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When visiting an ecommerce site, there’s certain features that stand out and are key to pleasing existing and potential customers. It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting a new ecommerce business or are aiming to improve your current functionality. You’ll boost your conversions by following this list we’ve compiled of 30 must-have features to beat your competitors.

Taking a photo of a product

1. High-quality photos & videos

Undeniably the best way to convince potential customers to buy your products is to make them look incredible. Imagine you’re trying to find a new car, but the only image you can see is pixelated and blurry. Would you want to buy it without getting a better look? To entice potential customers you need to ensure your product images are crisp, clean and everything in-between! Another way to bring home the quality of your products is by showcasing videos of them in action.

Reviewing a product on a website

4. Product reviews (with images)

There’s no one better to tell people how amazing your products are than your previous customers – just think of them as your free sales team! Showcasing reviews and even images gives your customers a first-hand perspective of your products before making a purchase.

A great example of this is H&M where customers are able to rate products on various topics, such as size and length, as well as 1-5 stars overall. Customers are also able to add an image with their review, to further showcase the product in a real-life setting.

person receiving recommendations of products

5. ‘Frequently bought with’ – upsells!

What’s better than selling one product? Winning the lottery maybe, but selling more than one product is a close second! Showing your potential customers other products they should add to their orders can help boost your sales, as well as let you gain positive reactions from customers if they are pleased with your recommendations.

Consider Apple recommending phone cases when looking at iPhones, or Canon recommending a lens when looking at their cameras; examples of this can be found on pretty much every ecommerce site, as it’s one of the easiest ways to push more products into customers’ carts.

People using discount coupons

6. Coupons

Want to give your customers a bonus for using your store? Coupon codes are a great way to encourage first-time customers or turn previous customers into returning ones.

You can use coupon codes to offer a % discount, whether it’s on the whole order or a certain type of product, and you can even use it to offer free delivery when used. Plus you can create an unlimited number of them, benefitting different types of customers, and helping attract them to purchase from your store.

Another excellent use for coupons is to pair them with exit intent pop-ups, which pop onto the screen when a customer looks like they are about to leave your store to offer them a quick discount.

Searching an information page

7. Shipping & returns information page

This extra page is ideal for letting customers know how your shipping and returns are set up. If someone is about to place an order but your return options are unclear, they may be reluctant to continue. Similarly, if there is no information on what to expect in terms of shipping cost, a customer may be surprised to see the cost of their shipping when they go to pay.

By having a page purely to give information about shipping and returns, these negative experiences will be lessened, as customers will know what to expect when shopping on your site.

Communicating with a chatbot

8. Chatbots

The biggest benefit of an ecommerce store, which is quite often overlooked, is the fact that customers are able to view and purchase products no matter what the time is. This allows your ecommerce site to sell to people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all through the year!

However – unless you never sleep – you won’t always be available to instantly reply to a customer’s queries.

That’s where a chatbot comes in. Chatbots are used to answer simple, predetermined questions. You can even guide a customer to a specific product or support based on their answers. Chatbots don’t need to sleep, so this can be done at any time.

Adding products to a wishlist

9. Wishlists

A simple feature utilised by stores like Amazon and Asos, and loved by customers, is the ability to save products to a wishlist. Whether your customers create wishlists for wedding registries or gift ideas, or even if they’re just waiting until payday, they are a great way of knowing which products are popular. They also enable the opportunity to create targeted offers such as a coupon code for a product that many people have saved.

Man reading FAQs

10. FAQs for products

An excellent way to help out your customers is to incorporate questions that have previously been asked about your products or store.

By answering customers’ main pre-sale questions, you will likely increase your number of sales, as customers will not need to take time to personally ask you the same questions as others. FAQs also speed up the amount of time a customer has to spend on deciding on, and ordering, a product, as well as time after purchase if you have after-sales answers.

Woman returning to an empty cart

11. Abandoned cart recovery

It’s a shame to lose a potential customer’s custom if they go elsewhere because they changed their minds or get sidetracked when about to make a purchase. Abandoned cart recovery can send automatic emails to these customers, reminding them about their cart full of products, and giving them the opportunity to recover them in a click.

Not only that, but you can target customers who have changed their minds about a purchase, by giving them a coupon code for a discount in the email they receive about their abandoned cart, encouraging them to reconsider with a slight push in the right direction.

Social media shopping interaction

12. Social media login

Creating an account on an ecommerce site can be quite a long and tedious process, so how can you improve this experience for your customers? You guessed it – Social Media Login! Being able to log in to a store with a social media account helps streamline the process of ordering products, without having to create an account. The less friction your customers experience when placing orders, the more likely they’ll leave happy and come back again!

Paying using a credit card stored on a mobile phone

13. Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay

Putting in card details is a thing of the past. Customers are now able to pay with just their fingerprint or a glance at their phone. The best ecommerce sites are adapting to this, allowing customers to pay in more ways than ever before.

Not only will your customers be pleased with the speed of checkout but payments are even more secure, especially using Apple Pay, as payment details are encrypted, so it really is a win-win!

Checking out as a guest

14. Guest checkout

Although the aim is to turn one-time customers into returning ones, this can’t always be the case, as some customers just want to make their order and disappear into the sunset with their new product.

So how can this type of customer be pleased? Let them place an order without logging in! This saves them the time and effort of making an account, creating a faster checkout experience and improving conversions. Not only that, but it also means that marketing campaigns are not wasted on customers who will ignore your efforts.

Page thanking the customer

15. Custom thank you page

Ending a shopping experience on a cheerful and friendly note is a great way to create returning customers. A ridiculously simple way to do that is by showing them how grateful you are for their custom. So why not create a page that shouts a nice big thank you to customers that have completed a purchase?

Subscribing to a newsletter

16. Email marketing / newsletters

A simple way to keep in touch with customers and keep them coming back is to send out email campaigns. They allow you to send automated emails with information on upcoming sales, new products, coupon codes and more – the possibilities are almost endless. The larger your customer base, the more effective these campaigns can be, so these pair well with referral programs, adding to your pool of customers, increasing your traffic and conversion rate and getting those sweet, sweet sales!

Getting points and rewards for shopping

17. Reward Points

Reward points are a simple way to help boost your sales and add to your list of returning customers. Your customers can earn reward points by signing up for your newsletter, making purchases, and referring friends, which they can use to purchase products or gain access to special rewards. All in all, it is a good way of making customers want to continue shopping with you, as they know they can benefit further from it.

Attracting customers through referrals

18. Referral / affiliate program

Imagine if every customer you reach on your ecommerce site could be doubled, or even tripled – Sounds pretty good, right? Well, with a successful referral program in place, you could end up getting more traffic to your site than you ever imagined possible as loyal customers would be recommending your products to other potential customers on your behalf. Now that’s basically free marketing!

The basics of a successful referral/affiliate program are super simple to execute. Start with building a great experience for your customers, and make sure they’re happy when they finish shopping with you. Then you just have to make sure they’re aware of any benefits they can get from referring friends to shop on your site – this can be as simple as a free gift, free shipping on their next order, or even a coupon code. Then rinse and repeat!

Notification popping up on a laptop

19. Live update notifications

Keeping customers informed is super important on an ecommerce site, whether it’s telling them about an upcoming product or sale, or even just showing them how many products are left in stock.

Live update notifications can take this experience even further. From giving customers a live countdown of how long until a new product is released to building up excitement for a sale that’s about to begin, and showing a live update as people complete purchases of a certain product. All of these features help to build customer excitement and interest, especially if they can see how quickly products are disappearing as they won’t want to miss out – thus boosting your conversion rates!

Analysing profits rising

20. Advanced analytics

Obviously, the main thing you’ll want to keep track of is the number of sales, but there are loads of other things you should consider keeping an eye on. That’s where advanced analytics can help you out. It’s worth knowing how many of your customers are taking advantage of discount codes, as you can see if your marketing campaigns are reaching their target successfully. Also being able to find out your most popular product can allow you to push it to customers more, aiming to boost those sales even further.

recommended product on an app

21. Pinterest for ecommerce

The amount of traffic that Pinterest receives is astounding, so why not take advantage of that and get your products front and centre for all those potential customers? In 2020 Pinterest reported that over 90% of people use their site to search for ideas, rather than certain brands, which means competition is less congested by the bigger brands.

By placing your products on Pinterest as pinnable images, as well as ads, you can attract open-minded customers who may become loyal to your brand once you wow them with your images and experience.

Simple checkout experience

22. Custom checkout fields

Checkout is a critical stage of your customers’ shopping experience. It’s your last opportunity to push a sale, but this time it’s all about preventing customers from changing their minds. This is often based on the amount of effort they have to put in. Unbelievably, over 60% of ecommerce carts are abandoned and you can bet that a huge amount of those is due to a lengthy and tedious checkout process.

Keeping as few fields for checkout as possible is key to streamlining a customer’s checkout experience, as well as making sure only the crucial fields are required – such as personal details, shipping details, and payment information. Most customers visit ecommerce sites on their phones, so your checkout must be responsive and easy to complete. You could also speed this process up even further for some customers by offering a guest checkout option.

Although the aim is for a smooth and speedy checkout process, you may have extra fields that are necessary for orders, so it’s best to have these at checkout rather than trying to contact the customer after payment. For example, if a customer was ordering a birthday cake they’d want it delivered around that date. So, your customer would want you to put a date selector field in your checkout form.

Email follow-up after an order

23. Automatic follow-ups

Want to leave your customer’s shopping experience on a happy note? You could hand-type an email to every customer after their order – might make your hands ache after the first couple! – or emails could be sent to these customers automatically. Whether you want to send a thank you to every customer or target the big spenders, these emails will show the friendly side of your business and will help with building customer relationships and loyalty.

Building customer relationships in this way can be even more beneficial going forward, as you could even send a coupon for free shipping or a discount on their next order, helping to encourage repeat customers!

a group of products in a bundle

24. Product bundles

One step better than just recommending related products is bundling them together into a special deal. Not only are you showing your customers other products that would work well with what they’re purchasing, but you may entice them even more if they know they are getting a discount on the order by purchasing multiple products. Not only that, but you could still suggest related add-on options which can be added to the bundle.

Have loads of different products that could all be sold together? Why not set up a personalised bundle, allowing customers to pick from options and build their own bundle? – just like your own ecommerce pick’n’mix stand!

Customer looking for trainers

25. Brands list

A feature that isn’t relevant for all ecommerce stores, but is ideal for some, is letting customers filter products by brand. Just think for a minute that you’re searching for a pair of trainers, you have no idea what style you’re looking for but you know that Nike trainers always fit you perfectly. You’d want to search by that brand, wouldn’t you? So if you’re selling products that could work similarly, then you should let them filter your products by brand too!

Stock being moved in a warehouse

26. Stock notifications

If your ecommerce site has lots of different staff members, you’ll need to make sure the right people get notifications. Whether you need your suppliers to be notified when you’re running low on their products, or you need your warehouse team to know about a new order, these stock notifications can be critical for keeping your store running smoothly.

A product being pre-ordered

27. Pre-orders

So, you’ve announced the release of a new product and your customers are getting excited, time to build the anticipation. Allowing customers to pre-order products provides two big benefits. Firstly, it enables you to judge how many of your products are required. For example, if you were selling pre-orders for posters you’d get an indication of how many to print before release. Secondly, it allows customers to guarantee they will receive the product, without having to rush to order when it is released.

Pre-order products allow you to set a release date and even time, and you can even add an extra cost for pre-ordering. Another option is to combine this with product bundles to create a pre-order bundle, including extra products at a slightly cheaper price, to boost conversions.

A payment plan being used

28. Payment plans / deposits

Don’t risk losing a customer just because they had to wait till payday to buy it from your store. By offering a payment plan, customers can purchase products from your store without having to pay instantly. You could let them place a deposit and then pay instalments over a set amount of months. This will result in happy customers and you’ll also get payments into your account each month.

Person receiving a gift card

29. Gift cards

People regularly use pre-paid gift cards as a present for loved ones, so shouldn’t you take advantage of that? This feature allows customers to buy gift cards to send to an email address, along with a personalised message. Gift cards can be used as a code at checkout or added to a digital wallet on the customer’s account. Both of these options result in a super speedy checkout experience for the customer. Customers can choose a specific date for the gift card to be sent to the recipient, perfect for special occasions.

Woman being sent a birthday gift from a website

30. Birthday rewards

Everyone loves something extra for their birthday, so give your customers a treat on you, by sending them a birthday wish and a coupon code just in time for their special day. Birthday emails have a higher conversion rate than other types of marketing email, plus it helps leave a good impression.

Get those sweet, sweet sales!

Utilise these features and your ecommerce store will get more traffic in no time, and you’ll boost your conversion rate. Need a hand with a launching a new ecommerce site, or boosting an existing one with new features? We offer web design to fast-track your growth.

Want to start selling? Let us help your ecommerce site take off! 🚀

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