The tools every online store should have

The tools every online store should have

DO Commerce Collaborator

When I started building Shopify stores four years ago, many functions that required big customisation were often clunky, expensive, unreliable or just plain old impossible.

But many of those things that used to seem hard, are now much easier to implement.

And they can be rolled out on any store without weeks of custom development and testing.

Here’s a few functions that you really ought to have on your store:

1. Geo location tools

It’s becoming easier all the time to give users a custom experience based on their location. By knowing a customer’s location, you can guide them to the right part of your website.  

A few ways you can improve the customer experience using geo location include:

  • Redirecting users between your different sites, if you have different stores for different regions
  • Auto switching the currency on your store to your customer’s local currency
  • Displaying different messages about shipping
  • “Geoblocking” content or products that should only be available to users in certain locations

2. Instant search

When it comes to searching your site, people are lazy.

In the past, if you were searching for red shoes you would type something like “buy red shoes in australia” into your search engine.  But today people expect search results to appear as they are typing in their search query.  By the time a user has typed in the word “red”, they expect to see a dropdown that shows red shoes, red hats, red socks etc.

Adding a plugin that does this for you is really simple, and most of these tools allow you to also guide users towards your featured products and collections to take control of their search experience.

3. Infinite scrolling/swiping

What happens when you get to the bottom of your Facebook page or Twitter feed?  Yeah, that was a trick question- they don’t end.  By the time you get to the bottom of the page a whole new batch of more posts is loading.

An online store should be the same and sites should give users the chance to scroll or swipe until there is nothing left.

Infinite scrolling on collection pages is pretty common and easy to implement, while many stores now have swipers to display things like related products on their product page (if you have any slider on your site that can’t be swiped on a touch screen, let’s get that sorted out straight away!).  For online stores, this is as close as it gets to giving customers racks and racks of clothing to sift through.

4. Size charts

The product page on your store is where you want customers to hit that magic button:
Add. To. Cart!

You don’t want them to be distracted, but there are also a million things you need to tell them.  One example of too much information is when you click on the size chart button on a site, but get the sizing details for every product in the store.

With a couple of simple snippets of code, you can make your product page automatically load a different size chart based on the type of product being displayed.

 

Have a function that you love and want to share?  Need help implementing one of these functions on your store?  Contact us today!