E-commerce Website Essentials: Does Your Site Have All 10?

Chloe Bucknell

In the digital age, one of the best ways to keep up with your customers is by having a killer website. Your online store might look pretty, but does it have all 10 of our suggested e-commerce website essentials?

If you want to sell products online, it’s vital that you have an e-commerce site. After all, e-commerce accounted for over 14% of retail sales in 2019, and that percentage is projected to increase over the coming years.

Want expert assistance building your e-commerce website, driving site traffic, or increasing conversions? Explore our web design & development packages and marketing services and request a free quote today.

If you’re looking to get in on the e-commerce action, you need to make sure your website has the essential e-commerce features it needs to succeed in 2022. That’s why, in this post, we’ll go over our top 10 recommended e-commerce website essentials:

1. Contact Page | 2. Reviews, Ratings & Social Proof | 3. Item Availability | 4. Multiple Payment Options | 5. Easy Checkout Process | 6. User-Friendly navigation | 7. Mobile-Friendly design | 8. Multiple Security Features | 9. High Quality Visual Content | 10. Detailed Shipping & Return Policies

1. Contact Page (with multiple contact options)

Having a contact page on your eCommerce site will help users solve problems in real-time, answer questions, and make complaints. They’re also great for your business because you can use them to collect user feedback and build lasting relationships with your customers.

Your contact page should include different ways for people to reach out to you, such as a phone number, an email address, and social media profiles. You can also use a chatbot on this page to answer users’ questions and help them get in contact with the right members of your team.

2. Reviews, Ratings & Social Proof

Do you read online reviews before you buy something? So do 95% of customers.

And, more than 70% of users won’t make a purchase until they’ve read reviews. That’s why including ratings and reviews on your website is one of the top e-commerce website essentials.

So how can you get your own customer reviews? Build review functionality into your site, and encourage shoppers to leave reviews on third-party sites like Google My Business and Facebook. You should also ask for testimonials from satisfied customers that you can use on your site, as well as in marketing campaigns.

3. Item Availability

You’ve found the perfect product. You know you want it, and you’re ready to buy.

But then… it’s out of stock! HOW ANNOYING!

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to avoid this frustration and disappointment: simply make your product availability prominent on each product page, so customers can easily find the information.

Cox & Cox e-commerce website essentials

If an item is out of stock, let your customers know when it will be available again and give them the option to sign up for a back-in-stock notification. That way, they won’t miss out on anything they really want and you’re more likely to convert the sale at a later date.

4. Multiple Payment Options

It’s an increasingly competitive market; how does your eCommerce site stand out from the crowd? The way you accept payment.

It may cost a little more with the % they take, however, allowing as many popular payment options as possible improves your customers’ experience and can encourage conversions.

In addition to major credit cards, consider accepting payment methods such as PayPal and Apple Pay. Display icons of accepted payment methods on your site, so shoppers know in advance what they can use to buy your products.

Fairfax & Favor ecommerce website essentials Klarna

Most popular with the younger generation, if this is your target audience you should consider gateways such as Klarna, Clearpay or Laybuy.

5. Easy Checkout Process

Your shopping cart and checkout buttons are more important than you think.

When it comes to e-commerce, your website features are everything. When the user clicks into their cart, show them all the details, such as the name, price, and quantity of each product in their cart.

The White Company eCommerce website essentials checkout

Shoppers should also be able to remove items or change item quantity directly from their cart. Also, allow customers to save their cart so they can come back to it later.

6. User-Friendly Navigation

If you want to provide a great user experience, navigation is key. As an eCommerce retailer, it’s important that users can quickly find what they need on your site. If you make them search for too long, they’re likely to grow frustrated and move on.

Great e-commerce websites provide clear menus that make it easy to browse different product categories. But just having good navigation isn’t enough—you need to make sure shoppers know where to find it. Place these menus in easy-to-find locations, such as across the top of every page.

Holland Cooper eCommerce Website Store

Additionally, consider adding filters and sorting options. This allows customers to search based on their preferences, whether that’s by price or style or colour or size (or anything else). The exact features you add depend on the products you sell and the attributes that are most important to your customers.

Cox & Cox eCommerce Website Features

When done right, these features will help visitors find what they need faster and make it more likely that they’ll purchase from your site.

7. Mobile-Friendly design

Did you know that more than half of all website traffic now comes from mobile devices, and 61% of consumers are more likely to buy from mobile-friendly sites?

That means making your e-commerce website mobile-friendly can increase both your traffic and conversions! To make your site mobile-friendly, use responsive web design — it’s best practice for e-commerce web design.

Responsive websites adjust to the screen on which someone views them, so your site looks great and works correctly on laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

One way to ensure a good user experience on mobile is by using a sticky navigation bar. With this technique, the navigation bar stays “stuck” at the top of the page when users scroll down. This makes it easy for visitors to find important links no matter where they are on the page.

You should also consider making your CTA buttons large enough so that users can click them easily with their thumbs; otherwise they could accidentally click somewhere else on their screens and exit your site.

8. Multiple Security Features

The security of your e-commerce website is essential. If your customers don’t trust your site, they won’t make a purchase, and you’ll lose their business. And if your site isn’t secure, you’re at risk of significant financial and legal consequences.

What steps can you take to protect your customers and keep them coming back for more?

Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates: SSL certificates are a way to encrypt data on your e-commerce website so that it can be transmitted securely from browser to server. A certificate also shows visitors that you take the security of your site seriously, which helps build trust and loyalty.

Make Use of Address Verification System (AVS) & Credit Card Verification Value (CVV): An AVS requires that the customer enter the billing address associated with their credit card. This makes it harder for hackers to use stolen credit card information to make purchases on your site. And when CVV is required at checkout, customers must enter the three-digit code printed on the back of their card. Both AVS and CVV help reduce fraud while keeping your customers safe.

9. High Quality Visual Content

If your e-commerce website doesn’t have a high-quality, luxury look, then it’s essential to make that change. Visual content is key for attracting and keeping shoppers on your site, so the quality of your images and videos impacts your sales.

Make sure that you have professional, high-quality photos and videos on your site to draw shoppers in, show them what they need to know about your products, and help them make purchase decisions.

Your visual content should include multiple images of each product from different angles and show people using your products in different ways. This gives shoppers the information they need to feel confident in their purchase decision.

You should also consider using product videos on your website. Product videos can increase the likelihood of shoppers buying an item by 85%.

Make sure that these elements don’t slow down load times, though. Use page speed optimisation techniques and services to improve how quickly pages load so that users aren’t turned off by slow loading times.

10. Detailed Shipping & Return Policies

If you are going to sell products online, you have to make it easy for people to find information about the shipping and return policies.

When customers can easily find this information, they will feel more comfortable making a purchase. That leads to a higher conversion rate, which is the number of people who take an action on your website out of the total number of visitors. The more conversions you have, the more money you can make.

You can put links to this information in your website’s footer. You should also consider offering free shipping or low-cost shipping and a generous return policy. It helps you stand out from the competition and can help boost your conversion rate.

Having good shipping and return policies are not essential for eCommerce sites, but they are good tools that can help increase sales and profits.

Would you like to take your e-commerce business to the next level? Start by making sure that your website has all of the e-commerce essentials.

If it doesn’t, we can help! Our team at CB Digital Design can build your e-commerce website from scratch or optimise your existing site for better functionality and more traffic.

You can start by requesting a copy of our services and pricing guide here or by giving us a call on 0115 7846809.