The global health crisis has forced people to practice social distancing measures and forego shopping at physical retailers. As a result, many entrepreneurs and business owners have focused their energy into moving to online marketplaces or building their own ecommerce websites. This has created a massive increase in digital sales, and in fact, the ecommerce market in the UK is projected to be worth €222.5 billion (£201.9 billion) by the end of this year. However, not all businesses that migrate to the digital landscape will be a success.
While listing your business in online marketplaces like Amazon has its perks, launching your own ecommerce website is better, as you’ll have full control over how you present your brand and fully enjoy your profits.
In this post, we’ve listed the 5 must-have features for your ecommerce website.
1. Mobile-Friendly Interface
These days, more and more people are using their mobile phones to access the internet instead of PCs and laptops. It’s a must, then, for your ecommerce website to be mobile-friendly. In our ‘Step by Step Guide on Making Your Own Online Store’, we pointed out that making your website appealing to customers is crucial to customer retention and increases your business’ credibility. So, be sure to advise your web developer that you want a responsive website that can run smoothly on any mobile browser that your customer might use.
2. An Optimised Search Box
Your ecommerce website will never be complete until it has an internal search engine. Most of the time, customers are looking for a specific product from your store, and a search box can streamline that process for them. However, you need to make sure that your search box is optimised as it can be frustrating to deal with one that provides inaccurate or incomplete results. You can optimise your search box by using machine learning methods that suggest relevant results and by adding predictive text for quicker searches.
3. Deals, Sales, and Freebies
Business owners should strategically have exclusive deals and other special offers in order to boost traffic on their ecommerce website and subsequently, increase sales. When a consumer feels like they’re getting the most out of a deal, they’re more likely to go through with a purchase. So, it’ll be in your business’ best interest to have a dedicated category page for sales and deals. This way, anyone who visits your ecommerce website can easily find where your promotions are — and maybe even take advantage of deals that they feel like they might be missing out on.
4. Multiple Payment Options
There are a lot of factors that affect basket abandonment — but not having enough payment methods seems to be the main culprit. In fact, a study on IT Pro Portal reveals that 44% of UK consumers will desert their would-be purchases if the seller’s website does not employ their favourite payment method. In this regard, FIS Global stresses that payments should be simple, secure, and relevant to your customer. Giving your customers the option to pay how they want, when they want, and from any device they want is key to maximising your profits in the world of ecommerce. So when you set up your website, be sure to offer the most popular payment methods like debit or credit cards, cash on delivery, mobile payment options, and PayPal.
5. Responsive Customer Service
No ecommerce platform and website is perfect, and any consumer is bound to encounter problems when shopping on an online marketplace. However, how businesses respond to a customer’s issue will greatly affect the outcome of an online mishap. That’s why it’s important for your ecommerce website to have a responsive store support team that’s ready to address any of your customer’s issues — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you can’t afford outsourcing or hiring a customer support team, you can utilise the AI chatbots from Bold360 and BotEngine instead.