20 Things You Can Do to Increase Sales on Your eCommerce Website

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Your website is the first impression your potential customers will have of you, so it must reflect your professionalism in every way possible. The following eCommerce Marketing recommendations relate to making your website a place where customers will want to shop.

  1.  Keep it clean!  Websites that are over-crowded and stuffed full of photos, graphics, and teeny-tiny text are hard on the eye and give a cheap impression.
  2. Organize it!  Ensure that the layout of your site makes sense and that similar products are grouped together so that your visitors dont have to jump around looking for things.
  3. Maintain it!  Broken links are one of the primary reasons that visitors will navigate away from your site.  They will figure that if you cannot keep your website running properly, then they will be unable to expect proper service from you.  Also ensure that your pages load quickly; when forced to wait too long for a page to load, your customers will simply x out and go to your competitors site.
  4. Stimulate the eye!  While you want to avoid too many photos, people love to see pictures, so make sure you have quality photos that show all angles of your product.  Include call-outs that allow the customer to zoom in on larger and different views, as well as to see alternate color choices, if offered.
  5. Describe it!  In addition to including quality photos, you will need to provide accurate, detailed descriptions of your products.  Anticipate what customers will want to know about the product and include that information.  If the product is something that requires a size or measurements, make sure you list that information.
  6. Proof it!  One of the biggest turn-offs for most people is to try to read copy on a webpage that is full of grammatical, spelling, or typographical errors, so make sure you proofread and spell-check your site.  If this is not your strong point, enlist the help of someone who is good at it.
  7. Be up front!  Post your shipping charges where your customers can see them before they reach the end of the checkout process.  Sales and return customers can be lost when you force your clientele to navigate all the way through check-out in order to see what their total cost will be.  Additionally, include a return policy that is easy to find on your site, easy to understand, and easy (read no hassle) to use.
  8. Be reasonable!  Offer sensible shipping and handling fees theres a reason that those annoying infomercials put the shipping and handling fees in microscopic print, and thats because those fees often exceed the cost of the item they want you to buy.  Gouging your customers will cost you repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals.
  9. Make it easy!  Ensure that your check out or shopping cart process is easy to use without unnecessary steps.  People do not want to navigate through more than three pages to get to the end of the process, and many will simply give up before they get to the end if they have to jump through too many hoops.
  10. Get personal!  Include information about you or your company.  Doing so lends your site a personal touch that makes people more comfortable with buying from you.
  11. Anticipate questions!  Include a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page that pulls from questions you have had in the past and those that you can anticipate being asked in the future.  Doing so will also save you some time and effort in responding to the same questions over and over.
  12.  Back it up!  Use testimonials from your customers or link to articles that support your product to enhance its value.  Be careful with this however, as too many such testimonials or links can start to make your site appear cheesy and will have the opposite effect.
  13. Make it irresistible!  When you can, discount your products to provide your customers with a true value.  Of particular importance in todays economy is making sure that your pricing is competitive enough to attract sales.  If you have unique or hard-to-find items, then higher pricing makes sense, but pricing your product well above your competitors will ultimately cost you sales.
  14. Let them find you!  Make sure your contact information is easy to find and avoid forcing your visitors to search all over the site to find out how to ask you a question.
  15. Be responsive!  Always respond to questions within a reasonable period of time.  If you make your customers wait too long, they will find another site from which to purchase the product.  Consider using an auto-responder if the volume warrants it, but keep in mind that personal service is always appreciated.
  16. Let them know!  Include a method by which your customers can sign up for e-mail alerts for new products and sales.  Use this marketing tool wisely, though, so as not to give your customers the impression of being spammed which can be a huge turn-off for them.
  17. Keep it safe!  Make sure your site clearly states that your customers information is secure and that it is safe to buy from you.
  18. Offer choices!  Give your customers as many payment options as possible, including PayPal, credit card payments, and other popular payment methods.
  19. Be humble!  There will be times when you make a mistake it happens.  When it does happen, though, be prepared to handle the situation with a sincere apology and an offer to make it right.  Service recovery can not only correct an issue, but if handled correctly, may win you the loyalty of a customer that you might otherwise have lost.
  20. Be creative!  Dont be afraid to try new ideas, but dont invest yourself in them to the point where you are unwilling to let them go if they are not working.

Source: .docstoc

Did I miss something? Leave a comment below if you have suggestions on other ways you can improve your website to help increase sales.
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