Website Business Mistakes to Avoid
The Net is a powerful tool that lets you conduct business
any time and any where in the world. From a consumer's perspective,
here's some suggestions that would help induce users to reach
for their credit card.
1. Your Web site should compliment your real-life business.
As an example, we offer you a story of the florist shop with
the beautiful Web site.
The Web site was excellent. Well laid out, easily navigated.
Their floral designs were pictured on the site, identified
by code numbers and with pricing information clearly visible.
Obviously, it was the work of a professional designer and not
done on the cheap. It was impressive.
When dialing the phone number to place an order, things got
sticky. The salesperson didn't know there was a Web site, had
no idea what floral arrangement we were trying to order, or
at what price.
If you're going to the trouble of being on the Web, be sure
that your sales personnel are giving a consistent message.
2. Answer Your E-mail
If you are going to make your email address available to your
customers, make sure that somebody answers the e-mail that
you receive, and make sure that the person who does this is
knowledgeable and able to communicate through that medium.
Nothing will tick your customers off faster than sending an
email that is ignored.
And please note: the webmaster or the programmer in your organization
is not usually the best person to be handling your questions
about your product. You've gone to a lot of trouble to attract
potential customers. Try not to annoy them too much through
ineffective email practices.
3. The Price Is Not a Secret
It's the peculiar online sales tactic of making the customer
work really hard to discover what something costs.
You go to a Web site or you receive a piece of email promoting
a particular product or service. However, no pricing information
is available. It may not even be readily apparent that the
item is for sale.
You click your way through a big Web site, finally to locate
pricing information in tiny print in an obscure corner. Sometimes
there's just an invitation to phone them or to send an email
for more information.
The customer should never have to work really hard to buy
4. Forget the Jargon
We received a press release that went like this:
"Our remarkable new solution that promotes integrated
data management of media content that will realize better return
on investment (ROI), and that, in fact GISTICS has evaluated
potential ROI to be as high as 16:1. (GISTICS, 1997) with general
If anyone understands what the devil they're selling, please
let us know.