12 Essential Elements for Ecommerce Websites to Increase Profit

Updated Oct 14, 2022.
elements-of-ecommerce-websites

Ecommerce is booming, and so is the number of online stores. The best eCommerce websites are successful because they adopt important website elements to make it easier for their target audience to carry out business transactions.

Whether you are starting an eCommerce business or want to improve your existing eCommerce website, there are essential elements such as SEO and eCommerce website design you need to apply to your website. 

This post will show you the 12 most essential elements of a successful eCommerce store.   

Elements of Ecommerce Websites

When considering starting an e-Commerce website, you must consider the eCommerce elements that would characterize your e-commerce website. 

1. Responsive Web Design and Mobile Optimization

Of all the critical elements of all successful e-commerce websites, responsive web design and mobile optimization is the essential element for any e-commerce website. 

For a website to be considered responsive, it must be compatible with all devices. In simpler terms, a mobile responsive website should be easily accessible and optimized for all mobile phones. 

Statistics have shown that 57% of users are not likely to consider revisiting an eCommerce website or online store with a poorly designed website. 

Responsive web design is one of the key factors for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that helps you rank high on search engines.  

With more customers seeking E-commerce platforms that are easily accessible on any device, mobile optimization is pivotal to improving customer engagement and building long-term relationships.

Which of the following devices have you used for online shopping

When centering your eCommerce website design on building engagements and customer retention, a mobile-friendly and user-friendly eCommerce site would go a long way in securing more customers for your eCommerce store.

The best eCommerce website builders and eCommerce platforms for building responsive websites optimized for mobile devices include Squarespace Commerce, Shopify, Wix eCommerce, BigCommerce, and Zyro.

2. Fast Loading Time

People tend to place considerable emphasis on a website's speed and loading time in drawing their conclusion on an eCommerce website. The loading time of your website determines the time users are likely to spend on your site.

A slow and non-responsive site will drive away potential buyers. You must ensure user engagements are being actively converted into buying and paying customers. 

Probability of bounce for different page load time
Source: Speedy Site

According to a popular survey, the average loading time that affords users a stress-free shopping experience is pegged at 1.7 seconds. You can improve your eCommerce website’s loading time using speed-optimized eCommerce widgets. 

Other factors to consider in dealing with the lag users encounter when loading your eCommerce website include decreasing HTTP requests, optimizing files, and compressing images. 

If your site’s loading time does not improve with these tips, consider changing your web hosting service provider.

3. Easy Navigation

Ease of navigation is an essential element of a successful eCommerce business. You can significantly improve the amount of visitation your site receives per day and decrease your online business bounce rate by making your site easy to navigate.

When shopping online, users need to be provided with a complete guide on how to go about their shopping activities effectively on the website. Consider adding a navigation bar into your website design to make it easy for visitors to navigate through your website.

The Breadcrumb navigation feature makes it easier for users to navigate to the exact areas of the website they are considering. 

You can set the breadcrumbs navigation feature to be location-based, which directs users to specific products without needing to use the previous or next page option, or attribute-based, which relies on keywords to navigate users around the site. 

Location Based Breadcrumb
Source: VWO

4. Effective Calls to Action

A compelling call-to-action (CTA) is crucial for effective user conversion.

Most popular industries for the most popular CTAs
Source: Mention

In designing a compelling call to action, here are some of the essential factors to look out for:

  • Clear Text: Your call to action text should be precise, bold, and catchy to grab the attention of passersby. 
  • Placement: Place your call to action button where it is most likely to catch the most attention. Placing your CTA in the middle instead of the top or bottom has seen the most attention over time.
  • Size: Your call to action button must stand out from other texts in size and appearance. It should look entirely different from other items on display.
  • Color: The color of your call to action button makes it stand out and easily noticeable by users. Choose colors that will not fade into the background, other items, or text.

5. Product Descriptions

A vivid and detailed description of your available products needs to be displayed on your website to help your visitors make a well-informed choice. 

Online shopping comes with its disadvantages, and top of the list is the case where customers do not have access to see the products they have an interest in physically before making a purchase.

Hence, each product must have detailed and accurate descriptions with professional and quality images.

Your product descriptions should include the products’ size, texture, color, benefits, and best possible way of use to give your customers the needed confidence and trust in your products on display.

Product Descriptions - example of pela case

6. Quick Checkout Process

Many eCommerce websites lose customers during the checkout phase because of a complicated and inefficient process. 

Ensuring the swiftness of the checkout process goes a long way in affecting your customer retention rate. A quick and seamless checkout process helps you reduce your cart abandonment rate.

Reasons for Abandonments During Checkout

ECommerce stores should be flexible in ensuring visitors can enjoy a pleasant shopping experience even without them holding an online account on the website.

7. Multiple Payment Options

Providing multiple payment method systems goes a long way in accommodating many users. 

Your eCommerce business website needs to accommodate multiple payment options to make your customer feel special. Different users have their favorite payment methods, and you must offer your customers various options. 

Among the most suitable payment options that customers are most comfortable with is the Cash on Delivery (COD), payment via credit or debit cards, PayPal, and cryptocurrency. 

You will likely lose valuable customers to other eCommerce websites if you fail to offer your customers their desired payment options.

Top Online Payments Worldwide 2021
Source: Oberlo

8. Shipping and Return Information

Customers are concerned about your shipping rules and policies, among many other elements.

Questions about returns and exchange of faulty goods purchased are the information customers tend to watch out for when selecting from a wide range of eCommerce websites. 

In positioning your company as the right eCommerce website for a wide variety of target markets, you need to spell out your basic shipping policies, including delivery times and the minimum amount of orders that qualify for free shipping. 

If you keep this information away from your customers from the onset and they find out at the checkout phase, it can lead to lost sales. 

The best eCommerce sites post relevant shipping and return information on their home and product pages for adequate customer support. 

9. Precise Product Search Feature

Your eCommerce website needs to offer a practical and precise search function that can streamline product searches to the range of your customer’s search.

Customers should easily use the search function to find the products they intend to purchase. The product search feature you choose to use for your eCommerce site to make product search easier for your customers should be compatible, reliable, and inclusive. 

This feature needs to be empowered to filter products, including giving customers the option for price filters and further refining the search of your customers based on their interests in select products.

Precise Product Search Feature - example of iphone
Source: Apple

10. Product Recommendations and Showcasing Best Sellers

As a successful eCommerce website, you need to have an idea of your best and in-demand products and make them the center of attention of your website. 

Like a physical store, your online store should display your store's best-selling products to captivate users' attention.

Consumers who come online to search for products have the characteristic of leaving as fast as they appear on websites if there is nothing that strikes their interest. 

Your goal as an eCommerce website should be to do the absolute best to keep users on your site for as long as possible. The best and most effective way of doing this is by showcasing your best-selling products on the homepage of your eCommerce website. 

Recommend products to customers based on the product previously searched for and other preferences to save them valuable time and influence their buying decisions.

Product Recommendations and Showcasing Best Sellers - example of Amazon
Source: Amazon

11. Customer Support

Your eCommerce website design needs to offer the best customer support system. A good eCommerce website design should help eliminate customers’ confusion and uncertainty. 

However, there may be situations where your website design can not deal with a user's uncertainty. Providing users access to your customer support team goes a long way in helping them navigate through your eCommerce website.

Many eCommerce businesses tend to give little attention to customer support, a crucial aspect of the e-Commerce sales process. You can define customer support as helping customers navigate their concerns and restoring their confidence in your website and services.  

Customer support features such as an online chat platform, Zoom option, simple feedback form, and email support are effective ways of helping your customers navigate their way through a series of roadblocks encountered while using your website.

Using a simple feedback form to collect customer feedback is not helpful if you do not regularly monitor these feedback forms.

47.1% of customers stopped doing business due to poor customer service
Source: FinancesOnline

12. Security and Privacy

Securing your customers' sensitive information such as payment card numbers and passwords plays a massive role in instilling their confidence in your website. 

The security system you choose for your eCommerce website needs to fall under the recognized authority in your region. 

Security Socket Layer (SSL) is one of the popular digital certificates to encrypt data coming into and going out of the browser. Installing an SSL certificate on your website goes a long way in keeping your customer data private and safe.

A significant amount of fraud that occurs on the web can be attributed to bad bots. Bad bots perform click fraud and steal personal data off websites. 

The best and most effective method of detecting and eliminating the activities of bad bots is by using real-time bot-detection technology.

Next Step: Optimize the Ecommerce Elements of Your Website

Every eCommerce site must offer a stress-free shopping experience, or they will struggle to have satisfied customers.

Optimizing your website's 12 must-have e-Commerce elements will help you retain customers, acquire new customers, and expand your eCommerce business.

In addition to optimizing your web design for mobile phones and a quick checkout process, using some personalization elements can help you retain customers. Use customer names as often as possible in the eCommerce sales process.

You can maximize your sales by using a wishlist feature. This feature allows customers who do not have enough money to purchase a product to save it so they can refer to it later.Transparent pricing information helps you retain customers for a longer period. When a new lead enters your website, collect the customer name and email address, so you add them to your newsletter and send gentle reminders about your promotions.

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Martin Luenendonk

Editor at FounderJar

Martin loves entrepreneurship and has helped dozens of entrepreneurs by validating the business idea, finding scalable customer acquisition channels, and building a data-driven organization. During his time working in investment banking, tech startups, and industry-leading companies he gained extensive knowledge in using different software tools to optimize business processes.

This insights and his love for researching SaaS products enables him to provide in-depth, fact-based software reviews to enable software buyers make better decisions.