5 Top Tips for Effective Ecommerce Database Design

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Creating the ideal database structure and design for your ecommerce site is vital. You’ve got to make sure your website stands out amongst its competitors, impresses your customers, and provides your business with easy to manage systems for your products.

Rather than trying to come up with your own database structure and design, you should consider using software provided by ecommerce platforms. Products such as Magneto Database simplify the creation of effective database structures.

In this article, we’ll go through some details and examples on ideal database structures and designs for your website.

Why does my ecommerce site need a database?

A safe and comprehensively designed database structure is needed in order to securely store essential business information, such as product catalogues, customer credit card information and other sales details.

Your ecommerce website is often only as reliable as the database that that supports it. Not only do well designed database structures improve the usability and navigation of your online shop, but this also helps to boost sales and improve customer engagement. For serious ecommerce ventures, simply using HTML, CSS or JavaScript is no longer enough if you want your website to excel – it is important to incorporate database-driven into you ecommerce website.

Ecommerce database design tips

When designing your own ecommerce website, or when you begin working with an agency to design it, you should always bear in mind the following best practice advice:

  • Start with a general overview – Then narrow down your fields. It can frequently be more difficult to add extra items in later, more willingly than get it right the first time.
  • Fully research your Database restrictions – Some databases including Microsoft will want you to use their operating system. For your ecommerce site to be fully adaptable these restrictions need to be considered.
  • Size of product catalogue – You have to determine the number of products you want to display before selecting a database. Scalability becomes an issue here and Oracle is considered to have an upper hand. However, you will have to assess all the others before making your choice.
  • Ease of use – The amount of customisation needed for you to easily adapt the database for your ecommerce site is also an important consideration. A great database design tool can be useful particularly one that can help set up visual database models or for creating flowcharts and actionable database models.
  • Location – Try to locate your database and website separate places as it saves space and maximises security.

Benefits of a well-designed ecommerce database

A well-designed ecommerce database can offer a number of benefits to your online shop:

More data, more sales

Make sure you consider the data that you will need on your ecommerce site. From customer information to products as well as specific details about products such as sizes, colours – all of this will need to be included if you want to feature it on your site.

Assessing the data you want to include, will help make your ecommerce website as strong as it can be. Ask yourself whether information is vital or not – Customers don’t want to spend hours trawling to find information, so the easier you can make it for them, the more likely it is that they will stay on your site and make a purchase.

Effective organisation, better experience

A well-constructed ecommerce database allows you to offer customers a straightforward way of navigating your site, making it easy to find and review products quickly, make enquiries and buy safely online.

User Experience (UX) is increasingly becoming an essential part of any ecommerce website and cannot be under-estimated as consumers seem ever more intuitive and simplified online shopping experiences.

Customers get more choice

A detailed and well-designed ecommerce database structure will improve the number of options available to customers. The more details available to customers, the more informed their decisions can be and the greater the chance that a sale will take place. This is particularly important as ever more customers are now using mobile technology to compare prices and reviews before making their decisions.

You can exploit cost effectiveness

An effective ecommerce database allows you to offer discounts on items as there is less need for hired hands to be available to provide product info. This reduces overheads and means products can be sold online at lower RRPs. This further entices customers and can also boost profits..

Improve search engine tracking

A well designed ecommerce database structure can not only improve on-site navigation, but can also make it easier for Google’s bots to crawl and index your website. The internet giant is placing an ever greater importance on effective UX and site organisation, so by making it easier for Google to navigate your page you’ll also see yourself rising in search engine results pages.

Database designing can daunting but it can also be straightforward and well worth the effort. Getting the basics right is essential, so the most significant part of database design is the early designing process.

Be aware of the number of pages that you want to create for your ecommerce site – as well as bearing in mind future growth and scalability. A clearly defined structure and a simple, intuitive flow of information will not only improve your sales and traffic, but help you rank higher in search engine results pages – permanently boosting your visibility and reputation.

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Written by:
Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.
Reviewed by:
Robyn Summers-Emler, Grow Online Editor, Profile Picture
Robyn started working on Expert Market in 2021 as a specialist in business websites and digital marketing. As the Grow Online Editor, she ideates, commissions and optimizes content on Expert Market that helps businesses thrive in online spaces and maximize their ecommerce potential. Covering everything from choosing a website builder to scaling a social media marketing strategy - Robyn uses her expertise to help startups, SMBs, and larger businesses realize digital growth in an increasingly competitive landscape.