Saturday, 21 March 2015

16 Essential Features of an E-commerce Website

In the recent years, ecommerce has gained a lot of importance in Nigeria. After the success of online stores like Jumia and Konga, many businesses have started concentrating more on online business rather than working on their physical stores. Many popular names in Computer Village Ikeja for instance now have viable online presence. The primary reason being to be able to reach far more customer base as online removes the distance barrier. This way there is a great chance to increase sales and in turn revenues. The site owners are continuously changing and experimenting with various features of ecommerce websites. Yet, many forget about the minor things that could cost them big bucks! Check out some of our website design sample projects in our portfolio page.

There are many different approaches e-commerce website designers can take when designing an e-store. However, you might notice that effective e-commerce websites have certain site features that are absolutely critical to the shopper’s experience. In this post we would be discussing 12 such features of ecommerce websites which on implementation could get much better returns than before.
Let’s  look at these common features that you will find in almost all e-commerce websites.
  1. Search Box: Having a search box positioned well, will allow your visitors to quickly search for the product that they are looking for.
  2. Featured Products: By displaying featured products on your home page or on the side columns of your site will inform your visitors of top selling products, sales offers or it can be a general products that you want to push further and make sure they get noticed.
  3. Related product: This is a great up selling feature, which will show your visitors what other products they can purchase along side what they are currently viewing, a cleaver way of positioning this is with a heading, Customers who bought this also bought: This will encourage your visitors to purchase more then one item at once.
  4. Newsletter Subscription: Allow users to enter their email address to stay up to date with your offers and promotions, having this feature will allow you to build your mailing list for your to use in marketing campaigns.
  5. Product Zoom: Having a good zoom feature for your product images, is always a plus point online, as it allows visitors to see the minute details of your products, which works well, as some times customers prefer to feel and touch, so you can easily replace this by having a good zoom feature, which really brings out the details in your product.
  6. Categories: Have clear categories on your site to list your products into, and have your categories displayed somewhere easy to access, e.g. across the top or on the side columns.
  7. Good Navigation: Navigation is extremely important on an e-commence site, users should be able to easily access various sections of the site, along with a quick link back to the shopping cart.
  8. Good Payment Gateway: Choosing the perfect payment gateway solution for you site will give assurance and peace of mind to your visitors. Choose a merchant account that your visitors are comfortable with.
  9. Privacy Policy: Display clear Privacy Policy link in your footer.
  10. Good Return Policy: When buyers see a good return policy they will have more assurance and peace of mind if ever something was to go wrong they can easily return their product. A good policy generally increases sales, as customers feel more safer to buy.
  11. Customer login & registration: Give the option for customers to register on your site, so when they do return they don’t need to enter all their billing and payment details in again, giving them the flexibility to quickly check out.
  12. Good Graphics: Make good use of graphics banners and images on the site, to attract visitors, also display your sales promotions, offers in attractive banners on the site for users to click on to.
  13. Delivery Information: Always inform how your going to be delivering your products to the customers, along with clear time scales, so that your customers know when to expect the delivery.
  14. News & Events: This section on the site where you can keep your visitors informed of new products, events, and other news related to your online business. Using a blogging platform or a module does this job perfectly.
  15. Social Media Presence: Let your customers know that your available on networking sites, by having Social Media Logos on your site, some companies use networking sites as their customer support systems, interacting with their customers for enquires related to their orders. On the other hand some online retailers are only available to contact via networking platforms. Having a good social media presence will boost your online presence and brand.
  16. A BLOG /Resources section: educating those who are not yet ready to buy – most website visitors are in research mode, so you need ways to capture information of those not ready to purchase. blog and Resource sections are great things to have on a site, especially a blog which you can update with your news, product information, and articles related to your online business. This also has an SEO advantage too as your site is frequently updated.
What other features do you think are a must to have on an e-commerce site, share your thoughts below.

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