Career Advice

Key Features Your Online Store Needs

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Thinking of launching an online store? In order to make your online store a success, there are a few key features that you need to include in your website’s design. Below are just some of the most essential features to incorporate into your website.

Professional product photos

A majority of online consumers hesitate to purchase a product without the support of high-quality images. Such images must effectively highlight all essential features of the product, often necessitating multiple photographs from varied angles. The importance of proper lighting and optimal exposure cannot be overstated in each of these photographs, ensuring a clear, detailed representation of the product.

Hiring a professional product photographer is the best solution for guaranteeing top quality photos. All photos should be shot with the same background to give them a sense of consistency.

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Detailed product descriptions

Product descriptions should be detailed in order to provide customers with all the information they need. A detailed product description also allows you to incorporate various keywords that customers may be searching for, helping to improve your product listing pages’ exposure on search engines.

You have the option to craft product descriptions on your own or employ the services of a professional copywriter. It’s advisable to present crucial information upfront, and then proceed to elaborate with more comprehensive details below.

Clear categories and search features

If you offer a large inventory of products, a clear category system could be essential for helping customers to find the products they are after. These categories could be accessible via a toolbar and should be labelled in a way that makes it easy for customers to know where to look. You could also potentially look into sorting features to help customers sort by size or price. On top of this, you should consider adding a search bar that will allow customers to search for specific keywords related to the products they want.

A website designer may be able to help you create these categories, or you may be able to create these categories yourself if you’re using an easy website builder. 

Optional account sign-in

Getting customers to create an account before making a purchase can have many advantages. You can save customer details, allow customers to build loyalty points and encourage customers to join your mailing list. This sign-in procedure should however be optional  – an alternative guest checkout process will stop you from losing customers who don’t have the time to sign up.

To help manage customer accounts, it’s worth using CRM software. Bulk mailing software could meanwhile be worth using to help manage your mailing list.

Secure payment processing

Payments need to be processed securely using a trusted online payment gateway. When it comes to accepting payment options, you should consider accepting both debit and credit card payments. Credit card payments will generally require you to set up a merchant account. You can read this guide to understand exactly how online credit card processing works.

Take the time to compare payment processing services to work out which is the best option for you. If you need to accept international payments or cryptocurrencies, you may have to seek out specialist payment processors. 

Virtual assistant chat box

Having a virtual assistant on hand to answer customer queries can be advantageous. Most customers want quick answers and don’t want to have to wait for an email. An instant messaging chat box that pops up in the corner of your website could allow customers to ask queries and get a quick reply from either you or one of your sales reps. 

If you don’t fancy the idea of constantly being online to answer customer queries, there is the alternative option of using a chatbot on your website. These are powered by AI and can be programmed to answer many questions just like a human. A FAQs page could also be worth providing to help answer frequently asked questions. 

Return and cancellation policy

What happens if a customer wants to return a product? And what happens if a customer wants to cancel an order? Having a return and cancellation policy in place is necessary for outlining the restrictions when it comes to returning and cancelling. 

You may want to hire a lawyer to write up some terms and conditions for you. Call-to-action buttons or forms may be possible to use to help make returning and cancelling products easy. You don’t want to make it too hard for customers to return or cancel products as this may result in negative reviews and chargebacks.

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05/21/2024 01:51 pm GMT

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