Must-have features for an e-comm site in 2019

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by JJWinst, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. JJWinst

    JJWinst UKBF Regular Free Member

    314 16
    Evening guy’s,

    Thought this would be an interesting debate.. what features do you think are essential in 2019 for a sucesfulk e-commerce site? I’ll start;

    1. Mobile responsive
    2. Social links / Instagram shop
     
    Posted: Jan 31, 2019 By: JJWinst Member since: Mar 27, 2013
    #1
  2. Mike Hayes

    Mike Hayes UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    920 229
    Modern, easy to use, working e-commerce website.

    The rest of your success is down to marketing. No customers = no e-commerce.
     
    Posted: Jan 31, 2019 By: Mike Hayes Member since: Jan 7, 2016
    #2
  3. justinaldridge

    justinaldridge UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    669 252
    I would add:

    3. Fast loading
    4. Mobile checkout options for "not ready to buy just yet"
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2019 By: justinaldridge Member since: Sep 26, 2013
    #3
  4. antropy

    antropy OpenCart Experts Full Member - Verified Business

    3,325 573
    For me just adding on:
    5) User friendly checkout.
    6) Next day delivery option (for UK to UK sales).
    Alex
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2019 By: antropy Member since: Aug 2, 2010
    #4
  5. JJWinst

    JJWinst UKBF Regular Free Member

    314 16
    What do you mean by this sorry?

    What are peoples thoughts about 'Guest Checkout'

    Would you be more inclined to convert if you didn't have to sign up?
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2019 By: JJWinst Member since: Mar 27, 2013
    #5
  6. NickGrogan

    NickGrogan UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,838 408
    Depends on what you're selling and to who.

    Clothing v industrial machinery - completely different requirements.
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2019 By: NickGrogan Member since: Nov 15, 2012
    #6
  7. JJWinst

    JJWinst UKBF Regular Free Member

    314 16
    For the sake of the thread, let's say soft goods..
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2019 By: JJWinst Member since: Mar 27, 2013
    #7
  8. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,246 8,887
    What are soft goods?

    Why are social links/Instagram shop essential?
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #8
  9. Nochexman

    Nochexman UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,818 282
    Usually textiles, I think, clothes, towels, etc.
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2019 By: Nochexman Member since: Jun 14, 2011
    #9
  10. justinaldridge

    justinaldridge UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    669 252
    Guest checkout for most ecomm sites is very important unless you really need someone to register. In most cases registration is not necessary.

    In terms of my comment "not ready to buy yet"...this is a very obvious mobile trend. People use their phones to do a lot of research and create wishlists but ultimately won't always take an action there and then. It's important to give users other options instead of checking out such as "Email me my basket", "Send this to a friend", "Add to wishlist", etc.
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2019 By: justinaldridge Member since: Sep 26, 2013
    #10
  11. JJWinst

    JJWinst UKBF Regular Free Member

    314 16
    Gotcha - I like that idea.

    Target audience.. Shopping by Instagram for example has seen a big increase in the last 12 months - I would class it as fairly essential for the market I want to sell in.
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2019 By: JJWinst Member since: Mar 27, 2013
    #11
  12. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,246 8,887
    So essential for you but as @NickGrogan said not for everybody.

    Each shop is going to be different. For example, I have a site that offers upgrades to products. Stats show nearly 100% desktop users - so being responsive isn't necessary for me. And there isn't even pictures to show so Instagram would be pointless.

    A friend sells industrial chemical products so his site doesn't even need guest checkout as they have to create an account so authorization checks can be done.

    So I don't think you could ever build an 'essential' list - all you can do is put together a list of features that others have found useful on their site. It's up to you to test and find out if they add value to your site.
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #12
  13. justinaldridge

    justinaldridge UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    669 252
    The majority of ecomm sites I am pretty sure will be general consumer shopping. There will always be niche sites such as yours but the majority can definitely benefit from the basic essentials and latest techniques to create a good user experience and conversion rates.
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2019 By: justinaldridge Member since: Sep 26, 2013
    #13
  14. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,246 8,887
    I disgree. The majority of ecomm sites have their own little niche often targeting a particular customer. I do agree that there are basic essential but these haven't changed in ages. Even your suggestion for a 'remember my selection' thing has been a mainstay of popular sites for years.
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #14
  15. justinaldridge

    justinaldridge UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    669 252
    What I mean by general consumer commerce is that they are selling a product to an end user. This could be clothing, electrical goods, furniture, beds, etc.

    Over 50% of ecomm sites use standard platforms and, from experience, the majority are used in their default format. We work with clients to adapt them for increased conversions.

    So the majority of sites function based on standard ecomm principles. However, they aren't maximising conversions and especially with the increase in mobile use, nearly all ecomm sites can benefit from an improvement in the user experience on mobile devices.

    By not applying the latest best practices and mobile CRO, businesses are just leaving money on the table.

    ANY website can benefit from improved usability and contact options.
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2019 By: justinaldridge Member since: Sep 26, 2013
    #15
  16. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,246 8,887
    Spot on.

    The 'essential features' applicable to anything (and not just websites): well written copy, appropriate imagery, content organisation, trustmarks and calls to action. Nothing new - it been like this for many years. Agreed that mobile usability is probably more important than desktop but it's been heading this way for a number of years.
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #16
  17. NickGrogan

    NickGrogan UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,838 408
    All of this is correct, put produces very similar websites.

    Some options to consider.

    Invite only website
    Paywall to store
    Time limited product availability - minutes or hours, not weeks/months
    Severely limited availability - 100 pieces or less
    Time limit checkout, if you dont buy with 5/10 minutes, its deleted from your basket and you need to add again
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2019 By: NickGrogan Member since: Nov 15, 2012
    #17
  18. WebshopMechanic

    WebshopMechanic UKBF Regular Full Member

    315 130
    Some good suggestions there guys.

    Here are my thoughts:

    Cleaner, more professional design
    The larger ecommerce players are upping their game on the design stakes (using A/B testing to optimise. Better design with premium product/lifestyle photography promotes trust because the company appears more legit. Large gains can be made from design tweaks backed by A/B testing data.


    Content Personalisation
    Customers who are returning for content reasons and not necessarily to buy are looking for a fresh experience every time. That's where personalisation apps like Nosto come into their own. Customers are presented with content and products based on purchase or browsing history which keeps them on the site longer because they haven't got to go searching for stuff.


    Payment Types
    I would also add that retailers should be looking at options like Apple Pay, Android Pay, Google Pay, and Amazon Pay. Checkouts might be a bit hectic with all of these but you need to cater for your customers.

    Filling out card details and billing address will soon be a thing of the past. Make it easy for them to part with their money. They want to spend it so don't make it an obstacle course.


    Advanced Customer Detail Collection
    Brands are now looking at building a more detailed profile of their customers when they sign up to marketing. Instead of just collecting an email or a name, you should be asking customers what they are interested in and what their preferences are for marketing.

    I know many people on here will say they would never do that but brands with 'engaged' customers, who really want to know more, don't mind spending time to do this to get a better experience. This also results in a more targeted approach with marketing and will return better results.

    Matches Fashion, for example, ask people about preferred designers as well as content. They want the experience to be as personalised as possible. That is how they create fans!


    Email 'Relationship' Funnels
    When people sign up, start with an email 'welcome series' with 6-10 emails that engage, educate and build a relationship with them. These emails are not intended to sell but to add value (unlike many high street brands who bombard you with constant discount offers, like Banana Republic).

    Build trust first, get them to buy into your brand and then customers are more likely to buy.

    Next, set up time-based email sequences based on products purchased. When a customer buys a product, that is just the beginning. It's now your job to help them use it in the right way and get the most out of it. Like a SaaS or app company, you want the customer to adopt the product, use it and find continuous value in it.

    For example:
    • Clothing - Show them how the item was made, how to the care for it, ways in which to wear it and what complimentary products go with it.
    • Power Tools - How to use it, safety advice, care and servicing guidelines and accessories.
    • Mountain Bikes - Explain key features, care tips, best biking trails, accessories, etc.
    • Electronics - Best functionality guide, care advice, charging care, new games, accessories, etc.
    Just my thoughts. I hope this helps.

    Matt
     
    Posted: Feb 2, 2019 By: WebshopMechanic Member since: Apr 27, 2017
    #18
  19. justinaldridge

    justinaldridge UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    669 252
    Yeah but for ecommerce it's very important to keep an format that is consistent with what users expect. Really important.

    Websites in general can try more experimental set ups but for people to part with cash immediately online, it's got to be kept as easy and familiar as possible.

    And yes, the trend to mobile has been growing over the past couple of years but the mobile buyer today is different to even just a year ago. Businesses aren't adapting to current mobile buying habits and they are losing money every day as a result.
     
    Posted: Feb 2, 2019 By: justinaldridge Member since: Sep 26, 2013
    #19
  20. mattk

    mattk UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1,693 700
    My biggest bug bear is "Next page". Why? Social sites can scroll down and down and down through content, why can't most major e-comm sites do this?
     
    Posted: Feb 3, 2019 By: mattk Member since: Dec 5, 2005
    #20