Redesigning Your E-Commerce Site? Here’s How To Identify The Best Features To Add

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E-commerce was booming well before the Covid-19 pandemic and will only continue to grow in 2022 and beyond. With an estimated 12 to 24 million e-commerce sites worldwide, online retailers need a great website and shopping experience to attract new customers and keep loyal ones coming back for more.

Whether you’re launching a new online storefront or upgrading an existing one, it’s important to understand what features today’s consumers value in their e-commerce experience. To help, a panel of Forbes Business Council members share their best advice for organizations to gain a better understanding of key e-commerce website features and how to implement them.

1. Develop A Mobile-Friendly Design

To stay relevant and competitive, businesses should regularly redesign their stores. In addition to maintaining a visually appealing site, several other elements need to be considered when designing a new web store, including a mobile-friendly design, social media integration, a custom checkout page and customization options. It should also address mobile shoppers’ concerns, pricing and promotions. – Chakri Toleti,

2. Reduce Friction Points

Focusing on reducing friction points has been incredibly helpful for us. Our website visitors spend an average of 2.8 seconds on our landing page before leaving, so we make sure our messaging spurs interest from the beginning. Our features are also geared towards mobile users who are not tech-savvy and do not have time, so we included a big call button at the top of the page. – Dennis Chang, Roadflex

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3. Create Multiple Heatmaps And Record Customer Activity

Monitor and study customers’ digital experience by creating multiple heatmaps and recording their activities on the website and high-value pages. Collect user feedback on products and shopping behavior, following UX/UI trends in the industry and new technologies that can help customers make better and faster decisions and answer any questions they might have. – Ali Payani, LookinLA

4. Utilize AI

AI is extremely useful in translating data into useful insights on how consumers are engaging on a website. This then needs to be combined with experiential learning from talking to consumers to understand how the web store is addressing their needs, solving a problem for them or removing friction for them. Combining these two will generate greater insights on what to change or add. – Juliet Anammah, JUMIA

5. Anticipate Customers’ Needs

Organizations should know the customer’s needs before taking any decision. It can be done with customer development activities. Generally speaking, organizations need to analyze what resources are spent on the current products, what the outcomes are and how it enters into the company’s strategy. – Viktor Nekrylov, DRCT Ltd

6. Use Feedback And Input From Investors

Our investor users furnish excellent feedback and input on what they want to learn from us. We look not at a redesign but do continuous educational content optimization to build trust, increase credibility and earn a partner. For example, an ultra-short executive summary video covers all you need to know to invest and is supplemented with short detail or topical clips so they can jump to what they want to know and skip the rest. – Patrick Grimes, Invest on Main Street

7. Use Google Analytics

Start with using Google Analytics or a similar tool to understand users’ behavior—in particular, look at how many clicks are required to select and add a product to the shopping cart, how easy one can submit an order and where users usually drop the uncompleted purchase. Also, measuring your website performance (e.g., response time) is a must. – Dana Kohut, The Prime View

8. Ask Customers What’s Missing

The best practice is to engage the very individuals whom you are trying to serve. In this case, engaging with the customers and asking what is missing and what would be helpful would be ideal as it makes the customer feel valued and heard and accomplishes the company’s goal. Ensuring that you have an inclusive approach by asking customers across race, color and disabilities is a necessity. – Dr Daniela Ferdico, Sensory Access

9. Test, Test, Test

Just test. The first thing that needs to be understood is we don’t know the future and what users really need. The only thing we can do is make small bids and small tests. This is all about making 10 tests—and once you get one hypothesis that is working and giving value to the users, you need to stabilize and scale it in order to make it one of the normal processes of the web store. – Alex Borisov, ROCKETECH

10. Consider The Future

Make sure to build out for what the future holds. If you are selling taxable items, make it easier on your business by making sure the backend has a software add-in for collecting and remitting sales tax to various states. Each state is nuanced—and to have that component in place before it’s a problem is imperative. – Nikki Rohloff, Rohloff Associates

11. Analyze Customer Feedback

The only way to really gain an understanding of what features need changing or adding is by testing your website and analyzing customer feedback. This will allow you, as the owner/manager, to have more clarity on which direction to take next with regard to marketing efforts. A redesign shows how well their current offerings are working and also identifies areas that may require improvement. – Saul Maslavi, Jovani Fashions

12. Research Media Trends

The first thing I’d recommend is studying the analytics of the web store. Taking a look at your store’s analytics gives you an idea of what’s doing well and what can be improved or removed. Do research on trends in media, marketing and SEO optimization to get an idea of how to update your web store to reach new customers. Be sure to include videos that are clear and straight to the point. – Robin Harris, Model Atelier

13. Time Your Orders

Try and place an order yourself and time how long it actually takes from when you add something to your cart to completion! It’s shocking how many people haven’t actually checked out on their own store. Examine your user experience by becoming a user yourself. Once you’ve done it, have others check out from different departments! – Marya Khalil-Otto, VI Peel

14. Focus On Aesthetics

The components needed to build a perfect website are aesthetic appearance and usability/functionality—how it looks and how it works. When you maximize the two components, you have maximized conversion rate optimization (CRO). The two components are inputs, and CRO is an output. Maximization occurs when you pair incredible graphic designers with great web designers and inject them with data. – Yousef Benhamida, HS Supplies

15. Consider The Outcomes Your Customers Want

Focus on designing from the perspective of the outcomes your customers want. Buyers don’t buy products and services, they buy the outcomes the products and services deliver. While a web store needs features and specifications for products, what often gets looked over is the outcomes the product enables and testimonials from buyers who have used the product to achieve the outcomes. – Darrell Amy, Revenue Growth Engine

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