June 25, 2021
What Customers Want in an Ecommerce Site: Top 7 Features

In 2020, the U.S. ecommerce industry expanded by 44%, with consumers spending over $860 billion online.

There’s never been a better time to focus on improving your ecommerce presence to maximize your chances of success with your online customers.

Whether you’re thinking of building an ecommerce website to monetize your business or looking for ways to improve your website, focusing on these seven ecommerce website features will help you create a website that your customers love visiting. Keep reading to learn which ecommerce website best practices and features you need to include.

What Do Customers Want From Ecommerce Sites?

  • An easy, intuitive online shopping experience, from landing on your homepage to making the final purchase.
  • An aesthetically-pleasing ecommerce website design.
  • A personalized experience.

Generally, what customers want in an ecommerce site can be broken down into the above three points.

When a customer visits an online store, they make snap decisions about the brand within a few short seconds of landing on the homepage.

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An engaging and captivating website will increase your dwell time metrics — in other words, customers will stick around to browse and hopefully make a purchase, and your ecommerce conversion rate will improve.

So, while focusing on the quality of your products is key, your website also does a lot of heavy lifting. To begin or improve your ecommerce business, you need to start thinking, “What do my customers want from my ecommerce site?”

“What do you want?” GIF from The Notebook

Top 7 Ecommerce Website Features

Let’s discuss some practical ecommerce website features that will help you achieve these three pillars of ecommerce success. Here are the website features that the top ecommerce sites utilize.

Top ecommerce website features

1. User-Friendly Design

Perhaps the most important feature customers want in an ecommerce site is a good user experience. If your customers can’t find their way around your website or they struggle to find what they’re looking for, they will likely move swiftly on to one of the many other online retailers. Utilize ecommerce UX best practices.

Prioritize customer experience by:

  • Creating a simple, straightforward, high-quality homepage.
  • Including a search bar.
  • Clearly listing category pages in the navigation bar.
  • Focusing on creating a responsive website.

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2. Mobile-Friendly Features

In the modern marketplace, ecommerce consumers are increasingly reliant on their mobile devices. According to SaleCycle, mobile devices were used in 56% of all online purchases in 2020.

In other words, most customers want to browse online stores on their phones, so including mobile optimization in your ecommerce website design is vital. 

Ensure your web design is automatically modified for the screen size and shape of phones to increase your conversion rate and keep customers happy.

3. Multiple Payment Options

Shopping cart abandonment is often a big issue for online retailers.

To improve your chance of sealing the deal in the final checkout process on your website, be sure to make the purchasing stage as easy as possible for your customers by offering multiple online payment methods in the shopping cart.

In addition to offering debit and credit card options, consider adding options for payment providers like PayPal or Stripe. You could also add plugins that have a buy now, pay later functionality to encourage customers to press the “purchase” button.

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4. 24/7 Customer Service

A big part of a successful customer experience is providing helpful, accessible customer service. According to Microsoft, 90% of Americans consider customer service an important feature when deciding whether or not to purchase from a company.

Include a 24/7 customer service chatbot as one of your ecommerce website features to address customer needs at any time. Plugins like Zendesk or LivePerson make it easy for you to add this feature to your website for a small fee.

5. User Reviews

Include a section on your ecommerce website where customers can read real product reviews.

With 79% of customers trusting reviews as much as recommendations from their friends, reviews are essential for any successful online business. 

Because your customers won’t have the chance to see a product in person, they’ll often rely on what previous buyers have said about it.

6. User Features and Discounts

Customers like to feel that they’re getting a good deal and being treated differently from other customers. Offer personalized deals, offers, and other user features to give them this type of attractive, customized experience.

Offer user accounts where customers can access loyalty pricing offers, their personalized wishlist, and account history. You can also use an ecommerce platform automated emailing system to send targeted special offers to loyal customers.

7. Extensive Product Information

Shopping online has become extremely common, but many consumers still feel hesitant about making online purchases — especially from smaller brands that they may be unfamiliar with.

A big disadvantage of online shopping for consumers is that they are unable to see or try the product before making a purchase.

In order to convince your customers that your product is high-quality and worth their money, be sure to offer as much product information as possible.

On your product pages, include detailed product descriptions that offer information about size, material, color, ingredients, and place of origin. Offer high-quality product photography that show the product from every angle. For clothing, be sure to include images of a model wearing the item.

When setting up your ecommerce website, be sure to add related products sections on product pages, as this functionality can help consumers find other products that feel personalized to their tastes and needs.

Final Thoughts: What Customers Want in an Ecommerce Site: Top 7 Ecommerce Website Features

With these seven key features on your ecommerce website, you’ll be sure to satisfy even the pickiest new customers.

Looking for assistance in building your ecommerce site? Try our online store design services, customized to your unique needs.

We’ll get you set up with a WordPress ecommerce website and a professional platform so you can start growing your business today.

Get started with a scalable package to find out why retailers around the world love building their websites with us — or give it a try yourself.

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Maddy Osman
Maddy Osman

Maddy Osman is a WordPress expert, WordCamp US speaker, bestselling author, and the Founder and SEO Content Strategist at The Blogsmith. She has a B.A. in Marketing from the University of Iowa and is a WordCamp Denver organizer while also operating The Blogsmith, an SEO content agency for B2B tech companies that works with clients like HubSpot, Automattic, and Sprout Social. Learn more about The Blogsmith's process and get in touch to talk content strategy: www.TheBlogsmith.com

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