2018-03-14 08:21:26 Running a Business English Find out about the essential features that every online store needs to be successful. By using these features in your store, you can... https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/resources/ca_qrc/uploads/2018/03/Customer-Browsing-Mobile-Version-Of-Online-Store-Smartphone.jpg https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/resources/business/essential-features-online-stores/ Essential Features to Incorporate Into Your Online Store

Essential Features to Incorporate Into Your Online Store

2 min read

To get customers to shop at your company’s online store, try adding features that improve customer experience. Features make or break your online store, boosting sales and encouraging your customers to return for more. Consumers now expect certain features when they shop online. If your store doesn’t have these features, your customers may go to a store that does. Must-have e-commerce features make a huge difference, whether you’ve just launched your store or it’s been in operation for years, so see if your online store is providing what your customers are asking for.

Provide Free Shipping to Convert Customers

Free shipping was once a nice perk that stores offered to attract customers. Now it’s increasingly a key feature that online shoppers expect. No one wants to reach the end of the ordering process only to see a shipping charge — and you don’t want to see customers abandoning their carts full of merchandise for the sake a few dollars worth in shipping charges.

Go ahead — offer free shipping. Account for the extra expenses when you price your products to ensure you still make a good profit. Another smart strategy is to offer free shipping for orders of at least a minimum amount. Customers don’t mind buying more to get free shipping, so you can raise your average order amount while avoiding the costs of shipping cheap orders for free.

Offer Product Recommendations to Encourage Upselling

Upselling, or convincing customers to make larger orders, increases your revenue. Product recommendations are one of the best upselling techniques. On all your product pages, suggest related products the customer may also be interested in buying. If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon, you’ve seen this technique in action.

For product recommendations to work, they must be relevant to the product the customer is currently viewing. On a product page for a computer, go ahead and suggest printers, keyboards, and monitors, since customers may find them useful. Recommending a toaster won’t be nearly as successful.

Provide Intuitive Navigation to Make the Customer Experience Easy

Of course you don’t want to frustrate potential customers. If a customer visits your site and can’t find what she wants, she’s unlikely to stick around. While an aesthetically pleasing design is nice to have, your priority should always be a site that’s easy to navigate.

Stick to a standard online store layout because that’s what people are used to; deviating from it can turn them off. Provide a menu so your customers can jump to different product categories, and include a search bar for customers who know what they want. To make sure your site has intuitive navigation, hire people to test it and get their thoughts.

Optimize for Mobile Devices to Reach Customers Where They Are

It’s no longer good enough to have a site that runs well on desktop or laptop computers. With billions of people making transactions on mobile devices every year, your site needs to be optimized for smartphones and tablets.

Whether you hire a web developer to set up your online store or build it from a template, make sure the mobile version is just as easy to navigate and as fast as the desktop version. Remember that your mobile and desktop sites don’t need to look exactly the same. What’s important is they both function properly and intuitively.

It’s so easy to start selling products online, but the e-commerce world is competitive. Incorporate the right features to keep your online store a step ahead of the competition.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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