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  #1  
Old 12-09-2009, 06:47 AM
bholus10 bholus10 is offline
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Default Confused e-Buyers Keep Their Money

My uncle, through his brick and mortar stores taught me many valuable business lessons.

One that always echoes in my mind, and which may be even more prominently true in the online world states that a confused customer never buys. Unlike his stores whose “helpful” employees’ stood by to assist anyone that displayed a stunned look, e-commerce sites don’t have that luxury.

Your visitors cannot personally be tended so the minute they get confused they move on to the next site. The following are suggestions on how to avoid these situations and get your register ringing. Although these may seem obvious, check the net, more sites violate them you’d think.

First Impressions

Unlike in the dating world where someone may actually make an effort to get to know you, your website has little time to make a stunning first impression before your visitors clicks that little X at the top-right of their screens, never to return.

Most likely I won’t arrive at your website by chance. I’ll probably type some search terms in an engine (let’s use “flower delivery” as an example for this little story) and notice your site shows up relevant to my query. Now the first thing I’m looking for upon arrival is how your e-business will help me.

So please show me right away (the last thing I want to do is sit around for 5 minutes while a fancy flash presentation loads). That tiny piece of real estate above the fold on your homepage is often all people look at; use that space wisely.

Benefits

How your product/service will benefit your customers is the first thing they care about. Tune your visitors into everyone’s favorite radio station: WII-FM (What’s In It For Me). As mentioned above I, like most people these days, need to know how your goods will help me in a fraction of a second. So show me right away

in a very clear fashion that your flowers are the most beautiful around or on sale or your deliveries are fast and seldom lost. Take some time to think why visitors would come to your site, what they’re after and then show them they’ve come to the right place.

Site Structure

If you don’t have enough space to clearly layout all your benefits on your homepage in a clear and concise manner, by all means create a few extra benefits pages. Maybe one for prices, one for delivery options, one for flower arrangements and so on.

Just make sure to label them clearly in an obvious menu bar. Don’t make me search your website for them. Don’t make me use the sitemap and for the love of all that is holy, don’t make me go through 6 additional pages to get to them.

About You vs. About Us

So you’ve been in business since 1987. You won the prestigious International Flower Store (IFS) award 6 years running. You give 100% of your profits to charities. That’s wonderful and may make me more inclined to do business with you.

Just remember that there’s one person I care more about you and that’s “me”. Don’t confuse me by throwing all this extra info about yourself my way. What the heck is the IFS anyways? I want to hear more about me.

If you really have an urge to stuff your site with excess info, at least tell me that something along the lines of “by giving our flowers to your wife, she won’t be mad at you for a few hours”. It’s what you can do for me, not how good you are, that’ll have me reaching for my credit card.

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Old 12-09-2009, 07:00 AM
bholus10 bholus10 is offline
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Default

Checkout


I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that’s had this experience one too many times. I go through your site, love your flowers and go to checkout. Only to find out that your actual checkout process involves 18 steps, requires blood samples and a full legal team

to complete. After cursing the day you were born, I kindly leave your site and buy flowers elsewhere. Make your checkout as easy to complete as humanly (or electronically) possible.

Take every method of payment possible. Ask only for the information you really need (I’m pretty sure you don’t need my fax number to send out flowers). And at the end of it, give me some sort of receipt confirmation so that I may rest assured all went well.

Look at Google as an extreme example of a mindless site. Yes they made their service better then the competition. But when you go to their site, all there is, is a simple search box. It’s clean, fast and easy to operate. You don’t need an instruction manual to figure it out and neither should I when arriving at your site. In today’s hectic world, we’re all far too busy for that
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