5 “Must-Have” Features Every eCommerce Site Needs
Finally! You’re ready to take that huge leap into selling your amazing “gotta-have-it” product to the online-purchasing world. You’ve established your brand vision. You’ve cemented your value prop. You’ve chosen the eCommerce vendor that makes the most sense for you financially and functionally, and you’ve had roughly 5,000 calls with every engineer, vendor rep and team lead that you can fit into an overloaded calendar.
Like anything else in the world, you only have one true chance to make a lasting first impression. It’s up to you to give web store visitors an immediate reason to hit that “SHOP NOW” button.
When building out the look, feel, flow and message that you want your web store to convey, here are five must-have tenants of a top-shelf eCommerce experience:
1.) DESIGN, DESIGN, DESIGN: In a world full of quick purchasing decisions and impulse buys, it’s up to smart Ecomm retailers to put an attractive shopping experience in front of their potential customers. Never discount the importance of high-resolution imagery across the board. Online shoppers are looking to zoom in on every fiber and curve of your product imagery. Never discount how important your hero image and/or video on your homepage is. It’s the all-important first impression. Serve people up the ultimate message and value proposition that separates you from the rest.
2.) KEEP IT SIMPLE: Are you cluttering the experience with too many damn words, too many pop-ups and overloading the senses where the product is no longer the focus? Take your time. Take a step back and think about what an ideal online shopping experience looks like to you. Find web stores from different industries that strike you as the ideal shopping environment. There’s no shame in finding the ultimate template for your brand, from other brands.
3.) HOW ARE YOU UNIQUE? Depending on the product space you’re in, it’s assumed there’s some serious competition out there. And lots of it. The unique value of your brand weighs heavy on consumer purchasing decisions. Does your tee shirt have a one-of-a-kind fit? Let people know. Is your lip gloss the shiniest and most durable of any lip gloss on the market? Own that product value. Set the tone and narrative of your product that separates you from anyone else selling in your specific marketplace.
4.) GO MOBILE: Earlier this year, a *Forrester retail best practices report estimated that roughly 40-45% of all eCommerce transactions in 2017 came from a mobile device. That number is constantly on the rise. It’s time to start designing web stores with a “mobile-first” approach. Product pages need to adapt to smaller screens to succinctly showcase imagery and descriptions. The check-out flow requires a well-defined but simplified process on mobile phones and tablets. A web store that is coded to serve an experience specific to mobile purchasers has become increasingly more important every year (maybe even every month!).
5.) GO BEYOND PURCHASE: As discussed, designing your web store for a seamless shopping experience is key…but why else should customers visit your website in between purchases? Content is king, and web retailers should be capitalizing on that fact. If you’re selling medical devices, craft content that speaks to your vertical and gives pertinent industry insight into what makes a smart medical device purchase. Give visitors content that not only offers additional value in engaging with your brand, but also helps with SEO optimization. Search engines are looking for reasons to give your product search-return priority over other brands in that space. Creating good content (and lots of it) can boost your overall site traffic and SEO standing. You can read more about the importance of the post-checkout experience here.
* SOURCE: https://www.adweek.com/digital/mobile-shopping-is-on-the-rise-but-remains-split-between-the-mobile-web-and-apps/