10 Must-Have Features for E-commerce Sites
By Lisa Michaels ; December 7th, 2018

More people than ever before are buying the essentials online. From favorite foods to stylish shoes, online-shopping success relies on e-commerce software. Your business must pay close attention to the website so that shopping ease is the norm.

Take a close look at the must-have features for your e-commerce site. Simplicity is often the measure of success.

1. Intuitive Interface

Although every website has a different design, they all have common navigation that consumers rely on. Tabs aligned along the top, horizontal section of the page are typical. You might add left-side margins to the pages as well.

Creating a page that isn't intuitive for the average consumer will encourage them to shop elsewhere. They should feel comfortable about finding items on your site.

Consumers who have never been to your site should be able to navigate around the pages. If most people can do this, you have a successful website.

2. Filtering and Sorting Ease

Your site may have hundreds of products. There must be a way to simplify the search process. Pay careful attention to your filters and sorting options.

Filtering allows consumers to specify a product, industry or model number in their search. Hundreds of products are now narrowed down to a few dozen. As a result, consumers can find and buy their items with incredible ease.

Don't overlook the importance of the sorting function. Arranging items from low to high or high to low must be options. Recommended products can also be a choice.

3. Keep up With Website Security

Your customers will look for other sites if your security isn't updated. Be sure to maintain your SSL certificate. This security protocol stops identity theft in its tracks.

With each unsecured transaction, your customers are vulnerable to hacking. They may not even know that it's occurring until their information is compromised.

Protecting your customers will only improve their perspective of your service. They'll seek you out for both your products and Internet security.

4. Social-Media Sharing

Don't overlook the importance of socializing your product line. Consumers love to talk about their experiences with companies and products. Be part of the conversation so that your products fly off of the virtual shelves.

Incorporate buttons into your website that link to the latest, social-media sites. You might have an account on one of those platforms as well. Encourage conversation about your brand or the industry at large. The return is more people gravitating toward your brand.

5. Integrating Email Marketing

Within your site should be an area where people can sign up for emails. Advertise coupons, how-to information and other perks of being on the mailing list. These emails can be extremely helpful when it comes to familiarizing your brand.

Customers may not read each email, but the e-commerce site remains in their minds. When they have a need, they'll automatically think of you.

6. Site Analytics

A must-have feature for your site is analytics. You should know where your customers point and click during an average visit. The information tells you when the site needs some alterations to ease frustrations.

Learn about the products that move or sit idle. Know if your blog is making any links back to the home page. All of this data can be manipulated into bigger profits than before.

7. Diversifying Payments

Be a trendsetter when it comes to payment options. People want more than just the standard, credit-card charge. Accept third-party payments, such as through online apps, because your customers will go elsewhere if their favorite payment plan isn't available.

Always choose reputable plans that have as much security as your company's site. Creating vulnerabilities with questionable companies is a problem.

8. Mobile Access

A mobile component to your e-commerce site is a must. The majority of people who shop online will do it through a smartphone or tablet. If they encounter a full site, it's too confusing on the small screen.

Mobile access includes basic information for your company along with key items. There's often a search feature where images and descriptions can be downloaded. Because consumers have an easy way to access your products, a quick sale through tapping on the screen is possible.

9. Simple Categorization

A wide variety of products available on your site is the goal, but they must be logically organized. Create categories that systematically narrow down your product lines. Your customers will be able to follow the patterns, which lead them to similar items that they may need.

Listing the items without any categorization will only lead your customers into a huge inventory that's difficult to manage. Guide them with smart categories, which will boost your bottom line.

10. Relating Products Together

A feature that many consumers enjoy on a subconscious level is related products. They may be looking at one product. It doesn't exactly fit their needs, however.

They scroll just a bit further, and consumers see a product that's similar to the featured one. You may create a sale on an item that would be otherwise overlooked.

Set up your software to reflect the latest items and their categories. It will pay off in the end.

Continually update your website as the fiscal quarters pass by. Giving the site a few different products and seasonal specials on a regular basis will show your clients that they're known and appreciated. Your e-commerce site will continue to flourish over the years as a result.

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