10 Features Every eCommerce Site Should Have

A killer customer experience is at the core of any healthy eCommerce platform. Allowing customers to enjoy shopping while meeting their product needs should be a top priority for online retailers. Below are six features that every eCommerce site needs in order to increase conversions and drive sales:

Mobile-Friendly Site
As mobile shopping begins to overshadow the traditional desktop platform, retailers without responsive sites will be left in the dust. Customers have come to expect the ability to shop on their phones, no matter where they are, and retailers are expected to deliver. Aside from making sure your pages are responsive, consider whether your mobile site passes the 'thumb zone test'. This is the most comfortable area for touch with one hand, allowing customers to easily navigate to key CTAs and buttons.

Optimized Product Pages
An optimized product page is designed to convert casual shoppers into paying customers. Make your product pages easy for consumers to find by using keywords in both the product descriptions and in the product title. Be sure to write all product descriptions in clear, concise language and use bullet points to simplify the message and improve readability. Your product descriptions should convey the key features, ingredients, materials, and other information about your product. Another component to include is how your product is different than those of competitors, and why customers need it. In addition, be sure to include appropriate metadata when building each product page to enhance SEO and help shoppers discover your site in search.

Simple Returns Process
In some cases, your eCommerce returns process can be just as crucial to the customer experience as the path to purchase. Returns are the time when your customer service is put to the test, and it's important to get it right. Customers will often read a brand's return policy before making a purchase online to ensure if something does not meet their needs, they can get a refund hassle-free. A simple, easy-to-read return policy that is readily available in the site navigation or sitemap can go a long way to improve customer satisfaction and encourage brand loyalty. Be sure to offer clear instructions on which shipping carriers customers can use, how they can print their return labels, and how long they will have to wait before the refund is received. Additionally, if you have brick-and-mortar stores, consider allowing customers to return items purchased online in stores. The greater the flexibility you can provide with returns, the better the experience for the customer and the more likely they will be to shop with you again.

Intuitive Site Search
Optimizing site search is crucial to creating a positive customer experience. The site search box should be visible across your entire site, enabling customers to find what they need, no matter what page they're on. Add category and search filters to reduce the load on your merchandisers and help get customers to check out more quickly. Consider adding text in the search box itself that disappears as a customer clicks into it. Options like 'Help me find...' or 'blue strappy sandals' provide examples of how customers can search and arrive at the relevant product pages faster. Additionally, make sure you account for the human element of search — add misspellings, synonyms, and alternate phrases into site search, as customers won't always type in the exact right phrase.

Guest Checkout
Capturing conversions on your eCommerce site depends heavily on the last leg of the buyer's journey — the checkout process. Nothing creates more friction at checkout than forcing a customer to create an account and submit multiple pieces of personal data before making a purchase. Streamline this process by allowing shoppers to checkout as guests. You can capture account sign-ups in a post-purchase email or through a loyalty program incentive.

Multiple Payment Options
Aside from creating a mobile responsive site, one of the best ways to increase conversions is to allow customers to choose from multiple forms of payment to complete a purchase. PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay are all options that today's consumer expects to see on an eCommerce site. Enabling different forms of payment reduces friction in the customer journey and speeds up the path to checkout, meaning increased conversions and a healthy bottom line.

Author Bio

Rachel is the Marketing Specialist at Virid. She loves all things creative and develops the content strategy for Virid's website and social media. When she's not writing whitepapers or creating email campaigns, she enjoys scrapbooking, baking, and playing with her dog, Coco.

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