Note: This blog on e-commerce store features has been updated for 2022. More features have been added according to the latest online store trends. Happy reading!
An ecommerce store that doesn't pack the right features is extremely hard to scale and turn commercially successful. This is the reason why small as well as big ecommerce platforms continuously work on investing new features and enhancements.
To help entrepreneurs build sturdy online stores and make radical feature enhancements, Techosquare - leading ecommerce development company of India - has curated this list of 72 online store features.
To make things simple, we have divided the features into cornerstone and game-changing.
Let's look at the cornerstone features first and later address the game-changing ones.
1) Search bar: Over 70% of consumers use the search bar to navigate through e-commerce websites. Adding this feature will help shoppers discover products quickly and correctly. While having a search bar is a no-brainer for a decent-sized online store, creating a feature-rich one is not easy. Make sure that your search functionality captures long searches correctly, suggests recommendations, and tackles spelling errors.
2) IA focused navigation: An intuitive navigation bar makes it easy for shoppers to quickly discover what they are looking for. This is crucial for online stores selling thousands of products to diverse audience groups. Collaboration between an information architect, copywriter, and developer is crucial to create the perfect navigation.
3) Shopping cart & checkout process: Shopping cart is by far the most integral feature of ecommerce websites. Once the shopper decides what to buy, the shopping cart assists them in finishing the purchase. From calculating the total amount to facilitating payments, it handles everything necessary before making a checkout. Hence, a powerful shopping cart and checkout process are critical to selling!
4) Engaging sliders: Slider is the easiest way to display new arrivals, best-selling products, and even discounted items to direct the attention of customers to specific products. An engaging slider supports video embedding, video smooth transitions, and design diversity to deliver engaging experiences throughout the website.
5) Social media sharing: Social media is currently the most powerful medium to generate traffic & even sell products. Therefore, social sharing capabilities are critical to success. Bring social sharing capabilities to your product images as well so that people share them in their network. This is valuable for fashion stores.
6) Multiple payment methods: A lot of new digital payment methods were introduced in the past decade. Hence, an e-commerce store that packs most of them brings ease of shopping for customers and bigger sales for store owners. Make sure that your online store supports payments through e-wallets, credit cards, debit cards, smart cards, and net banking to give shoppers the freedom to pay the way they want.
7) Popular searches module: Festivals, seasons, and special occasions trigger the demand for specific products. That's why it makes perfect sense to add a popular searches module to your e-commerce website. Adding this feature will make it easy for shoppers to reach popular items on your online store. Pretty simple online store feature but creates a lot of value.
8) Image slider: Since images are critical to the modern shopping experience, your e-commerce store cannot do without an image slider. It allows us to display multiple product images in an easy-to-view arrangement and show the product from different angles. Your slider functionality should function smoothly, clearly show navigation buttons, and feature a zoom-in option on product pages.
9) High-quality photo zoom: With no physical contact with the products on sale until we purchase them, the ability to zoom and examine different aspects of the product through photos is something every shopper wants. Smooth functioning zoom functionality is especially critical for online stores selling clothing, art, handicrafts, beauty products, jewelry, shoes, and designer products.
10) Breadcrumb navigation: Breadcrumb navigation helps the customers keep track of the path taken to reach a specific product. It minimizes the need for making drastic scope jumps throughout your eCommerce store. Breadcrumb navigation is a very simple website navigation trait but it is critical from UX and SEO point of view. So, make sure that your online store has it!
11) Product filtering & sorting: Finding a product that fits your size, color, price, and other tens of specifications can be tough on a mega-store. This is where product filtering & sorting features come handy. Powerful product filters let customers shortlist products based on generic and industry-specific attributes. Sorting, on the other hand, allows them to view products either in ascending or descending order of factors like price and rating.
12) Informative product pages: We all know that the purpose of a product page is to provide customers with all the vital information about its features, capabilities, and benefits. That's why finalizing product page design that's visual yet highly informative focused is critical for your online store's success!
13) Customer support column: Shoppers often struggle to find information that helps them with returns, refunds, FAQs, order tracking, and other aspects of customer support. Hence, it makes perfect sense to create a customer support column in the footer and add critical links to it. Also, integrate a Get in Touch form to help visitors quickly get in touch with the support team.
14) Prominent call to action buttons: Sales critical buttons like Add to Cart and Buy Now ought to be designed the right way for the obvious reasons. Using bigger button size, positive colors like green and easy-to-understand labeling will greatly help in improving sales. Ace design and copywriting talent will help you master this!
15) Trust signals: Even though ecommerce shopping has grown humongous in the last decade, first-time shoppers are apprehensive of making purchases online, especially from lesser-known online stores. This is where trust signals come into action. Showing data security certifications and safe payment reminders during the checkout process greatly eases shopper's worries.
16) Product datasheets module: When it comes to smart devices, electronic appliances, & other gadgets, lengthy descriptions don't make much sense. Hence, your online store should bring a feature of creating technical datasheets/tables & embedding them in product pages.
Such datasheets make it easy for consumers to go through their specs and greatly improves user experience.
17) Reviews module: Reviews help customers learn about product quality and performance. When it comes to internet shopping, very small purchases are made without reading reviews. That's why you need to integrate a review management module in your online store.
Make it easy for shoppers to read, write and share reviews. Show the average rating and review count also make it for buyers to make a decision.
18) Related products: Ecommerce stores that focus on simplifying product discovery for customers to gain a huge advantage. Related products module is an amazing way to introduce shoppers to products that resemble their recent product searches. This module usually appears at the end of product pages and delivers recommendations to upsell & cross-sell. Make sure you get it!
19) Intuitive checkout page: We all know how checkout pages work. We have to enter personal, shipping, and payment information to complete the purchase. All this takes time and becomes highly irritating if the checkout page is not planned with user experience in mind. Features like field validation and intelligent form help a great deal in quickly completing the shopping!
20) Featured posts ticker: The latest blogs and trending posts need a place on your blog to grab the attention of readers and direct traffic on the relevant piece of content. In case you are deploying a Wordpress like CMS for your e-commerce store to make blogging easy, make sure that you pick a theme that promises featured posts ticker!
21) Recommended posts module: If you plan on creating awesome content for your shoppers, they will probably ask for more after going through one of them. With the help of the recommended posts module, you can introduce visitors to your best content. In place of this feature, online stores sometimes go for previous and next blog functionality. That's equally good!
22) Blog search & categories: A blog search bar helps your loyal readers navigate through your blog and discover specific content. In the absence of a blog search, visitors will have a hard time discovering content related to specific topics. Categories are helpful in the same manner. Both these features are not technically challenging. So, make sure that they make it to your online store's blog.
23) Powerful admin dashboard: When it comes to growth, little can be accomplished in the absence of data insights. From the audience to demographics and sales to revenue, the admin dashboard brings everything that will help you with decision making. In addition to that, it should be easy-to-use so that partner merchants can also utilize its capabilities with ease. This is something highly recommended by top web app development firms of India.
24) Comments box: People love to share their thoughts and feedback after going through a good piece of content. In the absence of a comments box, it is almost impossible to do that. Comments module in the blog creates a lot of value in terms of visitor engagement; another non-complex feature that must be part of your online store's blog.
25) Powerful CMS: Ecommerce stores are highly dynamic platforms that are continuously updated with new product listings. Hence, it should be easy to alter product descriptions, photos, and other technical details with ease and little programming know-how. This is why you need a powerful CMS (Content Management System) for your online store!
26) Responsive design: From shopping to entertainment, everything is happening on smart devices. Hence, an enhanced mobile experience is vital to make your online store succeed. Since it also doesn't make a lot of sense to launch a mobile application for your new online shop right away, you need a responsive design to rank higher on Google and deliver an optimal experience.
27) Order management system: Growing online stores handle thousands of product orders every day. Since there are different stages of shipment, it is critical to have an order management module that keeps you updated at all times so that impeccable management and customer support is possible. This feature is usually fitted in the admin dashboard.
28) SEO optimized platform: Google is a critical source of traffic for online store owners. Ranking on the largest search engine in the world, however, is not an easy task if your platform is not optimized for it. From search-friendly URLs to Meta structure, heading tags, and structured data, there should be a provision of everything critical for SEO.
29) High-level security: Since shoppers are supposed to share card information on your website, security is something that can't be compromised on. Apart from SSL certificate and PCI compliance, your site should have a strong firewall and multiple layers of security for critical areas like checkout, dashboard, and cart. This will help you keep away your site from hackers.
30) SSL certification: Websites that don't have the SSL certification flash the 'not secure' message alongside the search bar. Some browsers don't even open such websites citing security concerns. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to make sure that your online store has the SSL certification.
31) Automatic website backup: When you are doing business on the internet, there are tons of things that can go wrong. Automatic website backup helps save your e-commerce store from data loss and major outage in case of malfunction. Make sure that your online store automates the process of taking backups!
32) Returns process: There can be tens of reasons why a shopper no longer wants something she ordered. Hence, you have to make justified returns as simple as possible. A practical return module helps gather information about the returns, simplifies decision making, and facilitates faster returns.
33) Popup module: Popups are highly effective to introduce visitors to new discounts, notify about upcoming sales, and gather emails. That's why it's highly important to add a popup module that makes it super easy for you to create and edit popups that can be flashed at specific pages or throughout the website. Pretty simple feature but must be presence in your ecommerce store features list!
34) Customer dashboard: Wishlist feature will only work if you have added a customer dashboard to your e-commerce website. It will let shoppers register as customers by signing up and creating a space from where they can easily access Orders, Shopping History, Wishlist, and a lot of other details. Enable signup through social media as well email to simply the process & give quick access to the customer dashboard.
35) Wishlist: There are an N number of reasons why someone can decide to postpone a purchase. Therefore, adding a Wishlist feature to your online store is a must. It will help your customers create a list of desired products that can be purchased sometime in the future. Discounts and special offers can also be planned around products in Wishlist to encourage purchase!
36) Store finder: Are you a brand with your physical stores or pick-up partners in different locations? Integrating the Store Finder feature will make it easy for your customers to find nearest pick-up locations and identify stores for an off-line shopping experience. This feature is highly relevant for emerging and big sellers.
37) Language option: Businesses and sellers with international vision can benefit greatly from an ecommerce website with multilingual capabilities. Tailoring the shopping experience through unique language preferences brings a lot of personalization that directly pushes sales as well as profits.
38) Loyalty programs module: Having a loyalty program in place plays a crucial role in increasing the count of returning customers to your e-commerce store. A loyalty program module uses the concept of reward points to keep shoppers hooked to your platform and return to redeem rewards. Offline as well as online stores are currently using this strategy to push sales numbers! So, consider adding this to your online store.
39) Personalized experiences: Browsing behavior, purchase history, and cart abandonment data brings amazing opportunities to personalize shopping experiences. With this feature, you can make product recommendations on a wide range of data sets. This feature is widely deployed by fashion stores.
40) Live chat support: Modern shoppers' value instant supports greatly, and since research has proven that people prefer to chat over phone calls, your online store can benefit hugely from live chat support. Lifestyle stores are also nowadays offering virtual shopper support through chat to their loyal customer base to enhance the shopping experience.
41) Newsletter functionality: Newsletters are a great way to stay connected with all your shoppers and share valuable information about new arrivals, discounts, special sales, and also company updates. An in-built newsletter module creates attractive mailers and helps dispatch it to specific groups of shoppers; in short, a powerful feature of marketing & growth.
42) Currency switcher: Nurturing the dream of running an online store with international operations? The currency switcher feature is a must-have for you. It automatically changes the product pricing to your local currency by taking your location into account. For those on a small budget can opt for the manual version of the currency switcher.
43) Multi-vendor panel: A multi-vendor panel allows multiple merchants to sell their products on your online store. This complex feature will bring Amazon-like merchant capabilities to your online store and open the possibilities of becoming a mega online store. Very few online store builders guarantee this feature. So, confirm this beforehand if your goal is to host multiple merchants on your platform. Consult top custom developers of India for cost estimation of multivendor platform.
44) Push notifications: Push notifications are a powerful tool to stay connected with your customers through their desktop & mobile devices. Push notifications are small message-like alerts that help engage customers through updates related to discounts, sales, new arrivals, and whatnot. However, Push notifications are to be triggered cautiously since too many of them can irritate the shoppers and drive them away.
45) Advertising module: An advertising module provides site owners with the ability to advertise specific products throughout their e-commerce website. Whether you want to push the latest products through in-store ads or want third party websites to advertise their offerings, everything is possible with a powerful advertising module.
46) Feedback module: Nothing triggers growth and improvements like customer feedback. That's why your online store can benefit greatly from a feedback module.
From complex shopper surveys to simple site feedback forms, a powerful feedback gathering module can accomplish a lot by helping gather critical insights.
47) Discount timer: Discount timer has the power to create urgency in the shopper's mind and generate sales that could have been postponed. It is widely used by online stores across the world to clear seasonal stock, create product hype, and push product sales in a specific category.
A discount timer is widely deployed on homepage and category pages.
48) Urgency messaging: While discount clock capitalizes on savings mentality of shoppers, urgency messaging uses scarcity psychology to encourage the shoppers to quickly complete the purchase.
Such messaging is usually displayed below the Buy Now button on product pages. 'Only 2 items left' is the perfect example of urgency messaging.
49) Product sharing via email: Peers are nowadays playing a crucial role in digital shopping. This is probably why the share-via-email feature has gained huge popularity over the past few years. It lets shoppers share products via email with friends and family, giving them a wider reach.
50) Promo codes module: Promotional codes are a great way to attract price-conscious shoppers to your website. However, if your online store doesn't have the feature to support this popular marketing practice, there is no way you can implement it on a large scale. Therefore, ask your e-commerce store builder to build a promo code module!
51) Compare products: When it comes to products with a lot of technical specifications, a feature-wise comparison is critical to decision making. A powerful product comparison feature lets shoppers run multiple product comparisons & confirm purchase quickly. This estore feature is promised by very few online store builders!
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52) Payment, taxes & location management: International e-commerce stores should be able to handle different payment processes, calculate & apply taxes, and update pricing according to locations. All of these can be easily handled by adding a PTL manager in the backend of your online shopping website.
53) Configurable restocking alerts: Restock alert notification lets you announce the re-availability of certain products so that customers interested in them can complete their purchase. Such alerts create a lot of value for online stores dealing with artwork, designer products, and fashion items.
54) Inventory valuation & management: Inventory measurement & tracking is critical to make sure that correct product availability data goes on the website. In the absence of a powerful inventory valuation feature, you will have to spend a lot of time understanding availability & site updates. This feature is especially critical for megastores!
55) W3C compliance: W3C Compliance in its essence means that your website's HTML and CSS code complies with standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium. It is extremely hard to generate zero compliance errors, the idea to have a minimal number of errors and a strong overall structure.
56) Backend activity tracker: For big online stores with multiple administrators, transparency is a big thing. The backend activity tracker helps site owners keep track of every change or task performed by the administrators. This is the easiest way to have documentation of site changes & updates for future reference.
57) Mark as a favorite: While Wishlist has strong purchase intent, Favorite is a casual way to mark & safe keep products that appeal to you. While the purchase intent is weak with Favorite, the data can be used to make product recommendations and personalize the shopping experience for certain shoppers.
58) Sale report: Product sales are what site owners are most concerned about. Sales reports help you glance at daily, weekly, monthly or annual sales numbers to understand the pace of growth. From weekly sales volume to top-performing products, everything sales critical is shown at one place.
59) Reward points & coupons: Competition amongst online stores is truly brutal. In such a scenario, you simply cannot skip any opportunity to engage customers. Reward points & coupons are being used by big offline stores for many years now to make customers come back again and again. Embed the rewards feature in your online store to give away small rewards for more shopping.
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60) Inspiration page: Online shops dealing in fashion, accessories, makeup, and lifestyle products host inspiration pages to engage visitors with the latest designs, upcoming products, and inspirational content. These pages are integrated with powerful search, visual media comments functionality, and sometimes voting capabilities. It's highly recommended if you are catering to fashionable women and high net worth individuals.
61) 360 product viewer: 360 product viewer is the most advanced feature introduced to the e-commerce market. It lets shoppers see your products from any angle with incredible detail, giving them a rich virtual experience in terms of quality and design check. Modern e-stores are integrating this feature into their stores to improve customer experience.
62) User-generated content capabilities: Online stores that cater to youth (especially women) go to great lengths to build engagement and garner loyalty. User-generated content plays a crucial role in that. The simplest way to understand this is through an example: A fashion store launches a feature where people can upload their summer look to the website and get votes, share it on social media, and win prizes. Such features go a long way in creating brand awareness, building loyalty, and also generating sales.
63) Merchant management: Online stores that are aiming to become marketplaces like Amazon need a merchant management module through which they can keep track of all the merchant activities and moderate their status accordingly. From making new merchants live to give special privileges, everything can be managed from a merchant management module if developed correctly.
64) Premium memberships: Store memberships bring special privileges like faster delivery, special discounts, and offers for the shoppers. Think on the lines of Amazon Prime. Integrating the same requires enhancements in the customer dashboard as well as admin dashboard. Since such memberships are usually renewed on a yearly basis, it also requires a payment process that supports auto deductions from credit card.
65) Timesaving features: There should be nothing more important than your shopper's time for you. The quicker they can decide on a product and successfully place an order, the higher will be your profits. Hence, time saving features like Quick View and CoD Check can be really helpful in speeding up the shopping and saving disappointment on the checkout page. So, your goal should be to keep thinking about timesaving features!
66) Subscriptions: Subscription driven ecommerce stores are gaining popularity amongst businesses that deal in products that are required on a daily basis. One of the most popular startups in this segment is Dollar Shave Club, a grooming brand that delivers razors and personal grooming products to subscribers. It's also relevant for online stores dealing in digital content and monthly product subscriptions like Netflix. Therefore, the feature of subscribing can be a great addition to your ecommerce platform.
67) Advanced product search: Sometimes, shoppers know very specific product details and regular search fails to furnish the relevant results. Advanced search helps greatly on such occasions since it brings the capability to locate the desired item on vast range of factors such as keywords, item number, location, shipping duration, sale items, etc. An online store that attracts millions of visitors can surely benefit greatly from this feature.
68) Mobile applications: Not exactly a feature for an ecommerce store but very critical for growth of online stores with growing traffic. Mobile applications tailor the complete shopping experience and are really valuable for online shops dealing in lifestyle & fashion products. If you cater to women, then, having a mobile app is almost obligatory!
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69) Infrastructure: Your website can be the Ferrari of online stores but without the right hosting plan, setup, management, and CDN infrastructure, it will lag behind others and face performance issues. So, infrastructure is really crucial to bring out the best from your ecommerce website.
70) Auto-detect location: An online store capable of detecting shopper's geographical region has the power to customize the whole store experience. This feature is widely used by online shops to deliver unique shopping experiences, suggest better recommendations, and improve conversions. Add this online store feature to your must-have list if your audience makes up diverse set of people!
71) Image recognition technology: Another e-commerce trend that will help you earn huge profits in 2022! Ecommerce websites and mobile applications with in-built scanners are helping people capture, match, and recognize offline products in the virtual world.
Image recognition technology will empower your users to search for relevant products and catalogs through visual search. Adding such a feature to your e-commerce shop will make the shopping experience seamless.
72) Gift cards: Gift cards have become a massively popular pre-paid gifting strategy followed by the likes of Amazon to simplify gifting. For those who don't know, gift cards are brought to give recipients the freedom to shop as per their taste and preferences.
Gift cards can be related to your online store or they can be related to popular brands. By allowing your customers the flexibility of gift cards, you can earn their trust which in turn will grow store sales and profits.
Below are the benefits of hosting gift cards on your online store:
We are done with our list of 72 ecommerce store features to launch and grow your online store.
While cornerstone are relevant for most ecommerce stores and must be considered for inclusion, game-changing features can be added to further improve store experience, conversions, and engagement.
Team TechoSquare has been building powerful online stores for over a decade now. If you are planning to launch an online store and need any kind of help, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free consultation session!
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