B2B and B2C ecommerce continues to grow and breakneck speed, and with to the coronavirus pandemic forcing high streets to close for months on end, the industry will be worth £5.3 billion more this year than it was in 2019, reaching £78.9bn in the UK alone. And it’s clear why: consumers not only prefer to shop online because it’s faster, but it’s also more convenient, offers more choice and flexibility, and ultimately reduces the cost of products.

If you’re making the transition to a new ecommerce website, we’ve got just the read for you.

Below, we’ve rounded up some essential features to include in your new ecommerce site….

 

Omnichannel consistency

Modern shoppers spend more time browsing on their smartphones than their desktops, but it is vital that your ecommerce website looks just as good on both. Mobile has even surpassed TV as the medium attracting the most consumer minutes of attention per day, but research shows that many consumers will “window shop” on their phone, and then check out on a PC.

Because of this, your website not only needs to be responsive and accessible on all modern internet browsers and devices, but the user experience must also be consistent. Everything from the top menu bar to your search functionality and product listings should look the same (or, at least similar) across all devices. Don’t “water down” product descriptions for mobile; in fact, as search engines now index sites on a mobile-first basis, this could harm your SEO.

 

Don’t neglect your homepage

Whilst the vast majority of your ecommerce traffic will come from pay-per-click advertising, SEO and landing pages, your homepage is still the “shop front” of your business. People will click onto your homepage and that’ll be their first experience with your brand. If it’s bland or too complicated, they’ll likely click back and shop with a rival ecommerce company instead.

Your homepage should be well-designed and bold. Consider adding a banner that promotes a new range of products or an upcoming holiday season like New Year’s Eve, or you could even experiment with video content to maximise engagement. Having said that, consumer’s attention spans are becoming shorter, so your homepage must also be concise and simple.

A good homepage should also convey your business values, demonstrate your credibility and authority in your industry, and offer some insights into your customer service. Adding a link to a Trustpilot or Google Reviews profile will give first-time visitors a positive impression.

 

Don’t overlook your shopping cart

Next up, make sure that you put some focus into your shopping cart. This is the last page that potential customers will see before they decide whether to check out or click ‘X’, so it must be engaging and designed to convert. One recent study saw that the average shopping cart abandonment rate was as high as 75% in some industries, so make this a priority.

Make it easy for customers to edit and add to their order – for example, adding a plus and minus button text to products allows customers to modify their purchase without having to start all over again. You should also clearly display prices and totals on every checkout page, allow customers to add promotional codes and discounts, and see an estimated date for shipping. The more informative your checkout pages are, the less likely customers are to disappear. If you’re not sure where to start, follow Amazon as an A+ shopping cart student.

You should remember: no matter how attractive your cart is, some shoppers will click back without purchasing. Use tracking tools to monitor users across the web and ask for email addresses early so that you can send follow-ups to remind them to complete their purchase.

 

Make your search stand out

One of the reasons why 30% of all ecommerce sales are conducted via Amazon in the UK is because of its first-class search functionality. Over the years, Amazon has developed an unbeatable algorithm designed to show shoppers what they want to see, every time. That’s why ecommerce is so popular: customers can find exactly what they want to purchase in a couple of seconds, instead of spending hours flicking through racks of clothing or shelves.

On your ecommerce website and app, your search bar is a miniature search engine, and it should be visible at all times to maximise engagement and sales. Don’t settle for standard out-of-the-box search plugins offered by WordPress or Shopify, either; code your own that’s optimised for conversions, taking into account your popular products and the latest trends.

 

Offer social proof

Finally, make sure that you offer social proof on all of your product pages so that shoppers can see what they’re buying. 84% of shoppers online trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family. Prominently displaying social media posts, testimonials, and user-generated content is the key to maximising sales and conversions.

Be careful not to use APIs for this, though, as you may find that a negative review pops up and you’ll be pushing customers away rather than converting them. Manually select reviews and images from satisfied customers and feature them on your product pages, alongside your standard product reviews functionality. And keep your reviews and social proof current: TrustPulse says 83% of users think reviews older than 3 months aren’t relevant anymore.

 

There you have it – vital features you must include when developing an ecommerce website for your business. If you’re looking for help, reach out to the web development team at Zudu today on 01382 690080 to arrange a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

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