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10 Indispensable Ingredients of Successful Online Stores

Long-term business practice weeded out some crucial features every online shop should possess and constantly improve. Revise ten vital elements below, just to make sure that your online store is in perfect shape.

Online Store Ingredients

Store Design
People purchase only from trustworthy sellers and first impression is extremely valuable, not less than simple checkout or positive reviews. Intuitive store layout and attractive theme is the first step towards online business success.

25% of customers abandon carts due to tricky navigation

Catalog Browsing
Comfortable catalog browsing and powerful on-site search help to put customers on their way to transaction and improve positive perception of your store. AJAX-based layered navigation should bring customers to products without any redirection or reloads. Subcategory division should be logical and reasonable, and let customers choose any product during navigation.

On-site search is also very important and used by customers who definitely know the product they want. It should deliver quick and reliable results providing morphological corrections, search queries autocompletion of search queries and keyword suggestions.

Note: Complicated website navigation is a reason for cart abandonment for 25% of customers. Source: Statista.

Product Browsing
High-quality product pictures alone are not enough as most products need multiple images to create its complete representation. Customers should have an opportunity to interact with these pictures using zoom-in tools or even explore 360 degree product view images.

Marketing and Promotions
This area of a store’s functionality is probably the most extensive and includes email marketing, flexible pricing, coupons and discounts, referral and affiliate programs, cross sells and up-sells, follow-up activities, promotional widgets and banners, and much more. Its potential is great and requires much time and effort.

13% of customers abandon carts when the price is in a foreign currency

Payments mostly involve technical aspects of sales, but their diversity is vital for attracting potential customers. So, you should offer wide range of payment methods and payment gateways for your customers.

Selling in multiple currencies makes almost the same thing and is highly recommended for international sellers. And those who act in international markets should have multi-language online stores, of course.

Note: 13% of customers abandon their carts when the price is presented in a foreign currency. Source: Statista.

Order Management
Order management is mostly important for merchants, but it also directly affects customers since they may ask for printable invoices, refunds, returns, etc. The more seamless this process is, the more chances for repeated purchases you will get.

Online trade would be almost impossible or at least lose half of its attractiveness without shipping. Free shipping requirement is almost as usual for customers as asking for lower prices. So, merchants are often forced to offer various shipping opportunities, including flat rates or table ones, and free shipping, of course.

Note: Unsuitable delivery options cause 16% of abandoned carts. Source: Statista.


Checkout is the last hurdle for customers on their way to completed transaction. Jointly with customers online retailers have worked out some general requirements to online checkout. It should be fast and highly-configurable; usually it is a one-page checkout with gust checkout mandatory option and dozens of others.

Social Networks Integration
Social networks accumulate huge traffic and online merchants naturally incline to draw people to their stores using this potentially rich source of customers. Facebook likes, Twitter sharings, Pinterest images pins, wishlists sharings, and suchlike make your store closer to customers and give them an opportunity actively interact with your brand.

Note: About 85% of internet visits are social networks visits. Source: Microsoft

85% of internet visits are social networks visits

Advanced Customer Account
Advanced customer area is absolutely necessary for building long-term relations with customers as it may contain customer’s contact information, address book, orders history, wishlists, reviews, referral balance, and more.

Online store is no longer just a marketplace, but a powerful platform for constant, complicated and trustworthy relations with customers. Thus, a successful online business should create stores with multiple promotional, educational and service tools providing the entire circle of online sales.

aheadWorks extensions improve all the elements of Magento stores mentioned above. All the modules are grouped in our store by their functionality and you are free to choose any one you need.