Wednesday, December 5, 2012

5 things an e- commerce site "Must Have"

If you own a small business but don’t actually sell products on your website, you need to pay ATTENTION!!!. For retail and restaurant websites, these are some of the features that your site MUST contain, but many sites miss some or all of IT. For retail and restaurant websites, these are some of the features that your site MUST contain, but many sites miss some or all of these, or they’re too hard to find to be effective.
Even if your website consists of only a single page, make sure that it has no less than the following, in no particular order.

Store hours
Telephone number
Street address of all locations
A list of products and brands that you carry
Specials, sales, and web coupons

1. Store Hours

Make sure that your site clearly lists the standard operating hours and holiday scheduling. If you aren't operating an eCommerce site, try to put these on every page. If you have multiple locations, make sure to put the hours for every location if they are different.
Don’t make it difficult to find your operating hours. Putting them prominently in the sidebar or footer of every page is a great way to do this in a clean and elegant manner.
2. Telephone number

Your local, and toll free if you have one, phone number should be clearly listed on every page of the website. If your business provides any sort of continuous support, make sure you put your after hours or other pertinent support numbers on there as well.
3. Street address of all locations

Every location that you operate should be listed on your site. If you only have 1 location, put the street address and a link to a Google map on every page. The footer is an excellent place to do this.
If you have a handful of locations, use a dedicated page for all locations, and make sure to include a Google map link, and the business hours for each location on the same page.
If you have many locations, a “find nearest location” search function should be accessible from every page. These are best placed in both the header and footer of the site. You can put a quick zip code based look up in the header of every page to make it extra-easy. Again, on the detail page for each location, make sure to put a maps link, the phone number, and the business hours for that particular location.
4. A list of products and services that you carry

You know a lot about your business, but a new customer probably won’t know specific details just from your name alone. You should always list major brands that you carry, or if you provide services, and anything else a customer might want to know before coming into your store.
“We sell sporting equipment” is not a good description.
“We sell the finest rock climbing, kayaking, and camping gear, and a full lineup of outdoor supplies and equipment” is much better!
5. Specials, sales and coupons

When you market to an audience on the internet, you are just one of a million other websites trying to sell to the same people. By providing web coupons, listing specials, and current sales, you instantly connect with your customer and they are far more likely to stay on your website, bookmark it, and later come into your store.
This is probably the least utilized marketing effort by small retail businesses, and it makes a big difference. You've paid someone to design, program, and host your website. If you aren't getting the people that visit it, to take action, you’re wasting your money. Or they’re too hard to find to be effective.

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