7 Must-Have Functionalities for E-Commerce Stores

In this week’s blog, we look at 7 simple features that are a must for an e-commerce store. We will take you through the customer’s journey, from when they arrive in your store to when they complete their order. Each step has an opportunity to be made easier and smoother for your customers.

From the homepage to the checkout page, there are functionalities that can make customers fall in love not only with your product but your website as well. UX and a seamless digital experience play an important part in conversions. Make sure your store offers all the functionalities users come to expect and stay ahead of the competition.

1. Homepage: Slideshow

Showcase your bold lifestyle and product images with a dynamic and mobile-responsive slideshow. It’s completely customizable and if the transitions are seamless, a slideshow can be an eye-catching and visually impressive tool. This powerful functionality can be a spectacular way to gain the attention of shoppers, but when done incorrectly it will cause frustration.

Some common problems with carousels include long loading times for mobile, unclear navigation and lack of indication on which slide the visitor is on. These are just a few of the problems that can turn visitors away and make them scroll past the slideshow.

The slides should be clear, concise and communicate something of value to the viewer. Whether it’s a sale, a new product announcement or a particularly beautiful photo of your product in situ, a slideshow is a professional way to jazz up your homepage, for both desktop and mobile experiences.

2. Collection Page: Hover for Second Image

After seeing and being enticed by the beautiful slideshow on your front page, your visitor has arrived at the collection page. What can make them click on the product and move onto the product page? Appealing product photos and the option to see more of them without actually clicking on the product.

With the hover functionality, when users hover over an image on the collection page, a second image is displayed. It could be your product from another angle, or in the case of clothing, a shot of the piece from the back. The idea here is to give your visitors as much information as possible about the product without making them navigate to the actual product page until they’re ready to buy.

3. Product Page: Notify Me When Available

Awesome! Your customer has arrived on a product page and they’re possibly interested in buying. Uh oh! That product is out of stock. What do you do? One choice is to do nothing and let the customer navigate away from the page.

A better solution, however, is to give visitors the option of being notified when the product is back in stock. You will be notified which product they are interested in when they submit their email. This is also a great way to get their email addresses and add them to your mailing list. Win-win!

Tip: Why not suggest other products on this page? While a particular one may be out of stock, perhaps the visitor might be interested in a different, but similar product.

4. Header: Ajax Mini-Cart

This functionality is a real game-changer. The Ajax Mini-Cart allows customers to instantly view their cart details without having to navigate to the cart page. When a user clicks on the cart icon in the header, all the products they have added to the card will be visible.

This greatly improves the UX experience since the visitor doesn’t have to go back and forth between pages to see their cart. When cart information is easily visible, it creates trust and encourages the visitor to continue browsing.

5. Cart Page: Shipping Calculator

Don’t leave your customers guessing how much it will cost to ship their item to their door. Giving as much information about the total cost and avoiding surprise hidden fees creates trust between your store and its visitors. The shipping calculator does just that.

6. Footer: Open Social Feeds in New Window

It’s become standard design practice to have links to your social media pages in the footer of your site. It’s crucial that if visitors click these links, they open in a new window rather than navigating them away from your site and decreasing your chances of a sale.

7. Honorable Mention: Newsletter Popup

If you don’t have a newsletter, you are missing out on a wonderful opportunity to stay in touch with customers and let them know of new products, sales, and promotions.

Once you do have a newsletter, however, how do you get people to sign up? That’s where the newsletter pop-up comes in. Completely customizable, it can be triggered by:

  • Time – popup will appear after a predetermined amount of time.
  • Content – popup will show up on specific pages.
  • Scroll – popup will appear when a user has scrolled a specific percentage of the way down the page. 
  • Exit – popup shows when a visitor is about to leave your site.

That’s All, Folks

There are countless ways to improve your online store, and ideally, you should never rest on your laurels when it comes to improving it. Whether it’s design or UX based, the functionality of your site is what creates a smooth shopping experience.

Your product is not the only thing a customer is looking at – how you present it is arguably as important as the product itself. Check out all the other ways you can improve your store’s functionality below.


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