Ecommerce Website Features You (Definitely) Need

If you are planning to start an online shop and bring your product to the market, you are probably wondering what the best way forward is, to take your products online in the most effective way possible. There are of course multiple different ways to develop your e-commerce website and make it a success. 

This article will delve into the possibilities of Ecommerce Website Development and help you understand more about features and website standards that you really must include and others which would be a great asset in certain cases. 

Here's to your soon-to-be-successful online business!

Definitely Must-Have Features

1) Responsive Design & Development

On average, 30% to 40% of people visit a website from their mobile device or tablet - if your website isn’t properly supported by these devices, a lot of people will not use your website. Your website should not only be compatible with all major browsers and devices, but also automatically adjust to the size of the screen that is being used. To be very clear, this means your website will change and adapt according to whether it is being viewed on a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet or a mobile phone. This is called responsive website design/development and allows you to provide a much better experience to a lot more people visiting your website which will inevitably pay off in better customer engagement.  

2) Be Search-Engine Friendly

Your website will, many times, be found using a search engine such as (typically) Google. This means that if they can not find it, neither will your customers. Google will rank your website in search results according to the level of quality and value it estimates that your website can provide. Ranking well on Google means loads of free, interested potential customers every month - not a thing to be ignored! 

This is why you have to be sure that your website is built on proper and modern standards that are easy to understand by Google. It is also important that your website is responsive (as mentioned above) and that loading times are fast as these are all highly influential factors.

Give the visitors of your website enough high quality content to provide effective and interesting answers to what they are looking for. This will increase the time people spend on your website. Google picks up on this (as it picks up on everything else) and 'understand' that your website must be a high-quality information-resource if people are spending so much time on it and not leaving it as soon as they enter the home page.

In the meantime, you can also make sure Google also finds what he is looking for. With some good research, you can learn what words your visitors type in Google (and other search engines) to looks for your product. Putting these keywords in your content is a smart thing to do because Google will recognize these search 'key' words in your pages and will rank your page higher when people are looking for what you are offering. 

3) User Friendliness

Now that you have gained the attention of the public, you need to guide your visitors through your website, so they can find what they are looking for and finally towards the goal of buying, requesting a quote or leaving their details. The online shop should be intuitive and easy to use, visitors should not have to think much, but simply “know” what the next step is. The website should look inviting and have a nice (slightly teasing) design, so that people want to proceed further into the website and towards the "money pages". It is extremely important that the website is not too complicated but effortless for the user.

If you don’t know whether your website is user-friendly, you can request feedback from clients or other persons who test your website, ideally from people who are not very computer-literate. This feedback is crucial to developing your e-commerce website and will directly impact the success or failure of your online business. There are also websites you can use to get feedback on your website which you can easily find through a basic Google search like 'get website feedback'.

You can take a look at some really easy to use online shop designs on this link.

4) Social Media Integration

At the moment Facebook is the most widely and intensely used Social Media platform in the world, making it a great opportunity for your online business to stay connected to your customers and potential clients. Other very powerful networks include among others, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus and Twitter. Being connected to Social Media will increase the chance of exposure to more potential clients as well as grow and maintain relationships with existing clients

It is very easy to make a profile on any Social Media and it will definitely lower your marketing costs because you can reach an enormous amount of people if you do this right. With some good research or advice on which platform best fits your company, you can target the right people with your content. You can post content about anything that interests, entertains, informs or engages your audience and watch your social following grow. You can also send traffic to the website itself by providing links (to your website) in your posts on all Social Media sites that you are using -this will increase website visitors for free.

These are lots of Social Media sites and you do not need to use all of them - in fact, it is many times more effective to use one or two but use them well! Before you start working, get a professional, no-obligation consultation or do some good thorough research about which platforms fit your product best to see if it can add value to your business. 

5) Content Management Systems (CMS)

There are many different content management systems (CMS) and they all work slightly different but have the same goal; to let you change, create and control digital content on your website in an easy way.

This software program makes it possible to change and control almost anything on your website. You can change your prices of your products, see who your subscribers are, change banners, add special offers, add articles and manage your orders from your back-end system.

With this program, you can also add or delete products in your catalog. If you have no or little technical knowledge, you should still be able to use a really good content management system without problems (you should also have some training and support on how to use it). The best content management system (CMS) is the one you find easy to understand and gives you the information you need to improve your e-commerce website, without any sweat or tears!

6) Ability to know exactly how your website is performing

Using proper Analytics software, you can know exactly how your website is performing and get very detailed information and insights about your visitors (how many, from where they found you as well as demographics), your pages and content and anything related to your website. It will track and measuring all website activity for you and with some proper guidance, you will understand this information and transform it into profitable incremental improvements.

Some of the most important things you should know about your website are:

  • number of visitors (returning and new)
  • bounce rate (number of people leaving website immediately)
  • sources of website visits (from where did people find your website) 
  • which pages your visitors are viewing and how long they stay on them
  • demographics about your visitors (sex, age, country and more)

7) A Way To Build Your Mailing List

This tool is a section where people can download valuable material or get discount offers in return for their becoming part of your mailing list. This is one of the most useful assets an online business could build (most times even better than your social media following) because you can maintain contact and build a relationship with this mailing list - which will in time become your clientele. 

8) Support (of course)

Support from an experienced team will make your life, easier - much easier. Having to find out everything for yourself every time you need to make an update on your products, create a new mailbox, add or change page content will occupy your precious time with time-wasters as opposed to focusing on what you do best - your business!

Furthermore, even when/if you do manage to get the job done yourself, you will inevitably have to face the hurdles of "experimenting" on what works and what doesn't. With your time and money.


Useful Ecommerce Website Features

Here are some very other very useful assets for your online shop that might be well-worth some extra development resources.

Cart recovery

When people leave your website without completing their checkout, the website automatically logs these client’s details and informs you that they have not completed their checkout process. You can, therefore, follow up via email on these potential customers to know why they have not finished their checkout. If they faced any problems, you can become aware of them or simply remind them that they can finish their order when they want.


Home Page Banners

Banners (slide-shows) on your home page allow you to display anything you like from special offers to new products or possibly even packages of seasonal products. Together with a special offers section, you can keep people coming back to your site to check for current offers as well as boost your website sales by providing value to your customers that are looking for a bargain. You can manage these slides and sections from your own back-end (CMS).

Stock Control

Keep track of your stock online via a stock management module. This feature follows your stock quantities and informs customers when items are out of stock, in stock, last few items are available or simply hides out-of-stock items (if you want to). When orders are made, your stock levels are automatically reduced and should the order be cancelled, increased again. You can even manage your stock levels from your back-end (CMS).

Multiple Payment Options

Providing multiple payment options, such as PayPal and other bank payment solutions, will provide a comfortable service to a larger group of people

Multiple Languages and Currencies

Providing multiple languages and currencies can be done to target different markets in different countries effectively. People feel more comfortable when they are communicating in their own language and will naturally understand more, leading to a higher success rate.

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