Over the past decade, the ecommerce world has seen rapid growth. With the wide-spread of Covid19, the demand for shopping online has grown even more. People’s intention to shop online has been surging and more growth is still to come. Likewise, the number of e-commerce companies who are trying hard to expand their market are on a rising trend that makes the ecommerce industry very competitive.
Obviously, in such a fast-paced and competitive environment with lots of changes happening frequently in users’ preferences and taste, ecommerce websites must be evolving continuously to survive and grow. Innovations and new features such as shopping personalization experience, voice search, multiple payment options, secure ecommerce online gateway and a lot more are coming into existence from time to time, in order to help ecommerce to stand out of the crowd and convert more.
What are the essential features for an ecommerce store?
Even though there are an endless number of features that can be added to an ecommerce website, there are some essentials that are mandatory for an ecommerce store. Let’s dive deep and see what they are.
1- Mobile Responsive Design
In today’s digital world, a responsive design is not an option. It is an absolute essential for all websites in general and for ecommerce in particular to be mobile friendly and perfectly displayed on all mobile screens of any size. Failing to do so, would end you up with a failure.
2- Easy to understand and navigate
People who fulfil their needs online are basically after convenience and simplicity. In other words, the main reason that people are shifting from shopping from a convenience store down the road to purchasing online is simplicity. As such, an ecommerce must be designed as simple as possible, so users will be able to comfortably purchase their needs and receive it at the convenience of their homes. Therefore, make sure the process of finding products, choosing the right one, proceeding to checkout and making the payment is designed as simple as possible.
3- Efficient search tool
Users are not really interested in going through a long list of product categories to find what they are after. They prefer to type what they need in a search bar to find it hassle-free. Therefore, a strong and efficient search tool must be designed and placed on top of an ecommerce homepage, so users will see it, once they are landed. An advanced search tool improves UX significantly.
4- Fast loading web pages
All web pages of an ecommerce website must be completely loaded as quickly as possible. Internet users are not tolerant enough these days to wait more than a couple of seconds for a web page to fully load. There are multiple techniques to improve the loading speed such as using CDN, optimizing images and a lot more. You must check your web pages from time to time to ensure the loading speed to be at the desired level.
5- Personalization experience and product recommendations
Users prefer personalization and tailored experience these days. In other words, an ecommerce website algorithm must be optimized in a way to recommend products and offers to every single user based on their behaviour and preferences. Such a feature would extremely improve UX and conversion.
6- Multiple Payment Options
There are a wide range of payment options out there that users utilize to pay for their online purchases. It is essential to provide as many options as possible for users who are utilizing different methods to make payments. Make sure to provide payment options through credit cards, PayPal, Apple pay, debit cards, etc. By doing so, visitors feel the freedom of using their payment option of choice that would have a positive impact on user experience.
7- Wishlist feature
All of us have come across the situation, when we love to purchase a product, but for some reason are unable to take action right away when surfing through an ecommerce website. Such a situation happens frequently to almost all internet users. To help users save the product somewhere and come back again, the Wishlist feature has been invented. Visitors can easily add the product to their Wishlist and come back when they are able to take action. Wishlist is a great tool to improve UX and conversion.
8- Easy checkout process
The checkout process is the final stage of customers’ journey to buy from an ecommerce website. It is now perfectly proved that a difficult checkout process makes customers disappointed and in most cases causes them to leave without completing their purchase. The checkout process must be designed as simple and straightforward as possible. A slide bar that shows how the process is moving forward is also very helpful.
9- Social proof
Providing social proof for users plays an important role in increasing ecommerce traffic, conversion and sales volume. An ecommerce must have a review and rating system to make consumers capable of leaving feedback, reviews and rating the services they have received. Good feedback from other consumers makes new visitors trust your brand and motivate them to take action.
10- Strong analytical and reporting system
To stay focused and make data-driven decisions, a robust and precise reporting system must be designed for ecommerce. The system must be creating detailed and precise reports on consumers behaviour, sales volume and a lot more metrics to help the decision makers with identifying the strengths and weaknesses and make changes where needed. In addition to the internal reporting system, it is highly recommended to use online tools such as Google Search Console, Google Analytics, etc. to analyse your ecommerce performance from SEO ,traffic and general performance point of view. For further information on how to register website in Google Search Console, you may follow the link.
Other features for ecommerce
The must-have features we have gone through earlier in this article are the most important ones. Depending on the business type and ecommerce niche, you can add multiple other options such as multilingual support, flexible delivery options, real-time tracking and a lot more. However, you must be careful with choosing the features to be relevant to the type of the website. As an example, if you are in the process of restaurant website development, a review and recommendation system might be helpful, while a Wishlist feature is irrelevant. Therefore, keep in mind to select the features for your website with care.
Developing an ecommerce, taking it on top of SERPs and maintaining good performance is not an easy task in today’s competitive online market. At your first step, make sure to have a full understanding of ecommerce website price in Australia, to see if you have sufficient funds available. Then, you must be working with a well-experienced web design service provider with a proven track record of success to make sure that your project starts and moves on the right track. By following the rules, best practices, industry standards, staying on top of market trends and monitoring your website performance and making appropriate changes accordingly, you can be well-assured that you will have a lucrative business.