Must Have Features in an eCommerce Website

June 20, 2017 by in category eCommerce with 0 and 3
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QUESTION: What are The Top #10 Must Have Features in an eCommerce Website?

This question was recently the topic for an online article our CEO (@lindiwheaton) was interviewed for. Below is what she said…

1. Security & Platform

It’s critical you choose a content management system (CMS) platform that can handle a eCommerce’s shopping cart integration as well as security. It’s strongly advised to purchase an SSL certificate if you want to win the confidence of your customers that their personal information will be protected. Customers are more likely to complete a purchase from a security website. When selecting an eCommerce shopping cart to work with for your online business, keep customer satisfaction at the front of your mind in everything you do and you’ll be rewarded with customer loyalty.

2. Creative Design & Mobile-Friendly

When you use a template for your shopping cart you run a high risk that your website will look similar to another website online. You want to ensure your brand and online presence doesn’t reflect another business. You will be judged by your website design when the shoppers first visit your online store. Your business is unique, make sure the online world knows it! Invest in a custom website design for your shopping cart and leave your competitors in the dust!  Read more about essential design aspects for eCommerce websites.

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It is imperative in 2017 that you make your website mobile-friendly, so this point hardly comes as a surprise. Because mobile devices have become so embedded in our everyday way of life, making your web store mobile friendly is mandatory. Numbers alone are the best incentive – in 2016 alone, global e-retail sales amounted to 1.9 trillion U.S. dollars and projections show a growth of up to 4.06 trillion U.S. dollars by 2020 [Source].  That is a great amount of revenue earned through mobile shopping alone! Re-platforming your website for handheld devices will earn your business more traffic and revenue, as it would reach out to a much wider audience. [Author’s Note: Mobile friendliness is also a key factor in Google’s latest SEO algorithms – if you want to rank on mobile searches, you need a responsive or mobile optimized website.]

3. Order Tracking Capabilities

Shoppers want to know when their items are being shipping and when they can expert delivery. Automated order confirmation emails and shipping notification emails build customer’s confidence in their purchase and in your brand. If a customer registers, they should be able to track their order by logging into an account created upon registration. Consider sending notifications via email or mobile – Customers appreciate being kept in the know, and the brand will be top of mind.

4. Website Hosting

How fast your website loads is crucial for merchandisers in terms of both customer experience and search engine optimization. The speed of websites that load in under three seconds have a lot of advantages over websites that take longer to load. Some platforms not only have the native SEO features but also offer apps to help users with their search optimization, including scoring their current efforts.

5. Built-in SEO Enhancements

Merchandisers need an eCommerce solution that ensures users have control over permalinks for their individual product pages, site content, title tags, meta descriptions, keywords and tags.

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6. Product Reviews

63% of consumers indicate that they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews, according to a CompUSA® and iPerceptions® study. It’s safe to say no matter how well online stores promote their own products, reviews by other customers will have a greater impact. Choose an eCommerce shopping cart that allows for product ratings and reviews – and let “word of mouth” work for you.

Here are two ways to take advantage of reviews on your eCommerce website:

  • Integrate a five-star or a 1-10 scale rating system below every product, and make it easy to grade the quality with as few clicks as possible
  • Create a separate landing page with top user reviews, featuring short blurbs written by registered customers, which can draw even more views.

Whichever approach you choose, it is good to treat your website like an actual, physical store where people would converse with each other and browse through freely. This kind of strategy will give visitors that feeling of human involvement. More essentials design aspects for your eCommerce’s website.

7. Customer Registry/Wish List

This is more of an advanced feature but nonetheless a fantastic enhancement to have if you’re a customer. A “Wish List” allows customers to save items from the online store and return at a later date to purchase those items. When customers have the option to arrange their items the way they want, the results of customer satisfaction is much higher. The top 5 custom registration plugins for WordPress.

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8. Special Offers

Need to WOW new customers or customers you haven’t seen in awhile? This is where choosing the right eCommerce’s platform is critical to your enterprise. Make sure you have the ability to create special offers. If not, this can dramatically impact the amount of traffic and sales you can generate. eCommerce shopping carts can help you promote special offers like coupons, order discounts, gift cards and free shipping store wide. These offers serve a dual purpose -they encourage customers to take advantage of a “good deal” while also helping you compete in today’s competitive online marketplace.

9. Advanced Website Search Feature

Customers have a need for speed! Investing in an advanced search option for your website will help customers search for their products quick and easy. Customers can also navigate via categories, along with browsing by price, category and brand distinctions. If your eCommerce’s website does not have a search option customers may choose to leave your website and make a purchase somewhere else.

10. Multiple Payment Options

Most online purchases are done by credit card. By offering options such as PayPal®, Google® Checkout, checks, and/or money orders allows more people to feel comfortable checking out on your site.

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