27 MUST HAVE FEATURES
FOR YOUR ONLINE STORE​
When starting an ecommerce website there are few features that every website must have, such as the products and cart functionality. The Products are an unique content type on the website with the ability to display images, prices, descriptions, features, quantity etc. The Cart functionality allows the users to add and place an order on the Products from the website.

Every ecommerce website must have a back-end where the admin or the website owner can add the products and manage orders. But other than that there are various crucial features that an ecommerce website must have. The most important ones are listed below.

1.Payment Gateway Integration:

Payment gateway companies are 3rd party payment processing solution providers allow Customers to pay with their Visa/Mastercard/Amex cards. Or let them pay with SADAD if they are in Saudi Arabia. You can have different payment gateways activated for customers from different countries. The easier it is for customers to pay the better the experience.

2.Integrate Shipping Gateway Provider:

Shipping companies are vital for an ecommerce business to operate, although you can manually manage the shipping process when your website is small and serving a single location. But for growing websites with large number of customers from different parts of the world its crucial that you have a shipping gateway provider setup in order to provide live calculation of shipping costs.
Saudi Arabian ecommerce companies have the option to integrate SMSA or Aramex shipping API with theirwebsite for automatic shipping/Delivery cost calculation.

3.Shipment Tracking (For Customers):

Its frustrating for the customers when they place an order but have no idea where their items are and when do they arrive. With the Shipment Tracking Feature you can provide customers with an easy way to track their shipments live. Creating a smooth customer buying experience.

4.Coupons:

Coupons and discounts are part of every retail business, its no different in the ecommerce space either. You can create coupon codes with Fixed prices or Percentage discounts for your customers. Great for promoting the website and get a stream of loyal customers.

5.Product Bundles:

Product bundling is one of the most effective marketing strategies in the commerce space. Bundle a few products together, offer them at a discount, and watch your sales soar! For example: “Bundle One” may include multiple perfumes or 1 perfume, 2 lipsticks and 5 sanitizers. Or “Bundle Two” could be just 5 bottles of perfumes.

6.Memberships:

Like Markavip.com memberships lets users sign up first to see the products you are selling. And you can charge the customers a monthly fee to be a member and offer them discounts on products. Some membership websites have a different business model. They charge their customers a monthly fee and send them a set of products within that price range every month.

7.Min/Max Quantities:

This lets you set minimum and maximum quantity a customer can order for each item. For example a customer Must by 2 bottles of Chanel perfume minimum. Or they can order a maximum of 10 bottles.

8.Dynamic Pricing:

Configure bulk discounts for each product in your store by creating a table of quantities and discount amounts. Choose from fixed price adjustments, percentage adjustments or set a fixed price for the product. Optionally choose roles the pricing rule should be applied for.

For Example
• Give a 10% discount to Product Name when shoppers purchase 5 or more Product Names.
• Give a $20 discount to Gold Members when they purchase between 2-5 Product Names. Give them a $25 discount when if they purchase more than 5.
• Give a 5% discount to Everyone and a 10% discount to Gold Members when they purchase 5 or more Product Names.
• Offer a Laptop carrying case at a %10 discount if they purchase 1 or more items from the Laptops category.

9.Variable Products, Swatches and Photos:

A lipstick may come in 10 different colors. This will let you show the different colors and textures for each lipstick, and customers can choose which color they want to order for that particular lipstick.
Or a bottle of perfume may come in 3 sizes. Small, Medium and Large, customer can select which size they want and each size can have a different price. Like Small will be 50 riyals, Medium will be 75 Riyals and Large will be 100 Riyals.

10.Brands

Let customers shop for products by brand. If customer only wants to buy products from Gucci, they can click on the Gucci Brand Name on the website and see all Gucci products.

11.Social Login:

Allow customers to login with their Facebook, Twitter or Google accounts. This makes signing up faster and studies show 77% of online customers prefer Social Login over traditional Email Signup.

12.Points and Rewards/ Store Credit:

One of the most important features to bring back customers. Give customers Store Credit if they purchase an item. For example if they buy 200 riyals worth of items, give them 10 riyals Store Credit as a reward, next time they will come back to redeem the 10 riyals and purchase more products.

13.Multi-Currency:

Allow customers to buy in different currencies, such as Saudi Riyals (Main currency), AED, KWD, EGP, USD, EURO. Enter one price and the website will convert the price for other currencies. Combined with different payment gateways for different currencies makes your website an unstoppable force.

14.Cost of Goods (For Admin/Website Owner Only):

Calculate your profit and loss automatically with this feature. Customers will not see the cost, they will only see the sale price.

15.Local Pickup:

Give the customer the option to pick up their orders from your shop. They can order from the website and pay with credit card. Or they can Order from website and pay at the shop and pick up the order.

16.Force Sells:

Force add items in the customers Cart. For example if they buy a Gucci Perfume, they Must buy a Gucci Bag to finish the order.

17.Product Reviews:

Let customers write reviews for products, good reviews increase sales of products because it gives other customers more trust in your website. It also greatly improves your Search Engine Optimization improving your discover ability on google.

18.Discounts for Reviews:

If customers buy an item and write a review they can get a discount on their next order. It makes the customer come back to the website for discount and other buyers trust your website more because of the reviews.

19.Returns and Warranty Requests:

Sometimes products get damaged and customers want to return or exchange the product for something else. Automate the process to make your job easier. Manage the RMA process, add warranty terms to your products, and allow your customers to request and manage returns and exchanges directly from their user account.

20.Live Chat:

Let customers chat with you directly from the website. Answer any questions they might have instantly. Show an away message when you’re offline and reply when you are online again. (The chat will collect email and phone number from the customer if you are offline).

21.Customer History:

Increase your conversion rate by seeing how your customers browse your website. Observe how your customers browse your store and which screens they visit before they purchase.
Track the total customer lifetime value for each customer.
View insights about your customer’s browsing habits on your website, to see which screens work best for targeted conversions.

22.Advanced Recommendation Engine:

Amazon and Souq have one powerful secret that other websites don’t. Automatic Recommendation Engine. The website automatically recommends products to the customers based on the Items/Categories/Brands they clicked. Websites that have this feature have double the sales compared to websites that don’t.
How does the website know what products to recommend?
Related Products By View/Clicks
Related Products by Purchase History
Products Purchased Together

23.WooCommerce Instagram

Display Instagram photographs of your products with a hashtag. Automatically show Photos from instagram (Your uploads, or your customers uploads) of a particular product. This brings customers from instagram to your website and increase customer trust.

24.VAT- TAX:

Setup VAT on the website. Either add prices including or excluding VAT. If you include vat then it will calculate the price of the product minus the 5% VAT. And if you Exclude VAT then it will add the 5% vat on top of the price.

25.Select Delivery Date

Allow the customer to select when they want the order to be delivered.

26.Pre-Orders

Let customers order Unavailable or “Coming Soon” items. Customers can order products that are not available in stock yet but will be available soon. Then simply deliver the item when it is available.

27. Share for Discounts

Give customers the option to share your products on facebook and twitter in exchange for a discount. The lure of a discount will convince the visitor to share product, and sharing brings more eyeballs to your website. It’s a win for everyone.

Conclusion

You are not restricted to the above 27 features for your store, the possibilities are endless. Whatever features you can imagine can be developed for your website.

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