After reading 5 Ways To Turn Off Customers (for Brick and Mortars) on smallbusinessnewz.com, I thought I would write my own version of this article using the same sub-headings applied to websites. The advice given in the original article is solid and can easily be adapted to online businesses.
1. Bad Location
While a “brick and mortar” outfit will have trouble in certain areas depending on competition and other factors, the same problem can occur if a website is not properly “located” when it comes to search engine findability, domain name, and hosting.
It’s sad to see that many businesses today still need to be reminded that free hosting packages, bad keyword density and poor choice in domain name can all have an effect on whether or not people stumble in during their online shopping. So website owners should invest the time, effort and money necessary to ensure their “location” on the web is suitable to staying competitive in their market.
2. High Prices
Due to the nature of the web, and an increase in online competition, it is harder for companies to markup prices exorbitantly. But sometimes overhead costs force prices to stay relatively high. Website owners should try to battle this by offering online promotions, coupons, returning-customer deals and other sales techniques that will make the high prices not seem so high in the long run.
3. Dirty Store
Yes, a website needs to be clean just as a brick and mortar store does. Make the investment to ensure your website’s code is standards-compliant, cross-browser friendly, and accessible to users with disabilities. Also, ensure your online business has easy-to-use site navigation by means of site maps, site search, and breadcrumb-friendly page structure.
4. Pushy Salespeople
Your web page’s content can be just as intimidating as a pushy in-person sales person. So hire a good copywriter and keep your pages friendly and informative. Don’t make the users feel that they are stupid if they don’t buy your product, and certainly don’t insult their intelligence. You can still tell them how important your product or service is by being tactful and insightful, and by displaying a good knowledge of the industry.
5. Poor Customer Service
Your website’s forms and shopping cart functionality should not alienate the user from your company. Site visitors should always feel that you or your representatives are available to help them at all times in case there is any problem, or if they have any questions. So make sure you provide a good FAQ page, a help section, a toll free number to call, and an easy to use contact form — and follow this up with a fast turn-around on all customer service and sales inquiries.
Brick and Mortar or Online — the Principles are the Same
So, if you have a standard “brick and mortar” business complemented with an online store or brochure website, follow the advice found in the original article for your brick and mortar, and apply some of these tips mentioned above for your online business and you’ll be sure to reap the benefits.