Find below the nine most important features that your customers expect from an ecommerce website as well as how OpenCart 2.0 more than meets your needs of these expectations.
1. Store should be easy to find
Your customers need to be able to find your website through search engines. When potential customers are searching for a product, having your site associated to certain keywords will make a big difference if you are to realize high sales or not.
OpenCart makes your site search engine optimized almost out of the box to all the main search engines online. It includes support for META tags of categories and custom products. This feature was in earlier versions of OpenCart and you will find it available in OpenCart 2.0
2. Site should be responsive and easy to load
Once customers know that your website exists and that they may be able to get what they are looking for on it, your site needs to be able to load fast enough and be responsive enough to hold their attention.
Lazy Load is a feature available in OpenCart 2.0. It is a feature that prioritizes the loading of webpage elements that are in view. This means that web pages load faster.
3. Reputable identifiable and trustworthy
Whether your site is a startup or has existed for a while, your customers should be able easily to associate your site to what you sell and trust that you can deliver. A recognizable page is therefore important to make customers feel that they are in the right place.
Trust marks such as TRUSTe, secure socket layer (SSL), fraud score, payment card industry (PCI) compliance, GeoTrust and Verisign should be easily visible and OpenCart 2.0 allows you to do so.
OpenCart 2.0 also features a commenting system that allows customers to rate products as well as share their user experiences. This will make your site look and feel more reliable especially to new users.
4. Easy to find products
Customers to an ecommerce site need to be able to find what they are looking for easily. This could be implementable through several ways including smart and seamless integration of categories, sub-categories, brands, stores and geographical location if necessary.
OpenCart 2.0 now makes all this easier through the integrations below.
Easier categorization of products by brand
Ajax search to allow you customers to narrow down what they are looking for as they type within the search box or broaden their search as they delete characters from their search
Google Maps feature to show your customers locations relative to your location
Several other new features make it easy to navigate and find products.
5. Grab attention
Grabbing your potential customer’s attention and holding it with free items, free shipping, deals, discounts etc. is also important.
Features to grab your customer’s attention are for those who are just window shopping and they increase your websites conversion rate by motivating them to buy is vital.
You will also need to ensure that your ecommerce site makes it easier for those who know exactly what they are looking for, find their way to the products.
OpenCart 2.0 makes these needs easier by integrating them as shown below.
Quick View button. If you mouse over a product image, you can get a summary of the product’s information and when you click on the image, you get detailed information. You can also quickly add the product to the shopping cart.
Slider feature. This feature allows you to put focus on products that you wish to highlight immediately a potential customer gets into your website.
This feature allows you to specify the status of a product or service in your site by using a graphical image to describe if an item is new, on sale, discounted, hot etc.
Parallax effect. This feature allows users to get a dynamic feel of your website and therefore keep the interested and engaged as opposed to a static website.
6. Well organized and intuitive carts
OpenCart 2.0 also integrates a more intuitive Ajax shopping cart. This feature is great for customers because it allows a customer to add products to the shopping cart without having to reload the page and therefore stimulates spontaneous purchases.
7. Easy payment
Ecommerce websites have to cater for customers from all over the world. If your site wants to have a wide reach, it should be able to cater for at least the major languages and currencies used. Access to a variety of payment systems will also be important.
OpenCart 2.0 addresses the above and makes it easier to reach more customers because it caters for diverse markets and therefore increases your market and potential sales very easily.
Features such as:
Multilingual Support. That translates your site to major languages and
Currency Conversion. This feature allows customers to convert product prices from one currency to one that they are more conversant with.
8. Being social
About a fifth of ecommerce customers who will come to your site will do so through links from social media sites. OpenCart 2.0 has even better social media integration with most social media platforms.
9. Talking business
When customers want to ask questions, make enquiries, lodge complaints or want to communicate with you for a specific reason, it will help if you are available to respond to your customers or potential customer’s needs. This can be very important for customer retention from an after-sale point of view or for improved sales from a pre-sales perspective.
OpenCart 2.0 integrates an online chat feature to make it easier for you and your clients
The bottom line
All the features mentioned above are key features that you would want when designing or creating an ecommerce site. They are the features that your customers will expect, in terms of the functionality of your website and therefore are features that you should look for in any ecommerce website template.
Ultimately, your customers will want to feel that they can trust your website and that when they need something specific, they can find it on your website.
There are several other features available in OpenCart 2.0 that you as the creator of the website will also need in order to manage the site effectively and efficiently but they are not the scope of this article.
About the Author
Jack Dawson is a web developer and UI/UX specialist at BigDropInc.com. He works at a design, branding and marketing firm, having founded the same firm 9 years ago. He likes to share knowledge and points of view with other developers and consumers on platforms.