Online sales are growing rapidly year over year and now more than ever is a great time to have an e-commerce website. While maintaining and optimizing an e-commerce website may be quite the assignment, taking little steps in the right direction will greatly help the overall improvement. Begin with small improvements you can tackle quickly. Then move on to more complex tasks that may require extra effort. Slowly, but surely, you will fine tune your website into an outstanding website. Outlined here are 10 quick e-commerce tips to get you on your way.

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1. Accommodate All Users Types

When a user visits your website it is virtually impossible to know where they stand within the purchase process. Some users are just browsing around gathering information for a future purchase while other users may be in a dead heat to make a purchase as quickly and easily as possible. Take note of all the potential user types and try to accommodate them all equally.

2. Use Captivating & Compelling Copy

Users browse e-commerce websites as if they are on a hunt. Hunting for a desired product and the moment the hunt goes cold they fall off track and disappear. Write strong impact copy that keeps users on the hunt. If a landing page or paid search ad is promoting “Affordable Baking Accessories” you better be sure the corresponding page on your website uses this same copy.

3. Use Headings with a Punch

Headings are the main place where you can persuade users to stay on your website for another few seconds. If your heading is too informational or puts them to sleep you have missed your chance. Use clear, descriptive headings that get to the point and provide users with a source of relevancy. For example, “Pet Safe Wireless Containment System PIF-300 Including Lifetime Manufacturer’s Warranty” has less of an impact than “Pet Safe Wireless Pet Fence - Lifetime Warranty Included”.

4. Take Advantage of Good Calls to Action

As a child when your mother told you to clean your room, did you? No. When you tell a user to “Click Here” are they going to? No. Give users a reason to proceed and to follow through. Using a call to action like “See Our Lowest Priced Bikes” is much more appealing than “Click Here” or “Learn More”.

5. Provide Multiple Professional Product Images

One of the best parts about walking into a brick and mortar store to make a purchase is that you are physically able to pick up and examine a product. By giving users multiple images online allows us to overcome this barrier. On top of giving users multiple images, give them professional images from different angles and in different environments. Show them a shirt from the front, back, side, as well as on a model.

6. Allow Users to Read & Leave Product Reviews

User reviews, both good and bad, are proven to increase your conversions. Studies show that 77% of users look at reviews and ratings. Of them, 63% admit that they are more likely to make a purchase from a website with reviews and ratings. (Jupiter Research, August 2006, and Comp USA & iPerceptions) Furthermore, negative reviews allow users to see that the ratings are concrete and the product is in fact real with flaws. If you receive too many negative reviews and you may consider discontinuing the product offering.

7. Lead Users through the Checkout Process

Getting users into the checkout process is an accomplishment in itself; do not ruin it with poor user experience. Give users an overview detailing how many steps are involved and where they currently stand. Additionally do not promote any products or try to sell additional products within the checkout process. Keep the process to a minimum and as intuitive as possible.

8. Develop Clean Easy to Use Forms

For many websites forms act as the plague. Design and develop your forms in a clean easy to use manner. A few best practices include:

  • Require only necessary information. Do not go data happy.
  • Provide security assurance ensuring personal information is safe and secure.
  • Use descriptive buttons like “Continue to Shipping and Billing” rather than “Submit”.
  • Assist users with error handling on incorrectly completed fields.

9. Provide Help & Support

The first thing a majority of users are going to do before making a purchase is to make sure that you are willing, and able, to help them after a purchase is made. The quickest way to insure your support is to provide users with a phone number at all times. Furthermore you should also supply a mailing address and email address. On top of contact information you should also provide a privacy policy, return policy, shipping policy, and so forth. Providing all of this information upfront will help reassure users.

10. Test Then Test & Test Some More

These days testing is inexpensive, potentially free, and will warrant substantial benefits. The only excuse not to test is the matter of time it takes, however with Google’s Website Optimizer this excuse is no longer valid. You can be up and running a test within the hour. Make a list of three things that bother you about your website, things you think could be improved. Then set out to test them. Once you have finished your initial test, rinse and repeat.