Essential Features your E-commerce Site should Carry
If you are reading this article then you are probably no stranger to online shopping. Shopping at midnight on your couch, wearing comfy pajamas, surrounded by amazing deals and offers, and a wide range of products to choose from; these are a few reasons why people flock in thousands to these online stores. With a large number of online stores sprouting up like mushrooms, it is indeed challenging for merchants to convert visitors into customers. A look into some of the essential features your online store must possess in order to improve customer experience and boost sales.
The centuries old adage of a picture being worth more than worth thousand words is relevant for modern online shopping as well. No matter how accurate and thorough the description is, it is not going to score much compared to the visual shopping experience the high-quality images will provide. Adding a 360° view of the product would reap additional bonuses. It would be a good idea to invest in a photographer to create unique pictures of your products from different angles.
After choosing a product the next thing most of the customers do is to check the reviews.It can be in the form of stars or comments and it shows the real opinions of a specific product. Including both positive and negative reviews in your site helps to build trust while revealing your authenticity. These reviews may also give additional information about the product which may not be present in the product description. And finally, nothing encourages the customers more than the positive reviews of the fellow shoppers.
Social media integration
Social media integration is a great marketing strategy for your products. This feature allows customers to post and share your product, and its reviews with their social network through Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. This allows them to discuss the experiences with products over these media allowing prospective customers to get access to real life customer reviews without any marketing clichés.
Easy search and navigation
A friendly navigation makes it easier for the shoppers to search for the item they are looking for. Moreover, these days when everyone has a hectic schedule, it may not be possible for a customer to spend hours searching for a single product. A simple, faceted, and type-sensitive search box makes online shopping lot easier for the customer and even easier for search engines to understand. An additional filter or checklist helps the customers to narrow down their search. For instance, if you are shopping for a dress, filtering the search with the options of size, color and brand would make the shopping easier.
Faster loading time
Studies show that over 40% of the visitors will leave the site if it takes a long time to load. Further delay during the transaction phase increases the rate of abandoning the site up to two-fold. Make sure to follow all the measures and strategies during the site designing stage to ensure a quicker loading time without compromising on the size and quality of images and videos.
This is one among the most damaging mistake an e-commerce site designer can make. The more steps you add between them choosing an item in and paying for it, the more opportunities you give them to leave your site without completing their purchase. Forcing a customer to open an account before purchasing may create a burden on the customers. Make sure each step of the transaction should help the customer proceed forward rather than returning to the previous step. An ideal checkout process should be a single page for consumers to check their order and enter their billing and shipping information, and a confirmation page before they submit their order.
Lack of a secure payment gateway makes customers hesitate to carry out a business transaction. Especially, when they hear stories of cyber-thieves who attack websites to steal financial data, bank account and credit card details and other information. Choose a trusted payment gateway system that gives assurance and peace of mind to your visitors. This comes with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) which encrypts the data between your website (the server) and the consumer (the client) to ensure hackers do not extract your financial information. Integrating Cash on Delivery option helps those who are reluctant to make online financial transactions.