You’ve read our piece on the key features for an online store, so you’ve got the basics down. Now, spend a little extra time amping up features on your site to give shoppers an extra push to make a purchase decision and to drive more conversions.

  1. Customer-generated reviews

    We put this on our guide to the basics, but we’re adding it here too. Now’s the time to get a serious review section up and running if you don’t have one already. Nothing increases customer confidence like an authentic review. 

    If you already have review capabilities, step it up. Add a question and answer section (a la Amazon), let users mark reviews as helpful, ask reviewers to rate specific things like fit and quality. Whatever it is, the more thorough the better. 

  2. Gorgeous graphics

    This might sound superficial but focusing on how your site looks will make the difference between an average site and a great site. Design not only reflects your brand, but also plays a part in creating positive user experience, helping users understand how they’re meant to engage with your website.

    Once your site functions the way you want, make sure it also looks the way you want. If you were looking to make an online purchase but the site you landed on looked like it was built in the early 2000s, you might end up wondering if they’re still in business. More than that - lacking a clear brand and aesthetic can take away from a company’s perceived legitimacy and professionalism.

  3. Recommended products

    Searching on an e-commerce site for the perfect product can sometimes be frustrating - you find almost what you’re looking for but not quite. That’s where a recommended products feature comes in handy. 

    You might not be able to provide in-person shopping assistance, but being able to virtually recommend similar products to customers is the next best thing. That, along with suggesting similar products other customers have also bought, can increase your sales and customer satisfaction.

  4. Blog

    It might seem like everyone and their dog has a blog but there’s a reason it’s such a popular medium. Growing a blog takes lots of time and patience but it can do lots of good for a company. 

    Blog posts can help establish a company as a thought leader in its industry and eventually drive more organic traffic to a site through SEO. It can also add personality to a faceless corporation and lends opportunity to feature others in your blog and be featured elsewhere.

Once you have the basics of your website down, start thinking outside the box. These are by no mean the only four ways to take your e-store up a notch, so get creative. Get to know your audience and what they would like to see more of. Think of yourself as the shopper - what would you want? There’s no wrong answer as long as each improvement makes your store a little more useful, informative, or inspiring to your customers.