10 Must-Haves when Developing an eCommerce Website

Why do some digital retailers dominate the market? It might be their websites. Product pages, customer reviews, social media buttons — all of these features improve the online experience for shoppers and send sales into the stratosphere. Here are 10 must-haves for any eCommerce website.

1. Guest Checkout

Fourteen percent of consumers abandon shopping carts because there is no guest checkout option, according to research. Want to boost sales? Let customers purchase products without having to register for a new account.

2. Detailed Product Pages

Having individual product pages with detailed information (product specifications, photos, shipping costs and so on) helps consumers make purchasing decisions. You could also include product availability, size and color options and sizing charts.

3. Suggest Similar Products

Cross-sells and upsells make up between 10 and 30 percent of e-commerce revenue. Sell more products by suggesting similar items that might interest customers. You can include links to similar items on product pages or send them via email to customers after they have made a purchase.

4. "Add to Cart" Button

An "add to cart" button serves as the ultimate call-to-action on any e-commerce site. Make it large and position it away from other elements on the page. Red buttons work best, according to one study, as they invoke a sense of urgency.

5. Payment Methods

Be flexible when accepting payment from consumers. Most online retailers accept Visa and MasterCard, but what about PayPal, bank transfer or American Express? Consider incorporating more payment methods to improve the user experience. You could even include logos of payment service providers at the bottom of your e-commerce pages.

6. Blog

Blogging about new products and special offers influences purchasing decisions and results in more revenue. Various studies prove the power of blogging: B2B marketers who blog generate 67 percent more leads than those who don't, while companies who blog receive 97 percent more links to their website.

7. Customer Reviews

A good customer review could sway a prospect to make a purchase from your online store, so let shoppers leave reviews on your product pages. Sixty-three percent of consumers are more likely to purchase a product from a website that includes user reviews.

8. Social Buttons

Social media is a powerful way to increase brand exposure online. Still, few digital retailers take advantage of this technology: the average e-commerce website has fewer than 500 fans on Facebook. Buck this trend by keeping your social pages active and include social buttons at the bottom of your e-commerce pages. This lets consumers share your content on sites like Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

9. Returns Policy

Including your returns policy on your website could shift more products. Sixty-seven percent of consumers check returns pages before making a purchase. Make sure you have one!

10. "About Us" Page

Your "about us" page is an introduction to your brand. Here, customers discover your company goals and objectives and what separates you from your competitors. You could include illustrations, videos and images, too. Alternatively, feature customer testimonials — brand recommendations from people who have used your services in the past.
These 10 eCommerce website features optimize the shopping experience and encourage more customers to add your products to their cart. Incorporate a few of these into your website and you could see an increase in sales in just a few weeks.
For more ideas of changes and tweaks to make to your website, download our Website Redesign Checklist to guage how your website is performing to industry standards.

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