Additional E-Commerce Features to Drive Sales
Added E-commerce features which help drive sales.
What are those ‘little extras’ that can be added to an e-commerce site, that can tick all the boxes in terms of helping with customer retention and increasing sales?
Believe it or not, there are some things that visitors to big name sites take for granted – they see them every time they shop there, but never actually realise that they exist.
These are the tiny, unobtrusive additions that most of the big players have on their e-commerce sites that are rarely even noticed. At least not consciously.
If they were removed, however, you can bet that the customer would notice then. And once that happened, even the most well established e-commerce site would begin to feel the repercussions.
Call To Action
One of the bigger aspects is the CTA (Call To Action) button. Every e-commerce site has these, and they are designed to direct a customer to take a specific action within your website.
The most well known, and arguably the most important, is the ‘Buy Now’ button. But there are other CTA buttons that could be deployed, and as already mentioned – many of the more ‘switched on’ companies are already using them.
- Similar Products
Thanks go to the likes of Amazon, eBay and a couple of others for this one becoming popular. Many online shoppers are starting to appreciate, and trust these types of CTA buttons in the growing, surging sea of product options.
If they expressed some interest in that glass TV stand, perhaps they would like a new TV to sit on it too. This is an effective way to let your visitors know that you offer suggested products, without cluttering up your pages.
If you already have a product image carousel below the fold of your page, towards the bottom of your product description, then you can use this CTA button as an anchor.
- View / Write Product Reviews With Star Ratings
Many people feel more comfortable about purchasing a product, if they can see what other purchasers have said about it.
There are actually some that enjoy sharing their opinions about products and services, and this kind of user generated content is always a boon for search engine visibility – especially if it goes viral like these.
- Share / Send To A friend
As things stand you may have, or be planning to place, a small bar below your product descriptions with social media icons. Perhaps there is a small email symbol too, for people to share what they want on your website. Rather than hiding the email logo among your social media sharing options, why not give it its own call to action button? It’s much more noticeable, more usable and it implies an exchange of information between your client / customer and somebody that they know. Social is it’s own animal, email is different and should be utilised differently; you should not assume that people will scrutinize that tiny social bar to find the tiny email icon.
Add To Cart
This may sound obvious, but it would surprise you just how much more difficult shopping with your favourite online retailer would be without this.
A simple click to send an item directly to your basket, with no other interaction required, leaves the consumer free to continue browsing – and much more likely to make further purchases.
Call to action buttons like these are not the only beasts in the professional e-commerce stable. When somebody is browsing your website, they want relevant information to be no further than a quick glance away.
Most successful e-commerce websites display payment information very clearly, and normally at the bottom of a screen/page. By letting people know what you accept as payment, shows a level of commitment on your part – especially if your clients are corporate, as they will likely understand that some payment options have to be paid for by the business, and on a regular basis whether they make a sale or not.
It is also a good idea because the more payment options that you support, and the customer can see, the easier it will be for that person to pay you.
Images, or seals, of accreditation also help to bolster consumer confidence in you and your brand. If you are an official supplier of a particular product, you should say so.
Allow your visitors and prospects to zoom in on your product images, if applicable. One drawback of online shopping is that you are not able to hold the product in your hands and have a proper look. The best way around this problem, is to provide as many views of the product as you can and make sure that they are of a sufficiently high resolution to avoid blurring when they are zoomed.
The attached product descriptions, too, should be as detailed as possible and set out clearly with bullet points to make skimming for specifics easier and faster – your customer will thank you for it.
Live Chat / Support
This is the biggest boost to customer service / satisfaction since the comment card. It cannot be stressed enough how important this could be for your business, and if you can implement it then you certainly should.
There are alternatives to the ‘live’ feature, and many large organisations use these in tandem with the live option. For example, a bank may have an automated version that is linked to the company Q&A database or the FAQ section. If the answer cannot be found, the customer is given the option for the chat to go ‘live’ where a representative will take over.
Either way, it is an incredibly powerful tool and not just for customer queries; having something like this shouts out professionalism – and this in turn is a great attractor.
Newsletters And Mailing List Management
The power of a mailing is something to behold, especially if handled correctly. It is one of the most powerful tools that a marketer can possess, and you should actively seek out ways of building one.
One simple, and effective way of doing this is by way of an opt-in newsletter. Customers love to hear the latest news about their favoured market, so why not keep them in the loop? It is also a great way to advertise your latest products to new and existing customers.
The Eye Catching Banner
Having something on your website that immediately grabs the attention of a visitor is an obvious marketing ‘ploy’, and a great way of going about this is to use a banner displaying featured products and/or special offers.
This has the advantage of getting your most attractive products and offers, right in front of the viewer – where it needs to be, and not tucked several clicks away in the product pages
Advanced Search Filters
These are great little innovations, and if you have a medium to large catalogue (or products with varying, but specific options – such as sizes, male or female, bundles or even just colour), then advanced search features are going to help maximise your sales.
Making things easier for the customer is a part of the marketers ten commandments, and it should be followed at all times.
Lots of companies that you will be familiar with, use some or all of these additions with their e-commerce websites and the chances are that you would only notice if they were gone; this is a good thing, because the extras should not overpower the product.