Make Sure Your Ecommerce Site Has These 10 Features
I’m going to write a blog post that would seem like a no brainer for some ecommerce sites, but you would be surprised how many sites don’t have key features that will help their customers have a great experience and grow their revenue. This blog is for those new brands who are looking to sell product on their own website. These are the 10 must have features every ecommerce site should have. Let’s see if you have all 10.
Accessibility and Ease of Use
The biggest mistake a lot of websites make (whether it be an online store, or a blog) is that they prioritize aesthetics over functionality. You can have the coolest site of all time, but if your customers can’t navigate through it, it can prove to be worthless. According to Hubspot, 76% of consumers say that ease of use is the most important feature of a website.
In a world where our attention spans are becoming smaller and smaller. Shopping sites only have minutes to make a sale. Once snafu in ease of use, and you could lose that customer forever. Make sure your site focuses on user experience by making sure pages load quickly, providing an extensive search engine, and making navigation clean and easy.
Mobile Friendly Website
Google usually writes the gospel on how the Internet trending and if their mobile-first index is any indication, it might just mean that mobile traffic is going to serve as our majority. That means your site is going to have to get ready for the massive amounts of people looking at your product on their smartphone, if you haven’t already. Most sites are indeed mobile friendly, but if you can swing it, it’s better to go responsive and have one site that fits all screens.
Having an ecommerce site usually means that there will be a lot of storage of personal data, including names, addresses, and credit card numbers. This means that you’re going to need security that won’t make your site vulnerable to cyber attacks. Here are a few things you want to look at when implementing a secure online store:
- SSL certificate: Again, Google has made it known that SSL is important with their ranking signals favoring sites with HTTPS. If you are running an ecommerce site, you shouldn’t be caught without a certificate. If it’s time to register for a SSL certificate, the most well-known vendor would be Symantic.
- Two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication adds a layer of protection when logging into your platform by generating a code that is sent to a mobile app, text, or email.
- Firewall: The best way of preventing a threat is blocking it from the onset.
Advanced Payment Options
Typing in a credit card number is burdensome. I personally won’t buy from a site if there isn’t an option for Paypal. Again, our attention span is getting smaller. You can look at the success of Amazon’s one-click shopping and see the importance of having multiple, easier ways of inserting payment.
According to VWO, the number one reason why people abandon their shopping cart is the surprise cost of shipping. This fact alone makes it important for ecommerce sites to put the cost of shipping early in the checkout process so that the customer isn’t surprised by the additional charge. Make sure to also offer estimated delivery times, and alternative options for faster delivery.
Bonus: Offer free shipping! I know you don’t want to spend the money on shipping, but shoppers spend 30% more when free shipping is included.
Probably another issue you don’t want to deal with, but a return policy is pivotal in a successful ecommerce shop as at least 30% of orders are returned, but 92% of shoppers say that they will purchase again if the return is easy. Take a look at this helpful infographic created by Invespcro:
I worked for a brand CEO who didn’t want to implement user-generated reviews because he was afraid of the negative reviews that could potentially be posted. Having negative reviews is actually a positive, as censoring negative reviews comes off as fake to the customer. 92% of shoppers read reviews before they buy, so make sure your site has them when consumers are considering your product.
We probably look to Amazon when trying to find the most optimal way of selling product online. They do an excellent job of cross selling by looking at what you have in our cart and finding complementary products. For example, if you put a elegant night dress in your cart, it only make sense to feature some high heels that will complete the outfit.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You want to make sure that your customer is confident in the purchase they are making by answering all the questions they need. One way of immediately addressing any concerns without alerting the support team is having a FAQs section on the product page. FAQ sections can also provide a self-help area where customers who have purchased the item can help new buyers with any questions they have. Just make sure you moderate both questions and answers that are user generated.
Now more than ever, it is not enough to just sell a product to a customer. We as consumers are looking for more than just a merchant relationship. We want to be able to trust the brands we buy from by connecting on an emotional level. This is why creating a community and social proof is so important today. A lot of ecommerce sites don’t make that connection. If you want to be a level above the rest, adding social profiles and user-generated content beyond just reviews can add character to your brand. Once you have the social connection with that customer, you create loyalty and advocacy. That customer is with you for life.