Internet offers a plethora of options for about everything; we can say it has in a way spoilt us for choices and at the same time, made our lives very, very easy. The internet’s popularity and acceptance at household level has led to its birth as a selling, buying and marketing medium. E-commerce has flourished massively over the years and now more and more people are accepting it as a way of trading and earning.
A website is the most basic and crucial tool for marketing, because of course you cannot sell your products or set up your business without an online portal and to fulfil the demands and needs of a diverse customer base, it is essential for an e- commerce platform to maintain a high quality, easily accessible, engaging, informative, user- friendly and an easily navigable website.
Wondering what all features to include in your e- commerce store so that it stands out? Here’s a simple guide to solve all your queries:
Constant support- Supporting and being available for you clients from beginning to end is important so that they do not feel neglected and get adequate help that they might need with respect to any problems or inconvenience they might face during their shopping experience. Poor support service can tarnish your brand’s reputation.
User- friendly interface- To give your consumers a hassle free shopping experience, your website should both be aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate so that they find it an easy and pleasant experience.
Filter options- This too points at the ease of navigation, i.e. leading your customer from one piece of information to another related or relevant piece. Put categories and sub- categories beginning from your home page to other pages so that it creates a flow and customers can easily find what they are looking for. It is basically filtering and channelling information and content.
Multiple E- commerce themes- Put multiple themes on your website and colour code them according to the content. Try using same themes for similar content. This will make your website look more organised and colourful.
Theme customization- Have customised themes according to your needs and preferences on your webpages that compliments your content best, provides relevant information and doesn’t look abrupt or out of place. Also, try giving these feature to your customers as well so that they can personalise the themes and enjoy their shopping experience with you.
Font and colour customisable- Give the option of altering the colour and size of font to your customers for easy and clear visibility. It will help them to use the website in a better and well suited way, and they might end up using it for longer time duration. Ultimately, the content should be easily readable by the viewer.
Categories- Categorise the products you are selling on your portal into distinct, clear categories and give them a simple name. It will help the viewers to easily find what they are searching for.
Sub- categories- Similar to putting categories on your home page, add sub- categories under the main section and club similar products together. This section can also be put on the home page as a drop down box or you can take your viewers on the next page, depending on the number and type of options that you want to put under each main category.
SSL Certificate- A Secured Socket Layer certificate helps in improving the security of your portal. It allows secure connections from a web server to a browser when installed on a web server.
Custom domain- It gives a unique identity to your online store. It gives a branded name to your website and helps in easy navigation of your website on web.
Payment gateway integration- It is a merchant service by which an e- commerce portal authorizes direct payments for the purchases made by a consumer. Simply, it means giving an option to your customers of making payments online through a credit card or a debit card or by net banking.
Unlimited product uploads- Try not limiting or restricting your product range. Keep updating your online store and add new products from time to time to maintain the interests of consumers in your brand. Offer a large variety and options to viewers.
Unlimited image uploads- Same as for product uploads, keep updating fresh and new images of already existing and new products from different angles for easy understanding of customers and to provide them complete information about each and every product.
Newsletters and Emails- Keeping your clients informed and updated ensures a static consumer base. It informs them about the on goings of your online store, i.e. information about new products, discounts, sales, schemes etc. For this, newsletters can be given as a subscription offer that would directly reach to their mail inboxes. This is also a very good and effective marketing technique.
Updates- Notify your customers of the new happenings on your online store. Keep them engaged, informed and updated so that they stay in the same loop and remain an active part of the system.
Coupon generations- Give coupon codes on certain products or on total billing amount to your customers from time to time. It becomes exciting for the customers and it can also act as a reminder to shop again with your store.
Discounts- Another important point because of which people prefer online shopping over traditional method is discounts on branded products that they do not get from store outlets in the market. Put a varying discount range on your products to attract more customers and ensure that the trade is beneficial for both- seller and customers.
Gift vouchers- To encourage customer base, give them gift vouchers of small amounts occasionally. Also, first time customers should be offered a gift voucher on their first purchase.
Mobile optimized websites- Make sure that your website works well on different mobile versions as well since a large number of people use mobile phones to use and work on internet, because of this they should also get an easy access and clear visibility of your content on the online store.
SMS Notification- Just as email marketing, notifying customers through SMS is also a direct and efficient way of approaching current and new customers. Mobile penetration is the maximum as compared to other mediums, proving it to be one of the best methods of keeping your customers notified and updated.
Also, keep your customers updated with their orders and make it easy for them to track their orders as and when they want.
Live chat- Live chat helps in engaging with the customers by providing them suggestions, solving their queries and doubts. It is always preferred by customers because they get an instant response and resolve their issues. It avoids time wastage.
Easy checkout- Offer hassle free checkouts and quick payments to your customers as usually they are impatient and quick checkouts will save their time to provide them a satisfying experience.
Constant tech support- Constant tech supports from seller is very beneficial for the customers as they get options here to instantly contact your managing staff in case of any issues with their orders or otherwise. Provide them with an option to call or live chat instead of communicating over e-mails so that they get appropriate responses and solutions within minutes.
Blog integration- Almost every e- commerce website today has an integrated blog where they post relevant information related to the objective of their online store. It helps in engaging more viewers. Blog posts can be about new arrivals, exhibitions, collaborations, information, etc that could be useful for your customers.
Multiple currencies- To serve customers worldwide, your online portal should have multiple currency options for carrying out hassle free, direct payments. Try keeping the same cost for each product throughout the countries; and add varying shipping costs to cover overhead expenses.
Currency convertor- It well help the customers in paying for their orders as per the current exchange rates and make the payment process easier.
Invoice generation- Generate invoices for all the orders from your website on your backend to keep a tab of your sales. It also acts as a receipt or proof of purchase for consumers.
Real time customer tracking- As a seller you can use this feature to keep a track on the functioning and progress of your portal and keep yourself updated with consumer activities on your website. This helps to keep a tab on your performance.
Sales charts- This feature again is useful for the seller. It will help you get a detailed and systematic report of your sales. You can review your sales month wise or day wise, time of the day or month when number of shoppers is maximum or minimum and other factors affecting your sales can be measured through this.
Purchase history- By creating an account on your website, customers become a part of the system. They should have track of their previous purchases. By internet mapping, similar products can also be recommended to them and product ads can be shown to them on their different social media accounts.
Wish lists- This feature helps the customers to create a wish list on your website where they can save the product links they like or the products they are planning to buy in future. It helps them in making a consolidate list at a single place.
Client database- It refers to collecting information of your customer for further interactions. Database can have information like name, contact numbers, address, email id and purchase history and future needs. Benefits of maintaining a client database include: providing seller with all the personal details of consumers that could be used for updating them or contacting them; it will save consumer’s time each time they make a purchase and they would not require to put their same details again and again; help in making a report of your consumer base type and see what kind of pattern people follow while shopping, etc.
Basic SEO Optimization- Adding SEO friendly key words and content helps in increasing the reach of your brand by making it in the top results on any search engine. In other words, it helps in increasing your brand visibility.
Bulk upload- It is a time saving option for sellers to upload multiple photos and images or heavy files altogether within seconds. This will also lead to quick delivery of information about the products and access to consumers.
Cash on delivery- It is the most convenient and comfortable option for customers. Here they pay for the service once their desired product has reached their doorsteps. It is also the only and feasible option for customers who do not possess credit or debit cards or customers who are not comfortable with net banking. Because of COD option, E- commerce has seen a huge growth since its inception.
Live feeds- Putting live feeds from your different social media pages helps in engaging your viewers and provides them with better knowledge. It also breaks the monotony of a website as it is not static like the other content on your webpages. Judiciously choose images to put on your feed, don’t put lots of images otherwise it will lead to information overload and become chaotic.
Testimonials- Try placing your customer testimonials with images everywhere on your website. This creates a sense of authenticity and helps in gaining trust of your viewers and customers.
Multiple banners- Choose a good colour combination for your banners as it is most likely to attract the eye of the viewer. These banners should contain both images and short texts that can give a glimpse of your products and services. Multiple banners can be put on different webpages.
Text block- Based on your need, you can put multiple text blocks to break the monotony and make your portal look lively. These are beneficial as they can be used to display interactive content, information about schemes and promotions, etc. it helps in highlighting certain content that can be easily read in a glance by your viewers.
Video banner- Since videos are a better mode of communication, video banners can be put on different webpages of your portal. These are dynamic in nature as there is a constant sense of movement that helps creating more interest in viewers.
Look book- It is like giving suggestions to your viewers by putting different pieces of clothing together on a model so that it gives an idea how different items will look when put together. It is helpful for customers as they get recommendations.
For example: if a customer wants to buy a pair of khaki pants and is not sure what to wear with that, then he/ she can look at the look book and probably buy the same shirt and accessories that the model is exhibiting.
This is basically a type of marketing that helps generate more business.
Production designing- This is another way of attracting more viewers as it gives them an option of designing and customising products according to their likes and dislikes. Each component of the product here is designed and personalised by the customers themselves, hence, ensuring them to provide maximum satisfaction.
Parallax section– It can be put anywhere on your site to create a 3D effect by putting some content in the foreground and some content in the background, both at the same space but with varying speeds.
We see a lot of e- commerce stores coming up in the market that are doing very well, like Amazon and Flipkart, which have become a household name now.
Our e- commerce store, Styledge.in, is also excelling in this field and we have all these features on our website to provide the best and a very satisfying experience to our clients and customers.
The gist is to put maximum features that you can on your online store for a holistic approach. This will make it convenient for both you and your customers by smoothing the trade process. Remember, the more features you add, the easier subsequent tasks become.