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7 Key Features Every eCommerce Website Needs

Thursday, June 23, 2016 by

eCommerce Website

It only takes seconds for someone to decide whether or not they like a website. It doesn’t matter what awesome content or irresistible items your online store is hiding, if everything a website should have isn’t visible or is nonexistent on your home page, you’re going to lose potential buyers.

A matter of seconds can make or break your e-commerce site. So grabbing your target audience’s attention the moment they set eyes on your site is essential to success. But how can you be certain your site is complete with all the latest marketing techniques and key website features customers will expect to see the second they open your website? Lucky for you, we’ve compiled this list to make sure your business site has everything it needs.

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1. Shopping Cart, Search Bar, and Customer Login

These three aspects are the absolute most essential features of any e-commerce store and they are always listed together at the top of the website. The little shopping basket icon you see on every business page is a necessity as it is quite impossible to own an online store without providing a way for visitors to save and check out items.

The 3 essential aspects of any #ecommerce website? Shopping Cart, Search Bar, and Customer Login. Click To Tweet

If you have a quite an array of products, a search box is a must-have as it will help customers find exactly what they’re looking for quickly. Also, prompting your visitors to create an account for your site is a brilliant way to keep them coming back.  Not only can they review their previous and current orders, they can create a wish list, and you can offer special deals to those who sign up, redeemable on their next purchases.

2. Persuasive Call-to-Actions

These little marketing details actually have a major impact on whether or not you close a sale. Merely making a call-to-action is one thing, crafting a call-to-action that customers actually act upon is a whole other ballgame.

Without a clear and effective CTA, customers will be unsure of what they’re expected to do or will simply say, “Eh, maybe later.” Start by focusing in on what you want accomplished whether it be joining an email list or purchasing a specific product.  Add a hint of urgency by putting an expiration date on an offer or persuade them with a free gift for following through.

3. Your Business Logo

A logo is symbolic to your brand and what you represent. It is the visual image that everyone will associate your business with; it is the first impression, the “face of the company,” and ultimately a critical marketing tool.

The design, whether it’s simple, complex, or just a specific font you always use to write your business name, isn’t the most important part. What matters is establishing your business logo and making it noticeable. A logo not only attracts a customer to your brand, but it forms reassurance to customers that your company is trustworthy.    

4. Deals, Special Offers, and Free Stuff

What gains someone’s interest faster than any marketing scheme out there? Saving money! People love deals and your site’s success will boom if you have all your latest deals, offers, and freebies listed right on your homepage.

Creating sales will encourage people to buy more because they’re saving more. Limited offers give customers the now-or-never drive to complete purchases while they’re already on your site instead of saving it for later.

What’s better than savings? Free shipping! People are more likely to not fulfill an order based on how much their shipping fee is, so by cutting their shipping costs after spending a certain amount or even all together will ultimately increase your sales. Make sure to advertise these great savings in an eye-catching manner.

5. News on Products

Are you premiering a new, exciting item? Perhaps you have a best seller you’d like to highlight? Or maybe an upcoming event? Customers want to know the latest news and hottest trends. What better place to display such things than your homepage?

Drawing attention to these details at the get-go rather than forcing customers to search for hours to find them not only boosts their satisfaction, but allows you to maximize your success rate.

6. Contact Information

It’s a pretty given fact that buyers need to able to communicate with sellers in case there are ever any issues, questions, or concerns. Providing them with a support team is a great way to not just optimize your customer service abilities but to ensure you’re meeting all of your customers’ needs as well.

Overall, establishing a 24-hour hotline or online chat and making both noticeable on your homepage is of high value to your e-commerce site. (Need inspiration? Check out our support portal.)

7. Important Links and Icons

The bottom part of the screen on any website contains smaller links and icons which provide further tools and information for visitors to access. Among these are security icons, payment system icons, and social media links.

Posting icons for all network solutions used to keep your site secure, like McAfee or Geo-Trust, will reassure customers any transaction they complete on your site is safe. Another thing customers seek information on is what payment methods your site accepts and so icons for PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, and any other payment system your site works will also require a listing.

Of course, everyone engages in social media activity and it’s one of the leading marketing techniques of today. Provide links to your social media pages as well so people can share your page, products, and content.

There are WordPress plugins out there to help you with all 7 of the above tips. If you’re not using WordPress to manage your ecommerce site, Magento and Joomla are also excellent options. HostGator offers hosting with all of these platforms – click the button below to learn more.

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Henry Green is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas who helps small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their online presence through marketing, social media, and website optimization.
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