eCommerce is changing the way businesses operate. Every shop, big or small, is taking its business online. Whether with social media accounts on Instagram or Facebook, or developing large-scale eCommerce platforms, custom-made for their businesses – every entrepreneur knows that online presence is key to business success.
Why are eCommerce platforms so popular?
eCommerce platforms were already growing at an exponential rate, but ever since the pandemic hit in 2020, the game changed forever. eCommerce platforms provide excellent convenience and security for users to buy all their necessities right from the comfort of their homes. With everyone’s busy schedules, relying on online businesses makes life much easier, so it’s no surprise why eCommerce platforms are so popular!
Why should businesses shift to eCommerce?
Given the unprecedented demand for eCommerce platforms, it makes perfect sense for businesses to shift online. Whether a business is just starting out or has an existing physical shop – businesses are sure to flourish so long as they maintain a strong online presence.
It is much easier to find your target customers online, and vice versa! You never know how many of your customers are looking for your products and services specifically. So, getting online improves your chances of connecting with them.
However, just creating an eCommerce platform is not enough to ensure your success. You need to ensure the platform is fully optimized and offers your customers the best possible user experience. There are some features that are absolute must-haves for successful eCommerce performance, and we have compiled a list of them just for you!
What makes eCommerce websites successful?
eCommerce websites have a lot of potential for revenue generation and success – granted that it is utilized properly. Below we have listed some of the best features to consider when creating or updating your eCommerce website.
1. Great Interface and Layout
You know what they say – looks matter. How you design and customize your eCommerce website and its functionalities can greatly influence the impressions of your customers. Some ways to ensure a good interface and layout include:
a. Responsive Design
The website needs to be optimized for a wide range of display sizes and devices. Your eCommerce platform should be easily accessible no matter where your customer is accessing it from, and every version should provide a streamlined experience.
b. User-Friendly Navigation
The navigation menus should be easy to understand and use. Using an intuitive interface is crucial for customers to have a great time while they are browsing through your website.
c. Promotion & Discount Code Tools
Providing customers incentives is an essential part of conducting business. Many eCommerce site owners utilize promotional offers and discounts to keep customers coming back to them. Having a built-in system for coupon codes and offers that can be used in the platform can help motivate your customers to make more purchases. For this, you can utilize a coupon plug-in to your website to generate and manage your offers.
d. Product Descriptions and Reviews
Adding a section for product reviews and descriptions can take your eCommerce platform to newer heights. When it comes to online shopping, customers are heavily dependent on product descriptions and honest reviews of others to get an idea about the product. Unlike physical shops, customers have no option to see the product in person to gauge whether it is worth buying. Therefore, providing product-related information is important to help motivate your customers to buy from you.
e. An Easy-to-Use Checkout
Checkout is the final step in a customer’s eCommerce journey, and it is vital to make this the easiest process overall. Many customers get discouraged at this stage if it is too complicated, so make sure the checkout process is super easy. Avoid using a multi-page checkout process, and make sure to support multiple payment processes such as card payments, mobile banking, cash on delivery, etc.
f. Order Tracking
Order tracking lets customers be reassured that their products are on the way. Having an interface, or even sending out push notifications regarding the delivery status of products ordered online, can greatly improve a customer’s impression of your website. Utilizing order tracking also helps you stay accountable and keeps things transparent with customers in case of delays or other logistical issues.
2. Content Management Capabilities
Your eCommerce platform needs to be adequately equipped to handle content and its changes. As a business, you need to frequently update things like prices, stock, and other detailed information – so it’s important to have a streamlined backend to help you do this without the help of developers.
a. Reporting Tools & Custom Report Features
Reporting tools give you important insight into how your business is performing online. It is helpful when making important business decisions, and can help you calculate your profits and losses.
b. Email Marketing Features or Integration
Email marketing is still quite popular and effective, so having email promotions integrated into your site can help bring more customers, or bring back repeat customers.
c. eCommerce Website Security and Privacy
eCommerce websites are at the highest risk from attackers due to the transactions that take place on them. It is crucial to maintain top security for your site to avoid incurring expensive damages to your data as well as the data of your customers.
d. Customer Support
Customer support is an important feature for any business that operates online. Sometimes customers face issues and require immediate assistance, so your eCommerce platform needs to facilitate quick response systems. You can even add chatbots for the more common issues, but it’s good to have live support on hand.
3. SEO-Friendly Features
No website can be successful without SEO optimization. SEO helps your site rank on search engines like Google or Bing. Without high rankings, your website can quickly get buried amidst the sea of other optimized websites. It’s important to invest in a good SEO strategy to attain success with your eCommerce platform. Some important features that help your SEO ratings include:
a. FAQ Schema
An FAQ section not only helps your customers find answers to their questions but also helps Google navigate the website properly, which in turn results in better visibility on the SERP. Google introduced Rich Snippets a few years ago, and this feature gives you better visibility online. Your chances of earning a rich snippet are higher with your FAQ section, so use it well!
b. Friendly URLs and Navigation
Alongside FAQ schema, there are a few other strategies that help with SEO performance. Having a simplified URL for each page helps users easily search for and navigate through the different pages of your eCommerce website.
On the note of navigation, having a proper breadcrumb trail on your eCommerce platform can boost navigation capabilities and help your users keep track of where they are. This helps your website rank higher due to user-friendliness, plus it keeps everything organized.
d. Web Speed Optimization
How long your website takes to load makes or breaks your success. According to recent findings, about 53% of users click away from a site if it takes longer than 5 seconds to load. That is a very big issue that needs to be tackled efficiently. Having faster loading times can save your eCommerce website from getting buried on the SERP.
4. Scalability & Multi-Platform Considerations
Much like a traditional business, scalability is important for an eCommerce platform as well. As your business expands, you might want to add more products. Similarly, the more customers start visiting your site, the more crucial it becomes to have the capacity to handle the increased traffic. So when you develop your eCommerce platform, keep scalability in mind, not just in terms of the website capacity, but also the performance across various devices.
a. Mobile App
Nowadays eCommerce websites have a supporting mobile app in place. Applications provide a lot of convenience to customers – especially those that like to browse items on their phones. When developing eCommerce websites, make sure to keep the possibility of mobile application development in mind so that you can seamlessly integrate them in the future.
b. Multi-Platform Consideration
There are countless types of devices available in the market, and you never know where your customers are coming from. Make sure that when you are developing your eCommerce website, you optimize it for the three main devices:
- – PC
- – Phone
- – Tablet
eCommerce is truly revolutionizing how businesses operate. Brick and Mortar shops are quickly becoming an expensive and redundant investment that businesses would be wise to ditch. eCommerce websites can help businesses flourish at a fraction of the cost of physical shops, as long as it is made efficiently.
If you’re thinking about creating an eCommerce platform for your business, try looking into some of the top eCommerce development companies available in your region.
1. How to pick the right eCommerce website developer?
There are hundreds of developers to choose from, but it is important to know who is the best match for your needs. Check out some of the top review sites and shortlist some names. Then look into their portfolio to see if they are a worthy choice.
2. How long does it take to build a custom eCommerce platform?
The duration depends on the complexity of the eCommerce project. On average, it should take about 5-6 months from start to finish to build a custom eCommerce website.
3. How much does it cost to develop an eCommerce Website?
It depends on the complexity of the requirements, but the cost can go as high as $10,000 depending on the scale of the project and the team you hire for development.
4. Which platform should I use to develop my eCommerce website?
There are quite a few choices available for eCommerce development. The top suggestions are: