If you are planning to create an e-commerce website or already have one, this blog post may help you.
In this blog post, I have shared 7 basic yet essential features that you can’t affordable to miss in your e-commerce website.
Yes, it’s true that you can easily hire a website developer and get your e-commerce website developed quickly & cost-effectively. You can easily have your e-commerce store up and running in just few days or weeks with the help of CMSs like WordPress.
But do you know what are the basic features that you definitely need in your e-commerce store? Or are you sure enough that your website developer will incorporate all of those basic features on your website, even if you don’t ask to add them?
Here are 7 essential features that you must ensure to have on your online store.
#1 Easy products management
When you run an e-commerce store, you do need to add, edit and delete the products on your e-shop regularly. You may be required to update your products every month, every week or sometimes few times a week too.
If your website doesn’t have an easy-to-use product management system, you may have to face several consequences such as:
- Every time you need to add or remove any product, you will have to hire a web designer and pay him. This will increase your web development cost unnecessarily.
- You may have to wait for your developer to add the product(s) on your website, whereas if you know how to do that, you can do it yourself in few minutes only.
- If you are running any promotion or offer on your website, you may be required to take the products on & off your website quite frequently. So again, you can’t rely on your web developer each time when you need their quick assistance.
Taking control of your website is as important as its development. Therefore, you must ensure that your e-commerce website has an easy-to-use product management system.
#2 Robust reporting system
As an e-commerce business owner, you may need to run several reports in the backend of your website to view the sales or measure the performance of your business.
Having said above, a robust & solid reporting system is another essential feature that your online store must have.
Below are some of the important reports that you may need to run every now and then on your e-commerce store:
- Sales report
- Orders report
- Delivery report
- Customers report
- Discount report
- Inventory report
- Payments report
If your e-commerce backend system doesn’t allow you to fetch & download the above mentioned reports, you may never be able to run your business smoothly. Because you will always have to put a lot of time or assign a dedicated staff in order to make these reports manually.
#3 Attractive design
What do you think is one of the most important things that encourages the website visitors to stay for a longer duration? You got it right. It’s the website’s design.
The first thing that the visitors see when they interact with your online business is the design of your website.
So it won’t be wrong to say that the design of your e-commerce website is responsible, to an extent, for your overall sales & revenue.
Given the fact above, doesn’t it becomes very important for your web designer to pay attention to the layout of your website and make sure that it’s better than the rest (competitors)? Yes, it certainly is.
The colors of your website design also play an important role. Choosing wrong colors can affect the user-experience of your website by interfering with the buyers’ expectations.
For instance, if you sell flowers online, it could be a disaster to choose black theme for your website designing however if you sell premium products like diamonds, choosing black color can really do the magic for enhancement of user-experience.
A professional & experienced website designer would always know how to play with the colors.
#4 Responsive design
Not only an attractive design, but responsive design is a must for any successful e-commerce business.
A responsive design, also known as mobile-friendly design, enables your website visitors to browse the products on your e-commerce store easily on their handheld devices such as mobiles and tablets.
Did you know that more than 60% of the internet surfers use their mobile devices to find out their desired information or products online. Having said this, it becomes even more important than ever before to have a responsive e-commerce store.
A responsive website design can affect your business in 2 ways:
- Websites that are not responsive, tend to have low search engine rankings. Which means less traffic and low sales.
- Websites that are not responsive, tend to have high bounce rate due to the bad user-experience. In other words, when the mobile users don’t find your website responsive, they may quit immediately.
Therefore, you need to ensure that your e-commerce website must, must and must have responsive design for the mobile users.
#5 Security enabled
Security must be an integral part of any e-commerce website development.
Why e-commerce website security is so important?
E-commerce security norms help to guard the transactions on your e-commerce store. The security of your online store must be in place to protect customers and companies alike from threats such as credit card fraud, scamming & malware.
How can a website developer secure your website?
Well, there are many ways. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Using https:// instead of http://
- Ensuring that SSL certificate on your website has been integrated properly for all the webpages.
- Using reliable plugins & modules to build your website.
- Updating plugins of your website regularly to ensure that there is no security breach.
- Monitoring your website regularly for any malware and fixing them immediately when found.
- Installing firewall on your server.
- Hardening the passwords for FTP, control panel and admin section of your website.
What may happen if your website is not secured?
- Your website may loose search engine rankings which means less traffic and low sales.
- Your potential buyers may loose trust in your business and may never return back to purchase from you.
- Low conversions or no conversions at all.
- Legal complications in case of security breach such as data theft.
- Reputation damage of your company, website & business.
Don’t let any of the above consequences happen to you.
#6 Easy-to-use CMS
In order to grow your e-commerce business, you must participate actively to enhance & populate your online store. And to do this, your website must have an easy-to-use CMS (content management system) feature.
When you manage the contents of your e-commerce store yourself, without hiring any web designer, you save not only your time to manage those contents but you also save money which you may have spent by paying your developer for each update.
What all sections/areas on your website you should be able to manage easily?
- Texts & images on webpages such as about us, contact us etc.
- Discount codes/coupons management.
- Meta tags (for SEO), mainly webpage title and meta description.
- Website settings such as admin email, password etc.
- FAQs (frequently asked questions)
- Contact form submissions viewing & downloading
- Managing testimonials on your website.
- Blogs management
#7 SEO enabled
The primary objective to build any e-commerce website is to generate sales & profit. A website can generate as much sales as the traffic on it. In other words, the sales & profit of any e-commerce store is directly affected by the traffic it gets.
More traffic means more sales. Less traffic means low or no sales. It’s as simple as that.
When it comes to getting quality traffic on any website, SEO (search engine optimization) is perhaps one of the best mediums. Therefore, having an SEO-friendly e-commerce website will definitely help your business to grow in long-run.
Here are but few important on-page SEO elements that your e-commerce store must have:
- Optimized images
- Ability for you to define meta tags
- Sitemap & robots.txt file creation
- Optimized loading speed
- Cache plugin installed
Do make sure to check with your e-commerce developer about this SEO checklist.