There are millions of eCommerce stores online today and their number only keeps on growing. No matter what niche you choose to build yours in, you’re going to have a significant number of competitors. Some will be hard to reach and others will remain trapped in the dust.

To get your eCommerce store to stand out from the crowd, you need to make sure you do thorough research on your competitors as well as your own business and customers. You need to figure out your pain points and look at all of the ways you can improve them. It’s important that you have some of the most essential items needed for success in your arsenal. Here are 8 eCommerce store essentials every online store should have:

A Responsive Design

The first thing you need to do is look at the design of your website. About half of all web traffic today comes from mobile devices. When designing your store, you’ll want it to appear well on both desktop computers and mobile devices, which have much smaller screens. To do this, your website should use responsive design. Responsive design is when the appearance of the website adjusts automatically based on the size of the screen. If your website isn’t currently using this, now is the time to look into it.

Site Search

Once you have a lot of products in your eCommerce store, you need to make it as easy as possible for your customers to get around. A simple way to do this is by adding a site search feature. With a site search feature, customers can simply type in the keywords for what they are looking for and your website will display relevant results. This saves them the trouble of having to navigate through all your pages until they find what they are looking for.

Email List

One of the most powerful marketing tools available to eCommerce stores is an email list. With an email list, you can directly reach people who have either shown an interest in your brand or who have made a purchase in the past. To build an email list, all you have to do is ask your website viewers for it in exchange for some benefit, such as a discount code or newsletter. You can also automatically add people who have bought something from you. As your email list grows, you can continually reach out to these people when you have new products or sales to promote.

Social Media Integration

Social media is another powerful marketing tool. Social media is essentially the modern version of word-of-mouth marketing. If people like your products, they will share this information on their social media channels. You can encourage this behavior by integrating social media more directly into your eCommerce site. For example, you can give customers an easy button to share their thoughts on their new purchase once it is complete. Or, when you publish a new blog post, a link can get posted directly on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Quick Customer Service

Customer service is a big part of any business. When shopping at an eCommerce store, people are looking for speed and efficiency. This means your customer service needs to match their expectations. A good way to do this is by adding a live chat feature to your eCommerce store. In fact, according to these live chat stats, 52% of consumers are more likely to repurchase from a company that offers live chat support. Find some live chat software and look to add it to your store as soon as you can.

Strong Content

Even though the foundation of your eCommerce store will be the products you sell, it’s still essential that you have strong content throughout the site. This includes things like your product descriptions, your landing pages, and any blog post you write. Strong content will help with your SEO efforts, which will allow your site to appear higher in search rankings. Here are some tips you can use to improve the content on your eCommerce site.

Easy Checkout

No matter how great the rest of your site is, if you have a slow checkout process, you’re going to lose customers. Now is the perfect time to deeply analyze your checkout process and see if there is any room for improvement. For instance, could you reduce the number of steps required to checkout? Could you add more payment options? Is your checkout process transparent about the total costs of purchase? If you have a high cart abandonment rate, your checkout process is likely the culprit, so spend some time figuring out what’s going wrong.

Tracking

Finally, one of the best things you can add to your eCommerce site is a system for tracking your customers. You’ll want the exact numbers of how many people are visiting your site, where they are coming from, what they are buying and why they are leaving. The more information you can collect about the people visiting your site, the better decisions you’ll be able to make.

For example, if you see that one product has high traffic but low sales, you might deduce that the content on that page is weak or that you need to adjust the price. Alternatively, if a lot of your traffic is coming from one social media channel, you could increase your efforts on that channel to bring in even more customers. Without a solid base of information you can’t make the best possible decisions, so make sure your website has a way to learn more about your customers and that you take advantage of this information.

Give Your eCommerce Store the Essentials

All of the items mentioned above are not difficult to add to your eCommerce store. If you don’t have them already, you’ll want to explore adding each of them as soon as you can. Many of these suggestions won’t grow your eCommerce store overnight but will help lead you to long-term success.

Therefore, it’s essential that you add them as soon as you can so that you can start reaping the benefits. We hope this guide was able to offer you some good ideas and before long you’ll have a leg up on your competition and start to see higher sales numbers than ever before. Good luck!

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