Essential eCommerce Website Features

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There is tremendous upside to doing business online.  Brands can connect with shoppers all over the world with a level of ease impossible to achieve by brick and mortar stores.  However, one thing eCommerce businesses fall behind traditional stores in is the personal touch real salespeople can provide.  One way eCommerce retailers can make up for this lack of personal attention is by having a thoughtfully designed website.  An inviting, easy to navigate online storefront can be a huge game changer in a driver down a site’s bounce rates and lifting conversion rates.

Here are 4 essential eCommerce website features that every store needs!  

1. Speed

Online shoppers do not want to wait around for your site to load.  Microsoft found that even a two second longer load time reduced browsers’ satisfaction by 3.8%, decreased revenue per shopper by 4.3%, and reduced clicks by 4.3%.  What does this mean?  Speed kills.  Or rather, slow speeds kill sales.  If shoppers can zip around a store from page to page they will be more likely to eventually make a purchase.  Additionally, Google ranks sites by their speed.  Quick load times mean a store will see more traffic and close more sales.

2. Strong headlines

While images and video are certainly important in grabbing an online shopper’s attention, headlines are actually what will make the biggest difference.  According to the Eyetrack III study, headlines are the most viewed feature on a website.  People only scan the very first couple of words of a headline before they decide to stay or bounce.  That means a headline has less than one second to capture a potential customer’s attention.  If a store has strong headlines, then it has cleared a very important hurdle.

3. Clean typography

Studies have shown that web surfers have an equal intolerance for sloppy typography as they do for slow websites.  Thoughtful typography can demonstrate to visitors a high attention to detail and can reflect well on the products you sell.  A high quality website suggests a high quality product.

4. Intuitive Navigation

It should be easy for shoppers to find what they are looking for on a website.  According to many tests, users utilize the links on a site to search for what they are looking for 70% of the time.  Only do online shoppers resort to the search bar once they have exhausted the links.  If shoppers cannot easily find your products, how will they purchase them?  


While closing sales online can be challenging, if your store is characterized by speed, eye-catching headlines, thoughtful typography, and an intuitive UI, then you can expect shoppers to stay on your site longer, which will in turn increase sales! 

Any other tips for essential eCommerce features?  Feel free to comment below.