In the recent years, ecommerce has gained a lot of importance. Many businesses have started concentrating more on online business rather than working on their physical stores. The primary reason being to be able to reach far more customer base. This way there is a great chance to increase sales and in turn revenues. The site owners are continuously changing and experimenting with various features of ecommerce websites. Yet, many forget about the minor things that could cost them big bucks!
Even if the website is built using an ecommerce software there are many minor changes that could easily shoot up the customer experience and engagement and in turn your sales and revenues. In this post we would be discussing 12 such features of ecommerce websites which on implementation could get much better returns then before.
There are mainly three types of visitors on an ecommerce website.
Features of eCommerce Websites
Filter Products Option
Whenever a user clicks on a category he is overwhelmed by the large number of products that are displayed in front of him. Filter Products option is for the 2nd and 3rd type of visitors. Once the visitor is on the category page, it is always great to give them options to filter products according to the features, prices, brands, etc. Having a good product filtering system helps in customers having a great experience as the time spent by the customer in choosing a product could be brought down tremendously.
For a fashion ecommerce sites, a visitor could browse the clothing line with various options for color, sleeve type, print type, etc. For an electronic ecommerce website, a visitor browsing tablets could browse as per the OS, the processor, the type of RAM, etc.
Ajax Scrolling / Infinite Scrolling
Ajax scrolling is one of the most hottest trend that is being followed and implemented on many websites. Ajax scrolling has surely taken a centre stage when writing down the features of ecommerce websites. Visitors have a tendency of not clicking many buttons on a website. Thus, they tend not to click on the page numbers and go further for browsing. Thus, Ajax scrolling proves a boon here.
The user could keep on scrolling and checking out products while the list goes on expanding dynamically without the user having to click on anything. This is a great way to try and increase the Call-to-actions and thus increase conversions! If you are against Ajax scrolling and you do not have large number of products to showcase then you could even display all the products of a specific category on a single page!
Comparison of products is a very important feature when it comes to mobiles and electronics ecommerce websites. Using this feature, a visitor could easily come up with the best product to buy. A visitor could easily compare on the basis of the product ratings, features like the camera MP, pricing and various other parameters.
This feature might create a problem when visitors use the site only for comparing and not for buying. Nevertheless, comparing products could easily bolster the visits and in turn sales and revenues for your site
Multiple Product Images and Image Zoom
One of the biggest disadvantage of having an online store is that the visitor is not able to get the real feel of the product. For such cases it becomes increasingly important to provide as many images of the product as possible. The images should have alternate views. The image thumbnails could get displayed vertically or horizontally on the side of the primary image!
jQuery image zoom plugins should be used to zoom the product when the mouse hovers on the image. In this way, it becomes easier for the visitors to see every detail of the product that they want to buy. The visitor should be able to see every area in greater resolution.
When it comes to clothing industry, it is really important to have the product images with models trying them out. In this way visitors are able to identify themselves wearing that product.
Description of any product plays an important part in selling that product. Still, description is the part which is the most undervalued while building an ecommerce site. The description needs to be targeted and persuasive. It also fulfils the SEO part of the ecommerce website. The headline of the product needs to be catchy. The descriptions work as your salesperson.
The presentation of the description should be unique and make a real good impression on the visitor. You could bifurcate the description into small parts like technical details, fabric, styles, colors, etc. You could use a tabbed system for the same of FAQ style to represent the product description. The tab system could be horizontal or vertical.
Related Products and Offers
Having a related products and offers on a product page could easily shoot up your sales and revenue. If a visitor is interested in a particular product, there are high chances that he might also want to view more such products. There are basically three ways to display related products. First, it could be viewed at the a product/item page. Second, when someone adds a product to the cart, products related to it could be suggested to the visitors. Third, when a purchase is done, an upselling could be done of the accessories related to the purchased product.
For example, if a visitor is buying a camera, there are pretty high chances that the purchaser would want to buy lens too. In such cases, lenses could be displayed to the purchaser. This could easily increase sales and revenue.
Navigation is of utmost importance for any website, let alone ecommerce websites. Before starting out with the design of the ecommerce website, it is very important to outline what categories are needed to be created and which product needs to put into which category. This is one very difficult job to be done as there are hundreds of varieties of products that need to be presented. Thus, selection of category becomes important.
Many business owners go for horizontal menu for categories and mega drop down menus for sub-categories. Many have started putting images right into the menu it self. Many websites use drop down menus to display the best sellers in a particular category, some distribute the products as per the brands, etc. Navigation should be designed in such a way that it makes it easier for the shoppers to narrow their choices and also enable ease of access to hundreds of products.
Also, one more important point that site owners miss out on is the breadcrumbs. It is necessary to show the visitors on which page they are and from where they have reached that page.
User Reviews & Ratings
If you are a regular buyer online, the first thing that you do when going to buy a product is check the user reviews. Reviews are a great way to get your hands on great content for SEO of your website. It certainly saves a lot of effort of the owner to try and bolster the search ranking of the website and besides that, reviews assist customers in making great buying decisions.
Along with reviews, users should be able to rate the products they have purchased. This helps many customers to decide on the product based on hundreds of votes for the product! Reviews and ratings also help to build a trust factor into the buyers on your site.
Requiring users to register and login for buying any product is a tried and proven way of reducing conversions on your site. Making the customer to fill out the tiresome forms after they have selected the product to buy is a turn off for many users. As per a survey, only 2 out of 10 retailers in US force registration before buying. Almost everyone is now allowing Guest Checkout. This helps customers to complete the buying cycle as soon as possible.
Nearly 50% of visitors look for a search box on an ecommerce website. Search has become imperative to any ecommerce website. As mentioned in the introduction section of this article, these are the first type of visitors who mostly know what product they want to buy. But, believe me if your product name is more than 4-5 characters, people are sure to mess up with the spellings. In such cases an auto-complete function could help them to get exactly what they need.
A new trend that is being seen now-a-days is the QuickView Button on the category pages. When a visitor clicks on any category and is in a hurry to buy a product or have a quick look at options available for the product, there is a button on each product which could be used to show just a large image of the product or to allow the visitor to add the product to the cart. This is a quick way for visitors to buy any product.
Shopping Cart Visible all the Time!
This is one of the most basic needs of an ecommerce website. But, believe me, many just do not pay attention to it. When a user buys a product he should be to see a whether that product has been added or not. Also, he should be able to see all the items that he has put into the basket till now. There must be an area on the site, be it the sidebar or the top header where the shopping cart should be visible all the time!