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Convenience: Are You Easy to Do Business With?

When a shopper comes to your web store, he has his credit card in hand and is ready to buy. So don't let your web site get in his way. A web store with a poorly designed navigation structure will frustrate a shopper. Even though you have a great offer, if the shopper can't easily find it and buy it, he'll click off to your competitor and probably won't come back.

A lot of thought must be given to how a shopper can search for products on your site. Offering multiple navigation options helps shoppers find what they're looking for—fast. Have the capability on your site for shoppers to search by these features:

  • Product name
  • Price
  • Product category
  • Manufacturer

The more site tools shoppers have to search with, the faster they can get to the products they're looking for, and the faster you'll make a sale.

But finding a product to buy is only the beginning. Just as important as price, selection, and service is convenience. How easy is it to navigate through your site? Good site navigation entails telling your visitors where they are, how they got there, how they can get back, and where they can go next. If your site navigation is done properly, your shoppers should be able to get to where they want to go in just three or four clicks. Be careful when designing the navigation bar on your site. Graphic links to the different sections of your site are nice and give a professional look to your web store. But also include text links at the bottom of your pages that duplicate your graphic navigation, in case your site loads too slowly through a shopper's browser.

Remember that your web site should be intuitive to navigate. Your site pages should provide a visual map of how to get from one place to another that says, "Here's where I am. This is what I clicked to get here. If I click that, I'll go there next."

Offer Live Customer Support—Without the Expense

Want to give live customer support to shoppers on your site? Don't want to spend the money for programming? Then use ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, or AOL Instant Messenger services. Shoppers can download the free desktop application and communicate with you in real-time if they have a question.

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