When you make the decision to sell products online, initially you focus on your inventory. However, there are some strategic choices you’re going to be responsible for making. If you want to optimize your store’s ability to reach customers and sell to them, then you’ll need these 12 must-have eCommerce website features.
1. Site Speed
There has no doubt that a slow eCommerce website leads to an undesirable shopping experience. But you know what studies show that online shoppers are only willing to wait about 2 seconds for a web page to load before they abandon it.
Through a free online speed testing tool like Pingdom, you can find out how quickly your website loads. Pingdom also provides some helpful suggestions on reducing server load to get your speeds up.
Security is one of the most crucial aspects of any E-commerce business. There are some plugins that can handle a good portion of security monitoring and Defence needed to keep shoppers’ credit card information safe. A website will also need an SSL certificate.
Your shoppers will be able to find out proof of your SSL certificate (i.e. website encryption) in the address bar. Apart from SSL certificates and PCI compliance, your site must have a strong firewall and layers of security on login and contact forms.
3. Responsive Design
Designing responsive website is a mandatory skill for any Melbourne web design company. In this mobile-first world a mobile responsive design is non-negotiable. The only problem is that many mobile users don’t feel confident about pulling the trigger from their devices.
If you want to capture more mobile sales rather than force visitors to switch devices to make a purchase, then design your store to be accommodating to all users. Your site should be flexible enough to provide the best user experience.
The great thing about online business is the ability that you have now to reach a much greater audience. Moreover, you’re not restricted by distance. It makes the delivery of content a bit more complicated as you expand the borders of your consumer base.
You have to consider language and currency differences if you want to sell internationally. But there’s an easy way to control over this.
Within the navigation bar, users have the option to change localization settings and this will affect the language, currency, and/or other region-specific content to their own. Many eCommerce websites include this feature, but obviously display it with a flag icon in order to more quickly direct users to localization settings.
5. Simplified Navigation
That doesn’t matter how big your store is. Shoppers don’t want to work their way through a complicated navigation menu to find what they’re looking for.
That’s why your site must have simplified navigation. With a well organized navigation, you can properly organize your inventory and other pages. After that, use shortcuts to drive them to the most commonly used navigation functions, like:
- Advanced search
- Favourites / wish list
- User profile and account management
- Shopping cart
6. Advanced Search
Whereas you can greatly simplify navigation, you must create other ways for shoppers to drill down to find items to fit their specific needs. Therefore, you include advanced search functions.
This is a feature that every eCommerce website with a large inventory must use. Instead of forcing users to review their steps through the navigation or to use the “Back” button in their browser, they can step back through the categories that brought them to that point. It’s a more effective way of exploring product inventories.
7. Concise Product Pages
Product pages give each item a chance to shine on their own. But don’t take your customers’ time for granted. As they expect your web pages to load fast, so too do they expect to obtain information on your products. The same concept goes for products too light on the details.
- To attack a safe balance, you want to make use of these eCommerce features for your product pages:
- Impressive photography that shows off the item in all its variations.
- Brief product names that clearly explain what it is.
- Descriptions that appropriately describe the benefits of buying the product.
- Configuration toggles to change size, color, fit, and so on.
- A clear callout of the price.
- Bold and easy-to-find “Add to Cart” button
8. User Reviews
Lack of social proof, visitors to your online store might be hesitant to make a purchase. Unless someone they know has already promised for your brand, it’s quite difficult to convince them to convert (i.e. buy) without proof that others are happy with their purchase. That’s why user reviews and ratings are crucial features which your site must have.
9. Relevant Recommendations
You need your website to actively sell and upsell shoppers as they browse your offerings. Your website, the navigation, and product pages will all contribute to this. But you also need to add a few more eCommerce features to make the most of this opportunity.
Below each product image and description, shoppers can find a list of similar products in case that one didn’t fit the bill. This is a great way to recover shoppers disappointed by one product by giving them other choices that is relevant to their search.
When buyers have questions about an item in store, there’s usually someone around who can provide an answer. However, Shopping online makes this more difficult.
The first thing that you should do is add a self-support FAQs page to your website. Packwire is such ecommerce website that centralizes all questions and answers on a dedicated page.
If you have a large and varied inventory of products, you should include a brief list of FAQs for each product beneath the description. By this way, visitors can educate themselves before reaching out, which will speed up the shopping process.
11. Customer Support
You’ll need backup support to handle questions about products, delivery, returns, and so on. There are several ways to do this. To prevent any accidental mishap your site should be automatically backed up. For an ecommerce site, it’s very important to always remain alive.If you want to provide a ticketed support portal, phone number, direct email, or contact form, that’s up to you. Just make sure that you offer visitors an easy way to get in touch quickly.
12. Fast and Secure Checkout
It’s great that the web has provided retailers like yourself with a way to sell and take payments for products online, you don’t want to be processing these the way you do in store. You’ll need a checkout tool that doesn’t create too many steps for your shoppers (again, this goes back to their waning patience). You’ll also need a payment processor that handles their credit card information securely.
Customers have a number of checkout options to choose from but take note of the PayPal and AmazonPay icons. Both are trusted names in payment processing, which is a smart move on Arm the Animals’ part. These payment trust marks more excellently put customers minds at ease while also doing the same for the company since they know payments will be handled with care by experts.
13. Include an area to punch in promo codes
Your site may provide promo codes to customers where customers may apply the promo codes to get discounts or other privileges.
While your eCommerce platform is going to do a lot of this work for you, make sure to review how each of these essential features have been handled. If your website is missing any of them, look to plugins and other integrations to weave these loyalty and sales-boosting features into your site. You can’t afford to go without them.