15 Must Have Features on an E-Commerce Site

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When setting up an e-comce site there are many features to think off to have on your site, below are few must have features to relay ensure that your site is fully equipped for online sales.

  1. Search Box: Having a search box positioned well, will allow your visitors to quickly search for the product that they are looking for.
  2. Featured Products: By displaying featured products on your home page or on the side columns of your site will inform your visitors of top selling products, sales offers or it can be a general products that you want to push further and make sure they get noticed.
  3. Related product: This is a great up selling feature, which will show your visitors what other products they can purchase along side what they are currently viewing, a cleaver way of positioning this is with a heading, Customers who bought this also bought: This will encourage your visitors to purchase more then one item at once.
  4. Newsletter Subscription: Allow users to enter their email address to stay up to date with your offers and promotions, having this feature will allow you to build your mailing list for your to use in marketing campaigns.
  5. Product Zoom: Having a good zoom feature for your product images, is always a plus point online, as it allows visitors to see the minute details of your products, which works well, as some times customers prefer to feel and touch, so you can easily replace this by having a good zoom feature, which really brings out the details in your product.
  6. Categories: Have clear categories on your site to list your products into, and have your categories displayed somewhere easy to access, e.g. across the top or on the side columns.
  7. Good Navigation: Navigation is extremely important on an e-commence site, users should be able to easily access various sections of the site, along with a quick link back to the shopping cart.
  8. Good Payment Gateway: Choosing the perfect payment gateway solution for you site will give assurance and peace of mind to your visitors. Choose a merchant account that your visitors are comfortable with.
  9. Privacy Policy: Display clear Privacy Policy link in your footer.
  10. Good Return Policy: When buyers see a good return policy they will have more assurance and peace of mind if eversomething was to go wrong they can easily return their product. A good policy generally increases sales, as customers feel more safer to buy.
  11. Customer login & registration: Give the option for customers to register on your site, so when they do return they don’t need to enter all their billing and payment details in again, giving them the flexibility to quickly check out.
  12. Good Graphics: Make good use of graphics banners and images on the site, to attract visitors, also display your sales promotions, offers in attractive banners on the site for users to click on to.
  13. Delivery Information: Always inform how your going to be delivering your products to the customers, along with clear time scales, so that your customers know when to expect the delivery.
  14. News & Events: This section on the site where you can keep your visitors informed of new products, events, and other news related to your online business. Using a blogging platform or a module does this job perfectly.
  15. Social Media Presence: Let your customers know that your available on networking sites, by having Social Media Logos on your site, some companies use networking sites as their customer support systems, interacting with their customers for enquires related to their orders. On the other hand some online retailers are only available to contact via networking platforms. Having a good social media presence will boost your online presence and brand.

What other features do you think are a must to have on an e-commerce site, share your thoughts below.

Wasim Ismail

Wasim Ismail

Wasim’s a project manager at Alrayes Web Solutions along with an online SEO consultant & blogger for business at wasimismail.com, specialising in online industries.
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  • http://rbeale.com RBeale

    Hi Wasim, Ill add a few more must haves: 1) A BLOG and 2) a Resources section (educating those who are not yet ready to buy – most website visitors are in research mode, so you need ways to capture information of those not ready to purchase) 🙂


    • http://twitter.com/mmhemani Moosa Hemani

      Like the resource point also there is one more i wanted to add what most of the people forget specially when it comes to ecommerce websites that is auto updated xml site map that up date the xml site map when ever you add a new product to the website this will allow search engine to crawl and index your website easily and search engine will love coming to your website to see if there is some thing has been updated that can help users experience over the internet globe.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks Moosa for the additional suggestion, Auto update XML site map is great, which will save anyone time, as and when they update their product their sitemap is also up to date. Thanks

    • Anonymous

      HI RBeale, Thanks for the additional two points, Yes blog and Resource sections are great things to have on a site, especially a blog which you can update with your news, product information, and articles related to your online business. This also has an SEO advantage too as your site is frequently updated.

  • http://www.dydacomp.com Molly G

    I would also think that allowing customers to add their own product reviews is another feature that customers really enjoy. Here at Dydacomp, so many of our eCommerce customers requested customer product reviews so often we decided to include it as a standard. This is because most customers want to read what other customers have said about the product before they purchased it. I would recommend a setting that would allow you to edit and delete reviews just in case. Good list otherwise!

    • Anonymous

      Hey Molly
      Thats a great feature, most of us read reviews before we buy anything, if you can have this feature on your website allows others to review your products, your sales pitch would be much easier. Nice Point 🙂

  • http://twitter.com/ianmacfarlane Ian Macfarlane

    Clear shipping price information is very important. Even better – free shipping, it can make a huge difference in conversions.

    • Anonymous

      Ian, yes very true, keeping things simple and clear for your customers not only helps in conversion rate, but also less likely your customers will return your products. Free Shipping always works well, you can even set a budget such as Free Shipping on all orders above a certain price.

  • Dee

    How would I setup a Search on a site, to let customers view products meeting their criteria? For example, if someone wants to see all “necklaces” or “videos”, etc.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Dee, This is something your developer will need to assist you on, or send me a personal message and i will get you in touch with my team.

  • http://www.trezora.com Glass Jewelry

    This list and the added comments are great. Equally important, could you put together a list of things you should not do?

    Duplicate content, broken links, images so large it slows down page load, fonts that are difficult or too small to read

    • Anonymous

      Hi Glass, yes definitely something i will work on. Which can go side by side with this article as do and dont’s. Thanks

  • http://www.aureliustjin.com Aurelius Tjin

    Fantastic features, Its a great Idea, Its very helpful..

  • http://www.ntouchmarketing.com Ryan Young

    Thanks for the information. As a small company that is just getting into ecommerce, your article was very helpful.

    • Anonymous

      Your welcome, im glad its helped.

  • Gareth Copeland

    secure checkout?

  • http://vineetwaldia.com Vineet Waldia

    Sharing and Compare of products would be a hands-on feature

  • http://www.vsearchengineoptimization.com/email-marketing.html b2b email marketing services

    thanks for sharing this such a informative article.

  • http://stickermule.com/ stickermule

    Guest checkout. As an added bonus, we even let guest checkout customers associate orders to their account down the road.

  • Nigel Burke

    Nice short list of shopping cart requirements but there are a lot more features that are also necessary for a great online store – but where do you stop?

  • Ahmad

    I would like to add few more features which are very important for any eCommerce website
    1) wish list – that will allow you to put any item into your wish list so that next time you can hit on the same
    2) Refer a Friend- This is also very hot feature now a days on most of the website you will find this feature and its very strong tool of marketing your website/product
    by the way eCommerce is end less world