5 Essential Features That Every eCommerce Site Needs to Have

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Digital Performance, Web

Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar store with an online component or a business that’s trying to make 100% of its sales in the online marketplace, success in eCommerce doesn’t just depend on how good your products are. Today’s customers are technologically aware, with an understanding of what they want and the knowledge that if one site doesn’t deliver the experience they need, another will. That’s why it’s vital for any eCommerce site to prioritise a good user experience as much as they prioritise their stock. 

With the right features, your eCommerce site could become the most profitable part of your business. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the public became used to an online shopping experience. 

We’ve all seen trends come and go in the eCommerce space, but there are some features that have stood the test of time to deliver higher sales and a returning customer base. 

A user-friendly focus

If there’s only one thing you think about when planning out a site, make it this. Don’t make it hard to find products, buy something, discover answers to questions or add things to an order. Studies show that 76% of consumers think that the most important feature of a website is ease of use. You’ve got seconds to make a good impression and minutes to get your customer down the funnel. Use filters, good navigation, search features and comparison capabilities to make the process as easy as possible. 

Responsive web design

Although it’s an element of user-friendly design, it’s an especially important one. Mobile shopping makes up an average of 50% of online transactions. If your site isn’t made to adapt to different screen sizes, you’ll be losing a huge amount of customers. Make sure that your web design is made to be just as easy to use no matter the device, and that it’s built to resize itself seamlessly if it needs to. 

High quality imagery, and lots of it

Today’s customers want to see everything they can about your product. Gone are the days where eCommerce sites can get away with a solitary picture and a sentence of information. Make sure you have plenty of angles, all the colours that are offered, and any other variations. The more imagery you can provide, the happier they will be. If you’re able to incorporate a 360 view, even better. Equally, make sure that your build team keeps the load speed fast! 

Reviews

57% of consumers won’t buy a product if it’s got less than 4 stars. Reviews are a form of social proof, telling your potential customers that your site is to be trusted and that the product is as advertised. Nevertheless, don’t be afraid of a bad review. An 100% 5 star rating can even imply that the reviews are fake; so take the bad with the good and respond to any that you feel need context. 

Security 

Trust is key in a seller/buyer relationship, and demonstrating that you understand the importance of their security goes a long way to build it. At Zinc, we primarily use WooCommerce or Shopify for our eCommerce clients – both are a secure option with plenty of add ons that can increase it even more. What’s more, we’d always recommend an SSL Certificate whenever personal information is being sent to and from a site. The ‘lock’ symbol and Google’s seal of approval when you have this is a great visual reassurance to customers. 

Clear, key information

Did you know that unexpected shipping costs are the number one reason for an abandoned basket? In today’s world of free, next-day delivery, shipping doesn’t have to be that expensive to be a deterrent. Make sure that your costs are clear; the customer shouldn’t learn about them at the end. Similarly make sure the returns policy is easy to find at the bottom of the page. 

Special offers

There’s nothing like a percentage off and a ticking clock to get those orders flooding in. As part of your design, there should be a way to add in banners and callouts with your special offers in the key areas of the site. This includes at the top of the homepage and on the product pages, right where your customers are primed to purchase. 

Calls to action

It’s an old-school marketing tactic, but it works. Calls to action help guide your customers to take the actions you want, whether that’s a newsletter signup, a purchase, or adding more products to their carts. Great examples are a ‘Related Items’ section upon adding products to the cart, to help increase your average order value, or bundled products that help smooth the buying process.

At Zinc, we’ll create designs that incorporate key eCommerce design principles in a beautiful, seamless way. We’ve worked with businesses like yours to refine and improve the way your eCommerce site design speaks to its customers. 

We love designing websites that work. If you’re looking for a new look or an updated approach, speak with a design expert at Zinc.

It’s not a hard sell or a sales pitch. It’s a chat about your business and what we can do to help you see real results.

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