What Features do I need for my for E-commerce Site?

We have explored recently finding the right e-commerce platforms for your goals and the perfect plug-ins.

As you are building your new store, there are many designs available. You may wonder which features you should include, and which to leave behind. It can be overwhelming. Let’s break it down and consider the have-tos and a few extra features that can improve your customer experience.

Simple Lists

As you dive in, you’re bound to see design options that are off the wall or particularly unique. We recommend taking a step back and choosing simple, typical storefronts. What does “typical” look like? 

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  • Lists of nine to twelve products or categories of products
  • Ability to click or scroll over to see details, such as sizes or prices


This is the defacto way of doing things. Think about Amazon or your favorite clothing store. It’s easy to navigate and visually appealing.


Okay, now that you have a visually strong and customer-friendly landing page for your storefront. On the main page, you can make things even easier and more powerful with a simple filter feature. Customers can filter your lists of products by a variety of features, such as price, delivery methods, ratings, sizes, colors and more. This helps your customers find exactly what they are looking for. 

But there’s more. When you create sub-categories to filter your items by, you are creating an easy way for you to group your products as well. Automatically, you have created URLs of groups of products that you can send to potential customers or use in ads, etc.

Be careful though. You don’t want to over filter. Creating too many filters just makes things clunky. Filter by the things that your customers are actually asking for. Keep it simple… and strong. 

Additional Features

Okay, now you have that basic store front, organized by filters your customers actually care about. What else can you do to improve their experience? Here are the features we recommend. 

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  • Wishlists – Admittedly, this is overkill for small stores. For those, a saved cart option is enough. But for stores with robust inventory, a wishlist is a great way to bring customers in – and bring them back to buy later. 
  • Gift Cards – Let your customers buy for others. This is a very necessary feature for many stores. With this feature, when customers buy from you, a gift card number is automatically assigned and sent to them. If you don’t want to add this particular feature, you can do gift cards simply with manual coupons. In this scenario, a customer would buy a gift card from you – and you would manually create and send them a coupon code worth the amount of the gift card they bought. 
  • Enabling and Disabling Customer Login – By default, most stores are going to want to make people log in to buy from them. This enables follow up and marketing more easily. However, some stores will benefit from disabling that option, and allowing for guest ordering. This may bring in more buyers


As you are setting up your store, you’re going to be bombarded with a host of features and options to distract you. We recommend keeping it simple and creating a store your customers expect. Build in features that enhance their experience.

If you want to talk more about the intersection of design and user experience, we would love to hear from you. Contact us anytime.

Want to know the 42 best digital tools we recommend? Grab that free resource guide by clicking here. 

Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

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