Your ecommerce platform choice has never been more important as online sales continue to increase around the world.
Here are some of the key features your ecommerce platform should deliver to support your sales.
Search engine optimization
Google’s latest updates include ‘core web vitals’ which focus on the speed and structure of your site. Google says it is prioritizing ‘page experience’ and is now using it as part of its ranking systems.
To perform well in the search engine results pages (SERPs) your ecommerce site must be technically excellent, fast, and resilient. Your content must be clear and well organized and include useful internal and external links. Your ecommerce platform must provide an easy user interface and content management tools to add and edit text, images, video, and other media.
To keep in touch with customer preferences and trends you will also want analytical tools to track your search engine performance and to test approaches and campaigns.
Depending on the size of your catalog and your type of business you will need out of the box product information management (PIM) tools or seamless integration with your PIM system to make sure that you can control and deliver accurate and valuable information.
As customers increasingly research purchases online before making their choices your ecommerce platform should support multiple media types, specifications, and long-form content that will give your customers confidence to buy. So, look for an ecommerce platform that provides effective digital asset management tools.
On average, existing customers add more items to their cart, spend more money, and have a higher conversion rate. Your loyal customers can be worth up to 10 times the value of their first purchase and the chances of selling to existing customers are around 60 to 70% compared to just a 5 to 20% probability of a sale to new customers. Customer retention is also much more cost effective than customer acquisition.
Your ecommerce platform must therefore provide all the tools you need to deliver a fully personalized experience and exceptional customer service. This should include support for tailored loyalty schemes, reward points, discounts, special promotions, or benefits like free shipping. You will also want to streamline your marketing with accurate information to support relevant email campaigns, product launches, recommendations, and special offers.
A key feature for your ecommerce platform will be seamless integration with your business systems so that your customer loyalty strategy is based on accurate and reliable information. You can also use this data to create valuable insights into customer preferences and behaviour to help you develop your products and services.
Searches on mobile devices have overtaken those on desktop and numbers continue to grow. More and more people are now shopping online using smartphones and other mobile devices, so your ecommerce site needs to be mobile friendly.
It must be as easy as possible for your customers to find and buy your products on mobile devices. Mobile navigation and user experience (UX) are therefore top priorities. Your pages must also be fast because users won’t wait for them to load, they will simply go somewhere else.
Users tend to spend three to four times longer on apps and spend twice as much money as they will on desktop or mobile sites. Consider how easy it is to provide an app-like experience on your ecommerce platform and look at the potential of progressive web apps (PWA), which are websites that behave like apps.
A difficult checkout process will damage your online conversion rates. In contrast, reducing friction during the whole purchase will significantly increase sales.
On average eight out of 10 potential customers will abandon their cart before completing their purchase so everything you can do to improve conversion rates will make a difference.
Your platform should support a sleek and effective checkout process. Checkout features should include a progression indicator so users know what to expect, thumbnail product images, easy navigation between the cart and store, and support for a variety of payment methods. Also look for analytic tools that will help you to identify where users opt out of the purchase process.
Omni-channel marketing can help to increase sales, so your ecommerce site should support subscription, customer engagement, and marketing options throughout your customer’s journey and across all your sales channels.
Once visitors and customers have given their consent you will have the opportunity to build valuable long-term relationships with them directly. Your strategy will need to include personalization and segmentation to make sure that every contact is as relevant and valuable as possible.
Look for marketing workflows that will trigger emails according to user behavior and that will allow you to track user journeys and send messages when certain pages are viewed or products are selected.
The Williams Commerce team helps customers to build and transform their ecommerce businesses worldwide. Our experienced professionals and partnerships with leading commerce platforms mean we can digitally transform your business.
Speak with one of our experts about the best ecommerce platforms to increase your sales.