Creating an eCommerce store that works perfectly involves a mix of ingredients that cover all the different bases. When you find the right combination, you can create magic- and by magic we of course mean huge sales and customer satisfaction. So for this post, we’re taking things back to basics and taking you through the essential apps that any eCommerce site must have in order to be up to the highest standard that your store can be.
1. Site Search
Without a search bar, your store would be missing something huge. When high-intent customers enter your store, they know exactly what they are there looking for. They don’t want to scroll through pages of products before being able to find what they came for; they want to be able to find their product immediately.
Any search bar can perform this function, but an advanced site search will provide that and so much more. For example:
- Autocomplete suggestions that appear as soon as the shopper starts typing
- Customizable dropdown results to suit the merchants’ needs
- Natural language search that allows shoppers to find products without knowing exact terms
- Personalization meaning that each shopper sees results relevant to them are just some of
These are just some of the ways that Site Search can be a powerful tool on a website, and really it has to be a must.
Communicating with customers through your website is super important, as they aren’t psychic! If items are on sale, in stock, or low in stock, customers should know. Adding badges that highlight this loudly and vibrantly on your page is therefore necessary. Rather than through plain text, colorful badges highlight necessary information or promotions that keep the customer informed whilst also adding vibrancy to your website. The result? Boosted customer satisfaction and boosted sales- a win/win situation.
Each customer will enter your website with a different intention and amount of product knowledge. Filters can help customers find what they are looking for on both ends of the spectrum; whether they have no idea what they are looking for, or if they know exactly. How? Well, imagine that someone has no idea what they want, but knows they want to spend between 20-30 dollars for a woman. The filters can be applied, then the shopper could choose from the filtered results.
Alternatively, if someone knows the exact model of printer they are looking for but doesn’t know the name, they could select the ‘printers’ filter, and perhaps the price range if they know this, and then not have to look through all electronic devices before finding the item they are looking for.
With an advanced filters application, there can even be personalized filters which are relevant to specific stores, or even specific customers. For example, personalized filters could mean that returning customers don’t need to select filters again- they will be saved for the next time.
Having customers that are in the ‘shopping mood’ on your website is an opportunity to strike gold; don’t let it go to waste! Having an app that recommends cross-sell items to customers can hugely increase sales. An added ‘You Might Also Like’ module highlighting relevant additional items to purchase alongside their viewed or purchased items can increase average order value and conversion rates.
For example, if a customer buys a tent, an upsell module would suggest a sleeping bag, blow up mattress and bug spray. These products are probably of use to the customer, and is helpful as it saves them spending more time searching through the website to find them.
An upsell application functions similarly. Rather than recommending similar products, adding this app to your website will let your customers know different options of the same product. Someone might be looking for a blender, for example, but they may be on a relatively old model that by now has counterparts that are much more advanced. Letting customers know a fuller range of products on offer; for example three more styles of blender that have optimized capacities and functions, could provide a financially beneficial outcome.
Worst case scenario; the customer continues with the original purchase intended. Best case scenario; the customer upgrades and the amount they spend on your website increases.
Merchandising is one of the most important things to be considered on any eCommerce website, but don’t be fooled- it’s no small feat. Being on top of merchandising rules and strategies takes a lot of thought and effort- but that’s why there is an app that can take care of this for you.
A merchandising app gives the merchant options to set the rules and strategies that are important to them. Maybe the focus could be on shifting old inventory, maybe highlighting current promotions or new stock, maybe putting a push on seasonal items. Whatever the merchants’ business intentions, a merchandising app can help achieve these goals. It understands how to implement rules for optimal results, and helps keep track of the current rules in place and how successful they are. For this reason- it’s a must.
7. A/B Testing
Sometimes making the perfect website for your business comes down to a matter of trial and error. How could you know what works best for your website if you haven’t tried it out on your customers? Some things need to be put into action for the results to be clear. An application that allows A/B testing means that guessing is no longer necessary.
A test can be run to show how a website would perform with a certain change (without interrupting the current website), and the data of this trial informs the merchant on whether they want to implement the change or not. This can be applied to personalization changes, merchandising changes or search & autocomplete changes. The result? Increased conversions and AOV.
If an eCommerce site isn’t using personalization by now, it’s about time! Without personalization, websites lack an intimate feel that makes customers feel valued and therefore more likely to spend their money. Features such as ‘You Might Also Like’ which are tailored to the customer, or even something as simple as using the customers’ name when they are on the website, can make all the difference.
Whilst many platforms offer basic personalization features, advanced personalization applications can also offer real time personalization for anonymous users, personalized search, collections and filters- and all of this whilst protecting customer privacy. An app like that can make all the difference to the way your website is perceived.
Putting a website together could be very simple; taking no time at all and thought. On the other hand, it could be complicated if all of the additions had to be done by hand. With the existence of applications such as these out there, putting together a website that looks professional and intricate, and puts the customer first, has never been easier. Adding these applications to your website are simply a MUST if you want your business to grow, so what are you waiting for? Now is the right time to take your website to the next level.
Fast Simon is a merchandising & personalization engine consisting of all of these kinds of applications, and would be happy to help you on your journey to a better online eCommerce presence.