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3 quick e-commerce hacks to brighten your online store's day

Look, e-commerce is hard. When it works, the cash register rings. When it doesn't, you're damn near invisible. Here is my very best advice, plus a bonus tip of mine that InvoiceBerry featured.

Track those damn conversions.

One of the biggest things you need to do immediately is set up conversion tracking for Facebook ads, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics. That way, you see exactly where your purchases are coming from.

Are you spending $1,000 per month on Facebook ads? Well, what if you're not generating any sales from it? One of the biggest things I see when working with a new client is a discrepancy between what feels like it's working and what really is. Tracking conversions helps you keep the feels out of it. Your inner-Spock will approve.

How many steps does it take to complete a purchase?

Did you know that most people don't make it past the first step of checkout? That's the kind of thing that should wake you up in the middle of the night. That is, until you optimize your website.

Think of it this way: Every extra click or extra page in the process is a chance to lose the user. Often times, e-commerce folks take that for granted. What's one more click, right? Well, if someone is trying to complete an order on their phone and their connection isn't great, sometimes that one extra click can be that breaking point where the person goes, "Aw hell, I'll just do this later."

And then they don't.

The solution? Pay close attention to the number of pages a user has to get through to complete a purchase. Try to cut that number down if possible. Then look at the number of actions a user has to take to complete a purchase. Can you cut that down, too? You'd be amazed. Eliminating a few clicks and one extra page can boost your conversion percentage by 10% or more -- without doing anything else.

Bonus tip: Transactional e-mails

It's a lot easier (and cheaper) to hang onto an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. That's where automated e-mails can come into play.

Too often, people miss the boat on this one. Instead of using every possible point of contact to make your branding awesome, people usually have the worst automated e-mails.

"Thank you for your purchase."

"Your order has shipped."

That's it. Nothing fun. Nothing cool.

Look at these e-mails as another opportunity to shine. Bring people along on an adventure with you. Let them know that Cal in production is slaying your order as we speak. Tell them that a carrier pigeon just left the office with your beloved product. Follow up later on to see if they have any questions. Share something personal.

Remember, every piece of communication you have with a customer is a chance to make their experience a little bit better. Add 'em all up, and you might just have a customer for life. Automated, transactional e-mails are a great way to give people that personal touch -- at scale.

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