section of the canvas, which defines the customer buying experience. A cart is the heart of digital commerce, where all Ecommerce complexities come together, and its implementation needs to be fast, reliable, and transparent. The Shopping Cart section of the canvas includes features related to adding to a cart, cart page implementation, cart validation, and calculation.
You decide if you need to support multiple and shared carts, wish lists, and tools you can use to recover Abandoned Carts.
The checkout flow is the most critical part of any e-commerce implementation. It needs to be streamlined to provide a distraction and interruption-free experience.
In this section, you define how to implement the checkout flow, mobile checkout, and shipment options, including click & collect.
In the payment section of the canvas, define what payment method you want to offer wad choose payment providers.
In the last section of the canvas, you focus on order placement and processing. Here you need to consider both – customer-facing features and backend processing.
Customer-facing features include order confirmation, generating an invoice, and all transactional email notifications. In addition, you define the My Orders area in the online shop where customers can check the status of their orders, request a return or cancelation, or reorder. You also need to define in this section how the fulfillment process will be implemented in the backend.