Top 10 eCommerce Features You Cannot Do Without
The competition is more fierce than ever and so many factors influence the decision to select an eCommerce platform. So what can you do? Let’s take a look at the top eCommerce features that have the highest impact on your bottom line!
1. On-Site Search
When potential buyers visit your website, it must be easy for them to find what they want. Don’t let them waste their time and get disappointed in your company.
“The more time a customer spends searching for something, the quicker they get frustrated – thus losing you a sale”. — says Stephen Light, Co-Owner and CMO of Nolah Mattress
To improve on-site search, pay attention to how easy it is to make a query in your search bar.
“A search bar is a powerful tool for conversions. On content-heavy eCommerce websites, nearly 30% of visitors use the search box to help them navigate quickly and easily to the products or information they’re looking for. These users indicate a clear intent to purchase by inputting the product names and categories they’re looking to browse and are 2-3 times more likely to convert”. — Daniel Tejada, the Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer at Straight Up Growth
The eCommerce search feature is also useful for website owners as it can provide insights on what customers are searching for the most. It will tell you if you need to adjust your assortment according to the demand.
“By evaluating your on-site search results, you can better understand what your customers are looking for and improve your product line and increase your revenue”, – adds Daniel Tejada.
2. Personalized User Interface (UI)
80% of shoppers prefer to buy from companies offering individualized experiences. Moreover, 66% think that companies must provide an experience tailored to their needs and expectations. Many people are disappointed when their shopping experience lacks personalization and will not return to such a website. So what can you add to make every customer feel unique?
The website homepage can show the individual content to every user according to their social group, age, gender, location, and previous purchases.
The algorithm calculates optimal competitive prices for products or services based on prices of similar items. Such a feature is advantageous for peer-to-peer platforms.
They help to redirect a visitor within the website by offering something valuable to him based on his browsing behavior. You can grant discounts or promotions in exchange for an email address or give an incentive to buy right away.
Send individual emails to each customer. It can be promotions, abandoned cart reminders, or customized newsletters.
3. Shopping Cart
The whole point of an eCommerce website is to sell products. If the eCommerce checkout process is troublesome for your customers they will most likely seek a better alternative. That is why after a client clicked a buy-button his experience with your shopping cart should be as frictionless as possible.
“One-click buying makes customer retention much more likely, and it makes your website more accessible and easier to use, which is a critical part of website design. If you’re looking for conversions, implement one-click buying”. – says Gabriel Dungan, CEO & Founder of ViscoSoft
When it comes to simplicity in buying, it’s important to make the transaction comfortable for the consumers. Thus, give them several payment methods to choose from, so that everyone could find the most convenient way to pay.
Jignesh Gohel, Founder & Marketing Head at OLBUZ, mentions another advantage of payment options:
“Providing more advanced payment options will help your customers in understanding the security and safety of his /her payment. It should be easy and user-friendly”.
4. Online Security
eCommerce sites are a source of money and it makes them attractive for hackers. Cyber attacks lead to credit card frauds, personal information, and identity theft. If your website is not secure and contain solid business cyber-security protection, customers won’t trust it and thus, won’t buy from you. Online security is not an option, it is a requirement of modern online shopping sites.
“The security concern of eCommerce is, in fact, the primary requisite that every customer and the marketer need to check because only through the right and secured way can you build trust among your customer”, — Jignesh Gohel.
Here are the most essential steps to protect your website:
- choose a secure CMS solution
- regularly update your system
- use HTTPS instead of HTTP
- make your admin panel safe
- set firewall properly
- use payment gateways with a perfect reputation
- regularly scan your website for vulnerabilities
- limit the data you use to the most necessary
5. Customer Support (Chatbots, Messaging)
Some customers will need consultations on your products or services. And the faster you can help them the higher chances that they will buy from you.
“Customers want to know they’re not alone when they’re shopping online. They want someone to answer their questions quickly so they don’t have to wait too long before getting what they bought or finding out if something is wrong with it. Engage, solve problems and just watch those customers coming back”. — Agnė Musajevaitė, Content Manager at Gifting Deer.
There are several ways to provide customer support and service in eCommerce:
- create own chatbots that can assist customers 24/7
- use Live chat, IMs, phone, and email with “human” customer support workers
- prepare an FAQ and a knowledge base for self-service
Try to offer as many options as possible to keep customers satisfied. If they are able to reach you easily and get an answer, they are prone to buy from you.
“Many customer support contact parameters are needed for your web store. While emails and social networks are crucial, phone help is becoming less popular”. – David Skates, founder of skates.co.uk
6. Customer Reviews and Other Types of UGC
Customer reviews are one of the best type of user generated content (UCG) that will help you engage with your customer. Each of us has a story or two about unsatisfactory online shopping. Because of that, we tend to research products and sellers before buying from them. Verified customer reviews are wonderful for gaining buyers’ trust.
“Consumers perceive reviews 12 times more trustworthy than product description and it leads to about 18% growth in sales. This kind of social proof helped us scale our business from zero dollars to $20 million in annual revenue in eight months”. — Shaunak Amin, Co-founder and CEO of SnackMagic.
However, your customers will barely listen to strangers’ opinions if they seem made up and robotic. Therefore, you need to verify the reviews proving that they are written by real customers who purchased the products.
“By letting verified purchasers rate products and share their thoughts, we’re providing potential buyers with the insight and confidence they need to reach the conversion stage”. — Shaunak Amin William Cannon, CEO and Founder of Uplead, adds that user-generated content can come in different forms and even combine several of them, e.g. audio and video materials. Such rich content coming from verified buyers will take your marketing and sales to the next level.
7. Delivery Options \ Shipment Tracking
The delivery options can also make or break your conversions. That is why you need to offer your customers options on how their purchases are delivered. Additionally, buyers should have the opportunity to track their package location on the map, especially if the delivery takes a long time. This is all a part of managing an eCommerce supply chain.
While working on this feature you need to consider your platform requirements and parameters of the integration. Joe Smith from iCrowdNewswire advises hiring a developer who will help you with tracking system integration.
If you are serious about SEO then a blog is what you critically need. Google is fond of informative and high-quality content, this is the kind of content that lives in blogs.
“Blogs are a fantastic method to engage an audience with rich stories and engaging content. Because Google loves sites with dynamic, diversified, and continually growing troves of article content, each post can help with SEO”. — Cindy Corpis, CEO of SearchPeopleFree.net
Another advantage of the blog is lead generation and nurturing. Giving valuable advice and answering acute questions in your articles is the way to attract leads and motivate them to make a purchase.
“Blogging allows adding in-depth analyses of product usage cases, advice, and storylines in ways that product sites cannot, enabling you to rank for informative rather than commercial keywords”. — David Skates, founder of skates.co.uk.
9. Reports and Analytics
You cannot run a business blindfolded. You must be aware of your current situation and analyze which channels and campaigns are efficient, which products are sold better, and what bottlenecks you have that prevent the conversion and growth of your business.
In order to do this, you require tools collecting statistics and data analytics like:
- Google Analytics (traffic data source)
- Back-end statistics on sales and cart abandonment from your website.
You can create and run your Google Analytics account separately or make it part of your website to keep all analytics in one place.
“Being able to access analytics from my WordPress dashboard and compare numbers makes it so easy to enact changes and see what’s working”. — Amberlynn Fraser, the founder and designer at Oh Black Betty
Back-end statistics can provide you with many useful insights on your business. Alex Mastin, Founder & CEO of Home Grounds, lists the following:
- monthly sales dynamics
- the most popular items for the particular time period
- key purchasing times
- info on traffic
10. Upselling & Cross-Selling
One of the best ways to increase sales on your eCommerce site is to upgrade a sale that is already taking place. You can do it by upselling (offering a more expensive version of the purchase) and cross-selling (offering some complementary extras to the original purchase). Both upselling and cross-selling will help to make a good Ecommerce experience for your customer by providing them with options.
There are the following ways to offer additional products:
- hard-coded recommendations based on specific rules. In this case, the products are already matched in a set, so if a customer chooses one item he will be also offered to buy another. For example, a clothes store can suggest a specific top that ‘will go well’ with the bottom the customer has already chosen.
“Most recently, I implemented a Bundle App, where I select multiple products to create an entire outfit that customers can purchase as a bundle. This feature is a type of styling service that many customers find helpful because it removes the challenge of figuring out how to put together a chic look. Customers also love that we offer a 25% discount when they purchase the entire bundle!” – Marialuisa Garito from www.affordablechic.com
- AI recommendation based on a machine learning algorithm that predicts customers’ choices and suggests relevant items. Platforms like Wish, Amazon, Spotify actively apply this strategy to their business.
eCommerce Features You Cannot Do Without
In this article, we discussed eCommerce website features that can advance your business. From the search bar to the cybersecurity each feature is good on its own but the more you use the better are the results. Try whatever seems appropriate for your service and enjoy growth in conversion.