Learning from the best: What features are right for your Shop

Around 87% of merchants are using Shopify stores. This popular eCommerce platform has made it easier than ever to create a custom shop for your products. Unfortunately, popularity can often result in fierce competition. 

To ensure customers choose your e-store, you need to create an attractive and enjoyable shopping experience. A large part of that shopper experience relies on the features your shop includes.

In this article, you’ll be introduced to some shops that are top ranking in their markets, and some of the features they use to achieve success. You’ll also learn about the features available to you and how you can apply them to boost the appeal of your shop and delight your customers.

Shops Worth Emulating 

When deciding how to design your shop, the easiest way to get started is to emulate what some of the top shops are doing. You shouldn’t copy their design, but you should take note which aspects of the shops you like, and which you don’t. Pay attention to the use of fonts, layouts, colors, and functionality.

Decor eShop

Pop Chart Lab sells various poster-sized prints related to pop culture, history, and various hobby pursuits. They use bold, clean styling with pops of color on an otherwise simple backdrop to highlight their products. 

For product photography, Pop Chart Lab provides a combination of product only, closeup, and in situ images. The site also provides framing options as an added-value product for each print.

The features they use include:

  • A call to action pop up
  • A banner with media hype
  • Product collections, including a trending collection
  • Messenger chat
  • User rewards program
  • Responsive design

Tech eShop

Quad Lock sells phone case and mount combinations designed for active lifestyles. They use a bold homepage with an eye-catching branded video banner.

Their product catalogs feature stark, clear images with a simple background. Individual product pages show in-use images with a demo video. They also provide added value to customers with blog content related to the active lifestyles of their customer base.

The features they use include:

  • Embedded video of products in use
  • Product collections based on the use of the phonecases
  • A banner with media coverage badges
  • User reviews for social proof
  • Accepted payment type badges
  • Responsive design

Beverage eShop

Ratio Coffee sells luxury coffee makers and related accessories. They use clean, crisp styling with a muted color scheme and an attention-grabbing video banner. 

Their product pages show products from all angles with a background that blends into the surrounding page. Product pages also include clearly defined product benefits, specifications, and a video showing how to use the product. The website provides added value to customers with a learning section explaining product use and coffee brewing techniques.

The features they use include:

  • Responsive design
  • User accounts and mailing list
  • A media review banner and individual product ratings
  • A blog
  • A promotions bar at the top of the home page
  • A product benefits section

Fashion eShop

Henkaa sells convertible dresses and accessories. They use warm, feminine styling with muted jewel tones to convey a rustic feeling. 

Their product images are designed so customers imagine themselves in the products. Product collection pages include multiple styling options and a range of body shapes per product. The site provides added value for customers with video styling tutorials.

The features they use include:

  • A promo bar and pop-up promotions
  • Responsive design
  • Messenger chat
  • Instagram reviews for social proof
  • Product collections
  • Dynamic images

What Features Are Right For You?

Choosing features for your eShop can be an overwhelming task. You don’t want to devote time and effort to include features that won’t provide a return on your investment. Even after you know which features you want, there are so many plug-ins and options available. To help make your decision process faster and easier, consider starting with the following features.

Must-Have Features

The following are must-have features for any shop, no matter what product it sells. These features can provide added value for your customers while ensuring that your shop is attractive and highly accessible.

Responsive design

Responsive design resizes or reconfigures sites to fit the device on which the site is being viewed. It can involve rearranging content or swapping content to match a user’s device. For example, moving menus or eliminating video banners. It also frequently involves use of responsive images, which change size, quality, or format depending on the available space.

Responsive websites are considered a necessity for mobile shopping and make form filling significantly easier for users. Additionally, Google prioritizes mobile-friendly sites so using this feature means you are more likely to receive new visitors.

Reviews

Including reviews on your site reassures customers of the quality of your product and helps set up realistic expectations. You can include specific product reviews, shop reviews, or both. For shop reviews, a combination of customer reviews and media reviews is best. 

To incorporate reviews into your site, you can add reviews to individual products, collection pages, or product pages. You can add shop reviews to your homepage with accompanying social media posts or media badges for added legitimacy.

Chatbots

According to Gartner, chatbots will handle 85% of web-based customer service interactions in 2020. Chatbot tools can enable you to engage with customers immediately and automatically. Chatbots are available 24/7 and can be programmed to filter easy-to-answer queries. For example, FAQs, making purchases, and frequent order issues. 

Chatbots can be useful for gathering customer data in preparation for live support. These tools can also be used to engage customers with personalized content, such as quizzes or shareable images, badges, or promo codes.

Embedded Video

Embedded video is useful for catching your customer’s attention and quickly providing information or Calls to Action (CTA). Video is more engaging than still images since people’s attention is naturally drawn to movement.

You can use video to enable a customer to feel as though they’re interacting with your product. Giving a 360° view or showing how the product interacts with users and surroundings can provide customers with a better understanding of a product. It can also increase customer satisfaction and reduce returns by setting up realistic expectations of products. 

Recommended featured products or collections

Recommended product collections can help narrow down your customer’s choices. It can encourage them to view products they might otherwise miss. These collections can be especially useful for upselling or cross-selling related products.

Grouping items by collection can provide customers with a boutique feel, particularly if items are curated by event, room, or customer personality. It is also useful for grouping sale or low quantity items, which can encourage a sense of urgency in buyers.

Marketing Features

The below features can help you reclaim lost sales and entice customers back to your shop. In particular, these marketing features can add a bit of personalization to your communications. Personalization is a proven tactic for increasing customer satisfaction and engagement.

Cart abandonment campaigns 

Research has found that around 68% of online shopping carts get abandoned. One way to reclaim these potential sales is with cart abandonment campaigns. These campaigns send notifications or emails to shoppers reminding them about objects in their cart.

You can make these campaigns more effective by including special offers to entice customers back in. Even if the initial intended purchase isn’t completed, you may be able to draw customers back to your site for a different purchase.

Mailing list offers 

Mailing list offers can be an excellent way to gain information about your customers, as well as serve as a direct channel of communication. Mailing list offers might include first-time buyer discounts, free shipping promotions, or information about upcoming sales. 

These offers are often initially tied to pop-ups or promo banners. However, mailing list offers can also be added during checkout. For example, by promising to provide savings on future purchases. Mailing list offers are a way to reward those who choose to engage with your shop and a good way to bring back occasional or infrequent customers.

Conclusion

Choosing the right features for your shop can make a significant difference in sales and overall shop success. Customers expect to see polished, functional, and user-friendly shops that stand out from the crowd.

To ensure that your shop meets these demands, you need to do a little research to see how your current design compares. Once you understand the impact of features on customer experience, you can begin ensuring that your site integrates features effectively.

This is a guest contribution from Gilad David Maayan. Gilad is a technology writer who has worked with over 150 technology companies including SAP, Samsung NEXT, NetApp and Imperva, producing technical and thought leadership content that elucidates technical solutions for developers and IT leadership.
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