Do you already operate an e-commerce business? Perhaps you’re looking into starting one in the near future? Whatever the case is, this is a sector that is only going to become more prevalent as people search for more convenient, affordable shopping solutions.
Research backs this up. Based on an investigation by Statista, e-commerce sales amounted to $3.53 trillion worldwide in 2019. They anticipate this massive number to almost double by 2022, with e-commerce revenue projected to hit $6.54 trillion.
Yet if you want to enjoy a slice of the e-commerce pie, it’s essential your website is optimized. You can have the best products in the world, but a poorly designed site can cost you those all-important sales. With that in mind, here are five key functions any e-commerce website needs to incorporate.
1. Flawless design and functionality
Before anything else, your website needs to have a strong foundation in place. That means it requires not just a modern, attractive design, but also one which functions seamlessly.
Due to the importance of these elements, it’s not a surprise many budding online businesses opt to enlist the services of an e-commerce website design agency. For example, MageCloud.Agency is a specialist in creating sites on Magento – the recommended platform for online-based stores – and ensuring everything from load speed to security is optimized.
2. Set up with SEO
Speaking of optimized, you also have to make sure your website is set up with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. With a carefully planned SEO strategy, your e-commerce site can attract organic traffic, the type that’s more likely to make purchases than those targeted by paid advertising.
Simply adding descriptions (complete with keywords) to products and categories can make a large difference, and ensure search engines have a better understanding of your site.
3. Email opt-ins
Obviously there are many different ways to market your store. However, it’s essential you don’t underestimate the importance of building a customer email list and using this to send direct marketing materials.
So, how can you capture those email addresses in an effective way? While offering a newsletter can produce results, consider an opt-in that features something more enticing. A coupon code or one-time discount is likely to get more potential customers providing their emails.
4. Auto-complete search
You know the importance of a highly visible search bar on your website. Yet in this day and age, you have to go that step further with your site’s search functionality. One way of doing this is with auto-complete search.
As the name suggests, when someone starts typing into the search bar, it automatically recommends what product they’re looking for. By doing this, it brings up more relevant results and speeds up the shopping experience for customers.
5. Optimized checkout
The checkout is one of the more integral components of your store. If the page is too confusing and doesn’t provide enough details, it can lead to one of the biggest issues affecting e-commerce platforms: shopping cart abandonment.
The good news of optimizing a checkout is simple. Ensure it is distraction-free, where customers simply only have to enter their shipping and billing information. Include any necessary information – shipping costs, return policies, etc. – and omit the likes of social media icons and navigation menus.