Features of eCommerce Websites: A Comprehensive List of Must-Have eCommerce Website Features in 2022
When it comes to eCommerce websites, it’s all about functionality, design, and the features of eCommerce platforms.
But what eCommerce features are most important for the success of your website, and which eCommerce platforms can best help you achieve your goals?
We’ll answer that question in-depth on this page, reviewing different options. If you’d rather speak with an eCommerce specialist, you can reach us at 1-866-647-9218 or click the green “get a free quote” button at the top of your screen.
There are features you must have if you’re running an online business and have an eCommerce website. In this article, we review some of the top eCommerce platforms and their features and include a full list of standard eCommerce features for all online stores and shopping cart platforms.
Many websites’ success is determined by the products offered and how well the website is marketed, the features the website provides, and both the customer and the website owner. As a business owner, it is essential to have the tools to manage your website and that the administrative features fit with your business processes. For example, if you offer payment terms to your customer, you’ll need to be sure the platform you’re using gives you the ability to set a customer’s credit limit. Before diving into an eCommerce project, think carefully about the eCommerce features needed, or you’ll be regretting it later!
The Most Important eCommerce Features Your Website Needs Include:
- Content management capabilities
- Promotion & discount code tools
- An easy-to-use checkout
- SEO friendly code and layout
- Advanced eCommerce SEO capabilities
- Reporting tools & custom report features
- An integrated blog or articles section
- Email marketing features or integration
- Multiple payment options (Credit card, PayPal, PO, Terms, etc.)
- The ability to scale & add new eCommerce features
Let’s dive in and take a look at the major eCommerce platforms and players.
Shopify eCommerce Features & Online Store Platform Overview
Overall, Shopify is easy to set up and celebrated for its “plug-and-play” capabilities. It’s a visually appealing platform with many professionally designed templates available. There are also lots of app integrations to choose from for adding additional functionality. Shopify boasts above-average security and site speeds when built by an experienced Shopify developer with these things in mind. However, Shopify is still a templated solution, which means you are bound to the availability of templates and app integrations for design and functionality. It also is not the most SEO-friendly platform out there, but it’s not terrible in this regard. Make sure to find an experienced Shopify SEO company that is familiar with the SEO features and limitations of the platform, and most of these problems can be mitigated.
- Low Cost
- Quick To Set Up
- Low Maintenance
- Now Customizable
- SEO Can Be Tricky
Onveos eCommerce Website Features & Overview
If you’re needing custom eCommerce features developed, Onveos is a perfect solution. Built with scalability as a top priority, Onveos is an ASP.net open-source platform that allows for complete customization. Often used for advanced data integrations, ERP integrations, and more, this platform will allow you to achieve what might not be possible with one of the more popular platforms. Also, Onveos was developed by SEO pros, so out of the box, you’ll have a wide array of SEO tools and of the most SEO-friendly code bases to work with.
- SEO is Amazing
- Highly Customizable
- Enterprise Level Capabilities
- Open Source
- Not Entry Level Solution
Magento Features & Overview
Magento is one of the most polarizing eCommerce platforms on the planet. In other words, people love it or hate it. The platform can be extremely SEO friendly; however, it still requires expert knowledge of the platform to leverage Magento’s advanced SEO features. These advanced SEO features need to be more user-friendly to be a great eCommerce platform. Magento is significantly more scalable, customizable, and SEO-friendly than platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce, but you’ll pay more too. Hosting can be extra expensive for Magento, especially for sites with thousands of products. If you build an eCommerce website on Magento, expect to hire Magento developers on staff or outsource with a Magento development company.
- Open Source Platform
- Many Plug-Ins
- Expensive Hosting
- Can Run Slow
WooCommerce Website Features & Overview
WooCommerce is very popular for a few reasons. First and foremost, it is a shopping cart plugin for WordPress, the most popular free CMS platform on the planet. WooCommerce is an excellent choice for smaller-budget companies and start-ups, but really shouldn’t be considered an enterprise-level solution. While it is possible to build a great WooCommerce site, it probably makes more sense to invest in a different platform if you’re looking for enterprise-level solutions. Because it’s essentially a plugin for WordPress, many of the typical benefits of WordPress apply to WooCommerce. Open-source, PHP, great plugins and development community, etc. But, for scalability, security, and frankly, to be taken seriously, you probably want to look elsewhere.
- Built on Wordpress
- Many Developers Available
- Lower Cost Solution
- Plug-In, Not Full Platform
- Not Enterprise Level
Important enough for its own section on this page, the eCommerce SEO features built into your website will have a huge impact on your organic traffic and overall success. Unless you want to pay for every website click using Google Ads, ranking at the top of Google for your most highly searched keywords is an absolute must.
So, what do you need to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform?
SEO Features Built Into Your eCommerce Platform
Every eCommerce platform has a set of SEO features built-in or plug-ins available to power the SEO side of your needs. For example, WooCommerce utilizes Yoast SEO and Shopify has a large selection of add-ons. Every platform also has your standard built-in features to manage title tags, meta descriptions, and your basic SEO elements. Some platforms have their own challenges – we even wrote an article about Shopify SEO issues which highlights the inability to change the URL structure, character limits on page titles, and more. The bottom line is, be sure the platform you select offers the built-in capabilities, or add-on capabilities, to implement your SEO strategy exactly the way you or your SEO agency intends.
SEO-Friendly Website Development
Now that you’ve selected a platform that offers the SEO features you need, there’s nothing more to think about. Right? Wrong. Even though a platform can be very SEO friendly, the developer implementing your design, theme, and doing all of your coding must understand SEO. We can’t stress this enough that no matter the platform you choose if your development agency doesn’t understand SEO and the SEO implications of their work, your website will be set up for failure. The best way to make sure this happens is to hire one company to build your website and handle your SEO campaign. Designers, developers, and SEO should always be working hand-in-hand, side-by-side, throughout a website build.
Below is a breakdown of important eCommerce features by feature type.
Read all of the eCommerce features details below. For more information on our services visit our eCommerce website design page.
Catalog Management Features
- Search and sort to easily find categories
- Manage categories and sub-categories
- Feature categories within navigation or on the homepage
- Set categories as “active” or “inactive”
- Set page URL’s and SEO elements for categories
- Manage categories thumbnails and images
- Manage brands
- Feature brands on the homepage
- Set brands as “active” or “inactive”
- Set page URL’s and SEO elements for brands
- Manage brand logos
- Manage products associated with brands
- Search and sort to easily find products in certain categories or with specific attributes
- Easily manage and edit products
- Product fields include name, SKU, product details, additional details, list price, your price, weight, stock, minimum quantity order amount, handling fee, and more.
- Ability to select options such as featured, free shipping, reviews allowed, require moderation for reviews, and more
- Add and manage main product image and additional product images
- Microsoft Word-like editor for managing content block, such as product details
- Feature products on the homepage
- Set products as “active” or “inactive”
- Add products to a single category or multiple categories
- Select product brand
- Add and manage product options and option groups
- Add and manage related products
- Add and manage accessories
- Attach and embed YouTube videos
- Manage (approve and delete) product reviews
- Set product page URL and SEO elements for products
Easily manage your content pages and your navigation.
Content Management Capabilities
- Manage content pages and create new content pages
- Edit pages using a Microsoft Word-like content editor
- Add images and manage uploaded image library
- Image editing and cropping tool
- Set page as “active” or “inactive”
- Set page URL and SEO elements
Easily manage your blog posts.
- Manage blog posts
- Set blog publish date
- Set post as “active” or “inactive”
- Add blog summary and full blog post using Microsoft Word-like content editor
- Add images and manage uploaded image library
- Select blog category and author
- Attached blog posts to product pages
- Set post URL and SEO elements
- Manage homepage banners
- Set banner sort orders
- Set banner URL or leave unlinked
- Set banners as “active” or “inactive”
- Manage your main navigations including header, side, and footer
- Add drop-down to main navigation
- Manage SEO elements on links such as link title
- Set links to open in the same or new window
Auto Email Messages
- Manage main email template design
- Set messaging for order status emails
- Set messaging for thank you an email on product reviews and blog comment submissions
Manage automated email messages that go out to customers.
- Manage all product reviews
- Set reviews to “approved” or delete reviews
- Manage all blog comments
- Set comments to “approved” or delete comments
- Search and sort to easily find customers by first name and last name
- Manage customer accounts
- View customer details and previous orders
- View individual customers product reviews
- Add private comments to a customer
- Delete customer accounts
- Reset customer passwords
- Export customers to Excel
- Export customer subscribed to email newsletter to Excel (import capabilities for 3rd party email systems)
View orders and manage order details and status.
Order Management Features
- Search and sort to easily find orders by specific variables
- Manage and updated order status
- View order number and all customer information
- View order information and purchase details (products, tax, shipping, addresses, etc.)
- Add private notes to the order
- View shipping and billing address maps
- Create and manage custom order statuses
- Receive email when order is placed
- Export orders to Excel
Use the promotion engine to create thousands of promotion code possibilities.
Discount & Promotion Management
- Create and manage discount codes
- Add discount codes to categories, brands, or products
- Add discount codes that affect shipping
- Set codes as “active” or “inactive”
- Ability to set percentages off, amount off, or a set price
- “Auto Apply” discount codes when product added to cart option
- Set and manage dates code is active
- Set minimum and maximum quantity requirements for discount codes
- Set number of times code can be used before automatically becoming inactive
- Ability to create effective eCommerce sales and promotions
- Interactive administrative dashboard with charts and statistics
- Ability to change dashboard statistics to reflect specific date ranges
- Dashboard date-range reports include store sales by amount, store sales order volume, new customers vs. returning, top-selling products, top-selling brands, most used discount codes
- Dashboard general reports (not based on the date range) include low inventory reporting, total products in-store, total categories in-store, customer count, lifetime orders, and lifetime revenue
- Single reports, outside of the dashboard, include sales by date range, top-selling product by date range, low inventory by quantity, and new customer by date range.
eCommerce SEO Management Features
- Manage all dynamic title tag structures throughout the website
- Configure dynamic title and META tags for categories and sub-categories
- Configure dynamic title and META tags for brand pages
- Configure dynamic title and META tags for product pages
Specific Titles & Meta Information
- Configure site-wide default title and META tags
- Configure homepage title and META tags
- Set unique title, META tags and URL information for specific content pages, category, brand or product pages
- Set store static shipping rates based on weight, dollar amount, and zone
- Set specific price or percentage of the order
- Live shipping rates based on shipping address utilizing UPS, USPS, and FedEx
- Set and manage shipping discount codes and promotions
- Set free shipping on individual products
- Set your stores origin of shipment zip code and country code
- Active and deactivate shipping carriers
- Manage UPS, USPS & FedEx available shipping services (ground, first-class, express, etc.)
- Active and deactivate payment types available
- Manage Authorize.net account settings
- Manage PayPal account settings
- Allow offline payment option
Taxes & Locations
- Manage countries available
- Manage tax rates for each US State or Canadian province by percentage
- Activate and deactivate countries
- Set shipping zones per state or province
- Set email server configuration and store email address
- Fields include server name, server port, username, password, enable SSL and store email address
- * Email will be configured during development
- Add and delete administration logins with name, email, and password
eCommerce Features FAQs
How do I add features to my eCommerce website?
Adding features to an eCommerce website may require hiring an eCommerce web developer. Some eCommerce platforms leverage plugins to help webmasters add functionality to their online stores, but even plugins should be installed and tested by an experienced developer.
What is the cost of custom eCommerce website development?
Custom eCommerce development requires skilled and experienced web developers that understand the eCommerce industry and its best practices. eCommerce website development services range from $100/hour to $500/hour and beyond. Learn more about eCommerce website pricing.
Do I need an eCommerce website development company to add features or functionality to my eCommerce store?
Typically it is best to work with a professional eCommerce website development company when adding new functionality or features to your online store. If you’re considering adding eCommerce functionality to your website, discuss your project with our experienced eCommerce consultants.
What experience does OuterBox have adding eCommerce features to websites?
OuterBox has been an eCommerce-focused digital marketing and web development company since 2004. We have experience building custom eCommerce websites from scratch and are fluent in all major eCommerce platforms, including Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce.