Top 10 Features To Have on Your eCommerce Website

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An eCommerce business must stay relevant to achieve success in today’s market. This business niche is highly competitive and extremely demanding in customer experience. Therefore, you need powerful tools to ensure that your efforts bring the best results and stay a strong market player. Already-build eCommerce platforms might look like a great solution, but they cannot be tailored to your unique business needs. A custom eCommerce website will allow you to provide a remarkable user experience, have complete control and flexibility over the platform’s features and functionalities.    

If you are interested in dominating the market, create a trustworthy and strong brand, deliver a personalized online experience for your shoppers, follow along to see the top 10 must-have features for your eCommerce website.

Why Are These Top 10 Features Vital to Online Stores?

You might find it hard to choose the best eCommerce platform for your online business when you have so many eCommerce digital products. We recommend taking it easy, trying not to get overwhelmed, and creating a “shopping list” of your features. eCommerce is a fast-moving, fast-growing environment, and the stakes are high. It is crucial to pay attention to your business goals, needs, and objectives when deciding upon a pre-built platform or a custom eCommerce development. This step is critical because it will determine how your business will evolve. If you make the wrong decision, you can spend way more money than necessary to get started as an online seller. 

As a business owner, you should keep in mind that marketing activities are different in this market and need more attention and implication from your team. In eCommerce, everything is about the shopping experience, and your efforts should focus on creating personalized experiences for your online shoppers. Therefore, your platform must be fully aligned with your business objectives and support features that marketers can take advantage of to deliver a flawless user experience.  

Your eCommerce website must integrate the following 10 features: SEO-friendly, mobile-friendly, product navigation, search box, shopping cart, diverse payment methods, tight security, flash promo options, product details, high-quality photos.  Follow along to understand the reasons you need these integrations, how they can improve online sales, and increase customer loyalty.  

Top 10 Must-Have Features for Your eCommerce Website

As the online market is booming, eCommerce stores should implement key features crucial for attracting visitors and converting them into customers. However, not all trends such as animations, 360-degree product previews, dynamic product search, and advanced filtering guarantee a high conversion rate or an outstanding user experience. There are essential features for every eCommerce site that ensure a relevant online presence and make you a competitive business. 

Let’s explore together ten mandatory features for providing fantastic shopping experiences.

1. SEO Features

Even if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store and your whole activity is online, search engine optimization has a huge impact on your sales and ROI. SEO has the highest return on investment of any marketing campaign. Regardless of this fact, most online shops do not consider search engines when they become public and invest only in social media and paid ads. Little do they know that SEO is free and supported by content marketing, and over time, it will only ensure constant website traffic, increase site ranking, and improve the domain authority. An SEO-friendly platform is essential in attracting potential customers, generating leads that your sales teams can pursue, and delivering overall long-lasting results. Our advice is to start building a solid SEO strategy with a strong focus on local SEO and user intent, especially if you have physical stores. We highly recommend that your content management process include an eCommerce blog and encourage user-generated content. We wrote an in-depth guide on how to write SEO articles. Take a look if you don’t know where to start. It will help you understand why such pieces of content will help you achieve targetable and measurable results, will develop emotional connections with people, and will lead to customer loyalty.  

2. Mobile-friendly

The retail market went through a digital transformation. In 2021 mobile commerce is one of the growing trends. Buyers prefer online shopping via smartphones because it is more comfortable, they can compare prices, and read online reviews. Furthermore, by the end of 2021, it is anticipated that around 73% of all sales in retail will be mobile-based. Besides that, 30% of online shoppers abandon their carts during a shopping session if the website does not provide a mobile-friendly experience.  

Based on these facts, having a mobile-friendly website is essential to attract customers. Your website’s design should automatically adapt to the mobile’s screen size to ensure a smooth buyer journey. Millions of people worldwide use mobile devices, and you don’t want to miss out on potential buyers. You have three approaches to make your website mobile-friendly: responsive design, dynamic serving, or dedicated mobile websites

It is also mandatory for your website to work on mobile devices because no eCommerce business is going to thrive without being connected with social media platforms. If people can access your website using their phones, they will engage with your brand on social media as well.

3. Product Navigation

The most important items on your eCommerce website are your products. Besides creating complete product landing pages, it is vital to put them in the right product category. Imagine potential customers looking for a pair of pants. When they click on the pants category, they are redirected to jackets or find other products that are not related to their interest. 

Your product navigation should be intuitive, easy to use, and direct users to the right products. 70% of users rely on navigation. Therefore, your navigation menu should be a very high priority for you. 

What we highly recommend is to use breadcrumbs. They help people better orientate on your website. Make sure your menu is visible on tiny screens; put the menus in familiar locations such as the top of the screen or on the left rail; make the menus look clickable and interactive; use contrasting colours for the menu’s text and its background.

The purpose of the product navigation is to improve the user experience and increase engagement. When visitors are satisfied with the way they can navigate your website, they will spend more time exploring, and the probability of converting them into buyers is higher.  

4. Search Box Feature

Given that customers are very impatient these days, a search box is essential. We highly recommend the search box to be type-sensitive, making it easier for customers to identify what they want. Also, allow typos and select the closest match instead of returning zero results. 

There are various customer types. Therefore, you should allow the search by brand, category, promotions, etc. Furthermore, you can provide additional filters such as colour, size, price, style, newest products, popular products, etc. 

The search bar should be visible on every page of your website, except the checkout. Having the search box on your homepage will allow visitors to start a targeted search immediately, avoiding tedious clicking through the layers of your menu. Online shoppers value the capability to search for specific products without having to experience an interrupted shopping session. 

5. Shopping Cart 

As obvious as it may seem, the shopping cart is what differentiates an eCommerce website from any other website type. The best way to satisfy your buyers and guarantee fantastic shopping experiences is to make it easy to add or remove products, go back to the product pages to make adjustments or purchase new items.  

More than 74% of shoppers leave a website before completing a transaction due to a complex checkout process. Another issue to avoid is unexpected costs such as extra taxes or shipping costs. 

We recommend having a simple checkout page (single page checkout) that includes the picture of the items in the shopping cart, their names and details (size, colour, price, etc.). We strongly suggest offering visitors a guest checkout option. 14% of online shoppers will abandon the shopping cart if they don’t have the guest checkout option. These elements will improve the conversion rate.  

6. Payment Methods

The online payments system is the pillar of eCommerce platforms, and your website should accept online payments. Payment gateways strengthen customer data security, online transactions and prevent fraud. Payment options have a significant role in purchase decisions and closing the sales funnel. When your customer cannot complete online purchases using their preferred payment method, they will go to your competitors. We strongly recommend implementing additional methods to debit cards and credit cards. Alternative payment methods will be PayPal, bank transfer, and even cryptocurrencies. Opt for online payments with low to no transaction fees and additional payment security features. 

The more payment options, the more efficient and user-friendly the checkout process becomes; the more completed transactions, the higher the conversion rate and revenue. 

7. Security

Unfortunately, eCommerce websites are more likely to get hacked. They are a target for cybercriminals due to the volume of sensitive and financial data handled. The hacking can result in data manipulation, data loss, and data stealing. Your platform should implement security measures for data protection and website security.  

It is crucial to protect your website from common security vulnerabilities such as DDoS attacks, injections, authentication flaws, and cross-site scripting (XSS). Investing in better security for your website will ensure that your eCommerce business is secure and your customers can trust you with their data. 

We recommend adding an extra layer of security or multi-layered security, monitoring transactions, scanning and updating your website regularly, requiring address verification, CVV, strong passwords for customer accounts, implementing an SSL certificate, and choosing a trusted hosting provider. 

8. Promotions

Flash promo options are more likely to increase your eCommerce sales, as it is proven that customers are more inclined to buy a product when it is discounted or get a freebie if they purchase an item. Implementing promotions and hot deals will persuade them to stay longer on your site and buy more. Promo options come in different shapes, such as discounts, gifts, bundle offers, free shipping, etc. 

The majority of eCommerce businesses are taking advantage of special offers in their marketing activities of social media, email, SMS, etc. We recommend having flash promo options on national and global celebrations but do not have them available all the time. In case your customers are used to continuously discounted products on your site, and you want to sell them at full price, they won’t buy from you right away. They will wait for the special deals. 

9. Product Details

A strong product page should provide all the information, assurances and motivate a user to convert into a buyer. Neil Patel has a great blog post with valuable tips on creating killer product pages. Individual product pages that offer detailed product specifications, availability, stock, size, colour, sizing charts, shipping costs, product photos and product videos help visitors proceed to purchase. Your product pages should give customers all the information they need, from the significant details to the minor ones. We recommend you to include the following details on the product landing page: quantities (stock availability), product description, product specs, product’s weight, product’s dimensions. Besides that, you should include features such as action buttons like “add to cart” or “buy now”, give your users the option to add it to their wishlist, and even share it on social platforms. 

Another handy feature is to allow user-generated reviews. Customer reviews help build trust in your company and increase the conversion rate.  

10. High-Quality Pictures and Videos

Pictures sell more than text. This is the reason why you must have authentic, high-quality photos and videos of your site. Make sure that a professional photographer takes the pictures and videos. They have to represent your brand and appeal to your visitors. 

Nowadays, online shoppers want to see multiple angles of your products and real people using or wearing your products. The pictures should have the zoom-in feature and even a 360 degrees overview. 

Another essential aspect to consider is to have fast loading photos. According to Adobe, 39% of customers will leave your website if the pictures take too long to load. 

Our recommendation is to display multiple angle photos of the product, be clear and high-resolution, and, most importantly, be optimized for page load time.

Our Additional Recommendations for Your eCommerce Business

If you have implemented the previous ten features, that does not mean that your website will generate the revenue you want. Your efforts do not stop here, as an online business needs continuous attention. We highly recommend focusing on customer experience. Your customers decide if your business is going to be successful or not. When they have an excellent encounter with your site, the purchasing process runs smoothly, delivery times are fast, the communication is prompt and clear. Your customers will spread the word about your brand and their experience interacting with your company.  

Now, we want to help you and give you additional advice on how to improve your online store. You can also implement the following features and marketing tactics to increase the conversion rate: 

  • Cross-selling – suggest similar items that might interest your customers. According to Shopify, between 10 and 30% of eCommerce revenue comes from cross-selling and upselling. Include links to complementary items on your product pages. You can also send them via email after users have made a purchase. 
  • Social Sharing – social media is a powerful tool to increase brand awareness. Take advantage of this opportunity and include social buttons on your product pages. The average eCommerce website has fewer than 500 likes on Facebook. We strongly recommend you create and keep your social pages active. Let people share your content on social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. 
  • Delivery Options – having multiple delivery options is as important as the payment variety option. Offering only one delivery option can harm your business. For example, suppose you partner with a company that has a bad reputation for slow delivery times, losing packages, or employees stealing goods. In that case, consumers might avoid buying from you as they don’t trust the delivery company. Therefore, your credibility is diminished just because you have only that delivery option. 
  • Return Policy – at least 30% of all products purchased online are returned, 67% of consumers check the return policy page before making a purchase, and 92% of consumers will buy again from you if the return process is easy. Make sure you have such a page on your website. Offering a simple and easy return process and free shipping, you don’t have to worry about losing customers. 
  • About Us Page – such a page is an introduction to your brand. People can read about your vision, objectives, and what makes you different from your competitors. You can also feature customer testimonials and brand recommendations from people who purchased from you in the past. 
  • Live Chat – include this feature to your website to improve customer experience. As they can’t touch or see the product in person, customers can engage with your sales representatives in real-time when shopping online with the live chat. Excellent customer service will increase conversion rates, and you can evaluate your team’s efficiency.
  • Product comparison and user-generated reviews – 46% of customers want product comparison feature, 42% of customers want to read testimonials, and 69% of online shoppers want to read reviews before purchasing. People are more open to buy a product if they understand how to use it and how it works for others. Allow user reviews on your product pages and do not delete the negative reviews. Quick reviews and product comparison will generate trust in your brand.  

If you want to open an eCommerce store, and you have doubts about where and how to start, we can help you. We are a full-service digital agency that delivers top-notch custom development solutions and digital marketing services. Our focus is to help our partners achieve the best results and become strong competitors. You can read this case study about our eCommerce partner, how it all started and the results we managed to get in a short time. 

Contact us now, and let’s start working on your unique, results generating business!

Frequently Asked Questions 

What should I choose: an eCommerce builder or a custom solution if I’m just starting my business?

Depends on your needs and business goals. If you are just starting and don’t have many products, you can choose an already-built platform. If you plan to extend and grow your business, investing in a custom solution will be the right option for you.

Are there other features that I can add to my website?

Yes. There are also other features that you can implement on your website such as voice command, AI and AR, etc.

Is it ok if I use stock photos on my website?

No! We strongly advise you not to use stock photos. Customers are interested in authentic images of your products. Stock photos will diminish your credibility, and you will lose sales.

What’s more important: an eye-candy eCommerce website or a high performing eCommerce website?

The answer is both. Humans are visual creatures. Therefore, you need an eye-candy web design to attract customers and a high performing website to drive customers to buy.

Tags: custom web development , digital marketing , ecommerce