19th August 2021
7 must-have features for E-commerce websites.
E-commerce boom is here to stay, so why not make the most of it? Taking inspiration from some of our favourite E-commerce sites, here are KOTA’s top 7 must-have features for any online store.
1. High-quality photography.
When it comes to e-commerce, visual presentation plays a pivotal role in conveying a brand’s quality to its customers, with nearly half of us judging a store’s credibility based on the image quality and visual design of their website. And considering that 93% of online shoppers say they rely on product images to make their final purchase decision, your product shots are a major conversion factor.
Capture a few different angles, play around with lighting and make sure your product is in focus! If in doubt, hire a professional.
2. Product reviews.
According to a study by Spiegel Research Centre, nearly all of us who shop online read reviews before making a purchase. We’re also 3x more likely to buy a product that has been reviewed, compared to a product with no reviews at all. If you don’t have product reviews on your site, your customers will go looking for them. Don’t give your customers a reason to leave your website; display your product reviews right alongside your products.
While it can be tempting to curate your product reviews and only show the best, this can actually work against you. Products with an average star rating of 4.7 – 5.0 are less likely to be purchased than those in the 4.2 – 4.7 range, which suggests that customers are less likely to trust the integrity of the review process if all reviews are extremely positive.
Add star ratings and reviews to your product pages – and ensure your post-purchase communications ask your customer for a product review!
3. Easy path to purchase.
The purchase process should be made as easy as possible by removing all potential barriers. Your call to action should catch the eye, making it easy to find and compelling to click. Stick to short, urgent wording – Buy Now or Add to Bag – and ensure the button colour has sufficient contrast with its surroundings.
But it’s not just about the Buy button. On average, 69% of all e-commerce visitors abandon their shopping baskets before completing the checkout process. A large chunk of these abandonments is inevitable. Many users who add items to their basket are still exploring their options, and aren’t ready to buy. But of those remaining, who have the purchase intent but abandon before paying, 43% cite complicated checkout processes as the reason.
Allow shoppers to check out as a guest, remove or collapse your non-essential form fields and offer a variety of payment options.
4. Hassle-free returns policy.
Buying online takes a certain level of trust, particularly for newer brands, and especially for products where feel or fit is of utmost importance. Providing clear information about an easy returns process reassures potential customers that their purchase is not a risk. And if your store doesn’t have physical locations where a customer can experience the product first-hand, it’s even more important that you can provide clear instructions on how items can be returned.
Driven by large retailers like ASOS and Amazon, consumers now cite hassle-free returns as a top reason for buying from a brand, with 96% saying they would shop again with a retailer based on an easy return experience. You can build trust in your brand by allowing your customers to delay their final purchasing decision until the product is in their hands.
If you are offering easy and/or free returns, make sure your customers know about it. Add a welcome bar, mention it again on the product pages and provide detailed return instructions in your FAQs.
5. Prominent search functionality.
Help customers find what they’re looking for by providing easy-to-use search functionality that’s not hidden behind a tiny icon. The larger your product range the more important a search bar is, but you shouldn’t neglect it just because you only have a small collection. Shoppers are often in a hurry and know exactly what they’re looking for, so if they can’t find it quickly and easily, they’ll look elsewhere.
Include FAQs and blog posts in your search results, but make sure your results page isn’t just a boring list of links. You should see your search results page as an opportunity to provide other engaging content related to their search.
Make sure your site has got search functionality, and keep your results page simple and easy to read.
6. Rewards for loyalty.
Research shows it can cost five times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. Existing customers are far more likely to make another purchase, with the average second purchase being within 16 days of their first, and they tend to spend more too.
Rewards programmes are a highly effective way of keeping your customers loyal, ensuring they come back to shop with you again and again. There are a couple of different types: loyalty and referral. Loyalty schemes offer customers points or similar towards a future purchase and help to drive up the average order value. Referral schemes offer a discount in return for sending customers your way, which increases your customer base. Which one you pick will depend on your products and your target demographic, but the two can easily work alongside each other.
Entice your existing customers back to your store with discount codes, and provide them with a unique referral link to earn discounts while promoting your brand.
7. Product recommendations.
Product recommendations are a great way to boost your average order value and increase overall sales, by creating natural, logical upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Amazon’s recommendation engine is estimated to be responsible for 35% of total sales.
The more relevant the recommendation the more effective it is, which is why many E-commerce platforms have predictive recommendation functionality built-in. For example, Shopify’s recommendation algorithm uses sales data and product descriptions to show the customer a variety of products that are alike or often bought together. The product recommendations improve over time as new orders and product data become available.
Many stores also offer personalised recommendations by asking the shopper to answer a few questions in the form of a quiz or calculator. The products suggested are tailored to the users’ specific needs, providing a more personal, customised experience that leads to higher conversion rates.
Keep recommendations relevant to the customer. Suggestions that seem helpful are more likely to get a click.
As you can see, there are many ways to build a long-lasting relationship with your customers online. By putting more thought into the user experience and building trust, E-commerce businesses can boost loyalty (which translates into higher revenue).
Get in touch with our team today to see how we can transform your online store!