The Most Important eCommerce Site Features You Must Have
No matter what your focus or niche might be, an eCommerce site must possess a few specific must-have features. They’re critical to remaining relevant, attracting customers, and delivering an experience that keeps people coming back. Without them, you risk forfeiting your success.
Of course, you’ll also find lots of trends in the world of eCommerce. These come and go. They’re bright and shiny for a few minutes, but they fade quickly – think 360-degree product views. Features like this are a waste of resources.
So, where does that leave you? What must-have features should you focus on to help build a robust brand and an enduring eCommerce site? We’ll explore some of the most critical features below.
Your Domain Name
This one might seem pretty basic (they all are, truth be told), but you might be surprised at how many eCommerce operators ignore it. Get your own domain name. Don’t use one generated by a free website host, either, as that just dilutes your brand’s power. Choose a domain name that’s relevant to your audience, your business, and your success. It’s not something that you can do quickly, either. You’ll need to give it a lot of thought and research.
No matter what, you need to provide your website’s visitors with an outstanding user experience. This means understanding modern website design and development, designing with a mobile-first mindset, ensuring that pages load quickly, that images are optimised for fast load times without sacrificing quality, and so much more. Often, it’s more than a single eCommerce store owner can handle on their own. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a leading eCommerce site design/development firm.
Consistent Branding Elements
When you shop on Amazon, you always know where you are shopping. That’s because they’ve done a great job of keeping their branding elements consistent across all pages. Apple is another great example. Make sure that you have a well-defined brand, professionally designed brand collateral, and the ability to keep those elements consistent across every single page of your website, from the homepage to your terms of service.
Great Photos and Videos
As an eCommerce store, your products are what attract customers. You owe it to your customers to provide them with high-quality images that show each product from different angles. If possible, throw in a product video that shows it in action, highlights usage, or provides additional information and value to your customers. However, remember that images that take too long to load will hurt your sales. It is best to find the right balance between photo quality and load time.
Gone are the days when customers willingly bought products based on the retailer’s description alone. Today, consumers want (and deserve) further information to help them make informed purchase decisions. Customer-generated reviews are great for this. They provide critical social proof, while also offering insight into the quality, usability, and durability of the product in question. Make sure you’ve got customer reviews on each product page for those reasons.
No one wants to come to your eCommerce store and then spend their time scrolling endlessly through page after page of products when they have something specific in mind. Help your visitors make their purchase faster and get on with their lives by implementing a site-wide search feature. Make your products searchable not just by the manufacturer’s product name, but by keywords that your customers regularly use, too.
Want to increase your profits while better serving your customers’ needs? Offer a related items section on each product page. This can show items that customers bought instead of the product featured, items that augment the product featured, and more. It’s a great way to upsell customers while providing them with additional value.
Creating a Thriving eCommerce Site
The features above are just a few of the critical elements needed for success in today’s increasingly competitive eCommerce world. Some others to consider include social sharing capabilities, product FAQs, and even a find-in-store capability if you’ve run a related bricks-and-mortar shop.
When designed properly, your eCommerce store should provide a seamless, positive user experience. The right features and capabilities will support that.