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Online Shop Curse or Salvation
Ready or not
How many times did you ask yourself a question whether you should start selling over the Internet or not and the second question accompanying the previous one was always "How much would it cost?"
Well, the answer is not so easy.
Firstly you need to know exactly who your future customers are and how many of them would use the Internet to find your products.
Supposing you have already knew the answer there is another aspect of your ability to increase your stock and have enough of human resources to manage sudden outburst of orders.
The next value you need to measure is whether your Customer Service is good enough to start building your credibility and if you have a contract with a carriage company for shipping your items quick?
Yes, Dear Supplier, that is a very important that the customer can call you and ask any question about your products and always get a straight forward answer. I personally think, that the most important for your customers will be an excellent Customer Service.
There is not anything worse than unprofessional receptionist who is putting your customers on hold trying to call everybody to find the right person or selling team among whom everybody gives different, contradicted answers.
However now you know all that so now it is time to start building your idea and put everything into scripts.
Choosing the design
Your future design will depend, of course, on what is your product you want to sell. If you are going to attract people with items such as toys or other children's items try to make your design very warm with very bright colours. If you are planning to sell promotional items you need to amuse your customers with something extraordinary and unexpected. Do not try to make another online shop like other companies, be yourself and experiment.
Try to think like your customers and put yourself to their position to recognise whether your online shop is easy to understand and the navigation is clearly displayed. There is always an area where you could improve your website, always the section which is not simple and clear enough for your visitors and what happens, either you will simplify it or your customers will avoid this area.
Why not something special
Browsing thousands of websites you have probably noticed that the display is the most important part of the successful website. Your Online Shop is composed of the entrance door, display window and departments. Would you consider buying from messy shop where the front window is dirty or empty? I do know the answer.
So why not to try something special to attract your customers. Find a display windows you like and try to follow this example. Look again and discover what part of it is the one which attracts your eye the most. That is the place where subconsciously your customers will stare looking at your website.
There is an example of a very professional and fully automated Online Shop with Promotional Items, www.water4fish.co.uk. Try to compare it to competitors' and you will easily discover that the way of presenting all promotional items is way ahead before the others.
Speak to your developers and explain to them that one of your primary target is to automate all the necessary processes of customer service department. What is the best option for you? Remembering that your Online Shop will sell 24/7 you would need some features such as: automated email send to a customer after they place an order or register with your shop, always inform them when purchased items will be dispatched. Think about including your customers Testimonials, include another space where you will be exchanging links with other websites.
Email your Customers...
...but within rational limits. Do not attempt to send any emails more frequently than once a month or two. Consider your mailing templates as a very responsible selling agents and carefully think what is the reason you are sending it to people. Use HTML templates to be able so send pictures and other graphical elements.
everything what you personally do not like such as pop-ups adverts, opening another browser windows when the customer is closing their browser or any other techniques making customers difficult to exit your website.
Using all these things will only leave your visitors with a very bad impression and will ruin the full trust in your secure data and specially if it comes to payments.
The cost of the operation
The cost of preparing the lot would be a very time consuming process and also will not be cheap but let's try to answer a question how much would cost you a professional team of selling agents. Let's make it easy and speak about two good people. You would need to pay them at least £2500 every month plus a commission. So if your website will cost you £15,000 would you say it is too much? As of now your company is available 24/7 including weekends and holidays, hardly ever sick or unavailable and you can keep your personnel in the same number but sell twice more.
Is it expensive? I do not think so.....
About the Author: Marek Lychin R&M Development Ltd - Website Development and Design Professional Team