There’s no need to stress about building a well-oiled e-commerce machine — especially when there are simple features that make the process so much easier. The best e-commerce brands prioritise the shopper experience above all to drive conversions and keep customers coming back. 

Forrester’s “Must-Have E-Commerce Features” roadmap report details the customer-centric tactics that top online brands like Nike, Etsy, Ulta and Amazon use to set their shopping experiences apart. In this report, consumer research from the UK and US help marketers discern the most important e-commerce components to prioritise, from product detail pages to customer service.

Large Catalogues Require Strong Navigation and Browsability

Most e-commerce brands have already mastered industry best practices like vertical scrolling, left-side filters and shopping cart icons in the top nav. But Forrester finds that the most optimised site experiences also include:

  • Advanced search. Rethink standard search functionality for optimised user experiences. 60% of US online adults and 57% of UK online adults say it’s important for retailers to offer advanced site search features, including the ability to refine results by price, brand, style or other attributes. 
  • Features that drive discovery. Lead consumers to products they may not otherwise come across. Brands like Amazon and Sephora use visual sliders and links to other landing pages to display additional products.  
  • Extra product detail. When in doubt, opt for more product content than less. But be thoughtful about how you pack it in — 56% of US online adults and 52% of UK online adults agree it’s important to have the ability to get more information about a product just by scrolling over it. 
  • More visuals. Don’t hesitate to invest in tools that give consumers a better visual sense of the product. Research shows elements like rich media, alternative images, zoom functionality, in-page accessories, audio and visual all play a role in increasing conversions. 
  • Increased personalisation. Consumers don’t mind hyper-personalisation when it’s more helpful than intrusive. Approximately Approximately one-third of US online adults (33%) and UK online adults (30%) say it’s important for retailers to provide personalised product recommendations, which skews even higher for younger audiences. 

Forrester also notes transactional and experiential features that put e-commerce brands ahead of the pack, including:

  • Easy shopping flows
  • Simple payment
  • Multiple options for fulfilment
  • Top-notch customer service
  • Omnichannel brand experiences
  • Mobile website performance
  • Brand fan communities

Is It Time to Up Your E-Commerce Game?

Simply having a retail website is no longer enough to play the e-commerce game. Features like personalised product recommendations and mobile usability are now the price of admission — especially in a world where brands are experimenting with advanced features like virtual try-on, easy add-to-cart icons, pay-on-page options and more. When brands prioritise optimised site navigation, product detail and checkout pages, they create superior user experiences that result in profitability, customer engagement and long-term loyalty.

Need help building a world-class e-commerce experience? Rithum Managed Services uses award-winning expertise and technology to give your brand a seat at the online table. We keep a watchful eye on the latest features and industry trends to help you craft a customer experience that sets your brand apart. 

Download the full Forrester report for brand examples, graphics and additional consumer research to improve your site experiences. Or, contact us to learn how Rithum Managed Services give you the support you need to stand out in the space.