How should the layout be built? What features will make the buying process painless for the user? What kind of tools should the backend have to ensure sales reporting and customer service ease?
The questions are endless, but fear not; in this article and infographic from WebAlive, I’ll share what we consider must-have features for e-commerce websites.
Below are some section highlights from the infographic that are worth mentioning in more detail.
Every website should be concerned with security but one that sells products has absolutely no excuse.
These quick fixes will make your customer feel safe using your website and give you the credibility you need for them to make a purchase.
Your website navigation is of utmost importance when it comes to the customer journey. It should be simple and easy for a user to understand but should also have a few key features outside of your standard website and product pages:
Store finder (if applicable)
Language selection (if applicable)
Some great things to include on your homepage are featured or best selling products, callouts for free shipping, any current discount offer or loyalty program and user testimonials or credibility logos.
Product and category pages
When it comes to the design of product category pages and product pages, they should have clean, consistent images. This means the same size and the same look and feel. The consistency of quality in your images will give your website and your product credibility. It will also help the consumer visualize the product they are purchasing so that they feel more comfortable making the online purchase.
Another important feature to have on your product listing pages are filtering options so that a user can easily sort through products based on price or type. This will provide your consumer an easy way to find the exact product they are looking for and make the buying process simple for them.
Seems like a no-brainer, but product pages must also include all necessary product information, i.e. price, description, specs, color or size variations, and user ratings so can a shopper has everything they need to make an informed purchase decision . User ratings are extremely important as 69% of users will purchase based on a product rating.
Last, but not least, consider including social sharing options so a happy customer can easily share on their social media or with friends and get the word out there. Nothing works to promote your product better than a happy customer!
In terms of your shopping cart, the checkout experience should require as few steps as possible so to reduce friction and speed of the transaction. Include billing, shipping, payment methods, the ability to modify the product quantity, an option to save your products for later or to sign in or create an account all on one page.
Reporting and management
So once the site is up and running, how do you keep tabs on all the sales you are bringing in?
You MUST HAVE reporting!
You can run reports to see how much profit is coming in during specific time periods and which products are your top sellers so you can use that data to drive your future promotional efforts.
Some other backend functionality you may want to include on your site is tracking information, inventory management, discount and promotion management, cart abandonment, and SEO optimization.
An e-commerce website, just like any website, is something you should constantly be tweaking and improving upon to make sure your consumers have the best experience possible. By implementing these must-have features, you will see that the possibilities and sales are endless so go make that money!
The infographic below lays out the must-have features by section and gives a more visual representation of the items discussed above. Check it out!