It is common knowledge that the internet has changed how the human race interacts with each other and with commercial enterprises. Time was when the high street shops and big stores attracted most of the commerce but those days are long gone.
With more and more people getting broadband access to the internet and more and more people learning how to "surf" the chances are that before taking any significant purchase decision they will consider the various options on the internet and the decision will be taken based on what they find after research and price and service checks.
And Ecommerce has made serious inroads into high street spend. It is no longer the big flashy and expensive store fronts that are required to attract the dollar. A back street warehouse with no high street presence at all often is able to command a very good percentage of ecommerce by having an effective website, a slick and painless sales page and an efficient delivery service.
Note that it is the website that is now the shop front so it is vital that it is as eye catching, slick and effective as possible. There are a number of rules for an effective website which affects different punters in different ways
In no particular order then here are some:-
*It needs to be clear and professional looking! - No customer is going to bother with a poorly put together website or one that is hard to navigate. When he arrives on the landing page he should immediately be able to decide if he wants to read or if he is going elsewhere.
*It needs to grab the punters attention! - If a potential customer is looking for an item or a service he must be able to easily find what he is looking for. It is a fact that the average time a punter stays on a page when surfing is less than 20 seconds. If the webpage hasn't caught his attention in that time he will click out and the chances are he is gone forever and someone else will get his custom.
*Beware of too much movement or automatically starting video or audio tracks. Some punters won't mind but for many it is a major turn off. Annoying a potential punter has the same effect as poor design.. They leave AND ARE NEVER COMING BACK!
*Contact Names including an address and phone number are important. This gives the punter confidence that the good he buys or the services he contracts come from a reputable source, not an untraceable and anonymous fly by night.
*It must be Search Engine Friendly. This is essential and the life blood of any web page. A key word must be easily and rapidly found by Google and the others and preferable be midway down page one of the niche.
What must be obvious is that no longer is a website an optional extra and an added operating expense. Rather it is an absolute essential for any enterprise.
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