5 Key Features To Include On Every Online Store

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Following on from a previous post, where we discussed “8 Key Features To Include On Every Website You Build”, we thought we’d deep dive a little further by talking about a few additional features you may wish to include on every online store that you build. Websites that contain online stores require extra considerations over non-ecommerce websites, to ensure a great shop administration and customer (end-user) experience. Check out our checklist of essential features and functions below!

1. eCommerce Google Analytics

While all websites should have Google Analytics (or any other analytics platform of your choosing) installed, an eCommerce website will likely need to take a few additional steps to make sure certain transactional events are captured. This can allow you to collect, analyse and refine your sales strategies based on what pages, marketing techniques, sales funnels or promotions lead to the highest conversion rates for your unique store. Such events might include cart abandonments, how often certain products are being added to the cart, how long people spend completing checkout, how frequently people are repeat customers and so on.

There are two aspects to this. First, you’ll need to activate eCommerce tracking with your analytics provider. For Google Analytics, you’ll find the steps here.

Then, you’ll need to activate eCommerce tracking on your actual website to match. If you’re using a WordPress plugin such as Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics (as we mentioned in our previous “8 Key Features To Include On Every Website You Build” blog post), you won’t need to install any extra software. Instead, simply activate the plugin’s eCommerce tracking setting on the Google Analytics > Tracking Code > Integration tab.

2. Reminder Emails

This may not be necessary for all types of stores (depending what you sell), but setting up reminder emails for certain transactional events can be a great way to build trust with your customers and keep them informed, as well as create further potential sales opportunities. Reminder emails may be for things such as cart abandonment, asking customers to leave reviews of their purchases, or reminding customers on subscriptions whenever a renewal payment is about to occur.

For WordPress/WooCommerce users, a good plugin option for this would be Follow-Ups.

3. Email Marketing Integration

Email marketing integration is a really great idea for any website, but becomes perhaps even more relevant for websites that sell products or services. For every sale you make, you’ll want to collect the email addresses (with opt-in permission of course) and add them to an email marketing list. You can then use this list to send periodic emails, offering those customers content or promotions that may help to earn their repeat business.

A solid, market-leading option for this is Mailchimp, which at the time of writing is free to use for lists of under 2000 subscribers. There are also many plugins that can be used to integrate Mailchimp with your online store directly, whether that means adding a subscribe checkbox to your checkout form, or having subscribe forms in other areas of your website (or both!).

4. Product Reviews

Product reviews are a great way to build trust with potential new customers. Giving your existing customers a quick and simple way to leave feedback is, therefore, the first place to start. Most eCommerce platforms offer a built-in method of leaving reviews, though you can also embed your Facebook Page or Google My Business listing reviews in your website too!

5. Dynamic Navigation

With an eCommerce website, you may wish to add a few extra tabs to your main menu, but you may not always want them to be there. For example, you may wish to show a “Login” button, but only if the user isn’t already logged in. Likewise, when a user is logged in, you may wish for a new account management section to appear in the main menu, so that they can access their profile, order history, saved payment methods and so on. 

For WordPress users, Nav Menu Roles is a super simple plugin that can help you to achieve this with just a few clicks.

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