They say America enjoys the reputation for being spoon fed and spoiled, having most of the conveniences in life laid out in front of her. In fact, the U.S. has quite an abominable percentage of obesity in its population that it sometimes make you wonder whether the culture of abundance has done any good at all. But that is not what this article is all about. This article talks about competitiveness in the e-commerce industry, and how high risk merchants can get ahead by understanding this so-called “lazy” culture.
Generally though, people are hardworking. That is to serve their best interests. But generally, you or I would rather sit back than dig a ditch if we have a choice. Shopping for many of us is a burden. Rather than drive a car to the supermarket, we would sit in front of the computer and shop online. Or call up for pizza delivery instead of going to the restaurant itself.
Having a clunky e-commerce site makes life even more difficult. The general rule for high risk merchants is to step into their customers' shoes and figure out how to make shopping online easier. If you are not willing to go through the challenge of this business, then the door is always open for you to find another vocation to pursue. You either put all your power to make money with the business you have chosen, or let your finances whittle away in mediocrity.
People may have seen the best or worst of things when it comes to shopping online. They may have visited a store that looks a lot like your country grocery store or something like the Fashion Show Mall in Vegas. In fact, you can only do so much as guess what kind of customers are coming over to browse your products or services. Can you afford to lose them with your lack of knowledge on what they expect? Here's a short list of how to deal with the “lazy” culture problem. See if any of them are familiar to you!
Solution: Simplify your shopping cart. The less clicks to get to the checkout, the better.
Problem: Remembering page names and link names!
Solution: Come up with easy to remember and unique names, whether your domain, link, categories, or pages. Heck, there's a copycat in every corner of the world and you don't wanna add yourself up to the list.
Problem: Looking for products only to turn out they are out of stock! Or links that don't work!
Solution: It is common sense not to annoy your customers by not informing them about products that aren't in the inventory. Hire a good programmer to fix the broken links too.
Problem: Waiting for the graphics-laden page to load!
Solution: Think twice about using Flash or lots of pics as not only they make the page slow to load, they also generally cannot be crawled by search engines.
Problem: Reading esoteric or poorly laid-out text!
Solution: If you can't write good text, better let a professional do it. Bad text is a big turn off.
Problem: Having to download a hefty file!
Solution: Maybe unavoidable but do your best not to burden your customers with software or pdf downloads -- unless extremely necessary.
Problem: Expectations, expectations!
Solution: If you can't fulfill your promise such as no hidden fees or free shipping then don't make any.
Problem: Same old flat boring e-commerce website?!
Solution: No updates, no blogs, no newsletter, no design revamps, etc.? There must be a better way to be competitive.
Bottom line is: Spiffy up! You owe yourself and your customers a more exciting shopping experience. (See High Risk Merchants Guide to Creating the Perfect Shopping Experience for another good stuff to add to your entrepreneurial library.)
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