From startups and SMEs, through to enterprise brands; one thing the COVID pandemic has proven is that the eCommerce boom is here to stay.
In today’s competitive and convenience focused society, no longer do consumers want to venture to the high street in order to buy items, instead consumers want to shop from their own homes, making eCommerce a flexible solution for both businesses and buyers.
Your website is your shop window. It’s what people see, engage with and what builds your business, brand, and reputation. It should also be your very best salesperson – working 24/7, converting visitors to paying customers and providing them exactly the right type of information. Below are the five must-have features for all eCommerce websites in 2022.
5 Must-Have Features For eCommerce Websites in 2022
1. High-quality product photography
When it comes to eCommerce, visual presentation plays an important role in conveying your brand’s quality to its customers, with nearly half of us judging a store’s credibility based on the image quality and visual design of their website. And considering that over 93% of online shoppers say they rely on product images to make their final purchase decision, your product shots are a major conversion factor.
2. Streamlined Path to Purchase
The purchase process should be made as easy as possible by removing all potential barriers. Your call to action should catch the eye, making it easy to find and compelling to click. Stick to short, urgent wording – Buy Now or Add to Bag – and ensure the button colour has sufficient contrast with its surroundings.
A simple and easy to understand cart and checkout process does wonders for eCommerce stores. Busy cart pages with specials offers, cross-sells and up-sells can in some cases draw customer attention away from the most important thing – going through with the purchase. With this in mind, remember the rule of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) and focus on converting sales in as least clicks as possible.
3. Prominent Search Functionality and Navigation
Help customers find exactly what they’re looking for by providing easy-to-use search functionality and navigation. The larger your product range the more important a search bar is, but you shouldn’t neglect it just because you only have a small collection. A Mega menu is also a fantastic way of displaying your key product categories to the user so they can find products that match their search query. Remember, shoppers are often in a hurry and know exactly what they’re looking for, so if they can’t find it quickly and easily, they’ll look elsewhere.
4. Loyalty Rewards & VIP Clubs
Research shows it can cost five times more to attract new customers than to keep existing customers. Existing customers are far more likely to make a subsequent purchase, with the average second purchase being within 16 days of their first, and they tend to spend more too.
Rewards programmes are a great way of keeping your customers loyal, ensuring they come back to shop with you time and time again. Loyalty programmes offer customers credit points towards future purchases and help drive up the average order value. Referral programmes offer a discount in return for directing customers to your store; which increases your customer base. If you’re looking to keep things simple, a VIP mailing list can help with remarketing to your existing customers.
Enticing customers to join your VIP mailing list can do wonders for boosting follow-up sales. Offering special offers such as free shipping specials or 20% off a purchase can generate more sales for your business and even cost nothing when using some email marketing platforms such as Mailchimp.
5. Easy Returns Policy
Buying online takes a certain level of trust, particularly for newer brands, and especially for products where feel or fit is of utmost importance. Providing clear information about an easy returns process reassures potential customers that their purchase is not a risk.
Driven by large retailers like ASOS and Amazon, consumers now cite hassle-free returns as a top reason for buying from a brand. You can build trust in your brand by allowing your customers to delay their final purchasing decision until the product is in their hands.
If you are offering easy and/or free returns, make sure your customers know about it. Mention it on your product pages and provide detailed return instructions in your FAQs.