Key Ecommerce Features to Give Enterprise Companies an Edge

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Anyone working in ecommerce knows how quickly the industry moves. Customer expectations and trends are constantly evolving, meaning that ecommerce businesses have to evolve with them or risk being left behind.

A big part of this evolution is the continued introduction and refinement of new features. From new ways that customers interact with digital experiences to security that protects sensitive data, the most competitive ecommerce platforms are in a steady state of upgrading.

By 2040, it’s estimated that 95% of all purchases will be made through an online store

It’s important to set a foundation of innovation now and normalize site improvements and key features to continue to be competitive in the future.

Foundational Ecommerce Website Features for Enterprise Companies

Large enterprise companies with significant resources are better able to build the most important features into the foundation of their ecommerce website.

The features below are considered must-haves for robust ecommerce platforms.

Responsive design and mobile optimization.

Mobile ecommerce made up almost 42% of sales in the U.S. in 2022. That number figures to only increase.

Having responsive web design that adapts and responds to different screens and orientations and investing in mobile apps will better position companies for a mobile-first future.

Easy-to-use navigation.

Customers don’t want to guess where products are located. Having a site taxonomy and ecommerce website design that is intuitive and easy to understand removes the guesswork and gives customers (especially new customers) confidence that they’ll easily find what they’re looking for in your ecommerce store.

Strong security and fraud protection.

New and more sophisticated security threats arise seemingly daily, especially for online businesses. It’s the responsibility of the ecommerce business to ensure that customer data is sufficiently protected throughout the online shopping process.

Also, fraud is a constant concern. Having tools in place to protect the business and customer are vital.

Powerful site search.

A strong internal search engine (like eBay or Amazon) helps customers find exactly what they want — or even stumble on something that they might be interested in.

Much like “going down a Google hole,” good site search helps customers find products as well as related items. Being mindful of SEO also plays a role here.

Customer management.

This includes tools used to manage and nurture customer relationships. This may include engagement after a purchase, service, support or loyalty programs.

All are designed to turn customers into repeat buyers.

Personalization.

Personalization enhances the customer experience and increases customer engagement, especially for loyal customers. It provides a more intuitive online shopping experience that increases conversion rates.

Easy-to-use chatbot.

A well-executed chatbot greatly enhances the buying experience by offering 24/7 customer support, automates order tracking and management, streamlines the checkout process and provides the business valuable customer insights.

Robust inventory management.

A healthy inventory management system avoids stockouts and overstocking, quickly fulfills orders and optimizes warehouse space. This means less revenue leakage and happier customers.

Trust signals.

Trust signals are parts of a site that reassures customers about their shopping experience. This includes things like customer reviews, clear return policies and good site security (think SSL certificates).

Trust signals can increase customer confidence and give the platform added credibility.

Detailed analytics and reporting.

Customer data is some of the most valuable capital an ecommerce company has, if they know how to use it. A full analytics and data science tool provides unique customer insights that may not be obvious, but have a significant impact on revenue.

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Category and Product Page Features to Maximize Sales

Product pages often garner significant traffic on an ecommerce website. They’re the display windows of your store and should be invested in. These features will help turn browsing into conversions.

Prominent navigation.

Not only should website navigation be simple to understand, your site should functionally be easy to move around in as well. User friendly navigation often includes breadcrumbs to make it easy for users to move from the homepage and through product categories.

Complex, faceted filtering and sorting.

When searching for products, give shoppers the option to refine searches and results with advanced filtering options. Consider options like sorting by product-focused specifications to speed up the search and shopping experience.

High-quality images and video.

The biggest advantage brick-and-mortar stores have over ecommerce sites is the ability to fully visualize a product. Quality video and product images can shrink this gap and give buyers a better idea of what exactly they’re purchasing.

Strong product description.

Having engaging product reviews that both inform and sell are key to increasing conversion rates. Not only do they help sell a product, they also help increase search rankings, making it easier to get products in front of potential customers.

Customer reviews.

As mentioned above, customer reviews add a layer of trust to a site and give it social proof. Good customer reviews can even serve as a quasi support service, enabling customers to answer questions about their own experiences with products. Social media can also do this.

Sites that automatically display related products have an advantage over those that don’t. This natural upselling provides additional eyes on products.

Wishlist functionality.

Similar to a kid at Christmas, wishlists provide a running account of products they’re interested in. They serve as bookmarks for customers to refer back to on future visits to the ecommerce platform.

Creating a Strong Checkout Process

A strong — and simple — checkout process can mean fewer abandoned carts, higher conversion rates and greater revenue. Removing friction from this process helps ensure interested customers become actual buyers.

Mobile optimized checkout process.

As mentioned first, having a checkout process that works well with mobile devices is of paramount importance. More and more purchases are going to be made through smartphones and tablets in the future. The customer buying experience should reflect this.

Fast, simple checkout.

Don’t make customers go through hoops to get from add to cart to checkout. Collect only the information required to complete the purchase and move on. The more steps required to complete a purchase, the less likely it is to be completed.

Optional guest checkout.

The average internet user has 100 passwords. Give customers the option to avoid adding to that number. Guest checkouts are best for customers who just want to make a single purchase through the shopping cart and get out.

By giving that option, you’re being user friendly and increasing the chances of that sale going through.

Summary and detailed information.

Ensure that customers know exactly what they’re buying. A full line-item summary of what they’re buying, the purchase price and additional charges (shipping costs, taxes) provides transparency and added trust.

Ability to change quantity or remove products entirely.

Buyers can change their minds. Don’t make it difficult for them to do so. Include functionality that makes it simple to increase or decrease the quantity of items or remove products from a cart completely.

Utilize auto-complete to reduce errors.

Auto-complete reduces errors throughout the shopping process. From the search bar to filling out credit card information, auto-complete helps remove friction and creates a smoother user experience.

Multiple payment options available.

Especially if you’re selling across borders, it’s important to let customers buy with their preferred payment method.

From credit cards to PayPal to digital payments (Apple or Google Pay), giving customers full options can help increase sales conversions.

Provide live chat support on the checkout page.

Having some kind of chat functionality is becoming commonplace with modern ecommerce sites. Preferably, there would be a human on the other end to help with questions, but AI-powered chatbots are an option as well.

Security marks.

Clearly marked security features, like PCI compliance, bring added trust to the site and gives customers confidence that their data will be protected.

Shipping method options.

Don’t force users to use only one kind of shipping. If they need a product quickly, they can pay for expedited delivery. If they don’t really care when an item arrives, they can save money by shipping with a longer delivery time.

Order tracking functionality.

Order tracking brings added real-time transparency to the buying process and manages expectations for when a product will actually reach them. It also reduces the burden of customer service, freeing them to handle other issues.

Easy-to-find return policy.

Don’t make customers search for how to return items. Include the return policy on an easy-to-find place (like the header or footer) clearly spelling out the steps required to return orders.

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The Final Word

Competition is fierce in ecommerce, but having the features discussed here will help you stand out. At the very least, you’re meeting the standards of best-in-class sites and meeting customer expectations.

The number of ecommerce businesses and the resources supporting them mean that you must meet a higher standard to compete. This functionality will keep you from falling behind.

FAQs About Ecommerce Features

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