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For a business to have an e-commerce website is like providing a door for more potential customers. A door that will serve either as a hindrance or a gateway.

Imagine a potential client who lands on your webpage and quickly finds all the necessary information he or she has in mind. That is one quick turnaround.

But, what if your website does otherwise? How would you know if the details you include are essential or not?

If you find yourself asking the same questions, fret not. Below are eleven e-commerce website must-haves we’ve rounded up, especially for you:

Responsive design

A responsive web design approach is making sure that your website displays well on different devices or screen sizes.

Meaning, your website should not only look good when visited using a laptop. The same quality should also be acquired whether using a tablet, most notably when using a mobile phone.

Remember that people are often on mobile these days and that they will always turn to their phones if they want to do something.

You can do almost everything on a mobile phone. And at this age and time? Online shopping is no different.

Simple navigation

If your landing page gets so complicated to work around with, chances are your readers will jump off to the next merchant. Hence, you should create a more straightforward website that works better.

Take note that not all of your prospective clients are computer savvy. And since you cannot pick and choose who visits your website, you, as an online business owner, have to consider customers coming from different walks of life.

The simpler your website is, the more you will be able to turn those visits into sales.

Advanced search

So you’ve made your website simple enough. But did you know you can make it more user-friendly? That is by offering advanced internal search engine functionalities.

In 2014, a study suggested that a customer makes nine visits to a website before buying. Meaning, a savvy customer would usually lurk on your online site nine times before even considering buying. And mind you, that number is quite high.

The idea is to have an accurate conversion in maybe less than two visits. Therefore, make way for some advanced search functionalities.

Be in the front-foot and maybe add some autocomplete functionality on your internal search engine, quick preview, and apply proper filtering. It’s all about being proactive.

High-quality imagery

If there is one disadvantage you can easily pinpoint about having an e-commerce business, that would be there is no personal touch to it.

You, as a merchandiser, cannot talk to your clients personally. You are not able to do sales talk or even get into a small chat with them. Therefore, your advantage is the images you display.

When you use high-quality images or videos, it shows people that your website is well thought of and intricately planned.

In-depth product information

When you make your website user-friendly and straightforward, do not sacrifice the product information you include.

Before you sell a product or a service to the market, surely you’ve done your bit of research and studies yourself. Therefore, make that information accessible to your clientele.

People would want to know as much information as they can before they spend their hard-earned money. Make them feel like your products or services deserve their trust.

User reviews

Most, if not all, profile visits you get may be converted into sales if people see more and more reviews from previous customers.

Before spending way too much on every social media platforms’ boosting feature, focus on your customer’s feedback first. They say that the best advertisement is “word of mouth.”

Starbucks did it, and so can you.

Make it a target that every customer should provide their feedback to your product or service. Good or bad, just let it be. Too much good stuff can also look as if you’re trying to be “too good to be true.” So maintain a proper balance.

Shopping cart

Just like a physical store, your website should also provide a shopping cart. This is like one step before checkout, where both guest users and registered users store the products they plan on purchasing.

A shopping cart gives the end-user the power on their purchase. They get to rethink how many items they would like to buy or if they got the right product before sealing the purchase with payment details.

Letting an unregistered user navigate and place an order through your website is also a plus factor. These are the people who do not want to undergo the whole step of registering but want to make the purchase right away.

Secure checkout

With online shopping becoming more and more popular over the years, it has not escaped the eyes of hackers as well. Hence, you should invest in your website’s security.

Not just for your visitors but also for you, for all the information and data you incorporate in the virtual world.

The following steps can be taken into account in keeping your website secure:

  • Install security plugins
  • Make use of SSL authentication
  • Validate on both the browser and server-side
  • Always check/update your password

Remember that the payment options you provide your customer should also instill a sense of trust. Otherwise, you would not get that sale you were aiming for.

Diverse payment gateways

Your website’s abandonment rate may increase by not providing a diverse range of payment gateways.

You have to take into account that, while some prefer to use their cards with online purchases, others do not have access to credit nor a debit card at all. And apparently, paying cash is the only option left for them.

As mentioned before, you cannot pick and choose who will land on your page and make a purchase. Therefore, you have to understand your niche and be accessible to different people from different walks of life.

Order tracking

Some people feel that waiting for their order to come is the hardest part ‒ aside from entering their card details online, of course.

That is why it is crucial also to incorporate order tracking on your e-commerce website. Aside from trust, you are also giving the consumer peace of mind that their order will come, and they can see that it is indeed moving.

From packaging to shipping up to the delivery time, being able to monitor your order is calming and appealing.

Reliable customer support

Some things are beyond your control, and that is understandable. When all else fails, and that is inevitable, back your reputation up with reliable customer support.

When a delivery gets lost along the way, be ready to provide options and maybe a discount? When information gets blurry for a user, be prepared to clear things up with them. And when an error message pops up during order placing, be always in the front foot and offer help.

Be proactive, and always take the initiative to help out. That is the least an online marketer can do, and surely, a client will appreciate it.

Wrap Up

The good thing about venturing into e-commerce marketing is that there are features that are tried and tested already. At the same time, if you want to incorporate new ideas or new tactics, you may also do so by blending one or two.

Whether you are a new breed or have learned the ropes already, remember that e-commerce fulfilment does not happen overnight. It might take days, weeks, months, or even years before you get to that certain level.

As long as you are open to ideas and suggestions, though, you are definitely on the right track.

Before you start building a new website, there are some things you should carefully consider. Where you’ll host your website, what platform to choose for building an outstanding website the simple way, what brand identity you give to the website and company it will represent, etc.

Your options might be different depending on the type of website you want to create.

Web Hosting for e-Commerce Websites

Online stores need some requirements to be met, in terms of web hosting. Things you should consider when selecting a web hosting plan for an e-commerce site:

  1. First and foremost, you need a high-performance server with enough resources to sustain a well-running e-commerce website. Also, you need enough space storage, RAM and bandwidth, to ensure the website is perfectly functioning under any circumstances.
  2. Second, you have to ensure your web hosting plan provides daily backup. It’s safest and it must be safe, as an ecommerce website deals with sensitive data customers enter for making product payments.
  3. In case you run into problems, make sure there’s a technical support team available for solving any issues you might have, 24/7.

Web Hosting for small and medium enterprises

Small and medium enterprises need a solid website that’s stable and easy to access any time by visitors interested in their offers.

  1. You should consider a web hosting plan that’s offered at an affordable price. Price is an important factor in choosing the right plan. However, what you need to pay attention to is the price/quality ratio. You don’t have to choose a low-quality service just because it’s cheap. Choose wisely, and the results will be up to par.
  2. You should think of a solution of shared web hosting. It has a more affordable price, and the resources it provides should suffice for a website representing a small company.
  3. Make sure that you benefit from a good support service. In case something goes wrong, the issue has to be quickly remedied, otherwise the image of the company will suffer.
  4. Probably, a well-built reseller hosting will be a good solution for your website and business.

 

Web Hosting for Blogs

If you decided to create a blog, chances are you build it on WordPress. There are some requirements you need to pay attention to, in choosing the right web hosting plan for a blog on wordPress.

  1. WordPress can be very CPU intensive. And web hosting plans that limit CPU cycles may be costly, you need to search other hosting solutions.
  2. You also need to pay attention the web hosting plan provides SSL. The SSL certificate might not be explicitly required for using WordPress, however, such features might be required by a plugin you need to use for your blog.
  3. It’s recommended that you use an Apache server for your WordPress blog.
  4. You should take into consideration that you’ll have a good control panel, that makes it simple for you to work with databases and start managing your WordPress blog.
  5. To find a web hosting that meets all these requirements, you might check for reseller hosting plans, as well.

You’ve probably come across the term of “live editing” in WordPress themes. Or, in other words, “live visual styling”. You must also have experimented functions of live editing, but you feel there is more to do to take the most out of this feature.

First, let’s see what live visual styling is.

Think of it as a process of editing in real time. As soon as you edit, you have a preview of how the website elements will look like. This is only for you, the web designer. Users will see the outcomes only after you hit “publish”.

Live editing in WordPress themes has become more and more widespread, as the need to easily start a website/blog increases. Live editing does this very job. It facilitates the work of any web designer, from the most skilled ones to the novices.

Detailed List of Live Editing Benefits

Below is the detailed list of benefits you can take from live editing and visual styling:

Speed – it may sound weird, but the website design might take no longer than 10 minutes, due to live editing features. You can try the features and see by yourself.

You can check the changes before you publish – the preview will tell you if the changes can be included in the new design, or not.

You can make adjustments on the go – whether the website is already live, or it is on the point of being published, you can still make adjustments to the overall design. Visual styling can be easily adapted to new requirements, shaped according to your needs and put in the form you want the website to have.

From the idea to its materialization, the time is as short as you want it to be. Due to live editing, you can instantly visualize your idea as it is put into practice. Live previews will help you compare one style to another and choose what best fits your original idea.

Live editing gives instant previews, as you make changes. Therefore, you can make changes repeatedly, until the result is nothing less than perfect.

How Can You Perfect Web Design with Live Visual Styling

All these benefits of live editing drive you up the way to perfection. But you should combine skills and live editing features, to achieve perfection in your web design. Here’s how:

Attention to the changes you make and how they alter the website design is all you need as skills. The live editor will be in charge of the rest. You can play with different typographies, adjust colors, and resize elements in every page, due to the live editor super-powers.

What Are the Options for Live Editing?

Several options are possible for live editing. It’s important to focus on the best ones, to avoid drawbacks in the web design process or in the final website design.

You should avoid using the WordPress editor. Until WordPress comes up with new solutions for live editing, do not rely too much on the currently available WordPress editor.

You should opt for one of the ready-made CSS plugins. CSS Hero best represents this category of CSS plugins for live editing. It is a safe way to go, if you want to take profit of live visual styling.

Another option would be that you choose an easy theme builder facilitating live editing features, where you don’t need to upload any special plugin.

 

The latter seems to be the most appropriate option for easy web design. You can value both features, and simplicity. With a live editor integrated in a theme builder, you will have them both.