Achieving success with an ecommerce website goes beyond offering high-quality products. It involves a strategic approach that combines essential ecommerce features with the right platform.
In this blog, we’ll delve into the critical elements that can make your website a success, outlining 21 must-have ecommerce features. These features are designed to simplify navigation for both users and store owners, ultimately increasing demand and enhancing customer satisfaction.
21 Must-Have Features For Successful Ecommerce Websites
Here are the important features essential for a successful and good ecommerce website:
Ask anyone about their initial focus when landing on an ecommerce platform, and the answer is almost always navigation. The key to success lies in user-friendly navigation, as it not only encourages returning existing customers but also draws in potential ones.
From optimizing the logo’s clickability to implementing a sticky main navigation bar, managing the menu bar items, and choosing the right icons – these are just a few aspects of a well-designed ecommerce site.
Of course, there are numerous other ecommerce website features to consider, but user-friendliness always takes precedence.
In the current modern marketplace, the significance of mobile devices for ecommerce consumers cannot be overstated. A report from SaleCycle reveals that in 2020, 56% of all online purchases were made using mobile devices.
In simpler terms, a majority of customers prefer to shop online through their smartphones. Therefore, it is crucial to incorporate mobile optimization into your ecommerce website design.
Make sure that your website design automatically adapts to the screen size and dimensions of mobile phones. This not only boosts your conversion rate but also ensures customer satisfaction.
Effective Search Functionality
An effective search bar function is a cornerstone of success for any ecommerce website. It empowers users to swiftly locate products by inputting keywords, employing filters, and arranging results.
Precise and pertinent search outcomes not only save time but also elevate customer pleasure and strengthen conversion rates.
The inclusion of advanced attributes like autocomplete suggestions further simplifies the search procedure, augmenting usability and overall efficiency.
A thoughtfully crafted and responsive search bar function is indispensable for providing a seamless and user-friendly shopping journey.
Prioritizing User Experience-Centric Features
User experience should always be at the forefront of ecommerce considerations. Whether customers are shopping online or in physical stores, they are the primary beneficiaries.
In the ecommerce realm, where a simple click can interfere with a purchase at the last moment, it’s crucial to remember that there are no disposable consumers.
The company should meticulously design its entire online storefront to offer customers unique, top-quality, and personalized shopping and buying experiences. An effective and good user experience design can significantly enhance brand awareness.
A successful ecommerce platform should empower a company to customize its customers’ online shopping experiences across various channels, leveraging insights gained from their previous purchases and interactions with the company.
Integrating Online and Offline Stores
Seamlessly integrating online and offline shopping experiences is essential. Online customers should have a convenient way to check if a product is in stock at a nearby physical store.
A robust ecommerce platform should enable the connection of website search results with physical store locations and real-time stock levels.
Furthermore, brands should be capable of linking their ecommerce platform with brick-and-mortar stores. This integration equips sales staff with the necessary tools to minimize lost sales from in-person customers.
They can access digital inventory, streamline the ordering process, and facilitate swift delivery, ensuring a cohesive shopping experience.
About Us Page
The About Us page is an important inclusion in any ecommerce website’s feature list. It may come as a surprise, but the About Us page serves more than just informational purposes; it also plays a role in enhancing user navigation.
Beyond building trust and loyalty with your brand, it offers an opportunity to introduce your team, articulate your mission, and showcase your products to potential customers.
When crafting this page, prioritize readability and utilize storytelling techniques to engage your audience effectively. Incorporate clear Call to Action (CTAs) that prompt users to click, make purchases, or get in touch.
Take inspiration from a Swiss publishing brand named Helvetiq, who divided their About Us page into four categories and prominently placed it in the header menu.
This strategic placement ensures that all new customers can easily discover the brand’s story and even make a purchase, without unnecessary complexity.
High-Quality Pictures and Videos
High-quality images and videos of your products are undeniably among the most critical elements of your website. These visuals not only help in the purchase decision-making process but can also significantly reduce return rates.
It’s essential to ensure that your product photographs are well-lit, thoughtfully styled, and exceptionally detailed to help buyers choose the right color, variant, or size.
Utilizing videos to showcase your products in their intended context or providing informative how-to guides can be incredibly effective.
However, optimize these videos for fast loading times to enhance overall website performance.
Provide User Features and Discounts
Providing user features and discounts can greatly enhance the customer experience.
Shoppers appreciate feeling valued and receiving unique treatment. To achieve this, offer customized deals, promotions, and other user-centric features.
Create user accounts that enable customers to access exclusive loyalty pricing offers, view their personalized wishlists, and review their account history.
Additionally, leverage an automated email system within your ecommerce platform to send customized special offers to loyal customers. This approach ensures a personalized and exciting shopping experience.
Customer Reviews and Ratings
Before making a purchase, 93% of consumers review online feedback.
Online shoppers face a challenge when they can’t physically interact with products. To bridge this gap, customers heavily rely on reviews and ratings from fellow shoppers.
These reviews not only validate brand information but also guide purchasing decisions. Brands must address two key responsibilities:
- Firstly, they should facilitate and motivate customers to provide product and service ratings,
- Secondly, they should strategically showcase these reviews and ratings on their website.
Read Also: B2B Ecommerce Marketing Strategy
Web Push Notifications
We’re all familiar with the clever notifications sent by food and grocery delivery apps. However, it’s important to note that notifications are not exclusive to mobile apps.
Websites can also harness the power of push notifications to inform customers about new offerings, remind them about abandoned carts, provide shipping updates, and more.
Web push notifications are a user-friendly feature that has the potential to unlock numerous opportunities for brand engagement and customer interaction.
Product recommendations utilize machine learning and predictive intelligence to ensure that customers only encounter items that align with their interests.
It not only enhances the likelihood of more purchases but also gives customers the impression that the brand recognizes them individually. Personalized recommendations have proven to be a successful strategy.
For instance, Salesforce customers have experienced a 26% higher Average Order Value (AOV) when shoppers engage with their product recommendations, powered by Salesforce’s AI for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), known as Einstein.
Similarly, Magento users have access to an equally robust AI solution called Sensei. Both platforms’ artificial intelligence offerings include standard features such as Product Recommendations, Predictive Sorting, Search Recommendations, and Commerce Insights.
24/7 Customer Support / Live Chat
Offering accessible and effective customer service plays a pivotal role in ensuring a positive customer experience.
As per Microsoft, 90% of Americans regard customer service as a crucial factor in their decision to buy from a company.
To meet this need, consider incorporating a 24/7 customer service chatbot among your ecommerce website features. You can easily add this feature to your website using plugins like Zendesk or LivePerson for a nominal fee.
Social Media Integration
Integrating social media into your brand’s website effectively fosters customer trust and cultivates a community of loyal supporters.
This integration adds an authentic dimension by highlighting individuals who have previously trusted the brand.
It shows typical customers and illustrates how they use the product, all while encouraging new customers to share their own experiences on various social media platforms.
User-Friendly Shopping Cart
A well-designed shopping cart is a crucial component of any successful ecommerce website. It serves as the place where shoppers gather their chosen items before proceeding to the checkout.
A user-friendly shopping cart should enable customers to easily adjust quantities, apply promotional codes, add or remove products, and select shipping options.
When designing the shopping cart, prioritize clean visuals that align with your brand’s colors and prominently feature checkout buttons.
Additionally, implementing a system that sends reminder emails for abandoned carts ensures you don’t miss out on potential orders and helps in completing the purchase process.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) serve as an effective tool for boosting customer engagement and addressing product-related inquiries before the purchase.
You can incorporate a dedicated section for frequently asked questions about a product right on the product listing webpage. This section allows customers who have already purchased the product to provide answers.
In addition to product ratings and reviews, FAQs play a vital role in investing confidence in customers regarding the product’s quality and features.
This, in turn, aids customers in making informed and assured purchase decisions. The ecommerce store’s FAQ section should encompass inquiries related to online privacy, security, payments, shipping, free shipping (if applicable), returns, and other pertinent shopping matters.
Prioritizing data security is essential, given that customers entrust sensitive information like credit card details and payment data.
Beyond the basics of an SSL certificate and PCI compliance, your website should establish a robust firewall and implement multiple security layers, particularly for critical sections like the checkout, dashboard, and shopping cart.
These security measures are crucial in preventing unauthorized access to your website.
To further enhance trust, businesses can prominently display security certifications and reminders of safe payment practices throughout the checkout process.
This proactive approach helps alleviate shoppers’ concerns and reinforces their confidence in making purchases from the ecommerce store.
Multiple Payment Options
Shopping cart abandonment remains a significant challenge for online retailers.
To increase the likelihood of completing the checkout process on your website successfully, prioritize making the purchase stage as seamless as possible for your customers. This involves providing a range of online payment methods within the shopping cart.
In addition to traditional debit and credit card options, it’s beneficial to incorporate payment providers such as PayPal or Stripe.
Furthermore, consider integrating plugins that offer “buy now, pay later” functionality, as this can incentivize customers to proceed with the “purchase” button.
Real-Time Package Tracking
Real-time package tracking is a customer expectation, allowing them to follow their orders from the moment they leave the initial inventory hub to their doorstep.
Offering comprehensive visibility into the last-mile delivery process, including estimated arrival times (ETA) and timely notifications about any delivery delays, significantly enhances the customer experience and bolsters your ecommerce brand’s reputation.
Implementing tracking features and sending timely order status updates are essential for ecommerce websites.
Return Policy is another critical aspect. Customers invariably review the return policy before finalizing their purchase decisions.
Ecommerce businesses must maintain a transparent and easily accessible return and exchange policy to establish customer trust.
Displaying this policy prominently in locations such as the Frequently Asked Questions section or during the checkout process effectively communicates the policy to customers and encourages them to proceed with their purchases.
Quality Content on the Website
High-quality content is a non-negotiable element for your website, whether it’s banner images, team headshots, or product photos. But what does top-notch content entail?
To begin with, every piece of content must be in high resolution. Just like a misspelled word on your website, a blurry photo can make customers take your brand less seriously if they come across it.
Brands should also aim to produce their content using professional equipment and photography techniques. If you resort to using stock imagery, ensure that it aligns with your brand and maintains the highest possible quality.
However, the significance of high-quality content goes beyond aesthetics. It should establish a connection with customers and provide real value to their lives. Exceptional content can organically spread across the internet, foster customer loyalty, and yield a return on investment.
Regarding product photos, customers expect sharp, detailed images from every angle. They want the ability to zoom in and scrutinize product details independently. Furthermore, they appreciate seeing the product in various real-life environments.
Some brands leverage customer-generated content, like photos posted on social media platforms, to showcase their products in diverse contexts. While this can be impactful, it should never replace professionally taken product photos.
However, keep in mind that all your content must load quickly. Higher-quality images may take longer to load, so address technical considerations to ensure a seamless user experience.
Recommended Read: Mastering B2B Ecommerce SEO
Data Analytic Tools
Data analytics tools play a pivotal role in the success of an ecommerce business by harnessing the data generated on its website to enhance the overall customer experience.
A robust data analytics tool offers a comprehensive range of statistics and data, enabling the identification of issues and the optimization of the ecommerce website’s performance.
These tools provide valuable insights into visitor activities on the website, including their source of referral, product pages they navigate, bounce rates from landing pages, session durations, geographic locations, and user activity.
Ecommerce businesses can leverage this data and insights obtained from data analytics platforms to address weaknesses in the website and improve the efficiency of already well-performing aspects of their online store.
What Customers Want from Your Ecommerce Site?
Customers have specific expectations when it comes to ecommerce websites:
- They seek a seamless and intuitive online shopping experience from the moment they land on your homepage to the final checkout.
- An aesthetically pleasing ecommerce website design is essential for a positive impression.
- Customers appreciate a personalized ecommerce experience tailored to their needs and preferences.
In essence, what customers desire in an ecommerce site can be summarized in these three key points.
When a customer visits an online store, their initial impressions and judgments about the brand are formed within seconds of landing on the homepage.
An engaging and visually appealing website not only prolongs the time customers spend browsing but also increases the likelihood of them making a purchase. This, in turn, can lead to an improved ecommerce conversion rate.
While product quality is undeniably essential, it’s crucial to recognize that your website plays a significant role in your ecommerce business.
Importance of Ecommerce Features
Having the right features on your website can make all the difference. These features serve as the backbone of your online business and contribute to its success in numerous ways. Let’s look into the importance of ecommerce features:
Increasing Sales Conversion
- One of the primary goals of any ecommerce website is to boost sales.
- The right features can significantly enhance your chances of converting visitors into customers.
- For instance, an intuitive and streamlined checkout process with multiple payment options can reduce cart abandonment rates, leading to more completed transactions.
- Similarly, well-implemented product recommendations and persuasive CTAs (Call to Action) can nudge visitors toward making a purchase.
- The right ecommerce features can be potent tools for driving sales and revenue.
Improving User Experience
- User experience (UX) is paramount in ecommerce. Your website needs to be user-friendly, visually appealing, and easy to navigate.
- Features such as efficient search bar functionality, responsive design for mobile devices, and fast loading times can significantly enhance the overall user experience.
- Customers should be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and effortlessly.
- When users enjoy a smooth and enjoyable shopping journey, they are more likely to return, leading to higher retention rates and positive word-of-mouth referrals.
Building Customer Loyalty
- Building long-term customer relationships is crucial for sustained success in ecommerce.
- Ecommerce features play a pivotal role in this aspect as well. Features like personalized recommendations, a user-friendly account system, and transparent return policies can instill trust and loyalty in your customer base.
- Moreover, providing real-time order tracking and excellent customer service through features like 24/7 support chatbots can leave a lasting positive impression.
- Loyal customers not only return for repeat purchases but also become brand advocates, driving more business through referrals.
The Future of Ecommerce Features
Artificial Intelligence in Ecommerce
- We’re witnessing the emergence of exciting trends that promise to reshape the way we shop online. One of these trends is the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
- AI is making shopping experiences more personalized, with smarter product recommendations and instant chatbot assistance.
- As AI evolves, it’s set to create even more engaging and efficient ecommerce experiences.
Augmented Reality Shopping
- Imagine being able to virtually try on clothes or see how furniture fits in your space before buying.
- Augmented Reality (AR) is making this a reality in ecommerce.
- AR enhances product visualization, reducing the chances of returns.
- As AR tech becomes more accessible, expect it to become a standard feature on ecommerce platforms.
- Voice-activated shopping is on the rise, thanks to smart speakers and virtual assistants.
- Now, you can shop, check product availability, and track deliveries with voice commands.
- Ecommerce sites are adapting to this trend, offering convenient voice commerce options.
- As voice technology improves, expect more seamless voice shopping experiences.
These are the fundamental ecommerce features that contribute to the success of an online store. Of course, you can customize or introduce additional features depending on your business’s unique characteristics and the products or services you provide.
The inclusion of ecommerce features can significantly impact your website’s organic traffic and overall performance. This guide provides a concise overview of the essential elements every ecommerce site should have to thrive.
So, why wait? Start implementing the aforementioned list of ecommerce website features right away.
If you still have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact the ecommerce website development services experts at Klizer! You can also follow us on our LinkedIn channel to get more updates on ecommerce businesses.
What are some best practices for ecommerce websites?
Ecommerce websites should optimize site search, target the right audience, incorporate user-generated content, address negative reviews, and offer add-ons to enhance the customer experience as best practices.
How important is it to categorize products into product categories?
Categorizing products into specific product categories is crucial for efficient navigation and a better user experience on ecommerce websites. It helps customers find what they’re looking for more easily.
Why should ecommerce websites collect email addresses from customers?
Collecting email addresses from customers allows ecommerce websites to establish direct communication, send updates, and promotions, and build a lasting relationship with their audience.
What is the significance of having a user-friendly navigation system on an ecommerce site?
A user-friendly navigation system is essential for helping customers quickly find products, leading to a better overall user experience and increased conversions.
How can responsive web design benefit ecommerce websites?
Responsive web design ensures that e-commerce websites are accessible and functional across various devices, which is crucial in today’s mobile-driven world. It helps reach a broader audience and enhances user satisfaction.
Why is it essential to grab customers’ attention with effective product listings?
Grabbing customers’ attention with compelling product listings is essential because it’s the first step in persuading them to explore further, ultimately leading to potential sales.
What are some key features that ecommerce websites should prioritize?
Ecommerce websites should prioritize key features such as related products, payment details, and a secure checkout process to streamline the customer journey and boost sales.
How can social media channels be integrated into an ecommerce website effectively?
To integrate social media channels into an ecommerce website, you should showcase user-generated content, share positive reviews, and create a seamless shopping experience that encourages customers to interact and share their experiences on social media.
What are some advanced search and product filter options that enhance the ecommerce shopping experience?
Advanced search and product filter options incorporate features such as providing product recommendations, enabling users to sort by price or popularity, and allowing users to filter products by attributes like size, color, or brand.
Why are mobile-friendly websites essential in the ecommerce industry?
Mobile-friendly websites are crucial in the ecommerce industry because a significant portion of online shopping occurs on mobile devices. Providing a smooth mobile app experience is vital for attracting and retaining customers.
How can ecommerce websites effectively target their audience?
Ecommerce websites can effectively target their audience by using data analytics to understand customer preferences and behaviors, tailoring product offerings and marketing messages accordingly.
Is it important to collect customer email addresses for ecommerce businesses?
Yes, collecting customer email addresses is important for ecommerce businesses as it enables direct communication, facilitates marketing efforts, and helps build a loyal customer base.
What contact information should ecommerce websites provide to customers?
Ecommerce websites should provide contact information such as customer support email addresses and phone numbers to offer assistance and build trust with customers.
How can mobile apps enhance the ecommerce shopping experience?
Mobile apps enhance the ecommerce shopping experience by providing a dedicated and user-friendly platform for customers to browse products, make purchases, and receive personalized offers and notifications.
Are search engines important for ecommerce websites?
Yes, search engines are vital for ecommerce websites as they help customers discover products, navigate the site, and find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.
What personal information should ecommerce websites protect for their customers?
Ecommerce websites should prioritize the protection of customers’ personal information, including details such as names, addresses, payment information, and any other sensitive data.