5 must-have features for a shopper-friendly virtual store

The look, feel and design experience of your online store will make or break shoppers’ visits. Think of your home page as the storefront, photos as the displays, product descriptions as the salespeople and your shopping cart as the checkout lane.

Get the picture?

With that in mind, is your web store doing all it can to provide the friendliest, most intuitive experience for customers? Are you rolling out the welcome mat, or causing customers to bounce shortly after entering your site?

To accomplish the former and prevent the latter, here are five must-have features for a shopper-friendly virtual store. 

HD Images 

Images are far more than mere visual accessories; they establish both your brand and offerings to customers. Online shopping is often aspirational. It’s important to furnish your ecommerce store with crystal clear product photographs from different angles. But it’s also important to “communicate the outcome your market is looking for,” according to Crazy Egg.

That means photographs of people actually using your products in a way that appeals to customers. Images are the easiest way to curate a lifestyle (and brand) at every turn, from your homepage to your product photos. For example, if you sell swimsuits, offer more than just front and back views of the suit against a white background.

Show people lounging effortlessly wearing your newest bikini, or running into an oncoming wave in this summer’s hippest one-piece. Show groups of friends laughing in your new line of beachwear. It’s about more than just the garments; it’s about the joyful, unforgettable summer memories customers can create with the right attire. 

Product Specifications 

Shoppers can’t pick up your wares and turn them over in their own two hands, so they’re depending on your product specifications to tell them what they need to know about material, sizing, restrictions, compatibility and other key details.

A user-friendly cloud based ecommerce platform makes it clear as day for consumers by putting the right information exactly where they need it so they can compare, contrast and convert. Keep specifications orderly, formulaic and detailed across product listings. Otherwise, you risk overwhelming shoppers with wildly varying listings and underwhelming them with a lack of solid information upon which to base their purchasing decisions. 

Crisp, On-Brand Copy 

Your website copy is your voice. It sets you apart from your competitors. It builds relationships with customers. It conveys personality. It connects shoppers with the right product for their wants and needs. This is an area where your store can truly shine.

More than simply a preferable extra, quality product descriptions boost conversion rates by 30 to 100 percent compared to generic manufacturer descriptions, templates or no copy at all. How? It builds trusts between your store and your shoppers. It also engages them so they’re more likely to feel invested in your product.

Let’s say you’re a consumer looking for your next pair of running shoes. On one website, you read a stock sentence straight from the manufacturer containing a factual (though dull) description of a pair of shoes. On another, you read a custom paragraph highlighting the sheer athleticism of the shoes made possible by the unique blend of quality materials. Care to guess which will be more tempting?

Credible Reviews

Nothing sells a product like other satisfied customers. It’s certainly a much more powerful motivator than a brand tooting their own horn! Position customer reviews in plain sight so you can reap the social power of real-life testimonials to show shoppers why they should purchase from your online store.

Smooth Shopping Cart

The shopping cart is the make-or-break stage of online shopping. It pays to streamline your site’s checkout. Even something as simple as asking customers to sign up for an account before they can finish their purchase can scare them away. Your priority for the checkout process should be eliminating extra clicks. Anything you can do to save your customers’ time, like recording their addresses or preferred methods of payment for future use, will increase your conversion rates. Ask them to sign up for an account after they complete the transaction.

Want to make your ecommerce site as shopper-friendly as possible? Start with these five features and build from there.

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