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72 Key features to optimize your E-commerce Website

We have compiled a list of 72 traits you should aim to have in your very own e-commerce site to make it stand out and most importantly drive the sales you are looking for.

 

 Image credits to webalive.com.au

Home, Header & Footer

1. Top level domain with HTTPs

Essentially being an online business where monetary transactions take place, it is important to establish a secure connection for your customers and your server using a proper domain.

It is also beneficial to specify your domain to a particular country code based on which country you have chosen to cover.

2. Business logo

Let your site stand out by aligning and placing your business logo towards the left of your header.

3. User-friendly navigation

User Experience is particularly crucial to the success of your e-commerce website, which is a prominent navigation bar has to be clearly situated for every page.

4. Wishlist

Purchasing a product might not always be an instant decision and could also require some ponderment. Thus a wishlist is just the feature your e-commerce needs. This allows your customers to save the items they are interested in for them to be easily accessible in the future should they decide to purchase them after all.

5. Customer login

Having a dedicated account to each customer also helps keep track of their purchases and orders. Thus the feature to register for an account and login on subsequent visits is also useful. It should also be positioned in the page where it is easy to locate.

6. Store finder

Some customers might choose for a self pick up after they have purchased your products. Should your business have a physical store or pick up point, indicating its location would be particularly useful for your customers. Similarly place this feature on the top of the navigation bar for easy access.

7. Language options

Broaden your reach by catering to customers from different regions and languages. The option to select the language they are comfortable with would facilitate the navigation and purchasing process in your e-commerce site.

8. Shopping cart

Introducing the shopping cart feature would allow your customers to organize and keep track of the items they have chosen to purchase. Clearly placing it at the top right of the page would be easily accessible for customers as well.

9. Search bar

The search bar is an important part of your e-commerce arsenal which can facilitate faster transactions and conversions.

10. Phone number

Customer enquiries are common especially when it comes to e-commerce businesses. Indicating your businesses’ contact number prominently at the top of the page would be easily found by customers should they require any assistance.

11. Highlighted UVP

Stand out from competitors by mentioning your Unique Value Propositions, highlighting what you can offer differently to your customers.

12. Risk reducers

Risk reducers can also help you stand out from fellow competitors. Including free shipping / delivery or warranties would just be the sweetener you need for customers to choose your business.

13. Loyalty program

Reward your long-time customers through loyalty programs and offers. This would also encourage first time customers to come back and patronize your business regularly.

Having a dedicated page to the loyalty program would help break down the benefits and terms that customers would be offered.

 

Related article: Setting up A Loyalty Program: What You Should Remember

 

14. CTA to push people to product collections and important sales pages

Sometimes having Call to Action buttons or text is just the little push customers need to convince them to take up your service or products. You can also take this one step further by linking them to dedicated pages for your various promotions on offer.

15. Featured products or Best selling products or New arrivals

Push your most popular best selling products to show customers what others have actively purchased as a show of endorsement by them.

16. Personalised items

Personalizing the products shown from previous search or purchases would better cater to the customers’ needs, subsequently boosting your sales numbers.

17. Text content

Relevant and eye-catching text content is crucial for your business for both SEO purposes and also getting the attention of potential customers.

18. FAQ, returns and exchanges, store locator, shipping information, order tracking etc.

To address some concerns your customers might have, including a FAQ, returns and exchange policy page and even an order tracking page can help put their worries at ease.

19. Contact us

Phone numbers, email addresses and contact forms are the most helpful additions to your e-commerce page that can allow customer to contact you via various methods to address their queries.

20. Newsletter signup

A newsletter is effective in keeping your customers informed of any upcoming promotions and offers, through sending them via email.

21. Payment system icons

Clearly indicating the various payments systems you accept would make the process much smoother for both parties.

22. Social Media links

Another avenue to promote your latest deals and promotions, link your various social media accounts to keep customers updated and attract new ones.

23. Link to about pages

Let your customers know more about your business, with a properly explained About Us page

24. Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy, Sitemap

Include all mandatory documentation such as the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy at the foot of the page to protect both you and your customers.

25. Live Chat

A more interactive function to address queries, the live chat feature would require more effort and manpower to maintain on a daily basis.

Category Page

26. Consistent image size

Standardize all product images sizes at the appropriate aspect ratio to create a cohesive product listing that would not jeopardize the layout and design of your website.

27. Breadcrumb navigation

A useful navigation tool in a website, using breadcrumb navigation would allow your customers to easily backtrack and browse your site. This is usually placed below the navigation bar for quick access.

28. Show the number of products displaying in the page

To avoid overwhelming your customers, allow your customers to set the number of product results to display on the webpage.

29. Product filtering and sorting

Product filtering would allow your customers to narrow down and find the specific product according to its various features. Such as size, color, price and latest arrivals.

Related article: 4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Web Design Company

30. Page description field

A short description of each page would better inform customers of what it would contain. It would also help when your website pops up as a search result online.

 

Product Page

31. Product title

Specify your individual product names to differentiate it amongst the product listings.

32. Good quality of images with zoom in functionality

Using of images that are of high a resolution as possible can also allow customers to zoom in to view the product more up close to make better informed decisions.

33. Pricing information with potential sales or discounts

Indicating discounted prices or promotional offers on your product prices would show your customers that it is indeed a good deal to purchase. Comparing the old price with the new discounted ones would show the amount saved for that particular discount.

34. A field to change purchase quantities

Instead of purchasing the same product multiple times, customers will want to indicate the quantity of the item they want upon adding them the shopping cart.

35. Product variables (if necessary)

The option to select variables such as the color and sizing of the product would allow your customer to purchase the right product for themselves.

36. Add to cart button

A necessary basic function, the Add to Cart button is usually added next to the product description.

37. Trust signal around “Add to Cart” button

With the many cases of malicious hacks occurring, trust signals are placed near the Add to Cart button to reassure the security and legitimacy of your business. One example is: “Mastercard SecureCode”.

38. Add to Wish List and Compare button on each product page

As mentioned, a wishlist is particularly useful for customers to keep what products they are interested in but unsure of just yet for future viewings.

You can also allow customers to compare your various products to find the one most suitable for their needs.

39. Social share buttons for each e-commerce product

A social share product function can allow your products to be shown on the various social media platforms for even more exposure than before.

40. Product description

Product descriptions are essential to describe the product and better inform customers what they are actually getting.

42. Consumer reviews on products

Consumer reviews can make or break your business. As long as you are running a legitimate business you have nothing to worried about. Any negative reviews should be viewed as an avenue to improve your services or products for future customers.

43. Related products

Any related products should be displayed below to further encourage your customers to purchase other products that he would like or want.

Customer Checkout, Shopping Cart and Wishlist

44. Accept all payment methods

Accepting all common payment methods such as Cash, Credit / Debit card or Paypal would be highly beneficial in the purchasing transaction process.

45. Cart details

Finally listing all the details of the products being bought before checking out would give your customers a final check in ensuring they got the right product.

46. Final price

All charges and total price should be calculated and totalled up before check out. Any surcharges, discounts, and promotions should be clearly shown as well to prevent any hidden costs and transparency in transactions.

47. Shipping method (offer low shipping cost)

Offering a few shipping options would allow your customers to choose the best one to suit their need and urgency of delivery of the product.

48. Billing address and shipping address

Clearly defining the billing and shipping addresses would be beneficial especially for customers who have them differently.

49. Security Seals

Security Seals are a promise to your website’s security when it comes to monetary transactions. Particularly where credit card data is entered, these seals would help reassure your customers before they officially pay for your product.

50. Include an area to punch in promo codes

Providing promo codes are a great way to encourage sales and gather more customers and keep them coming back for more.

51. Have an option to change the quantity or remove items

Sometimes customers change their minds with regard to the products placed in their shopping cart, which is why they should have the option to edit accordingly before paying altogether.

52. Allow items to be saved for later

Being able to save their shopping cart listing would allow customers to return in the future if they had reason to not check out completely at that point in time.

Blog

53. Sidebar: blog search, categories, popular posts

A sidebar for your websites’ various features such as a search bar, categories and blog would allow your visitors to quickly navigate through your website.

54. Social share buttons

Allowing your viewers to share your posts and content can help you reach a larger audience.

Back-end Features

55. Dashboard/reporting tools

Any statistics to monitor your business should be easily accessed on the dashboard and viewed to allow you to keep track of how your e-commerce efforts have been doing.

56. Administrator management

Having several administrators manage your website would help. But you should decide who can access which area of the website.

57. Customer management

Properly managing your customer’s information is crucial to customize whatever offers or products according to their preferences and interests.

58. Store management

With the multitude of products that you might offer, your store should be regularly maintained and managed to keep track of any product availability. This should be straightforward enough to manage on your own without a web developer’s aid.

59. Content management

Your website’s content such as pages, site layout and gallery should also be straightforward enough to manage on your own without.

60. Order and shipping management

Taking into consideration the number of orders and shipments that would occur, you should be able to manage them easily from the backend editor of your e-commerce site.

61. Payment, taxes and location management

Together with the order and shipping, the various payment methods, prices and taxes should be managed according to location as well.

62. SEO management

The backend editor should also be able to manage your site’s SEO efforts through its URL, Title, meta descriptions and content.

63. Email marketing integration

To further market your e-commerce business, the emails provided by your customers can be used to send customized emails for each user.

64. Discount and promotion management

The various promotions that you might offer throughout the year should be manageable through your backend editor to prevent a mix up of codes and discount periods.

65. Root file upload

To facilitate the uploading of root files to your site, your backend should also take this requirement into consideration.

66. Tracking code integration

If desired, tracking codes can also be utilized to optimize your website without your web developer specifically stepping in.

67. Responsive design

Your website should include a responsive design that would cater for any device, screen or operating system.

68. Browser compatibility

With the different browsers being used, it is important to be compatible for the most widely used ones.

69. Fast loading

Not only being compatible to the browser, their loading speeds must also be optimized to provide a smooth viewing experience for everyone.

70. For digital downloads, explain how they receive products

Specify the mode of delivery for the any products through digital downloads.

71. Multilevel security

Especially since it is an e-commerce website, its security has to be the utmost importance for both you and your customers. Security layers such as SSL and CAPTCHA should be utilized to create a safe environment for personal information and monetary transactions alike.

72. Automatic site backup

In the event your website gets hacked or gets exposed to malicious malware, it is beneficial to have any automatic site backup to regain and maintain its lost information and status.

 

As it is with every e-commerce business, there are many features that would optimize both your and the customers’ experience. In this case, the important thing is to use the appropriate ones for your needs and preferences.

 

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