Oneupweb has come up with a usability checklist for etailers - a timely move, considering recent research that shows declining usability standards on some of the UK's top e-commerce sites.
Here's a selection of the company's tips...
Organisation / consistency
Does the information you provide on your site encourage a sale? Are the product categories easy to understand?
Product pages are crucial - customers should be presented with all the information they need to make a purchase decision, from delivery details to technical info.
Clearly, it's important to ensure that your site's navigation is easy to use and understand, and makes sense to your target audience.
Clear, consistent navigation is essential, as well as effective filtering options that allow customers to find if a suitable item is recommended.
As well as providing third party certification to increase customer trust, etailers must ensure that protection for their site's information/software is up to date and effective.
Ease of purchase
Improving the checkout process can be the single most effective way of increasing conversion, so examine your checkout process for any problems that may be causing abandonment.
Common problems include hidden charges, clumsy user registration, lengthy checkout processes and technical issues.
Consider how customers will want to contact you - a phone number is essential, but some may prefer click-to-call or email.
In addition, a comprehensive FAQ section will answer many possible customer queries and avoid the need for them to contact you.
Look at how your site is performing in the search engine rankings for your targeted keywords. It is worth examining which pages are delivering the best organic search results and finding out what is effective on these pages.
Test any new software, content or redesign. Ensure your site displays properly on different browsers.