Web Design

How Do I Write a Website Brief for My Shopify Store?

The key to writing a good website brief is planning.Before engaging with a web agency, freelancer, or even your in-house team, you need to...

How Do I Write a Website Brief for My Shopify Store?

The following blog was contributed by one of our expert partners, Blue Horizons. Blue Horizons are a full service marketing agency helping with logo & brand development, online and offline marketing, and Shopify design, set up & customisation.

The key to writing a good website brief is planning.

Before engaging with a web agency, freelancer, or even your in-house team, you need to establish a solid plan for your new website.

Planning will help establish your non-negotiables and reduce the review process, which can not only cut down the time it takes to complete, but the cost.

While it may be tempting to dive straight into designing your perfect Shopify website, it's essential to start by clarifying exactly what you and your customers need.

Outlined below are the key elements to consider when creating a comprehensive Shopify website brief:

1. The Bigger Picture

Start by clearly stating your business's nature, target audience, and overarching goals.

Identify how your website needs to align with your overall business strategy, embody your brand values, and direct your customers exactly where you need them to be.

2. The Current Setup

Make sure to communicate your current website set-up. This might include:

  • Your existing website's platform, including any third-party integrations
  • Inventory management
  • Point of sale setup
  • Ongoing advertising campaigns (Google, Facebook, etc.)
  • Domain name registrations, hosting arrangements, email setup, and e-commerce specifics
  • Inventory size, target countries, multi-currency, and/or multi-language requirements
  • Desired shipping options

3. Project Management & Timelines

Next, designate a project manager from your organization and specify decision-making authority, with that process communicated to the agency/development team. That way they know exactly who to go to when they need anything

You’ll also need to define any specific deadlines and budgetary constraints which could impact scope.

4. Evaluation of the Current Website

Take a look at your current website. What do your customers love about it? What do they hate? How does it impact the customer journey?

Offer a balanced assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your existing website from your customer’s point of view. Try not to include your personal opinion here and support your assessment with any available analytics.

5. Goals & Objectives

After you’ve reviewed your current website, now it’s time to work out what you want to keep and what’s better left out. Try to prioritize essential requirements over optional features.

Make sure you’re being clear about your desired user experience and the actions visitors should take on your website, whether it's making a purchase, creating an account, susbcribing to an email list, booking a demo, or whatever else is key for you.

You may have different objectives for different pages, too.

6. Inspiration

The final step to creating a good website brief for your Shopify store is to share any and all inspiration.

It may be from direct competitors or brands that aren’t even in your industry. It may be for specific graphics or entire websites. The key is to give your developers some visual direction opposed to a completely blank canvas that could send them in a million different design routes.

And with every piece of inspiration you share, make sure you explain why. Is it minimalist? Is it directional? Is it colourful? Is it friendly? How does it make you feel? Why does it make you want to interact with them?

You’ll also need to share your own brand guidelines and relevant design elements that reflect your brand's aesthetic, including packaging designs.

Remember, the more specific and transparent you are from the outset, the smoother and more rewarding the development process will be. Open communication throughout makes it a lot easier to build a website that meets and exceeds your expectations, while also effectively serving your customers' needs.

If you're interested in getting a new website for your Shopify store, give Blue Horizons a call at 01242 236600 or email them at info@bluehorizonsmarketing.co.uk.

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