Having a website is no less than a brand identity. An E-Commerce website increases the geographical reach of your business exponentially. It defines your identity in the global market, wherein products can be accessed by your customers anywhere anytime.
To increase conversion rates, there are certain functionalities that every competitive E-commerce player needs to have. Here is a list of 10 such functionalities that will attract customers to your business.
First thing that defines the brand is it’s logo. A well designed logo would stay in the customer’s mind. The logo graphically defines all that the company is about and hence it should stand out. A clean, neat and well-designed logo should be displayed strategically on every website.
During the checkout process, the mandatory and the optional fields should be clearly marked so that a user does not feel the need to fill out every field. Some websites even mark the street number and house number as mandatory fields when the user fills out the shipping address.
In a country like India, all addresses don’t have a street number or a house number. So these practices might cost your brand in terms of conversion. Instead, a better practice is to include a “Landmark” field for the shipping address.
Online consumers are known to have a short attention span and very quickly switch to another website if it does not engage them within the initial few seconds. Everyone loves freebies, Free Shipping, Discounts & Deals and thus, these promotions should be displayed at strategic location on your home page.
A premium or a returning audience needs special treatment when they return to your website. Since they are in the list of the top buyers from your website, if they are given special discounts for the same, they might want to engage more and purchase more from the website.
Social media has revolutionized online shopping. Registration through social media handles shortens the registration process and encourages prospective customers to register on the website. Also, consumers discuss their experiences with the website and its products on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and prospective buyers value such real-life experiences over overt marketing pitches.
Thus a competitive E-Commerce website needs to link itself to social buttons. BrightLocal’s 2013 Local Consumer Review Survey states that 79% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. In addition, social button makes it easy for user to just press a button for registration.
If the website is not an authoritative website like ebay or amazon, a user may not like to create a personal profile for a transaction. So if the user has the option of guest checkout using minimal interaction with the form filling, chances that the user will convert into a buyer are higher.
Also, once a user checks out, some websites create a profile automatically for the user and mail the credentials and details to the user. That’s always a good idea for ECommerce.
The first point that should be kept in mind while designing the interface and navigation is to keep it simple. You don’t have to sacrifice Elegance to keep the design simple though. This is done so that the user can get what he is looking for quickly without any complexities. This can be done by using Filters, Product Comparisons, Product Categories, Expert opinion on the Products, Customer reviews, Wishlist, FAQs.
Re-marketing to the same audience is one of the best practices in the ECommerce industry. Also, the re-marketed user expects less hassle during the checkout process. If the ECommerce brand could find a way to store the previously shipped address, the address filling work of a user can be avoided. And the conversion ratio will also be higher.
To serve a global audience, the website should offer variety of payment options like credit/ debit card payments, net banking, COD or other options targeted towards different customer segments. These options should be displayed prominently.
It is also important to ensure that the payment gateway is well-known and credible so that customers don’t hesitate to login to the gateway.
Users who are in the process of checkout are the most retained yet vulnerable users of any e-commerce website. Any popups or unnecessary distractions shown during the checkout process might add additional value to the shopping experience through availed discounts however; it could also devastate the user shopping experience by irritating them. So, an ECommerce site should be aware of its users’ intentions and irritation at the same time.
Nowadays, customers demand more flexibility and convenience in product delivery. While a fixed date of delivery is highly recommended, options like same day delivery, next day delivery, express delivery, and pickup from store attract customers and make the e-commerce website more preferable. Also, the user should get a tracking URL for tracking the ordered items.
To a customer, the assurance of getting a refund as money back or the convenience of getting a product replaced acts as a trigger to buy from a particular website. It gives customers a sense of confidence and trust in the business. The policies regarding Return, Refund and Cancellation should be stated in detail. It should cover:
Customers crave human intervention in the shopping process. They prefer to speak to a real person in case of any clarifications. Hence, 24×7 hotlines and live chats constitute highly appreciated forms of value-added customer service. These services assure the customer that he has been heard and issues such as delayed delivery, unauthorized billings, returns and more can be addressed.
ECommerce users love to look out for coupons and deals. If there is a discount on some of the products, the product views on those particular products increases along with the time spent on that particular page. The chances of a user converting into a buyer also increases.
Having a dedicated offer page listing out all the discounts can be good idea for user engagement. There could also different ways to engage users with the available discounts. Some of them are listed below:
Up-selling offers products of greater value with a larger set of features in comparison to the displayed product. Cross-selling is promoting complementary items to a product being displayed. Up-selling and cross-selling are integral features of any modern day E-Commerce website development work as they can lure customers and make a bigger purchase.
A wish list is where a user marks up the products in his list. But users are very picky about the products that’s why sometimes they might not markup all the products that they see. In that case, a list called viewed products can help the website increase the engagement on the website and also the chance of a product being bought the user.
Google recently stated that all websites are required to have a mobile-friendly version by 2017 or they should be ready to suffer the SEO consequences. This is a reason enough but if not then here is another reason: one in three online purchases is completed on a smartphone.
The points listed above are some of the major functionalities that should be taken care of. However, besides these, there are other minor functionalities as well which should be taken care of during the ECommerce development process.
ittisaLabs has experience in ECommerce Web development for the industry ranging from Pet foods to Shopping websites. Our certified ECommerce developers have delivered ECommerce Web stores on the following platforms:
For more, please visit our portfolio page.