June 21, 2021

10 Essential Features A Brand Should Have in an e-Commerce site

So you have a product or a collection of products or services to sell, now what?

With malls and physical stores operating on a limited capacity, how will you reach your target market and actually convince them to ‘Add To Cart’ and press purchase?

These are just some of the significant questions business owners need to address in the year of 2021. With the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic still in our midst, setting up an e-Commerce website for your business is clearly the best route to go to make sure online conversion is achieved.   

But how do you make sure your interested customers actually convert? Check out these 10 essential features you should have for your e-Commerce website:

 

  1. Design
  2. Speed
  3. Product Selection
  4. Shopping Cart
  5. Security
  6. Reports and Analytics
  7. Deals or Promotions
  8. Proper Audience Targeting
  9. Ratings, reviews, and other social proof
  10. Easy Checkout Process

 

To further explain each essential feature, keep reading..

 

  1. Design

https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/flat-design-online-shopping-landing-page-template_8218517.htm#page=1&query=e-Commerce%20design&position=30

Most business owners don’t care for the design of their website, or even the overall look and feel of their brand. What they don’t realize is that they are actually making a mistake ignoring this very important feature.

Just like money, design talks. It will serve as your business card and will hold a lasting impression for your first-time customers. So just imagine the impression you give them after you neglect the value of design in your e-Commerce website. With this kind of marketing behavior, chances are, you are setting yourself for a loss right off the bat.

To avoid making this mistake, make sure to get creative and brainstorm how you want your e-Commerce website to look and feel! If you’re not feeling creative, you can always hire a creative agency to get those creative juices flowing and be able to come up with a website your customers will love to shop at online!

On the other hand, if you don’t have the budget to hire a team of experts, you can always go for templated designs from top E-commerce platforms such as Shopify, WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, etc. These major players in the industry understand the uniqueness of each business that’s why they also provide free templates and plans that can cater to these needs.

What’s more, building a website from scratch is quite easy. It doesn’t involve coding or any technical mumbo-jumbo — just a drag and drop of elements and a little customization will do the job! All you need to do is to understand the platform and navigate it perfectly for a seamless and smooth website creation.   Need inspiration? Check out the samples below!

2. Speed

https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/fast-loading-concept-illustration_11906561.htm

            If you’re like any of us, enduring a long line in any physical store just to make a purchase can be quite dreadful. This case is no different for an e-Commerce website. Online shoppers are impatient. They want a fast, smooth and seamless shopping experience without the slow loading of pages. If your e-Commerce website ends up becoming like this one, get help immediately.

The key to having a fast loading website is to have it regularly audited and maintained. An ideal website load time is between 2 to 5 seconds to avoid getting a result of higher bounce rates.

According to a recent study: “The average user has no patience for a page that takes too long to load and slower page response time results in an increase in page abandonment.”

            To avoid this, optimize your site with pages and images that are fast loading to ensure your shoppers stick around to make a purchase. You can use free tools such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check how your current website performs. The tool will also provide initial recommendations on how you can further optimize the speed of your site.

 

3. Product Selection

https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/isometic-pattern-with-people-shopping-online-cartoon-character-style-flat-illustration_13330998.htm#page=1&query=woman%20shopping%20online&position=35

 

            As consumers, we sure love to have options. We don’t settle for brands that offer limited options to cater to our needs. We want a brand that gives us a wide variation of their products with full specifications to spend our hard-earned money. This brings us to our next point: your e-Commerce website should have a functionality to have a product selection to entice the average shopper to choose more and ultimately, shop more.

 

We’re not saying that your site should become the next Lazada or Shopee. If you’re starting small with a number of products that range from 5-10, you can still provide an excellent user experience by ensuring these two key factors are implemented:

 

  • Search functionality that matches the customer’s real intentions. These should be clear and easy to read results. Adding product images or thumbnails is a good strategy to keep your customers interested.
  • Make sure the results are fast to load. Otherwise, your bounce rate will increase and lead to a poor user experience.

 

4. Shopping Cart

 

https://www.freepik.com/premium-photo/woman-hand-touching-smartphone-screen-shopping-online-digitally-via-application_5918291.htm#page=1&query=woman%20shopping%20online&position=18

 

#AddToCart am I right? By this time, your customer is almost ready to check out and your business is one step away from making an online sale conversion. However, the last steps of making the transaction are problematic in terms of shipping, payment methods, etc. 

 

To break it down, make sure to avoid these mistakes: 

 

  • Shipping costs that are way too high. However, there are recommended logistics partners here in the Philippines that are available to offer their services. Some of these are Lalamove, Ninjavan, Entrego, Mr. Speedy, among others.
  • Payment methods have become a hassle due to limited options. As a solution, offer your online customers multiple payment methods such as COD (Cash on Delivery), Credit/Debit Card, Pay in Installments, Mobile Money, etc.
  • Asking customers to create accounts after an order is placed.

 

Need more tips? Download the Lazada PH or Shopee PH app and check out their shopping cart functionalities. Below, you’ll see how easy they made it possible for users to check out on their platforms.

Via Lazada Help Center: https://www.lazada.com.ph/helpcenter/How-do-I-place-an-order.html

5.Security

 

Data privacy is the number one priority in terms of security when you want to operate an e-Commerce website. Without guaranteed security, don’t expect consumers to trust your brand. If you’re planning to set up an e-commerce website, take note that the security of your site should always comply with the laws in the country you’re currently residing in. Remember that every set of laws are unique in different countries to ensure all violators of web security are sanctioned accordingly.

 

 

 

As with the top e-Commerce sites in the Philippines, Lazada and Shopee, these two major players assure their users that they provide the highest level of security while enjoying the online shopping convenience on their platforms.

 

On their help center, Lazada said that they are “committed to complying with Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and it’s implementing rules and regulations, and ensures that all information collected will be safely and securely stored as we protect your personal information by (1) Restricting access to personal information. (2) Maintaining technology products to prevent unauthorized computer access and (3) Securely destroying your personal information when it is no longer needed for any legal or business purpose.”

 

If the above paragraphs sounded a bit intimidating in your ears, you can always consult with a security expert to educate you with the updated laws and explain their significance in the long run. As a novice in the E-commerce world, it is crucial to know that securing your website before launching is a must as it can save you a lot of money — rather than fix a website with security issues when it’s already compromised. The latter will not just cost you more money, but will add to your unwanted stress as well.

 

If left neglected or ignored, having an unsecured website can potentially be infiltrated by hackers who prey on sites with weak security. This may result in your site getting infected with malware or being flagged with malicious content.

6. Reports and Analytics

 

In order to see if your current campaigns and working, reports and analytics are the two important technical features you need for an e-Commerce website. If you cannot gather data and insights from your campaigns, you will not be able to see the performance of your campaigns. Further, you will not have the advantage to see what is working and what’s not and make the necessary tweaks and adjustments to fully optimize your digital marketing campaigns.

 

Some of the most popular analytics tools that you can link your e-Commerce site to are Google Analytics, Optimizely, and Supermetrics. These tools should be checked on a regular basis for a monthly or quarterly reporting to monitor and track your site traffic and running campaigns. Based on those reports, changes on the website should be implemented accordingly to ensure that it is fully-optimized.

7. Deals or Promotions

 

If you haven’t heard of 11.11 or 12.12, you’re quite missing a lot.

 

Lazada and Shopee spend a huge chunk of their marketing budgets on these seasonal sales that offer huge discounts guaranteed to entice consumers to shop until they drop. If you’re in doubt as to whether or not it will work for your brand, just start small. It’s always smart to try and experiment on marketing campaigns as long as they have a strong impact and relevance to consumer behavior.

 

Participating in these types of promotions will also introduce you to voucher strategy which allows customers to claim discounts and get free delivery.

 

Here are a couple of voucher examples that guaranteed conversions:

 

Taste The World from Grab PH

Daily Free Shipping from Lazada PH

Need more proof? According to Business World, last year’s 11.11 Lazada sale drew record numbers, with the platform selling over 2 millions items in the first hour. The mega annual sale was joined by 70,000 sellers with 14,000 joining for the first time.  

8. Proper Audience Targeting

 

Knowing your audience by creating buyer personas and segmenting them accordingly to each of your products or services can be helpful in achieving proper audience targeting. Identifying their interests, demographics and psychographics is one of the key steps to ensure that you are marketing and selling to the right end-users.

 

One of the most common and tangible methods to obtain this is to roll-out surveys and study metrics to better understand your customer. For successful online conversions, you can also remarket to the same audience to generate repeat purchases.   

9. Ratings, reviews, and other social proof

 

Consumers and their purchasing behavior have evolved through the years. In 2021, we have become less gullible to product offerings that sound too good to be true. The proliferation of online scammers in the Philippines today have sparked a movement from e-Commerce service providers to ensure quality of their products by encouraging buyers to write a review about their experience from a recent purchase. In the case of Lazada PH, when you write a review, you will be rewarded with points that can be converted to shopping coins.

 

This type of consumer journey where products are reviewed by satisfied customers at every transaction places trust on the brand and establishes customer loyalty in the long run.

 

Check out these sites that feature customer reviews:

 

  1. The Body Shop PH

 

2. Fully Booked PH

  1. Easy Checkout Process

 

If you still believe that online shoppers are patient enough to register every time they checkout, think again. If you want to entice your target audience to shop on your e-Commerce site, offer fast & easy checkout transactions. However, make sure that you can keep your promise by securing and implementing all the backend support needed to provide hassle-free payment methods and checkout transactions to your online buyers.

 

Any delays or security breaches that may pop up from your website is a red flag to online shoppers. Avoid making this mistake by asking a team of web development from a digital marketing agency for their expertise on this matter. Don’t put your business website at risk before it’s too late. Users who have negative experiences can report you and your brand which puts your website at risk from being banned completely.

 

Conclusion

 

To recap, an e-Commerce website should have a great design, a reliable speed for seamless navigation, product pages that are optimized, a shopping cart with low shipping fees,an ironclad security to avoid being compromised and protects your customer’s data privacy, reports and analytics for performance tracking, reporting and optimization, seasonal sale and promotions, and easy check out process to ensure a successful transaction from online shoppers. And last but not the least, don’t forget to target the right customers by rolling out those online surveys.

 

Keep in mind that if your e-Commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales annually.

 

Building and setting up an e-Commerce site is not a walk in the park. It requires maintenance and regular updates with your latest products. May the tips we’ve offered above help you set up your e-Commerce for success in the long run!

 

Still undecided? Let us help you create and build your business online!

 

At Xiklab, our team of digital marketers can offer you a plan to solidify your business idea and make it happen the way you want it to with the help of experts with years of experience in the industry.  Whether it’s branding, social media management, E-commerce setup and management, we promise to deliver only the best quality service possible to each of our clients — foreign or local. For inquiries, feel free to fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

 

Want more helpful posts like this one? Head over to our Blog for the latest tips and trends on digital marketing.

 

For inquiries, feel free to fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

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