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The eCommerce Website Features You Need to Have

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    Rapid digital transformation has urged people to rethink how they operate their businesses, with eCommerce now taking the world by storm. Global sales from online retailers exceeded $4.2 trillion in 2020 alone. With the number of online businesses crowding the playing field, investing in eCommerce SEO should be your priority if you want to stay ahead.

    For starters, it’s imperative that you select the right eCommerce platform — there is a whole arsenal of features you should be looking out for when choosing your business’ platform. From displaying site banners to properly listing your products, managing a customer database, monitoring your shipments, and more, it’s safe to say there are many things to check off.

    Choosing the platform is just the first step. While these features are just a basis, you will soon learn that customizing along the way will give your company added edge. Spend some time assessing your business’ needs, your target audience, and the products or services you sell. You will then be able to match with the eCommerce platform that suits you best.

    Content  

    Content is an important aspect of any website. Ensure you have a great content strategy and keep the factors below in mind.

    Blogs

    Blogs are incredibly valuable as they can help you build a loyal following in the long term. These also increase your organic traffic and boost your lead generation by being a resource for customers’ concerns. Blogging features should allow you to add images, summaries, link to product pages, tag authors and categories, incorporate SEO elements, and set its post URL.

    Web Pages 

    Your eCommerce platform should make it easy for you to add new web pages when necessary. You should be able to write content, add images, and other media before making these pages active. Afterward, you can work on its SEO and assign a unique page URL to it.

    Reviews and Comments

    Reviews and comments are an integral part of eCommerce as they boost conversions. They not only provide potential customers with information on your products or services but give you firsthand insight into your target market. Reviews/comments can be displayed via third-party apps that can be integrated into your shop. You should be able to review/approve these as well.

    Site Banners   

    Site or homepage banners are a great advertising tool that helps you attract new customers. These can help facilitate brand recognition, and direct site visitors to do the desired action. These are an important and affordable website feature, as fees are either cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) or cost-per-click (CPC). 

    Inventory   

    Organizing your virtual inventory is crucial to ensure smooth operations.

    Brand Listings

    If your eCommerce site carries numerous brands, it’s necessary that you have a feature wherein you can manage them and select what to display on your homepage. You should also be able to manage the different logos, and sort products according to a chosen brand. 

    Product Listings 

    Your product listings should include all pertinent details: from the price, stock, SKU, reviews, ratings, and more. To simplify matters, you should also be able to sort or filter through your product listings based on their attributes or the categories you have assigned them to. You should also have the option to link to related or similar products.

    Product Categories

    You likely have your own system for organizing your product categories, so it is necessary that your inventory management allows you to sort through categories and sub-categories, and select chosen ones to be displayed on your homepage. You can also assign images and thumbnails to these categories, and incorporate elements of SEO.

    Sales   

    Ensuring your sales process goes on without a hitch is crucial to keep customers coming back. Here are a few factors to think about when building your eCommerce site.

    Customer Database

    Building customer relationships should be one of your main goals in the big picture as a business owner. As such, it will be very helpful to have a customer database where you can manage accounts, track customers’ purchases, check their reviews, send newsletters to subscribers, and be able to assess your analytics to make more informed choices.

    Order Database 

    Your order database should be organized in such a way that makes it easy for you to sort orders according to particular conditions or factors. You should be able to see your customers’ data, details of the purchase, and update the order’s status every step of the way. 

    Discount and Price Management

    Your eCommerce platform should let you make discount codes for occasional promos, and apply these onto specific products. You may also want to have the feature of discounts being automatically applied upon checkout. Other features should also let you limit the number of times the code has been used, and switch it from active to inactive and vice versa.

    Shipping Management

    As you will have customers from all over, your eCommerce shop should have fixed rates based on the address or the order’s weight. Shipping rates can also be based on the fees of FedEx or UPS. Some of your products or promos may also have free shipping, so you should be able to track all of this with your site’s shipping management features.

    Payment and Tax Management

    Part of the success of a good eCommerce shop is being able to accept numerous payment methods. Your payment and tax management features should allow you to adjust your payment processing settings, accept offline payments, implement tax rates according to states or regions, manage shipping zones, and the like.

    Reports and SEO    

    To grow your business, you also need to think about search engine optimization.

    Email and Administrative Settings

    Your email and administrative settings are crucial in ensuring that your website remains secure at all times. This begins with creating your store’s email address, configuring your email server, applying SSL, and the like. Your administration logins will also be important in managing who has access to your eCommerce website.

    Meta Descriptions and Dynamic Titles  

    Your meta descriptions and dynamic titles can help you increase your organic rankings on SERPs. Your eCommerce site should have features and settings that allow you to configure your dynamic titles, and make sure that you have unique ones for every product, page, brand, and category on your site.

    Dashboard Reports 

    Assessing the state of your website based on your analytics can help you identify the specific areas in which you need to improve. Your dashboard report settings should be interactive and allow you to adjust settings to only view certain ranges. This should give you an idea of your volume of orders, learn more about your customers, see what sells, and map your progress.

    3 Popular eCommerce Site Options

    If you want to build your own eCommerce site, here are a few of the most popular platforms you can start with.

    Best for Quick Set-Up: Shopify

    Shopify is one of the most popular players in the game, particularly because of how easy it is to set up shop. The onboarding process is guided, and you will be taught how to add your products, link necessary details, add your domain, customize according to your brand, and the like.

    This platform has a number of free and paid themes for you to choose from, together with an app store with every plug-in or extension you could think of or need. Its popularity means that it also integrates well with other services, from project management to email marketing, and more.

    Best for Existing WordPress Users: WooCommerce

    If you have an existing WordPress site that you are going to turn into an eCommerce shop, then WooCommerce may be the platform for you. WooCommerce has its own plug-in that integrates directly with your website. Once you have signed up, you will get to see how seamless the transition is. 

    Your revamped site will be able to function as an eCommerce shop, as you put product listings, manage orders, and analyze the data from your customers and their purchase. Like Shopify, WooCommerce also has a marketplace where you can find all the other extensions you may need. 

    Best for Scalability: Magento

    Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform that is great for those who prefer a self-hosted website. At its most basic level, Magento is free to use. However, if you choose to scale up your business, then Magento has excellent enterprise-level solutions. Several big brands and establishments actually use Magento for their eCommerce shops.

    It comes with integrated payment options, shipping, and checkout features. You can make your sites mobile-optimized, and they have a huge catalog of extensions to choose from as well. If you are already well-versed in developing a site, then you will be able to navigate Magento with ease.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the number 1 eCommerce site? 

    Amazon is currently the number one eCommerce site across several countries in the globe. 

    What makes eCommerce unique?

    Ubiquity, global reach, universal standards, richness, interactivity, information density, and customization are often cited as the seven greatest advantages of eCommerce. In sum, eCommerce allows your brand to reach a global audience without compromising your unique brand identity. 

    What are the major limitations of e-commerce? 

    Security and encryption are the two biggest limitations of e-Commerce. While many eCommerce site providers are aware of this issue and make sure to provide secure servers, you should still do your work to ensure your operations are backed up and secure on your end. 

    Is eCommerce hard? 

    Many platforms like WordPress and Shopify make eCommerce easy to get into. That said, it is still important to do the proper research beforehand to create a solid eCommerce business strategy that drives sustainable growth. 

    What are the three types of eCommerce? 

    The three types of eCommerce are business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), and consumer-to-consumer (C2C). 

    Putting up an eCommerce shop is a big commitment, but when you have a thorough understanding of the important features, you will be able to find a platform that allows you to execute everything you need. 

    Want more tips on running a successful eCommerce website? Bliss Drive specializes in all things SEO and digital marketing. Contact us today to learn more!

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