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Websites with online stores have been around for a long time. However, trends change over time, and businesses will either adapt or get left behind. Here is our list of 6 eCommerce website essentials for 2021 that every business needs to have.

  1. Mobile friendly and responsive website

Year by year, we’ve seen an increased number of users access websites through their smartphones. Around half of U.S. online traffic comes from mobile users. Mobile responsive websites have become the most important feature that every online store needs to have. Pages need to load fast and look good on smaller screens. Complex menus are hard to navigate on smartphones, and simplicity in design has become the norm. Basically, you will lose customers if you can’t offer them a fully functional experience on their mobile devices. Everything from your landing page to the checkout screen needs to be optimized for mobile users.

A person surfing the net with a tablet.

Most of your website views will come from mobile devices.

2. Intuitive design

The design of your website needs to be user-friendly, but we’re sure you’ve heard this before. Let’s take a look at what that entails. The user experience needs to be pleasant, and navigation through your website needs to be seamless and intuitive. At no point should visitors wonder where a button click will take them.

Intuitive design also leads to increased engagement – meaning that users spend more time on your site, which is one of the eCommerce website essentials for 2021. You need to grab the attention of users and not let go. The more time they spend on your website, the higher the chances of them making a purchase. Keep users on your website by offering them quality content. The best way to do this is to write informative content which users will genuinely want to read.

3. Offer detailed product information and descriptions

You’ve undoubtedly heard the saying, “let the product speak for itself.” Well, in order for your products or services to be able to speak to the customer, you need to have that information out there.

Your website needs to have the following types of information on your products:

  • Images and video. These will allow visitors to clearly see what your products look like. The best way to make a powerful first impression is through an image that stands out. Professional-looking photographs are a must, so consider hiring someone to take these for you.
  • Accurate availability. Imagine a user who falls in love with what you are offering on your website, only to be turned down after filling in the purchase forms. You’ve lost that customer for good. Have your website realistically reflect the availability of the goods you have in storage.
  • Shipping and delivery estimates. Your customers need to have a good idea of when they’ll receive your products even before they make a purchase.
  • Product comparisons. Help users make the right decision for their purchase by offering them side-by-side comparisons on your website.
  • Reviews and testimonials. Word of mouth from satisfied customers goes a long way towards proving the quality of your products. Have user testimonials available for visitors of your page, and offer clients a way to leave reviews.
Shopping cart with money next to a laptop computer.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Reduce the number of users abandoning their shopping carts by improving your checkout page.

4. Make purchases easy

When someone likes your product, you don’t want to make them jump through hoops to purchase it. So many customers reach the checkout stage, only to abandon their shopping carts before completing a purchase. They can be put off by needing a registered user account on your website, or by overly complex checkout forms. If you’ve got a potential customer that close to making a purchase, it is a tragedy if you turn them away by a poorly designed sales page. Instead, you should motivate customers to make the purchase by making the process easy and fast, thus reducing cart abandonment. Offer multiple payment options and have forms that are easy to understand and navigate.

5. Give customers additional information

In the ecommerce world small businesses need to find ways to stay competitive with the likes of Amazon and other online retail giants. One way is to offer your clients ample information even after they have made a purchase. Keep your customers happy and informed and they will be coming back to you time and again. Repeat customers are the backbone of any small business.

You should have the following information available for customers:

  • Shipping. What happens after your customers place their order, and when can they expect a product to ship.
  • Tracking number. Give users the ability to track their parcels in real time.
  • Return information. Let users know how to return faulty products and be transparent on how you deal with customer complaints.

FAQ. Having a Frequently Asked Questions page on your website will save you the effort of manually answering many of these questions. It will also save users from waiting for you to answer them.

Smartphone displaying messages and apps.

Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash

Have accounts on multiple social networks to communicate with users.

6. Offer ways for users to communicate with you

Regardless of how thorough your FAQ section is, some users will have additional questions. It is important that you give them a way of contacting you. Communication can take many forms, and depending on the complexity of your website and product, you might want to have several different channels available for your clients. Smart AI chatbots have become an eCommerce website essential for 2021. However, some people still prefer old-school communication methods like sending you an email or calling over the phone. Having a presence on social networks is also advisable. Plenty of users search for businesses there instead of firing up a search engine. Thankfully, it has become easy to cross-connect and manage accounts on multiple networks.

In conclusion

Happy users mean more sales, and the bottom line for any business is making a profit. Both customers and search engines tend to favor websites that offer value. Giving users a good experience when they visit your site is not a new trend, but it has been formalized through modern website design. Try to make your online presence stand out and implement some of these eCommerce website essentials for 2021. If your website needs a makeover, we will be glad to help.

 

Meta description: Is your website old and outdated? That could lead to you losing sales. Here is a list of 6 ecommerce website essentials for 2021.