13 Elements an E-Commerce Website Shouldn’t Do Without

Peter A. Liefer II | Posted: April 29th, 2016 | Updated: May 21st, 2020


12 Elements an E-Commerce Website Shouldn't Do Without

You have an online store and a comprehensive catalog of products that are priced competitively, but you’re not receiving visits and generating sales as expected. So, what could possibly be the problem?

In some cases, an e-commerce website doesn’t click with people not because of the products nor the rates. Sometimes, it’s about the absence of certain elements within the website that turn potential buyers off.

Here are 13 elements that an e-commerce website should have in order to catch visitor attention and convert them into loyal clients.


1. Web Design and Functionality

There are two crucial aspects of web design that you should focus on—visuals and functionality.

Your e-commerce site should be designed well to be visually appealing. Employ a color scheme according to your brand identity and match it with the appropriate font style and size. Avoid eyesores such as unreadable text, cluttered layout and low resolution images.

Functionality is another vital aspect of e-commerce web design. Users should be able to find their way within your website seamlessly. Menus, link to product categories, shopping cart, checkout and homepage should be placed in an area where they can be easily seen and accessed.


2. On-Site Search Engine

People don’t have the time to go through every category and page of your e-commerce site just to find what they’re looking for. Just the same, visitors can easily get turned off with irrelevant product search results. Make sure that you have a search engine software in your website, and see to it that it works efficiently. Allow users to filter searches through category, size, color, and price, especially if you have a huge product catalog.


3. Product Information

The challenge with selling online is that people can’t check out your actual products. So there’s always that mystery affecting their buying decision. You need to bridge that gap and describe the product effectively and provide as much information about an item.

If you want people to click on that “add to cart” or “buy now” button, you need to present high-resolution images of a product accompanied with a powerful product description. Highlight the important features of an item in a clear and concise manner. Avoid making descriptions too text heavy. Limit product information to a few bullet points followed by a supporting statement that’s about two to three sentences long.


4. Quick and Convenient Checkout Process

In an actual store, people simply get what they need, pay for the goods at the counter, and leave. It’s that simple, and that’s how it should also be with your e-commerce website.

Tailor your checkout process to be efficient and quick. As much as possible, limit order confirmation, customer information input, payment options, and checkout within a page or two. When there’s too many steps and pages involved during checkout process, customers may find it too tedious and may opt to not complete the transaction.


5. Comprehensive Shopping Cart

Aside from checking items before checkout, a shopping cart should be functional enough to allow users to make modifications with their orders.

A comprehensive shopping cart allows customers to change quantities, select shipping options, view prices of individual items as well as the total cost, enter promo codes, and let them go back to shopping or add more products as they wish.


6. Various Payment Options

Aside from a comprehensive product range and ample amount of stocks, making different payment options available to your clients is also essential.

Believe it or not, customers may tend to cancel a transaction just because you don’t accept payments through their preferred method. While PayPal and Visa are widely acceptable, it wouldn’t hurt to add other options such as other credit cards or cash on delivery.


7. Privacy Policy

Security matters to customers, and you need to be transparent with how you’re going to use their information.

A privacy policy should include why you need certain details from customers and in what instances you’re going to use them. Disclose if your site use cookies, if you’ll sell their information to third parties, and any form of security certificate that your website has.


8. Page Speed

Let’s face it, we are living in a world where it’s all about speed and convenience. When it comes to shopping online, no one has the time to wait for an e-commerce website to load. No matter how good your products are or how competitive your pricing is, it will all be for nothing if a potential buyer leaves because your website loads too slowly.

Take measures to ensure fast loading speed in your e-commerce website. There are tools that can help detect what’s slowing your website down and recommend ways on how you can work around it.


9. Company Information

People need to know who you are so they can be comfortable in doing business with you. Include pages or section designated for the profile of your company and management team, contact details, licenses, awards, policies on returns, refunds, and shipping, and guarantees. Making these information available is a good way to establish credibility and build trust with your clients.


10. Customer Reviews

A built-in review system can do wonders for your e-commerce website. It doesn’t just provide an avenue for users to leave feedback, it also provides essential insight on your products and how you do business from the point of view of actual customers. One of the reasons why Amazon is so successful is because they make it easy for customers to share what they think about the product or the website as a whole.

TIP: When you receive a negative feedback or review, acknowledge the comment and let the customer know that you will work on the issue. Afterwards, look into it and see how you can improve your services and products.


11. Mobile Optimization

According to The Mobile Playbook, not having your website optimized for mobile is like closing your store for one day each week. Optimize your e-commerce website for mobile, so that people can enjoy shopping with you regardless of what device they use.


12. Blog

Engaging in e-commerce is not just about selling your products and services, it’s also about building relationships with people through providing them something of value without asking for anything in return. Adding a blog to your website can help you do exactly that.

In your blog, you can post helpful content that’s related to your niche. For instance, if you’re selling high-end designer bags, you can create blog posts on buying tips, spotting fakes, anatomy of an authentic designer bag, or round-ups about the latest collection of top designers.

13. SSL

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It protects and encrypts sensitive data such as passwords, credit card numbers, and addresses as they get passed on between browsers and web servers. It protects the integrity of your transactions and keeps client information safe from hackers and eavesdroppers. Aside from security, having SSL installed on your e-commerce can also help boost your rankings on Google.


Building an e-commerce website is an effective way of tapping a bigger market. It makes shopping more convenient and brings your brand closer to more people. However, your e-commerce success will only be good as how effective your website is. So make sure it has the 13 crucial elements discussed above in order to provide the best experience to users.

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