How to Have a Successful Online Store? 14 Features to Boost Conversions

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With more ecommerce businesses coming online each day, it helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve to connect with your target audience. Even ecommerce stores that operate in small niches are seeing new competitors, large and small. 

This makes it crucial to choose the right ecommerce platform to manage your business effectively and to add the right features to your online store. 

To keep your ecommerce business moving forward, we’ve gathered a set of 14 unconventional features that online stores use to grab the attention of their audience, and ultimately, make more sales.

Call them unconventional, call them quirky, call them crazy…call them what you will, but they work!

Let’s dive in!

1. Show your archived products

Here’s a quirky twist on ecommerce.

Online stores are calling this a “Museum” category. You feature archived, or no longer available products in a special category on your ecommerce site.

The items aren’t available for sale, but they provide a great source of social media interaction for your audience to share.

Plus, if your online store carries a limited selection, it gives online shoppers a chance to get a greater feel for your brand.

Archived products

2. List your competitors on your site

File this one under “crazy”. Show that you’re confident in your products by listing your competitors (and maybe even including a link to their ecommerce sites)!

Let’s be honest, a savvy shopper will find your competitors anyway.

You can get ahead of the competition and keep your potential customers on your ecommerce store by showing that you’re certain your products are better.


3. Include a featured reviews section

You can take a tip from big online stores by featuring reviews right on the main page of your site and throughout your whole site.

Featured reviews are a smart twist on typical testimonials because they show the person leaving the review actually bought the product!

When your loyal customers speak for you, new customers will really hear you!


4. Testimonials on category pages

Many online store owners keep testimonials in a sidebar or only show them on the main page. Create a section on your category pages to include your testimonials right out in front!

When your customers are your voice, new shoppers build trust quickly and more confident to make a purchase.


5. Put a mini-cart in the footer

When your online store has a lot of products or a big catalog, sometimes a shopper can get lost.

Here’s a unique spin on making sure your customers get to the checkout page – put a mini cart with a checkout button in the footer.

You might say, who would check out from the footer? Install a mini-cart and find out! You’ll be surprised. Any new opportunity to checkout will be used by your shoppers…you just have to give them a chance!

Of course, too many checkout links can be confusing, so be careful when implementing this unconventional conversion method.


6. Turn your cart icon into an entire cart view with a sticky shopping cart

Nearly every ecommerce site has a cart icon, some even show the total of the cart in the header. Then there’s one step further, the mini-cart, depending on the ecommerce store, you can get the total number of items and a summary of the first few items in your cart.

Here’s an unconventional approach to the mini-cart: Go Big!

Turn your mini-cart into a sticky cart with a full view of the cart, or as much information as you can provide.

After all, when someone shops at a supermarket, they take their cart with them to every aisle!

The Hungarian Wine Society uses a sticky shopping cart on each page.


7. Create a how-to for returns

You might also file this one under “crazy”. Why would you want to show your customers exactly how to return your products?

Like putting a list of competitors on your ecommerce website, showing customers how to complete a successful return shows you are confident in your product.

It also shows that you are providing another level of support. Every online store can be there when everything goes right, shoppers feel more confident to make a purchase when they know an ecommerce store will be there for them when things go wrong.

Zappos return video

8. Install an automated ‘greeter’

One method to install an automated ‘greeter’ is to use welcome popups in your ecommerce store.

Just like people who greet you at some retail establishments when you walk in the door, you can set up an greet them on your ecommerce website.

When someone goes to your site a popup appears a few seconds after they arrive. You can request feedback on first impressions, or offer a link to a guide for beginners.

Depending on your online store, the message may be different here.

Be careful to test your implementation and timing with this unconventional tip. The right timing makes all the difference. With OptiMonk, you can set the timing exactly right so it boosts your conversions without putting off new shoppers.


Check out these welcome popup templates:

9. Put popular search terms below the search box

People like to know what other people think. Put common search terms and phrases below the search bar.

Often these lead to your hottest-selling products, so it’s a win-win. Your customers see what other people are buying, and you get to sell more.


10. “110% price protection” instead of 100%

Go above and beyond to show that you know you’ve got the best prices. Offering someone their money back plus an extra bonus.

Like listing competitors and showing a detailed how-to for returns, offering a 110% price guarantee helps your customers build trust quickly and helps you build more sales.


11. Create sale alerts for shoppers to save

Some shoppers are waiting for that perfect deal, when the price is right they’ll jump, but only then. For these shoppers, it helps to have a Sale Alert feature.

Customers can save an item in their ’Sale Alerts’ and when that item goes on sale, they’ll receive a message. Of course, when you see that a lot of people have signed up for a sale alert on an item, that might be a good time to put the item on sale!

You can also use this method to see whether you need to adjust your pricing. If too many people are putting an item in for a ’Sale Alert’ but no one is actually buying it, it might be time to lower your price on the item or look for another supplier.


12. Find your solution wizard

We’ve all seen custom build-your-own quiz options. You can take advantage of this feature in an unconventional way by making it an interview process.

Guide your customers step by step through a series of questions about their product choice, then show some personalized product recommendations.

Your customers feel like they are getting a tailored solution, and you get some free market research on what your audience is thinking, plus some more sales too!


13. Send to a friend 2.0

Most ecommerce sites these days have a share button for sharing the page or products to their social media. Upgrade your share features to 2.0 with a custom ’Send a Friend’ dialog.

You can highlight your e-commerce store while helping someone express something to a friend or loved one. When positive emotions are involved, positive sales usually follow!

Burberry has a viral marketing feature, check it out below.


14. Offer negotiable pricing

Here’s another tip, use a negotiation tool for pricing. This may sound crazy, but it shows you are willing to work with your customers to make them happy.

One word of advice, if you haven’t been at the negotiation table lately, be sure to set some lower limits. And remember there will always be low-ball offers, so don’t get upset, often people simply want to see how low you will go. By setting reasonable limits, you can make more sales, and have fun in the process!

Modnique: You have the possibility to make an offer for an item.



What are the key features necessary for a successful ecommerce store?

Key features for a successful online store include user-friendly website design, mobile responsiveness, fast loading times, high-quality product images and product descriptions, easy navigation, user-friendly search bar, secure and multiple payment options, customer reviews and ratings, clear return and refund policy, personalized recommendations, high-converting popups, effective call-to-actions, live chat support.

Why is mobile responsiveness important for an online store?

Mobile responsiveness ensures that your online store provides a seamless and user-friendly experience on all devices, including smartphones and tablets. This is crucial as a significant portion of online shopping is done on mobile devices. A responsive design helps reduce bounce rates and increases the likelihood of conversions.

How do high-quality product images and descriptions affect conversions?

High-quality product images and detailed product descriptions give customers a clear understanding of what they are buying, which builds trust and confidence in your products. This reduces the likelihood of returns and increases the chances of a purchase, directly boosting conversions.

Why is it important to offer multiple payment options?

Offering multiple payment methods caters to the diverse preferences of your customers. It ensures that potential buyers can complete their purchases using their preferred payment option, reducing the chances of cart abandonment due to limited payment choices.

Wrapping up

Call them goofy, call them crazy, or downright silly, but these unconventional methods for conversion really work and can help you create a profitable online store.

With competition increasing online, it helps to have a unique approach to your audience.

Using one of these unconventional methods is also a great way to show the personality of your e-commerce store. For instance, listing your competitors shows that you are really proud of your products. The same goes for the archived or “museum” category of items.

You can also use these unconventional methods to highlight more features of your products or e-commerce shop. For instance, in the how-to return video, you can speak about how your online store was founded and why top service, for instance, a smooth return process, is an important part of what you do.