Must-Have E-commerce Platform Marketing Features You Can't Live Without
So you wanted to start an e-commerce business? At this point, you might feel a mix of emotions ‒ excitement, impatience, and at one point, confusion.
The first decisions that you have to make are crucial, including which e-commerce platform to use to power your online store. There are also some excellent features the best e-commerce platforms have to enhance the efficiency of your marketing process and to contribute to the overall customer experience.
In this article, we are going to walk you through with the must-have e-commerce marketing features your e-commerce platform should have.
Mobile has now taken over the world by storm. In fact, it now accounts for approximately 50% of the total online transactions.
By having a responsive site, the content adapts intuitively to whatever device a potential buyer uses in accessing to provide a more user-friendly experience. Take Walmart for example. It has boosted its sales by up to 98% when it optimized its site for mobile.
It does not really matter whether or not you have millions of product pages or just a couple. When you build a more mobile-friendly experience for your users, you are gradually enhancing sales and boosting your rankings on search results.
Automated personalized emails
Through email marketing, there is a lot that you can do in terms of how you can reach out to your target market. This will be based on the types of transactions that happen on your site, as well as browsers that would tell you about the specific audience segment they belong to.
For instance, you can send cross-sell and up-sell emails that would highlight particular products depending on a user's viewing or purchase history.
You can always keep shoppers come back for more by sending out newsletters that would feature exclusive discounts and product updates that are only available to subscribers. Send in other offers to customers who purchased from you previously but have not visited your store in a while.
Moreover, you can also forward trigger emails to users who have abandoned their shopping carts in the past, and hopefully, it can convince them to visit your site again and make a purchase.
Location-based payment option
For you to be able to sell products and goods online, you need to adapt to the payment options available to your customers.
But to be able to accept these payments, you need a payment gateway. This processor will securely move the money from your customer's bank accounts to your own.
Just keep in mind that not every payment gateway will work well with an e-commerce platform. In fact, this is one of the most common reasons customers do not go through with the purchase, simply because the payment options do not work in their country.
When the demand for particular payment options is lower, there will be technical limitations that will prevent the getaway and the platform from working harmoniously with one another.
So before you pick an e-commerce platform, ensure that a particular payment gateway is supported, either through an extension, add-on or on the "core" platform. If not, you can look for someone to create an add on, but it can be rather expensive and unsuccessful at times.
If you have not picked a payment gateway yet, it does not matter, but you have to be at least sure that the store will support the currency of your country. Note that it could not be modified later on, so you should do your research before you ultimately make a decision.
User-generated review and rating functionality
Customers will always read reviews. They also pay close attention to the little stars right next to the product before coming up with a decision. Aside from featuring a user-generated review and rating functionality, the best e-commerce platforms should also get feedback from other known review services on the internet like Yelp.
By doing so, you are adding another layer of proof to the entire customer journey.
Rich analytics for audience insights
Analytics is important so that you could come up with more educated decisions later on with your business. After all, you have to figure out where your customers are coming from, who are your top customers, your most popular products, conversions, and so much more.
The more insights you have from your customers on what they are doing, the better you will be able to know the marketing channels and tactics that perform the best and get rid of the others that do not.
These insights are also excellent if you want to personalize and optimize your site for better customer experience. The more insights that you know, the more you will be able to do to keep the sales from coming in.
Multiple design options
Perhaps you are not quite sure of the design that you want to have for your online store. Maybe you want to go for the sleek and minimalist look. Or a store with vibrant colors and images to catch your audience's attention.
An excellent e-commerce platform will provide you with both free and paid theme options that you can utilize to make changes to the look and feel of your store.
You can apply them as easy as just a click of a button, or sometimes, you might need to upload a file in the server. Other platforms only have a few themes, while some offer you a variety of options.
Online transactions are pretty common these days. It has become an integral aspect of our lives today.
Because of that, e-commerce sites have been a target by malicious individuals and cybercriminals. As an online seller, you need to secure your customer information so that it does not fall into the wrong hands. Take the necessary steps to ensure your privacy.
Here are a couple of must-have security features for your e-commerce site:
SSL certificate: This creates a secure connection with your site and the user. Usually, users will look for the HTTPS as well as the green lock found on the address bar before they trust you with their information. Thus, you should pick a well-known SSL certificate vendor.
Two-factor authentication: Gives your site an extra layer of security by asking for a username and password, and then a system-generated code is sent via text or email.
Utilize a firewall: It gives you a getaway or wall between two networks, and then what it does is block the malicious traffic and permit the authorized traffic to your site.
Built-in blog platform
Blogs are excellent in providing compelling stories, engaging your audience, and building long-term relationships with your potential customers.
Aside from that, blogs also attract high-quality backlinks and help you rank on search engines for long-tail search queries that product pages simply cannot do. Every post you make can boost your search engine ranking, as Google prefers diverse, dynamic, and consistent content.
Blogs also allow you to publish tips, backstories, and product use cases that are simply not applicable to product pages, letting you rank higher for informational keywords.
Online support and documentation
If your customers come across a technical problem that they cannot solve, who do you turn to?
Ideally, your site should include important resources like how-tos, guides, FAQs, and video walkthroughs. If they are still feeling a bit stuck, they should be able to reach someone. That is where having an online support team is indispensable.
A support team should be able to offer a combination of email, chat, phone, and email support to address and resolve questions should they arise.
Conversion rate optimization options
When it comes to designing your store, you have to take a wild guess on the things where your audience responds to the most.
Even those little details like the placement or the color of a button can place a significant impact on your sales conversion rates. In fact, according to a study, the majority of the participants who took a more structured approach in terms of the experiment in conversion rate optimization are saying that they saw sales improvements.
Moreover, when you serve various versions of your page to different users while tracking the conversion lift at the same time, split testing is an excellent way to experiment with the interface's design to be able to maximize the revenue.
Over to You
Making the wrong decision in selecting an e-commerce platform can cause you to spend more than you initially thought you would like to set up an e-commerce store with all the necessary features that you might need.
As an e-commerce marketer, your shop must have the necessary features that are required to support the various activities on your site.
While you certainly can get away from not having all of them at once, every feature does serve an important purpose on how you will operate your site from marketing, analytics, customer support, to the acquisition of customers and retention.