Check out this second installment in our “Ecommerce Features Your Customers Will Love” series.
If you missed our first article in this ongoing series, check out Ecommerce Features Your Customers Will Love – Part I and then come right back for this second installment. Here at Adpearance, we’re absolutely infatuated with ecommerce and helping businesses actuate their product sales online. Ecommerce is more than selling: it’s about integrating every aspect of your business—from customer service to merchandising—to your website.
The thing we love most about ecommerce is the new tools and services continually coming to bear that can directly influence your company’s bottom line and customer satisfaction. Let’s jump right in to some key features you should be looking at to max out your ecommerce website design and in doing so, leave your competitors hung out to dry.
Let’s say you’re a photography enthusiast, and you’re in the market for a new lens for your camera. You walk into your local camera shop and proclaim your need. Would the salesperson simply point you to all the lenses and say, “There they are?” No, of course not! The sales associate would start asking you a series of questions to help best assess your needs.
So, why then, do most ecommerce sites simply dump you on their listing of products? The answer is they shouldn’t only do that. Even if your site is employing a myriad of relevant filters and attributes, there is probably still a need to go beyond that and offer a true product find. Staying with the photography example, let’s look at what Amazon.com offers:
Notice at the very top, it first asks me to select my camera make and model and then reinforces my selection by displaying a picture of my camera. I can now start browsing relative lenses for my system or I can to the next step and start selecting lens manufacturers or lens type I am looking for. The latter is the most likely question an in-store salesperson would ask to a customer looking for a new lens. I’m not sure what brand lens I want but I do know I want to buy a macro lens so I select that. The list is now whittled down to twelve lenses that meet my needs.
From here I can go back and select Canon or Sigma via the dropdown or simply start visiting these product pages to learn more. What’s so useful about product finders is that they attempt to mimic the in-store experience you would find. In doing so, it makes browsing a lot easier for the buyer, and ultimately, drive site revenue increases due to higher conversions.
Let’s look at another product finder example; this one by web store LA Police Gear which markets and supplies products to the law enforcement, tactical, and military markets. Check out this screenshot for their Holster Finder, which allows the customer to quickly get duty gear-related products specifically made for the firearm(s) they carry.
Here, I’ve started with selecting the brand and gun model. Once I select the holster type (belt), it’s going to place me right into relevant products:
This is so well done. Not only is there an option to see the holsters and accessories specifically made for one’s firearm, but the customer can also facet further using price or brand above the results, as well as an option to go back and start the Holster Finder search over. It goes to follow that LA Police Gear has sold appreciably more duty gear since installing this tool than before.
Product finders may not be a need for every online store, but if you have a dizzying array of products across a fairly specific niche, there’s a chance launching one could increase sales and customer satisfaction.
To round out this installment, below are six quick-hitter features your customers might just love.
Share/Print Shopping Cart
Give the customer the option to send the cart to email. Printing the cart can also be a helpful add-on. Both of these are extremely helpful in the business-to-business world where customers might need to collaborate with colleagues or have purchases approved by superiors.
Live Customer Chat
Live chat gives you the ability to answer customer questions that you might otherwise not have the opportunity to, as many customers will simply not pick up the phone for a minor issue or question. Live chat providers are increasingly offering more options to engage the customer proactively, which can be helpful in improving conversion rates on your website.
Allow customers to enact the creating-an-account process through your store via one of their social network accounts. Check out Crocs in action below to see where they integrate this:
Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) Product Image Size Control
Allow shoppers to increase or decrease the size of the images in your SERP maximized for their own optimized viewing experience. See Patagonia’s site option shown below with the ability to go up or down a size from the default:
Alternate Paymet Provider
PayPal, Amazon, and Google all have easy-to-integrate options for your ecommerce store so your customers don’t have to type in their credit card info. For example, Backcountry.com uses PayPal below:
Customer Reviews' Attributes
Allowing your customer to submit a review of your products is great but take it to the next level by allowing them to select key product attribute pros and cons so that all of the reviews can be aggregated for a quick, at-a-glance read of a product’s high-level attributes. Check out how B&H Photo gets it done below. Interestingly, B&H Photo has nearly five times the amount of reviews for this camera than Amazon!
In summing up, your ecommerce site should make it easier for your customer to get the info they need to then inspire them to make a well-informed purchase. If you sell anything that is readily available elsewhere, it can be quite advantageous to have the proper tools on your website to not only win the sale, but to prove to the customer that your website is also going above and beyond to help them make the best decision.