Basic requirements of e-Commerce
The rise of mobile shopping and ecommerce has spawned a multi-billion dollar industry. If your small business is ready to get a piece of the action and begin selling your products online, pay extra attention to the following:
Your page should immediately shout who you are and what you offer, so customers know they’ve come to the right place. Your company logo and colors promote recognition and trust: customers who are familiar with your brand will feel more comfortable on your site.
The goal of your ecommerce website is to drive customers to conversion, therefore, everything about your ecommerce site should be user-oriented. While online shoppers have gotten pretty savvy, you still need to compensate for the fact that visitors cannot physically touch or interact with your products. You should have multiple, high-quality images of your product offerings and a section for customer reviews and expert recommendations from third-party sources.
The search bar should always be in the same place so it’s easy to find. A common home for the search bar is in the upper right corner. If you can, use suggestive search to offer items similar to (or accessories for) whatever’s being searched. Also, use corrective search so if someone misspells a word they’ll see a suggested selection instead of an error message.
People love shopping on Amazon because (in addition to having pretty much everything) the site is incredibly easy to use. There are multiple ways to find what you are looking for and the buying process is completely intuitive. While you probably don’t have the funds to build as sophisticated a platform as they have, you can make the most out of what you do possess. Invest in quality search functionality and avoid overcomplicating things with unnecessary features.
Your ecommerce site may be beautifully designed, but it’s worthless if it doesn’t draw traffic. Complement your ecommerce design efforts with appropriate marketing plans. Cultivate a healthy social media presence and research which SEO methods may be right for your business.
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Smart Shopping Cart & Streamlined Payment System
Every ecommerce site needs a way to capture online payments easily and instantly. If you don’t provide a simple, streamlined payment system, potential customers will shop elsewhere. Invest in solid software that allows you to integrate online, retail, and mobile payments into a single system. Further, your shopping cart should remain intact so your customer doesn’t have to start shopping all over again if she steps off your page momentarily. Nearly a quarter of shoppers will leave their cart to come back later, sometimes on a different device, to make the purchase.
Make Customer Service a Priority
The best way to keep your online customers satisfied, and to make sure that your brand doesn’t lose any value, is to invest significantly in customer service. Depending on who you are, the lack of face-to-face interaction with customers is a significant drawback to online shopping experiences, be sure to offer online shoppers multiple ways to contact you, and support each of those channels with helpful and prompt service.
The future of commerce is digital. Even if your brick and mortar storefront is thriving, don’t miss the opportunity to establish your brand online. Giving special consideration to these elements will create a strong foundation for digital success.
10 Key Ecommerce Website Requirements and Essential Features
1. Enhanced Shopping Cart
Fact: “More than 74% of online shoppers abscond before completing an online transaction due to complex check-out process”
Unexpected costs like extra shipping or taxes, lengthy check-out process, security-related issue and unclear returns policy make things complex.
Requirement: Having a simple navigation page helps identify and organize your buyers’ products easily. You can also use a guest checkout option to enable a fast and easy checkout process. Moreover, implementing Security Badges like SSL certificate increases the user trust in your brand.
Feature: An enhanced shopping cart with a secured single page check-out avoids complexity and improves customer conversion rate.
2. Flexible Return Policy
Fact: “42% of online shoppers have returned an item they bought online and also 63% of online shoppers said that they would not purchase if they couldn’t find the return policy.”
There’s no way to avoid returning the product. After all, people can’t see, touch, or try the products before they buy them—they’re making their decision based on your product’s photography, description and reviews.
Sometimes the product won’t work out as expected, and there is always the possibility of a manufacturing defect or damage during the delivery process.
Requirement: There should be an easy way for the customers to return or exchange an item they are not happy with.
Feature: Make your return policy easy to find and understand. Drafting a flexible and trustworthy return policy can boost sales.
3. Mobile-Friendly Website
Fact: “Mobile commerce sales comprised 63.5% of the total sales in ecommerce in 2018.”
The increasing mobile phone usage has had a massive impact on the growth of ecommerce as it allows consumers to instantly make purchases wherever they may be.
Requirement: Ecommerce stores that are not optimized for mobile devices forces your customers to zoom in and out to because of improper visualization while navigating to another page. So, it is highly recommended to optimize your site for mobile phones, tablets, etc.
Feature: Creating a mobile-friendly website, and using responsive design is one of the best ways to drive more mobile traffic to your site.
4. Highly Customizable Themes
Fact: “38% of people will leave a website if they find the layout unattractive or too difficult to use.”
Always the appearance makes your brand stand out from other brands, so it’s necessary to have high-quality customizable themes and templates.
Requirement: Themes must support the website owners to edit the content of the products and manage the portfolios. It should include blog posts to promote the product. Also, it should reflect the product niche or business vertical.
Feature: Customizable themes will help save time and money while building your online store. Since custom themes include all the essential features, more functionalities can be added depending on the need.
5. Content management system
Fact: “Nearly 55% of marketers’ top priority will be blog content creation.”
Nowadays, customers want to know and interact with the brand at multiple touchpoints. They also want to know the story behind the creation of the brand.
Requirements: Blogging and product description help buyers learn about products and platforms in a detailed manner. So, it’s necessary for you to provide a highly clear and relevant content about the product.
Feature: Content management system allows your customers to know about the story behind your brand creation.
6. Email Marketing tools
Fact: “86% of professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes and 75% of Gmail users access their emails on a mobile device.”
Email marketing remains one of the most important and effective ways for a business to connect with customers.
Requirements: Frequent communication with the customers helps to make them continue shopping on your site for a long time. Sometimes sending individual promotion emails with an item related to their ordered history will maximize the chance of buying that product.
Feature: Since personalized emails bring more customer conversion rate, having an integrated email marketing tool will be a handy solution.
7. Social media integration
Fact: “30% of online shoppers say they would be likely to purchase from a social media network like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat.”
Today, social media platforms have become an integral part of the success behind every business.
Requirement: One of the easiest ways of reaching customers is through social media. Your social media pages should be integrated into your website to allow promoting your products through posts, and personalized messages.
Feature: Using the in-built social media integration tool is the easiest and cost-effective way to promote products to a large group of audience.
8. Third-party shipment integration
Fact: “More than three-quarters of online shoppers would like their orders shipped on the same day.”
Most of the customer expects no shipping charge or less shipping charges and expect trusted delivery services.
Requirement: Once customers placed their order, there should be detailed information regarding the shipment which includes delivery time, order status, and documentation like invoice and bills. Shipment services must provide continuous tracking and frequent communication regarding any new update.
Feature: When the store provides seamless shipping and fast delivery, the customer will like to use the services frequently. Integrating third-party shipment providers that offer dedicated service in your target market is the best option.
9. Customer Support and Interface
Fact: “When it comes to making a purchase, 64% of customers find customer experience more important than price.”
According to the Guardian, by 2020, the quality of customer experience provided by a brand will be more important than price and product as a key differentiator.
Requirements: To engages and retain customers on your website, there should be an intuitive user interface that can provide your clients with a fast and convenient shopping experience.
Feature: Good customer experience helps to retain your existing buyers and increase sales. Providing an easy-to-use interface will let your customers get immediate support when needed.
10. Product comparison and user-generated reviews
Facts: “46% of consumers want product comparisons and 42% of customers want more testimonials. Along those same lines, 69% of online shoppers want more reviews.”
Customers are more likely to purchase a product if they know how to use it or know how it worked for others.
Requirement: To make shopping a fruitful experience, it is necessary to provide additional information beyond product descriptions. So, it is necessary to have detailed and effective testimonials about the product along with the existing user’s review and comment on the product.