Thursday, November 8, 2007

An Online Storefront That Sells

It’s the festive season and a busy time for most business owners in India. Retail stores are wearing a new look in a bid to attract customers. If your business has an online storefront, it’s the right time to ensure that it’s squeaky clean, shining and a place that visitors will want to buy at.

Just as a brightly lit department store entices passers-by to step in, your online storefront should look nice and inviting. If your site hasn’t changed in years, now is the time to overhaul it.

Design it like you would any physical store, paying attention to both form and function. That means easy navigation, a professional display with all relevant information and photographs and a look that is stylish and consistent with the image your company wishes to project.

Getting the shoppers in is only one part of the good news. Now you have to make sure they buy.

Remember that convenience is one of the biggest motivators of online shoppers. Therefore, ensure that the purchase process in your online store is hassle free – an obstacle ridden storefront is equivalent to an indifferent sales force.

Some of the must-dos:

  • List out all the important commercial details such as total price inclusive of delivery & taxes, lead time and refund policies. For third party products, mention warranties and service networks.
  • Cap the number of click-throughs to a maximum of three in order to complete a purchase. Use a reliable payment gateway like PayPal for credit card purchases.
  • Slow download speed is the electronic equivalent of a long billing queue, and that is where a number of customers can drop off. Choose a reliable web hosting service, so that you are not ridden with server related problems. The same goes for your phone lines.

The sales process is consummated only when you complete delivery to the customer’s satisfaction. Therefore, remember to spruce up the back-end as well:

  • Inventory management is super important. In a physical store, if a product is on the shelf, it’s there to be bought. In an online environment, the fastest way to lose a customer is to get back a week later with the news that the product is no longer available. Also, tie up with a reliable logistics partner who can keep up delivery standards.
  • If you’re selling third party products, be careful about who you represent. At the end of the day, it is your store’s reputation on the line, so make sure that the products are not shoddy.

All done? Happy selling.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information.
Create an Online Store