What Are the Top Ten Features That Every Ecommerce Site Should Have?
An online business owner recognizes the value of a well-designed website. This, however, is insufficient in the age of hyper-competition. If your eCommerce website lacks the ten essential features listed below, you might as well close up shop!
1. Shopping Cart: As apparent as it may appear, a shopping cart is the most crucial feature of an eCommerce website. Although it is technically possible to have an eCommerce site without a shopping cart, doing so would be akin to having a supermarket without cash registers. In terms of advanced shopping cart technologies, online merchants are now competing. The best shopping cart makes it simple to add and remove products and return to the store to make changes or make a new purchase.
2. Mobile Shopping Site: According to e-marketer, mobile devices accounted for 15% of all eCommerce sales, which is expected to increase to 25% of all eCommerce sales, or $87 billion. A mobile site devoid of critical features and offers the viewer the option to “view full site” is archaic and will turn off mobile shoppers. Websites must incorporate responsive web design in this age of device fragmentation. This ensures that the user has the best experience possible, whether she shops on a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
3. Security: Many eCommerce businesses overlook security and pay a high price for it. When accepting online payments, it is critical to host the website in a PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant environment in an age where roving cyber-bandits attack websites at will to steal financial and other information. PCI holds the website accountable for adhering to the Data Security Standards (DSS). PCI DSS compliance is required for any merchant who stores or distributes credit card data.
4. Social Integration: Social media has drastically altered the nature of online shopping. Consumers increasingly share their product experiences on social media, and prospective buyers value such firsthand knowledge over overt marketing pitches. eCommerce websites have no choice but to join the game by including real-life product reviews and encouraging product-related discussions. Direct reviews or social integration – links to relevant social media pages – are both options. According to Brightlocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey, 79 per cent of people believe online reviews are as trustworthy as personal recommendations.
5. Effective Search: Customers today are impatient. They are too lazy to search the site directory for what they are looking for. A search box on the site is a must-have feature. Search within a site has a long-term benefit in that it improves SEO rankings.
6. Cross-Selling and Up-Selling: Upselling entails suggesting more add-on features to a product or offering higher-value products than the customer is currently considering. Cross-selling is the practice of promoting items complementary to the product being viewed. Any modern eCommerce site worth its salt would recognize the items in the shopping cart and automatically highlight available up-selling and cross-selling items. For example, an eCommerce store that fails to suggest a case when a customer purchases a mobile phone, even if it is a higher-value phone, is squandering a good opportunity.
7. Integrated Shipping: The eCommerce website’s delivery mechanism can make or break it. The best of them combines the shopping cart with delivery options such as UPS, FedEx, or anything else. This streamlines the process and makes it simpler for customers to track their orders. This will also improve the transparency of the delivery fee-charging process.
8. Offer Deals and Freebies: If there’s one area where following the herd pays off, it’s in offering deals and freebies via eCommerce websites. Customers have been shown to have a psychological inclination to buy when the product they want is on sale or comes with a freebie. People usually only spend a few seconds on a website before moving on, and nothing works better than a tempting offer to entice them to stay. Discounts, markdowns, gifts, free shipping, bundled offers, and anything else could be included in the deals. Deals like these also provide an excellent excuse to reach out to regular and previous customers and stay visible. The fact that millions of people lose their minds and indulge in binge shopping during sales and discounted periods is a bonus.
9. Gift Certificates and Wishlists: These are two website features that are critical in converting holiday sales. Gift cards are a popular choice among gift-givers and a surefire way to attract holiday shoppers. According to the National Retail Federation’s Gift Card Spending Survey, 80.6 per cent of customers plan to buy at least one gift card during the holiday season, with 12.7 per cent planning to shop online. Gift certificates accounted for a quarter of all purchases for 64 per cent of respondents in a previous Demandware survey, and half of those surveyed shopped using someone else’s wishlist. The wishlist, by the way, is a great way to get people to return to the website.
10. Phone numbers and online chats: While online shopping has primarily replaced brick-and-mortar stores and live salespeople, people still want personalized service. If they need to clarify something, they prefer to speak with a live person. Hotlines that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and live chats are highly valued forms of value-added customer service in this context. They’re also must-have features for any eCommerce site looking to make significant sales in these days of hyper-competition. These services assure customers that they will resolve issues such as late deliveries, unauthorized billings, and returns, among other things.
It’s critical to cover all bases and present the best face to the customer in today’s highly competitive online world, where earning every single view and penny is a challenge. With the help of a well-known Shopify web development company, you can determine the target audience’s needs to create a site that meets those needs to the greatest extent possible.