15 Must-Have for an E-commerce Sites
15 Must-Have for an E-commerce Sites
15 Must-Have Features for E-commerce Sites
Ease of Use
The objective is to help shoppers get to what they want, faster and without running into unnecessary complexity that can clog up the path to purchase.
Online sellers have minutes, if not seconds, to make a sale. Focus on the user experience by providing shopping categories, filters, and comparison capabilities. Consider easy-to-find customer reviews and FAQ information to help buyers make decisions more quickly.
E-commerce sites should be a competitive advantage instead of a troublesome experience.
High-Resolution Photos and Video
Shoppers want to see multiple angles and people using the product in different environments. They want to be able to zoom in and get a feel for the product.
Images sell, not text. E-commerce websites should display multiple photos per product. The photos need to be high-resolution and optimized for page load.
Google declared it, so it must be done. All websites are required to have a mobile-friendly version by 2017 or suffer the SEO consequences. If this isn’t reason enough, one in three online purchases is completed on a smartphone.
With a responsive website, content intuitively adapts to whatever device is accessing it to provide the most user-friendly experience. Shockingly, many sites still have not adopted a responsive or mobile version.
Shoppers read reviews. About 92% of them, in fact. The star rating on a product is the number one factor used by consumers.
You might think that having negative reviews is a sale killer. The opposite is actually true. Having negative reviews can often be a positive. It’s shown that products without negative reviews are seen as censored and, in turn, shoppers will assume the positive reviews are fake.
Most e-commerce sites are using special offers in their standard marketing practices via email, social, text, etc. Next-level e-commerce sites take advantage of the prime real estate in the header section to promote special offers.
When shoppers realize they’re getting a special deal, it motivates them to buy more and spend more time searching the site.
If e-commerce sites are using ongoing promotions, providing a unique webpage that lists the offers will not only drive more sales but also improve SEO. Consider the shopper searching “zip code + toyota special offers” and the value of that organic search result.
E-commerce sites that aren’t using wish lists are leaving revenue on the virtual desktop table. What’s better than having customers bookmark items they want and will most likely buy in the future? That’s just gold in the pocket. And a remarketing campaign dream.
It’s also an opportunity to share a brand with new buyers. When shoppers share their wish lists with family and friends, it sends FREE traffic with built-in social proof to a website.
Not all e-commerce sites have brick and mortar stores. However, those that do must have a find-in-store feature. Sometimes you don’t want to wait for an item to ship. Instant gratification.
Shoppers are going online just to research and then complete the purchase in person. This is especially true for millennials, as 72% of young shoppers research online before purchasing in a store.
This makes it incredibly helpful to see which local stores have products in stock.
Simply seeing the phrase, “you might like this” causes a serotonin release signaling curiosity and excitement. A related items feature on an e-commerce site creates the desirable stickiness effect that so many marketers strive to achieve.
It happens like this. You saved the AeroPress coffee maker to your shopping cart. A section emerges that says, “you might like this”. Would you like some freshly roasted, fair trade whole coffee beans? Maybe a digital scale to measure the exact amount of coffee grounds to achieve the perfect cup of coffee? You get the picture.
When an online seller uses a related items feature to sell more, it’s actually signaling to the buyer that “they get me”.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Complex purchases require confidence with a seller and detailed information when buying products online versus face-to-face.
FAQ sections provide a self-help area to address common customer problems. Buyers often ask about product support, returns, lost account passwords, etc.
Brands and online sellers that connect with their buyers on an emotional level create brand trust and advocacy. Social connection is undeniable and the opportunity to bond with an audience is easier now than ever. Linking social profiles and user-generated content with an e-commerce site are must-have features that will give online sellers brand character.
Social media allows e-commerce brands to show authenticity and associate an emotional connection with their products.
Online transactions are an integral part of our lives. As such, e-commerce websites can be a lucrative target for cybercriminals. It’s crucial that online sellers protect customer information and take steps to ensure privacy.
Advanced Payment Options
advanced payment options are a must-have feature for an e-commerce site. Just consider the ease of use associated with Amazon one-click shopping. Shoppers with registered accounts can literally buy with the click of a button.
There are many popular online payment options. The key is understanding who the buyer is and implementing the most effective solutions. If a website is limiting payment options, make sure to explain why.
Detailed Shipping Information
It’s critical that e-commerce websites include shipping information early in the checkout process, including a zip code calculator showing cost. It’s also helpful to include delivery time and options for faster delivery. Sites should list countries that are outside normal shipping zones.
Interestingly, shoppers spend 30% more per order when free shipping is included. Be sure to present codes for free shipping on all pages of the site through the header navigation, if applicable.
Multi-Touchpoint Contact Page
When it comes to running an e-commerce site where most business takes place online, nothing builds trust more than an overly obvious and well-presented “contact us” feature. This is especially true when selling high-end merchandise or technical products.
Never make it hard for a buyer to get in touch or request support. Consider the contact page a feature of the website. Include multiple ways to reach out, including phone, email, and an online form. Some companies with brick and mortar stores offer online appointment setting via their contact page. Be sure to add customer service social links and Google maps for locations.
Return policies are an essential feature of any e-commerce website. The stats below really speak for themselves, but a return policy should be clearly visible and well-written or illustrated. This is another trust-building feature of online selling. It reassures buyers that if they are unhappy or just need a different size, the brand is there for them.