E-Commerce Insights

14 Must-Have Features for Successful Ecommerce Websites

Running an eCommerce website is a brilliant way to sell your products. But to improve your site conversion rate, there’s a lot of effort that needs to be put in. Your eCommerce site is apparently the most important factor that can make or break sales. But do you know how to make the best out of your website?

Successful websites are those that are unique in their own way, but at the same time remain competitive and relevant to customers. There are a number of website features that these websites have embraced to maintain a good conversion rate and stay strong in the market.

Find the list of 14 important website features to engage customers below.

Key ecommerce features for a higher conversion rate

1. Navigation bar

Pandora navigation menu
Pandora

A navigation bar is a fundamental element of any eCommerce website. It should be placed at the top/ on the side/ footer of your homepage, where customers can quickly find it. 

There are several common types of navigation bar:

  • Horizontal bar is suitable to display the major pages and is placed at the top of the website. 
  • If your products range across multi-categories, customers would appreciate a drop-down menu. This is popular for fashion and furniture brands.
  • Hamburger menu is more common with mobile web design for it takes up less screen space.
  • Vertical sidebar menu lets you write longer navigation links and presents more top-level options to customers.
  • Footer menu usually has more categories than a top menu. Your customer usually goes to the footer to look for sections such as About Us, Contact, Privacy,…

2. Search function

Ikea search
Ikea

On average, 30% of e-commerce site visitors will use the website’s search functionality.

Customers expect to be able to find their desired items as quickly as possible, even more so for those on their mobile devices. Some of them even expect a smart search bar which gives suggestions according to the typed text. So optimize your website’s search bar to provide them with a seamless experience.

If the person has yet a particular product in mind and types in only general words, the search bar can also give them some guidance with suggestions. 

3. Product filters

Adidas filters
Adidas

Don’t confuse your customers with endless product pages. Simply put in the product filter will solve a big problem. They would prefer performing a product filter much more than pressing to see the next pages.

The filter function allows people to search for items with particular designs, price range materials, colors or sizes that best fit or closest to their requirements. It’s also important that a customer can apply many filters within a filter type. While it sounds like a basic thing, a lot of websites lack this function.

4. High-resolution photos & videos

Nike product photos
Nike

Let your products shine through photos and videos. 

Solely adding 1 or 2 photos to a product page doesn’t satisfy customers like the old days anymore. They want to see a product from many angles and in different colors, allowing them to visualize what the actual item is like. Because they can’t see or touch the object while shopping online, improve their experience with high-resolution photos. It’s best if they can zoom in to check smaller details.

For products like clothes, furniture or equipment, add in a video and your customers will appreciate it. 

You can also go beyond the seller’s photos. Putting in photos of real customers below increases the chance of purchase remarkably. A study shows that the conversion rate for product pages with Instagram photos grows by 24%. 

Overall, adding photos and videos to product pages improve customer’s trust in your brand.

*Optimize your photos and videos so that they don’t affect page performance.

5. Related products

Nike related products
Nike

This element should not be missed by eCommerce businesses. A section of related products with the item a customer is looking at is an effective upselling strategy. You’re optimizing the opportunity to increase sales by having more relevant items displayed to customers.

While the customer already has what they want in mind, it doesn’t hurt for them to check out a few more items. 

6. Limited time offers/ discount codes

Overstock discount
Overstock

This is an extremely efficient tactic for businesses when they want to boost sales during certain occasions. Limited time offers or discount codes provide a sense of urgency, thus making customers purchase more and reduce cart abandonment.

You can easily provide a specific coupon code or generate multiple ones for different customers. Also, carry out A/B testing to see which type of offer would attract more customers to your site.

7. Wish list

Amazon wish list
Amazon

A wishlist is a useful element on eCommerce websites-commerce for customers. Add a ‘Add to wishlist’ button on the page so they can bookmark their favorite products. 

Bookmarked items are more likely to be bought by customers. While they may not go for some items on the first visit, they can easily find them again on the wishlist and may buy them the next time.

Some customers will also share their wishlist via their social accounts, and it’s free marketing for your website and brand!

8. Ratings & reviews

Reebok review
Reebok

With more available choices on the Internet, customers are now more careful with what they will buy. What they’ll do is check out the rating and review for a product. In fact, 92% will do so before considering a purchase!

And customers trust what they read in the review section. They see the reviews as honest opinions and would feel more encouraged to buy the product.

Of course products with better ratings and positive reviews sell. But those with both positive and negative reviews may still enjoy good sales. If you’re selling a product with hundreds of positive reviews, some may question whether the negative ones have been censored. 

Sometimes, products with both positive & negative reviews are seen as more trustworthy to customers. 

9. Social media links

Vans instagram
Vans

Help customers reach out to you via different channels – your website, then Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest? 

With multiple channels, you can expose your brand to more people, thus attracting potential buyers to your eCommerce store. Show off your brand’s authenticity, and inspire people to become your customers. Brands like Vans, Nike, Chanel, YSL, and many more have created large communities of loyal followers on social media platforms.

Make your channels accessible with small icons, preferably placed on the header or footer of the page. Not only eCommerce stores, but this is also an essential feature for most websites.

10. Newsletter subscription box

Levi's subscription box
Levi’s

Don’t let your loyal customers forget you! 

A newsletter subscription box which requires simple information like a name and email address would increase the number of people actually sign up. Send them relevant and useful content about discount/ coupon codes, promotions, new arrivals, tips, …

On the other hand, balance the frequency of your emails. One or two emails per week would be sufficient. They’re more likely to unsubscribe if the number is higher than that, and that is definitely a negative experience for the customer. 

11. Secured payment

Paypal
Paypal

Security is one of the main concerns when customers go shopping online.

Protecting your customer’s personal data should be your priority as an eCommerce website. So use a reputable security site provider (like SSL) and clearly show their seal on your site. Signs like the SSL certificate can ease customer’s minds that their data is safe with you.

Moreover, integrate only payment gateways with high security for your store. For Magento stores, there are plenty of payment extensions like Paypal, Stripe, Authorize.net, …

12. Return policy

HP return policy
HP.com

As mentioned, the drawback of online shopping is that people can’t touch or experience a product. So to prevent issues, they’d want to check out a brand’s return policy before making the purchase. According to research, more than 50% of customers will read the return policy first.

Therefore, you need to make it easy for them to find the policy. Not only that, the return policy should be well-written or illustrated.

13. Customer support

Dialpad
Dialpad

Never make it difficult for your customers to get in touch or request support. Provide them more than one way to contact – make yourself reachable via phone, message or live chat. Customers would appreciate it if you answer them in a timely manner. 

If customers have their issue solved quickly, they’ll have a more positive experience with the brand and there’s a higher chance of product sold.

14. Mobile-friendly web

Lancome
Lancome

With more and more people shopping on their mobile, there’s a huge market that can be optimized for a higher conversion rate.

So make it easier for them to purchase by providing a mobile-friendly version of your eCommerce site. It needs to be responsive to different devices, load fast, perform smoothly and not require much data. 

A PWA website can be the answer for a mobile-friendly website. Not only does the PWA technology allow a website to load fast, but it also provides a seamless experience with smooth navigation and even offline usability. 

If you need help with setting up a PWA web, don’t hesitate to reach out to the SimiCart team. SimiCart is the first solution for Magento to be listed by Google as a qualified agency to build optimized and mobile-friendly PWA storefronts. Your online store will be in good hands with us!

Conclusion

You’ve probably thought of integrating some of the listed features on your eCommerce websites, but have yet to get around with that. There’s no rush to implement of all them at once on your website.

Start with features you deem that should be prioritized, and see if they bring positive results. Monitor the web performance and analyze your sales to understand the customer’s behavior. There are a lot of tools that let you easily monitor website performance, for example, Google Analytics, Hotjar, Conversific, … Regularly check your web’s performance and concentrate on the elements that help improve your conversion rate.


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Content Writer. Love travelling, photography and have an interest in things business-related

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