E-commerce websites and apps are a well-established channel for both online-first brands and the old ones that have adopted it to boost sales.
As we have already reached a plateau of e-commerce market share, the question today is not if you need an online store, but rather – what features should it have?
Ecommerce trends change, and this year we will certainly see more AI-driven, custom retail experiences and chatbots. But the backbone of most e-commerce websites remains the same.
How do I know which e-commerce features are important? In my work with e-commerce clients, we delivered these features ourselves, and we keep seeing similar questions returning from our prospects.
Here are the most important e-commerce features based on what we’ve been delivering for our clients at SoftwareHut.
The Most Important E-commerce Features
1. SEO optimisation
Most of the online traffic can be split into two main categories:
- Referral traffic – users that will visit your websites using referral links, e.g. used in your social media posts, articles, or ads.
- Organic traffic – people who find your website through relevant search results.
To grow your business, you need to make sure to drive both kinds of traffic to your e-commerce platform. Attaining organic traffic will require code optimisation and content marketing.
SEO page optimisation is essential for your online efforts. You can still use a Shopify-based e-commerce backend solution, for instance, while creating your front-end.
2. Blog section
To drive SEO traffic, you will also need a form of content that targets relevant keywords. A blog is a good way to give structure to your articles. From how-to articles to trends and use cases, you can share stories of how to use your product to get more traffic from search engines.
Developing a blog will require front-end development and a content management system (CMS) to make it easier to add new content regularly.
3. E-commerce platform
Online stores rely on e-commerce platforms to flexibly build and manage features used on their websites. With e-commerce platforms like Magento or Shopify, they can use different front-end layouts and integrate with third-party systems including CMS.
Many e-commerce platforms may already include some important features, including SEO optimisation, promotions and discounts, reporting and analytics modules, and more.
4. Native mobile application
Establishing a mobile presence is a must, as mobile drives 67.2% of e-commerce market share. Investing in Progressive Web Apps or responsive web design may suffice. However, for a higher volume of traffic, a native mobile app might be a good option.
Mobile apps can be used for example to optimise content for mobile devices, especially product photos and descriptions.
5. Shopping path UX audit
Although a UX audit is certainly not a feature, it allows for better decision making while creating or changing a buyer’s journey. Such UX audit shopping can be based on expert analysis, moderated stationary tests, online tests, heatmaps’ analysis, etc.
The goal is to gather relevant data on how users interact with your online store and to use it to better optimise their shopping experience. The benefits can include:
- Increasing the average shopping basket
- Improving average conversions from most sources
- Lowering the average customer acquisition cost
6. Social media integration
Some content management systems like Sitecore CMS can be integrated with social media channels. This enables brands to more easily share products, articles, and photos with their followers. It can ultimately build strong customer engagement, increasing sales for the online store.
7. Secured payments
Cart abandonment is one of the issues crippling online sales. One way to improve this metric is to ensure seamless payments, including convenient methods, lie PayPal-like solutions, credit cards, etc. The easier and shorter the payment stage is, the lesser the chances of cart abandonment.
Mobile payments should also be considered a priority while developing or improving this channel. As most of the online shopping takes place on smartphones, no doubt taking care of mobile payments will increase your store’s revenue.
Another issue is trust. Online stores and payment methods are prone to attacks, resulting in frauds and data leaks affecting customers. When this happens, users’ trust is very hard to win back. That’s why securing your web and mobile payments should be one of your major concerns.
Let us deliver your e-commerce features
User needs and available technologies may change, but the general idea for many e-commerce websites stays the same – to offer good UX, use a compelling layout to present products and to drive and convert relevant traffic from various channels.
We can help you adapt to these changing expectations and gain a competitive advantage with cutting-edge solutions. Let us know about your idea, and we will deliver your e-commerce features.