The world of e-commerce is constantly changing. Leading online marketplaces offer eye-catching web design, advanced functionality, new products, and services. Still, some features will always stay relevant. They are at the core of any online marketplace functionality and serve as a basis for all other capabilities.
In the article, we will discuss the key online marketplace features for buyers. You will know what functions can attract new customers to your e-commerce website and help your business thrive.
Convenient search and filters
The chances are that there will be a great variety of items on your platform. Given that, it would be reasonable to add the search functionality. It makes users' shopping experience much easier and more convenient.
People search for the desired products or services in different ways. For example, some shoppers type an accurate model number to find what they are looking for. It is the so-called exact search. Other buyers enter a product type for this purpose.
In any case, you should allow potential buyers to find the required items in no time.
eBay, one of the leading e-commerce platforms, implemented Advanced Search functionality. This marketplace feature allows shoppers to find items based on multiple criteria such as:
- Keyword or item number;
- Title and description;
Another powerful marketplace feature is predictive search. This is a dropdown of autosuggestions that appear as consumers type their inquiries in the search bar.
With this function, users no longer need to browse a long list of irrelevant items. They can discover the required item in mere seconds.
Here’s the predictive search function on Amazon:
Multiple filters enable customers to sort through a great number of goods to find the required item. Business2Community states that this marketplace feature can increase conversions by up to 26%. Given these figures, it seems reasonable to narrow the search results to meet your customers’ demands.
For example, it would be a good idea to add category filters. They will help shoppers with unclear preferences or little knowledge of a required product to buy the right item.
It is worth mentioning that this marketplace feature is doing a great job in search engine optimization. If SEO filters help users navigate your e-commerce platform, Google will notice it. As a result, you will get better visibility in search results. It means more customers may want to visit your online marketplace.
Filter attributes can change depending on the product category. For example, if you sell clothes, you can use the following criteria:
Allow users to use several filters at the same time to get more precise results.
For example, when booking a room at a hotel, price and location play an important role. On Booking.com, we can see key filters for people traveling on work or leisure.
High-quality product information
Quite obviously, one of the most visited places on your platform is a product page. It allows consumers to learn more information about goods, their descriptions, and so on. Make this page as engaging and satisfying as possible.
The most visible elements of the product page are the images and descriptions of items.
Attract buyers by offering them high-quality and real photos only. Moreover, you can offer them an overview video. It greatly increases the customers' level of trust and boosts their user experience.
For example, Asos perfectly implements these features allowing its customers to fully evaluate the product via images and video, thus making sure their choice is completely reasonable.
Online marketplace platform owners may underestimate the importance of product description. However, it may become a huge mistake. First, consumers pay attention to the images as the visual perception is much higher. Secondly, they turn to the product description where all the important details are described.
Thus, this section should be as informative and clear as it can be. AO is the perfect example of providing buyers with the fullest specification of goods possible.
Smooth checkout process
Inconvenient or complicated checkout can be a common reason why customers may leave your e-commerce website. Therefore, you need to optimize this process to reduce the abandonment rate.
Follow the tips below and you will be able to elevate online sales.
1. Focus on the shopping cart
It’s impossible to imagine an e-commerce platform without this marketplace feature. Therefore, this functionality deserves your primary attention.
It is not enough to display the number of items only. Your shopping cart should also show the following important information:
- Displaying shipping type, free or paid;
- Possibility to remove an item;
- Possibility to change the number of items;
- Possibility to add notes to an order.
When you proceed to the shopping cart on Etsy, you can see all the order details mentioned above. In such a way, the brand makes the whole purchasing process visible and transparent.
2. Provide users with guest checkout option
According to SaleCycle, 23% of customers gave up purchasing because they were forced to register an account first.
Given that, it would be a wise idea to add a guest checkout option. Allow users to enter their email address only and continue checkout. Thus, they will provide their payment details more quickly and make a purchase much faster.
After shoppers make a purchase, you can offer them to sign up. After registration their payment details will be cached, and shoppers will not have to enter them again when they come back for repeat purchases.
3. Allow users to sign in via social networks
Social sign-in became a good alternative to registration as it significantly speeds up the checkout.
The thing is that modern browsers have built-in password management and support synchronization. Thanks to these features, social sign-in allows users to move to the checkout process in two clicks:
- Choose the icon of a required social network;
- Click on the sign-in button.
4. Offer multiple payment gateways
In 2020, there is a great variety of methods to pay for the item needed. So, why not give your customers the possibility to choose?
Among the most widely used ways are:
- Shopify Payments;
- Amazon Pay;
- WePay, and others.
Amazon is noted for a great number of payment methods, including Amazon Pay. The Internet giant allows users to choose the most convenient way.
However, people from different countries, states, and regions may have different payment preferences. We recommend that you start with one or two most widely used methods. You can always add new options when needed.
5. Pay attention to the security of your platform
There is one more thing you should take into account. All information about pages, content, credit cards, and transactions should be protected.
At Codica, we recommend developing online marketplaces using Ruby on Rails. Thanks to its powerful features, the technology makes purchasing in your online marketplace safe and sound.
6. Consider mobile checkout UX
In 2020 it’s very likely that shoppers will purchase goods from mobile devices. Your main task is to make the mobile checkout process convenient for them.
Because of small screens, accidental clicks can cause many issues, for example the fields may be reset. As a result, users may feel disappointed because they have to type their order details all over again. Therefore, this risk should be minimized.
The right way to avoid this issue is to fit form fields and calls to action to the right size.
Besides, you should make sure that there is enough space between fields and links. In this case, users will have less chances of typing their order details in the wrong field.
When customers are looking for a product or service, they want to get the details as quickly as possible. That’s when instant messaging comes to the rescue. This marketplace feature can help you create a long-lasting relationship with your customers. As a result, you will get additional profit from repeat purchases and increase your customers' loyalty.
Chatbots communicate with shoppers via your platform interface. Staying always online, they provide customers with speedy solutions and answers. That is what your users expect to receive when asking a question.
Chatbots are a relatively new web development trend. However, they are actively used by e-commerce companies. Basically, this marketplace feature performs the following functions:
- Offer customer support;
- Send shoppers product recommendations;
- Complete purchasing process.
The example below shows how the chatbot technology was implemented by Bravissimo. Bravissimo is a leading United Kingdom lingerie vendor that provides big-sized bras for women. The initial retailer’s goal was to increase the number of platform customers. So, they decided to implement a new way users could reach the company.
Thus, they have integrated a live chat (text or video) on the website. It allowed their clients to receive immediate responses on the supply of goods, suitable size availability, and so on. Also, they have offered an opportunity to make a call and send an email on the online marketplace platform.
What were the results? The company has reduced its abandonment rate to 6.08% and greatly increased the customer base.
You need to give customers the feeling of having face-to-face communication. Chatbots solve consumers’ issues quickly and thus, increase their satisfaction. They are definitely here to stay.
Customizable delivery options
The buyers’ expectations about the quality and price of shipping services are constantly growing. For example, even if the delivery is free, they still expect to get their order at a moment’s notice.
It means that you should consider thoroughly how goods will be delivered to your shoppers. Otherwise, all your efforts to offer customers a seamless user experience will come to naught.
There are several rules on how to make delivery convenient for your shoppers:
- Allow users to track their orders online. Let them know the expected delivery time;
- Provide excellent customer support if they face users with their order. Always keep them updated;
- Send shoppers SMS notifications and email updates as for excepted delivery slots.
In the article, we have covered the most important marketplace features for buyers to be implemented on your online marketplace. This functionality will make your e-commerce platform more convenient for your buyers, and consequently - more profitable.
Make an effort to understand your consumers’ behavior and needs. It will help you deliver the top-notch user experience. As a result, satisfied shoppers will reward you with repeat purchases.