The Vital Features of any eCommerce Store

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Online vertical is one of the easiest ways retailers can adopt to expand their brick and mortar based businesses. They can promote their physical store through the online stores to increase their sales and the customer base. It's not only the retailers that get benefit through this online vertical, online customers also save costs and the time as they can make purchases through their homes.

eCommerce vertical offers various opportunities as retailers adopting this channel need not to concern about the location of the store or other expense incurred on the other resources. The three things that an online retailer needs to focus are his eCommerce website, products and the prospective customers. The biggest advantage is that the retailer can operate their web store round the clock without bothering that who is going to manage their stores.

The most important thing of this vertical is how to attract online customers when retailers don't have an opportunity to meet any of the prospective customers? The following are the essential features that an online retailer needs to consider while designing their eCommerce stores for attracting the online customers:

- Quick View: One of the surest ways to increase the customer experience is to use ‘Quick View' for the product images in the web store. An online customer just needs to hover the mouse over the product image so that a pop-up view of ‘Quick View' button appears just over the image. Clicking on the ‘Quick View' button gives pop-up view of the product and displays the most relevant information about the product. This gives a chance to the online customers to have a more detailed look of the product before deciding and adding product to the shopping cart.

‘Quick View' gives online customers a window where they can take a quick look at the product before actually going through the detailed information about it. This feature saves a lot of time of online customers who otherwise need to check individual product pages and click back to return to the product catalogue page.

- Facebook Commerce: Communicating about your products through social media is the latest trend in the eCommerce vertical. And using Facebook for marketing & promoting about your store is beneficial as it offers opportunity to connect directly with the prospective customers at a social level and the online retailers get the incessant network to connect with people. Online retailers can use the Facebook commerce feature to publish the product catalogue. Meeting prospective customers at a social level increases the chances of converting them into real customers and they can use the same platform to refer it to their friends.

- Smartphone compatible: Nowadays smartphones are coming up with multiple features such as chatting, surfing, gaming, socializing, video conferencing, blogging and shopping. With such advancement in the mobile technology, it's necessary for the online retailers to design their eCommerce web store smartphone compatible. The mobile view mode reduces the time spent in loading the store's website thereby increasing the shopping experience. Accessing the web store through smartphones automatically takes visitors to the mobile view mode, making the web store more available.

- Bundle promotion: ‘Bundle promotion' is a marketing strategy where retailers can group/combine a few of their products and sell them collectively rather than individually. Such kinds of deals are easily found in the brick and mortar stores. Online retailers can use the same strategy in their online store too.

- Marketplace ready: Online retailers can sell their products through marketplaces like eBay. They can publish their stores' product on eBay and can get the additional customers who are visiting that marketplace. Online retailers can offer various deals on these marketplaces to attract customers different from the one displayed on their web stores.

- SEO friendly: To increase the visibility of the web stores, online retailers need to have eCommerce stores that are SEO friendly. There are many features that come under the periphery of the search engine optimization that makes eCommerce store SEO friendly such URL structure, canonicalization, XML sitemaps, robots.txt, H tags, Meta tags and many more.

- Catalogue Management: eCommerce store owners need to manage their thousands of products in their web stores. They need to build, maintain and regularly update their product databases thereby necessitating them do build and manage product catalogues. A comprehensive catalogue management integrates product data with their attributes, categorizes the products, offers warranty information, pricing details, quantity available manufacturing details, processes images and displays shipping policies.

- Order Management: Order management in eCommerce starts soon after an online customer places an order. With multiple orders to be delivered, an online retailer needs to manage multiple components associated with order management such as order orchestration (receiving orders across all channels and automated order pipeline), store fulfillment, distributed order management, CRM and segmentation and call center support.

- Invoice Generation: Invoice generation is one of the steps in the process online shopping. This is important to make online retailers and their customers ensure that online transaction is completed and retailers have documentary evidence with them. The online retailers can also run the batch process for generating invoices. An online order is confirmed only when the online customer has paid the price and online retailer has received it.

- Cash-on-Delivery: Cash-on-Delivery is one of the payment methods used in the online shopping. There are other payment methods that are also available such as payment through credit card, debit card and internet banking. Howbeit, an online retailer uses cash-on-delivery method for those customers who are not comfortable in making payments through any debit/credit cards or has a restricted access to the internet.

- Real-Time Shipping: It is important to have an option of real-time shipping integrated in your eCommerce stores. Major online retailers offer multiple shipping options to their online customers. With the real-time shipping option, the online retailers need not to worry about the shipping charges to be levied on the products selected. The real-time shipping calculator automatically calculates the charges based on the distance of the place where it needs to be delivered and weight of the product.

Nowadays, big online retailers are giving the facility of delivering the product on the same day. This gives an additional benefit to them in attracting the online customers.

The above said points are very essential for an eCommerce store that an online retailer should consider while designing the web store. All the issues discussed above are meant to enhance the customers' experience by making it relatively simple for them to shop online. There are a few features that are focused towards products, others are focused towards shipping, order management, delivery mechanism and additional marketing channel.

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