Not so long ago, it was uncommon for companies to have websites. Today, e-commerce sees billions of dollars traded annually. No large company with any commercial presence can afford to be without a website. For many companies, their presence on the internet is their window to the world. Some companies operate solely as e-commerce businesses. While all websites are unique, there are seven elements that every website site should have to stay relevant and competitive.

Provide Ubiquity to Increase Sales

Ubiquity means that the commercial transaction or activity is available at any time from anywhere in the world. Today consumers rely heavily on their cell phones and tablets to access the internet. So make sure that your website is mobile friendly. Having a responsive website that intuitively adapts to whatever device is accessing it provides a user friendly experience.

Ensure Global Reach and Security

E-commerce allows your company to reach consumers anywhere in the world. Global reach, or world wide access, is the highest number of potential consumers a business can reach. Of course, when working globally, security is key. You must protect your customers’ information and ensure their privacy with a secure e-commerce platform. Security features should include a Secure Sockets Layer certificate that establishes secure connectivity, two-factor authentication, a firewall and a privacy policy.

Have Universal Standards

Universal standards mean that your website operates on standard platforms with agreed upon methods and systems. This includes ease of use of your e-commerce site and ensuring that you’re keeping it simple in design and content. One study showed that 76 percent of consumers say the most important characteristic of a website is its ease of use. The objective is to help shoppers get to what they want fast and without running into unnecessary obstacles that can hinder their path to purchase.

Don’t Skimp on Richness

Richness refers to the amount of content on your website and how it’s used by consumers. To ensure richness on your site, provide a variety of messages and means to enhance the shopper’s experience. Videos, text, pictures, sound and links can all enhance the customer experience. Make sure you have high-resolution photos and video. Feature multiple images to help customers get a better feel for your products. Images make the sale, not text. Also make sure that all images load quickly to the page.

Think About Interactivity

Interactivity is the relationship a consumer has with your site. It corresponds to face to face customer meetings in traditional business transactions. Increasing the amount of interactivity you have with a consumer lies, in part, on your ability to connect with them on an emotional level. This creates brand trust and loyalty. Make sure your social marketing efforts are linked to your e-commerce site. Engage with your customers. It shows authenticity and they won’t feel like they are just being sold to all the time.

Strike an Information Density Balance

Information density is the amount of digestible material in a unit of computer screen, like a square inch. There is no right or wrong amount of information density to have on your website. How much you have will depend on a number of factors like the product you’re selling and your target market for it. While you want your website to grab shoppers’ attention, too much text, pictures and videos can overwhelm them. One way to strike the right balance is to navigate your website as if you are a customer. You might also ask a friend to do this and give you feedback.