Website as Storefronts
A customer walks into the store, browses through products and shelves, picks up items, inspects, considers the prices, chooses a product and takes it to the cash register to pay. Now if you want to sell your products online, then your site must be enabled for e-commerce, where you must have the following features:
• You need to provide plenty of content and product description like sizes, dimensions, colors and comparisons with other similar products. It must allow the customer to choose a product, get a clear pricing and shipping costs on the product, complete the transaction and get an order number, and/or invoice confirmation via email. Allow your customer to choose a shipping method.
• You must tell the customer if the item is in stock or delivered against order. Ideally, you should have an email contact or live help if the customer has a question. Most importantly you must respond immediately! If you want to provide your own live chat and help desk services on your website, specialized softwares are available for purchase.
• Be sure your customer service links are large and clearly marked, so your client does not have to dig around to find information.
• Provide an ‘about us’ section or a section about your policies. If you have privacy statements and customer satisfaction policies, your customer will feel better about shopping in your store.
• You probably want to have customer quotes and references on the storefront page, as well, to let your prospective client know that others are happy with your service.
• Provide an FAQ with information about your return-back policies, guarantees, shipping prices and insurance charges if any.
• If you are so inclined, you can offer a print catalogue if the customer prefers to order one from your storefront and shop in the privacy of their homes.
• Do not annoy your customers by presenting products that are marked ‘sold’ or pages that say ‘under construction’ or ‘coming soon’.
• Do add new content frequently, so your returning customers will not be bored by seeing the same products they saw four months ago.
• If your site has got a date tag or has current references, be careful to change these references frequently so you don’t give the perception that nobody is attending or reading your site.