What Features Should an Ecommerce Website Have?

Ecommerce sites need more than just a slick design and amazing products (although that is a decent start). To attract customers and turn that interest into sales, there are some features every eCommerce website should have in order to create the smoothest user experience possible.

A compelling homepage

A killer homepage is something all eCommerce websites should have. Now, before you say it we know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but people will judge your brand by your homepage, so it really needs to be on point. At the very least, it should include product highlights and the key information that your customers need to know. However, there is a fine line between an engaging homepage and flooding your homepage with products, so make sure to just pick a few of your best sellers, or highlight a new range!

A straightforward checkout

One key feature all eCommerce websites should have is an easy-to-use checkout. The checkout is where you’ll see loads of cart abandonment if your payment process isn’t user-friendly. Reduce this by making sure your customers can checkout as a guest (seriously, most of us do not want to create an account for every single website we buy from) and whilst you’re at it, get rid of those endless data capture forms getting in the way of people actually making their purchase!

SEO-friendly content and layout

There’s no point in making an awesome eCommerce site if no one ever sees it, which is where SEO comes in. Make sure the content on your homepage and category pages is optimised for relevant keywords and the layout is user-friendly and easy for bots to understand. 

The structure of your web pages is also a key factor here, especially on an eCommerce site with shed loads of products. Search engines will reward considered categorisation of pages where each product falls neatly under an overarching category and maybe a sub-category too. You should also use descriptive file names for any images or videos, rather than just random numbers, as crawlers pick up on this too.

A blog or articles section

Blogs are a great way to show that you’re an expert in your field. Releasing consistent blogs shows that you have a wider awareness of your industry and that you have something interesting to say, which will help to build customer trust. 

Blog posts are also a great way of keeping your site higher in the search engine results as Google favours those sites that are regularly updated with fresh content. You can also target popular queries that are relevant to your products or services in your articles to broaden your exposure and catch people at the ‘exploration’ stage of their online research. 

Promotion and discount code tools

People love a bargain. Hosting a promotional campaign might be the reason someone visits your store for the first time, so make sure that you have discount code tools built into your site or apply discounts automatically if you can. Product pages that already display the saving clearly are much more enticing than a discount your customers have to calculate in their heads.

Chatbots

With chatbots, you can provide round-the-clock customer service and give yourself a hassle-free way to deal with those easy to answer FAQs (we don’t want the robots to take over either but chatbots are seriously helpful for dealing with the basic enquiries that you can’t bear to repeat answers to any longer).

Chatbots are a newer feature and aren’t yet essential features for an eCommerce site, but you might as well get a jump on your competition with this great little piece of AI.

Reporting tools

Face it – you can’t fix problems on your site if you don’t know what they are. Reporting tools such as Google Analytics allow you to track key metrics that tell you how effective your site is and where changes need to be made. You should be looking at the number of visitors your site gets, number of transactions, eCommerce revenue, average order value, and cart abandonment rates.

 

There’s no one-size-fits-all design for eCommerce sites but every brand should include these key features to improve the customer experience. After all, if customers find being on your site nothing but a pleasure, they’re much more likely to make a purchase.

If you’re interested in an eCommerce overhaul on your site, why not get in touch with us?