In 2021, the United States saw approximately $767.7B in eCommerce revenue. This was more than a $100B increase over 2020, and the trend is forecasted to continue at a similar rate over the next several years.
It’s a great time to jump into eCommerce, but you also need to make sure your online store has the necessary features to set you up for success. To make sure your eCommerce customers have the best experience possible while also maximizing your profits, here are a few must-have features for your online store.
1. Product Reviews
There’s a reason that Amazon, Walmart, and all the other major players in the eCommerce space have product reviews. Customer reviews act as social proof that your products are of high quality. During an eCommerce transaction, a customer cannot look at or pick up the product in person, so reading a review is the best way to get a sense of the product.
2. Related Product Suggestions
One of the best ways to improve your average order value (AOV) is by recommending products that are related or similar to the product a customer is viewing. Just like a brick-and-mortar retail store has related products on the shelves nearby, your eCommerce site should also make related products highly visible while a customer is checking out.
This is most effective when the related products are lower-priced add-ons. For example, if you’re selling an amazing new drill, you may want to suggest various drill bits in your related products.
3. Google Analytics Integration
While Google Analytics isn’t specific to only eCommerce, it’s an invaluable tool for anyone running an online store. Google Analytics will help you identify trends for how visitors are interacting with your eCommerce store and can help you identify how customers are finding your store. Understanding where your traffic comes from — especially the traffic that converts to sales — is invaluable to refining your marketing strategies.
4. Integrated Email
Email is still a highly effective way of communicating with your customers. You can send out emails for special offers, updates on new product listings, and abandoned cart reminders to drive traffic to — or back to — your eCommerce site. Once a customer has given you their email, you know there’s at least some interest in your products, even if they haven’t yet bought anything.
5. Online Chat or Chatbot
When a customer shops at a brick-and-mortar store, it’s easy enough for them to find an employee if they have any questions or concerns. Historically this has been a bit of a challenge for eCommerce sites to replicate, but online chat functionality has largely solved this service gap.
If you’re a larger business, you could employ a team of online chat support representatives, but chatbot technology is also becoming advanced enough to answer many common customer questions.
6. Logical Navigation
One of the most important components of a great user experience is ease of use. You want your customers to be able to find what they are looking for quickly and efficiently. For an eCommerce store, this means very clearly grouping products by category. You don’t want too many categories though, especially if they are similar.
Try to pair your categories down to a few top-level categories, then use sub-categories beneath them as needed.
7. Site-wide Search
Sticking with the user experience theme, search is just as important as categorizing your products. Different customers navigate in different ways, so while categories are helpful to some, others would rather just type in the product they want and see the results. Search functionality is a staple of eCommerce sites, and you’ll be doing yourself and your customers a disservice if you fail to include it.
8. Order Tracking
It should be easy for your customers to track their orders. While you can send email updates on when the order ships along with estimated delivery, a real-time order tracking tool provides customers with even more convenience. While they could very easily navigate to the carrier’s website and enter their tracking number — which you’ve surely provided after shipping — it’s even better if they can log in to your website and track their order from there.
The Bottom Line: eCommerce Features Should Help the Customer and Your Business
When implementing features into your eCommerce site, you should be thinking about both the customer experience and the benefits to your business. In doing so, you’ll find that many of these features benefit both the customer and your business, such as reviews and related products. After all, a happy customer is more likely to buy and increase your revenue.
If you need assistance with planning, developing, and strategizing your eCommerce store, reach out to Camber Creative. We have years of experience in launching and marketing successful websites and apps.
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