8 Features Your Ecommerce Website Needs [+ Infographic]

Last updated
November 2, 2021
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Read time
9 min

There is no doubt that an ecommerce website can be one of the most valuable assets for your business. But when it comes to building an ecommerce website, the options, functionalities, and design choices seem overwhelming.

So, how can you choose the most essential, results-driven features for your online success?

When you look at the best ecommerce websites examples, you see that most top ecommerce websites’ success is determined by the type of products sold, what problem they are solving for customers and the overall user experience. However, once that is all in place, let’s discuss the further refinements that can take your ecommerce store to the next level.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the must-have ecommerce features!

Table of Contents

1. Wishlist

As a company that sells certain products or services, you shouldn’t be too pushy or assertive. Why? Because customers always value simplicity, comfort, and convenience. If they somehow feel that the qualities they’re looking for are missing on your website design, they will not use it again.

Creating a convenient, fun shopping experience will make your visitors spend more time in your store and more likely to return later. If you let your users create their wishlists on your website, your site will start making steps towards becoming one of the top places where buyers enjoy spending time.

When you browse top ecommerce websites examples, you’ll come across wishlists quite often. The difference from a cart is that a wishlist contains items the user might not yet be ready to buy. That’s why eBay offers both to users: a regular cart and a wishlist where people can save their favorite items.

As fun as wishlists are, they alone are not a solid guarantee of success; applying a little pressure can be a positive thing occasionally. This leads us to the next feature your ecommerce website should have.

Wishlist ecommerce websites examples
How much revenue can your website generate?

Before jumping into a website redesign, its best to go in with a clear idea of your return on investment.

2. Scarcity Tactics

What is a scarcity tactic?

Scarcity itself is the state of being in short supply, or, in other words, shortage. Through using this concept as a marketing technique, you’ll create a sense of urgency, otherwise known as FOMO. If they don’t buy the product now, they’ll lose their only chance!

Buyers need motivation: that’s a fact. And to be honest, scarcity tactics are among the most effective methods of giving consumers the motivation they need. To create an impression of necessity, you have to make them believe your offer is a one-time opportunity!

Here are some examples of scarcity tactics:

  • A message announcing, “Only X amount of products left.”
  • Countdown timer: This includes discounts available only for a few minutes, hours, or days. To better highlight the urgency of the situation, you can use eye-catching phrases like LIMITED TIME, ONLY TODAY, LAST CHANCE, and so forth.
  • Clearance sales, holiday specials, and other themed discounts also work well.

Nixon uses this technique quite a few times on its website. At the very top of the site, Nixon introduces promotional messages that are based on — you guessed it — scarcity and urgency tactics. The company gives users a special deal but only for a limited amount of time.

3. Related Items

Another must-have feature is to offer related products based on the shopping experiences of your customers. Amazon uses this recommendation system to great success: 35% of Amazon’s revenue results from sales from the list of recommended items.

They sneak in these product recommendations in two ways. The first is on-site recommendations:

  • Specialised recommendations on your Amazon account’s homepage;
  • “Frequently bought together” items on individual product pages;
  • Showing your browsing history;
  • Showing your recently viewed items in combination with related products;
  • Recommendations based on your purchases.

The second is off-site recommendations:

  • Sending emails of best selling products in categories you’ve visited, even specific to the brand you were viewing;
  • Sending emails of items related to products you’ve added to your cart or purchased.

Yes, we know you’re not Amazon with advanced algorithms and an equally advanced disregard for your customer’s privacy. But there are some excellent takeaways from their strategy: showing recommended products in specific categories throughout your site and making it part of your email marketing strategy!

Amazon recommended items ecommerce websites examples

4. SEO-Optimised Landing Pages

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is crucial, especially when it comes to ecommerce sites. As Wendy Piersall, internet entrepreneur and publisher, puts it, “Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first,” and that’s exactly what we are talking about!

In any case, you should know that if you want to be the best, you have to put in the hard work. To attract visitors from all over the web, you need landing pages optimised from top to bottom. Landing pages are notoriously one of the most effective ways to engage more customers and increase your website’s visibility.

Your job starts with acquiring the most relevant and effective keywords for your ecommerce website. This is the most important step of SEO optimisation since almost everything revolves around the right keywords.

Make sure the keywords say a lot about your business and are not too generic. Moreover, include them in the title tag, header tags, meta descriptions, and even in your image file names. Everything for the sake of visibility!

5. Product Pages With Quality Photos

There’s nothing that will gravitate the attention of buyers quite like high-quality product photos. People love browsing product catalogs with bright, crisp images. Besides, pictures influence the viewer’s opinion of the product. If the photo looks bad, the item will instantly lose its charm no matter how great it might be in real life.

The best place to showcase photos is right next to product descriptions on product pages. Show the buyer multiple angles of the item they’re interested in and add a zoom-in option if necessary. All successful ecommerce websites examples take product photography seriously. Have a look at Etsy, for instance, to see how it presets images of all kinds of items.

Don’t forget about page load speed, though. Optimise your images for the web before uploading to make sure they look sharp yet don’t slow the page down.

Etsy product images websites examples

6. Social Proof

It would be unacceptable not to talk about product reviews, as it is your customer’s primary motivator. Your product can have the best images, descriptions, and value for money and still generate no sales. Without building trust with your customers, you might not succeed in winning shoppers over.

Well-known ecommerce sites like Best Buy have made customer reviews an essential part of their websites. These stores know pretty well that reviews are one of the first things users will look for when they check out a product.

The formula is simple: you include product reviews so that your customers can see the product’s real value. However, this doesn’t mean that you should remove all negative reviews and leave only the ones that come from satisfied buyers. In fact, you can prove your commitment to your customers’ happiness by replying to any negative feedback you might have gotten. A thoughtful reply on your socials can go a long way.

But it can be hard to believe in the authenticity of an online review, especially when the brand is new to the visitor. This is why many users prefer valid proof provided by trusted sources such as Google and Trustpilot. Some customers may even go far and beyond and look for video testimonials. So, if you have some, it’s a good idea to include those as well. This way, you’ll have acquired a good reputation and customers that trust you.

Best Buy revieBest Buy reviews examplews example

7. Cart Abandonment Notifications

Undoubtedly, one of the most painful issues ecommerce website owners come across is cart abandonment. Having people come to see your products, like them enough to add to their cart, but then leave without making a purchase is definitely a pity.

But we have good news for you: it is possible to recover carts so desperately abandoned by the customer. Web push notifications are what will save the situation. To bring back customers and potentially boost sales, it is necessary to do the following when creating web notifications:

  • Personalise: Use personalised details (first and last names, location, etc.) to establish a connection with the user.
  • Engage: Attract them by showing how the product would fit their lives. Make them believe that they really need those products.
  • Emotionalise: Move their feelings to urge them to push the buy button.
  • Make them feel special: Offer personalised discounts on the products they’ve left in the cart. Who wouldn’t like a surprise discount on an item they were interested in!
  • Create urgency: Notify users that the products they are offered are running out of stock and may not be there the next time they visit. This might make them rethink their decision of leaving their cart.
  • Shipping deals: Tempt them by offering free shipping or special delivery deals for the products they have added to their cart.

Statistics prove that the rates of cart abandonment are typically high. However, these techniques and the right push notifications are known to bring more sales, reduce the rate of cart abandonment, and create a strong bond with customers.

Thred Up cart urgency example

8. Live Chat

Nowadays, almost every ecommerce website uses a particular customer messaging system known as live chat. As a rule, properly integrated live chats improve your customer service and increase your reputability.

Besides, by paying attention to the patterns and logic behind the questions you receive through live chat, you’ll get the chance to understand your clients on a much deeper level. Then, you will even be able to predict the unasked questions that will arise sooner or later and be prepared once they do.

In other words, customers should feel that you have answers to all of their questions. And what’s even more important, they should be convinced that you’re always ready to help them when they need it. Petco does this really well with its “Chat with an Expert” feature that allows customers to talk to an expert whenever they need advice.

You must have noticed that the best ecommerce websites examples have a live chat. But why should you have it too? Well, there are many advantages that you should consider, some of which are:

  • Accessibility: Every customer in our modern world values convenience and simplicity. Luckily, by using a live chat, you can meet their expectations. Your customers can easily contact your staff, ask questions, and get the needed information through live chat.
  • Affordability: Yes, live chat is beneficial not only for you but also for your wallet. This way, you will provide exemplary customer service and also save some money!

Compared to traditional customer service media, a live chat is more affordable. So, by utilizing a live chat on your website, you achieve both cost-effective results and tangible success in customer care.

  • Reputation: Even though a live chat is more affordable than a phone number to contact you at, it still looks more expensive in the eyes of customers. So, when a live chat window suddenly pops up out of nowhere, it makes customers think that you have invested a fortune to have this customer messaging system. This, in turn, helps you build a solid reputation and brand image.
  • More Customer Data: Aside from affordability, rich customer base insight, and a good reputation, live chats come with another remarkable benefit. Live chat on your website will help you stay connected with and learn more about your customers. If your live chat is integrated with your CRM system, it is an excellent way to collect data from your customers and get to know their needs, concerns, and behaviours.

Final thoughts

Having a well-structured and user-friendly website is achievable with a bit of time investment, studying ecommerce websites examples, and staying on top of new trends in website design. As an ecommerce business owner, you will face a lot of blocks that set users back from clicking the purchase button. However, the right ecommerce features and integrations will help you erase those blocks and create a smooth buying experience for your visitors.

Consider which aspects of your website need upgrading and integrate the website features that will help you do just that.

General FAQ

  1. Wishlist
  2. Scarcity Tactics
  3. Related Items
  4. SEO-Optimised Landing Pages
  5. Product Pages With Quality Photos
  6. Social Proof
  7. Cart Abandonment Notifications
  8. Live Chat

Customers highly rely on the feedback they see on a website. But to give shoppers realistic expectations of your products, it’s a good practice to leave negative feedback and reviews unless they’re offensive or fraudulent.

Having a multilingual website has many advantages. These may include increased accessibility, a wider range of keywords, and growth of your audience. However, this may lead to difficulties, such as the need for multilingual support, complex translations, and so forth. Look at your current or potential audience to identify whether your website needs to be multilingual.

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