Written by: PRAVIN KAMBLE

Must-have features for your eCommerce website

eCommerce adoption has been continually increasing over the past few years. It reached a crescendo with the global pandemic that affected us all since we were forced to buy online. If you have thought of starting an eCommerce store, you won’t find a better time to do it than now. For your eCommerce store to

eCommerce adoption has been continually increasing over the past few years. It reached a crescendo with the global pandemic that affected us all since we were forced to buy online. If you have thought of starting an eCommerce store, you won’t find a better time to do it than now.

For your eCommerce store to perform well, you must have a fully-optimized store with powerful features that makes shopping with you a dream. Having a CRM, providing gift cards, or even adding your loyal customers to a referral program can make a world of difference to your bottom line. Here, we look at strategies to make your store a much-loved one amongst its target audience.

This article looks at some of the must-have features for your eCommerce store.

    1. Responsive website design:
    2. The first thing that an eCommerce website should have is an “adjustable” site that accommodates the user. With more and more people shopping on their mobile phones, you must ensure that the site is mobile-friendly and responsive on all devices. Make sure the site has a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes, resolutions, and layouts.

    3. Advanced search function:
    4. There is nothing as annoying as not being able to find the product on the website, even though it is available. That’s a classic lose-lose situation for everybody involved. Your eCommerce site should be powered by an AI-based search engine that predicts user queries.

    5. Sort and Filter option:
    6. When consumers know what they want, their search queries can be extremely detailed. You must provide them with a sorting and filtering list to ensure they get directed to the product they want immediately. They are not here to discover products, so direct them to the right product. You can use several filters to make it easy for customers. Sorting can be done by occasion for fashion, equipment, etc.

    7. Product page:
    8. In an eCommerce store, one of the most important pages is the product page. If it is not informative and engaging, your visitors will find a different store. Customers should get a clear idea of the product based on the info that you add. Here are some inputs on how you can make a brilliant product page.

      • Create a section for best-selling products, related products, new items, already brought items, etc. It will make the customer keep exploring the page.
      • Show filters they have used previously.
      • Include customer testimonials, pop-ups, product recommendations, etc.
    9. Multiple-shipping options:
    10. It is imperative that you use eCommerce shipping software to ensure that everything from placing an order to delivery is smooth. The customer should be allowed to select the delivery options for every order they make. The software will update the shipping fees and include delivery time in the order.

    11. Start loyalty programs:
    12. Most of us have been part of loyalty programs. While not every program was the best, the ones that offered us the best returns became our favorite retailers. Like most brands, if you use obsolete loyalty software or strategies, you will have already regretted it. Having the right customer loyalty program could be your secret weapon.

      Customers who are invested in your brand will find more reasons to stay with you. A loyalty program reduces customer churn since loyal customers continually keep getting breaks.

    13. Payment options:
    14. People were once apprehensive about paying online. It almost seems like a different era, isn’t it? Most people are comfortable making payments online. Your eCommerce site should be equipped with a secure payment gateway. PayPal, SagePay, Amazon Pay, Stripe, etc., are some of the most popular payment gateways. If a specific payment option isn’t available, explain it to customers.

    15. Multi-level security:
    16. eCommerce sites are vulnerable to hackers. Even a single data breach can bring complete disrepute or even mean losses in millions. Security cannot be an afterthought for any business that makes money online. Take an enterprise-level approach when it comes to security.

      Here are a few strategies to have fool-proof security:

      • Keep updating and patching your system.
      • Using a firewall reduces the chances of attacks from cyber hackers.
      • Perform SQL checks regularly. SQL code injections can destroy your database.
      • Encrypt the data between your website and the visitor’s browser by getting an SSL certificate.
      • Train your employees on the various aspects of securing the business, including social engineering techniques used by cybercriminals.
    17. Offer branded Gift Cards:
    18. Want to increase your sales without having to reduce your inventory? Do you want a new set of customers? Do you want to increase brand awareness? The answer to all of them is gift cards. Gift cards are good for the customer and the eCommerce store.

      Gift cards are also incredible during the holiday season since most people would prefer buying a gift card over a physical gift, as the latter can be a headache since you “have to buy the perfect gift.” They are also easy to distribute, and you can easily expose them to potential customers from other brands.

    19. Product recommendations:
    20. By using machine learning and predictive algorithms, your store should be able to recommend the right set of products to each individual visitor. It increases the chances of them adding recommended products to the cart and buying from them. Sending personalized suggestions to visitors is a sure-shot way to increase conversions.

    21. Ability to add wish lists:
    22. Wish lists are a great way to increase sales. Make sure that the wish list can be shared with others. There are times when customers don’t end up buying a product. They might be waiting for a sale or are strapped for cash. No matter the reason, when a customer adds a product to their Wish List, it means that they are interested in it. Recommend other products similar to the ones on the wish list to expedite the buying process.

    23. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page:
    24. If you want to increase the confidence of your customers during the purchasing process, an FAQ page is a must. FAQ pages are even more important if what you are selling is complex or requires much understanding. When your customer has a question about the product, they should be able to find it in this section. Prepare FAQ content based on customers’ most-asked questions, so they don’t rethink the decision to buy.

    25. Simple Checkout page:
    26. If the checkout page is confusing or annoying, don’t be surprised when people abandon their carts. Ensure that the design is intuitive and doesn’t ask a lot from the customer except for basic details. Another aspect of the checkout page that you have to notice is unexpected shipping costs. The shipping costs should be visible as soon as they are on the checkout page. A clear return and refund policy is another reassurance you should offer customers.

Wrapping up:

The best eCommerce sites don’t restrict themselves to the above list. Add features based on your budget and requirement for resources. The onus is on you to provide your customers with an unforgettable experience. If you believe adding a new feature will make the website even 1% better, and if you can afford to do it without bleeding dry, please do yourself a favor. Your visitors should get converted into loyal customers.

When setting up an eCommerce store, do not forget your loyal customers or forget to make branded gift cards. Get in touch with 99minds to understand how we can be of help in setting up loyalty programs, gift cards, referrals, store credit, etc. 99minds’ offers makes you engage, acquire, and retain customers with ease.