Web sites are one of the most important technology tools your business can have. If the web site you have facing your web site now, is the same web site you have online then you’re web site, especially compared to your customers, is a “lazy” web site.
The New York Times reported recently that Since the inception of the Web, online commerce has enjoyed hypergrowth, with annual sales increasing more than 25 percent over all, and far more rapidly in many categories. But in the last year, growth has slowed sharply in major sectors like books, tickets and office supplies.
Alarm bells should not be going off in your head, but you should sit up a bit and consider if your web site is doing all it can to boost your sales or other call to action for your web site visitors.
For example, take a look at your nearest few competitors is their web site able to do things yours can’t?
Here’s a few examples:
-If a customer sees a product they like can they use an RSS feed to track the price of the product and buy it when they want to
-If you have a retail store, can the customer ship the product to your store for pickup at their convenience. With no need to stand in line.
-Do you have plenty of information and pictures of your products to give your customers all the information they need to make a buying decision
-What about discussion forums? Can customers speak to each other, get help from each other?
-Do you offer fast customer support? When someone emails you – do they get a reply within 30 minutes? Do they have to wait up to 72 hours?
The NY Times writes The bookseller Borders, for example, recently revamped its Web site to allow users to reserve books online and pick them up in the store. Similar services were started by companies like Best Buy and Sears. Other retailers are working to follow suit.
“You don’t realize how powerful of a phenomenon this new strategy has become,” Mr. Whaley said. “Nearly every big box retailer is opening it up.”
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