Ecommerce best practices and solutions have evolved rapidly within the past five years. Yet the fundamentals remain the same. The end-goal has always been to offer a product and complete a transaction. The technology and platforms may differ but consumers have the same needs as they did years ago. They still want a site that’s easy-to-use, secure, fast, and trustworthy.

In 2017, many e-commerce sites fail to include the essentials. Their steadfast resistance to change is costing them many opportunities to generate sales, increase search & social exposure, and garner feedback, reviews, and referrals.

What Are These Essentials?

Fast (and Rich) Site Search

Requiring a visitor to click through multiple navigational links reduces the conversion rate due to frustration and using valuable time. Search provides an easy-to-use solution for visitors to quickly find what they seek. This website essential hits overdrive in the form of an auto complete search which displays rich, relevant suggestions leading to fewer clicks and less confusion.

Product Image

One-dimensional product photography has its place when paired with additional media but it’s utterly lacking considering how interactive the web has become. A fantastic way to add interactivity is through 360-degree product photography. This gives the visitor a better understanding of the product because they can understand and visualize its full dimensions.

Mobile-Friendly (+1 for App)

What’s it going to take for you to finally roll out the mobile-friendly design and features of the website? Google gives a bonus to mobile-friendly designs. Shouldn’t that be enough? Use a tool like DudaMobile, WompMobile, or Bmobilized to make the conversion. Then use tools such as GoNative or MobiLoud to form the site into an app. Smartphones are the most popular way to browse the web – don’t let 2017 go by without taking advantage this feature in your e-commerce biz.

Big, Bold, and Striking

Web design trends are going bigger, bolder, and more striking in 2017.  We’re well past the point of using gradients and reflections for everything on the site. We’re at the point where flat (but bright) colors, big text, and experimental layouts are now the norm. Does it work in e-commerce? It certainly appears to be the case especially for those that are boutique and “indie”.

Live Chat and/or Bots

People have begun leaning toward preferring chat bots to email and normal customer service. These bots are a great way to reduce costs while providing essential information to the consumer. If bots aren’t on the menu then live chat should be. Live chat is non-aggressive and provides quick responses – it has all the factors in play to satisfy visitors and generate sales.

Lead Pages

Dumping a visitor on a page without context is a waste of time and marketing resources. Lead pages are the appropriate choice when using newsletters, social media mentions, promotions, and marketing campaigns. These highly-targeted pages are tailored to specific audiences. They bullet-point the benefits and hammer home the importance (and need) for the offer.

Make 2017 the Breakout Year

It’s about time the site has reached parity with modern trends and best practices. It’s tempting to copy the Amazon model but consumers want something unique – a brand that jumps out. It doesn’t have to be wild and crazy. It just needs to stick to the fundamentals and provide solutions to your customers  needs. 2017 will be a breakout year for your business if you’re on board with these essential website elements.