Ecommerce Development: 6 Website Features Your Customers Crave

An ecommerce website lets you sell products online and ship them to customers around the world. Ecommerce is growing at a year-over-year rate of 23 percent, but a staggering 46 percent of small businesses don't even have a website. For those businesses who have decided to take a piece of online real estate, it can be hard to see any ROI off the bat. What makes an effective ecommerce site? Here are six website features that will help to turn visitors into happy customers.

1. Guest Checkout 

Twenty-three percent of internet users will abandon their shopping cart when asked to register a new account. That's almost a quarter of all consumers. To prevent losing out on sales, offer customers a guest checkout option. Many ecommerce site builders — Shopify, Magento, WordPress, etc. — let you set up this feature in mere seconds. As a result, shoppers can pay for products in a quicker timeframe without creating a new account. This way, it's more likely for a customer to have a good experience and return to your site, eventually creating an account.

2. Coupon Codes

Customers love coupon codes. Many of the world's biggest retailers allow consumers to use these promotions on their websites. It's something you can try, too. Setting up coupon codes on your site won't take long and could encourage more customers to make a purchase. Don't forget to promote your coupon codes, either. Emails with coupons have a 14 percent higher open rate and 34 percent more unique clicks than those that don't. 

3. Social Media Buttons

Social media buttons are great for promotion. They let shoppers share your product pages with their contacts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like. This way, more people see your products and services  (something that could accelerate sales). Facebook and Twitter social media buttons are the most-used by companies online, according to research. LinkedIn and Pinterest buttons are also popular. You can position your buttons at the top of your product pages, at the bottom, or on the side.

4. Name, Address and Phone Number

Placing your name, address and phone number at the top of your website provides consumers with peace of mind as they can contact you if have a question or a query. Contact information doesn't just benefit the consumer. Search engine bots crawl your pages looking for this information when they index your ecommerce site. Keeping your name, address and phone number information consistent across your website is great for search engine optimization purposes and could even increase your search rankings.

5. Product Reviews

Eighty-eight percent of consumers trust consumer reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 39 percent of consumers read reviews on a regular basis. Allowing customers to post reviews on your ecommerce site could help other shoppers make purchasing decisions. Setting everything up is pretty straightforward: most website builders have plugins and extensions that allow people to add reviews.

[RELATED: Want to add Google reviews to your website? Here's how.]

6. Photos

Photos are essential for any ecommerce campaign. They help to catch the attention of shoppers and sell your products. Make sure you have professional images on your product pages if you want to drive business growth. Alternatively, why not include a video that details your product? Four times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it, according to a study from Animoto.

These six ecommerce website features improve the online experience for your customers. Incorporate a few of these into your website design so consumers can navigate your site easier and purchase products and services. You could experience a surge in sales as a result! 

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