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The success of an e-commerce business does not depend only on the quality of products and services it offers to its potential customers but also on implementing effective e-commerce search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies to campaigns. How an e-commerce website functions can affect its performance and user’s shopping experience.
But what features are essential and contribute the most to the success of an e-commerce website? As an e-commerce SEO agency who also specialises in e-commerce website design and development, let us elaborate on the essential features you should include in your e-commerce website.
E-Commerce Website Features List
1. Domain Name
The domain name is part of the URL of your e-commerce business. It is the first thing that your potential customers will see once they go and land on your e-commerce website. Think of it as the front door of your physical store (if you have one).
The domain name of your e-commerce business is what most people remember. It is the one responsible for your potential customers landing on your e-commerce website and not on your competitors’ e-commerce websites. That is why you should choose your domain name wisely. Make sure it is simple, so it will be easier to remember for customers.
The only way to make your e-commerce website user-friendly is to keep the e-commerce simple. The simplicity of your e-commerce website will make it convenient to use and navigate for everyone, including people who are not tech-savvy.
According to HubSpot, 76% of consumers prefer a website that is easy to use. It helps them find what they want a lot easier. Here are the user-friendly features you should implement on your e-commerce website to guarantee that.
- Autocomplete Option
Without typing the exact name of the product, your e-commerce website should be able to provide suggestions with the autocomplete option.
- Product Categories
This user-friendly feature allows customers to find something they want under the product categories. If they plan to give toys to children, they can click on ‘Toys & Games’ to view all related items.
3. Mobile-Friendly Website
The convenience of mobile devices does not end with browsing the internet. People nowadays also use their smartphones to shop for things they need, whether for personal or business use.
That is why you should make your e-commerce website mobile-friendly since there will be around 7.33 billion mobile users worldwide by 2023. With a responsive feature, anyone visiting your e-commerce website can view the text and images as clearly as possible.
For example, if your e-commerce business sells various appliances like Samsung, its website will look like this in desktop mode:
Below is the layout of its e-commerce website on other digital devices with smaller screen size.
Did you see the difference between the two images? Shopee made that happen by adjusting all e-commerce website elements and features according to the device the potential customers are using.
4. View Product Digitally
As the e-commerce industry continues to rise, shoppers are becoming smarter with their purchases. Posting one picture of a product with bullet points will no longer work.
Customers want to view an item from various perspectives before making a decision. They want to experience the goods as closely as possible like they are looking at the product in person.
You can do that by posting high-quality photos and videos and allowing your customers to zoom in to get a clearer picture of the items. You can also offer an AR view of the products like other brands like Apple.
Shown is an example of AR that Apple provided when they released the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max.
Another way to further convince your customers to purchase is through customer reviews. According to Finstack, 95% of consumers often read customer reviews before buying anything.
Mega Furniture, a Singapore-based online furniture shop, has a fantastic example of customer feedback on its e-commerce website. As seen below, Mega Furniture encourages its clients to give reviews on their experience with the brand. By reading feedback from your previous customer, a potential customer will be highly influenced whether or not to purchase the product.
Directly linking live reviews straight from reputable sources like Google Business Profile would deem your e-commerce website trustworthy. Whoever is viewing the reviews knows that the reviews are up-to-date and reliable. Whether the reviews are positive or negative, none of these matters because the feedback comes from a reputable source. However, remember that the more positive reviews your e-commerce business has, the more you have a good reputation among your customers.
6. Add to Wish List
Even though it is no longer a holiday season, many people have a wishlist. It is a list of things they wish to have. The problem, however, is that some people do not know what they want until they spot something that entices them, and that is where discovery commerce comes into the picture.
ALSO READ: What Is Discovery Commerce?
People today are browsing the internet without having a specific product category in mind. They scroll through one e-commerce website after another until they find the one that tempts them to get one for themselves.
By incorporating discovery commerce into your e-commerce website, your customers will be able to see the related items based on the things they have viewed, which helps convince customers to buy more and add the related items to their shopping cart. You will learn more about ‘related items’ in detail in point 7 of essential website features.
They can also add some of the related items to their wishlist. With this, they will have more time to weigh their options and decide whether they should consider buying it (officially) now or soon.
On Amazon, that is what most of their customers do. They save the item they plan to buy next time by clicking on the Add to Wishlist button.
Amazon’s ‘add to wishlist’ feature on its e-commerce website.
If your e-commerce website has this feature, your customers can now shop, save, and share the items they are eyeing to buy. Even Louis Vuitton, one of the well-known brands, include this feature on their e-commerce website to help their customers with their shopping.
Including this feature can also make it easier for e-commerce businesses to do remarketing via email or social media platforms with customers’ past behaviour on an e-commerce website.
7. Related Items
When your customers see the words ‘You Might Like This’, that will spark their curiosity, which can influence the customer in their purchase journey in some ways. This feature initiates the desired effect on customers who are considering buying the suggested products.
That is why you should add a list of related items on your e-commerce website since it might influence customers to make add-on purchases.
Even though most e-commerce websites do not have a physical store, if your e-commerce business has one, you should include this feature. With find-in-store, your customers can visit your shop right away instead of waiting for their parcel to arrive in the mail.
Not to mention, adding a physical address can make customers trust your e-commerce business more as it increases its credibility. Besides adding your physical address, consider linking to Google Maps to figure out the direction to its exact location.
9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Humans are curious by nature, and having generic questions answered readily will benefit both you and your potential customers. Instead of asking you via call, email, or chat on social media, they can go to the FAQs section on your e-commerce website to find the answers to the questions they have in mind.
With this, you can save time and efficiently manage your e-commerce business operations. Your staff will no longer need to answer generic questions frequently asked by your potential customers.
Here is an excellent example of a FAQ page from UNIQLO. They divided the frequently asked questions by categories so those interested could click on their concern and view questions and answers related to them.
Like UNIQLO, divide lists all the common questions and their answers, so you will not spend most of your time responding to queries sent by potential customers.
Here are some of the questions you might want to include on the FAQ page of your e-commerce website.
- How can I change my shipping address?
- What happens if my order gets damaged or lost during the delivery?
- Is there a way I can track my order(s)?
- May I know how to cancel my order(s)?
- How many payment methods do you have available?
10. Live Chat Support
Another way to answer your customers’ queries is through utilising AI chatbot or live customer support.
The difference between the two is that a chatbot answers simple questions asked by customers based on the answers pre-set up in the system based on frequently asked questions before launching into a live e-commerce website. If a chatbot cannot answer a customer’s question, businesses now have a choice to forward the conversation to a customer service officer. Through the live chat support, the customer service office can answer customer’s queries in detail.
Implementing this feature on your e-commerce website helps to cut down on the staff to answer customers’ questions. However, inquiries answered by customer service officers are sometimes limited to and up to the working hours of an e-commerce business.
11. Social Proof
With the continuous growth of social media users worldwide, adding social media icons to the bottom of your e-commerce website will help your customers learn more about you and your products.
Moreover, adding links to your social accounts also provides alternative platforms for your customers to contact you. This could also provide more exposure of your social accounts to your potential customers and they might follow your social media account, allowing you to expand your social media presence more.
For example, even though Dior is already a well-known brand with millions of customers worldwide, they still include its social media account on its e-commerce website. Doing so allows anyone to follow, reach out to them and become up-to-date with its campaigns by checking out its page.
Social media icons that link to social media pages allow customers to tag an e-commerce business when they want to share the news about the product they purchased with their family, friends or followers (for public figures). Through social media proof, it helps the e-commerce business to increase its user-generated content (UGC).
12. Security Features
Security is one of the most important aspects of any e-commerce firm. Your e-commerce website should have a strong firewall, two-factor authentication on login and contact forms, a Security Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance.
13. Advanced Payment Features
One of the essential website features of an e-commerce website is advanced payment options. Customers can now pay by credit card, debit card, or digital wallet, besides cash upon delivery. Here are the differences between these payment methods.
When it comes to credit card payments, the bank will pay on the customers’ behalf, and they will settle their bills later. For debit cards, the customers will use their private bank account to pay for the product. Meanwhile, a digital wallet refers to an electronic wallet that has enough money that customers can use and transfer to an e-commerce website where they shop to pay for their purchase.
For example, SHEIN, a fast-growing e-commerce clothing business, has advanced payment features.
The brand can do this on its e-commerce website due to its collaboration with Atome, a payment gateway that allows customers to pay later.
14. Return Policy
Every e-commerce website needs to add a return policy. It should be well-written to help customers understand when and how to return the items they have purchased on the e-commerce website.
With a return policy, customers will consider trusting the e-commerce website more because they can return wrong or damaged items.
In the example below, Versace’s brand website has added a Return & Refund policy to its e-commerce website to reassure its potential customers. In addition, it also has a call-to-action (CTA) on top, ‘Need Assistance’, that needs help to process the return or refund transaction of the items a customer purchased.
15. Order Tracking
Another essential feature you should include in your e-commerce website is order tracking. Doing so should give your customers peace of mind about where their parcel is currently and when the estimated date it will arrive at their doorstep once they place and settle their payment for the item they want to have.
The image below, for example, asks customers to add the order number and email address so they can view the tracking information of their parcel. Inside they will know if their order has been packed, shipped, etc.
16. Email Opt-In
Adding email opt-in as soon as a potential customer lands on the landing page is the best way to catch their attention. You can nudge them to subscribe to your newsletter so they can receive updates and promotional campaigns about your products or services on their email address.
Here is an incredible example from Tommy Hilfiger. Besides encouraging the visitor to sign up and join the Hilfiger Club, they are also providing 20% off for their first purchase.
Including an email opt-in allows you to take advantage of email emailing! Below are the reasons why you should make it happen:
- Billions of people use emails
- You’re the sole owner of your channel
- It’s cost-effective
LEARN MORE: A Beginner’s Guide To Email Marketing
17. Push Notifications
Besides email opt-in, there is another way to inform your potential customers about your latest deals—push notification. Anyone who enables or agrees on the push notification request that pops up in the upper left corner of an e-commerce website can receive desktop notifications.
The notification will be visible in the corner of the screen no matter what the potential consumer is doing on their computer or laptop. Here is an example of what an enabled push notification looks like on a laptop’s desktop screen
18. Loyalty Programme
Creating a loyalty programme is another way that helps increase customer retention and sales of an e-commerce website. Members of a loyalty programme can get private and access the best deals earlier than others.
Customers that are part of a loyalty programme can also collect points and use these to reduce the overall cost they need to settle. Sometimes, loyalty members can also receive free items or delivery services.
In the case of Mac Cosmetics, their loyalty programme has three categories: lovers, devoted, and obsessed. The higher the level of loyalty a customer has, the more benefits they can enjoy as they shop at Mac Cosmetics.
19. Carousel Homepage
Your e-commerce website is not just a brick-and-mortar version of your shop since its homepage is an excellent place to showcase what you have to offer. Potential customers get a preview of your products or services as soon as they land on your e-commerce website.
In the case of Toyota, this car brand is showing some images and videos of the latest car models for 2023. This marketing strategy allows potential customers to make their holiday wishes come true before the year ends.
20. Language Options
Do you plan to sell products on a global scale? Language options are one of the website essential features that you should include on your platform. It allows other potential customers to read and understand your e-commerce website and the campaigns published on it.
For example, Balenciaga Singapore has two language options: English and Chinese. Since these are the primary languages used by many Singaporeans, many can access and browse through their e-commerce website and consider purchasing one or two of their products.
Build An Incredible E-Commerce Website For Better Customer Shopping Experience!
Apart from including these website essential features in your e-commerce website, make sure to update all content, from images to text. Outdated information can be a huge turnoff to potential customers, and relevant content can keep them more engaged!
Now, build an increased e-commerce website with these e-commerce features so your customers will have a better shopping experience.
If you need help, reach out to our website creation team to include these essential website features in your e-commerce website on your behalf. Contact OOm at +65 6690 4049 or leave a message on our website today!