22 eCommerce Features: ‘Must-haves’ for your Online Store
Offering quality products is not enough for an eCommerce store to survive. There are some other factors too that come into play. You need to have a website that is attractive, user-friendly, SEO-rich and good in marketing itself. All this comes in the form of effective eCommerce features that you can use for your site. How good you are at using them is the tricky part and yes, you should have an idea about how they work too!
So, if you are trying to find loopholes in your business and tackle them nicely, you should go through this eCommerce functionality checklist for sure!
Top eCommerce features for your online store
So without much ado let’s see what all eCommerce features you need to get the best out of your online store.
1. Shopping cart
Shopping cart is a very crucial feature to have included in your eCommerce site. The products selected by the customers are added to this place before they go ahead with the checkout process. You should make sure that your eCommerce store has a flexible cart that allows both registered and guest customers to shop at the same time. This way the guest customers can easily shop for the items that they want without having to sign up; thus making shopping seamless.
2. Content management capabilities
For eCommerce businesses, contents play a very crucial role. However, the website needs to manage the content in a better manner. This is where you should add features like blog searches, popular posts, categories, filters, etc.
3. Promotion and discount code tools
This is one of the best tools you could ask for your eCommerce store. In case you are offering any promotional offers or discounts then you should display it along with the product price. You can follow the general practice of striking out the original price and showing the discounted rate. You can even display the savings in percentage to help users understand how big they are saving. Smart Coupons is one such plugin which you can use in your eCommerce store.
4. Secure and fast checkout
Ecommerce stores offer an easy platform for you to sell your products and get payments online. So unlike the time you take at the physical stores to process those payments, make it quick for your online customers. You should boost quick payments by using a payment gateway tool.You need to come up with a checkout feature that does not ask for more information. Moreover, security is the key in such business and so you will need to have a payment processor that securely handles all the credit card information of the customers. Opt for payment options like AmazonPay and PayPal, which are trusted by people. This will keep their tension away when they are spending money at your store. WooCommerce Social Login is one such plugin that lets you make easy checkout and account creation.
5. Reporting tools
In the admin section, the dashboard should be able to provide all the metrics related to the eCommerce business in a summarized manner. Based on what the business needs, these metrics should be easily customizable.
6. An integrated blogs and articles section
There should be a dedicated section on your website where all the blogs and articles are added for the customers to read. This works as a key marketing strategy when it comes to pleasing the search engine as well as the customers.
7. Email marketing integration
You should have an email marketing feature integrated with the backend of your eCommerce store. This will help you easily sort and filter the emails quickly as well as send personalized emails to the customers as a part of your marketing campaign. When it comes to choosing the right email marketing integration plugin, you should definitely consider Jilt.
8. Multiple payment options
You should be offering different payment methods that are used by the customers frequently and are popular in the market. You can go to popular ones like credit cards, e-wallets, etc.
A good design should be simple and yet it should be sophisticated. As per a study, it has been noted that 76% of the consumers who visit the eCommerce store look for ease of use above everything else. It should be the main aim of any website to help the users find the products faster and lead them to checkout by avoiding any unnecessary stoppages. You should understand that you have a few minutes in hand to help them shop and so make it best by offering features like filters, price comparisons, and different shopping categories. Adding in autocomplete feature in the search will help the users quickly find what they want.
10. Related items
Ecommerce sites can induce a certain level of curiosity within the shoppers by introducing a section of “you might like this.” By introducing a section for related items, you will be able to retain your visitors for a longer period. The items in this section will be the ones which can be used in pair with the items that you have added in the shopping cart. This way, marketers have a better chance to boost upsell and cross-sell on the site.
11. Mobile-friendly website
Your eCommerce site needs to be mobile-friendly. It needs to responsive enough so that it can easily fit well with any device irrespective of its screen size. Today people are more habituated to visit websites using smartphones and tablets and so building a mobile-friendly website can be a wise decision.
12. Special offers
The typical marketing campaigns for eCommerce stores consist of offering special offers through text, social media, emails, etc. Then there is the next level of online stores that go-ahead to promote special offers in the header section. Such deals will be noticed by the visitors and they will tend to buy more. You can even plan to come up with a dedicated webpage that lists out different offers. This will make it easy for them to choose what they want and even helps the website from the SEO point of view.
13. High-resolution photos and videos
Earlier it worked for the online stores to put up a picture of the product and add in a few bullet points to describe it. These along with the price tag were enough!
However, things have changed today and people want to know the product better and see how it looks in the changing environments. To get a better idea about the looks, they want to zoom in the product. Apart from adding in high-quality product photos, consumers even prefer to see Instagram photos linked to the product pages. The latter option is said to boost checkout by 24%!
14. User-generated reviews
One of the main reasons why users are not comfortable shopping at your online store is the absence of any kind of social proof. It is not easy to convince them to buy unless someone they know says positive for the brand. In short, they will be hesitant to buy unless they find some proof regarding the quality and authenticity of the items they plan to purchase. This proof also gets them an idea about the products before they buy them. For the same reason, you should consider adding in user reviews into your eCommerce store.
15. Wish list
Wish lists are the best way to save something and shop later. This way, customers can keep on bookmarking the items that they like and buy them in the future. Again, it can act as a brilliant remarketing campaign you can ask for. Notifications can be sent to the customers reminding them about the items in the wish lists especially when there is a discount available on the same.
Most of the eCommerce websites out there have physical stores. It would be wise for them to add in find-in-store features on their website. So if customers are planning to make some instant purchase and cannot wait for the item to be delivered at the doorstep, they can simply find the location of the store using it.
Some shoppers have the habit of doing all the research online and buying products at the brick and mortar stores. So this feature will let them look for the product online and they buy at their local store later.
17. Frequently asked questions
When shopping at the physical store, the customer will find someone to answer their doubts about the item they plan to buy as well as other things like return policy. Things are much different when shopping online. For the same reason, you should come up with a FAQ page which is self-supported. Having a centralized FAQ page will help the customers easily find answers to all their general questions. In case you have a large inventory of products then you can offer a small FAQ section on each product page.
18. Social media
It is wise to offer different social media icons at the bottom of your homepage. This will lead your visitors to visit your social media pages and learn more about the brand and its offerings. You can opt for social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Making use of the right social media channels is important today as more people are looking for social proof now. People are now inclined towards using different social media channels and your social media presence can help you reach your customers there with ease.
19. Security features
Another important thing that you should be having for your eCommerce store is proper security features. You can easily find several plugins (free and premium) to be used for your eCommerce store. They will help you safeguard the credit card details of your customers as well as work as a strong defense mechanism for the store. SSL certificate is a proof of security today and customers look for the same at the online store before buying something. So just be sure that you have the same for your eCommerce site to build trust with your customers. Another security feature that you should be providing the visitors is HTTPS in the website URL. This ensures that you offer secure transactions to the visitors between the browser and the server.
20. Detailed shipping information
One of the main reasons for higher shopping cart abandonment is because of the unexpected shipping costs that pop up. The eCommerce store must include such information in the checkout. Adding in the ZIP code calculator will also let the customers know what they have to pay to get the item delivered at their postal address.
They should also mention the areas where they are not offering shipping service as well as mention the areas which are outside their normal delivery zone. There should be information regarding different delivery options and how much time it can take to deliver the item. In the case of free shipping, you should mention the codes at a proper place so that customers can use them easily.
21. Multi-touch point contact page
Contact us page always has a high priority for an eCommerce business in terms of building trust with the audience. You need to have a well-presented contact us page especially in the case where you are selling some high-value products or services.
You need to make it easier for the buyer to reach you and get in touch with you. You should consider including different modes to reach you in the form of the phone number, email address or a contact form. If you have a brick and mortar stores then you can even consider adding in Google maps to help find the locations.
22. Return policy
Every eCommerce site needs to have clear return policies mentioned on the site. You need to come up with a well-written and clear return policy that is easy to be read and understood. Shoppers need to trust your site to shop and it is one of such features that help you build trust. It simply lets them know that if they are not happy with the shopping experience then the brand will do its best to make things right.
These are some of the prominent eCommerce website features that you could ask for your online store. Whether it is about focusing on security or making the website more user-friendly, get a better idea of products or carry out email marketing, you need to have the right features on-board. You should be ready to have the best as you have a tough race to win.