These days, it seems like everybody shops online. As an e-commerce consultant, I have built a plethora of custom e-commerce functionalities, and I review thousands of e-commerce sites in the process. While all are effective in some way, I've composed a list of the top seven e-commerce functionalities that have increased sales and conversion rates for my clients in a short period of time.
Whether you're a solopreneur, managing a small to medium size company, or are running a corporation, if you're operating any kind of e-commerce business, you'll benefit from these seven functionalities:
1. Pre-Checkout One-Click Upsell Pages
Increase your average order sale amount by upselling customers right before they place their order. As the user is going through the checkout process, this functionality provides other product suggestions based on the merchandise in their shopping cart, which they can add before completing the sale.
I have seen e-commerce sites improve their average order values by up to 90 percent just by using this single functionality. It's not hard to implement, and it can be done easily on e-commerce platforms like Volusion, BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento.
2. Post-Order Follow-Up Option
If you offer a product that's sold in a 30-, 60-, or 90-day supply, the post-order follow-up option will automatically send an email to your customer reminding them that it's time to make another purchase.
This works especially well for companies in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. Vitamin shops that sell their products on Amazon, as well as brands like Proactiv, are examples of companies that have successfully used this functionality. You can also customize your follow-ups by including a coupon (with an expiration date) to encourage customers to re-order faster.
3. Responsive Product Page and Cart Design
Almost everyone has a mobile device of some kind, which makes them a preferred method of casual computing. With this in mind, it's imperative that your online store is responsive to these kinds of devices. Web developers should be aware of this when designing a website. With a responsive product page and cart, your online store will be user-friendly, making it easier for shoppers to buy from your store, regardless of whether they're on their desktop or mobile device.
With a responsive product page and cart, your online store will be user-friendly, making it easier for shoppers to buy from your store, regardless of whether they're on their desktop or mobile device. This functionality will ultimately help with your Google marketing efforts and will also improve your conversion rates on mobile and tablet devices.
4. Advanced Search and Filter
If you sell over 300 products, having an advanced search and filter functionality is a must. This gives users the ability to search for a specific item on your website and filter that specific search by category, price, reviews, etc. Because it reduces the amount of time it would normally take for customers to find what they're looking for, the checkout process is expedited and the sales process moves much quicker.
5. Third-Party Marketplace Integration Tools
Amazon, Jet.com, Google Shopping, Rakuten, Newegg, Ebay, Walmart and Sears are all big third-party marketplaces where e-commerce businesses can sell more than $1 million a month. To be one of those businesses, you'll have to load/migrate all of your products onto these third-party platforms.
If you have over 500 products, a task like this could be quite tedious and time-consuming. Listing individually takes time, especially if you need daily quantity integrations and a way to integrate with your local inventory management system.
You can implement functionality and scripts that automatically feed your product into these marketplaces and integrate your internal processes. It lists faster, handles inventory better and serves well for accounting purposes. Plus, you would now be selling in multiple marketplaces and possibly doubling your online sales in 90 days or less.
6. Design Studio for Customizable Products
According to a survey conducted by Bain & Co., more than a quarter of shoppers are interested in customizable products, even if only 10 percent have tried them. With this functionality, users can customize their merchandise directly on your website. With the right type of programming, you can allow customers to order personalized monograms, logos, promotional products, apparel, or even laser engraving. Whatever type of service you offer, your customers can put their own touch on it. With a basic functionality like this one, you can easily improve engagement and sell customized products regardless of which e-commerce cart you use.
7. Smart-Match Parent/Child Products
Smart matching optimizes the parent/child relationship of e-commerce products and allows for better inventory control. This functionality helps you reduce the number of products presented on the back end of your website.
For instance, if you're selling a t-shirt in four different design styles, four different sizes, and four different colors, it may be presented nicely on the user's end of the website, but there needs to be a stock keeping unit number for every one of these combinations on the back end for you to track inventory for each version.
Inputting all of these different combinations manually would take a considerable amount of time, not to mention the thousands of combinations will slow down your website considerably. That's valuable time that could be spent toward new sales strategies and consultation services.
These seven functionalities have proven to be very successful for my clients, and I strongly believe that they can be for you, too. In fact, if you implement some or all seven of these functionalities, you just might even double your sales in 90 days.
Duran Inci is an internet technology consultant and COO and co-founder of Optimum7. Duran has developed sophisticated processes resulting in leading-edge execution of marketing and management strategies. Combined with his strong leadership of the Optimum7 team, Duran has successfully generated many millions of dollars in revenue for his clients.