What will be useful for our online store
The primary functions of an online store are attractive presentation of products, which we have in our offer and providing a simple ordering path. This combination should guarantee expansion of the recipients of our offer and thereby the number of orders. However, behind these terms hide many various functionalities, which are responsible for automatization and acceleration of some processes and ensuring nice and comfortable shopping for users. Not every store has to have similar functions. What will be useful for our online store depends predominantly on the specifics of our company and our target audience. Below we have described some of the most popular and helpful online store functionalities.
Our products may have different categories and variations. If their number is big, it is worth taking care of appropriate classification of the products and the possibility of filtering and sorting products in the online store, so that the customer will not be discouraged with viewing subsequent pages of unrelated products. Before starting a project talk with your web developer about the way in which you want to divide your assortment. It will help to match the best searching options and establish the menu structure.
2. Storage management
The possibility of determining stock level and its automatic management is a very useful function in the online store, especially with a large number of orders. This option not only allows for better administration of the number of goods in the online store, but also informs our customers if the product is available in stock and if its amount is not limited.
3. Related products and bestsellers
Related products section is a good way to encourage the customers to continue shopping. We can present there other products from the same category (up-sell) or products that can be addition or supplement to the product (cross-sell.). The section of the most popular products allows for emphasising the best products from your offer and attracting customers attention to them.
This option allows for regular purchase of the product. We can settle the period after which the subscription will renew and what will be the cost of the subscription, depending on a chosen offer. If we will have many orders of this type, it is good to take care of proper automatization. A well-selected module and payment system will allow for acceleration and facilitation of the whole process.
5. The invoices
If we often make invoices for our customers, we can do it also in our online store system. The integration with invoicing system will allow for generating and sending invoices after placing the order in the online store. The automatic completion of customer’s data will save some time and reduce the possibility of making mistakes. Having all invoices in one place, we will be also able to easily administer them.
It is a good way to encourage the customers to stay in touch with us. The profits are mutual - you build the base of regular customers and the users get the information about new products and current discounts. For sure customers’ attention will be attracted by the discount code, received after joining the newsletter.
7. Live chat
The pace of the reaction is very crucial with e-commerce customers and often decides about purchasing the product by customers. If they are currently showing interest in a particular product, the chance that he will buy it is big. At this moment efficient contact with an assistant has a significant role. If the customers don't receive the response within a few minutes, they will probably leave our website. When you decide to have a live chat on your website, you ensure immediate contact with the staff in shop working hours. If it is not possible, it is better to direct the contact for example to the company's email address, where the amount for response is not that limited.
8. Shipping classes
If the weight or dimensions of the product are significant in their shipping, it is worth thinking about shipping classes, which will help us to better manage the shipping process. One of the ways to settle the classes is to determine precise weights that will fit into a small, medium or large parcel.
9. Integration with logistic company
Integration with a specific logistic company is not necessary to provide the shipment in your online store. You can, for example, use www.parcelmonkey.co.uk or some other platform, which offer a few logistic companies to choose from. However, the integration with the company allows the automatization of the dispatch. Depending on the range of integration, it is possible to generate address labels, automatically change the status of the order and shipment or send automatic notifications about the parcel via email or text message to the customer, usually together with the link with delivery tracking.
10. Integration with payment system
It is a must have of each online store. Quick payments are comfortable for customers and also shorten the path of placing the order. Payment system selected for the online store should be popular among customers, because it will be also more credible for them. The system should support the most frequently chosen payment methods, such as wire transfers or card payments. Nonetheless, it is worth remembering about traditional bank transfer, for people who prefer this solution or at this moment can’t connect with their bank online.
11. My account
The possibility of registration in the online store is another useful functionality, which we should have in our online store. After customers log in their data will be saved which will help us in further sale activities and the customers will have access to their orders. What’s more, in case of placing orders in the future, the customers won’t waste time filling their data again. For people who don’t like to spend time on creating subsequent accounts, we can provide the possibility of logging in via Facebook or Google.
12. Individual discounting system
This function will be useful for those who want to build a long-term relationship with the customer. Individual discounting systems may for example include loyalty programs counting the points depending on the value of the order. The points may be exchanged for gifts or discounts. Another option is giving individual discount codes for particular users or user groups. There are many possibilities and in this case the best option is to contact our developer and consult which solution will be the most suitable for us.
13. B2B Panel
When your customers divide into individual and business ones and you want to adjust your offer properly for them, B2B panel will for sure be helpful. The functions that you will find there depend on you. For example you can settle wholesale prices visible only for the business partners, settle discounts depending on the number of purchased goods, etc. In this case it is also good to discuss expected functions with the developer who is doing your project
If you want to implement to your online store some of the functions described above, it is worth asking the developer if a particular function is default for a chosen online store system. The list of required functionalities is crucial for selecting an appropriate system. It is also an important aspect in planning a budget for our projects, because adding individual functions connects with expansion of work on our project.
In case you like some functionality, but you are not sure if it will work in your online store, the best way is to wait with its implementation until you develop your sale. Then you will learn about the expectations of your customers and see what integrations and automatization you need.