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31 août 2021 • Resources

7 Essential ecommerce features every online store should have in 2021

7 Essential ecommerce features every online store should have in 2021

Have the urge to become your own boss and start an ecommerce business? You’re not alone.

According to 99firms, there are somewhere between 12 million and 24 million ecommerce websites around the world. With the increasing popularity of online shopping, many people want to try their hand at selling products or services on the internet. 

However, it takes quite a bit to become one of the top ecommerce sites in the world. There are numerous factors that play a role in how well an online store does. 

Besides having a high-quality product or service to offer to the world, you need to have a great website with a variety of features. 

This is, after all, where people will get to know you and your brand. It’s also where you’ll be trying to convert visitors to customers to generate sales and grow your business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a great ecommerce website, one that not only attracts customers but will keep them coming back for more. Be sure to do your research and choose an ecommerce platform that will provide you with all the necessary tools for success. 

As you start to check items off your ecommerce checklist when preparing to launch your own online store, here’s a list of features that you’ll definitely want your website to have! 

1. A beautiful, efficient, and mobile-friendly design

One of the initial features people are going to notice when visiting your site is its appearance. This is often a potential customer’s first impression of your business, so you definitely want it to appear amazing and accurately reflect your brand.

Yes, I know…beauty is in the eye of the beholder...so how are you supposed to create a dazzling website that will appeal to the masses?

Well, while it’s true that it’s impossible to please everybody, there are certain elements of ecommerce website design that are universally attractive. 

For instance, it’s generally best to go for a clean, uncluttered design for ecommerce websites. Customers can get distracted easily, so rather than including lots of bright, elaborate graphics, make your products the main focus.

Speaking of your products, you also want to ensure that any photos you add, for products or otherwise, are high quality. 

The best way to obtain good photos is by working with a professional photographer, but if that’s not in your budget, that’s okay. As long as you’ve got great lighting and the right background, you can still achieve some really nice product photos yourself! 

In addition, you want these images to highlight your product and its features in the best ways possible.

Customers will also want to see the item at different angles to be able to view all of its details. This will help to create a better overall user experience for site visitors and can help you to sell more products.

A third element that goes into creating a beautiful website design is color, which of course also ties into branding. You want to be sure that the colors you use on your site represent your brand and the message that you want to portray to customers

Try to keep the main colors of your website relatively easy on the eyes for a smoother scrolling experience as visitors explore your store. 

Nevertheless, don’t be afraid of employing pops of bolder colors elsewhere to emphasize certain points. This might include, for example, when you want to highlight a special promotion or the “Add to cart” button.

Did you know that WiziShop offers clients a wide range of responsive design templates from which to choose? That’s right! When building your website, you can select a template that’s a perfect fit for your business and your personality.

Besides having a design that looks good, you want your site to be efficient so that customers enjoy shopping at your online store. When building your site, always keep the customer in mind.

Is it easy for them to navigate your website and find what they’re looking for? If not, they may get frustrated and opt to leave and make their purchases elsewhere.

If you’ve got quite a few products, you may want to add a search bar and organize your products into categories. The easier and faster it is for customers to locate a product, the more likely it is that they’ll buy something. 

From the moment visitors arrive on your page to when they’re checking out, the experience should be simple and effortless.

You’ll also want to be sure that your ecommerce website loads as quickly as possible. According to Neil Patel, if a site takes more than 4 seconds to load, it may lose around 25% of its visitors. Yikes. 

So how can you speed up your online store? Try to limit pop-ups and avoid broken links and redirects where you can. You can also compress your site’s images, which makes them smaller but doesn’t decrease their quality.

Boost your ecommerce website’s performance with the help of WiziShop’s 400+ tools that you’ll have at your disposal as soon as you sign up. These features make it easier for you to manage your ecommerce site and also improve its efficiency, giving your customers a truly enjoyable shopping experience! 

Finally, a great website design should also be optimized for use on mobile devices. With the staggering number of people who have smartphones, it’s no wonder that there’s also been quite an uptick in mobile commerce. 

To avoid missing out on these sales, you’ll want to ensure that your website can be viewed just as well on mobile devices as desktops. 

Fortunately, when you create your ecommerce website on the WiziShop platform, it’s automatically compatible with Google’s AMP format. This allows for accelerated loading on mobile devices, decreasing the time it takes for a page to load up to 85%!

2. A check-out optimized for conversions

For any online store, the check-out process is a very important step in the purchasing process. A complicated or unclear check-out experience can quickly frustrate customers, leading to a loss in conversions. Customers may decide to just leave your website if making a purchase is too much of a hassle.

In fact, Statista found that as of March 2020, the average cart abandonment rate for ecommerce stores was around 88%. 

When shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, if customers decide not to buy something, they must physically leave the building, get in their cars, and return home. However, it’s much easier to abandon a purchase online, as they only need to exit a website.

To convert as many visitors into customers as possible, you’ll want to make your check-out process efficient and easy for shoppers. Luckily, we at WiziShop have a few tricks up our sleeves to assist you with this!

Our “Smart Check-Out” innovation reduces the time required for customers to place an order on our clients’ websites. How were we able to achieve this? Well, we’ve added all kinds of optimizations designed to make the purchasing process a breeze.

For example, there’s non-mandatory account creation, data retrieval from Facebook and PayPal, and help filling out customers’ delivery addresses. In addition, any spelling mistakes or typos are automatically corrected, and visitors can save their shopping carts for 30 days. 

Finally, all the check-out steps are on a single page for the added convenience of your customers.

Thanks to our Smart Check-Out, customers visiting your store can make purchases three times as quickly as they could from stores using different ecommerce platforms. In the age of instant gratification, this is a huge advantage for your business!

Finally, to further help boost sales for your store during the check-out process, consider using upselling and cross-selling techniques

Upselling involves trying to get customers to buy products that are more expensive than the one they’re currently interested in. Cross-selling, in contrast, has the aim of getting customers to buy products that complement the one that’s already caught their eye.

With both techniques, the goal is to, of course, increase the total value of the customer’s order. However, be careful when employing these approaches, as some customers may be put off by a site that appears too aggressive or “salesy.” 

Only display additional products during the check-out process that actually make sense for the customer and can legitimately fulfill their needs.

3. Email marketing and abandoned-cart emails

The concept of email marketing can sometimes be a little overwhelming for owners of online stores, especially those just starting out. With so many aspects to consider with an ecommerce business, they might wonder if it’s really necessary to delve into email marketing right away. 

While you don’t need to completely master the subject, having a good understanding of the basics can do wonders for your store!

In fact, the ability to engage in effective email marketing is an essential feature of any ecommerce website. 

It’s a direct way to connect with people, allowing you to build relationships with current and potential customers alike. With email marketing, you can increase your online store’s profitability without having to depend on social media analytics or search engine rankings.

Furthermore, remember that statistic in the previous section regarding the average cart abandonment rate? 

Because cart abandonment is so prevalent in ecommerce, it’s important that you’re able to let visitors know when items remain in their shopping carts. A gentle reminder can often get them to return to your store to complete their purchases.

When you collaborate with WiziShop to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality, you’ll also have access to our complete emailing tool, Auto-Mail Booster. 

This feature can seriously advance your email marketing efforts, allowing you to send newsletters, customize email content, and track your results as they happen!

That’s not all. With Auto-Mail Booster, you can automatically program follow-up emails, such as for abandoned cart reminders. All you need to do is select the email subject, create the email, and choose the client segment that will be receiving the email. Voilà.

Because this tool allows you to go into tons of detail, you can completely customize your email campaigns to suit your business’s individual needs. 

Whether you want to send customers a discount code on their birthdays or alert them about a 24-hour promotion, it’s easy with the WiziShop platform!

4. Effective SEO

Ahhh...search engine optimization (SEO). Whether you love it, hate it, or are utterly mystified by how it works, it’s an essential element for your ecommerce website. When SEO is done right, it can drive amazing amounts of traffic to your online store, resulting in an excellent boost in sales.

While some suggest that SEO is a thing of the past (blasphemy), we at WiziShop know that it’s just as important as ever. So, why should you care about optimizing your website for search engines?

To put it simply, the main goal of SEO is to prove that you’re an expert in your field and make Google happy. 

Though you’re technically aiming to please search engines in general, I say “Google” because it far outranks any of the other search engines in popularity. In fact, Statista notes that as of July 2020, Google’s market share was at just about 87%.

Anyway, if Google likes your website, it’ll show up higher in the list of sites on the search engine results page. You’ve got a better chance of people checking out your store if your site’s on the first page of results rather than the seventh. 

For this reason, you can see why effective SEO is one of the most important features for websites of businesses involved in internet commerce!

Does the thought of determining how to achieve this make you want to head back to bed and abandon all hopes of being successful in ecommerce? Stay with me, my friend.

WiziShop takes care of all the technical aspects of SEO for your website for you. You won’t have to worry about a thing! 

When you create your online store with our platform, we’ll optimize your images and ensure that your site meets the required standards. Furthermore, we’ll also make sure that it uses all the best practices for SEO.

However, SEO is definitely an ongoing process. Google changes its algorithms frequently, so an action you took six months ago may not be as effective for your site today. Guess what, though?

Yep, you won’t have to worry about this either with WiziShop! We’re constantly monitoring to keep our clients’ online stores up to date with all the latest and greatest features. You can relax and focus on your products and your other marketing efforts!

5. Multiple payment and delivery methods

I’m assuming you’re not creating an online store just because you’re bored and want to show off your awesome handmade bow ties for chinchillas. You’re probably hoping to make some money along the way too, right?

To achieve financial success in ecommerce, you’ll want to be sure that your website can manage accepting payments from customers. However, be mindful of the forms of payment you allow during the check-out process. 

It’s not enough to just offer customers one way to pay for your products.

The payment methods that you choose to accept can have an effect on convenience and online security for your customers. This will, in turn, play a role in conversion rates and the development of customer trust and loyalty. 

When determining the best payment methods to allow, consider your target audience, budget, and business goals.

In addition, you’ll want to think about where the majority of your customers live, as payment method preferences vary around the world

For instance, a 2019 survey by Statista found that online shoppers prefer paying via credit/debit card in the Americas, China, and India. However, options such as PayPal, Alipay, etc. were preferred for shoppers in Europe. 

Besides supplying customers with a variety of payment methods, it’s also a good idea to offer numerous delivery options. The delivery experience is a crucial element in determining user satisfaction. 

If your online store has only one method for delivery and is accompanied by high shipping fees, you may have difficulty converting customers.

Consider offering at least one delivery method that comes with free shipping. Many businesses engaging in commerce on the internet provide free shipping for their customers. For this reason, this is now a service that online shoppers have often come to expect. 

You may find that it’s not feasible for your business to supply free shipping for every purchase. In this case, perhaps you might allow it when customers spend a certain amount per order. 

Whichever payment and delivery methods you decide to use for your website, note that with the WiziShop ecommerce platform, there are no complicated installations

With over 50 options already integrated, finding the ones that work best for your business is a cinch!

6. Promo codes and other ways to reward customer loyalty

Unless your store offers an extremely rare product, there’s the possibility that your customers will decide to shop elsewhere if they find a better offer. People like to feel appreciated, and this is no less true in the world of ecommerce. 

Acknowledging that customers have multiple options for online shopping and showing your appreciation for their choice to patronize your store is crucial. A great way to do this is by employing a customer loyalty program. 

Fortunately, WiziShop provides an easy-to-use feature that lets you customize customer reward parameters to suit your unique requirements!

For example, you can determine if customers can earn loyalty points based on their number of purchases or the amount of money they spend. You are also able to decide if these points can be combined with other discounts or promo codes. 

In addition, the feature allows you to select whether customers continue to earn points for purchases made with a discount coupon.

Perhaps you’d like to allow customers to build and keep points, which then rewards them based on a ranking system. For instance, shoppers could earn a 5% discount on all future purchases after having placed 10 orders. 

The customizations don’t end there. You can decide when a customer’s rewards kick in, e.g., for the second order or maybe the fifth. It’s also possible to set a loyalty discount to apply only when the customer spends a certain amount, say $50 (USD).

It’s completely up to you! Everything can be tailored to your preferences with just a few clicks.

Furthermore, managing your promo codes is super simple in your online store’s administration area. The promo code creation tool features three sections that allow you to adjust different parameters. This includes the promo code’s main information, its configuration, and its common options.

Don’t forget to make use of WiziShop’s complete emailing tool to announce new promotions or highlight your customer loyalty program!

7. Multilingual options

If your ecommerce business is relatively new, it’s possible that expanding internationally is the farthest thing from your mind. Nevertheless, there’s a good chance that at some point in the future, you might want to give it a try!

Going global is relatively easy for online stores compared to physical stores, provided you’ve got a rock-star ecommerce platform, of course. When you’re ready to start growing your business even more, why not take advantage of WiziShop’s MultiShop feature?

Besides allowing you to create multiple stores that share product stock, this feature lets you export products internationally by creating stores with different languages. 

For example, you could have a French store and a Spanish store, each featuring its own domain name along with different products and pricing (if required).

Each language that you add creates a new store for several reasons. This allows you to adapt the products and design as needed and have stores with separate IP addresses for geolocation, which helps to improve SEO.

The MultiShop feature also ensures that the stock is synchronized across your different stores to better help you manage the products you sell. In addition, switching between the stores is simple. With just a couple of clicks, you can go back and forth to add new products, verify stock, etc.

You shouldn’t be limited in any way when it comes to your ecommerce success, and this includes language! That’s why WiziShop believes that giving clients multilingual options for their stores is an integral part of the platform.

There you have it! Now you know some of the features that are essential for ecommerce websites, no matter what products or services they sell. Fortunately, when you create your online store with WiziShop, you’ll have all access to all these features and more

Ready to enjoy that entrepreneurial life and start your own ecommerce business? We at WiziShop would delight in being part of your journey to online sales success.

You’ll be able to sign up with the English version of our platform in the coming months. Be sure to visit our homepage and provide your email address to sign up for early access and email updates!

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