Keep your eCommerce Site Relevant: 6 Non-Negotiable Features
Online businesses are popping up and booming like never before. That trend doesn’t look like it is going to slow down or level off anytime soon. It is always ideal to be the trendsetter, ahead of the curve. But, even the best-in-class ecommerce shops can’t be trend setters all of the time. Read on to discover the must-have features you should be implementing in your ecommerce site to keep it relevant, fresh, and user-friendly.
1. Intuitive User Interface & Experience (UI/UX)
No one can buy anything from your ecommerce site if they can’t find it, or worse, if they can’t understand what it is you’re selling. Ecommerce marketplaces are not an exercise in metaphorical creativity. Be obvious to the point of in-your-face right away with who you are (your brand), and the goods or services you’re selling on the website. By “right away,” we mean the top half of your landing page: the first thing your potential customer lays eyes on.
Most ecommerce sites have between 5 seconds to 5 minutes to entice their visitors into purchasing. Use that time wisely to hook the customer. People don’t want to be confused. Guide users through the viewing, selecting, and purchasing of products quickly and easily. One way to do this are by including advanced filters to your site’s search bar. Another is by having a header bar with section titles made clickable to links to each respective section of the site. Consider having the “shop” menu option drop down and expand into product categories so customers can narrow down their search significantly before even having to click the mouse. Such intuitive navigation maximizes the precious seconds you have to convince your customer to commit from staying on your site and buying from your ecommerce store.
2. Crystal Clear Media
As technology continues to improve, there is no excuse for pixelated images on an ecommerce site. This holds true for product photos and videos. It is also the case for media included on the home page and subsequent landing pages of your site – photos and videos that bolster the identity of your brand.
3. Mobile-Responsive Site
With more than half of first-time site visitor traffic coming from mobile devices (smartphones or tablets), it is imperative to put your best foot forward on mobile as well as desktop. This need not be a mobile app (though it can be, if it makes sense for your brand). Ensure your ecommerce site is mobile-friendly so potential customers can browse your site just as easily on the go as they can from their home computer.
4. Customer Reviews
An overwhelming number of ecommerce shoppers read reviews before purchasing (92% as indicated by a recent study). Research shows that the star rating of a product is the top factor customers use when deciding whether and what to purchase. Some ecommerce brands are hesitant to embed reviews from platforms like Yelp or Facebook into their site for fear of negative reviews. However, an occasional negative review is not only discounted by consumers when considering purchases, but viewed as a good sign. People assume 100%-positive customer reviews can only be the product of doctored positive reviews and/or deleted negative reviews. That being said: integrate reviews ASAP if you haven’t already.
5. Promo Codes
Spice up your site and email some click-bait with special deals. Some retailers are concerned that promotions will cheapen their product or ensure that no one will buy at full price. While understandable, it’s outweighed by the benefits of luring (re)visitors to your site. Even more valuable, the temporary nature of promotions encourages users to make purchases before time runs out. Increased conversions are a positive byproduct of most promotions. Just be sure not to give discounts that will cut further into your profit margin than your ecommerce business can withstand.
Moreover, switch up the types of promotions you’re running to make them harder for eager buyers to predict. Free shipping is a perennial favorite. Seasonal sales are also a solid bet. One KitelyTech client with a college-themed ecommerce site frequently bases its promotions around high-stake sports games. By promoting only one National Championship school per each basketball, football, hockey, baseball, and lacrosse season; Campus Keepsake ensures its promotions are impossible to predict.
As far as delivery vehicles for time-sensitive sales go, email marketing is a classic. This tactic is best used in conjunction with notifying text on the site itself. Especially in the prime real estate that is the page header.
6. Wish Lists
What better way to encourage visitors to become customers than allowing them to mark items on the site they love and condense them into one list for future purchasing consideration? The best part of wish lists is you can then utilize them as remarketing material for customers who created such lists while logged in. Automate emails with visual reminders of each product on the user’s wish list with embedded links to take them directly back to the wish list for purchasing. This tactic can also be combined with promo codes to sweeten the deal. Consider including a limited time offer of 10%-off in a wish list reminder email to further entice the visitor to make the purchase immediately.
Contact KitelyTech today to discuss the details of how we can add value to you and your online business.