Website not selling? Twelve questions you should ask yourself

Written by David Bell

Continued from page 1

8)Do you take a credit cards?

I shouldn't really have to ask this now should I? It's a plain fact that you are going to lose a huge amount of customers if you don't accept them.

9)Are you absolutely sure there's a market for it?

Does anyone else sell anything similar -if so, there should be a market for it. If it's a highly unique product, did you do a survey or market research to see if anyone wanted to buy it? If not, canvass opinion from forums and newsgroups.

10)Is your website easy onrepparttar eye?

Strong colors can make text difficult to read -it doesn't matter how good your offer is, if someone gets a headache looking atrepparttar 135621 screen there going to give up.

11)Do you offer a guarantee?

Most people are wary of getting "scammed" online, so remove those doubts - offer a guarantee. Make it as unconditional as you can.

12)Can you compete with your competitors?

Do you have any big competitors who are just corneringrepparttar 135622 market and "blowing you away"? Are customers just visiting your site to "comparison shop" and returning to your competitor to buy. If this is a possibility, try to devise a unique selling point (USP) which differentiates your product from others - perhaps you can compete on quality, benefits, or price. Emphasiserepparttar 135623 differences and advantages of your product. Research your market and familiarize yourself with what else is on offer. Then carve out a niche for your product.

Once you can honestly answer "yes" to allrepparttar 135624 above questions, it's just a matter of constant fine-tuning until you get a decent level of sales. You're never going to sell to everyone who visits your site, but you can do lots to increaserepparttar 135625 odds in your favor. I hope this helps in your future marketing decisions.

David Bell is Manager, Online Marketing, at , a leading Search Engine Optimization services firm and Advertising Agency.

Online shopping – an emotional experience

Written by Steve Hawker

Continued from page 1

Another emotional need that wasn’t addressed well by early e-commerce sites wasrepparttar need for mastery. You see, I’d mastered a large raft of skills to do with shopping offline, inrepparttar 135620 real world, in real shops. In many virtual shops though, I felt de-skilled. Rather than online shopping being as much as possible like offline shopping, many virtual shops were designed on a computer world somewhere beyond Mars it seemed. I wanted to offer some ofrepparttar 135621 earliest online shop designers some advice. ‘Keep it simple and, above all, keep it familiar,’ I wanted to say.

Let’s turn now torepparttar 135622 emotions of shopping itself. Specifically,repparttar 135623 emotions associated with buying various commodities. Inrepparttar 135624 early days of online shopping, I sensed thatrepparttar 135625 selection of goods for sale was more to do with what could be sold overrepparttar 135626 Internet very easily, rather than what could be sold overrepparttar 135627 Internet. Boxed software, with little ‘personality’ and shipped simply, was a ubiquitous offering. Very few online shops though offeredrepparttar 135628 kind of big, expensive products that often require multi-sensory approaches whilst shopping.

When working in offices, we seekrepparttar 135629 security of manipulating tangible objects like paper invoices and sales reports. Likewise, when shopping, we seekrepparttar 135630 security provided by stroking settees, smelling their leather covers and listening torepparttar 135631 noises they make as we sink into them. To addressrepparttar 135632 esteem needs associated with ‘prestige purchases’ many online shops still have some way to go, even today. Thumbnail colour photographs for such items are insufficient I’m afraid, chaps.

So, what have we learnt from this essay aboutrepparttar 135633 emotions of online shopping? In my humble opinion, online shopping requires further attention in a number of key areas, if it is to fulfil its potential:

* Journalists and pundits have roles to play in ensuring there is no complacency regardingrepparttar 135634 personal and financial security of online transactions. Atrepparttar 135635 same time,repparttar 135636 e-commerce industry must remain proactive in its pursuit of secure purchases, free from fraud and trickery. * Online shops should implement, where necessary, friendly forums andrepparttar 135637 like, which allowrepparttar 135638 free exchange of concerns and ideas amongst shops and their customers. * Online shops should be designed by people who live inrepparttar 135639 real world. The online shopping experience should mimic as far as possiblerepparttar 135640 offline shopping experience that shoppers know and trust. Prototypes of new shops should be tested with potential shoppers from all backgrounds, including age, gender, race, ability, language etc. * Designers must continue to pushrepparttar 135641 boundaries of what can be sold overrepparttar 135642 Internet. Some ‘big-ticket’ items will demandrepparttar 135643 innovative use of ‘rich’ media, like video and audio. Sometimes, hybrid applications of media will be necessary requiringrepparttar 135644 despatch of leather swashes say, to meet needs for tactile manipulation.

The ‘shop-less purchasing’ revolution will succeed. To give everyone - includingrepparttar 135645 isolated, disabled and housebound -repparttar 135646 information they need to make satisfying purchases,repparttar 135647 e-commerce industry needs to managerepparttar 135648 growth of online shopping proactively and implement new media in innovative ways.

© Steve Hawker 2005. All rights reserved. Steve is a partner at, the small ads search engine. E-mail him at:

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