These days everyone is selling online, but if you want your e-commerce website to really stand out from the crowd, e-commerce specialists WTS Technologies have put together a list of essential features that your site needs to have.

Reviews

Consumers love to read reviews and they can be a crucial factor in whether a potential customer buys from your site or just clicks away without purchasing.

Positive reviews are a huge asset to your website and so when possible you should incorporate them; most e-commerce sites work with plugins from the most popular review platforms such as Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare, or you could also incorporate your own product review system.

Ensure you engage with commenters – particularly if you receive any comments from customers who have unfortunately had a negative experience and left a bad rating and review.

Security

Potential customers need to be reassured that they can safely purchase items from your website without having their personal information compromised.

Various security features can be built into your site, including installing a SSL (secure socket layer) certificate to ensure encrypted communications, a firewall to protect against hacking, and two-factor authentication to boost login security. If your site is built with WordPress and uses the WooCommerce plugin,

If your site is built with WordPress and uses the WooCommerce plugin, here’s a useful guide to the security features that should be implemented.

A FAQ section

A FAQ (frequently asked questions) section on your website is useful as a resource to answer common questions that your customer may have. Customers often need detailed product information before purchasing, but they may not have the time to email or phone you, and so having the information easily accessible on your site provides convenience and builds trust.

Wish lists

If your e-commerce site allows customers to build product wishlists, it not only allows them to bookmark items that they may return to buy at a later date, but it also enables them to share your products with friends and family – driving new customers to your site and boosting sales.

A range of payment options

Today there are a variety of payment options available and whilst many customers will be happy to use traditional debit and credit cards to purchase from you online, others will prefer the convenience of PayPal and even very new payment options like Apple Pay.

You should identify which are the key payment methods that are likely to be used by your target customers, and offer these on your site. The last thing that you want to do is drive customers away from your site when they want to buy, but cannot find an appropriate method with which to pay.

Detailed shipping information

Research has shown that unexpected shipping costs are the main reason for potential customers abandoning their shopping carts. It’s therefore very important for an e-commerce website to show shipping information early on in the checkout process, so that customers do not get any unexpected surprises when they reach the end of the sales funnel.

One interesting statistic thrown up by research is that when offered free shipping, customers will typically spend 30% more per order. If you do choose to offer free shipping, then be sure to advertise this feature prominently on the site.