As an entrepreneur and an e-commerce manager, you should aim for the smoothest buying experience for your customers. It but guarantees the success of your business. Whether your customers will shop with ease depends on numerous elements, which you can gradually incorporate into your site. However, you need to start with the most important features every e-commerce website must have before it opens up to potential consumers.
Must-have features of every e-commerce website
The whole point of online shopping is the comfort and security it provides while saving the customers' time. To fulfill those tenets, you should ensure that the following features are well implemented on your e-commerce website:
- User interface and navigation are appealing
- Your e-commerce website runs smoothly
- Product pages contain sufficient information
- Value is added with blog and media pages
- The checkout process is easy and secure
- You offer customer support and follow-up
These features play a vital role in running a productive online business. While the success of your business depends on the quality of the product you sell, the success of your website depends on the implementation of e-commerce tools in all their diversity.
Beating the competition in the world of online business is ever harder. Only a click separates you from your biggest competitors. Whether the customer will stay on your website or move to another depends mostly on how user-friendly your site is. Your website should be appealing, engaging, and easy to navigate. It should be easy to find and remember.
- Your brand should have a memorable logo, domain name, and tagline. This is your brand's ID and it should be recognizable.
- A search field (bar) should be prominent on your website. It is often the first feature your customers will use if they're looking for something specific. Time-saving comes into play here, so this feature is mandatory.
- User-friendliness requires that your website works on all browsers and devices. Mobile-friendly e-commerce websites receive more traffic than others. The only thing more comfortable than shopping on your laptop is shopping on your mobile phone.
People who shop online expect that they receive what they want as quickly as possible. It also means that they expect that your website runs smoothly, pages load quickly, and contain the information they seek.
- Minimalist design complemented by filtering options keeps your website easy to navigate and load.
- Make sure your website is responsive and doesn't have broken links or empty product pages. Also, test your sharing buttons, login box, shopping cart, and all tabs and links to support pages.
- Analyze and optimize the speed of your e-commerce website across various browsers and devices. Other features every e-commerce website must have rely on the loading speed of your site.
- Add reporting to your e-commerce website. Analytics will help you keep tabs on your profit and manage your inventory. Also, you can track information like cart abandonment and the success of promotional efforts for specific products at specific times.
Product page features
The product page is the most important element of your e-commerce website because search engines can directly access it. All the features regarding your home page and the website, in general, apply to your product pages, too.
- Every product page should contain elaborated product information, including multiple high-quality product images.
- Each product page should show the availability of the product and its sizes, shipping options and estimated times, and an add-to-cart button.
- Pricing information should be clearly stated along with any discounts or promotions.
- Shipping and tax calculators and currency converter should be on every product page.
- Customer reviews and ratings, comments section, statistics on shares, views, and sales, are all features that bring customers to your site.
Quality content adds value to your e-commerce website
There is no reputable website without quality content marketing and search engine optimization. SEO is the future of e-commerce and should not be underestimated.
- By adding keywords to every product page, you are improving its search engine ranking and, thus, its online visibility.
- You should create separate pages that lead to your blog and company news and events. Fresh and unique content will improve site quality.
- Each page, including the product pages, should also feature share buttons for social media. It also implies that you should expand your presence to said social media and link to your channels at the bottom of every page on your website.
- With 95% of all online shoppers relying on product reviews, a page with customer testimonials, comments, showcases, and/or user-made photos is a must-have feature.
Checkout and payment features
One of the cornerstones of every online business and one of the features every e-commerce website must have is making online purchases secure. Not only that, but you also need to inform your customers of the fact at every opportunity. Also, don't be ambiguous about the use of customers' personal information. This way you are providing full transparency necessary to build customers' trust in your business.
- Make the checkout process straightforward and divide it into steps. Make sure that the proceed-to-checkout button is at the top and bottom of every product page.
- Accept all payment methods (also consider offering installment payments) and offer multiple shipping methods. Security and payment seals should be clearly visible at all times during the checkout process.
Customer support and follow up options
Even the best websites need a Help page. Even if you think that you covered all the topics in your FAQ page, customers still may wish to contact you or your representative for more details. Support pages are most often sufficiently helpful but communication with your customers builds brand loyalty. Hence, support pages are rightfully among the features every e-commerce website must have and keep updated regularly.
- The Contact Us page should contain up-to-date contact information. You should offer various means of communication with your customers and provide live chat and contact form next to your phone number(s) and email address.
- Save the product and shopping satisfaction surveys for your follow-up emails carrying the invoice. There is no need to clog your customer's inbox. The path to the spam folder is paved with too many too frequent emails.
About the author
Alice Pratt works alongside marketing experts from Movers Development who excel at optimization for search engines (SEO), advertising, and web design and development. She's happy to help all who wish to create a strong online brand presence from scratch because she understands that all beginnings are difficult.