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Monday, July 19, 2010

Top 10 Features of a Winning E-Commerce Site

Posted by @ 9:17 pm

A recent study outlines the top 10 factors that influence whether a customers buys from your site or not.

It’s not surprising that clearly stated information comes in at number one. Here is a rundown of the results:


Let’s take a look at each factor in more depth…

  • Pricing/shipping information clearly stated – 95.5%

It all comes down the trust, the less information you include in the ordering process/shopping cart the more likely the buyer will abandon their purchase. You need to ensure that all taxes, shipping and additional costs are clearly visible throughout the ordering process. One site which does this really well is Threadless T-shirts.


  • Looks credible and trustworthy – 76.5%

One of the easiest ways to install trust in users is to ensure you have the relevant security badges for your site. Our ineedhits site is certified by TRUSTe and and also verified to be secure by Verisign Secured. Any affiliation with industry associates (such as SEMPO) also helps in building trust and credibility with buyers.


  • Product displayed on homepage – 70.8%

This makes sense as the main action you want visitors to make when reaching your homepage is to click deeper into your site. Australian bookseller, Borders has a great homepage which includes their best sellers and new releases.


  • Visually appealing – 66.7%

This comes down to the basic principles of website design. Don’t make your site too cluttered – break up the text with images.

  • Total cost calculator (shipping, tax, etc) – 59.1%

Similar to the first point. Ensure that the buyer has all the pricing information before they enter in their credit card or Paypal details. If you trick the buyer in ordering process then you will likely loose them forever.

  • Search function – 48.2%

The results for this factor surprised me. I didn’t think that almost half of buyers would think that a search option is necessary in making your purchase. However, as the number of products/services your site offers, the more it might be necessary to offer a search box.

  • Privacy statement – 45.5%

I see a privacy policy as a must if you have an e-commerce site. With identity fraud on the rise it is imperative that customers feel that they can safely shop on your site.


  • Onsite customer reviews/testimonials – 40.9%

Reviews and testimonials give the buyer a bit more confidence in transacting with you if you’re not a big brand.

  • Online customer service (live chat) – 32.5%

A live chat service is particularly helpful for buyers who are having trouble purchasing your products/service. By providing a live chat option you are likely to reduce your cart abandonment rate.

  • Links to social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc) – 22.7%

There is no doubt that social media has exploded over the last couple of years. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account for your business then why not share it with your buyers. One way to do this is put the links to all your social media sites in your website footer, just like we have done.


It’s another way to reach out to these buyers and also come across as up-to-date or tech-savvy.

Do you think this survey is reflective of your visitor’s expectations when purchasing from your site? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Courtney Mills Courtney is an online marketing and communications specialist at ineedhits - a leading search engine marketing firm with over 16 years experience. Courtney has been living and breathing online marketing for over 5 years. She specializes in web and communication marketing, while providing news and opinion to online marketing communities.

View Courtney Mills's profile

Discussion (2 - comments)

Hi, I have just opened an ecommerce store selling and so found the article very interesting. I have most of the elements on my site but I will work on the elements that are missing. Please take a look and let me know what you’s called KeyPieces, at
We are finding it difficult to convert sales from visitors to the site so any suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks

By lynn gambella - July 20, 2010

[...] Top 10 Features of a Winning E-Commerce Site – got your privacy statement? Got legal in the works? Lots of things to think about [...]

By Top 10 Tuesday – Plus 5…A Busy Week on the Web! - July 27, 2010

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