Statistics suggest – there are more than 24 million ecommerce sites around the world, and the number is only going up every day. With such a huge competition out there it is very likely for businesses to seek out ways to differentiate themselves in the market. To help you in your course, we have made a wholesome list of must-have features in an ecommerce website for 2022 and beyond.
The list is curated to help you make a better decision during ecommerce development. You can choose the most attractive features for online shoppers and expect better business growth. Also, this would help you in retaining your customers and instigate customer loyalty. So, let us begin.
Ecommerce is a technology-driven industry and thus it is fast-moving too when it comes to adopting new-age technology and tools. It is due to the same reason why every year ecommerce has something surprising for us. We see the ecommerce trends come and go, and people never get bored of it. In fact, the craze for online shopping and pandemic has only fueled the customer expectations and hunger for a more immersive shopping experience. Here are some features that would do the job:
You might think this point is lame as “Duh! We all know we have to make the websites user-friendly”. But we also know, it is easier said than done. When it comes to customer satisfaction most companies think customers would be happier if you provide them with more. But this is not the case, non-strategically adding features to your ecommerce websites can complicate things. To win your customers’ hearts you need to think like them, you need to know them and what they are expecting from your website and business. This would help you make a better decision when it comes to choosing what features you want, what should be the most prominent features of the website, how to make the shopping experience of your users hassle-free and provide a faster experience, and more.
The objective of this exercise is to make sure your customers are getting what they are looking for, but with no complexities. Curate your website thoughtfully, think about where your customers are facing problems and solve them through intelligent and innovative ideas.
Some of the good ways to achieve this are by:
More than 50% of online shoppers are using their smartphones for browsing ecommerce websites. If your website is not responsive to their devices, it can taint your brand image and also make you lose your customers.
With responsive websites, the text, photos, videos, and other elements on the website get readjusted for a better browsing experience on devices of varying screen sizes.
Your websites should intuitively respond to various devices and provide an unparalleled user experience to your customers. With a responsive website, you can increase your sales through mobile devices by 74%. Companies such as Walmart have even recorded that mobile-friendly websites have helped them gain a whopping 98% hike in sales over mobile devices.
According to Statista, by 2024, the number of mobile shoppers in the US alone would exceed 127 million. It is very important to act now if you don’t want to lose the race. Big or small ecommerce sites, your website needs to be responsive, period. Apart from that, not only do mobile-friendly websites help in elevating the customer experience and sales, but they can also potentially improve your ranking on search engines.
Most people forget about the quality of content there is on the website. If you are wanting people to come and shop on your ecommerce site and buy your products it is mandatory that you provide them with all the information, including good quality photos and videos on your site.
Over the years, not only has the technology evolved at a great pace – but so has your customer. They are not looking for a crappy photograph, a buffering video, and a few bullet points about the product. They need wholesome information about the product they are investing in.
So, what you can do:
Technically speaking, if you are adding images and videos of high resolution they should slow down your website. But, you can avert that by optimizing them. Each image should not take too long to load. According to Adobe, the drop-off rate on the product pages is 39% for the sites that have slow loading photos and videos. Also, according to Vanity Planet adding optimized professional photos increased their checkout by 24%.
Reviews and ratings on the product pages can work miraculously well for you. According to a study, 95% of shoppers read product reviews before buying any products, and 57% of the customers would only buy a product if a product is rated with 4 stars or more.
One of the logic provided by businesses is that negative reviews by customers can actually make them lose sales. But they cannot be more wrong. A product with only good reviews and people singing praises is perceived as fake by most customers. As said earlier, we are dealing with intelligent customers here, people who are well aware of the marketing practices. So, allow people to leave reviews be it good or bad.
Also, you can talk with the ecommerce website development company you are hiring to add plugins to improve the user experience in the review section. You can use these plugins to highlight popular products, and popular reviews from various sites such as Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, etc.
Adding user-generated reviews from social media can help you in increasing your brand visibility and create more brand loyalty. Brands such as Paiwen Paddleboards are a great example of it.
Offering special offers is a common marketing practice for many ecommerce companies. They promote new offers on products through emails, social media, text, push notifications, and more.
If you want to take your marketing practices to the next level, utilize the header section of the ecommerce site more wisely. It can help you in grabbing the attention of the browsers and engage them on the site for a longer period with a possibility of sales.
When shoppers realize they are getting a special deal they would be motivated to spend more time and money on your site searching for good products.
Also, big ecommerce sites such as Amazon, and Flipkart have a special offer section that allows users to check out the existing offers directly from there. You can see this improving your SEO and driving more traffic to your site.
Everyone loves wish lists. They are amazingly convenient and allow you to bookmark the product that you look forward to buying in the future. Also, from the wish list section, people can save the products and also share them with other people.
Also, people saving products to purchase in the future can boost your sales. You have the data of the people looking forward to buying specific products. You know what they prefer, you have contact details – you can run a great remarketing campaign to boost your sales instantly. In a webinar by Brendan Witcher of Forrester shared how the wishlist feature helped them increase sales by 80%.
Businesses that have an existing brick-and-mortar store can have extra functionality. They can add a find-in-store feature that allows people to come down to the store and check out the product themselves. Also, for the people that cannot wait to buy certain products, it is good as they can go down to the store and buy the product rather than waiting for shipping. It also helps people to see if the local store has the product they want in stock, rather than going there in person.
Enhancing your user experience on the website is your primary goal. During ecommerce web development you can talk to your service provider to use innovative plugins to add functionalities such as “related items”, “You might also like this”, or “usually bought together”, etc.
This helps you in signaling your customers to browse other good products and improve your sales. It is an extremely amazing solution if you sell products and accessories both and this not only drives sales for one particular product that people came to buy on your site but also other products.
Features such as these are good marketing tools. Not only do they reduce your marketing efforts but also ensure customer satisfaction. There is a very positive response to features such as these from customers and this says a lot about how you can also make your web experience better.
One of the disadvantages of shopping online is you don’t get proper sales assistance. People have a lot of questions about products and brands in general. But, since it is ecommerce site, they cannot connect directly to the vendor which may cause them to not buy the product.
In general, selling expensive products on your site becomes more difficult. But, you can change this by adding a dedicated FAQ section on each product page. Also, you can reduce the content in the product description and add detailed information about the product and brand in the FAQ section. This would give more liberty to the users and also makes their reading experience better as they can directly jump on the questions that they have.
Not only is it your responsibility to keep your customers happy, but you need to think about the expectations of the retailers connected with you. If you are wanting your customers to connect on a deep level with the buyers you need to find a way to generate brand advocacy and trust. Social media can provide you with that.
Social media is a great marketing tool. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and so many other loved social platforms can help you in bonding with the customers and drive sales more organically.
People tend to share a lot of things on social media. If you allow your customers to link their social profile to the site it would allow them to share things on social media more seamlessly and drive more sales.
Also, rather than poking your customers continuously to buy from you, this is a better way to create brand engagement. People that trust your brand would love to share about you and your products and this would automatically help you gain popularity on the platforms where you can generate more leads.
Also, if you are new in the market, people would tend to search about your brand before buying anything from you. Social proof of authenticity can work great for you in meeting your short-term and long-term goals.
Also, collaborating with customers to create content for social media is a good way to engage customers and create brand advocacy. You can connect with social media influencers too, create content that inspires people to buy products, how your products elevate user experience and also, try to create how-to-use videos if you want.
Security is one of the biggest concerns of online businesses. Ecommerce sites are a primary target for cybercriminals and hence it is crucial to create your site breach-proof. You would not want your customer information to be compromised. Privacy is a necessary feature to provide for your customers.
Secure ecommerce website development is what you must aim for. There are many sophisticated ecommerce technologies available on the market that provide you with end-to-end ecommerce solutions along with top-notch security.
Some of the must-have security features in your website are:
Offering multiple ways to make a payment on your site opens more options for your customers. It is very important that you offer advanced payment options on your ecommerce site.
Allow people to link their various accounts such as bank accounts, e-wallets, Pay later wallets, credit cards, debit cards, etc. This would ease their shopping experience even further and you can reduce the steps involved in the checkout process.
Also, if you are not providing a certain option of payment, clarify to your users why you do not provide certain online payment methods. Keeping transparency with your customers would take you a long way.
There are a variety of reasons why ecommerce sites struggle with abandoned carts. One of the primary reasons is the unexpected shipping cost.
It is very important that the shipping cost is mentioned beforehand to the customers rather than at the last. If your customers are well informed about the shipping cost then they can make a better decision rather than leaving the site in disappointment. You can add a zip-code-based shipping cost calculator. A lot of logistic solutions providers have their own APIs and plugins that you can integrate and increase transparency in the cost calculation for your customers.
Also, another reason for people to cancel their orders after placing an order is the delivery time. Tell your customers a tentative date on which the product would be delivered. It is a more convenient way to ensure customer satisfaction. Also, list out the countries in which you do not ship the product.
Try to provide free shipping. According to a study, people shop 30% more if free shipping is provided. You can also release some special offers that can be used by customers to enroll for free shipping.
When you are running an online business expect people to reach out to you all the time with queries related to shipping, payments, orders, delivery and so much more. To build trust between your customer and brand you should provide them with convenient channels to contact you in case they are facing any difficulties.
Ecommerce sites that are very responsive to customer queries tend to have more sales and greater lead generation. Especially if you are a new business, it is important for people to know you are a legitimate business. There are so many fake ecommerce sites now, and people do not trust them easily.
Add email, chat, and call support. Also, if you have a retail store, add an option for customers to make an appointment to visit the store to buy products. You can add social media links also, many people prefer to talk on social media. Also, don’t forget to add a map if you are a retail store.
A properly drafted return policy would allow your customers to trust your brand. People usually don’t shop on the sites that have no return policy or have a policy that does not sound legit.
These were the must-have ecommerce site features for 2022. Hope you enjoyed the blog and are ready to make your move towards development.
If you need any more information about ecommerce technology, and the development process, or need a team that can create a custom eCommerce site for you or revamp an existing one, feel free to contact us.