9 Essential E-commerce Website features

Sep 14, 2015 | eCommerce

Reading Time: 6 minutes
Kevin Fouche

9 Essential E-commerce Website features

Posted by Kevin Fouche, Pixel Fish Director

Kevin handles the planning, design, launch and training of every website that Pixel Fish creates. He ensures that every website is highly engaging and aligned with our client’s goals. With over 20 years of design and web industry experience to draw upon, Kevin aims to pass on his knowledge to our clients and like-minded businesses wanting to grow their online presence.

With so much competition online for the customer’s almighty dollar, successful e-commerce websites have a fantastic range of features designed to get the most out of every visitor. Let’s explore the 9 Essential E-commerce Website features.

So how do you know which features your online store must have to enable you to keep ahead of your competition?

9 Essential E-commerce website features

1. Clear & Easy Navigation

Having clear and easy navigation can be a make or break for your online store. If your customers get lost or aren’t able to easily navigate their way around your store, they are most likely going to abandon it. Simple menus and incorporating a search function to your store will lead them straight to your products and once they are there, including breakdowns of product categories will assist them in finding what they are looking for. Adding attributes to your products that your customers can filter can give them the option to narrow down the choices and make it less overwhelming.

2. Engaging Photos & Descriptions

A picture tells a thousand words and even more so when it comes to online stores as people scroll through your products. Images are the first impression for your product so having high-quality and focused shots are key to your store’s success. But don’t forget to back these up with well-written descriptions. Not only does it help to have a great sales pitch but if written correctly can help with your google search-ability. SEO needs to be kept in mind when writing product descriptions so you can have more chances of being found.

Best practices for Ecommerce Product descriptions

  • Include multiple images and 360-degree views
  • Keep descriptions brief and to the point
  • Use keywords that are relevant to your product
  • Highlight what makes your products unique from competitors

3. Easy Checkout Process

12% of users said they abandoned an online store because of complicated checkout. Don’t let your store fall within this statistic! Placing clear checkout and cart buttons within your help will guide people directly to where they need to process their order. Giving them to option of guest checkouts is an added bonus when it comes to online stores and it streamlines the checkout process and helps create convenience. With the majority of online shopping is done on mobile devices, it has never been so important to have a mobile responsive website. Keep up with your customers on the move and stand out from the crowd!

Tips for an easy check out process

  • Have clear checkout and cart buttons on pages
  • Offer guest checkouts to make it convenient for customers
  • Make sure your website is mobile responsive  
  • Include helpful payment options like PayPal
  • Provide relevant customer service information for any questions or issues
  • Test your checkout process to make sure it’s working properly.

Overall, it is essential to have an easy and efficient checkout process for customers. By taking the time to optimize it, you can save customers’ frustration and make your website stand out! Thanks for reading and good luck with creating your streamlined checkout process.

Using these tips, you can create an easy and straightforward checkout process for your customers. This will help them complete their orders quickly and easily, giving them a hassle-free shopping experience

4. Clear Sales Strategy

If you want to keep customers coming back and even attract new customers, a strategy is a must for success in the online store world. Marketing to the right audience, putting products on sale at the right time to get rid of unwanted stock and offering attractive discounts will all help to stay on top.

Coupons have proven themselves to be highly effective sales tools for every conceivable size and type of business and have shown to be a great incentive to keep your customers coming back.  Discount coupons are commonly used as sales tools to add the pressure of customers to purchase by adding constraints to the coupon such as time or price bar to receive the discount.

Gift cards provide a flexible way for your customers to purchase a gift for someone from your store, making it easy for them to share their love for your brand while also maintaining full freedom of choice.

Selling your products by seasonal sales is a great way to make room for new products and sell off the last season’s stock that isn’t needed anymore. Backing this up with eye-catching advertising banners and CTA’s is the best way to promote your sale and make the most out of reducing your prices.

A strong online store strategy will keep you one step ahead of your competition and keep your customers coming back!

5. Easily Accept Credit Card Payments

The easiest & fastest way to be able to accept credit card payments online is via PayPal. With over 165 million active accounts, PayPal has become a trusted global brand and industry leader in regards to payment gateways.

To give you an idea of just how trusted they’ve become, PayPal makes up for a staggering 30% of all transactions made annually in the USA and over 45% of eBay’s overall revenue!

PayPal has made it easier for you to get paid and start your online store. Not only is it an affordable option that can integrate with any website, it’s a highly regarded company that your buyers will trust when handing over their credit card details.

For a small fee (2.4% + $0.30 per transaction) PayPal takes care of everything from processing the payment and providing a secure environment for your customers so there are no surprises when it comes to the fee PayPal charges. You know what you’re getting yourself into.

Click here to find out more information about connecting your store with paypal.

Top Payment Gateway Providers

PayPal is not the only payment gateway provider out there. Some other great options include Stripe, Braintree and Authorize.net. With a variety of additional features such as subscription billing, these companies offer more than just processing payments.

6. Customer-Friendly Shipping Costs

Shipping is one the defining factors as to whether a customer purchases from your online store or decides to shop elsewhere.

Studies have shown that 44% of customers abandon their shopping carts because of high shipping costs. In the same vein, 22% of customers abandon their shopping carts because the seller did not mention shipping costs.

Your shipping strategy for your online store should be a solution that cuts into your margins as little as possible yet remains attractive to your customers.

Recommended best practice is to include some form of free shipping offer or a flat shipping fee. For example, Flat Rate Shipping Fee of $5.95 or FREE if you spend over $100. Keeping it simple and clear helps attract more customers as they know straight up what they are in for.

They say you only have 3 seconds to capture a customer’s attention so having a clear and visible shipping offer on your homepage creates the perfect call to action for customers to continue to browse further. Shipping costs can be make or break for a customer to complete an order so do your research!

7. Sales Reporting & Product/Customer Insights

Gone are the days of complex sales reporting. You can now instantly grab an insight into your products and orders, track sales and growth trends and analyse where your store is performing the best. Not only that but you’ll be able to get an insight to which customers are purchasing the most of which products!

From selling a couple of products up to thousands, your e-commerce website will be able to scale with you as your business grows. WooCommerce comes standard with a simplified sales reporting function as using this to your advantage can have a big impact on your online store’s success.

Tracking sales and activity can be the most proactive way to create marketing campaigns and increase traffic to your website.  Getting to know what your target audience is searching, purchasing and which products are popular within your store will help you with sale campaigns and targeted advertising.

This information can be crucial for the amendments to your online store to increase sales in the future.

8. E-marketing Integration

Every visitor should be encouraged to sign up to your mailing list, especially then a customer has just purchased a product.

Targeted emails are a great form of marketing for your online store. MailChimp or Campaign monitor are the perfect Emarketing solutions for your small business. Integrating these solutions into your online store will ensure that no contact is ever lost and you keep your online store top of mind with special offers and interesting email campaigns.

Click here to find out more about campaign monitor.

Top types of Emarketing emails for Ecommerce

  • Welcome emails
  • Abandoned Cart Emails
  • Reorder Reminders
  • Cross-sell/Upsell Messages
  • Winback Campaigns

These emails help to nurture customer relationships and can be the key to growth in sales. Regular communication with customers creates a sense of loyalty which will make customers return time

9. Dynamic Pricing (Wholesale Pricing)

Looking to add an extra level to your online store and wanting to invite wholesalers to buy your products with the convenience of online purchasing?  Incorporating dynamic pricing will give the wholesale the option to login and view your discounted products that they can order and get delivered.

Click here to find out more about the dynamic pricing option.

Take your online store business to the next level with a Pixel Fish Ecommerce Website.

Further Information
10 Key Signs That Your WordPress Site is Hosting Malware
How Many Digital Marketing Channels Should Your Business Have?
6 Essential Features of Successful E-Commerce Product Photos
The Dos and Don’ts of Designing a Stellar E-Commerce Website
How to Build Multiple Email Lists for Your Business from your Website
10 Best Practices for a Successful WordPress Website Design Project
Top 8 Advanced WordPress Features and Plugins to Beat Your Competition
9 Business Web Design Package Features Your New Website Must Have
Key Web Design Attributes your next website must have

Stand out from your competition with a Pixel Fish website!

Contact us today on 02 9114 9813 or email info@pixelfish.com.au

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Kevin Fouché, Pixel Fish Director