CompuSmart SolutionsCompuSmart Solutions

July 16, 2015

shutterstock_168059297Over the past decade or so, Ecommerce has grown into an absolutely massive industry. According to industry studies, global Ecommerce will be worth close to $1.6 trillion, up from $1.32 trillion in 2014 and $1.1 trillion in 2013. The opportunity to sell on the Internet has without a doubt arrived, but with that growth has come a corresponding growth in the expectations of consumers.

The following is a list of the essential website functionality that an Commerce site  simply must have to be competitive.

SSL and HTTPS

The vast number of online buying options, alongside highly-publicized reports of companies like Sony and JPMorgan being hacked, has resulted in much higher security expectations from even the less tech-savvy Internet consumers. Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, along with Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, or HTTPS, are considered prerequisite security features today. SSL helps keep data transfers between users and the site private, while HTTPS keeps that data encrypted and secure.

Use a compatible and easily customizable Ecommerce template system

Unless you have a massive IT budget with which you plan on building a custom million-dollar Ecommerce platform, chances are you’ll be used an Ecommerce template system. When choosing one of these systems, its important to choose one that is customizable, easily integrated into your website, and modular enough to be updated and changed as your company’s needs change. One example of a robust Ecommerce template system that works particularly well is Magneto. In addition to being customizable, easily integrated, and modular, Magneto offers a range of service tiers than can adjust based on your changing company needs.

Highly-valued “trust” badges

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when convincing an online shopper to purchase something from your Ecommerce site is the trust factor. Consumers want to know that you are both interested in and capable of protecting their sensitive information. There are literally dozens of trust badges out there, however there are a few that are more valuable than the rest.

shutterstock_271450289Among the most trusted (and therefore worthwhile) are:

  • Norton/VeriSign
  • McAfee Secure
  • TRUSTe
  • BBB

In addition, any badge that verifies the fact that your Ecommerce site has SSL is worth having as well.

Simple and robust navigation (including search features)

You want it to be as easy as possible for consumers to find what they are looking for. This means having simple navigation tools and search features, but it also means utilizing a recommendation engine if at all possible. There is little doubt that companies like Amazon have their recommendation engine to thank for at least some of their success, and your site should be able to generate recommendations based on what customers should find useful based on their browsing history on your site.

Ability to generate and track a large number of discount codes

From a marketing perspective, it helps to know which discount codes are getting used, and particularly which marketing efforts are producing the best results. This data can be invaluable when determining marketing strategies and budget breakdowns in future quarters, and is far preferable to simply taking a shot in the dark.

A savable shopping cart

Whether the customer gets distracted with something, or they have a technical problem with their Internet connection, the ability to recover their shopping cart is a powerful way to increase sales. In fact, it is estimated that more than two-thirds of shopping carts are “abandoned” before checkout. Giving your customers a way to recover their cart can dramatically increase sales, and is largely expected of major Ecommerce sites.

These are some, but certainly not all, of the features your Ecommerce site needs to be successful. You should always be looking for ways to improve the customer experience and increase sales, and this list is a great place to start!

Sources: internetretailerfortunedealbook, and monetizepros