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What Consumers Want in Ecommerce Websites?

Editor’s Note: There are number of elements that make up an ecommerce website. How can you sort through all of the key features and tactics to figure out what really matters to consumers? The following guest post comes from Maddie Davis, the co-founder of Enlightened-Digital and a tech-obsessed female from the Big Apple. Maddie is going to share with us her perspectives on this question.


Imagine your favorite store at the mall. What qualities make it your favorite? The offerings of course, but what else? Good lighting, well organized displays, aesthetically pleasing color palette and helpful employees perhaps. An inviting atmosphere is a key component to a successful business. Just like consumers want a pleasant environment in a physical store, the same is expected out of ecommerce websites. To ensure your ecommerce site is fully optimized we’ve gathered the top features consumers are looking for in sites today.

 Usability & Speed

According to a recent study, 47 percent of consumers say usability and responsiveness are the most important elements of an ecommerce website. If a customer can’t maneuver through your site easily, it’s fair to assume they won’t be sticking around. Be sure to keep in mind different customer preferences and purchase behaviors when structuring a website. Mobile optimization for example is essential in proper usability. As 51 percent of all Americans today make online purchases using their cellphones, a compatible mobile site can play a major impact on sales success.

Alongside easy navigation is responsiveness and speed. According to Kissmetrics, 40 percent of visitors will leave a website if the loading process takes more than three seconds. Not meeting these demands could potentially mean thousands of dollars in lost sales. Always assume; the faster the better.

Imagery & Reviews

Online shopping can be a bit of a gamble. Customers hope their purchase lives up to a site’s promises, but without honest reviews and imagery they don’t actually know until they receive the product. Consumers don’t want to have to question a site’s legitimacy, that’s why 87 percent of people (Nomogoo study) say clear product images are one of the most important factors of a great online shopping experience. Investing in high quality photos and accurate modelings automatically boosts your ecommerce site’s quality.

Going hand in hand with reliable images is the demand for detailed product descriptions and authentic user reviews. Consumers want to know as much as possible about what they’re buying, so encourage shoppers to leave reviews on their purchases and your future customers will thank you for it.

Efficient Checkout

Just as in-person shoppers seek out express and self-checkout lines, ecommerce shoppers are looking for an easy and fast process. According to a Nomogoo study, online shoppers reported the number one checkout frustration is having to enter the same information twice. Other frustrations include a back button that doesn’t go to the previous page, inability to modify or change an order, and too many fields to fill in. Avoiding these excess clunky steps as well as naturally limiting the number of clicks to reach checkout can have a huge pay off in your sales conversions.

Ecommerce is a rapidly expanding industry and as the population continues to become more and more tech savvy, we can expect to see continual growth in the trend. To grow your ecommerce site to its full potential, it’s crucial to keep an ear out for consumer demands. Implementing these five necessities can help get you started!

Image Credit: 3D illustration by Quince Media

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Maddie Davis

Maddie Davis is co-founder of Enlightened-Digital and a tech-obsessed female from the Big Apple. She lives by building and redesigning websites, running marathons, and reading anything and everything on the NYT Best Sellers list.

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